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January 2, 2019 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook OSVOSTOTY 2018: RYAN’S PICKSon Twitter


2018 has come to an end and it has been another great year game music. Many folks have written and shared their picks for best video game soundtracks of the year, and now it’s our turn here at OSV. If you missed my picks from last year you can check them out here.

My favorite arrangement album this year arrived early in 2018 and my favorite soundtrack this year may surprise some of you unless you’ve been following me on Twitter.
Read on to see what I picked for my favorite game soundtracks of 2018.

Game Soundtrack of the Year

Moonlighter – David Fenn

David Fenn’s soundtrack to Moonlighter is my choice for soundtrack of the year. I interviewed the composer a while back to talk about his previous game soundtracks including Titan Souls which you can read here. I spent a lot of time listening to this soundtrack which was provided to me by the composer. Although I didn’t have time to review the soundtrack in detail, it’s phenomenal. As a listening experience it’s full of melodies that will get stuck in your head, and I still find I’m humming on a daily basis. A large portion of the game is set in a small town called Rynoka that hosts a variety of shop-keeps/characters, and the composer has crafted unique variations to the town’s theme for each of these folks you interact with. The game’s dungeon themes also vary based on your progress, and the boss theme are both engaging and intense. I am still playing the game on Nintendo Switch and highly recommend both the game and soundtrack. And if you’re interested in tracking down a physical copy of the game’s soundtrack it can be found in a Signature Edition of the game.

Runner Up

Battletech – Jon Everist

Jon Everist’s Battletech is my runner up for 2018. It’s a stunning orchestral work loaded with electronic elements. I have yet to play the game but it’s a wonderful game score full of emotional moments, and gorgeous solo instrument performances. I reviewed the score in detail earlier this year and I encourage you check it out.

Honorable Mention

Gris – Berlinist

Gris was released just before the end of this year, after most best of lists for 2018 had been published. I haven’t played the game yet but I was blown away by the trailer and the soundtrack triggered the same reaction. Berlinist has created a powerful, mesmerizing score to a game I have no doubt is destined to become an indie classic.

Arrangement Album of the Year

Resurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga 20th Anniversary Arrangement

I will forever be indebted to Brave Wave Productions and Saori “Sally” Kobayashi for producing and releasing Resurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga 20th Anniversary Arrangement. I did not see this album coming it, but Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG is my most cherished video game soundtrack. I played the game on Sega Saturn many times. This album is perfection, and brings back all the great memories I had playing the game and listening to the original soundtrack. It’s the perfect companion album to the original game. The composer said that this is how the music would have been presented if the technology was available at the time. This album made my year, and I can’t wait for what future surprises the composer has in store for us.

Runner Up

Zelda & Chill

GameChops Zelda & Chill album got a lot of play from me this year. On rainy days, while I worked, or when I cooked – on repeat, often three or four times in a row! As a listening experience it offers a perfect sense of nostalgia for the best themes in the Legend of Zelda game series. The added sound effects of rain, and record scratches enhances that nostalgic feel and creates a genuinely unique listening experience for Zelda fans.

Honorable Mention

Arcadia Legends – OverClocked ReMix

Arcadia Legends released by OverClocked ReMix is another album that snuck in just before the end of the year. The album is a love letter to Skies of Arcadia (Eternal Arcadia). There is so much variety in this album it’s a great way to reflect back on one of Sega’s greatest RPG titles. My favorite track on the album is “Secret Bass” by Silent Ice.

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