Game of the Year 2012 – Soundtrack


Our Game Soundtrack of the Year 2012 is Journey by Austin Wintory. This beautiful orchestral soundtrack is at times tense, dramatic and thrilling while managing to convey a range of emotion through its subtlety and delicacy. It has such an integral part in what made Journey an unforgettable experience for so many that it seems neither the game nor the soundtrack could properly exist without the other.

Journey was perhaps an obvious choice. We’ve been championing it since the game’s release in the early springtime and we’re not the only ones. Amid so much critical acclaim, Journey has recently become the first game soundtrack ever to have the honour of a Grammy nomination.


It wasn’t a runaway winner though, as part of the voting process we considered a range of soundtracks – both original scores and compilations. The only criteria for nomination was that the soundtrack featured in a game that was released in 2012.

The wonderful music from Mass Effect 3 wasn’t too far behind in second place. That’s hardly a surprise, Clint Mansell’s (Requiem for a Dream) involvement alone almost guarantees quality but several composers also returned from their work on Mass Effect 2 DLC to complete the third game in the series’ dramatic score.

Third place went to Halo 4, with a musical score by Neil Davidge (Massive Attack).

Here’s our top five represented as a bar chart.


And here’s the final ranking of every game soundtrack which received at least one vote.

  1. Journey
  2. Mass Effect 3
  3. Halo 4
  4. Sound Shapes
  5. Velocity
  6. Asura’s Wrath
  7. Dishonored
  8. Super Hexagon
  9. Max Payne 3
  10. Rayman Origins (Vita)
  11. Metal Gear Solid HD
  12. Fez
  13. Kindgoms of Amalur: Reckoning


  1. Only game soundtrack I bought this year. By far and away the best game soundtrack for years. Since Rez, possibly.

  2. Strange, I don’t recall anything memorable about the Journey soundtrack, hence my vote went to Sound Shapes. Perhaps I’ll have to play it through again.

    WipEout 2048 had a decent soundtrack too but isn’t even there :(

    • There were some excellent soundtracks this year – Lumines Vita, Dyad and Hotline Miami too. It’s a shame there can only be so many that make the shortlist and only one winner, really!

      • Yeah, the Lumines Vita soundtrack is ace. Windowlicker, anyone? :P

    • Did you enjoy Journey, Youles? If not, that would explain why the soundtrack felt so unforgettable.

      For me, it’s such an integral part it’s phenomenal. Sure, it’s a “nice” soundtrack and particularly so for the games industry but when you couple it with the game (as you play through) it’s an interactive extravaganza of lush, soft sounds from melancholic chords to joyous, celebratory moments of pure heaven.

      Obviously if I was younger I’d have just said “it’s not crap” which means “awesome”, I believe. ;-)

      • I loved Journey, had a great experience – met some traveller half way through, reached the sumit with them, and then they sent me a friend request afterwards simply saying “Thank You”. It was fantastic, and I beleive I was fortunate enough to have experienced the game as it was intended, travelling through the conditions and perils together without being forced or directed, or without communication. I just don’t remember anything about the soundtrack, but obviously that’s not to say it was bad. ;)

        As I say I may try it again and pay more attention to the music!!

      • If you get a chance, fella, go for headphones and tell the outside world to piss off (if you get a chance to play through it again). ;-)

      • Ok matey, will do! ;)

  3. Great soundtrack, although I voted for Max Payne 3 :op

  4. Well deserved. It made the game in my opinion. Rayman Origins has a great soundtrack too, far better than Sound Shapes, at least in my head. But I guess being released last year impacted its votes.

    • I wouldn’t have thought of Rayman until I saw it on the list, but it was a very fitting soundtrack…although, wasn’t it technically a 2011 release?

    • Rayman Origin’s soundtrack is one of my all time favorites. I too think that Rayman lost a few votes because it’s been quite a while since it originally came out but it’s still nice to see that it gets some very deserved support.

  5. Nice to see Velocity and Ausura getting some love.

    • Asura’s soundtrack is fantastic, would’ve clearly been number one if everyone had played it as they did with Journey ;)

  6. My vote went to Journey, sometimes I scroll over the game on the XMB and leave it play it’s main theme for a few minutes.

  7. Velocity followed by ME3 for me. Not one track from Journey stuck with me.

  8. I SO nearly put down Botanicula as my soundtrack of the year but Journey juuuust edged it. Some excellent music this year though.

  9. I can’t help but think that Skyrim has been hard done by. Was it in last years category?

    • Skyrim was released in 2011 and we didn’t do soundtracks last year (but we should, this was a really popular category for votes!)

  10. Of the games I’ve played this year, there were four stand-out, truly brilliant soundtracks.
    Journey > Lumines > Soundshapes > Wipeout.

    Journey’s soundtrack is my most listened album this year according to my phone, it’s truly brilliant, and great to listen to as I walk across the city at dawn or when I’m writing up a report and want some nice background music.

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