VGChartz's Top 50 Final Fantasy Songs (10 - 1) - ArticleTaneli Palola , posted on 28 October 2016 / 33,142 Views
We've finally made it to VGChartz's top 10 favourite Final Fantasy songs of all time. These are the ten songs that received the highest number of points during the voting, and they come from five different games that span three different console generations.
10. Otherworld – Final Fantasy X
It's very interesting that this is the first song from Final Fantasy X that we've seen in this top 50. And that's despite the game receiving more points than any other entry in the series. Naturally, that means you can look forward to seeing a few more songs from it in the top 10. Otherworld is one of the game's two vocal themes and this particular one plays twice over the course of the story. The first time is near the very beginning of the game, when Sin attacks Zanarkand and transports Tidus to Spira. The second one is near the end, during the last real boss fight inside Sin.
Otherworld is something of a departure from the series' usual music. A metal track accompanied by harsh vocals sung by Bill Muir, the song's lyrics have sometimes been interpreted as mirroring Tidus' journey throughout Final Fantasy X. It's an unusual song for both the series and Nobuo Uematsu, but no less effective for it, and its placement this high on the list shows the lasting impact it made on those who played Final Fantasy X.
9. A Fleeting Dream – Final Fantasy X
When Uematsu began composing the music for Final Fantasy X alongside Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakao, he realized that the inclusion of voice acting in the series would necessitate some changes for how the music was handled within the game. In the past the game's music alone had been largely responsible for elevating the drama and mood of a scene, but this time he could rely on the vocals to carry some of that responsibility as well.
A Fleeting Dream is one of several arrangements of the game's main vocal theme – Suteki Da Ne. The song is heard a few times, perhaps most notably in the ruins of Zanarkand when the party finally makes its way into the ancient city and towards the Final Aeon. It is a strikingly melancholic song, perfectly fitting the group's mood as it heads towards Lady Yunalesca and what will likely be its final moments together.
8. Fight On! - Final Fantasy VII
Perhaps moreso than any other game in the series, Final Fantasy VII's soundtracks is especially well known for its battle music. This is reflected in the selection of songs from the game that got into the top 50 (four out of its eight songs on this list are battle themes).
Fight On! is Final Fantasy VII's main boss battle theme and is heard during all of the game's boss fights except in ones against Hojo, Jenova, and Sephiroth. Over the years Fight On! has become one the most recognisable themes in the entire franchise, having been rearranged and performed live numerous times. The opening guitar riff especially has become one of the most easily identifiable musical sections in all of Final Fantasy.
7. You're Not Alone – Final Fantasy IX
You're Not Alone from Final Fantasy IX is one of the most effective songs in terms of emotional impact ever composed for the series. In the game the song begins just as its main protagonist Zidane reaches his lowest point. After numerous hints about his true nature earlier in the game, he has just been told the truth about his origin and the purpose of his existence by Garland, one of the title's main villains. This revelation is what ultimately breaks his spirit and leads him to shun and reject the people closest to him.
As the song plays in the background the player is forced to take on a series of increasingly difficult fights, initially with Zidane alone until his friends come to help him one by one, trying to snap him out of his trance. The song perfectly sums up the emotions and mood in these scenes, showing both Zidane's despair and the rest of the characters' compassion towards him, which is also reflected in the song's name. You're Not Alone is the highest ranked song from Final Fantasy IX.
6. Aerith's Theme – Final Fantasy VII
There are usually a few specific songs that are brought up time and again when discussing Final Fantasy character themes. Yet few are mentioned as often as the song that accompanies one of the series' most shocking and pivotal moments, namely Aerith's death. It is a startlingly effective scene, notable for its unexpected appearance that left many fans in shock. What made the scene truly magnificent, however, is its masterful use of music. It starts out with minimal background music, until right after Aerith is killed, when her theme begins playing as the camera follows the Holy materia down into the water.
The scene itself has become one of the most iconic in video game history, and Aerith's Theme has become almost equally as well known. Aerith's personality and story is translated wonderfully into music through this theme, and Nobuo Uematsu himself has said that the song is one his favourites from Final Fantasy VII.
5. Liberi Fatali – Final Fantasy VIII
First impressions are crucial as this is when the game needs to hook the player and keep them interested during what is often the game's slowest section. As such, it was imperative that the opening to Final Fantasy VIII was as effective as possible, and in terms of music it certainly was. To this day Liberi Fatali remains one of the most powerful opening themes in video game history.
The song's name, roughly translated as Fated Children in English, refers to the game's main cast and their connection to each other and the game's villains. The lyrics, sung in Latin by a full choir, make several references to the characters and hint at the game's storyline. Elements from the song were also included in several other themes in the game's soundtrack. It's an excellent piece of music that does a magnificent job at drawing the player into Final Fantasy VIII.
4. Suteki Da Ne – Final Fantasy X
Suteki Da Ne is an interesting vocal theme within the series, as it is one of the few that was not translated into English when the game was brought to the west. Previous themes such as Eyes On Me and Melodies of Life were either written in English from the start or translated during localization. Suteki Da Ne was different, possibly due to it being strongly influenced by Asian music and the game's overall strong Asian tone and style. Uematsu was also interested in Okinawan music at the time, and this played a large role in RIKKI being chosen as the singer for the theme.
Suteki Da Ne is essentially Final Fantasy X's main theme and its melody can be found in various other tracks within the game. The song itself plays during one of the game's most important scenes, when Yuna and Tidus share a romantic moment together in the Macalania Woods, while an orchestral version of it plays during the end credits.
3. One-Winged Angel – Final Fantasy VII
It's a rare feat when a piece of music from a video game practically transcends the game it is from, but a select few songs have been able to do just that, becoming widely known even among people who don't necessarily play video games. The Super Mario Bros. theme is an obvious example, but as far as music from Final Fantasy is concerned perhaps the strongest argument can be made for One-Winged Angel from Final Fantasy VII.
Another example of the power of this song is how it has basically replaced Those Chosen by the Planet as Sephiroth's official theme song, to the point that the former is rarely even brought up these days when talking about the character, despite it being his original character theme. Few songs can claim to have made as huge an impact on the collective memory of gamers everywhere than One-Winged Angel did nearly 20 years ago. It is easily among Nobuo Uematsu's most well known compositions, and has remained a huge fan-favourite ever since the game's original release.
2. Terra's Theme – Final Fantasy VI
The highest ranking song from Final Fantasy VI is the theme for Terra Branford, which is also the map theme for the world of balance and the game's main theme. As such various sections of the song are used in other songs on the soundtrack, usually during scenes focusing on Terra in some way. In addition, it is among the most well known and fondly remembered themes from the entire series.
Terra's Theme has a rather sombre melody at its core, echoing both Terra's storyline and in many ways the game itself. It feels like a song with a lot of weight behind it, with many different meanings buried inside. Yet there is also a constant undercurrent of hope that is always present. It's an excellent song that reflects the themes and the world of Final Fantasy VI remarkably well.
1. To Zanarkand – Final Fantasy X
When the voting for this top 50 began, there was never really any doubt which song would top the list in the end. To Zanarkand from Final Fantasy X was by far the most popular song from the very beginning, amassing nearly twice the amount of points as its closest competition. It also accounted for over half out of all the points FF X received; further proof, if any were needed, of its status as one of the series' most beloved songs.
To Zanarkand plays a few times during key moments in the game and is also rearranged several times throughout. It is, together with Suteki Da Ne, effectively the main theme of Final Fantasy X. The song serves as the introduction to the game's world, playing during the opening when the party is sitting around a campfire at the entrance of Zanarkand and about to start the final phase of its journey.
It also has an interesting history, as Uematsu had to convince the development team to use the song in specific scenes, but it wasn't until they tried it for the title's opening that they realized how well it actually worked in the game. It is certainly one of Uematsu's best works ever, and is number one on this countdown for good reasons.
And that is the end of the countdown. Are there any songs that you were surprised didn't make it onto the list? Feel free to share them in the comments section and, as always, thanks for reading.
Finally, here is a quick recap of the entire top 50:
- To Zanarkand (FF X)
- Terra's Theme (FF VI)
- One-Winged Angel (FF VII)
- Suteki Da Ne (FF X)
- Liberi Fatali (FF VIII)
- Aerith's Theme (FF VII)
- You're Not Alone (FF IX)
- Fight On! (FF VII)
- A Fleeting Dream (FF X)
- Otherworld (FF X)
- The Extreme (FF VIII)
- Rose of May (FF IX)
- The Decisive Battle (FF VI)
- Jenova (FF VII)
- Battle 1 (FF IX)
- Dancing Mad (FF VI)
- Force Your Way (FF VIII)
- Clash on the Big Bridge (FF V)
- Crossing Those Hills (FF IX)
- Eyes On Me (FF VIII)
- Cid's Theme (FF VII)
- Opening – Bombing Mission (FF VII)
- Price of Freedom (Crisis Core: FFVII)
- Divine Fire (FF Type-0)
- Judgement Day (FF VII)
- The Landing (FF VIII)
- Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec (FF VIII)
- Epitaph (FF VI)
- Sword of Fury (FF IX)
- Melodies of Life (FF IX)
- Home, Sweet Home (FF V)
- The Sunleth Waterscape (FF XIII)
- Final Fantasy (FF XII)
- Answers (FF XIV)
- Omnis Lacrima (FF XV)
- Unseen Abyss (FF XIII-2)
- Massive Explosion (Dissidia Final Fantasy Arcade)
- Raffaello Battle (FF Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon)
- Sound of the Wind (FF: Crystal Chronicles)
- Maybe I'm a Lion (FFVIII)
- The Wavering Blade (FF IX)
- Ravana's Theme (FF XIV)
- The Birth of God (FF VII)
- Love Grows (FF VIII)
- Aria di Mezzo Carattere (FF VI)
- Assault of the Silver Dragons (FF IX)
- The Darkness of Eternity (FF IX)
- Saber's Edge (FF XIII)
- Twilight Over Thanalan (FF XIV)
- Battle 2 (FF IV)