We’re listing the ten best Soundtracks of the Decade. These are the ten PlayStation scores released over the past decade that we believe left the biggest impression on our sonic palettes. Whether it’s Journey's Grammy nominated masterpiece or Destiny’s 8 movement symphony, these are the soundtracks that hit the best notes across the last ten incredible years of gaming. Head here to see the complete series.
When it came time to pick the single best soundtrack of the decade, there was only ever one real choice. A soundtrack that evoked such strong feelings in gamers around the world. A soundtrack that to this day remains the only game soundtrack to receive a Grammy nomination. We are talking, of course, about Journey. Composed by Austin Wintory – a Push Square favorite – there is no score in gaming that better exemplifies the heights that game music can soar to.
There’s not a single note in the entire soundtrack that doesn’t feel impactful. The music plays an integral role in conveying pertinent information to the player when it comes to Journey. While most games have text or dialogue to help keep the player informed, Journey is textless, and there is no dialogue. Everything is instead conveyed visually or sonically. This puts greater emphasis on the art direction as well as the music, and both are more than up to the task.
Wintory’s score in particular is a delicate, emotionally resonant, erm, journey, that captures the spirit of the game in such an authentic, believable fashion, that it’s nigh impossible to not immediately fall in love with the music. The entire score is structured around those first few notes on 'Nascence', but it is executed to such an incredible degree, and with such nuance that every new track feels fresh and inviting. Even without a picture to put to the music, the emotions being conveyed are clear as a crisp, spring morning. The music speaks to you in a way that very few, if any, soundtracks have ever been able to and it’s deserving of every bit of praise it receives.
As you progress further and further through the game's sublime environments, the music steadily grows in complexity with you, all still off the back of those opening few notes. This all comes to an exquisite crescendo on 'Apotheosis', a culmination of all the notes and all the little moments you experienced along your voyage. The music swells as you soar higher and higher into the sky, your Journey at long last complete.
As that last note slowly fades out, so too does the knowledge that you have just witnessed a truly special game. A once-in-a-lifetime experience even. There was never another pick for the best soundtrack of the decade. It was always going to be Journey.
So there you have it! That concludes the list of the ten best PlayStation soundtracks of the past decade. Do you agree with at least some of our choices? Whittling an entire decade down to just ten soundtracks makes it impossible to please everyone, and we had to leave dozens and dozens of equally amazing soundtracks off the list. Let us know what your favorite soundtrack of the decade is in the comments.