Annual Game Music Awards 2017 – Scores of the Year


We are pleased to present the winners in the ‘Scores of the Year’ category of the Annual Game Music Awards 2017. These panel-voted, officially-recognised awards provide a thorough and wide-reaching recognition of achievement in game music over the last year. The panelists have selected their choices by carefully considering the merit of the game music created this year — as art and entertainment, as part of in-game experiences and as part of stand-alone albums. Congratulations to all winners, runners-up, and nominees. For our new Fan Favorite category, the winner was determined by the soundtrack that received the highest number of fan nominations.

Best Score — Traditional / Acoustic

NieR: Automata

MoNACA’s follow-up to their critically acclaimed NieR soundtrack continued the established style while bringing in both fresh faces and incorporating the music in a more dynamic way to really bring the world of NieR: Automata to life. -Don Kotowski


Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Other Nominations

So Let Us Melt

Best Score — Orchestral / Cinematic

Horizon Zero Dawn

Joris de Man, The Flight, Niels van der Leest, and Jonathan Williams, pooled their talents together to create the sweeping score to Horizon Zero Dawn.  Divided into four sections that mirror Aloy’s journey across a post-apocalyptic US, the composers brought together a range of instruments and styles for an amazingly cohesive and memorable soundtrack. – Emily McMillan



Gravity Rush 2

Other Nominations

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


Best Score — Rock / Electronic / Hybrid

Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2 owes its freshness to novel mechanics, a streetwise fashion sensibility, and not least to its genre-hopping soundtrack. Toru Minegishi and Shiho Fujii resume the collaboration that gave the first Splatoon so much of its character. Adding newcomer Ryo Nagamatsu, the composers dance between styles, producing an anarchic blend of hip-hop, ska-punk, and idol pop that remains with players long after the turf war ends. – Michael Hughes



Night in the Woods

Other Nominations

Blue Reflection
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
Nex Machina

Best Score — Chiptune / Retro

Sonic Mania

Tee Lopes’ soundtrack to Sonic Mania was both nostalgic and fresh, providing thoughtful remixes of classic Sonic tunes as well as incorporating new music that would fit right in if the game was released during Sonic’s Sega Genesis days. -Don Kotowski



Other Nominations

Blaster Master Zero
Cosmic Star Heroine


Best Score — Western Localisation

Persona 5

Shoji Meguro’s soundtrack to Persona 5 complemented both the Phantom Thieves’ daily life and their escapades in the Metaverse. Its amalgam of musical styles truly stole our hearts. -Don Kotowski



The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 3rd

Other Nominations

Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey
Yakuza 0
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana


Best Score — Fan Favorite

NieR: Automata

Keiichi Okabe, Keigo Hoashi and the rest of MONACA Studio brought NieR:Automata to life with an intriguing blend of orchestra, electronic, and vocal music. With its lyrics in futuristic languages, it sounds nothing like what we’ve heard in games before. In particular, the vocals add emotional and personal layers that suggest more story to uncover. All this, combined with themes from the first game, immerses the listener in the game’s unique world. –Guest writers Rozen and Reven contributed this soundtrack description to celebrate our first AGMA fan-favorite category



Other Nominations

Divinity Original Sin II
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Persona 5


Best Score — Writers’ Choice

What Remains of Edith Finch

Jeff Russo is no stranger to Hollywood, but after tackling his first game soundtrack with What Remains of Edith Finch, he has demonstrated his significant skill in the in the industry. The score to What Remains of Edith Finch is a core part of the game’s haunting beauty, mystery, and enchantment. –Emily McMillan


Divinity Original Sin II

Other Nominations

Atelier Lydie & Suelle
Hollow Knight
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap

Posted on February 6, 2018 by Emily McMillan. Last modified on February 6, 2018.

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About the Author

A native and lifelong Texan, I currently work in software education while contributing news, reviews, and interviews to VGMO on the side. I love the feeling that comes with the discovery of a brand new soundtrack, and always look forward to the next rekindling of that excitement. Outside of VGMO, I enjoy playing piano, listening to classical music and film scores, and trying to go unnoticed in any stealth RPG I can find.

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