Although 2016 will be remembered as a year that the world lost so much, for me one positive thing that I can say about this year was that it was an incredible year for video game music. I did not play a lot of games in 2016, but I did listen to a lot of video game music, and arranged albums.
What I sincerely enjoy about Original Sound Version’s Ost of the year is that all the authors for this site have different choices. I am a huge film score fan, and love sweeping symphonic scores which led to my choice for Ost of the year. I also highlight some arranged and inspirational albums too.
Game Soundtrack of the Year: The Last Guardian
By: Takeshi Furakawa
Of all the video game soundtracks I listened to this year, many stood out but The Last Guardian for me was the clear winner. The score composed by Takeshi Furakawa is beautifully touching, captured musically the emotion felt in the relationship between the small boy and mythical creature Trico. I haven’t even played the game, but listening to the score with images of the trailers in my mind at times I was tearing up. Of all the video games soundtracks I listened to this year, this one got me right in the feels. The London Symphony Orchestra performed the score, along with the majestic chorales of the Trinity Boys Choir and London Voices.
Runner Up: Unravel
By: Henrik Oja and Frida Johansson
I fell in love with the Unravel soundtrack when it was released in the spring of 2016. In my review I called it “A Natural Wonder of the Soundtrack World”. I found that the music itself told a story that slowly revealed itself through as it progressed. Like The Last Guardian, the music brought up a range of emotions and also made me want to experience the music outdoors. If a video game soundtrack can inspire a player to get up off the couch, and take the music with them that’s really something special.
Honorable Mention: I Am Setsuna
By: Tomoki Miyoshi
I didn’t have a chance to review the soundtrack to I Am Setsuna this year, but I listened to it extensively. I have not played the game, but I already feel that by listening to the soundtrack I have experienced it’s true essence. If you look at the cover for the game you’ll see the main character Setsuna standing under a tree in a snowy field. On the cover of the soundtrack, Setsuna is replaced by a piano. Tomoki Miyoshi’s choice of using a piano as the primary instrument of the score makes perfect sense to me. The game from what I understand is all about Setsuna’s personal struggle and sacrifice. Setsuna’s life and experience in the game is represented musically by the piano with some incredible melodies. In the years to come video game music fans will still be appreciating this soundtrack.
Arrangement Album of the Year: Video Games Live Level 5
By: Video Games Live
Video Games Live has become a video game music institution. I have been a fan of their previous albums, but this year I can firmly say that Level 5 is the best album they have ever done. I wrote an extensive review of the album and since its release nothing else released this year has been able to top it. The biggest surprises for me on the album for me came from Eimear Noone, her World of Warcraft and Legend of Zelda tracks are now personal favorites.
Runner Up: Ultimate Phantasia
By: Triforce Quartet
Another album I did not get around to reviewing this year was released by the Triforce Quartet. Their second album Ultimate Phantasia had me Jerry Maguire style with “Spark Mandrill” from Megaman X . The album has a wonderful selection of arrangements from many of the game series I love, performed with expert skill and in a gorgeous sound presentation.
As you know I am already excited about the music that’s coming in 2017. But more importantly I want to hear from you.
What were your favorite video game soundtracks this year?Tags: Arrangement Albums, Features, Game Music, Original Game Soundtrack, OSVOSTOTY 2016, Soundtrack of the Year