You know, people love to argue about video games' graphics (resolution wars, frame rate wars, and so on and so forth), and we see a lot of discussion about a game's story, or its controls and overall level design and so on... but what might in fact be one of the most important elements of game design (and in my opinion, arguably a whole lot more important than graphics) is very rarely discussed- a game's music and soundtrack.
You see, I have often found that games can be made or broken by their music- Metroid Prime Hunters' change in music direction from Prime 1 and 2 contributed to it not feeling as eerie and isolated as the first two games, and contributed to the dramatic decline in quality that it suffered. On the other hand, the sheer greatness of the soundtrack in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks or The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword made me keep on playing the games through to the end, even when it became clear the games themselves were irredeemably shitty.
Music, I feel, is very important. It is what actually adds weight to the punches that a video game pulls. The final boss battle in A Link Between Worlds, Pokemon Gold/Silver, God of War II, or Final Fantasy IV wouldn't hit as hard if it didn't have the incredible music accompanying it. The game world of Dark Souls, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Assassin's Creed II, or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim wouldn't have half the impact if the accompanying music wasn't so great. The story of Persona 4 wouldn't hit home as hard if the music wasn's as amazing as it is.
Music is very powerful- and I feel it is even more powerful in a medium as engaging and interactive as video games. Usually, people don't seem to give video game music the credit that it deserves, so let's have this thread as an appreciation for good video game music, and all that it can achieve. And let's also try to have some discourse about how important we all personally think music is to a video game's success.