An epic game score can stay with you long after you put down the controller, and 2023 had some of the most inspiring tracks to date. Most game releases have accompanying scores on Spotify and YouTube, allowing players the opportunity to bring the music of their favorite stories into their daily lives. Whether you’re picking up groceries or repainting the pantry, you can conquer your to-do lists with the triumphant strings of diving into Hyrule, the operatic choruses of bringing peace to Valisthea, or the heroic beats of swinging through Manhattan with some of this year’s scores. Some of the best composers in the gaming industry contributed to this year’s biggest hits, and all of our nominees make us excited to start doing our chores.
The Nominees Are…
Baldur’s Gate 3
Final Fantasy XVI
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
And the Winner Is….
Bethesda is somewhat known for its buggy games, but the music in Starfield was the most polished and expertly crafted score this year. Longtime Bethesda collaborator Inon Zur has composed for every Fallout game since Fallout 3, and Starfield manages to be his finest work so far. The entire score clocks in at around 5 and a half hours, which seems appropriate considering Starfield requires nearly 100 hours for players to have the “true experience.” Zur’s composition consists of a diverse array that ranges from introspective ambiance to intense battle music. One notable track that shows off the beauty of Starfield’s music is “First Flight,” which features a powerful mixture of horns and strings that sweeps listeners off their feet as their characters begin their journey. All of our nominees were strong contenders for this award, but the sheer emotion and sense of wonder in Starfield’s score still captivates us to this day, which is why we believe it deserves our number one spot. If you see us grocery shopping with headphones in, you can bet we’re letting Inon Zur take us to the stars.