Sunday, December 27, 2020

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2020 Awards - Top Five Best Original Soundtracks

Welcome once again to the yearly tradition: the SuperPhillip Central Best Of Awards, and it's back this year with the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2020 Awards, where we detail the best and brightest in gaming in the past year. 2020 has been an especially tough year, so there's not too much to celebrate about--save for most of the video games listed in the coming days in this awards ceremony. What follows this year is a collection of top five lists for each category of nominees and one final top ten to count down SPC's Game of the Year--this last top ten will be on New Year's Eve. With all this out of the way, let's get to the first awards category!

Good video game music is something that can have you humming along as you play, but truly great video game music is something that sticks with you long after you put down the controller--it accentuates and elevates a game to remarkable levels. Although calling something "great music" is highly subjective, I hope you'll agree that the games and music shared (when available for the latter) on this first awards category in the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2020 Awards are of a strong quality! One final note: licensed music from games like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 do NOT qualify for this list. It must be original music, whether remixed, rearranged, or wholly new. Now, let's get to the winners this year.

5) Ori and the Will of the Wisps (XB1, NSW, PC)

Let's kick off both this countdown and the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2020 Awards proper with a game that is as equally gorgeous visually as it is aurally. It's Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and composer Gareth Coker crafted an exceptionally emotional soundtrack that hits you right in the feels. In the soundtrack there are songs that are mellow, songs that evoke intensity, songs that bring upon feelings of sadness and melancholy, but make no mistake--all of it is tremendous. It's the perfect musical complement to Ori's moving and riveting adventure.

Main Theme

A Shine Upon Inkwater Marsh

Kwolok's Hollow

Escaping a Foul Presence

Mora the Spider

4) Paper Mario: The Origami King (NSW)

We move from Ori to a more familiar character in gaming, and I don't think I'm understating that. It's Mario, well Mario in paper form with the eclectic sounds of Paper Mario: The Origami King for the Nintendo Switch. Whether listening to the whimsical and delightful overworld themes or rocking it out to the many battle themes featured in the game, Paper Mario: The Origami King's soundtrack is catchy, super and stupendous with its amazing quality. 

Picnic Road

Vellumental Battle

Autumn Mountain

Sweet Sap Loggins Theme

Origami Castle

3) Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (NSW)

Koei Tecmo's team of composers once more delivers unto listeners magnificent music with their Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity soundtrack. The orchestral goodness and bombastic tones pulsate through battle as Link and acquaintances hack and slash their way through battlefield after battlefield. Whereas The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had mostly a more subdued soundtrack--which worked wonderfully for that game--Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity brings lots of bold brass, stirring strings, and musical content old and new alike. A sensational soundtrack for a sensational Musou game.

Overlooking Hyrule - Prelude to Calamity (Map)

The Champion Mipha

The Champion Daruk

Sooga, Right Hand of the Inverted Eye (Phase 2)

The Knight Who Seals the Darkness

2) Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (NSW)

Now it's [Reyn] time for a rearranged and remixed original soundtrack. Most of the music heard in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition got a whole new lease on life with new instrumentation, better sound quality, and much more, making it qualify for this list. Plus, who can resist listing the excellence that is the Xenoblade Chronicles soundtrack whenever possible?! Regardless, alongside familiar favorites with brand-new versions like Gaur Plain and You Will Know Our Names, the all-new epilogue Future Connected features never-before-heard music. One such highlight is the disco-esque version of Xenoblade Chronicles' battle theme: Time to Fight! All in all, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition's soundtrack invokes so many emotions, all very, very good, and that says something to the exceptional quality of the music on display here.


Gaur Plain

You Will Know Our Names

Engage the Enemy

Time to Fight! (Bionis' Shoulder)

1) Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)

A collection of composers led by Final Fantasy VII's original musical mastermind contributed to Final Fantasy VII Remake's overall soundtrack, and the results speak for themselves. However, permit me to speak for the soundtrack regardless, as a one-sentence paragraph for SPC's Original Soundtrack of 2020 wouldn't do this music justice! Final Fantasy VII Remake's soundtrack is a mix of old and new content, but even still, the old content in the form of familiar themes like Bombing Mission, Aerith's Theme, and the incomparable One-Winged Angel have new, orchestrated life breathed into them, giving each a fresh and utterly incredible sound. New tracks and remixes such as Ignition Flame, Whispers' Theme, and more fit in well with the soundtrack, all creating a truly profound and divine listening experience. There was no question for me which game soundtrack was going to take the top prize this year, and Final Fantasy VII Remake is that game.


Stay tuned tomorrow for a double dose of awards categories when we take a look at both the Top Five Platformers of 2020 and the Top Five Remakes/Remasters of 2020, as the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2020 Awards continues! See you then!

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