Soundtracks in video games have been around since the days of 8-Bit arcade machines and early consoles, and over time they’ve developed from a series of beeps to realistic and immersive music.
I like music from a lot of Video Games, but it’s not always understood by non-gamers how good some video game music can be. I think the video game soundtrack has always been thought of by non-gamers as 8-bit bleeps with little musical appeal, at a time this would have been true, but nowadays the soundtracks of video games have evolved into cinematic and musical masterpieces, competing with that of the movie industry.
For example, one of my favourite video game soundtracks is the Black Mesa Soundtrack by Indie Artist Joel Nielson (listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/blackmesadevs) It puts a more realistic tone on Valve’s original Half Life Soundtrack, by using instruments like Pianos and Guitars, while also keeping a Sci-Fi/Disaster tone, it has a desperate action tone in some tracks, and a depressing post-disaster tone in others, it really is a musical and cinematic masterpiece which keeps you immersed in the game, however, if you first told someone you were listening to a video game soundtrack, they would think of you as someone not into ‘real’ music.
And this is the issue, due to the first impressions of video game soundtracks, newer and more enjoyable music pieces are often labelled as being ‘bad video game music’ or they are labelled by the game which they are part of. For another example, I kinda like the Driv3r soundtrack, it uses real music from real bands but also has music made my Reflections themselves with different tones for different cities, situations and times of day, yet this soundtrack could get you laughed at for the sole reason that Driv3r was a commercial and critical failure with a community that is now, pretty much.
Other new games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Destiny have great music that fits with their theme but also are great instrumental pieces of music which some people enjoy.
In conclusion, video game soundtracks had a bad first impression due to technology but have evolved to go with a lot of games as cinematic epics, immersing the player into virtual worlds, which are becoming increasingly more realistic.