All of the Best Video Game Music of 2011

It's been a lot of fun cataloguing and recognizing the best video game music of the year. We've gone from AAA blockbusters to indie games, sweeping melodies to ambient synths, heroic themes to dread-soaked atmospherics. Some of the games built music into their gameworlds, while others brought in full orchestras and… » 1/02/12 5:00pm 1/02/12 5:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: Readers' Choice

We've already recognized a whole bunch of the best game soundtracks of 2011. But of course, there are only so many hours in the day—only so much time to play games, and one can only write about so many game soundtracks. » 12/30/11 8:00pm 12/30/11 8:00pm

The (Actual) Best Game Music of 2011: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

And so we come to the end of our "Best Game Music of 2011" series, where tradition dictates we crown a victor. I'm only half-serious, of course; it's all but impossible to say what the best anything is, and that's doubly true of something as ephemeral and subjective as music. But all the same, Jim Guthrie's soundtrack… » 12/29/11 8:00pm 12/29/11 8:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: Bastion

Bastion snuck up on me—I had heard a lot of friends and fellow critics hyping it after seeing it at PAX East and GDC, but I didn't actually play it until it was released. For the first hour or so, I wasn't sold, but as the story snowballed and the levels stretched out, I fell increasingly under its spell. » 12/28/11 8:00pm 12/28/11 8:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: Make Your Readers' Choice Nominations!

We're coming to the conclusion of our Best Game Music of 2011 series—there are only two games left! I've been having a lot of fun writing these, and thanks to Luke and Evan for their entries as well. » 12/28/11 2:00pm 12/28/11 2:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: Rayman: Origins

Listen: the first thing you need to know about the music in the newest Rayman game is that it's got some kickass virtuoso kazoo playing. » 12/27/11 12:00pm 12/27/11 12:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: Minecraft

Despite the fact that many folks have been playing Minecraft since the fall of 2010, I'm counting it as a 2011 game. After all, 2011 was the year that it saw a full retail release, and it was also the year that I finally sat down and really played it. » 12/26/11 8:00pm 12/26/11 8:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is perhaps the most compelling argument yet for "Video Game as Concert Piece." As a game, it is a smartly designed interlocking series of puzzles, an ever-more-complex world filled with hidden secrets and challenging combat that unfolds with a uniquely Zelda-y sense of joyous… » 12/23/11 2:00pm 12/23/11 2:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: The Binding of Isaac

We've done a lot of big-budget games so far in our Best Video Game Music of 2011 series, but there were some great indie soundtracks released, as well. One of the very best of those was Danny Baranowsky's dangerous, dark, synthy work on the Zelda-esque roguelike The Binding of Isaac. » 12/22/11 8:00pm 12/22/11 8:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: Skyrim

Believe it or not, Skyrim was not necessarily a shoo-in for our list of the best video game music of 2011. Epic first-person open world games can get into murky territory with their music, especially if the music plays too often. » 12/21/11 10:00pm 12/21/11 10:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: Total War: Shogun 2

Total War: Shogun 2 may look and sound for all the world like the latest in a long line of reasonably bland strategy strategy games. As most grand strategy games are. Removing the player from the action to such an abstract level tends to rob the genre of its potential to truly immerse you in the spirit of the war,… » 12/20/11 12:00am 12/20/11 12:00am

The Best Game Music of 2011: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I liked a whole lot of things about Deus Ex: Human Revolution, chief among them the way it felt like a loving tribute to so many different games that I love. It successfully combined a ton of familiar mechanics— Metal Gear-style stealth, Mass Effect-style dialogue, Deus Ex-style open levels, and even L.A. Noire-style… » 12/19/11 8:00pm 12/19/11 8:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: LittleBigPlanet 2

As a game, LittleBigPlanet 2 was all about motion and physics. It was a Rube Goldbergian dream diorama, a series of flipping levers, bouncing springs, swinging doorways and tumbling blocks. The game had a heavy thunkiness to it that unfortunately was its undoing in the gameplay department—it was so dependent on its… » 12/16/11 10:00pm 12/16/11 10:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: Portal 2

Portal 2 comes in near the top of a lot of critics' "Best of 2011" lists—it was a joyously brainy, well-written and brilliantly designed puzzle game. I have a soft spot for it partly because it inspired me to break out my dominoes and write the most fun game review I've ever written. But I also love how musical Portal… » 12/15/11 10:00pm 12/15/11 10:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: inFamous 2

Sucker Punch made a very interesting, very good choice in choosing to set their follow up to inFamous in a fictional recreation of post-disaster New Orleans. The first game had a lot going for it—I've always thought it was underrated—but, its setting was not one of them. Our own Evan Narcisse has described inFamous as… » 12/14/11 10:00pm 12/14/11 10:00pm

The Best Game Music of 2011: L.A. Noire

I figured I'd like the L.A. Noire soundtrack before I even heard it—here we had noir-style detective game set in the late 1940s, and so you just knew it was going to feature a bunch of great jazz. Rockstar is known for the licensed soundtracks of the Grand Theft Auto games, but with Bully and Red Dead Redemption, they… » 12/13/11 8:00pm 12/13/11 8:00pm