Annual Game Music Awards 2018 – Scores of the Year


We are pleased to present the winners in the ‘Scores of the Year’ category of the Annual Game Music Awards 2018. These panel-voted, officially-recognized 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 Fan Favorite category, the winner was determined by the soundtrack that received the highest number of fan nominations.

Best Score — Traditional / Acoustic

Octopath Traveler

Yasunori Nishiki’s soundtrack to Octopath Traveler is packed with fresh melodic content and vibrant orchestration, all wrapped up in familiar JRPG soundtrack conventions. Each character, each town, each area’s battle has its own theme – and like on game soundtracks we grew up listening to, the themes invite us to fall in love with them.  



Other Nominations

Far Cry 5
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

Best Score — Orchestral / Cinematic

Monster Hunter: World

With Monster Hunter: World, in its most detailed depiction yet, takes the listener on a journey through exotic locales and against powerful foes with a gripping orchestral score that includes callbacks to previous scores in the series and exhilarating new battle themes.


God of War

Other Nominations

Detroit: Become Human


Best Score — Rock / Electronic / Hybrid

Tetris Effect

The shockingly wide variety of themes in Tetris Effect demonstrates composer Noboru Mutoh’s versatility; the quality of those themes demonstrates his ability. From hip-hop to rave to pop to classical, the score has influences from all over the world – as well as several eras of music. We can only hope to see Tetris Effect‘s soundtrack in storefronts at some point in the future!

Runner Up

The Red Strings Club

Other Nominations

Donut Country
The World Ends with You: Final Mix

Best Score — Chiptune / Retro


The amount of skill and thought that went into the soundtrack to Celeste is evident from the beginning to the end of the album. Each level theme that Lena Raine composed goes through a carefully written transformation, reflecting the player’s path through the level; meanwhile, the soundtrack as a whole reflects the player’s path through the entire game. However, the brilliance of Celeste‘s soundtrack is that the emotional journey embedded in the score comes across clearly – even without the game. 


Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

Other Nominations

The Messenger

Best Score — Western Localisation

The Alliance Alive

Masashi Hamauzu’s trademark textural ingenuity and electro-acoustic eclecticism run wilder than ever in The Alliance Alive, one of the most otherworldly and alluring JRPG soundtracks in recent memory.  Fans of Hamauzu’s rarer works (Musashiden II: Blade Master, Sigma Harmonics, etc.) will feel right at home.


Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk

Other Nominations

Valkyria Chronicles 4
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
428: Shibuya Scramble


Best Score — Fan Favorite

Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler‘s soundtrack is really something magical. It’s so hard to believe that it was the first major game composition project by Yasunori Nishiki, because it so perfectly captures that “x” factor that so many modern composers have failed to emulate from the older generations. When people say new game soundtracks don’t stand up the way they used to, the awe inspiring OST to Octopath Traveler is an indisputable rebuttal.

Guest writer FamilyJules7x contributed this soundtrack description to celebrate this year’s AGMA fan-favorite category



Other Nominations

God of War
Xenoblade 2: Torna, the Golden Country


Best Score — Writers’ Choice

Fighting EX Layer

Into the Breach

Both Fighting EX Layer and Into the Breach were equals in this battle for writer’s choice. With Fighting EX Layer, the team at Supersweep crafted an engaging soundscape with both a fresh perspective and a nostalgic air. For Into the Breach, Ben Prunty used an eclectic and judicious mix of instrumentation that resulted in a delightfully nuanced and complex soundtrack, rivaling his iconic work on FTL.



Other Nominations

Mega Man 11
Yoku’s Island Express

Posted on February 15, 2019 by Emily McMillan. Last modified on February 15, 2019.

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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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