Music is more important to the gaming experience than you may think. An amazing soundtrack contributes to the overall story and tone of the game, not to mention that it makes playing much more enjoyable.
Some of the greatest soundtracks come from indie games. While indie developers don't have the funding or the huge staffs of AAA studios, they don't let that stop them from creating incredible music.
The following indie game soundtracks are worth a listen! You're sure to find one that you'll absolutely love.
20. Wizard of Legend
Wizard of Legend is a great, action-packed roguelite dungeon crawler where you select a set of abilities and fight your way through numerous monsters and bosses toward victory.
Given the game's above-average difficulty—even for avid gamers—you'll find yourself replaying the levels over and over again, listening to the music so much until it's engrained in your head. But it's a well-made soundtrack with variety, so you won't mind!
19. Children of Morta
Children of Morta is one of the best indie roguelite action-RPGs from the past few years, with several fun characters to play that each have their own unique mechanics and abilities. But a good chunk of the game's enjoyment comes from the music and atmosphere.
18. SteamWorld Heist
SteamWorld Heist takes the 2D sidescrolling metroidvania-style look of the earlier SteamWorld Dig and turns it into a tactical shooter while retaining the steampunk worldbuilding and musical style.
With influences from rock, metal, and electronic genres, the music of SteamWorld Heist fits right in. It was composed by the band Steam Powered Giraffe, whose members appear in the game itself from time to time as in-game band members.
17. Pistol Whip
Unlike most of the soundtracks on this list, Pistol Whip's OST features songs with vocals.
This VR game features intense, rhythm-based gunfights, so it only makes sense that the background music is just as epic. The sensational dubstep, techno, and house beats will get you hyped.
16. Katana Zero
The neon, futuristic world of Katana Zero is only enhanced by the epic synthwave soundtrack. Katana Zero's OST can keep up with the famous tunes from Hotline Miami, which really says something about the quality of the album.
Take a listen for yourself, and you'll feel as if you've been transported to a cyberpunk universe.
Gunpoint is a sidescrolling stealth platformer where you play as a spy who needs to accomplish certian missions. Given the noir style of the narrative, it's no surprise that the music is also noir-influenced.
It's actually one of the rare video games—whether indie or not—to truly lean into the noir genre, making it a wonderfully unique experience. The music is objectively great and totally worth listening to, even if you've never played the game and never intend to.
14. Streets of Rogue
Streets of Rogue is a great indie roguelite game where you progress through the many floors of a subterranean city, with each floor progressively more affluent. You can interact with pretty much anything, allowing you to be creative in how you proceed.
The soundtrack to Streets of Rogue is reflective of its frantic, action-packed, retro-futuristic dungeon-crawling adventure. Blending electronic techniques with vintage synths, it's a treat for the ears.
Transistor's soundtrack may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for those who do like it, it's one of the best gaming soundtracks of the modern age. Not many games are willing to go this experimental.
Coming from Darren Korb, the same mind behind the music of Bastion, the music to Transistor is heavily rooted in electronic post-rock with retro-futuristic synth influences. You really have to hear it for yourself to truly grasp the uniqueness of this one.
12. Risk of Rain 2
Risk of Rain 2 built on the success of its predecessor, going from 2D platformer to third-person shooter and leveling up everything about it along the way—including its music. It won SXSW's Indie Game of the Year in 2021, solidifying its success.
Infused with electronic rock through and through, the music in Risk of Rain 2 not only provides ambient tension around every corner, but serves as a great soundtrack for everyday listening.
11. Into the Breach
The best tactical strategy games often have great soundtracks to match, and Into the Breach is no exception. Despite its simplicity, the game provides a lot of depth to chew on from start to finish.
Moody atmospheric music, complete with everything from electric guitar to synth piano to pounding drums to acoustic guitar, pervades Into the Breach with so much emotion. Though composed by Ben Prunty, no one would blame you for thinking this was Hans Zimmer.
Bastion is a post-apocalyptic fantasy action-RPG with heavy Western influences, which all come together in perfect balance to give us one of the best indie gaming experiences of all time.
A lot of its unforgettableness is due to the incredible music, composed by Darren Korb. Blending elements of trip hop with acoustic bluegrass, Bastion's OST is one that'll be remembered for ages.
Hades' OST definitely stands out from the rest. Most songs have a rock-and-roll feel, while others have the tantalizing strums of an acoustic guitar. Since this game is considered early-access, you can expect more songs to be added in the future!
Gris' stunning art style and story are complemented by a breathtaking soundtrack. The soothing (and sometimes melancholy) instrumentals are easy on your ears.
7. Hyper Light Drifter
Hyper Light Drifter's album is a beautiful blend of electronic and instrumental tracks. One of the most notable songs is the first on the album: "Vignette: Panacea." The moody sound of the piano combined with soft electronic notes will give you goosebumps.
Celeste is an amazing game, and its soundtrack makes it less of a chore to struggle through especially tedious environments. As you ascend the mountain, you'll be greeted with melodies led by the sound of synths and piano.
Undertale offers retro-inspired songs that you'll remember long after you complete the game. Although the album is so simplistic, the tracks have so much depth.
You'll find that each song evokes different emotions, like "Once Upon a Time" bringing forth feelings of nostalgia while "Megalovania" inspires a sense of urgency.
4. Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight has a beautiful, yet eerie soundtrack. When you first listen to it, you'd never guess that this soundtrack comes from an indie game.
It really sounds like music from a high-budget fantasy film. An orchestra sets the dark mood for the game, and you can immediately hear the effort put in by Christopher Larkin.
3. Stardew Valley
While the songs from Hotline Miami and Enter the Gungeon will get you dancing, Stardew Valley's soundtrack is much more low-key. The calming music definitely suits this indie farming game.
If you're looking for music to listen to when working, studying, or relaxing, turn on some tranquil Stardew Valley songs.
2. Hotline Miami
Hotline Miami's soundtrack is absolutely legendary. Just about every song from the game will pump you up as you clear floors, with "Hydrogen" and "Knock Knock" being standouts.
The soundtrack puts a modern spin on 80s-style music, making these intense beats utterly addicting.
1. Enter the Gungeon
You'll die hundreds of times when playing Enter the Gungeon, but at least you can listen to amazing music while you do it. Before you even start the game, you'll hear the catchy "Enter the Gungeon" tune that'll replay over and over in your head.
This is followed up by awesome electronic songs that change as you traverse chambers and battle bosses. You might get tired of dying, but you definitely won't get tired of the music!
Indie Game Soundtracks Are the Best
Indie games encompass all types of music. It's even more impressive that small indie studios can manage to produce such amazing soundtracks.
If you haven't played some of these indie games, the music alone might tempt you to try them out. After all, catchy soundtracks are just another reason why indie games are surpassing AAA titles.