I've hit a point in my life where I'm more excited for the music in games than the actual games themselves. A game can be mediocre in every single way and still have an amazing soundtrack, which happens quite often. I associate music with experiences as well, so even long after I've finished a game, I can listen to the soundtrack and get taken back to my favorite moments.
Here's a list of my favorite soundtracks of the year, with one track from each. This was a good year for games, but it was an even better year for music.
Note: Doki Doki Literature Club is also technically on this list, but I can't post anything about it without spoiling the whole thing. So, you know. It's here in spirit.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
It's hard to talk about the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 soundtrack without turning into a blubbering, idiot mess. Every single track is amazing. Every note is amazing. The music is as much of a journey as the game itself, and I was in awe at the amount of pure quality in a game that has at least 100 songs in it, if not more. From battle themes to end credits, make sure to play Xenoblade Chronicles 2 with headphones on. And for the love of God, Mitsuda, give me the full soundtrack.
Yeah you saw this one coming. I've said it before, but Persona 5's soundtrack is the first instance where I feel like Meguro knows what he's doing when it comes to jazz, and it shows. Like a live jam session, every song in P5 flows neatly from one to the next. There may not be as many vocal tracks, but the ones that are there shine, and the lack thereof makes the whole soundtrack feel like a cohesive experience, every bit as stylish as the rest of the game.
Blue Reflection is a tragedy because its amazing soundtrack will be forever unknown and unheard due to it being a mid-budget GUST game. Which sucks, because everyone on planet earth should get a listen to some of 2017's best music. I don't even know anything about this game but its soundtrack is third on my "most listened" list. Filled with dreamy, etheral tracks contrasted with bumping violin/edm fusions that I can't even give a name to, Blue Reflection is one of my favorite soundtracks in years.
Gravity Rush 2
Gravity Rush has the worst luck. Its first game came out on a system that Sony has basically given up on, and its sequel came out in a year unmatched in quality, equally forgotten. It sucks, because Gravity Rush 2 is an amazing game with an equally incredible soundtrack. It's cinematic, and filled with a variety of motifs that come together by the end to (probably) make you cry by the time the end credits hit.
The tracks in Nier: Automata are unmatched, a mixture of tribal beats and nonsense vocals that somehow blend together into haunting, beautiful melodies and intense themes. Half the reason this piece took so long to come together was that I couldn't narrow things down to one song from the soundtrack. That's how good it is. Every bit as strange and impressive as the game itself, you shouldn't skip out on the N:A OST.
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