PushSquareSotD The Last of Us 1

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.

The Last of Us is a special game in a lot of ways, raising the bar on what could be expected out of graphical fidelity, animation, writing, and music. One of the most awarded games of all time, The Last Of Us has earned every single bit of praise it has received. And of the things that have cemented the legacy of Naughty Dog’s post apocalyptic journey is the music of composer Gustavo Santaolalla.

The Last of Us paints a dark, brutal, unforgiving world that could remove you from its equation at a moment’s notice. So how do you capture that musically? With tranquil, aching beauty of course. The score for this title is a sombre affair, but it always has time to stop and smell the roses. The music for the game helps colour the world in a way that very few, if any soundtracks have ever done before or since. The juxtaposition of a horrible world filled with monsters both human and inhuman set to the backdrop of a somber acoustic guitar – and sometimes nothing but that – offers a stark contrast that completely sells you on the vision of the game.

The hopefulness in the music helps instil a note of positivity into the experience of the game, too. There’s always something to strive for, a light at the end of the tunnel. Isn’t there? It can’t all be for nothing? Santaolalla’s music is sparse, but powerfully evocative, and is as much a character in the game as Joel or Ellie.

It is perhaps noteworthy that The Last of Us was Santaolalla’s first time scoring a game. This fresh perspective on an industry that has grown stale on occasion helped invigorate the title with an energy unlike anything seen before in a game. He is coming back to score the follow-up and we can only hope the soundtrack is half as good as this one was and is.

Only one more game left on the list of the ten best soundtracks of the decade now. What do you think it's going to be? Any guesses? Do you think it should have been The Last of Us? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.