• It's the most wonderful time of the year! Make your list and check it twice. The ResetEra Games of the Year 2019 Voting Thread is now live. Voting will be open for the next 4 days, 3 hours, 34 minutes, 27 seconds, and will close on Jan 26, 2020 at 9:00 AM.

ResetEra Game Soundtracks of the Year 2019 - Voting Thread (READ THE OP)[Ends Jan. 26 23:59 EST]

J 0 E

Member
Oct 27, 2017
989
  1. Death Stranding - Ludvig did something magical here, I fell in love with DS's music and song choices from the game's debut.
  2. Devil May Cry 5
  3. Days Gone
  4. Bloodstained Ritual of the Night
 

KernelC

Member
Aug 28, 2019
1,280
Finally! The Top 10 I’ve been waiting for. I had to listen to as many soundtracks as possible for me to make this list, which is why it took me so long. But finally, it’s here! Worth noting there is a HUGE difference between the Top 5 and the rest of the list. Long post because I am quite passionate about game scores, took me a while to format the post too haha.

List:
  1. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
    Masayoshi Soken, Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, Kenji Ito, Naoshi Mizuta, Masaharu Iwata, Hitoshi Sakimoto
    The Copied Factory Final Boss Theme
  2. Kingdom Hearts III
    Yoko Shimomura, Takeharu Ishimoto, Tsuyoshi Sekito
    Dearly Beloved
  3. Death Stranding
    Ludvig Forssell, Various Artists
    The Face of Our New Hope
  4. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
    Keiki Kobayashi
  5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
    Takeru Kanazaki, Hiroki Morishita, Rei Kondoh
  6. Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout
    Hiroki Kikuta
  7. Sayonara Wild Hearts
    Daniel Olsén
  8. Astral Chain
    Satoshi Igarashi
  9. Katana Zero
    LudoWic, Bill Kiley, Justin Stander
  10. Cadence of Hyrule
    Danny Baranowski, Koji Kondo
Explained list, I hope if you're interested you read it! =D
  1. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
    Masayoshi Soken, Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, Kenji Ito, Naoshi Mizuta, Masaharu Iwata, Hitoshi Sakimoto
    The Copied Factory Final Boss Theme - simply the best track of the entire year, no contest
    The Crystarium Theme #2 (Knowledge Never Sleeps)
    Hades Theme (Who Brings Shadow/Invincible)
    Shadowbringers - the second most badass song of the year after “Devil Trigger”
    It simply can not be understated how superior this soundtrack is to all of the others in my list and overall in this year.
    I’m not even joking, if it’s not on your list you should give it a listen, it will win you over.
  2. Kingdom Hearts III
    Yoko Shimomura, Takeharu Ishimoto, Tsuyoshi Sekito
    Dearly Beloved - seriously, this is THE BEST version of this track to date
    Oscurita di Xehanort - talk about epic climactic finale!
    Working Together - such jolly vibes
    Scala Ad Caelum - the prettiest world in Kingdom Hearts history
    In another year, this would’ve won. Unfortunately this soundtrack felt underutilized like FF XV’s.
    Some tracks are just masterpieces while others are derivative, not the best soundtrack of the entire saga but
    definitely one befitting the big finale of the trilogy.
  3. Death Stranding
    Ludvig Forssell, Various Artists
    BB’s theme
    Mules
    Strands
    The Face of Our New Hope
    My thoughts: A wonderful soundtrack that somehow reminds me a lot of Deus Ex Machina.
    I can see why it won at the VGAs, the licensed songs are good but the score is spectacular as well.
  4. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
    Keiki Kobayashi
    Daredevil
    Two Pairs
    Gunther Peninsula - 11/63
    I honestly didn’t play this game and this was the biggest surprise for me when I started listening to the
    soundtracks of this year’s games. Spectacular to say the least. Biggest surprise for me this year.
  5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
    Takeru Kanazaki, Hiroki Morishita, Rei Kondoh
    Roar of Dominion (Rain)
    A Funeral of Flowers (Rain)
    Fodlan Winds (Rain)
    Fire Emblem has always had mediocre music in my opinion but this is the first time it really shines.
    It may not be the most original composition ever made, but it’s certainly a remarkable one. Huge props to the composers.
  6. Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout
    Hiroki Kikuta
    Great Summer Adventure - this song alone is pure jolly vibes
    Tower of Wood and Crystal
    銀の音さやか
    A very simplistic soundtrack that helps set the mood for the game. While it isn’t always jolly, the score helps you always
    feel good and happy. Strongly recommend, it’s the feel good score of the year. This the Gravity Rush 2 of 2019, overlooked.
  7. Sayonara Wild Hearts
    Daniel Olsén
    Mine
    Begin Again
    Night Drift
    A game I’ve been wanting to play but haven’t had the time. Killer soundtrack, maybe if I had played through the game I would’ve
    ranked this higher. But it was very enjoyable and I sometimes find myself listening to it casually.
  8. Astral Chain
    Satoshi Igarashi
    Jena Anderson - Attack on Titan vibes!
    Yoseph Calvert
    I’ve never been a huge fan of Platinum Games’ scores, but this one really stands out to me. They really nail the aesthetic and
    the action, you can picture what is happening on the screen by just listening to it. Although these types of scores with a lot of
    electric guitars mixed with normal scores aren’t really my thing, I liked it.
  9. Katana Zero
    LudoWic, Bill Kiley, Justin Stander
    Breath Of A Serpent (Dragon) - this track is absolute fire.
    Sneaky Driver
    My thoughts: awesome soundtrack for an fun game that makes you feel like a cool samurai in a cyberpunk game.
  10. Cadence of Hyrule
    Danny Baranowski, Koji Kondo
    Death Mountain (Combat) - awesome guitar riff
    1-1 (Combat)
    Composer may be kind of a douche, but the man’s got talent. He skillfully remixes and changes Koji Kondo’s tracks
    into a very enjoyable result. Didn’t play this game nor do I intend to, but some of these tracks are bangers.
As always, here’s an image I put together, illustrating my list:


  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
    Oliviere Deriviere
    Very good soundtrack, quite consistent with its historical setting. I love it, although it doesn’t stand out that much.
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
    Gordy Haab, Stephen Barton
    It’s fun and whimsical in a way Star Wars hasn’t been since the original trilogy and “Rey’s theme”.
  • Borderlands 3
    Jesper Kyd, Michael McCann, Finishing Move Inc., Raison Varner
    It’s badass. But it’s a little too similar to well, every other Borderlands soundtrack.
  • Yuppie Psycho
    Garoad
    I’ve been a fan of Garoad/Kelly for quite some time and this one didn’t disappoint. Although the game didn’t appeal to me at all.
 
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May 5, 2018
5,723
So I noticed two games that went under the radar this year (Later Alligator and A Short Hike) aren't listed in the OP. Would that mean if they aren't listed they can't contend unless someone like me lists the games and the Artists or would they still be eligible even if they're not listed? Just in case, Later Alligator's Soundtrack was composed by 2Mello and A Short Hike's was composed by Mark Sparling.
 

Wookieomg

Member
Oct 25, 2017
436
Oklahoma
#1 Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers - One of the greatest Final Fantasy OST's, and one of the best video game OST's ever made, period. I picked 5 songs from this amazing soundtrack but I could have picked another five.
Masayoshi Soken, Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, Kenji Ito, Naoshi Mizuta, Masaharu Iwata, Hitoshi Sakimoto
#2 Kingdom Hearts 3 - So much nostalgia for this series and its music... I love it all so much. It's very dear to my heart, and this title was no different. Hikaru Utada delivering as she always does felt like I was revisiting my younger self and all those feelings.
Yoko Shimomura, Takeharu Ishimoto, Tsuyoshi Sekito
#3 Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I've always liked FE music, but FE3H blows all the rest out of the water IMHO. Every battle theme is an absolute banger that had no business being as hype as they were. Makes grinding and replays soo worthwhile.
Takeru Kanazaki, Hiroki Morishita, Rei Kondoh
#4 Astral Chain - Another case of "why is this so hype?!", Astral Chain snuck up on me with some amazing songs and riveting beats. When the hub area has a song that makes you never want to leave it, you know you've got a winner on your hands.
Satoshi Igarashi
#5 Cadence of Hyrule - Considering my infinite love for Zelda titles and their music, I had to pick up Cadence of Hyrule. The music is positively delightful, and Danny does the series justice with some beautiful remixes and renditions.
Danny Baranowsky
#6 SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions - This game snuck up on me outta nowhere in the last few weeks and I've been loving my time with it. The music is standout and totally reminds me of the golden age of JRPG's.
Kenji Ito
#7 Death Stranding - While I'm a fan of the licensed tracks from Low Roar, Chvrches, etc., the original compositions move me the most. Ludvig Forssell creates a lot of evocative and mood-setting vibes with all the songs.. It's a bleak, dangerous world and those themes are woven into all the songs.
Ludvig Forssell, Various Artists
#8 Code Vein - I'm a sucker for big sweeping, orchestral choirs, and Code Vein pulls no punches there. While not reaching the heights of some of the boss themes from Bloodborne or Dark Souls 3, CV isn't a slouch with its own.
Go Shiina
#9 Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Sekiro has a more subdued OST than other titles in the FromSoft catalogue, but it isn't any worse for wear because of it. The eastern-themed melodies and instruments are right up my alley, and some of the boss themes (such as the ones listed below) elevate the battles to new heights.
Yuka Kitamura
#10 Pokemon Sword and Shield - Pokemon has had some amazing tracks in series history, and this one is no different. The team at Game Freak seem to be experimenting a bit more with their music stylings and song choices and it certainly shows!
Minako Adachi, Go Ichinose
 
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OP
OP
Grexeno

Grexeno

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,358
So I noticed two games that went under the radar this year (Later Alligator and A Short Hike) aren't listed in the OP. Would that mean if they aren't listed they can't contend unless someone like me lists the games and the Artists or would they still be eligible even if they're not listed? Just in case, Later Alligator's Soundtrack was composed by 2Mello and A Short Hike's was composed by Mark Sparling.
The stuff listed in the OP is just a selection. It has nothing to do with eligibility. I have to do a bit of adding to the archive and those will probably get on pretty soon.
 

MrToffee

Member
Jan 7, 2018
16
1.Katana Zero - A 2019 version of Hotline Miami's soundtrack, right down to the 80s style synth work. A bit more upbeat, but still mysterious & surreal all the same.
-Third District
-Sneaky Driver

2.River City Girls - Megan McDuffee did a stand-up job with vocals & synth in this peppy ode to 80s and 90s beat-em-ups. Your move, Streets of Rage 4.
-The Hunt
-SoundScape interview

3. Astral Chain - Rock, orchestra, and electronica fusion, made for an anime sci-fi universe.
-Legion Assault
-Task Force Neuron
-Ark Mall (both regular and combat)

4.Code Vein - Go Shiina strikes gold again with his orchestral work.
-Memory of the Lost
-Amber Journey

5.Cadence of Hyrule
-Overworld
-Gerudo Valley (Combat)

6.Samurai Shodown
-Sturm und Drang
-Waltz of Nature
-Hazy Moon

7.Ape Out
-OST

8.Outer Wilds
-Outer Wilds
-Space

9.Fire Emblem Three Houses
-Between Heaven & Earth

10. Death Stranding
-BB Theme
 

Brian Damage

Member
Nov 1, 2017
7,564
UK
1. Cadence of Hyrule
Danny Baranowsky
Gerudo Valley
Death Mountain
Gleeokenspiel

2. Pokemon Sword and Shield
Minako Adachi, Go Ichinose
Bede
Marnie
Gym Leader

3. Fire Emblem Three Houses
Takeru Kanazaki, Hiroki Morishita, Rei Kondoh
Tearing through Heaven
Between Heaven and Earth
God Shattering Star

4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Yuka Kitamura
Strength and Discipline
Gentle Blade
Divine Dragon

5. Darksiders Genesis
Gareth Coker
The Beacons
Bastion's Fall
Astarte

6. Civilization 6: Gathering Storm
Geoff Knorr
Maori
Hungary
Canada

7. Control
Petri Alanko, Martin Stig Andersen
Sankarin Tango
Take Control

8. Disco Elysium
British Sea Power
Whirling In Rags
Tribunal
Boat Ride

9. Total War: Three Kingdoms
Richard Beddow
The Peasant's Lullaby
The Art of War
Destiny Calls

10. Tropico 6
Various Artists
La Vida Ideal
La Musica
Friday Fiesta

Honourable Mention/LTTP/etc.
Dai Gyakuten Saiban (The Great Ace Attorney)

Yasumasa Kitagawa, Hiromitsu Maeba
Asougi Kazuma - Samurai With A Mission
Barok van Zieks - Grim Reaper of the Great Court
Pursuit - Time For A Great Turnabout
 
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KernelC

Member
Aug 28, 2019
1,280
#6 SaGa: Scarlet Grace - This game snuck up on me outta nowhere in the last few weeks and I've been loving my time with it. The music is standout and totally reminds me of the golden age of JRPG's.
Kenji Ito
thanks for sharing this! Oh man, I wish I could edit mine now, that's totally my jam.
I'd kick out Cadence of Hyrule in a heartbeat to put this one in.
 

Wookieomg

Member
Oct 25, 2017
436
Oklahoma
thanks for sharing this! Oh man, I wish I could edit mine now, that's totally my jam.
I'd kick out Cadence of Hyrule in a heartbeat to put this one in.
No problem, glad you like it! I have only completed a bit of one character’s story (~20 hours or so total game time).. I still have a lot of the game left to play. I bet there are even more beautiful songs beyond where I am. But even the bit that I’ve played has some gorgeous compositions.
 

Pellaidh

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,055
1. Outer Wilds
Not only is the soundtrack of Outer Wilds a joy to listen to by itself, the game also uses it incredibly well. The way the game uses End Times and Travelers in particular was easily the highlight of the year for me in terms of video game music.
Timber Hearth
End Times
Travelers

2. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
For me, it's pretty rare that a game actually lives up to the hype the community builds around it. And that's especially true for long running games. But Shadowbringers definitely lives up to the hype. As does its music.
The Dark Which Illuminates the World
Civilizations
What Angel Wakes Me


3. Fire Emblem Three Houses
Most of the music in this game is pretty good, but God Shattering Star is easily the best combat theme in the franchise. And Shambhala somehow manages to make dubstep work in fire emblem.
God Shattering Star (Rain)
Shambhala (Area 17 Redux)


4. Sunless Skies
Sunless Skies doesn't quite reach the same heights as the previous two games in the series, but when it comes to dark, atmospheric music, it can still very much hold its own.
The Pastoral Diversion
The High Wilderness


LTTP Vote
Basically the entirety of the rest of Final Fantasy XIV. The game just has such a massive and incredibly varied library of music, and so much of it is really good.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Blind to the Dark
Torn from the Heavens
Good King Moggle Mog XII
Sultana Dreaming

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
Nobility Obliges
Locus
Metal (Brute Justice)

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
Seven Hundred Seventy-Seven Whiskers
Far From Home
Beauty's Wicked Wiles
 

Remk NG

Member
Apr 16, 2018
306
I didn't really play a lot of new releases since I focused on going back to my library, but should sitll manage to compile a list.

And while I'm doing that I'm looking at your votes for inspiration and the FFXIV selections are a banger! I feel like I missed out on something special here.
Also the Ace Combat 7 OST is 6 discs!!??
 

zashga

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,118
OSTOTY 2019



  1. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
    Masayoshi Soken

    FF14 is no stranger to fantastic music; there's a reason people are saying Soken should compose for FF16. Shadowbringers is perhaps his best work yet, with a wealth of moody location and story themes, plus boss battle themes for the many, many adversaries the game throws your way. I'm also partial to the jazzy tracks that accompany anything to do with the fallen Ronkan empire, and the Alexander/Omega techno stylings of a particular post-story dungeon. The overall collection is pretty easily my favorite OST of 2019, and I'm looking forward to seeing what gets added over the remaining lifetime of the expansion.

    Kholusia (Everlasting Light)
    Hades
    Innocence
    The Twinning
    The Qitana Ravel

  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
    Takeru Kanazaki, Hiroki Morishita, and Rei Kondoh

    In some sense Three Houses has a typical Fire Emblem soundtrack: lots of hot/cold battle themes, plus a wealth of character and event themes to fill the spaces between battles. This OST does a particularly good job establishing the locale and stakes of a more interesting world and plot (compared to other recent FE games); Fodlan seems like a real place with genuinely interesting political conflicts in need of resolution. Listening to these tracks again now I have a hard time even picking out favorite tracks; they're all great. Excellent accompaniment for killing Edelgard. Or saving her, I guess.

    Fodlan Winds
    Tearing Through Heaven
    Chasing Daybreak
    Paths That Will Never Cross

  3. Etrian Odyssey Nexus
    Yuzo Koshiro

    One last hurrah for the Etrian Odyssey series as we know it. This one doesn't have as much new music as the others, since it features a lot of returning strata with their accompanying battle and boss themes. The particular standouts are the remixed tracks from Etrian Odyssey 3, which never got its own "Untold" remake. The original trakcs for the new shrines and bosses are also characteristically great.

    Adventurers' Guild
    Eastern Shrine
    Waterfall Woodlands (EO3) (<-- Classy)
    Twilight of All Life

  4. Slay the Spire
    Clark Aboud

    I played Slay the Spire for over two hundred hours and never muted it. The music does a lot to sell the game's ominous locale and the danger of boss encounters in particular. Listening to it again now I'm still impressed by these compositions; they harken back to an older era of PC games like Heroes of Might and Magic or Warcraft 2. It's orchestral music that asserts a strong tone and doesn't shy from memorable melodies.

    Exordium
    The City
    Battle With the Champ
    Facing the Elite

  5. Cadence of Hyrule
    Danny Baranowsky

    I try to favor original compositions over arrangements, but Cadence of Hyrule is too good to exclude from this year's list. This OST, unsurprisingly, consists of excellent arrangements of classic Zelda tunes mashed up with music from Crypt of the Necrodancer. Like Crypt, Cadence features a wide range of musical styles and tracks that are centered around specific musical instruments (particularly for the boss fights). Unlike Crypt, Cadence also has seemingly unlimited access to the entire catalog of Zelda music. The result is exceptionally fun and perfect for Cadence's rhythmic gameplay.

    Title
    Kakariko Crypt
    Lost Woods
    Dark World

  6. Super Mario Maker 2
    Atsuko Asahi, Toru Minegishi, Sayako Doi, and Koji Kondo

    New music for old games is rad. I adore the new compositions Nintendo cooks up for tilesets that didn't exist in particular Mario games of yore, like a forest theme for Super Mario Bros, or a snow theme for Super Mario Bros 3. Mario Maker 2 features more of these "new retro" tracks than the original game. It also features excellent, interactive remixes for these tracks (and "real" Mario tracks, like the Super Mario World athletic theme) that play while editing levels.

    SMB Forest
    SMB3 Snow
    SMW Desert
    SMW Sky (Edit)

  7. Pokemon Sword & Shield
    Minako Adachi and Go Ichinose

    Pokemon games always have great soundtracks, and Sword & Shield certainly doesn't disappoint. The town and wild area themes are the standout tracks to me; they do a lot to establish the Galar region's faux British setting. The many, many battle themes are certainly no slouches, either.

    Wild Area 2
    Turffield
    Stow on Side
    Marnie Battle

  8. Lapis x Labyrinth
    Takeshi Matsumoto, Petrov Svyatoslav, and Shota Hashimoto

    An oddly compelling soundtrack for an oddly compelling game. The music in Lapis x Labyrinth sounds like the halfway point between Etrian Odyssey and a Kirby game. It's in turns atmospheric and intensely energetic, which helps mesh the game's painterly aesthetic with its frenetic pace of play. That effect is somewhat undercut by the 30-second "fever" loop that plays much of the game when you get good at it, but I still really like this OST.

    Ancient City
    The Underground Lake
    Breaktime

  9. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
    Michiru Yamane

    I haven't played as much of this game as I'd like, since I set it aside to wait for fixes to the Switch version. Still, the OST is of such obvious quality I'd be remiss to leave it off my list. Classic Castlevania compositions; what's not to like?

    Voyage of Promise
    Gears of Fortune
    Gebel
 

AleeN634

Member
Oct 27, 2017
57
1. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Keiki Kobayashi
Keiki Kobayashi absolutely knocked it out of the park with his Ace Combat 7 soundtrack. Some stand outs for me include:
Charge Assault to me this is when I knew Ace Combat was back
Magic Spear
Daredevil the culmination of the game

2. Cadence of Hyrule
Danny Baranowsky
The multiple remixes of different Zelda Soundtracks together was really catchy.
Title
Overworld - the mixes of multiple overworld themes is what elevated

3. Hypnospace Outlaw
Jay Tholen, Erik Helwig (as The Chowder Man), Various Artists
Not every page has music but those that did helped to compliment this odd game
Millennium Anthem (2000 New Year's Eve) a bittersweet song to end the game
I Am the Chowder Man
Icy Girl

4. Death Stranding
Ludvig Forssell, Various Artists
While some of the best parts of the game (for me) was roaming the quietness of the landscape, some of the music did help that experience
Give Up (Low Roar) - most of the Low Roar songs help compliment the quiet stillness as you navigate the world but this one stood out to me early on.
Death Stranding (Chvrches) - I didn't listen to the track before the game came out but I really enjoyed it when I heard it during the credits.
 

Xtortion

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,456
United States
Welp, multiple years on Reset since its inception and I feel like I'm still not used to the ballet being bumped up to 10 slots from the three it used to be on GAF. I care much more about some of these than others but here goes. Also, as usual, I'm only voting for OSTs for games I played this year.
  1. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown - Equal parts epic, badass, and catchy arcade-style, nearly every track in this six disc behemoth of an OST does its job. Charge Assault sells the overwhelming scale of the sky, Long Day and Magic Spear I are examples of tracks meant to make the player feel awesome, and 444th Air Base Hangar is absolutely everything you want a "select your plane" menu theme to be. There's a sense of confidence and just plain swagger on display here and while the instrumentation of the tracks can vary, everything ultimately comes together to compliment the high-octane aerial combat the gameplay offers. An arcade-style airplane combat game shouldn't have an OST this good, but here we are and it's glorious.
  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I love me some good battle themes and Three Houses delivers them in droves. Fodlan Winds has entered my personal pantheon of the greats and got my blood pumping for the many battles it played in. As Swift As Wind is a great song to jam out to whilst readying the troops, and God-Shattering Star is an insane over the top final boss theme (I picked Golden Deer).
  3. Sayonara Wild Hearts - I don't consider myself much of a pop/EDM fan but this soundtrack is full of straight fire bangers that slay. Mine and Inside are fantastic vocal tracks, but I want to give a shoutout to the instrumentals which I found to be pretty great as well. Tracks like Transonic Gravity and Laser Love are heart-pounding and compliment the breakneck gameplay perfectly. The real magic here is how the music integrates into the gameplay by way of levels being designed so that you flow with the music, hitting a new section or experiencing a gameplay shift to the beat of the song. It's impressive stuff.
  4. Death Stranding - LICENSED MUSIC ALERT. Normally I avoid that kind of thing for SotY, but for Death Stranding the Low Roar stuff is so pervasive throughout the game and matches the tone so well that I feel like I have to consider it. The vocal tracks during gameplay occur a bit too often to offer a single standalone moment on the level of Red Dead Redemption's Mexico, though there's a frequency and consistency here that makes up for it. The original soundtrack does a subtly great job as well, with the grossly incandescent BB's Theme and the oppressive MULE combat music like Porter Syndrome being standouts.
  5. Team Sonic Racing - Some tracks on here like Frozen Junkyard and Thunder Deck go so fuckin' hard, man. Then you have Tee Lopes working his remixing magic with Sand Road or veering in an original direction with Haunted Castle. When all else fails, you can count on Sonic for a decent OST.
  6. Ape Out - With this and Goose Game we don't have "OSTs" as much as we have bits of music that procedurally come in and out to sync with the action. I think Ape Out does a better job than the Goose - offering possibly the best fusion of music and gameplay this year with its frantic drums accompanying each kill - but both have a striking and distinctive style unlike almost anything else I've seen. Here's the closest thing to a sample?
  7. Kingdom Hearts 3 - Lotta old material here but there's also some great original tunes like Scala Ad Caelum and the Carribean sailing theme. Some of the remixes/medleys are also particularly memorable such as the Vanitas theme and the final boss theme.
  8. Astral Chain - Possibly my most disappointing OST of the year still manages to not be on the bottom of the list. This isn't a bad OST or anything...actually, it's pretty good. But I was completely over the moon for the Satoshi Igarashi-led Transformers Devastation OST and expected similar feelings here. Unfortunately, the battle themes let me down the hardest, with several like Central City having their guitars take a less aggressive approach than I would have liked. Ark Mall is an example of something closer what I was looking for, where I feel like the music is "attacking" me more directly, or coming at me more, or however you want to put it. Anyway, there's some other great stuff here like Task Force Neuron and Kyle's theme. I just wish I liked most of the regular combat themes more.
  9. Devil May Cry V - I didn't enjoy a ton here but the battle themes like Subhuman, Devil Trigger and The Duel were great for me.
  10. Apex Legends - You Are The Jumpmaster is one of the most hype songs this year don't @ me
 
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Andrew J

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,273
The Adirondacks
Astral Chain - Possibly my most disappointing OST of the year still manages to not be on the bottom of the list. This isn't a bad OST or anything...actually, it's pretty good. But I was completely over the moon for the Satoshi Igarashi-led Transformers Devastation OST and expected similar feelings here. Unfortunately, the battle themes let me down the hardest, with several like Central City having their guitars take a less aggressive approach than I would have liked. Ark Mall is an example of something closer what I was looking for, where I feel like the music is "attacking" me more directly, or coming at me more, or however you want to put it. Anyway, there's some other great stuff here like Task Force Neuron and Kyle's theme. I just wish I liked most of the regular combat themes more.
Aw, no love for Legion Assault? That one's my personal favorite, at least out of the battle themes.
 

VZ_Blade

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
949
1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
God Shattering Star
Between Heaven and Earth
Edge of Dawn

2. Sayonara Wild Hearts
Wild Hearts Never Die

3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Fountainhead Palace

4. Astral Chain
Jena Catastrophe

5. Devil May Cry 5
Devil Trigger

6. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Tal Tal Heights (Heroic)

7. VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
Re-Snowfall

8. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
Serious Moonlight - EIGHT HEARTS (WELCOME TO HELL)

9. Ape Out
What you do in the game changes the soundtrack and it's different every time, and it works great.

10. Pokemon Shield
Gym Leader Battle Theme
 
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Xtortion

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,456
United States
Aw, no love for Legion Assault? That one's my personal favorite, at least out of the battle themes.
There's some good stuff in there. Legion Assault, the first Jena Anderson theme, Dark Hero, etc. I just went through large chunks of the game where the combat music didn't really stick out to me and that was super disappointing when I was expecting another Transformers Devastation.
 

SugarDave

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,311
1. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Mitsuhiro Kitadani, Keiki Kobayashi, Yusuke Kudo, Yukiko Miyagi, Tetsukazu Nakanishi, Junichi Nakatsuru, Hiroshi Okubo, Ryo Watanabe, Yusuke Yamauchi
Dual Wielder
Two Pairs
Magic Spear I
Daredevil
GATOR PANIC
Mimic

2. Disco Elysium
British Sea Power
Whirling-In-Rags, 8 AM
Miss Oranje Disco Dancer
Rue de Saint-Ghislaine 32B
Disco Elysium, pt. 1
La Revacholiere
Off We Go Into The Wild Pale Yonder

3. Death Stranding
Joel Corelitz, Ludvig Forssell, Jenny Plant
Once, There Was An Explosion
The Face Of Our New Hope
Strands
BB's Theme (From Death Stranding)
Frozen Space
The Timefall

4. Resident Evil 2
Taishuke Fujisawa, Cody Matthew Johnson, Zhenlan Kang, Tadayoshi Makino, Kentaro Nakajima, Shotaro Nakayama, Manami Ogura, Masahiro Ohki, Shim, Yuichi Tsuchiya, Syusaku Uchiyama, Masami Ueda
Looming Dread
Credits
Last Judgment
Expansion
Save Room (Model Screen)
The Rain Of Mourning
 

EarthPainting

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,920
Town adjacent to Silent Hill
Not the greatest of years for me, unfortunately. Almost all of the soundtracks I enjoyed the most in 2019 were from games from my backlog. That's not to say that the music was bad, but it does sap some of the excitement.
  1. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
  2. Cadence of Hyrule
  3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
  4. Disco Elysium
  5. Astral Chain
  6. Kingdom Hearts 3
  7. Sayonara Wild Hearts
  8. Shovel Knight: King of Cards
  9. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
  10. SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions
 

Rotobit

Editor at Nintendo Wire
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
5,199
1. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers - Soken & Co. continue to kill it, really hope to get the opportunity to listen to some of these tracks live one day.
Main Theme
Spoilery Theme 1
Spoilery Theme 2

2. Cadence of Hyrule - Brilliant remixes of classic tunes that do more than just give 'em more of a beat.
Overworld Theme
Kakariko Village

3. Super Mario Maker 2 - They managed to make brand new compositions that perfectly suit the stylings of the original games, which is incredibly commendable.
Snow Theme (SMB)
Desert Theme (SMW)

4. Persona Q2 - The music in this franchise continues to be amazing.
Road Less Taken
Life Will Change
Wait and See

5. Kingdom Hearts 3 - Not as many stellar songs as I'm used to from the series, but some solid tracks nontheless and amazingly emotional remixes.
Don't Think Twice Orchestral Ver.
The Other Promise/Vector to the Heavens Medley

6. Judgment - Almost entirely here because of the opening and ending credits themes, which are licensed ALEXANDROS songs, but SO GOOD.
Arpeggio
Your Song

7. Death Stranding - I REALLY didn't like most of this game, but the music was undeniably great.
BB's Theme
Don't Be So Serious

8. Disco Elysium - A lot of songs that don't seem like much at first but quickly become otherworldly earworms.
The Whirling-in-Rags Day Theme
Cryptozoologists

9. Pokémon Sword & Shield - Not the best Pokémon soundtrack, but still pretty solid. Does a pretty cute job keeping a lietmotif going, too.
Hulbury
Slumbering Weald

10. Devil May Cry 5 - Haven't even played the game yet, I just really, really like Devil Trigger.
Devil Trigger
 
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mrmickfran

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
5,723
1. Kingdom Hearts III
Yoko Shimomura, Takeharu Ishimoto, Tsuyoshi Sekito
Scala Ad Caelum
Oscurtia di Xehanort
Face My Fears

2. Devil May Cry 5 - BANG BANG BANG, PULL MY DEVIL TRIGGER
Kota Suzuki
Voltaic Black Knight
Roar, Roar, Roar!!
Devil Trigger

3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Rei Kondoh, Takeru Kanazaki, Hiroki Morishita
Fodlan Winds (Rain)
The Edge of Dawn (Seasons of Warfare)
Monastery Theme

4. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Ryo Nagamatsu
Mabe Village
Sword Search
Angler's Tunnel

5. Blazing Chrome
Level 4-1
Boss 2
Final Boss

6. Shovel Knight: King of Cards
Jake Kaufman
World Map ~Troupple~
World Map ~Birder~
Troupple Pond

7. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
David Wise, Grant Kirkhope, Matt Griffin, Dan Murdoch
Factory Fright
The Impossible Lair - Part 1
Production Path
 
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Oct 26, 2017
5,529
South Carolina
OK, time to put this puppy to bed.

1. Trails of Cold Steel 3 (Falcom Soundteam_JDK Hayato Sonoda, Takahiro Unisuga, Yukihiro Jindo, Mitsuo Singa)


There's a saying that the weakest of Falcom's soundtracks is still "good", and the rushed CS3 OST fits that bill greatly. The talent is still there to put in the usual composition chops in the gaps giving the title a sedate vibe like Forefront City, yet the bangers like Cheap Trap and Toughness!! are still there, elevating the overall whole to this year's #1.

Unisuga did a completely fantastic job on this one, taking his talent for tasteful arpeggios, melodies, and empty notes in a ton of wonderful directions, from the multifaceted Now, Thing to Do, to the soothing and mystical Alley of Silence, to the raucous circuitry and frequencies of Einhel Keep, to the nostalgic fiddling of Endless Possibilities, to the crown jewel, the most ominous dual leads and climb in the business:


2. Dicey Dungeons (Niamh "Chipzel" Houston)


Yo, this thing slaps/rocks/bangs/etc. Chipzel always had a way of taking her work beyond aping the squarewave and frequency modulation of yesteryear and the long-form output here is further proof of that vision.

Beginner's Luck has you hoppin' and boppin' like a good turn-based combat track should, Fighting Chance is breakdown city in the best way possible, The Showdown is an ominous, hard-boiled dark alley of a jazz number, and the end boss theme goes all over to get that extra power we listeners deserve:


3. Indivisible (Hiroki Kikuta)


Kikuta's name is synonymous with rapid, polyrhythmic excellence bursting with tension and release so him scoring a SEA-located game. As seen in Lost Genesis, Spiritual Energy, Pinnacle, and Dark Rainforest show he was the man to call.

And his talents go towards the other regions on Ajna's journey as well, scoring the high moutains of Walk A Labyrinth, the grimy streets of Criminal Alley, and beyond to the sewers of the Iron Kingdom:


4. Outward (
Jean-Francois Racine)


A first time effort in video games from the classically-trained Racine, Outward does long-form composition in a nominally-endless form of a large leveled game with class and a wonderful variety of instrumentation brimming with neat textures.
Berg is peppy and fun respite town theme, Abrassar at Night is as soothing and cool as the desert sands under moonlight, and Enmerkar Forest is a mighty mountain range of builds just brimming with ADVENTURE!

I hope he does more in the industry.

5. Sunless Skies (
Maribeth Solomon, Brent Barkman, Micky Erbe)


Losing most of the briny shanties of Sea, Skies replaces that with the dreaminess of the cosmos.
Of the Captain's Making is lamenting, apologetic, and full of woe, The High Wilderness locomotive schizotech mixed with homesickness defined, and An Uncertain Embrace an alarmingly calm respite.

6. Pokemon Sword and Shield (Minako Adachi, Go Ichinose, Toby Fox)


Sword and Shield sounds much more than previous Pokemusic like a real turn-of-the-decade affair; very tasteful distortion and tempos abound. Galar Mines is vibrant and mobile, while Battle Tower Battle Theme does the trick of sounding like an entire stadium is chanting along. Stow-On-Side is a nod towards the bucolic setting; a little dip into the old country from the hectic nature of the new.

7. Etrian Odyssey Nexus (Yuzo Koshiro)


The Physical God of Video Game Composition presents a small sample of the dungeon-crawling accompaniment he's not famous enough for. Great dungeon themes like Eastern Shrine? Check. Great town theme like Cradle of the Lone Isle? Check. Great battle themes like Slaughtered? Check.

8. Druidstone (Scoring Helsinki)


It's a shame these guys don't get as much credit as they deserve for their work for Almost Human/Ctrl-Alt-Ninja, as now they're out of "ambience" and into "JRPG Mode" and killing it. Just listen!

9. Disco Elysium (British Sea Power)


Sparce, trudging, and occasionally alarming, BSP does a ton of work with calm expertise here and it fits the game like a glove (although Im not a big fan of that being necessary). Whirling Cafeteria(Evening) is the best rendition of this standard, Coast Shacks is depressive and bare, and Church is an alarmingly-intimidating track for the multifaceted scenes that play out in said epymonious church.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
3,948
I will say one thing I really enjoy about the DMC5 soundtrack is how, like DmC before it, the music matches your performance in combat and gets really hype when you're at maximum style.
 

NotLiquid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,267
I will say one thing I really enjoy about the DMC5 soundtrack is how, like DmC before it, the music matches your performance in combat and gets really hype when you're at maximum style.
I would've put DMC5 in my own post but I feel a big knock against it is that the mix is kinda amateur hour. The only tracks I distinctly remember from my first playthrough were the vocal themes (because I'd already heard them) but stuff like the various boss themes never registered to me, they drown out in the game audio cacophony and a lot of instrumentation just lacks bite (compare game play of Metal Gear Rising's final boss to Devil May Cry 5's Cavaliere Angelo to illustrate what I mean - one is always discernible even when utter chaos is on the screen while the other, to put it nicely, isn't). Much of the music itself is alright but the game left a negative impression on me with the way it handles music.
 

dralla

Member
Oct 27, 2017
661
A lot of the games I played this year come out in 2018 so my list is small. SWH and CoH were the two that really stood out.

  1. Sayonara Wild Hearts
  2. Cadence of Hyrule
  3. A Plague Tale
  4. SteamWorld Quest
 

GustyGardner

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,331
1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

It's very rare a Fire Emblem game doesn't have a series of banging map themes and by rare, I mean it has never happened. Not once. Three Houses carries on the winning streak with a consistent stream of player phase battle themes up there with the series' best. Tearing Through Heaven and Fodlan Winds back the game's foreboding first half while The Long Road and Chasing Daybreak set the melancholic second half. Final map themes Apex of the World and God-Shattering Star are once again among the series' greatest, something each new entry in the past decade has effortlessly managed. And of course we have Blue Skies and a Battle + its counterpart Beneath Heaven and Earth. Listing endless track names without much explanation is often tiring but in this case, there's little else to say - these tracks do all the talking.

Outside of map music, the two halves' respective preparation themes are easily the best in the series. As Swift as Wind pumps you up while As Fierce as Fire highlights the arduous battle awaiting you. Another stand out is the "Vs. former student" theme Paths That Will Never Cross. A real shock I had from this game was the seneseless and constant murder of the students who did not end up in your house in Part 1. This track really hits hard (though not as hard as Claude's arrows - sorry Ingrid!) and is a stand out of the second half.

A downside to Three House's OST is the loss of good "Ablaze" versions of map themes present in Awakening and Fates. The "Thunder" versions of map themes here are mostly unlistenable outside of the game's setting and that would make me more upset had the base "Rain" tracks not been as good as they were. To be honest, I think I would like next game to return to a standard battle theme which evolves over the course of the game. I will also say that much of the outside battle music is unremarkable with only Scales of the Goddess and Recollection & Regret doing much for me.

Overall, we have yet another Fire Emblem that thrives on its sometimes catchy, sometimes bombastic and always banging map themes and these are the ones I will be going back to years down the line. Fingers crossed for Genealogy remake next so we can get the best map themes in the series the proper modern arrangements they deserve!

2. Team Sonic Racing

The build up to TSR's OST was all about anticipating what great remixes we'll be getting this time. The final product showcased a bunch of them, all of great quality, but the real winners here are the original compositions like Haunted Castle, Mother's Canyon and Lost Palace. The strongest aspect of these tracks are the variety brought about by the suite of composers who together, form a kind of "best of Sonic music" collective. The most welcome of this group is no doubt Jun Senoue who returns after what feels like a lifetime and brings with him tracks straight from the Adventure era with Clockwork Pyramid and Wisp Circuit. I'm also very happy to see Tee Lopes' skills continuing to be used with the abformentioned Haunted Castle and the Sand Road + Boo's House remixes showing just how perfect for the series he is. My personal favourite though is longtime modern composer Tomoya Ohtani's beautiful Sky Road which I see as a culmination of some of his best work. I also love the little nod to Sonic Runners though how intentional that was, I'm not sure.

But it would be remiss to not even touch on the remixes which are almost across the board straight fire. Dark Arsenal (Final Egg), Ice Mountain (Cool Edge) and Bingo Party (Bingo Highway) lead the way with fresh takes on classic favourites. I will admit though, I'm not as big on "Yet another Seaside Hill remix" and I guess the same sentiment goes for Market Street's Rooftop Run though props to Hyper Potions, it sounds nothing like the Generations' versions. I'll never not love official Sonic remixes so this love letter of an OST whic ended up far outshining the barebones game itself (its fun but there's like nothing to do in it.)

3. Yooka-Laylee & the Impossible Lair

Man, I could not have been more wrong with my pre-release feeling on this game. Yooka-Laylee was a very frustrating experience for me and despite the fact I wouldn't go on to love the Banjo-Kazooie OST for years after originally playing Yooka 1, the spiritual successor's attempts at a memorable soundtrack did nothing for me at all in comparison. Going into the Impossible Lair, things went from cautiously optimistic with learning Wise and Kirkhope were teaming up again to a loss of interest upon learning most of the tracks were being done by two othr guys entirely. Gosh, what a laughable notion looking back on it now! Matt Griffin and Dan Murdoch bring incredible life to this soundtrack with Wise's contributions being as memorably melancholic as some of his best Donkey Kong work.

The greatest strength of Yooka-Laylee's OST is the same as the game itself and that is the transforming stage gimmick. Not only does every one of the game's 20 stages have its own track, each with a distinct style, but every transformed stage also gains its very own track often with a completely new feel to reflect the stage's new look. This leaves the Impossible Lair with a whopping 40 stage tracks with less than half a handful of what I would consider duds. And that's not even getting into Kirkhope's Overworld tunes or the Impossible Lair itself! One of the strongest one-two punches for level tracks is Hazard Hangar and Hazard Hangar - Hung. What begins as a funky, wacky laboratory theme ends up as an almost whimsical progressing into frantic jazzy slice reflecting the madness when the whole lab is turned upside down. Another favourite of mine is Quesy Quay. The peaceful, jaunty track of the base level morphing into Quesy Quay - Climb a serene dream-like melody when the town is turned on its side at night.

I'll admit, while there's no doubt Kirkhope still has it (see Spiral Mountain 2019) I wasn't too big on the Overworld tracks but I appreciate the similarities to Banjo's music with the Canyon chanelling Glitter Gulch Mine and the Beach inspired by Jolly Roger Bay. Aside from that, there isn't really a negative thing I can say about this soundtrack. I am somewhat still in the honeymoon phase with this music considering I only played this game in preparation for this game of the year list but I see myself only appreciating the music more overtime, just as I did with Tropical Freeze. I am very eager to see what Griffin and Murdoch work on next!

4. Cadence of Hyrule

I adore the Crypt of the Necrodancer OST. It is one of Indie gamings greatest triumphs in sound, right up there with Undertale and Celeste for me. Knowing Danny Baranowsky was returning to compose for Cadence of Hyrule and to remix a bunch of classic Zelda music meant that this was a must purchase on that fact alone. The final result was an OST where I was suprised to find myself more enamoured with the original compositions than anything else! Not to say the remix selection here is anything but stellar - fans of Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time's OSTs are in for a treat with everything from Gerudo Valley to Song of Storms and the Dark World all getting some love. My only gripe is that these are ultimately the same tracks that we also see get arranged but they're popular for a reason so I can't complain much.

Ultimately, my favourite remix and overall best track of the game is LttP's Lost Woods or Forest of Mystery, if you prefer. For what is a very repetitive 20 second track on a loop, it isn't the easiest song to arrange and while ALBW made a decent attempt, Cadence's effort went above and beyond. Hell, it may as well be an original composition with muc of the song devoted to expanded the feel of the original to great effect. Deep within the Lost Woods is the Lost Swamp, a bouncy, vibrant track channeling Crypt's Fungal Funk in all the best ways. Another strong point in Cadence's OST are the boss tracks and how they incorperate the titular instruments. Gleeokenspiel's head banging theme draws from Song of Storms in a completely different way to the Windmill Hut and is probably the only game track I know of to use a Glockenspiel to good effect! Wizzroboe, apart from having the best name, goes in on the eastern instruments in style with a surpsrisingly emotional melody stringing it all together.

Cadance just emphasises how strong Nintendo colabs ususally end up being in the music departments. Its probably the dream of the majority of game composers out there to work on these IP and you can tell the passion Baranowsky put into making his mark on this legendary franchise. I hope we see similar Indie colaborations in the future if they give indie composers more chances to tackle classic series' music in fresh and exciting ways.

5. Wargroove

Wargroove's biggest challenge from the very beginning was filling the massive void left by the Advance Wars series. And while I personally believe Chucklefish nailed it in the gameplay department, it was always the music I was most interested in. You see, I've already sung the praises of the OSTs of Fire Emblem but ultimately, I think Advance Wars has the better music, even if there is far less of it. To come even remotely close it, Wargroove would need to focus on what made Advance Wars so great and put its own energy into replicating that formula. The end result is an absolute success. Advance Wars always thrived on CO themes so choosing to ape that approach and giving each playable character their own theme was crucial for making Wargroove stand out. Each track is a fusion of Fire Emblem's approach to map music while injecting each CO's personality into it.

Without a doubt, the best main CO theme belongs to the game's uncontested best character, Caesar the dog. This track screams curiosity and valour, channeling Caesar's personality in spades. Its also insanely catchy and I could not stop humming it to myself back in January. The harsh violins and Norsk horns of Ragna ~ Patchwork Valkyrie punctuate the brash style of this brawn-over-brains warrior while Sigrid ~ Ancient Blood uses bells, piano and a backing choir to showcase the lack of remorse shown by the icy, cold-blooded vampire. Strongest of all is the final boss theme, Dark Mercia ~ Unbound Fury which uses my favourite trope, flipping the jubiliant main theme on its head for a dark finale.

Overall, this soundtrack reminds me of Pokémon Conquest more than anything. Conquest was able to create music that fused the personality of each Warlord with the feeling of the type they primarily used and Wargroove does something very similar that I'm left feeling reminiscent of it whenever I listen to it. And Pokémon Conquest is easily top 3 Pokémon OSTs so well done Wargroove! On another note, Wargroove's upcoming DLC appears to have some new lovely Celtic inspired tracks and I'm excited to talk about them on 2020's OST of the Year awards!

6. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

It hurts to put Bloodstained this far down on my list considering the fantastic Voyage of Promise is one of my favourite tracks in years. Having only gotten into Castlevania with the inclusion of the series in Smash, it has barely been over a year since I first started listening of the gaming's greatest series of soundtracks. Long time 'Vania composer Michiru Yamane worked on this game but from what I can tell the bulk of the soundtrack was split between up to 7 different composers. Honestly, It can be felt a bit with large portions of the soundtrack feeling a bit too all over the place for my liking.

But looking at individual tracks, aside from Voyage of Promise, there's two other top tier pieces in the traditional Clock Tower type track Gears of Fortune and the Wood Carving Partita inspired Bibliotheca Ex Machina. These three to me rival even the best of Castlevania's library and are a step above the rest of Bloodstained's music but there's still a lot to love here. Interred Glory tackles the desert theme in a similar fashion to Portrait of Ruin's Pyramid stages while Silent Howling and especially the Executioners ramp up the tempo and the guitar to set the scene to frantic boss fights. Most of the other early game area themes are also up to scratch with Lost Garden, Luxurious Overture and Forgotten Jade fitting quite nicely into making the OST come together.

Yet there are some missed opportunities, none more prevalent than the criminally short Cursed Orphan. Perhaps it is fitting that a piece so intent on getting across how time is of the esscence would end before it can even get going but I cannot help but wish tracks like this would have gotten the same treatment as the longer, early game tracks. Furthermore, there are three additional tracks on the game's official OST release that cannot be found within the game at all. These 8-bit inspired tracks Everblack, Sinister Sign and Brave Trigger end up being some of the most memorable and catchy tunes of the lot despite clearly not fitting the tone of the main game. I honestly thought these were supposed to be from Curse of the Moon at first (still haven't gotten around to that yet.)

7. Pokémon Sword & Shield

SW/SH was a bit of a weaker entry into the series in terms of its soundtrack. Feeling more in line with X/Y than S/M, Gen VIII suffers from a lack of memorable tracks in between the staple trainer thems, town themes and dungeon themes. I think the route's were the biggest letdown this entry when they're usually a standout but that has been a trend since Gen VI. I do often think that each genration in Pokémon does one thing with its soundtrack that stands out more than other gens. Gen IV for example had a wider selection of great route themes than average while Gen V excelled in Town tracks. Gen VII ended up being one of my favourites thanks to the wide selection of wonderful battle themes and this time round, SW/SH has a memorable selection of town themes. Not all of them match up to the greats but they all do have something going for them, a much welcome improvment from S/M's lackluster selection. Stow-on-Side guitar and flute combo make for a lovely desert theme while Wyndon makes you feel like a champion already with its use of the main theme. Motostoke is my favourite with a soothing Saxophone playing over the mechanical beat of its industry town.

the battle themes here do a good job of showcasing personalities with Hop, Marnie and Bede all boasting strong efforts. I do think they suffer a bit from too much frantic instrumentation at times leading to some sections not getting enough time to breathe. This is most evident in the trainer and wid Pokémon themes which get grating very quickly. Other unique themes fare better simply because you don't hear them constantly. Vs. Oleana for example you only hear once and to me, its reminiscent of S/M's Lusimine fused with its Island Kahuna track. I also can't help but compare the bombastic vocals of Vs. Rose to the Champions League theme and it makes me laugh everytime (considering SW/SH's English and Footie inspirations, perhaps this wasn't coincidental?) I must admit though, as typical as it is, I have to give best battle tracks to Vs. Gym Leader for its genius fusion of dynamic techno and crowd chanting as well as Battle Tower because its a Toby Fox track through and through. Champion Leon also gets props for using the classic yet underappreciated Hall of Fame theme.

So while Sw/Sh is a bit of a tame OST compared to Pokémon's of past times, it does have its merits and without a doubt, will be remembered for its catchy use of crowd chanting above all else.

8. Ring Fit Adventure

Definitely one of the surprises of the year, Ring Fit Adventure ticks all the right boxes when it comes to Nintendo's quirky adventure game soundtracks. Of note, I can easily compare this to the fantastic underrated Miitopia OST that I see shared at least one composer with Ring Fit. While I am still (very) slowly making my way through this game, one thing that keeps me coming bck for more is the pumping battle themes of excercise battles and serene field themes present in the obstacle courses.

On the field side, we have the peaceful Field I, a great kickstarting beginning of your journey type track that gradually builds up in tempo. It is accompanied by Field III, a beautiful melody driven piece. Finally there is Dragaux stadium, a techno backed piece letting you know you're in for a challenge. The battle themes are suitably more intense as to draw attention to the necessity of the strenous moves needed to battle in this game. Fitness Battle starts off more low-key with a soothing whistling accompanying the vocals. Dragaux Battle keeps the whistling and vocals but inserts the Stadium melody to shake things up. Perhaps my favourite track as of yet, Mini-Boss battle is a more sinister take on Fitness Battle with an electronic keyboard backing.

Here's hoping the OST continues to expand as I progress further into the game!

9. Shovel Knight: King of Cards

While only an expansion, King of Cards boasts an impressively large original soundtrack once again composed by the insanely talented Jake Kaufman. In the lead up to the game, I was worried we would see little to no new tracks for this expanson seeing as previews only ever showed reused songs. Little did I know, the minigame Joustus would lead to a suite of 8-bit board game tracks that change up pretty much every time the player encounters a new Joustus arena. While most of these are nice (Infinity's Prelude and Sonatina Della Torre being my picks of the bunch) the most welcome surprises come from the new area themes.

There are only three of these but they all bring something great to the OST. Cruise Control is a pop mix of King Knight's signature theme and gives it a cozy feel not seen in previous iterations. The Crosswise Crosswindsis a completely original track in the vein of the original OST's level themes and its great to hear more of what I consider Shovel Knight music's strongest aspect. Its a perfect track to encapsulate "final challenge" and showing the journey's close to coming to an end. My favourite though was a complete surprise addition - an all new level theme based on Plague of Shadow's Tango of the Troupple King. A fitting choice of track to cover considering its the first time we fight through the King's home turf and my, what a song to battle to! The Buzz in the Grotto is a wonderful tribute to Shovel Knight's distinct sound font and a fitting track to use in the send off to this great saga.

10. Control

Can't say I liked 90% of this game's music, or perhaps its more accurate to say that there was no music laying 90% of the time. And that's fine, not every game need a melody infused score backing every moment of gameplay. No, the only reason Control is on this list is THAT section late in the game. Old Guards of Asgard's Take Control may not traditionally be my type of music and not something I'd listen to outside of the game, there's no doubt it elevated this sequence to greatness and made for the most memorable moment of the game.

Honourable Mentions / Others

SMW Desert from Mario Maker 2 is by far the best track in the game and one of my favourites of the year. Its a journey from entering a desolate desert to triumphantly navigating the harsh terrain in 1:00 and I love it.

Smash Ultimate continued its streak of having the best library of music in any singular game with top tier remixes of Banjo Kazooie and Fatal Fury music. I had never listened to a second of Fatal Fury / King of Fighters music before Terry and now I love it, tis the power of Smash and the best part of the fighters pass. I pray everday thay later DLC packs have as much effort into their music selection as Terry got.

Fire Emblem had an Arranged Soundtrack with various tracks from across the series released early this year. Beneath a New Light AkA best Fire Emblem track ever got a lovely arrangement and I especially enjoyed the Companions and Final Holy War renditions. A new album has been revealed for release in a couple months which hopefully also brings the goods. Oh and Fire Emblem Heroes had some good tracks this year as well. Lost Lore and Hall of Forms stand out as Heroes slowly inchs towards having almost a full OST worth of great songs.
 
May 5, 2018
5,723
1. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Keiki Kobayashi ,Yusuke Kudo, Yukiko Miyagi, Tetsukazu Nakanishi, Junichi Nakatsuru, Hiroshi Okubo, Ryo Watanabe, Yusuke Yamauchi, Mitsuhiro Kitadani
Long Day
Magic Spear (One and Two)
Mimic-Rage & Scream
Faceless Soldier
Daredevil

2. Later Alligator
2 Mello
John Johnny's Restaurant
Pat's Theme
Unsavory Part of Town
Cute Gator Games
COME ON EVERYBODY (RAVE MIX 2K19) (VIP ULTRA MAX)

3. Fire Emblem 3 Houses
Takeru Kanazaki
Tempest of Seasons
Blues Skies and a Battle (Rain)
Between Heaven and Earth (Rain)

4. A Short Hike
Mark Sparling
Beach Buds
Snow, Lots of Snow
Somewhere in the Woods (Long Hike)

5. Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the Necordancer featuring The Legend of Zelda
Danny Baranowsky
Main Main (Lullaby)
Lost Woods (Combat)
Gerudo Valley (Peaceful)
 

Sciz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,668
Old Guards of Asgard's Take Control may not traditionally be my type of music and not something I'd listen to outside of the game, there's no doubt it elevated this sequence to greatness and made for the most memorable moment of the game.
Oh, shit. There's a name I didn't think I'd ever hear again.

I haven't played Control, but I know The Old Gods of Asgard, and I know what Remedy's up to when they kick in.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,321
1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - This game took a classic, darkly-eerie chiptune classic of an OST and turned it into a nu-classic, brightly-eerie orchestrated classic of an OST. Pretty much, this was a triumph all around.
Minako Hamano, Kozue Ishikawa, Ryo Nagamatsu
- Sword Search
- Manbo's Mambo

2. Ape Out
Matt Boch, Pharaoh Sanders

- End Credits

3. Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the Necro Dancer featuring The Legend of Zelda
Danny Baranowsky

- Kakaraiko Village (Pause)
- Lost Woods

4. Yoshi's Crafted World
Kazufumi Umeda

- Space
- Wa

5. Super Mario Maker 2
Atsuko Asahi, Toru Minegishi, Sayako Doi, Koji Kondo

- Underground (Super Mario Bros. 3 remix)
- Underwater (Super Mario Bros. 3 remix)
 
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Jintor

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,487
incredible year for video game OSTs imho. Need to sit back and think for a bit.
 

CottonWolf

Member
Feb 23, 2018
353
1. Trails of Cold Steel 3
Falcom Sound Team jdk
Spiral of Erebos
Mourning Refrain
Hamel −Remains−
Lift-off!

I do agree with SatelliteOfLove that this is a lower tier Falcom soundtrack, though still great. There's nothing as good as Altina from CS2, which, as CS2 got a rerelease last year I'll drop below as an honourable mention.
 
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Stripper13

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,267
1. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
2. Kingdom Heats III
3. Devil May Cry 5
4. Fire Emblem Three Houses
5. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
6. Death Stranding
7.
The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening
 

Morrigan

The MandaloRIAN
Moderator
Oct 24, 2017
13,735
  1. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
  2. Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark
    Jan Morgenstern
    Learning the Ropes
    Desert Battle
    The Invention of Chaos
  3. MediEvil
    Andrew Barnabas, Paul Arnold
    After a Nice Long Nap
    Killer Corn (or is it Wheat?)
    Gourd and Evil
  4. Valfaris
  5. A Plague Tale: Innocence
  6. Ys IX: Monstrum Nox
  7. Monster Hunter: Iceborne
    Akihiko Narita, Zhenlan Kang
    Nargacuga Battle
    Zinogre Battle
  8. Indivisible
  9. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  10. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Only added songs for those games who didn't have them posted already.

IMO the soundtracks for Fell Seal, MediEvil and Valfaris need more attention. If you like Dany Elfman-style music at all, check out MediEvil for sure.
 

Jintor

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,487
1 Persona Q2 (2019 Eng release)
As a celebration of all things Persona, Q2 lives up to the series with a mix of classic boppers and new jams with the full power of the Persona composition crew behind it. It's actually difficult to think of a single primary theme that was a miss, while even some of the traditional BGM sticks in the head. The return of P3P-style pop is a welcome addition to the game's fun, jazzy, big-band repertoir, while Lotus Juice's lyrical flows get another chance to highlight, backed up by the series' signature vocalists, but even the P4 and P5-style music remains just killing it. Again, leaving out old songs imported via DLC:
Invitation to Freedom | Wait and See | Remember, We Got Your Back! | Road Less Taken | Pull the Trigger | Nothing is Promised | Memories of the School inside the Cinema | Last Scene (Final Dungeon BGM) | Hero and Heroine | Colorful World | Party, Party | Hunted, Hunting | Cinematic Tale | Theatre | The Show is Over

2 Sayonara Wild Hearts
Basically a concept album in music form, more electropop than Genki Rockets, glorious and triumphant and colourful, especially in Album mode.
Sayonara Wild Heart | Begin Again | Dead of Night | Mine | Wild Hearts Never Die | Doki Doki Rush | Parallel Universes

3 Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
Travis returns not just with a beam katana but with an eclectic and terrifyingly legit setlist of absolutely insane songs across a range of weird styles - Masafumi Takada might have moved on for now, but Boneface Yusuke Kozaki has gathered a strong collection of DJs and MCs out to deliver Suda's twisted message. The chaotic rap of Welcome to Hell or Silver Face in particular charms greatly, but don't go past the lo-fi hip-hop of Death Drive or a surprise return to the world of Suda past.
Welcome to Hell | Death Drive | Travis' Trailer | Brian Buster Jr. | Love Secret Desire | Seeming Sad | Electro Triple Star | Damned: Dark Knight | Silver Face | KM 1-1 | KM 2-3 | Come to Me

4 Fire Emblem: Three Houses
FE's clasically orchestral themes got a shot in the arm with influences from electronica and house music in addition to the classic epic strings of ages past. The constant refrains on the main theme had more than enough variations to go from annoying to inspiring, allied to new classics like Fodlan Winds as well as the three different absolute bangers they saved for the endgames. Special shoutouts to the Edge of Dawn which brings me to tears in almost every variation, especially the credits mix.
The Edge of Dawn (Seasons of Warfare) | Fodlan Winds | Tearing Through Heaven | Chasing Daybreak | God Shattering Star | A Funeral of Flowers | The Apex of the World | Shambhala (Area 17 Redux) | Paths That Will Never Cross | Respite and Sunlight | A Gentle Breeze | Learning Lessons | The Land Beloved by the Goddess | Life at Garreg Mach Monastery | As Swift As Wind | Song of the Nabateans | The Edge of Dawn (credits) |

5 River City Girls
Glorious punk rock vibes mixed with the soothing soul ambience of NOIZE make this beat'em up OST a surprisingly good listen even beyond the punchy chiptunes.
We're the River City Girls | File Select | Detention | Knock Out | Boss Hibari | Boss Sabuko | Boss Yamada | Bully | Can't Quit the River City Girls | If You Dare | Rich | Skull Crackin' | Watch Your Back

6 Cadence of Hyrule
Killer remixes of classic tracks with the hella sick beats of the Necrodancer team, not to mention the integration into the gameplay of this imaginative remix. Multi-layered efforts for every single track (battle, peaceful and pause) are just one of many tricks the game uses to ensure your experience vibes with both the adventures of a green-clad hero and of tripping the fuck out at a club.
Title | Overworld | Kakariko Village | Windmill Hut (Peaceful) | Lost Woods | Gleeokenspiel | Great Fairy's Fountain | Dark World

7 Pokemon Sword and Shield
The UK/European influences on the latest iteration were welcome additions to Pokemon's ensemble musical lore, especially the massive sports chants that came with the world cup theming - the Gym Leader battle theme in particular is a fucking banger. And a Toby Fox song!
Wild Battle | Trainer Battle | Hop's Battle Theme | Team Yell Theme | Marnie Theme (Stadium Version) | Bede's Battle Theme | Oleana Battle Theme | Gym Leader Battle Theme | Sonia's Theme | Battle Tower

8 Devil May Cry 5
DMC5's creepy mix of rocking guitars and synthetic, orchestral madness was a strong supporting background for demon-slaying mayhem, though only a few standouts remain months after, mostly the signature tracks. Dynamic mixing based on style meant the flow of combat determined your musical experience, which was great for the SSS-style gods and probably a lame experience for others, but I had fun. OST downloads as DLC didn't hurt either, though I don't count it for this post.
Devil Trigger | Crimson Cloud | GARAGE | Any Special Orders? | Improvisation for Violin on a Main Theme "Legacy" | Silver Bullet

9 The Outer Wilds
Comfy banjo meets the glory and wonder of space. An incredible, heartwarming blend that brings to mind grandeur, majesty and, amazingly, homesickness.
Timber Hearth | Outer Wilds | End Times |

10 AI: The Somnium Files
Creepy, haunting, enthralling, Somnium Files lacks the machine-industrial qualities of Uchikoshi's previous works with composer Shinji Hosoe on the Zero Escape series but Keisuke Itō is a more than adequate match for this mind-bending, perspective-shifting dream explorer. Strong Ace Attorney vibes as well in parts.
KokkAI 2 (Confession 2) | IsAI (Delegation) | PSYNICIN' IN THE FOUNTaiN | tenkAI (Commence) | Awakening Interval [Matsushita Diner] | Artist, Inc [Lemnisgate] | YakusAI (Disaster) | Ambidextrous Identity [Marble] | monzAI (Indictment) | SyuurAI (Attack) | Atlantic Islands [Sunfish Pocket] | KassAI (Cheers) | Invincible Rainbow Arrow (Grand Finale - spoilers! ENG Version)

HM Astral Chain
This far out I don't remember a lot of Astral Chain's OST in the specific beside NEURON task force, but the music was incredibly well suited to the pumping action gameplay and probably something I should extract in some form. It's a crime you only listen to the incredibly cheesy OP Saviour once because it's bloody incredible.
Saviour | Task Force Neuron | The Only One | Fragments of Hope | The Holy Order of the Digital Hermit | Jena ~ Catastrophe

HM Control
I can't say I fell for much of Control's OST but the Poets of the Fall and Old Gods of Asgard song in there is pretty good.
My Dark Disquiet | Take Control | Dynamite

HM Untitled Goose Game
More of a technology victory with the dynamic clowning but Dan Golding's Debussey treatment deserves special mention.
Title and Credits | The Garden | The Back Gardens | The Beautiful Minature Golden Bell
 
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