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Game Of The Year 2015: Best Soundtrack

Enraptured.

With the end of 2015 fast approaching, it’s time to delve into the weird and wonderful world of Game of the Year awards. Yet it feels cruel to limit this to just one game winning a single accolade or one list which tries (and invariably fails) to put games into a particular ranking and order.

It’s for this reason that we’ve tried to add a few new categories for us to deliberate over, as you’ll see in the coming days and weeks, as we first whittled our choices down to five and then held a final vote. However, we’ll start where we have done for the last few years, with our award for Best Soundtrack.

Though videogame music has always been popular, it’s really in the last decade or so that it has come to gain some of the recognition for quality that it deserves. It’s no longer restricted to the idle humming of the undeniably catchy Super Mario Bros. theme, but extends to world renowned orchestras performing concerts from the original soundtrack to celebrated JRPGs, to inductions into Classic FM’s Hall of Fame, and beyond.

It’s without a doubt in my mind that this year’s winner deserves just as much recognition and more.

GOTY2015-Sound2yr

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is, in many ways, more of an auditory experience than anything else. Your exploration of the eerily and mysteriously empty Shropshire village of Yaughton is visually beautiful, capturing the aesthetic of a sleepy summer’s day perfectly, but its story is told through the echoes of the men and women of the village, as they struggle with the unknown and what may well be the end of the world. While the voice acting that brought this story to life was excellent across the board, the original soundtrack is with few peers.

At times it brings to mind the pastoral and the sacred, with singing from the London Voices Choir, elsewhere it underscores a character’s yearning sadness, but even when viewing the world through the lens of the apocalypse, its sweeping strings can be joyous and uplifting. It never fails to put a lump in my throat and bring a tear to my eye.

Jessica Curry acted as both studio head and composer throughout the development of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, leading to perhaps one of the most intrinsically linked combinations of game and music. Yet her soundtrack can and should be considered to stand on its own merits as a fantastic musical work.

Runners up in alphabetical order:

  • Fallout 4
  • Star Wars Battlefront
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Until Dawn
11 Comments
  1. MrYd
    Member
    Since: Mar 2011

    You’re off to a good start with a winner I’d absolutely, 100% agree with.

    Wonderful soundtrack that just lurks in the background, unnoticed (except you’d probably notice something was missing if it wasn’t there) until those points where it’s needed, at which point it becomes something even more special. Something people frequently don’t seem to want to do these days. Got all that lovely expensive music? Better shove it in the players face for the entire game. Not in this case.

    Comment posted on 14/12/2015 at 11:21.
  2. JR.
    Member
    Since: Apr 2013

    I haven’t played Rapture but I can’t think of anything else that jumps out for me this year as they have in previous years.

    I always enjoy the Assassins Creed soundtracks and Syndicate was no exception.

    The Uncharted theme and soundtrack is a classic but doesn’t really count as they are last gen games.

    I thought the soundtrack for Apotheon was pretty effective and I really liked the Grow Home soundtrack too.

    Comment posted on 14/12/2015 at 12:17.
    • MrYd
      Member
      Since: Mar 2011

      If people had voted the right way and we didn’t end up with the terrible Grow Home on PS+ that month, we might have all had Armello.

      Which also has some rather lovely music featuring Lisa Gerard.

      But EGttR wins because the music is more than just nice background music.

      Comment posted on 14/12/2015 at 13:00.
      • JR.
        Member
        Since: Apr 2013

        I was on the fence about whether to choose Armello or Grow Home but I’m glad I went with Grow Home. It’s one of those games that you think ‘WTF is this?!’ when you first start playing but once you get used to the mechanics, it’s really addictive/fun. I guess it was just nice to play something that wasn’t grey or brown or dark and angsty.

        It’s one of the few games I can think of where the thought of falling made me nervous. I don’t mind heights but this game made me feel faint at times. But… if you collect all the hidden stones you unlock the unlimited jet pack so you can fly wherever you want like Iron Man.

        Comment posted on 15/12/2015 at 12:59.
  3. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    I’ve not played Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture, so I can’t really comment on whether I like it or not. But I would have liked to see Splatoon and possibly Halo 5 on the list.

    I’m glad to see The Witcher there though.

    Xenoblade is another interesting and commendable one, with an eclectic mix of wonderful and weird (yet catchy) that makes a clear message of it sticking to it’s vision and not giving a rats arse whether you like it or not.

    Comment posted on 14/12/2015 at 12:58.
    • Dominic Leighton
      Member
      Since: Mar 2012

      I love the music in Xenoblade X – of course I’m the only person on the team to have played it…It is all over the shop, but then when you’re playing it for the length of time that it asks of you helps not to wear thin.

      Comment posted on 14/12/2015 at 13:33.
    • Stefan L
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      Well, if I had it all my way, Splatoon would’ve been in the top 5 list, but then everyone would’ve complained about Titan Souls, OlliOlli 2, etc. etc.

      And you should check the soundtrack out, definitely. Early 20th Century English Classical might not be your genre, of course, but we can’t all be perfect. ;)

      Comment posted on 14/12/2015 at 14:01.
      • Kennykazey
        Member
        Since: Mar 2010

        I’ll definitely be picking the game up at some point. And I’ll make sure to turn up the volume when I do.

        Comment posted on 14/12/2015 at 15:04.
  4. Jim Hargreaves
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    I’ve yet to properly play EGTTR but gave the soundtrack a go and it’s reeled me in.

    Good to see Until Dawn up there too, loved how the soundtrack helped to nail the atmosphere and setting.

    Comment posted on 14/12/2015 at 13:08.
  5. dirtiestturnip
    Member
    Since: Jan 2014

    I loved the soundtrack to EGTTR, I honestly think it made the game. Almost gives you shivers when you finish a section, and as you are following the lights to the next section you get a choir singing to you.

    Comment posted on 14/12/2015 at 13:12.
  6. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    I’ve actually only played one of the five you’ve listed here, but I’d like to give Life is Strange an honourable mention for a great soundtrack.

    A lot of good music there, which fit the story really well.

    Comment posted on 15/12/2015 at 13:34.
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
  • Developer:The Chinese Room
  • Publisher:Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Platforms:PS4
  • Release Date:11/08/15
11 hours ago
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