10 Best Songs From The SimCity OSTs

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City building games are all about immersion about losing yourself in the grind.

It’s about blocking out all external stimuli and focusing on the task at hand: building a great city to last through the ages, and no amount of micro-management opportunities or realistic graphics is going to achieve that if the musical score isn’t up to the task.

It’s the background music that replaces your boring living room with roads, power plants, and skyscrapers.

The job of making the soundtrack for each SimCity game has been passed around a few hands. But the community at large agrees that the best have been those of Jerry Martin with his jazzy arrangements, and Chris Tilton, who’s fond of epic pieces that tell a story.

To pay respect to these masters and reminisce about the good times we spent carefully planning our districts only for them to be destroyed by an earthquake, I’ve compiled a list with 10 of the most amazing and unique background tracks from the entire SimCity series.

10. SimCity Theme – SimCity (2013)

The SimCity reboot from 2013 may not be the best game in the series.

But it features one of the most beautiful arrangements of the classic SimCity theme.

This track, like the rest of the game’s OST, was composed by Chris Tilton who also composed the score for Assassin’s Creed Unity and the Fringe TV show.

The song perfectly represents what SimCity is about.

It begins slow and simple, gradually implementing more instruments, becoming progressively faster and more complex until developing into an epic orchestral anthem.

It tells the story of a small, simple settlement that slowly but surely grows into a giant megalopolis where millions live their daily lives, all under your watchful eye.

9. Primordial Dream – SimCity 4

Most people who played SimCity 4 never got a chance to listen to this song.

It’s automatically unchecked in the game’s playlist, and you’d only run into it organically after choosing to “obliterate” your city and then reloading the same game on God Mode.

It’s ominous, mysterious, and leaves you with a sense of emptiness that really makes the implications of obliterating a whole city hit home.

What was Jerry Martin thinking about when he created this song?

8. The Morning Commute – SimCity 4

This uplifting and inspiring song has little to do with what a real morning commute feels like, but it may improve yours if you listen to it on the go.

According to an AMA held by composer Jerry Martin, it was one of the most complex tracks he had to do for the game.

But he loved it anyway and so do we.

7. Updown Town – SimCity 3000

SimCity 3000 was the one to start the tradition of amazing OSTs in SimCity games.

Most notably thanks to the efforts and talent of Jerry Martin who, instead of just creating background music to loop over and over, composed songs that can stand alone and still be great.

This jazzy tune has amazing piano and brass solos that make you think of each of the individual adventures being had inside your massive creations.

It’s excellent to listen to in any situation, while doing homework or just chilling at home. And might even make you want to go out for a walk in the city.

6. Population 1 – SimCity (2013)

Like waking up into a dream of creation, beholding the landscape that will one day support the cities of tomorrow, and getting to work to make it happen.

This song begins with soothing and tranquil strings that slowly develop into chords, each note adding its sound to the rest just like the Sims in your newborn settlement collaborate and slowly multiply, working to create something larger than themselves.

This song, composed by Tilton, is about humble beginnings and possibilities for the future.

5. SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow

Cities of Tomorrow is the polar opposite of Population 1.

It’s not a song about possibilities, it’s a song about achievement.

It has an epic futuristic sound that starts almost like a movie would, urging you to marvel at the progress of civilization on your digital block of land.

This track is also by Tilton and carries the same name as the expansion it’s a part of.

4. New Terrain – SimCity 3000

One of the songs meant to play as you start a new project on a brand new plot of land.

It begins formless, almost overwhelming, as you take in the space, the terrain.

Then the pace rises and the song begins anew, like your work on the city would.

To create, or to rebuild, is what SimCity is about.

And this song perfectly accompanies the excitement that comes with your mind running at full-throttle and planning what you’ll build in every plain and hill of the landscape.

3. By The Bay – SimCity 4

SimCity 4 is famous for how much micro-management was involved in the game, and this song is ideal to listen to as you take care of each small detail in your city.

Like clockwork everything and everyone with a purpose.

Its melancholic tunes tell a story of someone working (playing?) late into the night with a clear objective in mind: for the good of many.

2. Magic City – SimCity 3000

This amazing song, which will come up in any discussion of SimCity soundtracks, really captures the feeling of a rapidly progressing city.

Skyscrapers go up, fusion plants run at full speed, and the city bustles with activity thanks to your careful planning.

It’s one of composer Jerry Martin’s favorite pieces. And he remembers having spent a lot of time leaning inside the piano to get a lot of the sounds he wanted.

Truly one of the most inspiring tunes in the list and the games in general.

1. Sim Broadway – SimCity 3000

The best song in the entire series has to be this beautiful upbeat arrangement of the classic SimCity theme.

It’s dynamic and really makes you feel like the city before you is alive and thriving.

It sounds quite similar to one of those classic movie sequences that show you the inner workings of a factory, an organization or, well, a city!

So too does this song perfectly accompany a busy Sim City.

A masterpiece you’ll find yourself listening over and over again, probably getting stuck in your head even after you’re done playing.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.