Games with best sound design...music and sound effects?
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wmf

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  Funny thing is how often DICE bragged about their software engine and in the case of BF3 even hyped it to death. Sure, the recordings are great but there is so much prebaking going on, especially with sounds just "playing" without having a direction, no matter how you turn your head. That's just pathetic but people are unfortunately easily fooled. 
 
Fortunately the new consoles will bring hardware audio back and from the hardware/performance potential there is more to get/have than Creative could ever dream of. Now it's up to the devs to utilize this power.
 
http://www.vgleaks.com/durango-sound-of-tomorrow/
there is prebaking and stuff, but with a good audio setup, those weapon sounds are pretty sick.  id also like to make mention of Metro Last Light.... great audio.  Fear 3 as well.
 
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Ghaunty22

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Having converted my PC primarily for music, I just use my monitors rather then an expensive 5.1 setup. I converted to 2.0 primarily as I hate 5.1 for home theatre & found the same for gaming.
Never liked headphones for on-line gaming or scary horror games. They feel more revealing but more claustrophobic & smothering . I like my ears free & space between my speakers. My neighbours can hear my playing CS:S while I hear footsteps.

My idea of good games with sound design was Far Cry with the insects & atmosphere of a jungle. The way the sound of a waterfall would realistically diminish with distance. I haven't played much newer made games since 07 So maybe times have changed & games have gotten far better?

I recently went back to some old stuff like Dark Fall - The Journal. The atmosphere is great & scary. Surprisingly the sounds in 2.0 can literally sound like their from behind.

I felt crysis 2 had some of the sharpest clarity in all the sounds. I was astounded with my monitors.

Amnesia seems like the game to play in 5.1 over 2.0.
 
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rockman2219

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For me it was always the Zero that made me feel uncomfortable with just its audio effects.
 
Guns in BF3 sounds really good but I noticed that they are not very good in letting you immerse in the environment, you will always need to look at the visual cue about where the gun fired at you or look at the mini map.
 
I still remember when COD MW first came out, I could runaway from grenades by just listening where it had landed. Very impressive.
 
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uziyourillusion

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Dont know if this was mentioned, but Black Mesa Source mod for Half Life 2, which is a Source recreation of Half Life 1. The sound and music are absolutely phenomenal. 
Have a listen and check out their homepage, the game is free if you download steam and install the source sdk I believe.
 
http://joelnielsen.bandcamp.com/ - lossless audio clips check out #11
 
http://www.blackmesasource.com/
 
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vid

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  Hmm maybe im getting this wrong but for me "best" sound design is when the soundtrack is great.
Generally the effects are enought level since year 2000 (gmaes like unreal tournament GOTY come to mind), and it depends more on how much time the sound team has to deliver the most refined sounds.
 
I'm still waiting for realistic synthesized-on-the-fly sound effects and speech that accurately consider not only the physical properties and orientations of the objects interacting but the architecture, objects, and materials of the scene through which the sound waves bounce both directly and indirectly towards the listener. Didn't have this in 2000 and I doubt we'll have it by 2020, either.
 
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jonyoo

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One that really impressed me back in 2010 was the soundFX from BF Bad Company 2. I played CoD Modern Warfare 2 and BF Bad Company 2 during the same time and while going back and forth from each game, I wished that there was a game with gameplay as fun as CoD with sound as good as BF. Both were really fun in their own way.
 
Games off the source engine, the FEAR series, and Crysis series were quite enjoyable as well. Wish I had time now to play as much as I did back then.
 
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reddyxm

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The Journey soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy.
 
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didactandnarpet

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Always really liked the atmosphere of the Dead Space series.  I was rather impressed with the sound design and quality all around.  Whether it be the sound of something clanging in the background or something scurrying overhead.  It never failed to put you on edge.  
 
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  The Thief series is my gold standard for good sound design in videogames. That goes for both positioning and the atmosphere set by the sound effects.
 
While the quality of sound samples used in games seems to be going up, actual positioning is taking a nosedive. I blame the prevalence of audio middleware with software mixers in the game development market for that; things used to be so much better back when A3D, DirectSound3D, and OpenAL were still in common use.
Came in here to post this.
 
Also, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. You have to edit the .ini file to get surround sound working, but it really makes a huge difference in that game.
If you played that game on mute it wouldn't even be half as creepy.
 
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AxelCloris

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