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 odds are, if you’ve played Dark Souls, you remember the music. The gothic boldness of the music pervades just about every corner of the game, and the number of memorable tracks that appear are innumerable. The vast majority of these memorable tracks are tied to individual boss fights.This is true to such an extent that if a bossfight is mentioned, fans of the series can probably already hear the music playing.
The music is exceptional from top to bottom throughout the entire game, and even some of the boss fights that have practically turned into jokes – such as Pinwheel – have memorable themes tied to them. The music serves a further purpose in the game by helping to craft individual identities for each boss fight as you come across it, allowing encounters that were already memorable to be even moreso.
Now while the gameplay of the Souls series arguably went on to define an entire generation of gaming, with a plethora of successful and not so successful knock-offs, no one really has soundtracks quite like these games. Sure there are plenty of incredible scores, but none really come close to capturing the macabre richness of the arrangements of FromSoft’s crowning achievement.
Motoi Sakuraba’s score was an incredible ride upon the game’s release, and the impact has proven to be both lasting and wondrous. There are multiple tracks on this list that we consider to be among the best ever made for a video game, but nowhere is that more evident than on 'Nameless Song', the title’s credits track. Even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of the series, the music is good enough to warrant a quick peek. It takes something really special to linger in the way that Dark Souls has. What a ride.
There was never any doubt this game would be popping up in this list, but how do you feel about it? Is this one you'd have put on your list? Higher? Lower? Let us know in the comments.
Um...dunno about this one personally. Nice enough music, when it's playing, but I wouldn't put it in 3rd myself!
I could play it with the music off, at least Dark Souls II anyway; the atmosphere was that good.
Granted, I didn't play really far in, but I barely even remember any of its music. The examples provided in the article are OK, but nothing to write home about, imo.
Bloodborne had some decent Latin chanty music during boss fights, but, otherwise, ditto.
Hmm, no. I've put hundreds of hours into the series and none of the music has ever been more than background noise for me. In fact the weird chant type thing at bonfires is probably the only audio that I can vividly remember from any of the games.
I can't get behind this choice, unfortunately. If it was Bloodborne, yes. But Dark Souls 1? Eh.
Does this game even has music besides atmospheric sounds I think your love for this game blind your judgement
@RBMango I do love the Bloodborne soundtrack too. This series for that matter, I think the music's all incredible. I wish I felt the same about the games themselves given the popularity, but the music will have to be enough haha
@Shigurui Based on the comments, this might be the differentiating factor. I put almost no time into this game because I'm very far from considering myself a fan of "Souls-Borne" titles. So instead of having to pay attention to the game and combat itself, whenever my friends were playing it, my interest always lied with the music haha
@GKO900 That absolutely can't be because I kinda hate the game haha.
Music is the most subjective of art forms. This might not have been your personal pick (and nor is it mine) but hey, those embedded tracks sure are beautiful. And that's fair enough!
Bloodborne did it way better
@RogerRoger Nuh uh!
@gbanas92 Nuh uh, it isn't the most subjective of art forms, or nuh uh, I didn't agree with you for once...?
I was mostly going after art being subjective haha.
Hey, a disagreement was bound to happen eventually. I don't see a better place for it than whittling down an entire decade of music to just 10 albums!
@gbanas92 I know, I was just being a goof.
And absolutely! Life would be boring if we were all identical. You've already ignored my personal top ten (save RiME, of course) and are unlikely to change that with your forthcoming final two, so I'm just here to keep an open mind and enjoy a passionate advocation of your favourite things!
@RogerRoger Saying "nuh uh" as a defense was 100% serious on my part. Never been more serious in my entire life! hahaha
Oh, this list was completely done before #10 even went live. It's all written in stone! (At least someone else loves RiME though!) I'm not changin' anything! I wanna know your list too! Hit me with it!
@gbanas92 ...and what a defence! You should've been a lawyer.
Oh, I couldn't possibly rank my choices, although if you twisted my arm I'd probably put Christopher Drake's work on Batman: Arkham Origins at the top. It's a relentless powerhouse of a score, and delivers a constant atmosphere many other games can only dream of.
The rest (off the top of my head) would likely be Sonic Generations, Blood Stone 007, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Rayman Legends, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Detroit: Become Human, Virginia and obviously the aforementioned RiME... but in what order, I couldn't say!
If your top pick turns out to be Arkham Origins, I will travel any intercontinental distance to shake your hand, sir!
To echo the sentiment here: I can't recall a single bit of music from this game. Strange choice.
Hmm..I would say that From Software has some of the best sound design in the business. Soundtrack plus creatures and environmental noise all meld into one. I'll never forget the 8 seconds of "gong" like sound after stunning an enemy in Bloodborne followed by the ghostly cries of a Viceral attack! To me you have to be able to sing a soundtrack in your head outside of the game. This has never happened to me regarding a From Software title. I'm also slightly concerned by the overall youth of the titles so far. My number one soundtrack came out in 2014 and my number 2, 2011. I will not share my 2 favorites until all have been revealed as there is still hope that these 2 gems have not been forgotten. It certainly makes for great debate regardless of the winners.
@hookedWORM17 The melodies of Dark Souls are absolutely entrench in my mind, for what that's worth. Like I mentioned earlier in the comments though, I don't really like the game itself, and didn't spend much time with it, so my experience with the game almost entirely stems from its music, and I love it!
Also, the final 2 are both more than 5 years old! Although with the context of the decade, this and Death Stranding are the only ones from the recent end of the decade. Everything else is quite a lot older I'd say!
@RogerRoger now those are some deep cuts! that's a fascinating list not gonna lie! I will say, you don't have to worry about booking a plane to shake my hand hahaha. Look how wildly different that list is from mine! And then how wildly different in turn mine appears to be from the comments!
@gbanas92 - Yeah, I guess the music may have more of an impact to an observer though I'm sure a lot of players remember it well also. I'm just not one of them. I know when I first get to Firelink Shrine I'm like, oh yeah, that tune. The moment I leave though it's gone.
@Shigurui Yeah I've absolutely played games like that. I can think of more than one instance thinking how awesome a song was while playing and then trying to find it after playing only to be unable to pick it out of a lineup because, without the game, the music just stops sounding special!
@gbanas92 Aww, I was looking forward to the vacation!
All the dark souls games, demons souls, bloodborne all have amazing music.
@Shigurui it’s subtle, and a lot of it is perhaps sound design rather than traditional music.
If you played with it off you’d notice the worlds felt more empty.
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