The end of the year is always a bright spot when it comes to writing. List articles can be an absolute blast to both write and read. Sure, you’ll probably see about a thousand of them during the closing month of 2022, so what’s one more, right? This list is here to talk about the very best PlayStation music we heard in 2022. While it’s simply not possible to touch upon every soundtrack deserving of mention, we’ve compiled what we think are the best of an already bright bunch. With a variety of sounds and compositional voices to explore, let’s get listing.
The relaxing nature of this wonderful game wouldn’t be the same without the delightful soundtrack courtesy of Jeff van Dyck. An interesting blend of acoustic elements and chiptune, the music is the absolute perfect accompaniment to the blissful experience of unboxing all manner of items and placing them throughout your new digital home.
Norco is an extraordinarily well-written game, and that’s a feature that extends beyond, well, the writing. The soundtrack, from the combined efforts of Thou and Gewgawly I, offers a surprisingly adaptable synth-heavy, ambient score that is able to deftly adapt to the game’s impressive range in tone.
The first Plague Tale featured on our soundtracks list back in 2019, so it’s perhaps not surprising that its sequel graces the list for 2022. Composer Olivier Deriviere returns to the series once again, bringing another brilliant soundtrack spilling over with powerful moments punctuated by driving strings and roaring choral melodies. Of particular note is the mastery with which tension is conveyed through the music — especially the string section.
Shedworks’ stunning cel-shaded exploration title finally found its way over to PlayStation just a scant few weeks ago, but it wasn’t a moment too soon. We need to mention the incredible work of Japanese Breakfast when it comes to crafting the soundtrack. With a great emphasis on piano ambient beauty, the score offers an odd cross-section; it’s like the traditional sound of Japanese Breakfast with a splash of Joe Hisaishi.
Bear McCreary brought a remarkable Nordic slant to the beloved music of the God of War series back in 2018, and he has picked up right where he left off with Ragnarok. Calling upon some of the familiar melodies from the last title — and series in general — while introducing a plethora of new themes and breathtaking moments, God of War continues to excel at basically all levels of video game brilliance.
Given the grimy nature of the walled city in which you find yourself confined, it’d perhaps be expected that Stray’s soundtrack would take on some kind of industrial lilt, perhaps influenced by the likes of Trent Reznor. This is why it’s both welcome and shocking that the OST from Yann Van Der Crussyen instead provides a score populated by beautiful ambience. Rather than revelling in the dark, dingy corners of the world, the soundtrack chooses to shine a brighter light on beauty and happiness. A daring, and brilliant, decision in the long run.
While it might have been slight on gameplay, The Artful Escape is absolutely brimming with incredible music. Navigating slyly between retro, folksy music into face-melting, guitar-shredding metal, the sonic palette of Beethoven & Dinosaur’s platformer is completely unhinged. Add to those sounds a traditional game score — from Johnny Galvatron and Josh Abrahams — comprised of an almost innumerable number of genres and influences, and the amount of incredible music on offer is eye-watering.
Much like with a couple of other titles on this list, Moss: Book II’s predecessor has appeared on one of these lists before. Jason Graves’ work on the first Moss was an incredible, poignant fantasy score. It was the perfect accompaniment to the delightful adventure that Quill the mouse found herself on. This very much remains the case with the sequel, as Graves uses the opportunity to return to this sandbox by increasing the repertoire of sounds. While the soundtrack remains a largely fantasy affair, the score isn’t afraid to look inwards, offering a plethora of sombre, emotionally profound moments.
Of course, this had to be on here. Even if the Soulsborne formula isn’t your idea of a good time, it’s hard to argue FromSoftware’s titles don’t have incredible soundtracks. To the surprise of no one, this remains the case with the studio’s foray into the open world. Offering a huge amount of wondrous ambient music that gives peak Elder Scrolls a run for its money, Elden Ring also continues the trend of delivering great boss music. While normally the boss music, is loud, epic, and in-your-face, Elden Ring mixes in opportunities for the boss music to be understated, sometimes downright beautiful. An unexpected, but most welcome inclusion.
Music and the significant role it can play in delivering a divine gaming experience is familiar territory to thatgamecompany. Each of its previous three titles — flOw, Flower, and Journey — represent some of the very best that game music has to offer. So much so that, a couple of years back, we even dubbed Journey the best game soundtrack of the decade. Sky sees Flower composer Vincent Diamante return, and with this comes an absolutely massive, multi-volume soundtrack packed to the brim with touching music. While the DNA of what made the Flower soundtrack so good is visible, Sky is very much an evolution of what came before, offering an expanded variety of sounds and styles, ultimately delivering the very best game soundtrack of the year.
No list is complete without a section for honourable mentions. Ten is simply not enough space to mention every soundtrack worth mentioning, so we’d like to throw that extra little bit of attention in the direction of a handful of other games that came oh so close to making the full list:
Metal: Hellsinger, Disney Dreamlight Valley, Cursed to Golf, A Musical Story, Neon White, We Are OFK, The Callisto Protocol
What do you think of the list? Which ones are missing that you think we should have included? Sound off in the comments section below.