End of Year 2019: Favorite Game Music

Favorite Game Music

When our hands are busy, our ears are open. Music in games has this way of sticking with us. As we play around in their world, music sets a backdrop for the lives we lead inside it.

In this thread, you’ll be able to share some of your favorite game soundtracks you heard this year. How did it enhance your experience? How did it set the mood? How did it move you? In 2019, like any other year, we got to hear a huge range of styles, from up-beat jams to melancholy ambience. But no matter what style of music you heard, this scored your experience elegantly.


Discussion Thread

This thread is all about discussing your favorites! The end of the year is always a great opportunity to look back and reflect on what we loved, but it’s also a great time to remind ourselves of what we missed and want to come back to next year. So give a recommendation, get a recommendation, and above all please be respectful and have a good time!

Be sure to check the Q&A section below if you have questions, otherwise feel free to reach out to one of us! We hope you enjoy this event and we’re excited to see what sorts of discussion each category inspires!

Please Note: We’re planning to write-up a summary thread at the end of the event and include various members’ quotes from the discussion threads, just like last year. The quotes that we select will be attributed to their authors and only posted on this forum (forum.waypoint.vice.com). If you would prefer to not be quoted in the summary thread, please indicate this in your posts.


Q&A

Q: End of Year? What's that?

A: I’m glad you asked! Just head over to our pinned topic if you need a catch up! You can also find details on the process for the event here.

Q: What can I discuss in this thread?

A: Anything that you think fits the topic! Feel free to share your favorite experiences of 2019, whether they occurred in media that released in 2019 or media from a previous year.

Q: Where are the nominations?

A: This year we’re structuring things a little differently: we’ll be posting discussion threads over the second half of December, and nominations won’t begin until January. This will give you a few more weeks to play more games before you’ll need to lock in your votes. We also hope that by focusing on open discussion threads, the event will be more inclusive of folks who haven’t been able to play many games from this year.

Credits

Behold the best part of Anthem: https://youtu.be/Zv8-5B9dwpI

5 Likes

The answer to this question is just BB’s Theme from Death Stranding. Death Stranding in general just has an absurdly good soundtrack. I am also in love with the main theme by Cha-vurches. But the track that hits the hardest and is used in the most hardest-hitting point is this:

(I haven’t played Death Stranding in a few weeks and I already miss BB. :sob:)

The official version isn’t even my nominee, my nominee is the time Cliff sings it.

4 Likes

I could honestly just link every track from Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers and write “QED”, but I’ll limit myself to just a few songs.

My personal stand outs are two that are closely related and very spoilery, so I’ll talk about them below.

Amaurot, Pt 1 & 2

Okay, so the climax of the expansion takes you to a fallen art deco metropolis underwater. And as opposed to other, totally not similar video game settings, this one fell not because of any real cruelty held by its inhabitants. But rather due to how this was a city made up of people who tried to do all they could to prevent catastrophe, yet failed. Rapture always conveyed a tongue-in-cheek sense of “Well, they had it coming;” but the people of Amaurot were struck by genuine tragedy. The principal antagonist of the expansion is one of the last remaining of their kind, and used his near-godlike power to create an illusory simulacrum on the scale of the city from Synecdoche, New York. A memory of what once was before it was no more – beautiful and strikingly haunting. And so it makes sense that the musical theme to go along with it is equally so, with a very spartan orchestration consisting primarily of a lone piano with an ever-present ticking of a clock following it. It’s somber and wistful, but still ultimately very beautiful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW7b8Mo_SFU

And then there’s the reprise. You eventually confront that antagonist taking refuge in his false city inside a gigantic elevator bank. He tells you that you can never truly understand why he’s done what he has because of all that he and his loved ones have went through. But he tries to show you. He opens the door behind him revealing a wall of fire and beckons you to follow him in. Once you do, you see Amaurot again, only this time the city is energized with the violence of absolute destruction. Buildings are burning and people are dying. If there’s one thing you can be certain of, it’s that these are the last days of Emet-Selch’s people. This is one of the highest emotional moments of the narrative, and you’d think that this would be soundtracked by something akin to Penderecki’s Threnody. But no. The game’s antagonists, at the very least, want to remember and be remembered. They want the heights of their civilization to carry on, and if they’re all to die, they want to at the very least demonstrate the beauty of what’s soon to be gone. And the track to convey this is my favorite video game song of the year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtxR97bgF-Q

So, those two are my favorite. But if you don’t want spoiler-filled justifications for why these are so good, I’d be remiss to not also highlight the (also very good) meme songs as well.

FA LA LA LA LA

La HEE

4 Likes

Later Alligator had my favorite soundtrack of 2019! It’s so fun , covers a variety of genres , bounces between being playful , chill , menancing , spooky and all sorts of other things. This game is charming for multiple reasons but the music enhances the experience so much.

Here’s my fav track:

Lyrics

I broke my teeth
Yes, I broke my teeth
Can’t get no relief
Can’t even chew my beef
From my tail to my nose, I am full of woes,
That’s just how it goes, oh, whoa

I bent my tail
Yes, I bent up my tail
Used to know it well
Now it’s all outta scale
From my tail to my nose, I am full of woes,
That’s just how it go, oh, whoa, go on now

Whoo!
You got it!
Aw, yeah

(2x)

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Firstly, I have to nominate Ape Out, and it’s not just for the quality the soundtrack, but the way it reacts to the player as well. As I said in the “Game Feel” thread, it feels fucking great that the drums respond to you flattening anyone foolish enough to get in your way. My personal favorite is the third “disc”, Fugue, with its army of snare drums.

And to be clear, the music does, indeed, fucking SLAP. As far as I can tell, this end credits song doesn’t actually appear within the game, but I’ll be damned if I don’t find it empowering on an almost spiritual level.

Secondly, I have to shout out Outer Wilds, just listening to “Travelers” still makes me emotional and the way it’s used at the end is beautiful.

Finally…
Want to be freeeeeee,
It will last forever,
Eternallyyyyyyyyyy

4 Likes

Gonna avoid just dumping a bunch of tracks and just sprinkle things out here and there, but for now here’s what happened this year when the Granblue Fantasy composer presumably listened to a Symphony X album once.

Oh they also recently got Emi Evans on a track. More Drakengard than Nier.

Celeste having an update in 2019 means I get to say Celeste and be current

6 Likes

Track that stands out to me is the traveler songs in Outer Wilds. It’s not a banger that I could just listen to, but it’s great ambiance. This is the kind of song I’d put on in the back ground for chill time spending with friends.

7 Likes

I’m gonna interpret this question a little broadly so I can rave about how Death Stranding incorporated outside music into its gameplay sequences, because I am a sucker for games that do that. Any time I was nearing the end of a story mission and that text with a song title and artist showed up on the screen, I just got this big goofy smile on my face because it usually meant I could relax, fire up my favorite mode of transportation, and let some chill indie rock fill up the landscape. I usually ended my play sessions by starting up the music player and reading all the emails/interviews to whatever the most recent unlock was, and gah, it was all so good.

1 Like

In my mind this is a valid choice because Kojima talks somewhere about how those songs helped inform the way the game ended up coming together. And they do feel incredibly well suited to its atmosphere in so many places. Definitely a solid pick here as far as I’m concerned.

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Hypnospace Outlaw is a soundtrack that, much like the game, perhaps only appeals to people with a nostalgia for autoplaying .midis and early meme songs. But it works for me. The fact that the music is diegetic, with fans and reviews, controversies, tragedies, and people calling all the in-universe artists sell-outs just adds a lot of life to it beyond the songs themselves.

Mid-Late Game Spoilers

Also, this song had me wheezing.

https://hotdad.bandcamp.com/track/chowder-man-please-come-back-home

1 Like

there were three standout soundtracks to me this year (well really four, but FFXIV’s already been mentioned here, so):

Sayonara Wild Hearts

An entire album of synthpop bangers that are the perfect soundtrack to sapphic heartbreak.

Cadence of Hyrule

Some really clever rearrangements of classic Zelda songs and some of the best boss themes I’ve heard in a long time really make this a standout soundtrack.

Touhou Luna Nights

I already mentioned it over in the deep cuts thread, but this soundtrack is real good y’all, but I suppose that’s what happens when you do really, really good arrangements of classic Touhou bangers, yes, even including that song.

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i havent played the game yet but i played the theme from Later Alligator for my mom and she loved it

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Here are some of my favorites

A melancholy jazz between synth chaos. A sad calm between frenetic violence, fleeting happiness as you continue to realize you are reaching the end of the line.

Something about the simple bloops really embody the imaginative inquisitiveness that is this game. Do this, do that, what will happen, who knows but it’s probably really neat.

3 Likes

This may come as a shock to some, but Supergiant has very good music in their video games. I don’t even like using it as a podcast game because I’d rather hear the music. But of course, the stars are the vocal tracks. It’s always a treat to stumble upon Eurydice or come home and hear Orpheus.

Also, Dicey Dungeons again! There are a lot of amazing tracks in this game but I picked this one because it has this great buildup to the part where you jam super hard, then ample time to chill out and get your groove back before it demands more jamming.

4 Likes

BANG
BANG
BANG
PULL MY DEVIL TRIGGER

DMCV has like 5 main tracks and at least 4 of them are the best song of the year.

13 Likes

I would just sit in the shop and go do things around the house and listen to Nico’s theme.

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Anodyne 2 is a hard game to describe, but “Hypnogogic Zelda” is about as good of a description as I can come up with for the sake of selling it. The soundtrack, of what I’ve experienced so far at least, is a bunch of pretty ambient beats filtered through Japanese fantasy games and at least one nap.

2 Likes

Honestly, I didn’t play that many games released in 2019, but Fire Emblem: Three Houses has an incredible soundtrack that sells the scale of its world so well. I don’t listen to that much video game music outside of games but I find myself ocassionally coming back to this one throughout the year.

3 Likes