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The Best Game Music Of 2011

JANUARY

January saw the PS3 release of Mass Effect 2 with a smashing score by Jack Wall. The music wonderfully blends large orchestral themes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTsD2FjmLsw

with emotional sweeping tones

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_VYakh37E4

to create a master piece of modern music that compliments Mass Effect 2 beautifully. An amazing soundtrack to an amazing game and one of the greatest Sci-fi soundtracks ever created in my opinion. You can find the OST on Amazon and iTunes.

FEBRUARY

Bulletstorm released as an Epic/EA hybrid and I wasn’t expecting much from it, but I was pleasantly surprised by the tongue-in-cheek writing, the over-the-top fun gameplay and the superb orchestral score. For a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, the soundtrack is quite sweeping and vast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqfB9OcKC_w

Due to Epic’s awesomeness you can grab the soundtrack for free on their site.

MARCH

Although Dragon Age 2 was arguably not as good as Dragon Age Origins, the soundtrack by Inon Zur was just as beautifully crafted as Origins.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIdIDK_dIoE

Dragon Age 2‘s score seemed much darker and seedier even though the gameplay of Origins was darker than the sequel. You can find the OST on Amazon and iTunes.

APRIL

April saw rise to Ubisoft’s brilliant XBLA game Outland with a soundtrack as epic as any other Triple A retail title. The score by Ari Pulkkinen compliments the platforming gameplay perfectly and draws you into the world, but unfortunately no OST has been released yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krE-agXmxyM&feature=related

Who could forget the Game of The Year for many sites, including Front Towards Gamer, Portal 2. This superbly crafted masterpiece had a quirky score of catchy themes that are just 100% lovavble. It’s a brilliant game through and through with a soundtrack that’s unique to its style.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st2d7IDaHic&feature=related[/youtube]

Because Valve is Valve you can get all three volumes of the Portal 2 soundtrack for free on their site.

JUNE

The 3DS re-release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time brought back the same beautiful soundtrack of the 90s. Even though it wasn’t remastered, the soundtrack hasn’t aged a day. It’s still as superb as it was back then. From orchestral thundering themes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKjEwQeGAEU&feature=related

to quick upbeat chimes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8GRDNU50b8&feature=related

it has a song for every occasion and delivers all of them brilliantly.

You can find the OST on Amazon.

JULY

Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade kicked off with Bastion by Super Giant Games which featured amazing gameplay, a beautiful look and a smashing score. The soundtrack featured beautifully sung songs and action packed wild west-esque tunes by Darren Korb.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svnhNtZNFao

You can find the OST on their Bandcamp.

OCTOBER

The soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is a perfect fit to the game and reminds me of The Lord of the Rings movie score. Inon Zur does a great job of channeling the feel of being in middle earth with a brilliantly dark tone and mood. Coupled with the stunning environments, you do feel like you’ve been transported into another world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNiLIuMHe64

You can find the OST on Amazon and iTunes.

NOVEMBER

Sonic Generations saw Sega trying to redefine Sonic rather than reinvent him. The game released to mostly good reviews but the soundtrack remained a tribute to Sonic games of old. The music is brilliantly modern while keeping true to the Sonic feel but unfortunately the OST isn’t available yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqVEl3oqW6c

Rayman Origins also made a big splash sound-wise, with a super upbeat soundtrack of tunes to compliment its vibrant stylized look.  The score reminded me of other super high paced games like Loco Roco that just make you happy. I can’t help but smile when I hear the cheerful tunes of Rayman Origins which also doesn’t have an available OST.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_m-50qXcLc

The PC release of Super Meat Boy unleashed the thumb numbing precision of Team Meat’s platformer to the mouse and keyboard. Scored by a hyper cheerful soundtrack by Danny Baranowsky, the soundtrack is so perfectly modern yet nostalgic, urging you to play on by pumping you up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlAQ8fdqoFA

The soundtrack and digital special edition soundtrack are available on Mr Baranowsky’s bandcamp.

Last but not least is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Endless praise has been sung about Bethesda‘s masterpiece including the soundtrack from choirs and orchestras composed by Jeremy Soule. The beautiful score draws you into the world of Skyrim with the sweeping music accompanying your journey across the vast landscape. At times I just stand still in Skyrim, sit back and listen to the ambient beauty that it has to offer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-_g8NZr1tA

You can find the four disc OST on direct song.