The Best Video Game Music Of 2015

The Best Video Game Music Of 2015

The video games of 2015 often looked great, usually felt good, and probably smelled ok, too. But how did they sound?

We’re glad you asked! With input from all of our staff — and in no particular order — here are our favourite video game soundtracks from 2015. Grab some headphones and listen along.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Composer: Austin Wintory

Lately, Assassin’s Creed‘s musical scores had become defined by grandiose dirges, electronic soundscapes, and stoic chorales. What a surprise, then, that series newcomer Austin Wintory would mostly ditch his predecessors’ walls of sound in favour of small string ensembles, rambunctious arrangements, plentiful soloists, and loose, human performances. Syndicate‘s musical score was as playful and fleet-footed as its building-hopping heroes.


Composers: Yuka Kitamura, Tsukasa Saitoh, and Nobuyoshi Suzuki

As with From Software’s Souls games, Bloodborne‘s musical identity is as defined by silence as it is by actual rhythms and harmonies. Such strange, foreboding tranquility; such terrifying, grandiose action! Bloodborne lives in the careful contrast between the two.

Super Mario Maker

Composers: Koji Kondo, Naoto Kubo, Asuka Hayazaki

If everything in life could incorporate music as creatively as Mario Maker‘s level-making tools, the world would be a better place. This particular kind of music — menu music, interaction cues, cleverly tuned button noises, tiny inside jokes — remains something Nintendo does better than anyone else.


Composer: Toby Fox

At first listen, the Undertale soundtrack seems like it’s going to be another retro-inspired indie score: Lovely, if a bit by-the-numbers. Give it some time, however, it gradually reveals itself to be something considerably more unusual and special. The relationships you forge within the game may change over time, but those relationships are always guided and anchored by an emotional, musical core. Each piece of music recalls not just a memory from the game, but a memory of an entire relationship.

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture

Composer: Jessica Curry

Jessica Curry’s showstopping score for Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is an essential component of the game’s identity, yet it stands just fine on its own. Few things are as beautiful as human voices singing in harmony; not the Orff-inspired, pseudo-Latin chants of so many video game boss battles, but the purer sounds of real human beings standing in a room together, picking up choir folders, and letting the music carry them away.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Composer: Marcin Przybyłowicz

Sometimes a game’s soundtrack is implemented in a way that initially leaves me cold. So it was with Marcin Przybyłowicz’s score for The Witcher 3, which suffers from being overused in the game’s open-world explorations to the point that I would often mute it for prolonged stretches of travel and adventure. Despite that, the soundtrack itself is a beautiful, moving collection of compositions, with more standout tracks than almost any other game this year. And while many fantasy soundtracks do the whole “Dramatic Lady Wailing” thing, few do it with this much conviction.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails In The Sky: Second Chapter

Composers: Hayato Sonoda, Takahiro Unisuga, Ryo Takeshita

The Trails in the Sky games have a lot of good ideas and a great big heart, and both of those attributes are mirrored by the games’ tremendous musical scores. Perhaps one of the less mainstream games on this list, but a soundtrack — and game — that should not be overlooked.


Composers: Toru Minegishi, Shiho Fujii

Splatoon‘s soundtrack is equal parts Jet Set Radio Future and Anamanaguchi concert, loaded with the sort of poppy, bouncing-off-the-walls enthusiasm that I wished last year’s Sunset Overdrive had better captured. What kind of music best evokes a hypercolor world where squid-kids do battle with high powered ink weaponry? This kind.

Karmaflow: The Rock Opera Video game

Composer: Ivo van Dijk

Points for ambition on this one. Karmaflow: The Rock Opera Video game more or less delivered on its promise in its title, despite the fact that the game itself — aside from the music — wasn’t actually all that exciting. I don’t know how they lined up so many well-known vocalists for this project, but I’m glad they did.

Ori And The Blind Forest

Composer: Gareth Coker

When I fired up Ori and the Blind Forest for the first time, I was sceptical. The soft, glowing artwork and lush orchestral soundtrack were almost too much of a conscious evocation of Studio Ghibli and the famed composer Joe Hisaishi. Then I played the first fifteen minutes of the game and, well, I was moved. Just by the intro! I hadn’t had time to form a connection to these characters or this world; I was touched by the beauty of the images on the screen and by their interplay with Gareth Coker’s soaring orchestrations. Sometimes a beautiful piece of music is simply a beautiful piece of music, and that’s enough.

Those are our favourite soundtracks of the year, though as with every year, there were some great ones that we could’ve also included. Honorable mentions go to Hotline Miami 2, Invisible Inc., Gravity Ghost, Fallout 4, N++, Halo 5, The Order: 1886, Life is Strange, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and that one game with the amazing soundtrack that we forget to include in the honorable mentions every year.

Let us know your own favourites — and your individual favourite tracks — in the comments below.


  • I normally dismiss AC soundtracks, but this one had input from tripod, and they’ve been rather funny for a very long time now.

    They’re good Aussies, good musos, and serious gaming nerds.

    • Yeah. The primary theme feels scientifically designed to wedge itself into the centre of your brain. It’s scary.

      The additional tunes are also super catchy, but it sucks that the 30 second music reverts to the original. I’d like all of the songs to have that intensity at the end.

    • Yeah, I’ve been listening to a lot of Hollywood Principles recently.

      *Edit: I wish you could change the settings so that music played in the background during games.

  • Bloodborne’s soundtrack was exceptional. Gascoigne’s theme has to be up there as one of the best ever boss music tracks.

    • Lady maria dlc ost is so good too, the whole soundtrack sounds expensive, even though people commend it on being great its underrated

    • Revengeance had twice the metal gear soundtrack that V had. It’s hard for a series to follow that awesomeness, even outside of the canon.

      • Really?! Rising’s soundtrack was generic and utterly awful! MGSV’s soundtrack wasn’t great (at least by MG standards) but at least it didn’t render me in physical pain just listening to it.

  • Saw title of article and thought, “Ori and the Blind Forest better be on this list!”
    Sure enough it is. To me it is one of the best soundtracks to a game, period.

  • Saw title of article and thought, “Undertale better be on this list!”
    Sure enough it is. To me it is one of the best soundtracks in a very long time, period.

    Although I wish they hadn’t selected the track they had, which while great, is way greater when heard in the context that it is in game.

    • Although I wish they hadn’t selected the track they had, which while great, is way greater when heard in the context that it is in game.

      I agree, hearing it now in this post brought back a bunch of emotions, but without playing the game i can’t imagine it sounding particularly amazing or anything. But then again, a lot of the tracks you tend to associate with the corresponding situations you heard them in, and that’s why the soundtrack works, because it truly fits with the situations you hear each track in.

    • I haven’t played the game but I don’t know why they wouldn’t pick Bonetrousle instead. That thing is the worst/best.

  • Splatoon definitely wins the best OST. The one track that was posted above gives me flashbacks to the days when I used to listen to Anamanaguchi at least several times every day.

    I dunno what people think of it, but I personally really dig (most of) Rock Band 4’s soundtrack. It’s not an OST but there are some great songs in there – At Night in Dreams, Birth in Reverse, Dream Genie, Metropolis and the fucking awesome I Am Electric – as well as some cool in-house stuff, such as Recession, one of the songs from the new Amplitude.

  • Personally, Fallout 4 had an beautiful soundtrack (very ambient, and appropriately so!). Not quite on the level of Skyrim but it was good in its own way. The main theme alone has to be the best video game track I’ve heard all year, it’s really powerful and is a beautiful version of F3’s main theme (especially on a home theatre setup).

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