A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about my love for movie soundtracks. In the comments, Joseph Richardson mentioned video game soundtracks, and I realized I had missed an entire genre of awesomeness. Although other games have wonderful soundtracks (and I will want your comments to inform me of specifics!), for me, it’s always about Final Fantasy. (And some Kingdom Hearts, because FF characters are included in the gameplay.) Click on the links to listen to the songs on YouTube.
1. “Main Theme” – Final Fantasy VII
For me, video games begin and end with Final Fantasy VII. So does my taste in video game music. The slightly ominous beginning builds to an epic melody that will, for me, forever be synonymous with exploration and adventure. Check out an orchestral performance of the song here.
2. “To Zanarkand” – Final Fantasy X
This is just one of the most beautiful piano pieces to ever exist. The fun part of soundtracks is that I never know whether the emotions they invoke are due to the music itself or to the scene in which it played. Regardless, this song always makes me feel melancholy in the best way, a combination of peace and nostalgia that makes me want to gaze into the sunset.
3. “The Price of Freedom” – Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core
Apparently all my favorites pull on the heartstrings. Crisis Core itself was one big sobfest for me, and this song, with an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and a violin, gets me every time.
4. “Passion” – Kingdom Hearts II
I like the orchestral version of this song best, and like all good theme songs, this one soars and gets quiet, leading you through the emotions of the game in just six and a half minutes. That central brass melody! Agh!
5. “Prelude” – Final Fantasy VII
I can, and have, listened to this on repeat for hours. When I used to play video games for hours on end, my mom would get upset, not with me wasting my life, but because of the repetitive music. But with songs like these, I loved it.
6. “Cid’s Theme” – Final Fantasy VII
Again, the emotions of this song are all mixed up with the gameplay. I can’t listen to this without feeling like I’m taking to the sky. There’s no grander feeling than that, or this song.
7. “Suteki Da Ne” – Final Fantasy X
I’ve reached the part of the list where the combined weight of all these amazing songs is making me fall over from emotions, and this one is definitely the tipping point. With gorgeous lyrics that I can’t understand, the singer’s voice becomes one more instrument in this absolutely beautiful piece.
8. “Freya’s Theme” – Final Fantasy IX
This song ought to be played while standing on a windswept moor in Scotland. If that image appeals to you, so will this song.
9. “Liberi Fatali” – Final Fantasy VIII
When I first played Final Fantasy VIII, the dramatic chanting kind of terrified me. There is still an eleven-year-old girl inside of me whose heart seizes up in love and horror during this song, and the intensity of that feeling earns it a spot on my list.
10. “Ami” – Final Fantasy VIII
Another good song to leave on repeat in the background. It’s simple, sweet, and just a little bit inspiring.
I’m sure I missed many excellent Final Fantasy songs – which are your favorite? And what other video games have awesome soundtracks that I should check out? Leave a comment and let me know!