The Daily Grind: Which MMO soundtrack makes you the most nostalgic?

In covering MMORPG music for the past five or so years, I’ve discovered something interesting (yet not truly surprising). I can appreciate and even love pieces of music from games I’ve never played, but there’s this strong and compelling connection between the ones I have enjoyed and music that I listen to from them at a later date.

These soundtrack pieces can trigger a tidal wave of nostalgia for my gaming days of yore, such as stepping into Elwynn Forest for the first time, gazing in awe over the Shadowlands, or heading to Freedom Court for a costume contest.

Which MMO soundtrack (album or select tracks) makes you the most nostalgic for certain titles? Are there any newer pieces that you’re sure will be imprinted into your brain as long-lasting favorites?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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67 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Which MMO soundtrack makes you the most nostalgic?"

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Peter Olsen

Only one track could ever meet this qualification for me:

I used to just sit on the docks in Selbina sometimes, and watch the sunset.

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Zen Dadaist

As with most folks, it’s the soundtracks of the first MMO(s) that made me really go “wow” and discover the good side to the genre. Anarchy Online and Eve Online. Even now, when I hear some of the classic, iconic tracks from either one it takes me back.

The old Eve launcher/login theme (Stellar Shadows) from waaaay back in the Genesis days, and the ICC Shuttleport Isle theme from Anarchy Online (Ocean Waves/Seascape) in particular do the whole goosebumps thing for me when I hear them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHX3Ftmh844

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Zen Dadaist

Hrm. OK so it embedded one vid and showed the URL of the other. Daft comment system.

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Chillos Smith Jr.

I’m guessing it’ll be the everyone’s “first kiss” mmorpg.

For me, the most nostalgic is EverQuest’s soundtrack.
It’s not the greatest, it’s not even mp3 music, but it takes me on journeys to many locales of another world, to memories and experiences of old friends and adventures, victories and tragic losses we all shared together. It was a significant part of my life at the time and are experiences I will never be able to recreate.

Some of the music was reworked for some regions of EverQuest 2 and those areas grab and tug at my heartstrings.

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costanius

The band in the cantina and playing music myself together with other players in Star Wars Galaxies.

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Veldan

I do feel nostalgic about Guild Wars music but there’s another I feel nostalgic about more strongly:

pid
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pid

SWG character creation still gives me goosebumps. I remember when I first logged in, totally unaware of how playing an MMO actually feels…

Also, Final Fantasy XIV loading screen, which is a remake of the older song:

And of course EQ2 character selection, which is maybe the most powerful of all:

Also, impossible to remove from my mind, DAOC loading music (this one harkens back to prediluvian memories):

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socontrariwise

UO login music (but I only played freeshards, not a money thing but those I was on had SO much more complexity, enforced roleplay quality and details to attention) is one. Landmark is another (sigh). Spent so many hours tweaking some wall of my castle to this music. :(

Skysaga, especially the latest City of Light one (much bigger sigh).

Most I don’t recall, they are too unobtrusive, might be different when I hear them.

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Suikoden

Believe it or not, Champions Online. I can recall that theme in my head at any time. And as soon as I hear it, it brings me back to how many hours I sunk into that game back in the day, and makes me want to roll a new hero all over again.

kalamari_
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kalamari_

def. all the GW1 soundtracks.

hurbster
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hurbster

hurbster
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hurbster

That was meant to be a link to the ESO Morrowind theme…

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kelvar

The first few opening bars of the EverQuest theme still gives me chills

flatline4400
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flatline4400

Outside of all EQ’s old MIDI’s, my fav of recent memory has to be from WoW…

Fond memories of hours hanging with the Millers!

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Cosmic Cleric

SWG. By a country mile. Can’t beat John Williams (though IMHO Jeff Kurtenacker comes very close).

Cadaver
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Cadaver

LOTRO: Shadows of Angmar, of course. I get little nostalgic pangs from other soundtracks – EQ2, Vanguard, SWG – but they don’t really come close. In hindsight, LOTRO was the only MMO I genuinely loved.

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Randy Ward

EQ2, there simply is no comparison. Every zone you go into early on has iconic music. I loved it.

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Dread Quixadhal

Everquest 2. Hands down.

taradyne
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taradyne

This is a tossup between WoW’s Grizzly Hills soundtrack from the WotLK expansion, and the Tom Bombadil theme in LOTRO. Both games have fantastic soundtracks, so it’s really hard to choose just one. They both generate waves of nostalgia.

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mysecretid

Lotta evocative music from my gaming past, but it’s the City of Heroes soundtrack which seems to hit me the hardest.

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Aymiia Darell

Still gotta go with this one.

April-Rain
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April-Rain

Ashenvale, greatist zone ever in wow for me.

I spent so much time there with my hunter in vanilla, the music takes me back to that time and I almost have a tear in the eye as miss them times so much.

Blizzard ruined Ashenvale in cataclysm and its now a shell of its former glory.

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Win Nguyen

:(

Ragnarok Online OST – Theme Of Prontera

Guild Wars Factions OST

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GamingSF

The music and environmental noises of the marketplace in DDO have a lot of nostalgia for me.

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Sashaa

Few mmo soundtracks deserve to be remembered, for me. Among these, EverQuest midi tracks, the Star Wars Galaxies one, and of course the Lord of The Rings soundtracks beautifully crafted by Chance Thomas.

However, only one has achieved such an iconic status to me that I will listen to it whatever I am doing, especially when writing or reading. It is the Knut Avenstroup Haugen Age of Conan soundtrack.

This one IS a masterpiece.

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Win Nguyen

I need get out this site for now lol……….. AOC !!! best sound track in all MMORPG

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Conner Plays

Who’s ready to cry alongside with me?

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Alex Js.

The one and only:

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Oleg Chebeneev

Soundtrack from WoW PvP movie Ive made back in vanilla. Here is one of tracks from it:

Estranged
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Estranged

Estranged
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Estranged

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rafael12104

Wow. Great selections down below. All make my list. Yes, all of them. Because to be honest, I’ve been around a long time so nostalgia music covers many years and many games.

But, I’m going to go back even further. And my selection is not an MMORPG.

Yet, I have to include this ditty. Because for me, it started it all. Beer, Pizza, networked computers and playing until the sun comes up. The most fun a geek could have back in those days.

And so I give you: DOOM! Track 1 Episode 1 Map 1!

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Vunak

FFXI I love all the music from FFXI. I have all the songs Made for the game on a few hard drives and cds

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Bryan Gregory

Goodness gracious FFXI. I will listen to that soundtrack until the day I die.

CapnLan
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CapnLan

Me too. To this day I still break out the Holiday Jeuno track when Christmas rolls around. FFXI was a helluva drug.

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Toy Clown

For me, this song triggers a large wave of nostalgia for Star Wars Galaxies. Every time I hear it, my heart swells, then sinks!

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

I still run up the SWG Client every now and then just listen to the music. Only login to the emu servers occasionally as I found that you cannot go back and it was all the people that I played with that made it special a long time ago on Valcyn.

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Toy Clown

SWG is the only game I’ve made real friends from on the internet, and I’m still in contact with about a half dozen people from the Starsider days. We often get to reminiscing about old times, then we get sad… then we hope that Star Citizen is SWG 2.0, because SW:ToR was never anything like SWG. :)

April-Rain
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April-Rain

it is really good

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Barnoc N'Draak

The original EQ login with the MIDI soundtrack. Yes it was cheesy MIDI music, but it was great for the time and it, combined with the splash screen represented entering the magic circle.

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Barnoc N'Draak

gestrobe
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gestrobe

Ragnarok Online probably. PSO and FFXI are close runner ups. I haven’t played many MMOs deep enough for their soundtracks to continue to resonate with me, and it doesn’t help that most of them only have adequate music.

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jikap

For me, as far as nostalgia goes, it’s probably the opening theme of Phantasy Star Online.

While for newer songs, I’m pretty sure Dragonsong (FFXIV) will stick for a long while yet

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Utakata

City of Heroes maybe? Only MMO music I can think of that used drum & bass in parts. o.O

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Rick Mills

Oh my gosh, I didn’t realize how nostalgic I would feel about the Dalaran music in Wow.
I guess all the waiting around for the raids to start really penetrated.

Funny enough, I recall way back in vanilla laying on the couch while my character stood in front of the Thunder Bluff auction house while Auctioneer scanned (took about 15 minutes back then) – the sound of the windmills in the background still brings nostalgic feelings.

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starbuck1771

Almost anything Star Wars it takes me back to my childhood in the 1970’s and seeing star wars for the first time. https://youtu.be/n49ElyWbmFE

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voydd

Alyn
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Alyn

The soundtrack from the elven beginning area through Dark Shore was a classic that brings back fond memories. However, my all-time favorite piece is from Lineage 2, I present you, The Dion Theme, still brings a tear to my old eyes here’s a remix I think you all will love! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-C_Of951RQ

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Queeg

I was afraid nobody will mention this! :D

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Tobasco da Gama

LOTRO, obviously.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

pepperzine
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pepperzine

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thalendor

I never played UO, but the “Stones” soundtrack does take me back to Ultima 7.

pepperzine
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pepperzine

Pretty much all of the UO soundtrack, takes me back to my childhood.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

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camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

This.

and this

Grizzly Hills gives me instant frisson.

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thalendor

EverQuest… nothing else comes close for me. Playing some of those sound tracks takes me back. To the first time I fired up the game. The first time running past Kaladim toward the docks on my way to Antonica. And hearing the music at the Aviak treehouse in South Karana loop so many times I needed to turn off the music. :-)

Edit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKj36GJj_i8&index=1&list=RDAKj36GJj_i8
Had to go start playing it… just had to. The Kelethin music playing in the background now… ah, the memories!

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Jack Pipsam

Anything from Runescape (2) is incredibly nostalgic to me.


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Maggie May

Haha yea old school Runescape really takes me back, not sure I’d want to hear it for 2 hours … But it really takes me back. Yup I’m off to kill chickens in Lumbrige, no not really but thank you for that!

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

Can you feel nostalgia for things you never experienced? old MMO music give me this feeling even i never touched them, some of Meridian 59 music do that, same for Everquest II.

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Veldan

In a weird way I think sometimes you can, but it’s linked to the music being similar to other music from days long gone that you did experience. If that’s not the case, I don’t think it can be called nostalgia.

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TomTurtle

Guild Wars 1’s soundtrack. Every so often I’ll pop on one of the campaign soundtracks on Youtube and listen. They bring me right back to the feeling of each campaign, and I love it.

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Veldan

They’re amazing for sure. I have a CD somewhere from a special edition GW Prophecies… I should play it again some time

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BalsBigBrother

The FFXI sound track in its entirety is just a nostalgia trip for me on so many levels. Pretty much any zones music will trigger a memory so many good but a few bad ones too. Can’t think of any other mmo music has the same effect on me.

Hall of the Gods tears me up for reasons I am not going to share but it hits me every time even after all these years, most certainly a bitter sweet memory *sniffles* :-)

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