Best Original Music Score of 2017

Best Original Music Score of 2017 - Article

by Taneli Palola , posted on 06 January 2018 / 4,160 Views

Music has always played an integral role in my personal enjoyment of any video game. A great soundtrack can elevate a game from being just another average or forgettable gameplay experience into something genuinely excellent, while a poor soundtrack can just as easily ruin what would otherwise be a perfectly acceptable game. Fortunately, 2017 has been a very good year for video game music, as we've seen more than just a few wonderful original scores come out of this year's video game releases.

Not only do some of the best scores of the year come familiar franchises - oftentimes trying out something quite different with their music and succeeding in the process - but a lot of them also come from entirely new places. However, as is always the case, only a few games can be fully recognised in these awards, and the following four games received the most votes to make it into this year's shortlist for the best original music score.


The Shortlist:


Nier: Automata



Persona 5



Super Mario Odyssey



The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild




The Winner:


Nier: Automata


Ultimately, the award for the best original music score of 2017 goes to Nier: Automata, which beat out some of the year's biggest and most acclaimed releases for this particular award. Composed by much of the same team that was responsible for the music in the original Nier, the music in Nier: Automata feels like a very direct continuation of the original's style. However, while elements of the score retained some of the quiet melancholy of Nier and its excellent soundtrack, Automata's score also incorporated various new elements that successfully conveyed the feel of the game's harsher themes and environments.

Additionally, vocals play a prominent role in much of the Automata's score, which another element that has carried over from the first Nier. The music in Nier: Automata emphasizes the game's atmosphere to a degree that very few other video game scores ever manage to do and fully deserves the honor of best original music score of 2017. 

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StokedUp (on 07 January 2018)

Nier Automata did have a beautiful soundtrack. Mario odyssey was just more of the same you expect

estebxx (on 06 January 2018)

Very deserved win for Nier Automata, the music was indeed top tier.

Masked_Muchaco (on 06 January 2018)

Cuphead deserved to be on list aswell imo.

Bandorr (on 07 January 2018)

In place of what? I am constantly seeing these X should be in there. But no one offers a replacement of what.

  • +1
Masked_Muchaco (on 07 January 2018)

Zelda BotW or Mario Odyssey. Don't get me wrong, both have great soundtracks, but Cuphead's was simply better imo.

  • +2
Pinkie_pie (on 06 January 2018)

All 4 are easily top 10 games of 2017

Seventizz (on 07 January 2018)

Umm, Cuphead? I know this site favours japanese gaming, but you could at least throw a bone at a great original score that Cuphead has.

Oneeee-Chan!!! (on 07 January 2018)

Nier Automata wins Best Score music at the Game Awards 2017 !

  • -1
ROCKY223 (on 07 January 2018)

I HONEStly think persona 5 deserved this category.The music in p5 is stellar and while the soundtrack of nier was awesome p5 had the best imo.Its really disappointing that botb p5 n nier aren't getting the proper spotlight they deserve, all thanks to nintendo.Don't get me wrong, i love nintendo and botw was incredible, haven't played odyssey yet but i don't believe that it can be better than p5 or nier automata at all.P5 stunned me cause of incredible it is in every aspect and niers gameplay was super addicting and super awesome.Well whateve anyone says these two games are my favourites of last year and p5 is one of my fav game ever

Hiku (on 07 January 2018)

The one difference that separates the Nier soundtrack from the P5 soundtrack is that Nier's "highs were higher" if you know what I mean? Weight of the World for example in particular. There's nothing quite so epic/beautiful/grandiose in P5 from what I have heard.

  • +3
ROCKY223 (on 07 January 2018)

YOu should play it yourself and find how masterfully atlus have recreated japan.Its scope is simply outstanding.It makes you immersed in the world and its lore and makes you a part of it.Niers world might be bigger in size but the scope of p5 crushed it imo.Still , i love these two games but for me is the better one overall

  • 0
Hiku (on 07 January 2018)

Well I was just talking about the soundtracks. "Beneath the Mask" from P5 is a fantastic and soothing overworld theme that I have on my playlist when I go out IRL. And the game is full of amazing atmospheric music. But there's nothing (to my knowledge) quite as grandiose as the example from Nier I gave earlier.

  • 0
ROCKY223 (on 07 January 2018)

Listen to blooming villain, its epic.Persona 5 has a great mix of light and heavy songs that work perfectly with the tone of the game.Blooming villain is my personal favourite

  • 0
Hiku (on 07 January 2018)

Yes I know. It was first played when you fight the boss of the first palace. I have that on my playlist as well. And it's also my favorites so far. Different songs invoke different types of emotion. Hype, fear, sadness, joy, etc. But some emotions are more difficult to invoke than others. Try listening to "Weight of the World (Emi Evans)" if you haven't. There are three versions I believe. English, Japanese and one in a made up language. The latter (made up language) is the best one imo, and it's the one you should find if you search using the phrase I wrote. There's nothing quite like that in P5 from what I've experienced so far.

  • 0
Hiku (on 06 January 2018)

As expected.

Azuren (on 06 January 2018)

I only came here to make sure you picked the right one. You did.

xenogears1234 (on 07 January 2018)

Persona 5 hands down this aint even a fair competition no offense to those other titles.

Liquid_faction (on 06 January 2018)

While I do like Nier's Soundtrack a lot, Persona was far more memorable imo. They're both good games though, and I can proudly say I own and completed both of them.

STARLEZZ (on 07 January 2018)

Xenoblade 2??????????

Bandorr (on 07 January 2018)

In place of what?

  • 0
Errorist76 (on 07 January 2018)

Definitely very epic from what I've heard.

  • 0
Valdath (on 07 January 2018)

My favorite OST ever.

Hynad (on 07 January 2018)

Persona 5's soundtrack was good, but you hear what, 5 themes repetitively all game long? Nier definitely has a much richer soundtrack.

deskpro2k3 (on 06 January 2018)

I can't hear you over the sound of my swag.

deskpro2k3 (on 07 January 2018)

haha, my swag hurt someones feelings.

  • -1
shikamaru317 (on 06 January 2018)

Sonic Mania is my soundtrack of the year winner personally, though Nier comes in at #2 for me.

Nuvendil (on 06 January 2018)

Xenoblade 2 not being on this list is a travesty. Unless it just missed the window for voting.

Pinkie_pie (on 06 January 2018)

Which of the 4 should xenoblade 2 replace?

  • +4
Nuvendil (on 07 January 2018)

Breath of the Wild, easily. It has some amazing tracks, no mistake. But it's OST is fairly minimalist. The power of BotW's audio design is the ambient sound, not the score so much.

Xenoblade 2, on the other hand, is bursting with exceptional sound tracks. Every town has an exceptional and fitting track, the boss themes are awesome, the epic cutscene music is thrilling, and every new region brings fantastic field music to the party. And the variety on display is huge.

  • +4
Kyuu (on 07 January 2018)

Yeah I'd definitely replace Zelda with either Xenoblade or Valkyria Revolution. Just because the latter sucked, the excellent soundtrack went unnoticed..

  • +1
OTBWY (on 06 January 2018)

No Xenoblade 2 on the list at least? Anyway, Nier has it. The first Nier game still has the best one for me.