The audio component of today’s video games is incredibly impressive. Things have come a long way since the bleeps, bloops, and buzzes of platforms like the NES and SEGA Master System. Composers and sound designers from the early days of gaming did their best with modest hardware, but the soundscapes they can create today are limited only by their imagination.
Advancements in storage space and audio delivery systems have given us games with full orchestras to accompany our journeys, and real-life sound sources for sound effects, dialog, and more. While enjoying this audio bliss is possible through humble TV speakers and super-sized home theaters, nothing plops you down into the game better than a pair of headphones. If you really want an immersive and unforgettable experience, piping that audio right into your ears is the only way to go.
Want to hear the best of the best when it comes to gaming showcases for your headphones? These are games you’d be crazy to pass up.
Have you ever watched professional Fortnite tournaments? If so, there’s one commonality you might have noticed. Absolutely everyone playing is wearing a headset. A pro player wouldn’t be caught dead without one. That’s because a good pair of headphones is crucial to getting a leg up on the competition.
In a Battle Royale situation like Fortnite, knowing everything about your enemy is key to victory. When you can’t see where the enemy is, hearing them is the next best thing. Strapping on a headset will help you know where enemy fire is coming from, which direction they’re walking in, and how many players there are. You can even hear if an enemy is heading your way via car or airplane. Simply put, someone playing Fortnite without a headset is going to be doing so at a major deficit.
The Last of Us: Part 2 is one of the most harrowing and intense experiences you’ll find on any platform. The first title was a technical showcase for the PS3 in every way, shape, and form, and the follow-up is just the same for the PS4. It’s one of those games that will stick with you long, long after you see the credits roll. It also happens to be an adventure that is only made better through a headset.
The Last of Us: Part II’s audio is realistic in about every way possible. Every rustling bush, distant gunshot, and bone-crunching infected tackle has been crafted with painstaking accuracy. Much like the story beats and violent gameplay, the audio in The Last of Us: Part II is made to make you feel uncomfortable. Experiencing that audio discomfort with a headset is sure to send chills down your spine, and make for a gaming experience that unnerves like no other.
There are plenty of games that use amazing sound design to create virtual universes teeming with exotic flora and fauna. Those will no doubt be a treat for the ears when you play them with a headset, but they’re not the only types of games that deserve the special attention. Sometimes all it takes is a really good soundtrack to get the blood pumping.
Beat Saber does an amazing job of making you feel like the coolest player alive when you’re slicing and dicing blocks to the beat of the soundtrack. Sure, you could play this VR exclusive with sound coming from your computer speakers or home theater, but that’s almost sacrilege. You won’t really get to feel what Beat Saber is all about unless you plug in a headset. You’ll be instantly transported to the neon note highway, surrounded by one of the most energetic soundtracks around. The marriage of a headset with this VR phenomenon makes for one of the most enjoyable experiences gaming has to offer.
Kevin Cassidy has been covering all things Nintendo for over 15 years now and has been leading the weekly GoNintendo Podcast for just as long. Kevin is also quite passionate about pro wrestling, anime, comic books, and more! Follow Kevin on Twitter via @GoNintendoTweet.