Tears, fears and Doggos: Best PlayStation games of the past decade (2010 - 2019)

Best video game soundtracks


DOOM Slayer

Source: Bethesda (Image credit: Source: Bethesda)

While imagery of demons, horrifying ghouls, and excessive gore have been heavy metal staples for quite some time, it wasn't until the original DOOM dropped in 1993 that players got the beautiful marriage of these elements in video game form that led to the creation of one of the most iconic first-person shooters of all time. Now in 2019, DOOM is synonymous with heavy metal, thanks in no small part to the absolutely crushing soundtrack from Mick Gordon for DOOM 2016. Mick managed to take some of the heavy metal cliches of old and reinvent them for modern audiences with music that was not only fitting of the violence but genuinely unique and identifiable. There's a damn good reason "Rip & Tear" has remained in the gym playlist for over three years now. -Miles Dompier

2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim's soundtrack is iconic and instantly recognizable. There are times when I'll even play the soundtrack while cleaning the house. All of its music, whether you're fighting a dragon or simply wandering the vast mountains and valleys, serves a purpose. If you ever aspire to make a fantasy-themed soundtrack, this is the greatness that you should be aiming for. It's simply sublime on every level, perfectly capturing the essence of the titular continent and its people. -Jennifer Locke

3. God of War

From epic, sweeping Nordic tracks to more quiet, morose, mournful tunes, the soundtrack in God of War is never anything short of excellent. From the moment the game was introduced with a live orchestra in 2016, Bear McCreary composed a soundtrack that would perfectly match this incredible journey that players would undertake. It backs up emotional moments as Kratos comforts his son and incredible moments as gods pummel each other and tranquil environments radiate sheer beauty, all with equal care and awe. -Samuel Tolbert

4. Destiny (series)

It's fair to say that life after Halo hasn't been unkind to Bungie, with Destiny becoming a globally beloved IP that continues to pull in the players as we end the decade. The open world, the lore, and the gameplay mechanics are all parts of Destiny that are universally and frequently praised. However, there's another aspect to Destiny that deserves its moment in the spotlight. The soundtrack is ever-present, delighting the ears while immersing in the world of Destiny, haunting at times, but always generating splendor and atmosphere aplenty. The soundtrack is never something you wish wasn't there, it's so seamlessly integrated into the experience. -Richard Devine

5. Death Stranding

A lot of Death Stranding is meandering on purpose. You play Sam Porter Bridges, a man tasked with crossing the country to unite isolated communities after a world-ending catastrophe. Most of the time you're drenched in silence with nothing but the sound of your footsteps and heavy breathing to fill the void. However, every so often you unlock a song. These tracks, often credited to Low Roar but featuring other artists, are beautiful and meditative, but also uplifting in a hard-to-pin-down way. These tracks, coupled with the sometimes dreadful score, create an environment that feels purposeful. There's a lot of complex feelings here, but it all relates to a complex and sometimes confounding game. -Carli Velocci

6. Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn's soundtrack is full of sweeping choruses that truly encapsulate the immense beauty and scale of the game. It combines elements of older, simpler music with that of instruments that evoke our sense of wonder at technology. Themes of nature vs machinery clash in a way that sounds heavenly. There's not a moment in HZD where you won't be in awe of its soundtrack. I'm listening to it right now as I write this. -Jennifer Locke

7. Bastion

I didn't know the power of a great game soundtrack until I played Bastion. This game from Supergiant, which came out in 2011, is the total package. It has a great story, haunting narration, dynamic and bright graphics, but most of all, a soundtrack that lifts each of these elements. Darren Korb, who composed a lot of music for Supergiant's catalog, understands the themes at the core of Bastion — how a calamity is inevitable, but we can rebuild anyway — and works it into the score and songs. It all feels both somber and hopeful, filled with soft acoustic guitars and hard chords that sound like the act of building. Nearly a decade after release, the soundtrack still hits all the right notes. -Carli Velocci

8. Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

There's a reason that people keep wanting composer Jesper Kyd to come back to the Assassin's Creed series. The songs he composes are just that good. "Ezio's Family" in particular has practically become the theme song for the franchise, and even though it first debuted in Assassin's Creed 2, it continued to bring music to our ears in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. You feel really for Ezio's journey listening to that song, and Jesper Kyd knew how to transport you back to the Italian Renaissance. The entire soundtrack is phenomenal. -Jennifer Locke

9. NieR: Automata

The soundtrack in NieR: Automata was composed by Keiichi Okabe and is some of his finest work. From low, soft wails and peaceful tunes to something approaching brutal techno and sweeping, epic orchestrals, the tracks are never anything less than amazing and segue into each other beautifully. During hacking segments, retro-based sounds are used, replacing the myriad music players think they've gotten used to, which provide incredible variety. All of this culminates during the end credits in a massive version of the game's main tune, with variations that include English, Japanese and an invented language for each of the game's different ending routes. -Samuel Tolbert

10. Kingdom Hearts 3

How many other soundtracks can combine elements of our favorite Disney properties? Not many. This one has fast-paced action music to get your blood pumping, beautiful medleys, and somber notes for some of its heavier scenes. Music, like the characters themselves, is part of the bread and butter of Kingdom Hearts — the nostalgia in this one certainly helps. Where the game disappointed so many fans, at least the soundtrack slapped. So that counts for something. -Jennifer Locke

AC Staff