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Best Games to Test Surround Sound

  • 7 min read

Every serious gamer knows that one of the most essential components to immersion in the world of a game is its sound design. To best capture a game’s sound, you’ll need a theater-quality dynamic surround sound system. Surround sound technology allows you to experience a soundscape from the front, back and sides. With a system that has wireless speakers and limitless configurations, gaming in surround sound offers you a multichannel way to experience different sounds all at the same time. 

Whether you’re gaming on an Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, or an older console, you’re going to want to play as the game designers intended, fully enveloped in the amazingly complex worlds depicted on-screen. Here are some recommendations for the best games to play on your surround sound system.

Recent Game Releases

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales(2020)

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (2020)

One of the better superhero games on the market, Spider-Man: Miles Moralesreceived rave reviews when it came out last year. Play as Miles Morales, a teenage web-slinger and mentee to the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker.

With epic fights against both a corrupt corporation and a high-tech criminal army known as the “Underground”, this game offers countless hours of high-wire, action-packed fun.

But perhaps the game’s most underrated aspect is its 3D audio mix, which makes you feel as though you’re really flying through New York City. There are honking cabs, cooing pigeons, astonished, gasping pedestrians––no sonic detail was overlooked in this game. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War(2020)

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (2020)

The newest iteration of the classic shooter, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is also one of the franchise’s best. In campaign mode, your mission is to hunt down a Soviet spy code-named “Perseus”, and your pursuit takes you all over the globe. Played in surround sound, war has never felt more anxiety-producing or chaotically real.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla (2020)

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla (2020)

The latest installment in the epic Assassin’s Creed series, Valhalla continues the franchise’s trend toward role-playing. Much like Origins and Odyssey, this one leans more on open-world adventure, rather than stealth marauding...but what an open world it is!

Set during the Viking expansion across Europe, the game mostly takes place in Anglo-Saxon England, though parts of Scandinavia are occasionally featured. The graphics are amazing, but it’s the sound that makes this game one of the best in the Assassin’s Creedcatalogue. There’s nothing quite like hearing a Viking war cry in surround sound.

Cyberpunk 2077(2020)

Cyberpunk 2077 (2020)

Despite the controversy surrounding this blockbuster game, Cyberpunk 2077is still remarkable for many reasons. First among these is its strong sound design and captivating score. The game’s setting, the futuristic and fascinating Night City, is incredible from a sound perspective.

Dialogue, music, and strange noises greet you from bar and club doorways, and that strange clattering coming from the alley has the potential to lead to an epic side mission....or epic danger.

Ghost of Tsushima (2020)

Ghost of Tsushima (2020)

In this magnificent stealth adventure, you play as Jin Sakai, a noble samurai who must defend the Japanese island of Tsushima against a Mongol invasion. Inspired by the films of Akira Kurosawa, this game was hailed as a remarkably accurate depiction of life in feudal Japan.

The accuracy especially comes through with the game’s breathtaking score, composed by Ilan Eshkeri & Shigeru Umebayashia. When it comes to world immersion, Ghost of Tsushimais hard to beat.

NBA 2K 21 (2020)

NBA 2K 21 (2020)

The 22nd installment of the great basketball series doesn’t disappoint, as all your favorites modes of play, including MyCareer, MyTeam, and Franchise, are back and better than ever. But, it’s the soundtrack where 2K 2021really shines. Featuring some of the best artists in the rap game, you’ll be bobbing your head as you customize a player, GM a team, or beat your friends online. 

Borderlands 3(2020)

Borderlands 3 (2020)

One of the sillier shooters out there, don’t let Borderlands 3 lighthearted approach fool you: this game is awesome. Featuring memorable characters, exquisitely stylized graphics, and blisteringly fast-paced action, this game lives up to the Borderlands name, and takes the once-decent sound experience to a whole new level.

The sound mix on this game is a vast upgrade from the previous franchise installations, with SFX, music and voice acting so dynamic that getting immersed is almost too easy.

That said, it is the combat sounds that are the most jarring upgrade. Hearing your enemies gaining on you from all sides, AND being able to recognize the weapons they are using as they approach is nothing short of hair raising, especially the first time you play. 

Death Stranding(2019)

Death Stranding (2019)

It probably comes as no surprise that Hideo Kojima’s newest masterpiece made it onto this list. However, the true genius behind this game may very well be composer Ludvig Forssell, who brings true depth and dynamism with his haunting score.

The synth-heavy orchestration is so distinct that it’ll be buzzing around your head for months after gameplay has finished. Death Stranding really illustrates how evocative and memorable music, played on your surround sound system, can be.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order(2019)

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (2019)

It’s always a tall order for an iconic franchise to make the leap from the silver screen to a video game console. Still, this iteration of Star Wars force-jumps its way there with aplomb. Lightsabers hum and crackle, robots like BD-1 chirrup and Twitter, and blasters ricochet with amazing sonic richness. George Lucas is no doubt proud of this one. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)

When Tomb Raider made the opposite transition from video game to movie, fans were skeptical, and with good reason. While the films have received mixed reviews, there’s basically unanimous consensus on this game: it sounds amazing.

The story follows Lara Croft as she travels to the mythical city of Paititi. Along the way, she must battle a shadowy paramilitary organization called Trinity, and enters a race to stop a Mayan apocalyptic prophecy she has accidentally set in motion. From dense jungles to bustling cities, the game’s aural environments are beyond dynamic and rich. 

Classic Games

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice(2017)

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (2017)

A truly one-of-a-kind game, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice follows a Pictish warrior’s odyssey through a Nordic-inspired Hell. Senua, the game’s heroine, is in the grips of some kind of psychosis––a dozen different voices cascade through her head, and the sonic complexity is truly remarkable.

Heard in surround sound, you’ll feel Senua’s plight––she must travel to Hell to retrieve the soul of her deceased lover. Play this game and experience her journey as if it’s your own...if you dare. 

Dark Souls 3(2016)

Dark Souls 3 (2016)

Legendarily challenging, this game is unique because there is no musical score until you arrive at the game’s iconic boss battle scenes. That said, do not for one second think you aren’t immersed in a full soundscape from the first moment of play.

From bone-chilling wind, to creepy far-off footsteps, and the distant chanting of priests––the sound is almost a character in the game, creating an eerie, fantastical atmosphere. Dark Souls 3 is a game perfect for the most dedicated of gamers with an incredible sound set-up.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End(2016)

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2016)

This globe-trotting epic continues Nathan Drake’s fortune-hunting adventures. Taking place several years after Uncharted 3, Drake finds himself pursuing a historical conspiracy centered around a fabled pirate treasure. But it’s the sound that really makes this game.

Featuring field-recordings of island animal-life, this game perfectly captures the whoosh of air, the call of birds, and the crash of falling rock. Be warned: with sound this dynamic, it might be hard to tell where you end and where Nathan begins.

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt (2015)

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt (2015)

With The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, game developer CD Projekt Red brings us one of the most intricate, fully-formed gaming worlds ever created. Hailed an instant classic when it arrived in 2015, the game has aged beyond gracefully.

Inspired by Slavic folklore, when you play, you’ll travel as monster slayer Geralt of Rivia through a mystical world packed to the gills with polyphonic sounds––monster screeches, well-rendered dialogue, and mythical folk tunes, just to name a few. Utilizing both full orchestras and some of Europe’s most talented folk musicians, it’s really no wonder this game is one of the most awarded of all time.

Alien Isolation(2014) Alien Isolation (2014)

Slightly older but a classic nevertheless, here’s one you absolutely have to play in the dark. A survival horror game set in outer space, Alien Isolation is a thrilling, heart-pumping, wild ride.

Based on the sci-fi film series, the game takes place 15 years after the events of Ridley Scott’s Alien(1979), the first installment of the legendary franchise. A dynamic surround sound system truly makes this game, as there’s nothing quite as nerve-wracking as the soft-then-loud scurrying of an alien hell-bent on destroying you.

The Last of Us(2013) The Last of Us (2013)

This game is a go-to if its moody atmosphere, rich dialogue, and exquisite voice acting you seek. Set in a world ravaged by a deadly pandemic, the game follows Joel, a bodyguard-for-hire, and Ellie, the 14-year-old girl he has been paid to protect.

It’s a brutal journey across a desolate American landscape, complete with zombified humans popping up with the intention of murdering our protagonists throughout their journey. It features one of the most nuanced gaming plots of the decade, and you’re going to want all of its unnerving sounds to wash over you.

Battlefield 4(2013)

Battlefield 4 (2013)

This game played in surround sound gets you as close as you can get to a battlefield without joining the military. A hail of bullets flying in all directions, a rocket whizzing overhead, the kaboom of a nearby grenade––your ears will ring with polyphonic chaos. If you’re looking for authenticity in gaming, it doesn’t get much better than the Battlefield series. 

Bioshock(2007)

Bioshock (2007)

An oldie but a goodie. One of the cerebral games ever made, it follows an everyman protagonist, Jack, who crash-lands in the ocean and winds up in the underwater city of Rapture.

Everything seems to have gone wrong in this supposedly utopian town, and your job is to escape it––that is, if you can survive the giant clanking Big Daddies and ghoulish Little Sisters trying to destroy you at every turn. This incredible game is made even more incredible by the complete immersion that only surround sound can provide.

Final Thoughts

Still wondering if a surround system could bring your gaming experience to new heights? The answer is a resounding yes! If you want true immersion into your virtual world, without distraction, you need a system that you can configure to suit your needs and your environment.

The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to bring that full-range, cinematic sound to your home. The CineHome PRO delivers an all-in-one 5.1 solution and THX-certified dynamics. Shop Enclave today. 

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