Our Favorite Video Game Music From 2017
2017 was a year popping with fantastic soundtracks, from beginning to end. Here are our editors' favorite soundtracks to blare.
Streets of Rogue
Streets of Rogue has an absolute banger of a soundtrack, which in a roguelike does a lot to make replaying it exciting. Every friend of mine who tried this game out, whether they enjoyed it or not, individually mentioned how damn good the music is. "Slum Scrum" from the third level of the game is my personal favorite track.
"On Approach/Alien Manifestation" has been stuck in my head since I first heard it back in March. The drums. The intensity of the buildup. The piano at the ending. It's perfect for the combat sequences you often hear while you're running and slashing around in Automata, and it's also great music to do work to.
A Hat In Time
You can hear five of my picks for the best soundtrack songs of the year in the podcast segment embedded below, but I wanted to add one song I heard after we recorded that episode. A Hat in Time has a fantastic, bubbly soundtrack that I have found myself listening to outside of playing the game, but this piece which plays during the final confrontation is frenetic, cool, and intense. It doesn’t let up and it’s a great way to end one of the best platformers of the year that isn’t called Mario.
While the haunting track "City Ruins (Shade)" represents the core themes of desolation, isolation, and tinges of hope well on its own, it also holds a small secret. The melody line from the track is similar to the first Nier’s "City of Commerce" track, indicating a hidden connection in the location that is only recognizable to fans of the first game.
The world-renowned Kronos Quartet lends its immaculate string tones to this striking signature piece from Destiny 2's soundtrack. Echoing the player character's full journey over the course of the story, the piece opens on a melancholy melodic thread, and escalates into martial drums and vocals and on to a triumphant climax at the six-minute mark.
The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
I already gave my top three songs of 2017 on the podcast segment (see below), and while all three of those songs are awesome and worthy of recognition, a song that stuck with me over the entire year was the song from Hyrule Castle in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You work through the whole game to reach this point. You start from nothing and travel the world to regain your powers, enrich your gear, and retake the legendary beasts, and this song reflects the mixture of heart-pounding excitement and intimidation I felt as I made my way through Hyrule Castle toward what awaited me at the game’s conclusion.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
From its folksy narcocorridos to the sparse, charango-driven gameplay segments, the Wildlands soundtrack transports you to another part of the world.
The Persona series has long excelled at memorable soundtracks, but Persona 5’s music is my favorite of the whole franchise. "Last Surprise," the main battle theme, does a perfect job of accentuating the action with a catchy, energetic beat and strong vocals.
Gravity Rush 2
Gravity Rush 2’s soundtrack is simply stellar. The diversity in instrumentation, the motifs and themes it establishes throughout the story – combined with the incredible art style and fun premise, Gravity Rush 2 could have been one of the best games of the year if its mission design and combat weren’t so consistently bungled. Still, songs like “Lei Havina” are not only immaculately composed, but offer a nice change of pace from the electronic- and orchestra-heavy soundtracks we’re used to hearing.
Life Is Strange: Before The Storm
Burn it Down plays at a pivotal point in Chloe and Rachel's journey during the last episode of Before the Storm. It accurately captures Chloe's state of mind as she waits to discover more about Rachel Amber. The emotional song shows Chloe's conflicted feelings as she faces hardships and realizes that life is far from perfect.