Owning the Future (Infamous: Second Son, Brain)
The Infamous games have tried to have music that reflect their characters or environments, and Second Son follows suit with the shift to Seattle. Alt-rock is pervasive throughout the game’s soundtrack, and of the different composers, Brain brings this across the best. Owning the Future represents Delsin at his most fun, when he’s unleashing his powers, both offensively and as a means to get around the city.
Debutante (No Man’s Sky, 65daysofstatic)
The first gameplay reveal of No Man’s Sky showed off a lot of cool stuff, from procedurally generated planets to exploration and space combat. 65daysofstatic’s guitar and percussion heavy song “Debutante” set the mood perfectly as Hello Games showed us what its galaxy had to offer. If No Man’s Sky is going to be filled with music like this, sign me up. Can that soundtrack come just a little bit faster?
Still Alive (Mirror’s Edge, Lisa Miskovsky)
The theme song for the original Mirror’s Edge is ridiculously good. The music is the perfect embodiment of freedom that you feel from running in real life and running as Faith in the game itself. Is the music good enough to make you think you can actually do parkour, even though you don’t actually know any? It gets there, yeah.
Gusty Garden Galaxy (Super Mario Galaxy, Koji Kondo)
Super Mario Galaxy’s soundtrack ticks all the boxes, but the theme for Gusty Garden Galaxy goes above and beyond. It feels simultaneously out of this world while also grounded, like a quaint tour through a space station. Of all of Kondo’s work, this piece of music definitely stands out as one of the best.
The Hunt is Coming (Witcher 3, Marcin Przybylowicz)
The battle of Kaer Morhen was one of the many excellent highlights of The Witcher 3, made even greater by the appearance of the titular Wild Hunt. With powerful allies (hopefully) at your side, you have to repel the spectral baddies and their forces at the Witcher training ground. It’s not easy, and the music definitely reflects the horde of evil that comes your way.