The Best Final Fantasy Music

The Best Final Fantasy Music

Over the past couple of decades, Final Fantasy has done many things very well: stories, characters, art direction, chocobos, all that jazz. But one thing has always made Final Fantasy stand out among its peers: the music.

Most of the credit for that music goes to Nobuo Uematsu, the tremendously talented composer responsible for the beeps and bloops behind Square Enix's ubiquitous RPG series.

Uematsu turns 55 today, and on this Very Special Edition of Random Encounters, we're celebrating all he's done for RPGs by posting a bunch of his finest work. Below are some of the best tracks in Final Fantasy, presented in no particular order. (Feel free to post your own favourites in the comments, too.)

Final Fantasy - Prelude

Classic. The track that started it all.

Final Fantasy VII - Aeris's Theme


Final Fantasy IV - Troian Beauty

One of my favourites. Way underappreciated.

Final Fantasy IV - Boss Battle

This track is really good at pumping you up.

Final Fantasy VI - Epitaph

:( Poor Daryl.

Final Fantasy IX - Crossing Those Hills

Almost makes up for the crazy random encounter rate on the FFIX world map.

Final Fantasy V - Battle with Gilgamesh

Man, Gilgamesh is such a ridiculous series staple. I hope he shows up in FFXV.

Final Fantasy VI - Aria Di Mezzo Carattere

The Opera House scene is up there for Best RPG Scene Ever.

Final Fantasy VII - Cid's Theme

Regal, grand, wonderful.

Post your own favourites — and other Uematsu thoughts — below.

Random Encounters is a weekly column dedicated to all things JRPG. It runs every Friday at 3pm ET. You can reach Jason at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jasonschreier.


    I've been feeling nostalgic for the past week or so and have been fighting the urge to replaying some classics (too much of a backlog to get through). This does not help. X|

    Happy Birthday Nobuo my favourite composer and legend. =)

    Everything about the FFVI soundtrack is glorious. Forever Rachel, kefkas theme, boss music, Sabins theme its all fantastic.

    Also yes the opera scene is definitely one of the best scenes.

    WTF? Where's FF VIII's "Eyes on Me"? It should be at the top of the list!

      The thing is that people love to hate on FFVIII, I don't get it. I love everything about it, especially the broken as battle system

        Honestly I dont think its hate. Junction may have sucked but everything else was ok and thats the issue. It was just a steaming pile of mediocrity. Could just be me though........

          Junction itself didn't suck too much, it was the tedious draw mechanic that you had to abuse early on to make junction worth while. when you had access to more refinement magic and some spare cards laying around, stocking up on magic was far less of a hassle.

      FF8 has a great soundtrack overall. It's one of the best parts of the game.

    FFX's "To Zanakard" is nowhere to be found on this list.. Big mistake..

      There's a lot of music in FFX that is glorious.

    Yeah - I'm a big fan of FFIX's world map theme.

    I never really noticed this before, but is it just me or does Aria Di Mezzo Carattere share a thematic similarity to Aeris' Theme?

    No love for You Are Not Alone FFIX either :'(
    That said this list is pure opinion and as expected there are bound to be disagreements, not so much as "why is that piece even on the list" but more "why isn't this piece on there as well"

    I think that we can all be in agreement that the soundtracks from Final Fantasy games have generally been above average, even if you disliked the game it came from. Take Sunleth Waterscape FF13 for instance; I personally didn't hate the game (though I did acknowledge its problems) but its soundtrack was still top notch.
    Go even further back to Mystic Quest which is a hugely underrated game with a kick ass soundtrack that really should be covered more often.

    Terra's Theme from FFVI was my favourite thing about that game. Also Those Who Fight from FFVII (particularly the arrangement contained in FFVII:CC's Destiny Fulfilled).

    Erm... One Winged Angel?

    And nothing form FFVIII?

    <3 Blue Fields <3 My favourite world map theme from the series by far!

    Uematsu's birthday and limiting just to FF music? :( What about his Black Mages work? Or his new band, Earthbound Papas? Or the other soundtrack work he did?

    No FF8 music at all, so how about some Black Mages? Maybe I'm a Lion is one of the best Black Mages arrangements and has Nobuo rocking out on the organ for most of the piece as a bonus.

    Here's a re-arrangement of Threads of Fate from the anime Guin Saga which he wrote the score for, as performed by his current band, Earthbound Papas.

    And for something quite different, here's one of the tracks he contributed to Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory

    Answers, Memoro De La Stono and Distant Worlds are definitely my favourite songs within the FF franchise (all Nobuo Uematsu's work, too). There's just something... can't put my words into it, but there's something I really like about these songs. - Memoro De La Stono / Distant Worlds - Distant Worlds Concert - Answers - FFXIV

    Did he do FFX? Why is none of their songs in there? Aeris' song is lovely though

    Final Fantasy IV Prologue is my favourite.

    No "Saber's Edge" from Final Fantasy XIII?

    Not exactly Nobuo's work but still very Final-Fantasyesque.

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