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The five greatest Final Fantasy soundtracks

Distinguishing between Final Fantasy IV and VI is like choosing which child we love the most, but when we considered the size of the track list and overall emotional impact each score had on us, it was VI that won out. From the epic opening theme to the 20-minute finale, each track wrings out more musical splendor than any other game in the series. The boss music is fantastic of course, but it's the timeless "Dancing Mad" that truly encapsulates why this game's tunes rule.

Above: “Dancing Mad” is a gargantuan, full-scale musical powerhouse playing over three huge battles at the game’s end. The scope is beyond anything of the day, and remains unquestionably strong 16 years later

This track leads to the final confrontation with Kefka, where the music reaches its ultimate apex and you know, without a doubt, you are in the game's final battle. It doesn't stop there. Consider these for further evidence of this three-disc soundtrack’s brilliance:

Above: “Searching for Friends” acts as a new beginning and a fresh chance at hope for a world that’s been destroyed by the main villain

Above: “Battle to the Death” kicks off with an ominous beginning and quickly descends into a distorted-synth madness, tempered with a bit of brass and strings

Above: Roughing through the untamed expanse of “The Veldt” was extra enjoyable thanks to its hypnotic, almost cult-like beats

Above: Finally, we have just about the best piece of game music ever conceived, “Terra’s Theme.” No other VGM inspires such a feeling of wide-open adventure

Sadly, this article posts on the same day we heard Square had reportedly laid off its music team, most notably Masashi Hamauzu, the composer of Final Fantasy XIII. Unfortunate news, and if it’s true we hope the team finds new work elsewhere… and that Nobuo Uematsu stops by to score FFXV.

Mar 4, 2010

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