Video games are usually known for the gameplay, characters, and story. Sometimes, people will overlook another important part of a video game: the music.
Video game music has its interesting spins that can have a lot of variety compared to a movie or TV show. A video game’s soundtrack can vary for character themes, boss battles, or pivotal moments in a game’s story.
This year’s video games have a lot of outstanding scores, but which one truly shined in 2019? Before we talk about this year’s best video game original soundtrack, here are some games that deserve some recognition:
Kingdom Hearts III
Longtime composer Yoko Shimomura is a legend for creating beautiful, orchestral music for many of Square Enix’s titles. Along with other composers Takeharu Ishimoto and Tsuyoshi Sekito, they strived to bring diverse pieces throughout the game, ranging from whimsical and enchanting to epic and climactic. With familiar songs such as “Dearly Beloved,” “Kairi,” “Organization XIII” and the new Hikaru Utada songs “Face My Fears” and “Don’t Think Twice,” Kingdom Hearts III continues the trend of bringing timeless tracks to engrave the fans’ heads for years to come.
Devil May Cry 5
Even if you are not familiar with the Devil May Cry series, the fifth entry’s marketing heavily relied on the song “Devil Trigger,” which is already a catchy song that fits the game’s premise. Other songs, such as “Legacy,” “The Duel,” and “Lunatic Ray,” are among the soundtrack’s highlights. The game’s music has everything needed to outdo its predecessor. Devil May Cry 5 deserves its critical acclaim as a video game, but its music definitely contributed.
Anthem is definitely not a masterpiece by any means, but the best contribution it made is its music. Sarah Schachner was the composer for the game, and her talent shines here. She previously worked on other games like Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Far Cry 3, and her role was perfect to save this game from being a complete disaster. One of the game’s tracks, “The Anthem Of Creation,” truly is a beautiful piece that fits the game’s atmosphere. Anthem could have been so much more, but at least we have the music to enjoy.
Pokémon Sword and Shield
Despite the crazy controversies, Pokémon Sword and Shield does have some good moments, interesting Pokémon designs, and incredible music. You cannot deny how epic the gym leader music is, and the diverse themes the rivals have, especially Bede and Marnie’s. Composers Minako Adachi and Go Ichinose have been working at Game Freak for a while, and their variety of music choices show in the eighth generation games. Some tracks might be forgettable, but the ones that stand out are really fantastic.
Best Original Video Game Soundtrack of the Year:
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
A video game’s music must cover the intense moments, lighthearted fun, romantic confessions, and blood-pumping action perfectly to create a distinctive and strong soundtrack. Fire Emblem: Three Houses manages to do this perfectly, making it our pick for the best video game soundtrack of the year.
“The Edge of Dawn” is a bittersweet and touching ending song that is sung in Edelgard’s perspective. “Chasing Daybreak” is a haunting, but epic track that gets the players into the battlefield and fight for the future of their continent. “Between Heaven and Earth” is a song that captures of what is to come depending on the house you pick, making players anxious but hopeful.
If those tracks somehow do not impress you, do yourself a favor and listen to “God Shattering Star” and “Apex of the World.” Be amazed at how they capture the true excitement and tension of finally making it to a few of the houses’ final bosses.
For more of our Year in Review 2019 series, head to our hub page.