Final Fantasy XV IS FINALLY HERE, this wait has been absolute torture. So, because we know right now all you want it everything Final Fantasy, we have you covered.
Square Enix’s most prolific game series is certainly a staple in any role-playing games fan and has constantly set high standards in its community, producing not just single player RPGs but MMOs, racing games, shooters, fighting games, even branching off into the world of film, anime, manga and novels. The rich story with unique characters is known by millions around the world making the Final Fantasy series one of the most beloved in its field.
While the gameplay, story and characters are huge elements to the series, its music is also a large part of the franchise’s popularity. The series has seen a few composers including Masashi Hamauzu, Hitoshi Sakimoto and Junya Nakano but arguably the musical heart of the series belongs to Nobuo Uematsu. As the chief music composer of the franchise, Uematsu has created some of the most iconic themes and pieces in video game history, making him one of the most influential composers in the videogames world and sometimes earning him the reference ‘the Beethoven if video games music’.
Bringing video game music to the mainstream classical scene, Uematsu appeared five times in the top 20 of Classic FM’s annual ‘Hall of Fame’. He has also performed at numerous Final Fantasy concerts around the world, with world-class orchestras playing his music.
- Final Fantasy XV Main Menu Theme – Yoko Shimomura
Beginning with the theme to the game we’re all waiting for, the main theme to Final Fantasy XV is an emotional piano and string piece written by Yoko Shimomura, another prolific video game composer along with Uematsu. She has already scored for Xenoblade Chronicles, Kingdom Hearts games and Street Fighter to name a few. The music of Final Fantasy XV is certainly in good hands.
- Opening Theme (Final Fantasy Theme) – Nobuo Uematsu
Though each game does have a unique sound and theme running through, this is the theme that ties all games together and is known as simply the theme to Final Fantasy. This theme can be heard in all of the games games in the series not including 2, 10 and 13 and has had countless remakes and re orchestrations of it. It is the most iconic theme in the series.
- Aerith’s’ Theme – Nobuo Uematsu
Accompanying what is probably what is the most emotional moment in the game series, Aerith’s Theme is another fan favourite for many different reasons. Some simply love the sweet and melancholy piece, for some it reminds them of their favourite character but most because it recalls an extremely important moment in the story that they love so much. No matter which version or orchestration it is, this piece is certainly an important one in the world of Final Fantasy.
- Eternity Memory of Lightwaves – Noriko Matsueda & Takahito Eguchi
Though not the most popular game of the series, Eternity Memory of Lightwaves from Final Fantasy X-2 certainly brings nostalgia to many Final Fantasy players. A beautiful and calming piece that appears on the title menu to the game that many players simply wait for it to finish before beginning to play. It’s the perfect accompaniment to main character Yuna and her soft, kind character.
- Chocobo Theme – Nobuo Uematsu
Like the opening theme, Chocobo Theme is more a reference to a music motif than a singular piece. This theme has had many variations throughout the Final Fantasy series referring to the yellow bird series mascot, a chocobo. The first appearance of the theme was in Final Fantasy II and has since been used in many other Final Fantasy titles. The theme has been arranged into classical guitar, piano, cafe-style and orchestral arrangements.
Here is ‘Swing do Chocobo‘ from the Distant Worlds Final Fantasy Concert
- Liberi Fatali – Nobuo Uematsu
A very popular and famous theme in the Final Fantasy world, Liberi Fatali is a chorus heavy orchestral powerhouse which was featured in the game’s intro and often played in live concerts of Final Fantasy music. Final Fantasy VIII, was set apart musically from many other games of its time in 1999 and Liberi Fatali was certainly unlike most game soundtracks around.
- You’re Not Alone – Nobuo Uematsu
From Final Fantasy IX, You’re Not Alone has become the unofficial theme of Zidane Tribal, the game’s protagonist and is a popular fan favourite. Though the game has a reputation for being one of the lighter games in terms of mood, this track give an introspective and emotional side to Zidane.
The original MIDI piece has since been transformed and arranged into different versions including arrangements for piano, classical guitar, chiptune and orchestra.
- The Promise – Masashi Hamauzu
Considered as the main theme of Final Fantasy XIII and with it’s theme appearing on later games, though opinions on the game differ, this track certainly deserves its place on the list. Beginning with a melancholy piano and harp, Hamauzu follows Uematsu’s steps, continuing on with soft orchestration to create the sound of the in-game title screen fans of the game know all too well.
- Opera “Maria and Draco” – Nobuo Uematsu and Yoshinori Kitase
Opera “Maria and Draco” appears in Final Fantasy VI, split up into four parts titled “Opening,” “Aria di Mezzo Carattere,” “The Wedding,” and “Grand Finale?”. You may think it rare to have an opera in a game, especially one made in the first half of the 90s and it is! It is pieces like this one that set the music of Final Fantasy apart from others.
The original and beloved synth original was ahead of it’s time in 1994, using audio processing units to represent the vocals. The piece has since been re-orchestrated and performed with real live musicians and vocalists, fulfilling the dreams of many fans of the original, creating a stunning musical event.
- To Zanarkand – Nobuo Uematsu
What is arguably the most well known and popular piece to come from the Final Fantasy series, most gamers have heard the wistful piano notes of To Zanarkand some time in their lives. A piece that is the favourite of many Final Fantasy and music fans alike, this piece begins the journey of the tenth instalment of the game series. If you haven’t heard this one before, you’re certainly missing out.
To celebrate the incredible music of Final Fantasy and the soon-release of XV, Heropoint has made a beautiful cover of the theme. Swapping piano and vocals for guitars, HeroPoint’s cover of the Final Fantasy XV Theme still stays true to the beautiful, melancholy sound of the original. A beautiful instrumental cover of a wonderful song that will make Final Fantasy fans cry from all the ~emotions~. The perfect track to get you in the mood for the game!