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NeoGAF's Official Game Soundtracks of the Year 2015: Voting Ends January 17th

DavidDesu

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Oct 26, 2014
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1. Life Is Strange - Obstacles. Spoiler tagging this just in case it ruins anything for anyone, but it's mild at worst....
This song at the end of episode 1 just topped off that moment of the game and it fit absolutely perfectly. An amazing song I was lucky to have never heard before that point. I cried. I literally cried. Not sure why, just to have such a great introduction to this game and excited for where it would go and seeing characters struggling with issues in their life like Kate. It was a beautiful end to the episode.

2. Bloodborne - Hunter's Dream. What a perfect piece of music this is. It makes returning to the Hunter's Dream feel like the respite it so truly is from the horrors of that world.

Also, the song for the Cleric Beast fight was stuck in my head ages before the game came out thanks to the live recording session video Sony put out. What epic epic music that is. Truly a class above most other game soundtracks, and yeah I mean all of them, even the great ones up 'til now. Staggering work for a "game" (yeah I know we're mostly over that stigma now but I'm sure there's still some snob out there sticking their nose up at this medium). This one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHIkUzmNmc0


Would love to put more votes up but I'm lost right now, not played a huge ton of games this year and those stick out so far above anything else.
 

randomkid

Member
Feb 7, 2007
4,144
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Actually doing a real vote for the first time, my picks are the same as the ones in my GOTY vote, because that’s how I function. Not voting for Hotline Miami 2 cuz I don’t vote for licensed stuff. Let’s go!

1. Oreshika’s soundtrack is so generous and lush and comforting, it offers you such sophisticated instrumentation and nostalgic melodies that it’s impossible to avoid falling in love. No song this year does a better job of recalling a sense of RPG wanderlust than this. No song ascends to such an evocative, almost Sugiyama-ish climax as this. Determination is the theme of another big game this year, but it’s this game’s recurring theme that nails that tone for me. A wonderful surprise, my favorite of the year.

2. With Legend of Legacy, there’s no surprise that you’ll be getting something peerlessly good. You see the name Hamauzu and that’s all you need. This is a soundtrack that sounds accomplished and effortless, just a master doing his thing at the top of his game. The track that blew me away was this one, which plays at a very lovely point during the ending. Starts off seemingly insubstantial, maybe even a bit cliché, but stick around for the emotional ending. Wonderful.

3. Oh, Deer! Alpha is a Playstation Mobile game you can’t buy whose soundtrack is unavailable on Youtube, but here is a live mix of it performed by Streets of Rage 3 composer Motohiro Kawashima. This is his first lead soundtrack in 20 years and he saved some amazing heart-pounding tunes for us (dummies who hate Streets of Rage 3's soundtrack can step to the left). Certainly the most thrilling title screen music of the year, this OST really fills in your imagination.

x. Undertale.

I have complicated feelings about this soundtrack, which is why I jotted down way too many thoughts about it. Here’s a boring story about my listening journey: my first time through the game, I was actually a bit put off by many of the tracks. I didn’t like the inconsistency of having Famicom-style chiptunes with other varying soundfonts. I didn’t appreciate the Chrono Cross-esque song Home or the titular track, both of which seemed wildly out of place in comparison to the Mother-ish music from earlier. Songs beginning with 8-bit styling and ending up fully instrumented is a trick Earthbound used once amazingly, but Undertale overused it to diminishing effect (for me). Waterfall was a song that was so comically repressive it was actually a little bit irritating, the obtrusive blaring at the end seemed way too overwrought and overbearing for where it was in the game.

Basically for the whole game, outside of some obvious standouts, the soundtrack mainly reminded me of a collection of the kind of B or B+ tracks you might find on Overclocked Remix. The kind of songs that demonstrate technical proficiency but are overstuffed with musical ideas (you know, like when a song doesn’t really commit to a vibe and instead feels like the composer just trying out a bunch of differing riffs). Instead of the variety of genres being a good thing, it felt like Toby Fox was just dumping all of his favorite musical experiments and ideas into one game, haphazardly using tracks to pay tribute to a random set of games (FF6, Phoenix Wright, Megaman X, Paper Mario) without really coming up with an OST that worked as a consistent whole.

Then I listened to the whole thing again after beating the game, got over myself, and realized this soundtrack was just plain great. There's just too many songs that are fantastic. There’s no point in nitpicking a 101 track accomplishment that does my favorite thing in videogame music, something that many Final Fantasies used to do, and that is frequent use of one-and-done musical moments. Here’s the track for the scene, and if you rush through the dialogue, you will never hear the rest of it. Love it.

And holy shit at the standouts tracks. I really fell in love with the boss themes, although the ones other people love a bunch (Megalomania and Asgore) are actually the weakest of the bunch for me. LOVED LOVED LOVED Ghost Fight and its reprise Dummy, both of Undyne’s themes (Ngahh and Spear of Justice) and Metal Crusher were extremely fun, and then the 90s Capcom fighting game tribute Death by Glamor wins me over within a few notes. People seem to really enjoy optimistic anthems in their last boss songs but just like in Persona 4, Undertale’s isn’t my cup of tea. Instead, Nightmare is the time that musical clutter actually works perfectly for the track, a winning structure for a dadaist nightmare boss, I just keep listening to it.

I complained about the random tributes but musically, Dating Start is such a joyous song that I don’t care (although it weirdly turns into Rhythm Heaven DS Level 1 music at the end there for no reason, right?). Dating Fight is even more pure and cohesive, I was grinning so hard. I loved the commitment of Fallen Down and its reprise, simple nicely structured very classic RPG music.

And then there’s It’s Raining Somewhere Else: this is one of those pensive breather tracks RPGs have like Cafe Florida from SMT4 and Sadness from Unlimited SaGa. This is probably my favorite track in the game. I don’t have any problems calling it a masterpiece.

So when you add it all up, Undertale basically deserves all the praise it’s getting. I didn’t vote for it because there’s no need to, but it’ll end up being a great SOTY winner in a great year for soundtracks. Good job everyone.
 

lukeskymac

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Jun 3, 2014
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1. Undertale
2. Bloodborne
3. Metal Gear Solid V

Songs beginning with 8-bit styling and ending up fully instrumented is a trick Earthbound used once amazingly, but Undertale overused it to diminishing effect (for me).
I'm pretty sure it's not meant as a trick, but ok-

Waterfall was a song that was so comically repressive it was actually a little bit irritating, the obtrusive blaring at the end seemed way too overwrought and overbearing for where it was in the game.
I don't like you.
 

Coreda

Member
May 27, 2013
7,732
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1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Gaming needs more beautiful and at times exotic Slavic-influenced music. A rich and memorable score throughout. Hard to pick three, as many of my favorites are quieter pieces (Oxenfurt theme, King Bran's Final Voyage, Yes, I Do...).

Cloak and Dagger
Silver For Monsters...
An Skellig Theme

2. else Heart.Break()
Composers: El Huervo, Sasac, Philip E. Morris, Hello World
Haven't seen this game mentioned in the thread and I feel it deserves some attention. Designed and mostly scored by the same artist responsible for the instantly recognizable Hotline Miami promotional art. Listen to these legit jams:

Extreme Access
Crab Nebula
Fauz Snake

3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Bit of a hard choice as I have mixed feelings about the integration of the soundtrack in the actual game. While hardly any of the soundtrack plays automatically during regular gameplay, and is instead collected and then listened to via user selection, the mix of quality scored and especially 80s pop tracks is solid. There is nothing quite like popping A-ha's Take On Me while calling in a chopper after wrapping up an intense mission.

Kim Wilde - Kids In America
Afghanistan's a Big Place
All the Sun Touches

Honorable mentions:

Dropsy, Hotline Miami 2
 

djtiesto

is beloved, despite what anyone might say
Jul 26, 2004
28,052
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0
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Haven't played too many 2015 releases, but the ones I played generally had good music.

1. Xenoblade Chronicles X

A controversial pick but I love it when RPGs try something out of the ordinary. I love 90's house so dodgy raps and looping vocals obviously don't bother me as much as most people. The soundtrack is rather diverse, from the aforementioned dodgy raps and loopy vocal tracks to melodic, atmospheric pieces such as Oblivia at NIght.

亡KEI却KOKU心 (Oblivia at Night)
Don't Worry (Skell Flight theme)
New LA

2. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX

I'm a big vocaloid fan and have spent a ton of time with Project Mirai DX lately. There's a pretty large and diverse selection of songs in the game, only disappointing thing is not enough Luka for my tastes :p

Reverse Rainbow
Happy Synthesizer
Senbonzakura

3. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

Type-0 got a lot of praise for being both a 'lost' FF (having not had an English release till recently) and by not being XIII. When it actually hit our shores, it was a flawed game (that I still enjoyed enough to play twice), but the soundtrack stood out. It hearkened back to the days of the grandiose, sweeping scores of older FFs, instead of the more electronic, glossy and modern tracks of the XIII trilogy (don't get me wrong, I LOVE the XIII trilogy soundtrack). But unlike so many sweeping majestic classical music pieces the stuff here actually stood out, with some great melodies. Arecia Al-Rasha's theme is an awesome chill song, and Raise the Vermillion Banner gets you pumped for a battle.

Arecia Al-Rasha
Raise the Vermillion Banner

4. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Kirby games usually have some pretty catchy and upbeat music, though this game tends to go for a slightly more mellow soundtrack. Crossing The Sands reminds me of an RPG town theme for instance.

Crossing The Sands
The Sea Drifting On The Waves
Kirby's Big Rocket Blastoff

And my LTTP soundtrack would be for Falcom's X68000 shmup, Star Trader. It's a Falcom game with that awesome X68000 synth sound, if that doesn't pique your curiosity you are probably in the wrong thread:

Stage 6: Zone Fire
Stage 7: Hugi
Stage 3: Lufa
 

Jucksalbe

Banned
Oct 31, 2007
10,664
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Haven't played too many 2015 releases, but the ones I played generally had good music.
Obviously you played more games than you're allowed to vote for. ;)

And my LTTP soundtrack would be for Falcom's X68000 shmup, Star Trader. It's a Falcom game with that awesome X68000 synth sound, if that doesn't pique your curiosity you are probably in the wrong thread:

Stage 6: Zone Fire
Stage 7: Hugi
Stage 3: Lufa
Interesting. Never heard of this game, though I think I saw that logo somewhere just a few days ago. The music sounds great.

Edit: Ah, I remember. I saw that as a suggestion on YouTube when I was looking through Falcom music for my own post the other day.
 

Morrigan Stark

Arrogant Smirk
Jul 23, 2010
31,070
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Wait, Ys VI was released this year on Steam! I completely forgot about that. I got it as a gift for my birthday and assumed it had been out for a while.

Is it eligible or does it count as a late port? It's eligible in the GOTY thread but I guess not here?
 

73V3N

Banned
Aug 27, 2012
3,104
0
0
  1. Splatoon
  2. Undertale
  3. Life is Strange
  4. Crypt of the Necrodancer
  5. Xenoblade Chronicles X
  6. Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2
  7. Rocket League
  8. Ori and the Blind Forest
  9. Monster Hunter 4
  10. Hotline Miami 2

 

ForsakenLotus

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Jun 28, 2014
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1. Undertale - Sometimes I can't tell if I'm listening to a Final Fantasy song, a Kingdom Hearts song, a Castlevania song, a Super Metroid song - or if it's Undertale. This OST is legendary. The diversity and the consistency is really damn impressive.

Ruins

Metal Crusher

Snowy

Just listen to the whole thing. Then buy it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQmwG6Y78Hc

2. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

3. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
 
Dec 1, 2004
26,792
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And my LTTP soundtrack would be for Falcom's X68000 shmup, Star Trader. It's a Falcom game with that awesome X68000 synth sound, if that doesn't pique your curiosity you are probably in the wrong thread:

Stage 6: Zone Fire
Stage 7: Hugi
Stage 3: Lufa
Good stuff here I'm getting introduced to for the first time; there's some strong clean mastery of that chip going on there, too.
 

Earthpainting

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May 7, 2006
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Wait, Ys VI was released this year on Steam! I completely forgot about that. I got it as a gift for my birthday and assumed it had been out for a while.

Is it eligible or does it count as a late port? It's eligible in the GOTY thread but I guess not here?
I'm afraid it counts as a late port, as it was released in English 10 years ago on the PS2 and PSP.
 

woopWOOP

Member
Jun 1, 2014
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1. Undertale
It was either Undertale or Splatoon as my #1 this year. In the end I'm going with Undertale because there is a lot of it that I really like. Most of the overworld and town themes are immediately catchy and while the battle tunes didn't hit me as much at first, I'm really liking most of them now. That pacific run final boss theme was in my head for a good week.

Ruins
Another Medium
ASGORE
Hopes and Dreams

2. Splatoon
When Nintendo revealed that second trailer for the singleplayer mode, I knew this game would have a special soundtrack. I really like both the dopey singleplayer tracks and wild and happy multiplayer tracks. The highlights for me are the Splatfest battle music, which still hasn't gotten old after months of Splatfests, and that final phase music of the last boss, which really adds to the craziness of it all.

Ink or Sink
Eight Legged Advance
Octo Valley
Ink me Up

3. Fast Racing Neo
Honestly, nothing else I played this year had a soundtrack that really stood out and I probably would leave the third rank open, but then a buddy showed me some Fast Racing Neo. Yeah, this is pretty damn good!

Mueller Pacific
Sunahara Plains
Daitoshi Station
 

krossj

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Jul 19, 2013
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1. Undertale - The Toriel fight early on sold me on the soundtrack and the game and it doesn’t disappoint from that moment on. It was the exploration/ area tracks like waterfall and Another medium that really stood out to me the most. The overall soundtrack much like the game isn’t afraid to go anywhere with the mix up of character themes, battle music, area themes etc. Its what I found great about the game, very refreshing to see a game not stick to one thing.

Heartache
Waterfall
Another Medium

2. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - A lot of the soundtrack is the usual action affair but when certain tracks hit they enhance the whole game. V has Come To and Return act as an opener and closer (kind of) and work extremely well in the moments they capture. The few vocal tracks are also really well done if a bit neglected in the final game. A couple of great licensed tracks are scattered in there making for an overall great collection of music.

V Has Come To
Sins of the Father
Return

3. Lara Croft Go - I really like this soundtrack. If you enjoy a lot of ambient music then this might be worth a listen. It doesn’t cover as much ground as the other games mentioned in here but it is brilliant for a puzzle game and just relaxing to listen to out with. Game was a lot of fun too just wish there was not as much slow down on my phone.

The Lowest Point
The Maze of Snakes
The whole soundtrack can be listened to or downloaded for free here.

Honourable Mentions
Legend of Legacy - Seeing as Legend of Legacy did not come out in the EU this year i didn’t put it on my list but have listened to it through a number of times and it is another fantastic soundtrack by Hamauzu.
Double Dimension Battle
Brandish: The Dark Revenant - It has to be hard to make tracks that are going to be used for hours of exploration not become irritating but this has some tracks that just don’t get old. The dark zone even had a great track with its peak giving some hope to that gruelling section.
Cave
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate - A couple of new tracks stood out on this, particularly the Sahagaru Magala battle.
Shagaru Magala
 
Mar 10, 2005
50,827
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1. Undertale
I have been going back on forth on whether Undertale is actually the best OST of the year or if it's the best game music. That is to say, I am absolutely in love with Undertale's soundtrack, but I think a large amount of why I do comes from the association I make with the music. That's true of most game OSTs, actually, but Undertale probably more than ever. Is Spider Dance a great song or do I just remember how much fun and panicky that boss fight was for me? Do I legitimately love Asgore's theme or is because of the way the story unfolded in that moment? Eventually I came down on the side that what makes a great game soundtrack is how it interacts with the game, not just in terms of mechanics, but in emotions and memorability. Thinking about it like that, there's no better OST this year than Undertale. I love the way it plays with chiptune music, like how Spider Dance sounds grungy and NES chip-y at first, then breaks out into a much cleaner sound in the chorus, too. I'll choose some hopefully non-spoilery tracks for samples:

- Spider Dance
- Death by Glamour

2. Splatoon
Splatoon was my number one with a bullet for most of the year. It's not necessarily that the music is great, though it is. But the best thing about Splatoon's music is that it feels so weird and fresh. It's alien almost to a fault, but stays grounded in a kind of poppy, theme-appropriate base. I absolutely love that all the music in Splatoon is done in-universe by its own weird music industry with backstory and lore. It's so weird and dumb and great.

Splatfest Plaza (Honestly all the Splatfest music is great)
Kraken Up
Sucker Punch

3. Persona 4 Dancing All Night - Despite way too much of the soundtrack being remixes of Shadow World, I wanted to put this on here for the tracks I did really like. I also wanted to make special mention of De De Mouse's remix of Shadow World being actually the worst remix of a song ever. Like, genuinely the worst.

- Signs of Love (TK Remix)
- Snowflakes

Honorable mentions:

- Hey let's talk about how Rescue Girl is the best song in a video game.
- The least disappointing part of MGS5's presentation, Sins of the Father
 

Seda

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Mar 30, 2009
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1. Oreshika’s soundtrack is so generous and lush and comforting, it offers you such sophisticated instrumentation and nostalgic melodies that it’s impossible to avoid falling in love. No song this year does a better job of recalling a sense of RPG wanderlust than this. No song ascends to such an evocative, almost Sugiyama-ish climax as this. Determination is the theme of another big game this year, but it’s this game’s recurring theme that nails that tone for me. A wonderful surprise, my favorite of the year.
Not sure if I'll get around to voting, but I especially adore first track you linked.
 

Axelstream

Member
Oct 30, 2010
603
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Thank you, Schala, for another year of doing all of this work for everyone's enjoyment!

I was lamenting how few soundtracks I liked from this year. I have to admit that my gaming tastes have become pretty narrow (Japan-developed or Japan-inspired games galore), and to be quite honest, I tend towards melodic music over all else, even at the sacrifice of subtlety or innovation. As a result, I tend to shy away from a lot of soundtracks that nonetheless deserve praise. After some time checking it out (in no small part to the nominations here), I have a hunch that I would have nominated The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for second place had I heard it during the year, but it’s a bit too late for me to really dig into that soundtrack, and I kind of want to save it for when I hopefully play the game in the coming year. So all I've got this year is a shout-out to a soundtrack I enjoyed and a single nomination.

Honorable Mention: Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea

In 2013, I nominated Atelier Ayesha – the first game in this trilogy – as my runner-up for soundtrack of the year. While Atelier Shallie’s soundtrack does not carve out quite as memorable or unique of a musical identity, it shares the spirit of its predecessor: that of a lovely, whimsical fantasy adventure brushed with shades of pensive, melancholy, and serene mood, setting it apart from traditional JRPG fare.

This iteration of the long-running series sees young composer Hayato Asano take on a leading role. Stylistically, he’s a great fit with his cohorts Daisuke Achiwa and Kazuki Yanagawa, who also do some good work on this soundtrack. Achiwa’s work is often a bit too straightforward for my tastes. Speaking as an Atelier neophyte, he reminds me a bit of Motoi Sakuraba, having worked on a fantasy franchise for too many iterations and steadily losing creative steam. Still, his straightforward composing style can create simple and effective moments like Aquamarine, with its small collection of instruments and a soothing, hummed melody.

I praised Yanagawa in my nomination for Ayesha – his work really seems to align with the Dusk trilogy in its atmosphere, as well as a pleasant and engaging sense of melody. Check out Abundant City of Water and Sanctuary of Water (noticing a theme here? I love the drips of water in this song, by the way), and the battle theme, Sweep! -Part 1-. Speaking of battle themes, just as the story of Atelier Shallie is split between two protagonists, so too did Yanagawa and Asano split responsibility for the battle themes, creating 3 versions of a battle theme for each protagonist that steadily increase in intensity throughout the story, kind of (in a crude comparison) like Rosalina’s Observatory from Super Mario Galaxy. Yanagawa also gives us The Beat Octopus, a bit of a bizarre number with something of a tango feel – at least for a moment, before becoming a pretty groovy rock number. Huh.

To be honest, while Yanagawa’s work on Atelier Ayesha is still my favorite in the series, it’s really Asano who does the heavy lifting on Atelier Shallie’s soundtrack. Melodically he’s close to Yanagawa, but with a more upbeat and percussive sense of rhythm. I really like the united hits of the clacking percussion, strings, and piano in Red Light, which is one of my favorites. Handball and Explain! have a fun vibe to them – the little inflections and trills in the melodic parts certainly lend to this. I feel like on the whole his battle themes here, the “Stella” series, are better than Yanagawa’s “Sweep!” series. You can check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here. Part 2 is my favorite, though I like parts of all three. He provides a quieter, more somber moment with In the Feelings of the Bereaved, and an epic Atelier battle theme in Jump From Being Hazy Clouds, which is a pretty sad Engrish translation, isn't it. Anyway, it’s a great spread, and I look forward to more from him and the GUST gang in the upcoming Atelier Sophie.

1. Undertale

If my Undyne avatar didn’t already give it away, I join the masses in nominating Undertale for my soundtrack of the year. Surprise, surprise.

If you didn't know: I love melody and leitmotifs. And that is why Undertale is my jam, my peanut butter and jam, my space jam. It’s one of my favorite soundtracks from the last five years, no doubt.

When Toby Fox talks about his composing in interviews, about picking up instruments without a musical background, about hearing tunes in his head and integrating them into the soundtrack fundamentally unchanged, he does so in such a blasé way that it reinforces my idea of Undertale’s soundtrack being whipped up in a fever dream. That’s not to say that this soundtrack is a one-hit wonder – indeed, that’s a hard argument to make given that the soundtrack itself is a whopping 101 tracks long. Rather, I mean that this soundtrack has a lot of heart.

And here I go again, using abstract, touchy-feely words to describe music. This soundtrack’s greatest strength lies in these melodies, and there are so many strong, memorable melodies here. Some people think that the goal of a melody is to be catchy, and while catchiness is not a bad thing, I think that melody is capable of much more. A melody can evoke an enormous variety of emotions and sensations, and Undertale uses its melodies to color in its world and cast of characters, creating a point of memory that the player can reminisce about and return to. “Catchiness” speaks to memory in some way, perhaps, but not to emotion. I think emotional ties to this music surely play into why, less than four months after Undertale’s release, there has been a huge splash in Undertale remixes. There are some really damn good ones out there, but this isn’t the place to talk about that.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t songs on this soundtrack whose best attributes are their catchiness. Enemy Approaching is a hell of a normal battle theme, and I commend any composer who can create a normal battle theme that I won’t tire of. Ghost Fight and its counterpart Dummy! are great fun, scat-jazz pieces inspired by an early era of rollicking jazz. Dating Start! is awesome, and more eloquent minds than me can do the rest of the work on that one. Even tracks with smaller roles to play are no less of a joy to listen to – Stronger Monsters and Can You Really Call This A Hotel, I Didn’t Receive A Mint On My Pillow Or Anything (what a great Mother-esque name – and a song that reminds me of Mother 3 and Hotel Dusk, two of my all-time favorites, to boot) come to mind. It’s Raining Somewhere Else is literally a single moment in the game, but it is a wonderful, pared-down moment with a noir feel and a background susurrus of city bustle. Shop is a 50-second loop that I could easily listen to ten times on repeat. It’s so simple, but it really fits the sensation of the places where it is used – chilled and plucked on the outside, but warm and relaxing on the inside. Quiet Water is an even shorter loop with even less going on, which makes me wonder how it creates as much as atmosphere it does. I feel that it’s just a spot-on representation of the place in the game it’s used in.

People bemoan the lack of cohesion from piece to piece, and the mix between chiptune, electronic music, and natural instruments. I found it all wonderfully eclectic in the same vein of the Mother series – each change in genre and instrumentation made for a fresh change of pace, particularly when each change brought a fantastic new melody with it. Compare the heroic Spear of Justice with the frenetic, ghosting Amalgam – both battle themes, both completely different in vibe, both super dope.

But it’s really the link between melody, memory, and emotion that gives this soundtrack, and this game for that matter, its “heart.” The way the guitar in Home stumbles about is brilliant. It carries a leitmotif – one briefly introduced in the game's startup intro, Once Upon A Time – that is later used towards the end of the game in the moving, eponymous Undertale, a song with a slow, sad buildup that – how many times can he say it? – perfectly fits the moment of the game it’s used in, dredging up the warmth and heartache it has become associated with. It’s the leitmotifs that reel this all into a soundtrack rather than a mishmash of tunes, a continuous dream rather than a fitful one. Even more impressive is that the use of leitmotifs never feels forced – I missed a couple on my first way through the game and, returning to it, found new appreciation and theming in songs I already adored. I won’t be the one that draws out the impressive web of leitmotifs and all the story-related theming at play, but I await the day that someone does.

I want to recognize the songs that are everyone’s favorites, because most of them are also mine. They are all spoilerish, and I very much recommend hearing them in their proper contexts rather than here. The neutral final boss theme, rightfully linked here with its intro, is probably my favorite of all. It’s one of my favorite moments in the game, too, and those things go hand in hand. I love the moment, eight seconds in, when the song breaks open. It feels like the most emotionally complex of the boss themes, solemn and climactic yet still somehow desperate, and the later use of a certain leitmotif, regal and stately before becoming punchy and aggressive, is unexpected and moving. Hopes and Dreams (three million views?!) is pitch-perfect, a fist-pumping theme for an incredible closeout to the game that somehow manages to breathe new life into a jokey-sounding leitmotif. Megalovania (six million views?!?!) is the embodiment of a badass showdown. And Battle Against a True Hero (well, two million is still pretty good) is a frantic struggle which somehow carries a mournful air. Last but not least, Bring It In, Guys! and Last Goodbye round out the soundtrack with a rousing sendoff, a well-composed pastiche of area and character leitmotifs that will send the memories flooding back through.

This is the rare soundtrack where the game’s music makes it moments. Its decisively drawn melodies create memories that bring the game along with it, with all of its jokes and characters, its confrontations and resolutions, its moments of heartwarming and sorrow. It’s a soundtrack that I won’t forget, which makes it a game that I won’t forget either.
 

KTallguy

Member
Jul 20, 2006
11,254
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1. MGSV - The best Metal Gear vocal theme is the last one that will ever be made. And the non 80s stuff when you're playing normally is breathtaking. The entire soundtrack is spectacular. Congratulations to Ludvig Forssell for a stunning achievement.

2. Persona 4: Dancing All Night - Amazing Engrish can't keep these songs from INFECTING MY BRAIN.

3. Olli Olli 2 - When thinking about soundtracks that I nodded my head to the most, this one really did it for me. Perfect soundtrack for an awesome pick up and grind experience.

Note: Whoever mentioned the Oreshika 2 soundtrack has great taste. It has such a nice, classic JRPG feel.
 

GhaleonQ

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Aug 24, 2006
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Milwaukee/Wisconsin Rapids/Hanover

kewlmyc

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1. Undertale

Death by Glamour
Megalovania
Asgore

One of the catchiest game soundtracks I've ever heard. Bought both the soundtrack and a fan created remix soundtrack. Bravo, Toby.

2. Bloodborne (Original/Old Hunters)

Ludwig the Holy Blade
Cleric Beast
The First Hunter

All of these songs really get you in the mood to take on these amazing boss battles. Probably my favorite overall "Souls" OST.

3. Tales of Zestiria

New Power Awakens
Rising Up
Competing with the Honor of the Land

The soundtrack is probably the only outstanding part about this game. Go Shiina's involvement with this game really shows as the 12 or so songs he does stand out from everything else in the game. Check out everything labeled from the Disc 03 of the OST, it's the songs that Go Shiina did.

Honorable Mention goes to the catchy as hell music of Splatoon, even though I didn't play it. That final boss music.
 

Azuardo

Member
Jan 7, 2012
3,661
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500
1. Life is Strange
Obstacles - Syd Matters
Mt. Washington - Local Natives
Mountains - Message to Bears
Got Well Soon - Breton

The soundtrack made Life is Strange the game it is just as much as the characters, the story and everything else. A hugely impactful set of tracks that empowered the simplest of scenes and moments to deliver extra meaning and emotions.

2. Persona 4: Dancing All Night
SNOWFLAKES (NARASAKI Remix)
Backside of the TV (Lotus Juice Remix)
Your Affection (Daisuke Asakura Remix)

3. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
Roller Mobster
Divide
Run
 
Jan 10, 2013
2,702
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0
Canada
3.Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

MGS V’s musical offering isevidence of the reach a big budget truly has. “Sins of the Father” is without a doubt one of the best Metal Gear themes in the series. Donna Burke’s vocal performance is absolutely stunning and her choruses are particularly jaw-dropping. It’s a great mix of orchestral composition punctuated by hard-boiled action sythns around the periphery. And then there is amazingly savvy curation of the licensed soundtrack. The intentional use of Midge Ure’s new wave cover of Bowie’s “he Man Who Sold The World” is an amazing touch, narratively and thematically ( I won’t spoil, but it makes the twist more considered). Elsewhere, you have “Kids In America” as a great juxtaposition between American exceptionalism by way of Reganomics blasting from a radio in Pakistan. And truly, playing “Take On Me” from a helicopter about to rescue from Snake from a massive firefight he’s just about to lose is an amazing moment to moment storytelling. The original music is strong, and the licensed soundtrack is so gleefully 80s that it just has to be appreciated.

Best Songs:
Sins of the Father
The Man Who Sold The World


2.Splatoon

The brilliance of Splatoon’s soundtrack is two fold, one, it is wholly and incredibly original, and two, it matches the game’s aesthetic completely. These two factors deserve equally considered praise not to be folded into a lump sum. Not since Rhythm Heaven has a new Nintendo franchise been so unrepentant in its weirdness. This is turn of the century Shibuya youth culture reconstructed by 2015 architects and then dipped into a squid apocalypse. Musically, Splatoon’s frantic pace draws a parallel with the likes of Jet Set Radio’s rebel future-vintage-90s boom bap-street-skater-via-anime aesthetic, but it’s even weirder. This is sample-heavy music, edged with bizarre squid talkbox vocals jammed into hot streetpunk guitar slicing through synthesizers. Pound for pound, there is simply no game on the same scale, or of the pedigree doing music this original. Perhaps more importantly, there are few other games that marry their musical aesthetic with everything else so tightly given how incredibly unique and specific the aesthetic actually is.

Best Songs:
Splattack
Kraken Up
I am Octavio (Phase 3)



1.Undertale

Undertale’s music is probably the most important aspect of its package because of how it ties everything together. Given the 16 bit look, and relatively small areas, Undertale’s music punctuates character scenes, it fills locations with a sense of place and history, it provides tensions to battles, it does all this and more…by the hand of a single musician….who also created the entire game with the help of a single other person. It’s an incredible feet of raw ambition but it’s made only more memorable and incredible by the amazing quality of the music. “Heartache” is a beautiful piece that plays with 8-bit RPG music and swells out far beyond anything the NES or SNES could produce, it’s one of the many ways Undertale subverts video game convention and stalwart expectations.


Some locations really are pretty bare visually, and the music injects life into them. “Snowy” really imagines a winter wonderland out of a few light blue scrolling screens. It’s an economy of design which dates back to the imagination necessary for games 20-30 years ago out of a limitation in technology. Even the truly bizarre moments of the game, having accompanying music that sets the stage perfectly. How do you set music for a boss battle that is actually a date with your enemy? “Dating Start”, “Dating Tease”, and “Dating Tease” all fit the bill amazingly. “ASGORE” is simply one of the best boss themes I have ever heard, bar none. In a game about pacifism, “ASGORE” truly makes the conflict and struggle of emotional warfare remarkably powerful. As a whole, there is not a single other game in 2015 that does so much with it’s soundtrack. The emotional weight of Undertale is fundamentally lost without this OST, and it has some of the best writing in any game of 2015. Indeed, the music really is that good.

Best Songs:
ASGORE
Spider Dance
Death By Glamour
 

Eridani

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Sep 8, 2015
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1. Life is Strange

Honestly, I can't remember the last time a game has used a licensed soundtrack to build such a convincing atmosphere as Life is Strange. From the moment that To All Of You played during the opening credits, I knew that Dontnod knew exactly what makes a good soundtrack. All the licensed songs they chose just fit together so well with the setting and really help to immerse you into the game's world. On top of that, the game also contains some great original tracks, which also manage to fit in incredibly well.

Another great thing is just how well the game uses it's soundtrack to punctuate the important story moments. The songs at the end of each episode in particular just fit so well and make some of the more emotional moments even better.

Obstacles - Syd Matters
Kids Will Be Skeletons - Mogwai
Main menu theme - Jonathan Morali

2. Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter

Falcom Sound Team jdk is well known for delivering some of the best soundtracks in gaming, so it makes sense that Trails in the Sky: SC has a great soundtrack. After First Chapter's rather weak OST (although to its credit, this arrangement of the combat theme is amazing) I actually wasn't expecting much from this game, but it really exceeded my expectations.

In particular, Second Chapter finally introduced some amazing boss fight themes that were really missing from the previous games (Fateful Confrontation, in particular, is probably one of their best boss themes since Ys: Oath in Felghana). On top of that, it continues First Chapter's legacy of having a wide variety of great town and exploration tracks.

Fateful Confrontation
A Gravestone Struck by Lightning
Looking Up at the Sky

3. The Witcher 3

Now this was a surprise. The Witcher franchise was never particularly known for its soundtracks, so I was quite amazed at how good the music was in the latest installment. In particular, all of Skellige's ambient music was outstanding and the combat themes were pretty good as well. This might actually be one of the finest examples of great ambient music released in quite a long time.

Its best quality, however, is how it manages to stay consistent and thematically appropriate even when using some pretty experimental and unusual music genres. For example, compare The Fields of Ard Skellig to Steel for Humans. The songs have an entirely different feel to them, and yet they both seem entirely fitting to the game.

The Fields of Ard Skellig
Steel for Humans
Kaer Morhen

Honourable Mentions:
Undertale - The game has some really amazing tracks, and I really won't complain if it takes this whole thing (as it looks like it will). However, I just didn't feel like the songs were impactful enough. The boss fight themes in particular - which should be the highlight of a soundtrack in a game like this - just felt a bit weak and lacking in excitement. I would like to bring some attention to Dating Fight! however, which seems to be getting ignored in favor of some of the other songs, but was definitely one of my favorite ones.

Transformers: Devastation - I just have to admire Platinum Games for making a soundtrack like this. For a game that is about 5 hours long, it would have been very easy to just put in a couple of generic fight themes, maybe a boss fight track or two, and call it a day. Instead, Platinum put in an incredible amount of awesome metal tracks, gave each boss its own theme and even included multiple normal fight themes. While I enjoyed the soundtrack in their other games more, this was still an unexpected amount of effort and dedication.

Tales of Zestiria - The songs from Go Shiina are just outstanding. Flaming Bonds are Being Tested and Zaveid the Exile, in particular, are two of my favorite tracks this year. It's a shame most of the soundtrack consists of Sakuraba's usual generic and completely forgettable Tales of songs.
 

Papu_Kweh

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Feb 21, 2015
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1. Undertale
This soundtrack is just so huge and varied, and fits the game perfectly. The heavy use of leitmotifs too, and how it subtly referenced the relationships between the characters and the locations was just brilliant (another poster explained this better and detailedly already). Toby just hit all the right notes for us.
Death by Glamour
Battle Against a True Hero
Here We Are
His Theme

2. Life is Strange
One of the very best use of licensed music in a game. Every track not only matched the scene it was used on, but greatly improved upon it. The endings of each episode, in particular, wouldn't be nearly as impactful if not for the music accompanying it.
Obstacles - Syd Matters
Mt. Washington - Local Natives
Mountains - Message to Bears
Credits Theme - Jonathan Morali

3. The Witcher 3

We spent hundreds of hours in this game, yet never got bored of its music. That's an achievement in and of itself! The tracks did a wonderful job of setting the atmosphere of each location in the game's vast world, and never failed in getting us pumped for battle (and gwenting!)
Kaer Morhen
The Fields of Ard Skellig
Forged in Fire
Silver for Monsters

Honourable Mentions
x. Persona 4: Dancing All Night
We love the Persona series music and some of the remixes were really great. The original tracks fitted in nicely, too.
Heaven
Dance!
Ochimizu

x. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
Like the first one, the game has some very catchy tunes. Going for the platinum in this one almost made us throw the controller in anger, but boy, did the music help us through it.
Roller Mobster
Sexualizer
Run

x. Legend of Legacy
More Hamauzu can never be a bad thing! While it's imo not as strong as some of his other works (namely FFXIII and Sigma Harmonics), I figured it deserved a mention.
Twin Dimensional Battle
Shadow Melody

Lttp
x. Bastion
Reeeally late on this one, we only got it through PSN this year, great game with some really cool tracks.
Spike in a Rail
Setting Sail, Coming Home
 

Makoto Yuki

Banned
Dec 26, 2013
3,991
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1. Undertale
There's nothing novel about chiptune music these days, so it's really easy to write off Undertale as just another nostalgia trip. It's more than that. Undtertale's use of leitmotifs and genuinely catchy tunes sets its OST apart from other retro inspired scores. On the topic of leitmotifs, take Your Best Friend for example, it's a silly little tune that is both deceptive and a bit unnerving. Its melody is made more frantic and sinister in Your Best Nightmare. This same melody is transformed into an upbeat and determined anthem in both Hopes and Dreams and SAVE The World. This is a recurring concept in Undertale, using leitmotifs to build music that is familiar yet different each time. It's nothing new, other games have done it before, but not to this level. Tracks like Death by Glamour make you want to hit that dance floor - to fight homicidal robots. Ruins has a majestic quality that many JRPG exploration themes of the past could be proud of. Undertale's OST manages to be a heartfelt tribute to JRPGs of yore while simultaneously crafting it's own quirky and lovable identity that builds upon itself.

2. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
When someone thinks about Square's music they would automatically think about Nobuo Uematsu or Yoko Shimomura. Takeharu Ishimoto doesn't have the same recognition as either, but he should start being recognized for his dazzling and grandiose compositions. Divine Fire has a gusto and riveting fervor that many Final Fantasy anthems can't replicate. The use of Latin choir isn't new to the series, but this OST manages to take it to a bombastic level. Takeharu Ishimoto also worked on Crisis Core's excellent OST, you may be familiar with The Price of Freedom. This is reflected in War: The Quiet Bloodbath. Both use stringed instruments to pluck away at heart strings. Crystal Guide Us is one of the best remixes of the classic Final Fantasy theme. It captures the essence of the original while making it ambient enough for a school ground, if your school is composed of elite military students. Let's take a moment to forget the heavy atmosphere of a school at war, and imagine if it was just a regular anime school. Wait, there's a song for that: Colorful ~ Falling in Love. Sure it's a bit out of nowhere, but hey, it's a bubbly reprieve from the horrors of war.
 

DNAbro

Member
Nov 18, 2013
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1. Undertale
There's nothing novel about chiptune music these days, so it's really easy to write off Undertale as just another nostalgia trip. It's more than that. Undtertale's use of leitmotifs and genuinely catchy tunes sets its OST apart from other retro inspired scores. On the topic of leitmotifs, take Your Best Friend for example, it's a silly little tune that is both deceptive and a bit unnerving. Its melody is made more frantic and sinister in Your Best Nightmare. This same melody is transformed into an upbeat and determined anthem in both Hopes and Dreams and SAVE The World. This is a recurring concept in Undertale, using leitmotifs to build music that is familiar yet different each time. It's nothing new, other games have done it before, but not to this level. Tracks like Death by Glamour make you want to hit that dance floor - to fight homicidal robots. Ruins has a majestic quality that many JRPG exploration themes of the past could be proud of. Undertale's OST manages to be a heartfelt tribute to JRPGs of yore while simultaneously crafting it's own quirky and lovable identity that builds upon itself.

2. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
When someone thinks about Square's music they would automatically think about Nobuo Uematsu or Yoko Shimomura. Takeharu Ishimoto doesn't have the same recognition as either, but he should start being recognized for his dazzling and grandiose compositions. Divine Fire has a gusto and riveting fervor that many Final Fantasy anthems can't replicate. The use of Latin choir isn't new to the series, but this OST manages to take it to a bombastic level. Takeharu Ishimoto also worked on Crisis Core's excellent OST, you may be familiar with The Price of Freedom. This is reflected in War: The Quiet Bloodbath. Both use stringed instruments to pluck away at heart strings. Crystal Guide Us is one of the best remixes of the classic Final Fantasy theme. It captures the essence of the original while making it ambient enough for a school ground, if your school is composed of elite military students. Let's take a moment to forget the heavy atmosphere of a school at war, and imagine if it was just a regular anime school. Wait, there's a song for that: Colorful ~ Falling in Love. Sure it's a bit out of nowhere, but hey, it's a bubbly reprieve from the horrors of war.

3. (Will return once I think of another 2015 OST)
Ishimoto is definitely underrated. Pretty much every game he works on has a killer soundtrack. TWEWY being the standout to me.
 
Dec 1, 2004
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In years past I have held myself to a rather strict system of giving nods only to OSTs for games that were released this year or released this year in this region after a very short wait from its original debut. I realize now that it was mostly from 2011's massive orgasmitastic cornucopia of new-for-2011 tracks (Xenoblade, Bastion, Dungeons of Dredmor, etc) not getting dues from being shunted off by soundtracks composed in 2004, 1999, or even 1994. So rejoice! Now "LTTP" means something, and the 2006/2013/2015 listing can breathe free in bringing one and all joy and harmony!

1. Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter (Falcom soundteam_JDK Hayato Sonoda, Takahiro Unisuga, Ryo Takeshita)

Warning: this is going to get messy

I have this soundtrack to thank for getting me to try Falcom, with the 3 monster tracks of Fateful Confrontation, Silver Will (Super Arrange), and the monumentous Merciless Savior blowing the doors of my mind off with their beautiful epic power. The best part of waiting on the rest of the soundtrack till I could play in situ, additionally, is just how excellent the the rest has shown itself to be.

The happiness from Welcome to Le Locle, ominous SNES-era Final Fantasy with Visions, sophisticated jazz with Infiltration...SC hits on all cylinders consistantly and without fail.

The triumphant trio of battle themes that lured me here was joined by the twin-guitar attack of Fight with Assailant, the raucous trumpet of Obstructive Existence, the intimidating Enormous Fight, and the prog aggression of Gravestone Struck By Lightning giving the soundtrack the variety and sheer quality to put it into the upper echelons of battle music history.

There's such a strong theme of compositional strength and passion thruout this soundtrack. If I may gush a bit more, it's highlighted in the multiple sequential bridges and breakdowns used by JDK to unerringly land transition after transition in the soundtrack's crown jewel Merciless Savior. It is exuberance, it is sophistication, it is overwhelmingly beautiful. It is video gaming's Jessica. I can think of no higher praise to laud upon a track.

I also adored what they did with The Dream Continues, plot spoilers:
the first time you hear it it comes of as treacly and forced from the dream in question being a lie, but the second time it's of one character finding out their dream wasn't one, making the track genuine and beautiful. Good good GOOD stuff.
Plus I'm a sucker for waltz time. :p

#2. Trails of Cold Steel 1 (Falcom soundteam_JDK Hayato Sonoda, Takahiro Unisuga, Saki Momiyama)

JDK always, ALWAYS delivers, and the latest on these shores to show this neverending truth is Cold Steel 1.

You know how good this soundtrack is? The beloved Don't Be Defeated By a Friend is I feel the least awesome battle track! In an album with The Glint of Cold Steel, Even if Driven to the Wall, Machinery Attack, Tie a Link of ARCUS!, (the unreally hype-inducing as all hell) Atrocious Raid, and Belief that comes as no surprise!

But beyond the usually outstanding barrage of awesome battle themes, this is a very sophisticated album. The setting of the game mirrors previous dorm-setting games Final Fantasy 8 and Persona 3, topping on that front even the continental and eclectic Trails in the Sky: First Chapter with themes such as Heimdallr, Land of Blue Skies, Refreshing Morning, Skies of a Strange Land, and Afterschool Hours eruditely and cleverly accompanying jaunts both near and afar for our heroes with melodic greatness. There's even a bit of techno with (what I like to think is Angelica's leitmotif) Silent Exhaltation and Paper-Thin Offense and Defense to show us that there's more to the militaristic Erebonian Empire than the dour drums of war.

#3. Crypt of the Necrodancer (Danny Baranowsky, Alex Esquivel, Jules Conroy)

Danny Baranowsky knows how to beast on a chip, and now he's got backup to unload on our poor undeserving eardrums a game revolving around that with Rhythm-Roguelike Crypt of the Necrodancer.

You have 3 versions of each zone's theme, some zones having multiple remixes PLUS having the shopkeeper Freddie Merchantry singing along when you're near him and you have one of the largest soundtracks since Soul Hackers.

Mauseleum Mash!
Disco Descent!
Stone Cold!
Fungal Funk (you can tell it's great because it takes a good while to "get"!)

Honorable Mentions:

Oreshika Tainted Bloodlines (Konosuke Kihara):

Snappy use of traditional instruments in ways that would faint the ancestors but set me to head-bobbing.

New Family
Battle Theme

Sunless Sea (Brent Barkman, Maribeth Solomon):

This is how you do minimalist theatrical composition here. Melodies not only exist but are custom-made to the long, slow, ominous tempo, (the better to eat the crew to).

Submergio Viol
Limpid Liquid

Bloodborne (Ryan Amon, Tsukasa Saitoh, Yuka Kitamura, Nobuyoshi Suzuki, Cris Velasco, Michael Wandmacher)

Lets go nuts!

Hail the Nightmare
Bloodletting Beast

Witcher 3 (Marcin Przybyłowicz, Mikolai Stroinski, Percival)

Like alot of this game's soundtrack, these have one absolutely brilliant stretch then, like us playing the game, gets lost and I dunno, dive for treasure or fight a griffon or something.

Whispers of Oxenfurt <---plaintively beautiful intro
Steel for Humans

Undertale (Toby Fox)

Great melody making here, and doesn't let homage interfere in creating new greatness like the classics of old. Commendable.

Heartache <---sounds like something up-post huh?
Megalovania

Legend of Legacy (Masashi Hamauzu)

Hamauzu listens to Porcupine Tree and wonders are writ!

Avalon
What Lurks in the Forest

LTTP:

Ys: Origins (Falcom soundteam_JDK Hayato Sonoda, Takahiro Unisuga, Ryo Takeshita)

Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo boy this is a monster. I really wish both that this had come out overseas and I had played this from my Steam Sale backlog as this is a freaking beast of a soundtrack with GOATs all over.

Prelude to the Omen: Soaring awesomeness!

Silent Desert: Ain't nothing silent bout this desert!

Samsara and Paramnesia: \m/ >_<

Dreaming: An unused Koshiro track from 1...the tension and release is exemplary.

Oboro: Toe-tapping good times!

Beyond the Beginning: Epicness IN YOUR FACE!

Scarlet Tempest: Heroic action goes in, epic rocking comes out.

Scars of the Divine Wing: FIGHT!

Water Prison: The crown jewel of this soundtrack...this should not work. Why is it so calming when you're ax-murdering your way thru demons at risk of drowning? Why is the syncopated 5/4 6/4 polyrhythm not making this an energizing up-tempo track? Why is it so goddamn beautiful?
 

Codeblue

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May 29, 2009
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1. Undertale
This is one of the few times I'll play a game OST in my car or while I'm doing computer work. It goes through a range of moods but is always catchy. Standouts for me would be Hopes and Dreams and His Theme, which have been linked in this thread endlessly

2. Splatoon
If there existed a race of humanoid squids that created this sort of urban punk culture, what would they listen to? I have to imagine someone at the development team asked this question and was delivered the perfect answer. The OST goes a long way in making Splatoon a cohesive package.

3. Persona 4: Dancing All Night

Persona 4 came out 8 years ago and I'm still not sick of the soundtrack Meguro created for that game. Each song is just as good as I remember and the remixes are mostly well produced. It helps that I still look back at Persona 4 very fondly and still make positive associates between the original RPG and those tracks.

LTTP: Nier
You guys were right, Nier does have an amazing OST. I actually bought the game because I heard so much about the soundtrack. An incredible turn around given that Taro's games have had the most unsettling, displeasing soundtracks I've ever heard prior to Nier.
 

Benzychenz

Member
Aug 2, 2013
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1. Undertale
Undertale
Hopes and Dreams
Spider Dance
This soundtrack was just glorious, and it's definitely the one I've listened to outside of the game the most this year. There are so many fantastic tracks here that the three I've listed don't even begin to cover it.

2. Yoshi's Woolly World
Yoshi and Cookies
Knitty Knotty Windmill
Clawdaddy Beach
Man, playing this game just makes me happy thanks to this soundtrack.

3. Xenoblade Chronicles X
Sylvalum
Noctilum
Uncontrollable
While there is definitely some turds in here, the highlights more than make up for them.
 

Pellaidh

Neo Member
Dec 21, 2015
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1. Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter

Falcom Sound Team jdk always had a talent of producing amazing combat themes, and Trails in the Sky SC is no exception, with songs such as The Fate of the Fairies , Fight with Assailant, Enormous Fight and the absolutely outstanding Fateful Confrontation.

While songs like the above are something I already came to expect from Falcom's excellent sound division, Trails in the Sky SC really took me by surprise with its non combat-oriented themes. Songs such as Silver Will and its variants Hamel and The Truth Behind the Tragedy worked extremely well in enhancing the situations in which they played, with Silver Will in particular putting in work at several moments in the game. The absolute standout to me, however, was The Whereabouts of Light (Instrumental Version), a masterful arrangement of the game's main theme that only plays at one particular story scene and sets the mood perfectly for the events that happen in it, further elevating it to one of the most impactful story scenes I've ever seen .

Finally, there's the massive, over 7 minutes long The Merciless Savior.

2. Trails of Cold Steel

It was hard choosing between Sky and Cold Steel for the first spot. Ultimately, I decided for Sky due to the impact several songs bring to specific scenes. In terms of the pure quality of the songs themselves, however, I feel cold steel is absolutely on par, if not even better than Sky.

Personally, I think Cold Steel definitely beats sky in the combat department, with songs such as Tie a Link of ARCUS!, Don't be Defeated by a Friend! (and its seriously improved super arrange version, which came out as a separate release and isn't part of the actual game but I'll include it and some other arrangements here), To Become the Foundation of an Era, Exceed! and my personal favorite Belief, featuring perhaps the best first 10 seconds of any boss fight theme I've ever heard (bonus super arrange version). Seriously, just look at that list. Most JRPGs will give you one good boss fight theme and a final boss theme, but Cold Steel is absolutely packed with amazing battle themes.

Out of the non-combat themes, Atrocious Raid, its variant Risking Everything, Here We Stand, and To Grasp Tomorrow provide hype for the story moments that require it. As far as calmer songs are concerned, Land of Blue Skies and Back to the Dorm (with another godlike super arrange version) are clear standouts to me.

In short, the Cold Steel soundtrack might not quite reach the emotional highs of Trails in the Sky, but it still delivers a huge amount of outstanding Falcom goodness, particularly as far as boss themes are concerned.

3. Undertale

I don't think there's much to be said or linked here that hasn't already been mentioned in the countless other voting posts. In short, its great, with Spider Dance being my personal favorite.

Honorable mentions:
Tales of Zestiria: The first 10 or so hours of Zestiria are very underwhelming as far as the soundtrack goes, featuring music in lines with most other Tales games, which could mostly be described as uninspired. But then, you walk into one of the games many dungeons and suddenly hear this (Flaming Bonds are Being Tested). When I heard this song, I almost couldn't believe how good it was, especially contrasted with the rest of the soundtrack, and couldn't help but wonder what a song this far removed in quality from the rest was even doing here. Turns out, it, as well as a small portion of other songs were composed by Go Shiina, and pretty much all of his songs on the soundtrack are pretty good.
 
Feb 28, 2009
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Glad this got bumped because I completely forgot about it. Unfortunately on vacation with shitty internet, so I can't scour Youtube for some of my other standout tracks and I probably forgot a few games, but I can remember 3.

I can number these 3 to 1, right?

3. Splatoon: High energy techno with some endearing gibberish ala KK Slider, but with more effort.

Favorite track: Squid Sisters

2. Euphoria: In spite of the subject matter (or maybe because of it), this has an absolutely stellar and fitting soundtrack. Really exhibits the cruel nature of what's going on while similarly fitting with the dark beauty that sets the tone. One track in particular combined with the scene that was going on made me damn emotional.

Track in question: Rakuen no Tobira (Instrumental Version)
Favorite part starts around the 1:30 mark.

Disclaimer: 9 people out of 10 should not play this game. It's a super extreme visual novel that's probably incredibly triggering for some. Just listen to the music.

1. Stella Glow: It's Mitsuda. This guy has not made an underwhelming soundtrack yet in my mind. Might be a bit poppy at points, but there's still something beautiful about it that's distinctly Mitsuda. We even get it right out the gate on the title screen!

Said track: BGM-TITLE
 

jett

D-Member
Jun 6, 2004
98,879
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Whoa I almost missed voting!

1. Hotline Miami 2
Roller Mobster
Hollywood Heights

Like HM1, this score is a collection of music by several artists, largely inspired by 80s synth movie scores...Except cranked up to eleven. You will get pumped up. The music perfectly complements the game's ultraviolent action, appropriately getting the blood flowing with its massive beats and intense synth leads. Just can't get tired of this one.

2. Undertale
Another Medium
Hopes and Dreams

Undertale is the ultimate example in amateur game development. Everything was done by a single person. All the things. This also applies to the music. Toby Fox was inspired mainly by Earthbound in the development of the game, and this shows in soundtrack as well. Equal parts quirky, upbeat and emotional, I really think this is an instant classic filled with an absurd amount of highly memorable and catchy music.

3. Ori and The Blind Forest
Climbing the Ginso Tree
Escaping the Ruins

Wonderful orchestral music with some eastern flavorings that will hit you in the feels. Moody, melodic and atmospheric, creates the perfect tone for this outstanding Metroidvania title.

Honorable mention:
Transformers Devastation
Cargo Lift
Was really close, but recently re-played Ori and it just reminded me how good the music was. TD is no slouch with its metal as all hell score.
 

Andrew J.

Member
Apr 18, 2007
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1. Undertale. No surprise that the main Homestuck music guy made a great soundtrack. Undertale's music mixes chiptunes and traditional instruments, typically starting off with the former before escalating with the latter, paralleling the way the visuals occasionally make a shocking break with the 8-bit aesthetic. It also features some of the most densely intertwined use of leitmotif I've ever seen, with nearly every track having a melodic relationship with at least one other.

Favorite has to be Bergentrucking -> ASGORE, if only because I listened to it so many times while trying to beat that boss fight. Waterfall, Another Medium, and Core are also great atmospheric field themes. I never did a No Mercy run, but this might be the best incarnation of Megalovania yet, although I miss the intro from the previous versions.

2. Persona 4: Dancing All Night. Take P4's already great music and crank up the beat a little, no wonder you get this kind of result. Personal favorite is Snowflakes (Narasaki Remix) for being probably the most radical transformation, but of course it's impossible not to love (SPOILERS) Reach Out to the Truth (Dancing on Persona Stage) too.

3. Batman: Arkham Knight. Another solid entry effectively carrying forth the tone of Danny Elfman's score for the 1989 film. Favorite track is Fear Within, the successor to my favorite Arkham City track You Should Have Listened to My Warning, both being uptempo predator room themes. I Can't Stop Laughing (SPOILERS) and its reprise (EVEN MORE SPOILERS) are both catchy and darkly funny in very different ways.