Route 1. You step outside, you get your starter and you leave your little pokey town and venture into the world full of hope and ambition. This tune nicely conveys that child-like sense of wonder and playfulness.
The one, the only, the original Victory Road. Short song, but packs an unbelievable amount of awesome into the time you spend with it.
The Kanto Gym Leader theme. Dear Lord, as awesome as the HG/SS version of this song is, the GSC version's first few seconds tells you just two things: you're going against the original gym leaders, and SHIT. JUST. GOT. REAL.
The Sealed Chamber. A tranquil song that evokes the mystery and echoes the power of the Legendary Golems of long ago.
Sootopolis. It may be calmed and relaxing, but this song does tell you that you're in a legendary town. In the middle of a volcano.
Route 119. Can't take your bike through the tall grass, which people also happen to be hiding in. Not to mention that it's usually raining - and don't bother with an umbrella, lest you get struck by lightning. You're earning your way through this route.
Route 111. Almost made the endless sandstorm damage in battle worth it.
Route 104 is a fantastic piece for the first beach you see in the game.
The Gym Leader victory theme in every Pokémon game is super-happy, but its Generation III rendition is probably the best of all of them; it actually makes you feel like you've accomplished something. Bask in your victory!
The Poké Mart theme. So awesome, it's appeared in every game since Emerald.
The Mt.Pyre/Shoal Cave/New Mauville theme. A tune which provides just the right mix of ambience and adventure to suit its locations, and is criminally underestimated when people talk about the best music of the series.
Challenging Cynthia. Given how she's got possibly the best temperament out of all the Champions (Steven Stone in Ruby/Sapphire a close second), the sheer difficulty in fighting her (with mostly exhausted Pokémon, mind you) and the what-do-I-do-what-do-I-do-what-do-I-do-what-do-I-do?! feel of the music makes for one epic Championship battle.
"battle gene M" is a song performed by MTM, a group consisting of Junichi Masuda on keyboards, Shinji Miyazaki on bass, and Hirokazu Tanaka on drums. This song is based off of Cynthia's battle theme, as noted in a blog posting by Junichi Masuda. More information can be found in this article.
The Pokémon White rendition of Opelucid City and its Blackcounterpart may sound nothing alike (with an exception; see below), but both are awesome in their own way. In particular, the White version becomes even better when you stand by a girl playing an erhu, giving it a very Classical or even Celtic vibe, and standing next to the keytar player in Black fixes the lack of resemblance to White's by adding electronic versions of notes from White's music to the music.
The Gym Battle music. It starts out fast-paced and epic from the very beginning. Many consider the music that plays when you reach the Gym Leader's last Pokémon (listed under "Pokémon title theme" at the top of the page) to be even better.
Black City, and its counterpart, White Forest. The former is a haunting techno melody that seems to emphasize just how much the city is corrupted (heck, a few openly admit to being greedy), while the latter is a happy, upbeat tune with a cheerful innocence to it—perfect for a nature-filled forest. Certainly a harsh contrast, much like the opposing themes for Opelucid City.
Icirrus City has a peaceful and cheerful melody that can't help but make you smile.
Route 2 gives a true feeling of childlike wonder like few other pieces in the games.
Black Kyurem / White Kyurem. A dark, menacing theme for a suped-up legendary that ain't going gently. Also, no Master Ball for you.
N's new Leitmotif starts off with the same same creepy tune as his old one. Seventeen seconds in, it goes for a Bait and Switch and becomes much more joyful sounding, probably to emphasize his character development.
Black 2 and White 2 have given the Gyms their own variations of the traditional Gym theme (save for Cheren's Gym in Aspertia City, which gets the standard theme carried over from the original Black and White), and that manages to make running through each Gym battling its Trainers and Leader all the more exciting. Here's Virbank Gym's take on the theme. DOGARS!
Nimbasa Gym's Theme is pretty awesome as well, especially when Elesa herself makes her ridiculously awesome entrance - at which point, the traditional Gym tune kicks in, only with part of the same soundfont heard in "Dancer In The Street"note (Heard when fighting Pig Noise.) thrown in as a Shout-Out for good measure.
The theme of Mistralton Gym manages to sound both triumphant and whimsical, befitting the setup of the Gym as well as Gym Leader Skyla herself.
The theme of Opelucid Gym. The fact that you get to ride a mechanical dragon to the top of the other dragon where Drayden awaits, battling Trainers along the way, makes this particular piece of music all the more awesome.
Humilau Gym's theme is about as calm as Castelia Gym's, being akin to elevator music, and is a great contrast to Opelucid Gym's grand variation of the regular Gym theme, but that doesn't mean it's not good music at all.
Both themes for Reversal Mountain, from Black 2 and White 2 are quite enthralling in their own ways.
Routes 21 and 22 (summer, fall, winter and spring). Very happy tracks that are also quite reminiscent of RSE's music.
Route 23. A very fitting pre-Pokemon League theme, and it even features a Shout-Out to the theme in Professor Rowan's laboratory at the very beginning of Diamond, Pearl and Platinum.
Pokémon World Tournmament features lots of older characters, and remixes a bunch of themes for that!
Trainer Battle Theme. Starts out a bit friendly, but gets that "fierce" feeling within the middle of the song.
When you face the new Gym Leaders in their awesome, unorthodox gyms, their theme is appropriately awe-inspiring. Heck, even the electronic instruments turn the volume Up to Eleven.
The Gym Leader theme gets a remix when you battle Korrina for the last storyline-required time, with her facing you not as a Gym Leader but rather as Successor to the secret of Mega Evolution. It is the first storyline battle to showcase Mega Evolution (with you being given a Mega-capable Lucario to use as well) and the music is appropriately epic. Unfortunately, some players might not hear it the whole way through due to it being a 1-on-1 battle that will likely be over on the second turn if you're playing it smartly. Fortunately, after completing the main scenario, it becomes one of your options for the music playing on your end in a PvP match.
Victory Road. A perfect track for making you want to step forth and charge into battle.
Anistar City's theme. Calm, mystical and melancholic—perfect for a city with the penultimate Psychic type gym, as if it urges you to reflect on your journey thus far, renewing your determination for the grand finale.
The theme of Route 18/19/21. A beautiful track that fits very appropriately after saving the world from Team Flare and knowing everyone is still living happily - it is almost impossible to not be cheered up by this one.
Bicycle. Who else rode the bike up and down one route, just for that glorious music?
Route 15's Theme, which sounds incredibly grand and epic for "just another route theme". Even more epic when considering the point you listen to this theme. One has probably received about 6 badges at this point, and it is the theme that reminds you that your journey is far but not over.
The Rival Encounter Theme, which plays whenever your friends show up. It's just so ridiculously upbeat, you can't help but smile. It definitely helps sell the friendship that forms between the five of you.
Emma's theme, a beautiful piano and violin piece which describes her character arc perfectly in musical form. It's incredibly short, only about 35 seconds before looping to the start, but the amount of emotion packed into those 35 seconds is incredible. It accompanies the absolutely heartbreaking yet heartwarming ending to the Looker sidequest perfectly.
The Gate music, which you would probably hear for about five seconds as you're passing by.
This part of Colosseum Master Sashay's theme sounds extremely similar to part of the Cipher admin battle theme from Pokémon Colosseum. Justified, as the developer studio Genius Sonority worked on both games.
Dialga's Fight to the Finish!, the final boss of both the main story and the fifth special episode. In the latter, it actually begins to play well before the battle actually begins, serving to make the prior scene even more epic.
The opening theme provides a nice sense of the feat of "triumphing against adversaries in mysterious labyrinths".
Holehills: A dungeon theme that's fitting for the situation of going against the odds to rescue a dear friend.
Despair, the game's obligatory tune used for sad and tragic moments. The light and super light arrangements convey sorrow in a pure, simple fashion.
The aptly named heavy arrangement, however, is of a totally different tone from the previous versions, and is used to set the mood for what's easily one of the darkest moments in the entire series, if not the darkest, and is very befitting of its name.
The final visit to the Glacier Palace has a total of three tracks to it, since it's such a giant level. The Eastern Spire starts it off on a mysterious note, then the Western Spire switches it to a suspenseful and ominous note. But then the Great Spire comes along, and the result is unbelievable. Ladies and gentlemen, the pinnacle of final level music.
The final boss themes are both amazing, as one might expect from the rest of the soundtrack's quality. While the first theme has a dark and desperate tone to it, the second theme really gives you the feeling that you can and will save the world, no matter what.
To quote the comments section, "never before has a one-sided battle against two extremely common Pokémon been so epic." To wit, the song (and its associated Trainer, Rider Willie) was so popular that it (and Rider Willie) returned in all its (and his) splendor for XD.
You probably used the Master Ball instantly on Shadow Lugia... but if you did, you missed out on his awesome battle theme.
The Phenac City takeover music, officially named "Cipher Command." At first you just think, "Hmm, the music is a little different." It's certainly not worse than the original, but something about it just doesn't feel right... and then the theme suddenly gets progressively more sinister until it comes to a positively demonic crescendo... and then it loops back and goes back to the pretty, serene theme that it was at first. This theme plays when, unknown to the player, Cipher has taken over the city with its members disguised as the various characters who are normally in the city.
Ronald's theme for two distinct reasons: 1) because it's awesome and 2) because it conjures up memories of beating the absolute tar out of that jackass. To put it another way: Ronald is Blue/Gary'sexpy. But unlike Blue, you will want to face him, if only for this awesome theme. That can't be said for most Rival battles.
The OST for Pokémon Card GB2: Here Comes Team GR! really pushed the limits of the Game Boy Color in the sound/music department, and it shows. Another standout track is the Great Rocket Fortress Leader Duel theme.
The boss battle track from the typing game, of all things, is absolutely fantastic.
This tracknote according to the video description's link to Junichi Masuda's blog was composed by Junichi Masuda of Game Freak (who is a part of the music group MTM and helps compose music for a lot of the handheld Pokémon games) at the request of Shokotan (Shoko Nakagawa) of the television show Pokémon Sunday. It was apparently played in a live performance by MTM on September 4th, 2011. As of now, it does not seem to be a "Generation 6" Pokémon game music track; it was likely just composed in the style of such game music. Nevertheless, it sounds awesome, perhaps fitting for a wild Pokémon or Trainer battle theme.
It's almost cliche to mention the foreign versions of music for animation on the Crowner pages, but one must mention just how wonderfully over the top the German Team Rocket is. Yes, James CAN get even campier.
Their Japanese theme, Team Rocket Forever (Roketto-Dan Yo Eien Yi) is equally awesome and conveys the same sense of unstoppability. note The English version wasn't quite so good due to an error in the voice/music sync, but it had potential.
"Viridian City", sung by Jason Paige, the same guy who did the original dub theme song.
The third ending, Nanairo no achi is perhaps the most heartwarming ending so far. It's a pleasant reminder that the anime aims to show the main characters' journies together with their Pokémon, and having fun and spending time together with them.
"Pokémon - I Choose You!", the Kanto/original series anime variant of the classic title screen theme from the main series games (specifically, Red and Blue's title theme). There have been other similar and amazing anime arrangements of the same theme, such as:
The second and third title variants of the original series.
Any time the anime used a remixed version of the game music. Listen to the Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh wild Pokémon battle themes.
Namida, Nochi Hare/Tears After the Cloudy Weather. Not to mention it always accompanies a moment that normally manages both Heartwarming and Awesome at once. Notable examples are Pikachu charging through the lightning to defend Ash in the first episode, the Pokemon breaking out to save Ash's life in "Snow Way Out," and Charizard waking up to see Ash massaging him out of an Ice Beam in "Charizard Chills."
After an extremely long wait, a badly needed BGM set has come out with some new anime arrangement tracks that were never released:
Special mention goes to the outstandinginstrumental version of "OK!", which was used as background music during the epic showdown between Ash's Charizard and Gary's Blastoise in the 271st Pokémon episode, Playing with Fire!, as well as other Johto-era episodes. The fandom was practically in tears when this track finally got an official release on CD.
I Got a Victory Badge. Especially after the 50-second mark. Three guesses as to what point that's used in.
Every single Elite Four battle theme:
Kanto - also does double duty as the Gym battle. note This theme was only used for the Elite Four in the games in FR/LG, but it still counts for this section.
The whole thing is amazing, but it's the solo flute at the end...
Tears of Life from the first movie. Perhaps the most well-done instrumental piece in Pokémon history.
That music was only in the dub version of the movie, and apparently it actually made the original Japanese developers of the film tear up. You know you've made dub music history if that happens!
"Brother My Brother", another great dub-song-change/Tear Jerker. Some people think it's unfitting since it plays during a fight to the death, but one has to actually listen to the lyrics. It's not a song about brotherly love, it's a song about how there should be brotherly love instead of what's actually happening: a war in which brothers kill each other. In that light, it is very fitting for the moment, particularly when it comes to Pikachu's train of thought.
In honor of Pokémon X and Y, Pogo produced the song "Catchatronic". It was also made in commemoration of the 2013 return of the "Gotta catch 'em all!"slogan to U.S. advertising for the Pokémon franchise. The song uses numerous audio samplings from various episodes of the Pokémon anime, notably the "Gotta catch 'em all!" voice clip(s) from NOT the first dub theme song, but actually the freaking ORIGINAL POKERAP (compare the 'Gotta Catch 'Em All!' from the remix to the said Pokerap). The mix sounds simply phenomenal. GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL- POK-E-MON!
In 1999, Nintendo released a (fairly obscure) album of some of the music in Red and Blue called Pokémon Hikerukana? (Can You Play Pokémon?). The mixes of the S.S. Anne, the opening, closing and cycling themes are definitely worth listening to. A user on YouTube has the linked songs and more. Listen to it. Now.
"Battle!VS Ho-Oh", modified with the Black 2/White 2 soundfont by Chaotic Marin, offers a very intriguing and unique take on the original track that exudes tension, as if a weary yet defiant Trainer was locked in fierce combat with an embittered phoenix.
And this version of Ho-oh from salvation by faith records is EPIC.
Unova League theme. It's bit ominous but it makes feel the place more... grande, more ultimate.
The fan game Pokemon Garnet from Pokecommunity.com has its own fair share of nice music as well composed by Tobinus, most of which are currently tentative:
The game's wonderful title theme (Version 1) sounds like a somber take on the classic Pokémon main theme, while still providing unique elements of its own that preserve a sense of optimism, perseverance, and mystery.
While still in beta, fan-made remakes of FRLG (made from scratch) feature this. You're probably going to hear this a lot in full game.
With Rule ⑨ being a thing, hacks of Pokémon games which replaced the Pokémon songs and 'mons with Touhou versions of them (or, in the case of the 'mons, just replacing them with Touhou characters) soon arrived in droves of varying quality. However, when the replacements are done well, they prove how much a single song can affect your mood: