Some of the best music I have ever listened to has been from the older video games in my collection. Games like Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy 7 and The Legend of Zelda have some of the best soundtracks available. Listening to this music evokes old memories and gives that wonderful sense of more peaceful times. Recently I was inspired to track down some of my old favourites but I found that sometimes they can be very hard to find! The following are places where you might find some of your favourite retro video game music.
Fan sites for some games will sometimes have .midi rips of the music of those games. Occasionally they may even have fan made cover tracks of some of the more popular songs from your favourite video games. A good example of a fan site like this is FFShrine.org. This website contains tracks from many of the Final Fantasy series in the form of .midi in their ffmusic.ffshrine.org directory.
There are a good number of dedicated MP3 download websites where you can find collections of retro video game soundtracks. Simply searching something like "Metal Gear Solid MP3s" should turn up some results. Though be wary of websites that require you to sign up or enter any details in order to download. There are plenty of free sites that you don't have to do this for.
This method is one of my favourites because instead of finding the exact music from your video games you can sometimes find excellent cover versions done on piano or guitar. Of course it's easy enough to watch these videos but if you want your own copy of these tracks on your computer you will need to look for videos that offer a download link in their description. Often this is a way for new artists to get their name out their so if they have a donation link and you like their cover make sure you donate some money to them!
Occasionally some games will come paired with an official soundtrack or they will have one available for purchase separately. It can be hard to track down these soundtracks for older games - so check places like eBay and thrift stores.
For newer games you can often buy digital copies of the soundtracks for a small fee - usually less than a few dollars. This is especially true of 'indie' games like The Binding of Isaac. Have a look on Steam or the games official website to see if your video game has a soundtrack available.
Rip Them Yourself
If the game you are trying to get the soundtrack for is a particularly old one, or it is a PlayStation 1 or original Xbox game, then you can probably rip the soundtrack yourself! Simply insert the CD into your computer and explore the games files for .midi, .wav or .mp3 files.
I hope this guide helps you find your favourite retro video game music!