By Jonathan Falu / January 24th, 2017
2012: Xenoblade Chronicles
2013: Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F
2014: Shovel Knight
While some games have just one song that can catch your attention, it’s important they have more than just that to keep the player engaged. After all, just about anyone would get tired of hearing the same song used over and over in one battle and would like something new. Fortunately, there are plenty of good soundtracks accompanying the games of 2016. Much like with the “Best Song” award, the battle for the “Best Music” was hard fought. But we do indeed have five games that shined with their excellent music!
So without further ado, these are the final five video games for Operation Rainfall’s “Best Music” award!
NA Release Date: July 14, 2016
Platform(s): PC, Steam
Muv-Luv contains a nice variety of songs due to being a visual novel and possessing many characters, especially with intimate scenes. Arguably one of the best songs, however, was the ending theme to Muv-Luv Unlimited, “Harukanaru Furusato no Uta.” Even William in his review of Muv-Luv admitted to this being one of the best songs in the entire game. And it’s very easy to see with, how it all sounds and the lyrics as well.
Megadimension Neptunia V-II
NA Release Date: February 2, 2016
Platform(s): PlayStation 4. Steam
Then there is Megadimension Neptunia V-II. The soundtrack is energetic, with songs carrying very fast tempo to it. It helps keeps the player energized throughout fights, with songs even dedicated to showing the danger in some battles. The songs tend to range from battle themes filled with plenty of rock, peppy exploration music, and a surprisingly somber piano track for the more sadder moments. Story sections also have their own opening and closing themes, leading to many great and varied songs.
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus
NA Release Date: March 15, 2016
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation TV, PlayStation Vita
Senran Kagura has always possessed quite a good soundtrack in previous games, and Estival Versus is no exception to that. It changes the themes for all the characters, some of which to help fit into the new setting the game takes place in. Some in particular like the Mikaruga Sisters have themes that work wonderfully with fast and catchy beats. Renka in particular includes the use of drums to help amplify her theme song, which also nearly made it to the top of our “Best Song” list! All the music feels appropriate whenever something happens, whether it be from the story taking things seriously (or being silly), to the fast-paced action after you manage to make your character do a Shinobi Transformation. It’s one of the reasons I make sure to transform as soon as possible, just to hear certain songs as I tear through waves and waves of enemy shinobi!
Final Fantasy XV
NA Release Date: November 29, 2016
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Final Fantasy XV boasts quite a good soundtrack! One of my personal favorites is definitely the summon theme. While not even lasting a full minute, they help highlight the sheer size and power of each summon in the game by making it all the grander. It really helps sell the idea that these are indeed beings far beyond the power of some of the strongest creatures you face in the game. The music also shifts quite a lot in combat as well, from when your first begin, to even if you are doing badly in a fight, highlighting the extreme danger that comes from dragging out the battle for too long. Yet for all the drama, there are also a few goofy themes thrown in too here and there, like when camping. Though my personal favorite still remains the delightfully cheery Chocobo theme. It helps soothe the soul even when traveling at night where a bunch of demons or Courels could corner me; the latter definitely happened once.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 2
NA Release Date: September 6, 2016
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, PlayStation TV, PlayStation Vita
Trails of Cold Steel 2 on the other hand, while not surpassing the original’s score, carried with it plenty of songs as well. We already covered “Transcend Beat” as one of the best songs of the year, but there are plenty more! A lot of the songs carry high-energy electronic themes, some rock songs, calm ambiance, grand orchestral themes, and many more. “Law of the Battlefield” in particular is a great song to show just how serious the situation is within the game. Even songs from the first game come back, if a bit changed as well. It’s certainly a soundtrack that doesn’t disappoint!
And our number one game that possesses the best music is…
Final Fantasy XV
While the game does feature a ton of songs from the original Final Fantasy games such as “One Winged Angel” and “Dancing Mad”, those are not why Final Fantasy XV won this award, especially when they can only be played in car rides or with the mp3 player that must be bought. Final Fantasy XV blends several good themes into an epic package, from the godly summon theme, to even the silly and cheery Chocobo theme when riding the big bird! It’s all good fun, and excellent enough to make it to the top our “Best Music” list of 2016!
Final Fantasy 15JRPGMegadimension Neptunia VIIMusoumuv-luvOpRainfall AwardsRole Playing GameSenran Kagura: Estival VersusThe Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IIvisual novel