Certain games can do without a nice soundtrack, but a great composer can turn a normal game into a masterpiece. This year has had its share of great games, but they wouldn’t be as great without the soundtracks. The best soundtracks are the ones that we find ourselves humming long after we’ve turned the game off or even looking up the music on Spotify. These are the games that we think have the best soundtracks of the year.
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
Koji Kondo is one of the best video game composers that walks on this Earth. I realize that Twilight Princess is over ten years old and that it is one of many remasters that hit our pocketbooks this year. However, after playing several top titles this year no soundtrack stuck in my ears like Twilight Princess’. His original content is great, but it is the hits that really please my eardrums, Hyrule Field probably being my favorite. I have been lucky to find many of Kondo’s soundtracks at used game stores and the like and I love to listen to the game over and over; Twilight Princess and Wind Waker being my favorite.
Runner Up: Final Fantasy XV
What makes an intense action game even more manic and powerful is down to the soundtrack and trust me, Mick Gordon nails it with Doom. The mixing of thrash metal, industrial and grime blend into a beautiful assault on the senses which really gets the blood pumping through your veins as you rip and tear through way through hell.
Perfectly paced, mixed and executed to deliver a godly sense of metal that this Doom game deserves. Most soundtracks are nice accompaniments to a game but Doom’s OST is one of the most engaging and energetic I’ve heard in a very long time. Just like any classic ID game and their sound track, it’s just plain awesome.
Well, this was a tough one. I can be rather harsh in terms of what music stood out for me. Simple fact is most music will just exist as something to fill in the ambient noise, assuming I don’t just turn it off for extra tension (oh you Payday 2). There was probably about two or three games that could fit here, just because I actually listened to the music later. Here’s to you Steins;Gate 0. You may have delivered a sloppy plot, but you delivered Believe Me 0. I admit if I was told the heart-string tugging simplicity of Believe Me was going to be altered and it’d be just as melancholic, I’d be deleting your music collection with a microwave. Though I probably wouldn’t recommend the rest of the soundtrack.
No Man’s Sky
While No Man’s Sky was a bit of a letdown, commercially and personally, one thing that I did enjoy about my time with the game was the gorgeous music. I was aware of what kind of game I was getting into, and figured that I would still give it a try. While most of the planets I ended up on were generally toxic, dangerous, but mostly bland, generally it did not matter. I would just turn up my headphones and soak in the glorious music from 65daysofstatic. The perfect blend of electronic and rock, with dabs of ambient buildups and beautiful piano pieces, it was all a treat to my ears. Often times I would find myself merely wandering around, partially to find some materials needed to survive the harsh planet I was on, but also just to keep listening to the music in the game. The soundtrack to the game is hands down the best I’ve heard all year, and it will rank up near the top of my all-time list that is for sure.
Runner Up: Hyper Light Drifter
Pirate Pop Plus
I’m a sucker for chiptune music. I won’t even try to hide it. I will admit that Overwatch and DOOM REALLY grabbed my attention and almost got my #1 slot but it in the end, Pirate Pop Plus is my pick for the best soundtrack of 2016. The beats are just atmospheric in that weird sort of 8-Bit kind of way that can’t even be explained properly. It’s just one of those soundtracks where once the music starts, you just know what to do and before you know it, an hour and a half has passed. Call it nostalgia if you want but I added plenty of the tracks to some of my playlists on Spotify and listened to it long after I finished my review. If you need further convincing, Harry Waters composed many of the hits you can hear in this underrated gem. That’s right–Harry Waters as in the son of Pink Floyd’s very own Roger Waters.
– Josh Nichols
Those are the dulcet tunes that we enjoyed the most this year, which ones did you enjoy the most? Let us know so we can grab our headphones and controllers and join you in listening to some of them good gaming jams!