Perfect Dark, strangely enough, plays what is easily its most exciting and blood-pumping music during the end credits. That being said, it's more than worth completing the single-player missions just so you can unlock that tune for your multiplayer matches.
And one of the runner-ups plays during the pause menu. Go figure...
And your reward for surviving those creepy levels and that NH gameplay is some of the greatest credits music ever. You can skip to 3:45 if you want but the buildup is worth it. Also, it helps to have played the game because hearing the motif at 4:25 subtly peppered throughout the rest of the game makes it that much more amazing to hear it in all its resplendent orchestral glory here.
Mission to the Deep Space is another first for Tri-Ace games. It begins with a series of rising notes that literally crowns before breaking into the real meat of the song. Later versions even top this with electric guitars and saxophones.
If we mention Dune at all, one of the greatest Moments of Awesome Music has to be the intro sequence for the original Dune adventure/strategy game. Here is the PC version of the intro, which is easily one of the best Sci-Fi inspirational themes ever produced. In fact, the ENTIRE music for the game was so well-accepted, that it was one of the first games to have its soundtrack sold separately as an album. It is now extremely rare, but is still sold in some on-line stores, almost two decades after its release!
Stéphane Picq is one of the least mentioned talented videogame composer out there considering the work he did for the original Dune game by Cryo Entertainment. Ecolove and Chani's Eyes.
Also check the work he did for the game Lost Eden (Tamara)
The funniest and best track of Conker's Bad Fur Day (right next to Conker the King reprise) the track that plays during the Sloprano chapter, The Great Mighty Poo's song.
The main theme of the Gran Turismo series, Moon Over the Castle, composed by guitarist Masahiro Andoh of the famous Japanese jazz fusion band T-Square, is perhaps one of the most certifiably epic intro themes for any game, and has onlygottenbetter with each incarnation of the series. A shame the Sony seems to enjoy ripping the amazing original soundtracks out of the Gran Turismo games in the Western and European releases, instead replacing them with licensed garbage. The aforementioned T-Square performs this song under the title Knight's Song.
There are MANY examples in the series. From theme songs that are actual full fledged songs (spanning many genres), to normal battle music that actually seems to be HAPPY. But one of the ultimate Awesome Music in video games simply must be the final battle to the second game — it's a total epic, minor key, tarantelle of a piano concerto that with the bad guy theme as a leitmotif, and even tosses in a sinister harpsichord in a slow interlude.
From Ape Escape comes the theme to TV tower, you're running around a tall building(In a tank in one area of the level and blowing up things) and the music feels like you ran into one of those TV broadcasting stations, the music just FITS.
Whatever your feelings on the game itself, you must agree that Michael Giacchino's score for the PS1The Lost World: Jurassic Park game was better in some ways than John Williams' score for the film. Bonus points for being the FIRST video game to use a full orchestral score.
A real obscure one is most of the soundtrack to the game Spider, which is awesome enough of being an experimental gun-and-knife wielding spider, but having some of the most kickass unheard of music on the PS1. Such as the Boxes/Machine Room level music.
Valkyrie Profile also has quite a few great pieces. In particular, the track "Turn a New Leaf" that plays prior to every boss fight. And the two battle music tracks - "Confidence in the Domination" and "Fighting the Shadowy Gods". And "Celestial Troupe".
Time Crisis has two pieces which deserve mention. The first is the theme for series villain Wild Dog (Time Crisis 3 version presented here), which is instantly familiar to anyone who's played the games. The second is the final boss music in Time Crisis 3, complete with ominous chanting and bells. It works because of the tension in both actual play and the storyline: Big Bad Giorgio Zott comes at you with duel-wielding a submachine gun and a sword (wielding both with deadly effectiveness), and is backed by mooks AND TANKS. He also just initiated the launch sequence for missiles which will wipe out a Mediterranean county if they fire. All you're thinking is that you have to kill the SOB before an entire nation ceases to exist.
The entire soundtrack to the game Wild 9 represents some of Tommy Tallarico's finest work. A shame the game is so hopelessly obscure. In particular, the Beast Engine stage theme is just all kinds of awesome.
Spider-Man for the Nintendo 64 and PS1 had some coolmusic. The main menu probably counts as an Ear Worm as well, as it's a short loop sampled from the second of these two songs.
EA sure did have awesome music for their sports games (at least for hockey and basketball) back then. With rockin' songs like this,this, and this for the NHL, and funky stuff like this,this, and this for the NBA, it'll make you wonder why EA doesn't do music like this in their games anymore.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy, anyone? Themes like the pulse-pounding Character Selection and Rooftop, as well as the epic Temple come to mind. There are many more awesome songs in the series; this should have its own page.
That particular piece is also the theme music for the level "Safe Passage", where you escort a U.S Navy Carrier Group to battle at the Big Bad's secret base. It's one of the more challenging missions in the game, and a frustrating Escort Mission, but the music really helps to get across how epic this all is. The rest of the music ain'thalfbad either.
Arc The Lad II: "Music Man" might not be an exciting piece of music, but it is wonderfully composed and absolutely gorgeous.
Seirya, Arc's homeland's theme from the first game, is a short but beautiful melancholic piece.
Battle with the four generals from the second Arc: the theme which plays during the fights against Romanlia's top general. A more upbeat variation of the main main villains' theme which plays when the heroes finally confront one of them.
Despite being only 17 tracks long, pretty much the entire soundtrack of underrated Playstation 1 gem Soukaigi is made of awesome. Highlights include Quake and Fire Wire, the songs of the first and second stage respectively, Broken Memory, and Regret, the final boss song.
Although the eight tracks that play in the Monster Tower in Azure Dreams are simply variations on the first track,eachnewvariationturnsuptheawesome. First upbeat and conveying a sense of adventure, then turning dark and mysterious, and finally heightening the tension just before the final confrontation at the top of the tower, the shifting moods of the variations suit the progression of the game perfectly.
The New Tetris's soundtrack (composed by Neil D. Voss) is a wonderful mix of Jungle/Drum 'n' Bass, Big Beat, and World music. The songs are made to reflect the different countries that the stages take place in and, as such, are rather diverse. Not to mention that the songs make excellent use of sampling, especially for a cartridge-based game. Herearesomehighlights.
Quest 64 and its GB/GBC counterpart, Quest: Brian's Journey, both have exquisite music. For example, when you step out to the open field for the first time, you hear this. It sounds exactly like how your first steps onto the open plains actually feel.