To name just one of my most notable (not to mention historically iconic) all-time favorites:
Neo Brinstar (Overgrown With Vegetation and Red Soil Swampy Area) from Super Metroid: African, high-tech and upbeat (evoking the image of a distinctly Wakanda-esque futuristic utopia in said continent, in which technology and nature would co-exist in borderline freakish harmony) for the first half while also being Oriental, minimalist and melancholic (evoking the image of actual East Asia's own sadly not-too-distant future at its current rates of pollution and war-mongering) for the second half; despite its two phases being virtually the polar opposite types of song to each other, the sudden switch between them as Samus crosses over from Green Brinstar to Red Brinstar is stunningly well-executed and is just one of almost too many astonishingly memorable and brilliant moments of the game to count...also, is it just me, or is the Red Brinstar theme actually a Dark Reprise of Kraid's Lair from Metroid 1 (somebody please get Nintendo to confirm this; I've been restlessly confused about it ever since I first discovered the similarities)
And now for another eternally classic pair of songs that plays an extremely similar role in its own game:
Gaur Plains from Xenoblade Chronicles: Grand, adventurous, heroic and epic to the absolute extremes for its first half, musically illustrating how dauntingly massive the area that it plays in (along with the general scope of the game itself) is while also perfectly encapsulating the incredibly rejuvenating feeling that comes from finally being let out into the open, green outdoors after spending years upon years holed up in a backwater dump like Colony 9 like how Shulk did during his childhood and all of the other events leading up to the game proper:
(And) Field Of The Machinae from Xenoblade Chronicles: Serves as one of the first indications that the Mechonis actually isn't so bad (morality-wise) after all; despite starting out incredibly slow and ominous, it ever-so-gradually ramps up into becoming hands-down one of the most ludicrously epic Japanese symphonies you will ever hear in a game, giving the player a remarkably powerful sense of just how utterly beautiful of a work of technologic art they are climbing here; despite also being practically a polar opposite to its "green and lush" counterpart, it still manages to give off much of the same wonderfully uplifting vibe nevertheless (needless to say, it's by far the most blatantly anime-sounding song out of all three featured here):
Oh, and just as a bonus, Satorl Marsh (Night), which basically combines the best of both worlds into one breathtakingly glorious work of musical art:
"Iste natura (This nature) Iste terra (This land/earth) Iste mare (This sea) Eso (Eaten) Iste natura (This nature) Iste terra eso (This land is eaten) Iste natura eso (This nature is eaten)"
Since I haven't posted here for a while, I will post 2 at a time.
It took me quite some playthroughs (and two and a half years or so), but it's only now that I truly realise how awesome this track is. This is probably because this level is extremely hard, and as such I didn't like the song because of the association I had with it and the level. But I have become remarkably better since, and now I even like playing through it and seeing myself die time after time.
It also took me ages to realise that this piece is a dramatised reprise of the intro theme.
The music in DKC2 is good and all, but as you may have guessed by now, I prefer the 8-bit version of it from Donkey Kong Land 2.
The progression of this song perfectly matches the dread and tension you experience when progressing through the stage. I particulary like 0:29 to 0:38.
While this game's entire soundtrack is good, I think this has to be the best song of them all:
Fast-paced, and full of tension, it makes a good theme for an underground area, of which there are plenty in this game, perhaps even more than overworld locations.
The part between 1:41 and 2:00 is especially good, with dramatic drops, followed by a trance-like synth part that really gets you ret-2-go for action.
Also, Land Of The Livid Dead from Rayman Origins, which can only be described as "Fistful Of Dollars meets Danny Elfman meets Courage The Cowardly Dog" and is absolutely badass in both of its phases despite the fact that you will barely even get to actually hear the first of said phases in-game: