Historically, there has been a line drawn between video game music and "real" music. But I feel like that line's been blurred in recent years.
If I had any serious journalistic insight, I'd be able to explain in great detail exactly why this is the case. But since I'm just some guy who draws comics on the internet, I'll have to settle with relaying to you some of my favorite tracks among different generations of Video Games.
Gusty Garden Galaxy - Super Mario Galaxy
Firstly, let's acknowledge a prime example of good VGM. The entire soundtrack to this game is phenomenal, beautifully combining a live orchestra with spacey electronic subtleties. This is a key track that sticks out to most people, for good reason.
Hydrogen - Hotline Miami
1980's Miami. Gang warfare. Animal masks. Hotline Miami is essentially a hardcore acid trip in video game form. Also, it has a stellar electronic soundtrack that gives the game an intense sense of momentum. Generally speaking, good-ass music will coach the player through a tough game like this one.
Aquatic Ambiance - Donkey Kong Country
Nintendo's second home console, the Super Nintendo, had a sound chip that was capable of creating more diverse melodies. As a result, Super Nintendo games could be eerie, just as easily as they could be exciting.
Introduction - Mirror's Edge
Mirror's Edge, a game about running, jumping, and kicking your way in low FOV in order to uncover a terrifying government conspiracy, all backed up by an amazing electronic soundtrack from Solar Fields. There's a lot of things that they could've done better with the actual game part of the game, but Mirror's Edge succeeds at being one of my all-time favorite video games in general. Needless to say, it might have something to with this soundtrack.
TMNT IV: Turtles in Time - Sewer Surfin'
Here's another great Super Nintendo track. This wouldn't feel out of place if they used it for the intro to the actual TMNT cartoon. Like I was saying, the Super Nintendo was capable of variety in terms of music. Furthermore, doesn't this make you want to stuff your face with pizza and beat up a bunch of ninjas?
Ending Theme - Super Mario World
Arguably the greatest platformer of all time, Super Mario World boasts a legendary soundtrack. Created by the man responsible for video game tunes that even your great-grandmother probably knows, Koji Kondo.
Well that was fun, and it was quite the challenge to only pick a few. There's a lot of good VGM out there, so I might do a sequel post in the future. But until then, Jam on, yo!