End of Year 2018: Favorite Game Music


Yoku’s Island Express is the dark horse winner here for me. It’s like Rare 2.0

timestamped to the main hub’s tune, though the whole thing jams in a variety of extremely soothing ways.


Yoku’s Island Express definitely had a lot of fun tunes. It’s been a couple of months since I played it but I can still hum that island theme.

Second, I talked in the writing thread about how Into the Breach uses little dialog to great effect when setting its stakes and building the world, but the soundtrack by Ben Prunty does a lot of lifting as well. It feels justly melancholic as your mechs hit the ground in a war that’s been fought and lost so many times. Even as you are entering the last mission it is holding back, raising the stakes but keeping in mind that even if this fight is won, the war is not.


Into the Breach - Old War Machines
Into the Breach - Into the Breach

Finally, it’d feel bad to not give some recognition to how much I’ve enjoyed Jon Everist’s soundtrack to Battletech. The mix of classic orchestra and dirty, dirty synths as described in Waypoint’s feature on it is terrific.


Battletech - March on Axylus
Battletech - Umbra


Thought I might as well toss a few songs into the ring, as I thought this year had a ton of amazing tunes.

The first is from the indie game Black Bird, from the makers of Million Onion Hotel, whose soundtrack is as haunting and confusing as the gameplay. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a video of an individual song, so the track at 9:20 would suffice.

The second song is from Smash Bros Ultimate, which has plenty of original music to go along with the astronomical amount of remixes. This next track is a little spoilery, so I’m embedding it. If you’re unfinished with World of Light and care about doing so, don’t listen to the next song, but otherwise I believe it to be one of the best tracks in the entire game.

Final Boss Music (Smash Ultimate)

This last song comes from a series pretty near and dear to my heart, Kirby Star Allies. The game was disappointing for me when it launched, but it’s really come around to have a lot more content, AND a lot more songs. Yes, the main game is full of tracks ripped from previous games, and the new dlc songs are remixes due to them relating to the dlc characters, but I still think the game has a lot of brilliant songs, especially the one I’m linking here. Even if you haven’t touched the last boss rush mode from which this song originates, I recommend everyone listen to this, as it is easily my favorite in the whole game.

I’d also like to point out that, at no point in this 10 minute YouTube video, does the song loop. That’s what I’d call magical.


Wow, those Black Bird tracks are fantastic. I’ll have to pick the game up sometime.


I echo the feedback about Celeste’s soundtrack - it is such a delight. And it gets bonus points for being ‘freely’ available on Apple Music, Spotify etc. I recently spent a few nights in a giant warehouse playing the music for hours on end - it felt otherworldly.


If there are folks who have nominations they have yet to cash in, I’d definitely recommend checking out Erica Lahaie’s Top 9 Soundtracks of 2018 – there are some great recommendations on there!


Destiny 2

It has come a long way from the good, but somewhat monotonous, Halo-esque themes. The new creators involved in the music since Marty O’donnel disappeared can be felt in the way more diverse arrangements on offer in todays Destiny 2.

A lot of it is still true to its roots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuyBVE5z35M

But imo the best music comes from the new weird shit they have thrown in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYO65mL5vPs

They have also started to work a lot with intensifying/progressing music for timed events and longer raid boss fights such as:

Whisper of the Worm timed 15 minute event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up7ii8cNiqo

Last wish raid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn1s6CKfjB4

Naturally works better with a ton of taken and wish-granting space whale-dragons shooting you :slight_smile:


As much as I like the Celeste soundtrack, I also think it benefits from the reflected glory of the game it’s in. For a lot of the songs, if you had told me they came from Thumper or Stardew Valley, or any other of a hundred indie games, I wouldn’t have a hard time believing it.

On the other hand, Lucas Pope’s Return of the Obra Dinn soundtrack is utterly stunning and unique. (Unique in games, at least - it’s undoubtedly borrowing heavily from traditional nautically-themed media music.)

The entire OST is only about 25 minutes, and it wastes no time letting the listener know exactly what it’s doing.


I’m a sucker for the work Darren Corb has done composing for all of Supergiant Games’ stuff over the years and Hades is no different. It’s not my favorite soundtrack from Corb and I miss Ashley Barrett on vocals (though it’s possible there may be more music to come that will change my mind) but it’s still very good and one of the soundtracks I’ve spent the most time listening to this year. I haven’t even played the game yet:

Another game I haven’t played but will still be nominating for this category is Where the Water Tastes Like Wine. Some of the best acoustic work I’ve heard in games, in addition to some superb vocal tracks. Just excellent all around:

Finally, I want to give a shout-out to Hitman 2’s soundtrack. It’s largely very similar to the 2016 game (which is to say I like it a lot) but in particular the pause menu ambience really worked for me. It captures a similar vibe to Chromatics’ Tick of the Clock and fits very nicely into the clockwork simulation world of Hitman:


So, I really feel like there’s an underdog here.


Dandara’s soundtrack is… fucking incredible. Like… there is not a BAD song on the Dandara OST. There isn’t even a dull one. They are all weird, psychedelic tunes that get my blood pumping.

When you hear most people talk about this OST they talk about ‘Weight of a Doubt’, the boss theme which is an incredibly amped up song that makes me want to rip off my shirt:

But the whole soundtrack is phenomenal. They match the mood to a startling T, dashing through this topsy-turvy world as acoustic drums and piano blend with electronic chiffs and hums. Take this more mellow track compared to the boss theme, ‘Hidden in Logic’ (attached to a playlist :wink: ):

I don’t know if this OST tops Celeste’s for me, due to the warm feeling it evokes, the motifs, and the brilliant B-sides. Like, I literally was just sitting here and realized “oh shit, Dandara! That soundtrack!!!” I also think Celeste’s soundtrack, as incredible as it is, feels far better when playing then it does outside when playing, letting its mood wash over you. Also shoutout to Below with Jim Guthrie’s music, really incredible! But I gotta give a shoutout to Dandara, y’all. Dandara owned bones, I know these games aren’t for everyone, but it’s so fucking tight, please at the very least listen to some of the OST, it shreds


Played Dandara at the very last minute (like… December 30th) and it snuck onto my top 10. The soundtrack really makes the game’s atmosphere. My partner was watching me play for only a little bit and she also commented on how cool it was. Really glad you mentioned this!


Thank you for reminding me that Weight of a Doubt exists and is one of the best general boss themes I’ve heard.


Don’t for get the final boss redux, ‘Relentless Choir’:


Thats a good piece. Damn, i’ve really let Dandara’s soundtrack slip past me this year. all these peices in this thread have been really good, but i didn’t remember a single one. I may need to give this game a replay, given that its fairly short.


Hey folks!

With the deadline for phase 1 fast approaching we wanted to remind everyone to get their nominations in if they haven’t already. The google forms will stop taking submissions by 10pm GMT (2pm PST / 5pm EST) on Saturday.

That said, these threads will remain open so that people can continue to share their thoughts on specific categories/games for the remainder of the event. We hope you’ve enjoyed the event thus far and we’re excited to unveil the the voting phase over the weekend!


I’ve been playing more Into the Breach and I dunno if the soundtrack is quite up there with FTL for me but the music always just kinda works?


Agreed on Hades and Where the Water Tastes Like Wine. Both games where the music is very much a part of extending the identity of the game.

Return of the Obra Dinn is probably going to be my top pick because nothing else gave me chills like that soundtrack did.


Did you know that Red Dead Redemption 2 has an original D’Angelo track? Now you do.


The more I play RDR2, the more I come to appreciate the actual score, even more than the original songs


I just listened to some tracks today, honestly I forgot the game existed, but the Chuchel soundtrack is something else

this track takes a bit to build up, might want to fast forward a bit, it definately goes places