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Galuf
09-05-2016, 08:58 PM
Replaying V, i rememer why i put this in best OST of all time. 8 and 9 are close too but i really like the themes in FFV also Dear friends albums amazing. to prove my point, here is the Dear friends track i think represents it best (it gets better halfway):

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(btw thats Galuf Dorgann and Xezat in the picture, the reason Kelger aint there is no one liked him as kids)

Wolf Kanno
09-05-2016, 09:06 PM
Final Fantasy VI, in fact it's probably the games biggest strength that even detractors have to begrudgingly agree was not bad at all. Though FFV and VII are close seconds for me.

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Fynn
09-05-2016, 10:15 PM
Both Galuf and WK have a point. V and VI both have stand-out sountracks within the series, same with VII, but special mention I think goes to FFIX where Nobuo really went out of his way to introduce actual medieval arrangements to several themes to make the whole thing seem that much more mystical. Like in this track where we have the hocket (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hocket):

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Besides Nobuo's work, I really love the FFXIII soundtrack. The game is trash, but the music really couldn't be more beautiful, I think. It's a shame all the FFs Hsmauzu is involved in turn out to be weak in my eyes, because he is definitely one of my personal favorites. Blinded By Light gets me going every time for some reason.

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But yeah, it's really hard for me to choose just one, as FF is a series that has an amazing track record at the very least when it comes to music. I don't think there's a single numbered games that has a soundtrack that's any weaker than "very good".

Formalhaut
09-05-2016, 10:52 PM
Yeah, FFXIII's OST is one thing most everyone can agree on.

What else? Elements of FFX's OST is rather nice, especially re-orchestrated. FFX-2's OST is honestly nothing to write home about with the exception of a few boss themes. FFXII's OST is also rather forgettable, one of the main flaws of the game really, which is a shame because I really enjoy playing it. FFVII's OST is a classic, but nostalgia does help it in places.

Honestly, through the games I've played the best soundtrack overall is probably FFXIII's.

Fynn
09-05-2016, 10:57 PM
FFXII's is another one of the series' best, IMO. Sakimoto can write some amazing, sweeping tracks! Hell, Giza Plains speaks for itself!

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It's definitely one of the more ambitious soundtracks.

Galuf
09-05-2016, 11:02 PM
FFXII is kinda underrated. its ost, heck the game itself, is so different yet its great.
one thing that bugs me is when they play the shortened boss theme ugh so dumb...

Formalhaut
09-05-2016, 11:05 PM
It doesn't know subtlety at times, I feel. I mean, you're just traversing a desert or an early area and then there's a massive orchestrated soundtrack. It can sometimes feel out of place. There are a few bright spots, but overall, no tracks actually jump out at me.

Wolf Kanno
09-05-2016, 11:07 PM
I lump FFXII's OST with XIII and VIIIs: Great from a musical standpoint but largely forgettable as a an actual soundtrack. This is the problem Sakimoto and Hazuma have for me, as they do compose great music, but there just always seems to be a disconnect with what's actually happening on the screen versus their music for the scene for me. Their music is more background mood music than something that really enhances the moment like other soundtracks. Granted there are exceptions within their body of works, but overall I found many of their games to have forgettable soundtracks.

Fynn
09-06-2016, 06:54 AM
Maybe that's why I have no problem with them - memorability is not a criterion that I think determines the overall quality of a soundtrack :p

Also, as to the lack of subtlety, Formy - really?


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And I really don't get why you think the Estersand doesn't fit - it's your first location, a place of hope and adventure, with lots of happy cactoids running around. I think it's a perfect, majestic piece that is an integral part of this huge landscape.

The cool thing about FFXII's field tracks that was probably also their most challenging aspects was that, by design, they were meant to fit both exploration and battles to help facilitate that seamless experience. If you ask me, Sakimoti did a phenomenal job because I don't think there's a single field track that doesn't lend itself well to both.

Yeah, like Galuf said, FFXII's OST is criminally underrated.

Wolf Kanno
09-06-2016, 07:59 AM
It is underrated, but we're talking soundtracks, and for me, a piece needs to memorable in both being something I can hum along with and something that evokes the experience of the game. This usually works well in games like IV and VII because the music is used to add emotional depth to a scene. When you hear it, it should take you back to that opera scene or that fallen city in the rain. XII's OST is great for being background noise but doesn't lend itself well to infusing itself to the scenes itself. There's a disconnect. Same with FFXIII where barring the battle themes which all sound suspiciously similar, it's really hard to remember another track from it that can stand on equal ground to The Lunarians, Home Sweet Home, Terra's Theme and Those Chosen by the Planet.

On their own merits as a piece of music, they are great, but they are meant to serve as a part of a collective whole. Sadly, this role has been diminished over time with the series as the music is no longer really left up to enhancing a moment but instead being a cohesive but largely behind the scenes element of the game, that simply serves to compliment rather than take center stage and enhance the scenes. Ashe's Theme is a great them that really tells well for her character but for the life of me I could not tell you where it even played in the game. Worse is the fact that in games like FFX, XII, and XIII some of their best tracks are one-scene wonders that are all too short. My problem is that I prefer my soundtracks to stand out, not stay in the background, and sadly the majority of both their works are designed to stay in the background. I love FFXII's soundtrack but I would be lying if I didn't say that I felt FFTactics and Vagrant Story were better OSTs. Hell SMT1 and 2 (both by Sakimoto) have far more enduring themes that are still being remixed by newer composers at Atlus instead of changed.

Fynn
09-06-2016, 08:20 AM
Those were composed by Tsukasa Masuko, actually.

And what you're talking about is actually a natural progression that is logical for a game like FF, and it's not actually dependent on the composer - Uematsu's soundtrack to the Last Story is pretty much the same deal. Of course music is no longer center stage because designers rely more on cinematic scenes and voice acting to build their narrative and emotional impact on. For retro style games like Undertale or SMT it's still more about themes that stick with you as a direct reference to days gone by where the technology was weaker so you needed a good theme to make the music bearable.

Not saying either is better or worse, just different approaches that are the result of a natural progression in game design philosophy. Which is why I think soundtracks like XII's and XIII's should be judged on their own merits, taking into account the context that makes them what they are, rather than a raw juxtaposition with old titles and basing it all on how memorable the tracks are. Because damn it, of course The Lunarians are gonna be way more memorable because they sounded like shit so needed a melody that would stick. The things that make that track fantastic are just something totally different to what makes tracks like Dust to Dust fantastic.

Formalhaut
09-06-2016, 03:17 PM
Fair enough, To the Palace of Gods is a very good soundtrack, and I do agree FFXII's OST had to balance exploration and combat themes, something which it did well. And I will concede that the uplifting track does work for the first true area in the game, the Dalmasca Estersand.

Honestly, with subtlety I was mainly referring to The Giza Plains. It goes along nice enough, then kicks into an almost militaristic march with drums and and heavy beat. Which is fine in and of itself, but The Giza Plains always felt like filler. Not much really happens, and you have this booming soundtrack - which is very good - but feels out of place when you're just killing a Giza Rabbit. It's like overlaying boss theme music to a mook kill. It's hard to explain, and it looks like at this point we're going to have to disagree on this one!

I think the OST works best when you highlight set pieces. 'Esper Battle' is an amazing theme with choir and a looming sense of dread and fear which works perfectly. 'Ozmone Plains' I felt didn't sound overly dramatic for the area you were in, but 'Mosphoran Highwaste' felt - again - just a tad too dramatic. Though it doesn't feel as incongruous because it was a higher level area.

Overall, I definitely didn't dislike the OST, and I love FFXII, but I don't know. It just doesn't capture me like I'd have expected it to.

Karifean
09-07-2016, 12:17 AM
Final Fantasy VIII. No other FF had a set of tracks that etched itself into my memory quite like that one. I'm a massive sucker for organs and beautifully haunting pieces and this game has them in spades. And the hype music, man. The Stage Is Set, The Mission, Movin', Only a Plank Between One and Perdition, the list goes on. Stellar stuff.


It is underrated, but we're talking soundtracks, and for me, a piece needs to memorable in both being something I can hum along with and something that evokes the experience of the game. This usually works well in games like IV and VII because the music is used to add emotional depth to a scene. When you hear it, it should take you back to that opera scene or that fallen city in the rain. XII's OST is great for being background noise but doesn't lend itself well to infusing itself to the scenes itself. There's a disconnect.

IMO this is something XII actually did very well with area/dungeon themes. Every single one of them (besides Tchita Uplands, screw them) feels very distinct from all others both in aesthetic and music. I can think of any area in the game and the BGM immediately comes to mind. Even all the different mines and woods have a totally different feel to them, though a possible exception admittely might be the western deserts, at least pre-IZJS. Still, this is something XII is better at than any other game in the series, especially the SNES era where, albeit justified by hardware limitations, every similarly themed area felt the same.

I'll agree that the OST doesn't really capture particular story elements, but no other OST brings back the feeling of actually sitting down, playing the game and exploring the world that well.

Shiva95
09-07-2016, 02:09 PM
Final Fantasy VI. It's absolutely beautiful, and I feel like each characters' theme really represents the character, like we heard their past and their personality in the melody.

Fynn
09-07-2016, 02:14 PM
Final Fantasy VIII. No other FF had a set of tracks that etched itself into my memory quite like that one. I'm a massive sucker for organs and beautifully haunting pieces and this game has them in spades. And the hype music, man. The Stage Is Set, The Mission, Movin', Only a Plank Between One and Perdition, the list goes on. Stellar stuff.


It is underrated, but we're talking soundtracks, and for me, a piece needs to memorable in both being something I can hum along with and something that evokes the experience of the game. This usually works well in games like IV and VII because the music is used to add emotional depth to a scene. When you hear it, it should take you back to that opera scene or that fallen city in the rain. XII's OST is great for being background noise but doesn't lend itself well to infusing itself to the scenes itself. There's a disconnect.

IMO this is something XII actually did very well with area/dungeon themes. Every single one of them (besides Tchita Uplands, screw them) feels very distinct from all others both in aesthetic and music. I can think of any area in the game and the BGM immediately comes to mind. Even all the different mines and woods have a totally different feel to them, though a possible exception admittely might be the western deserts, at least pre-IZJS. Still, this is something XII is better at than any other game in the series, especially the SNES era where, albeit justified by hardware limitations, every similarly themed area felt the same.

I'll agree that the OST doesn't really capture particular story elements, but no other OST brings back the feeling of actually sitting down, playing the game and exploring the world that well.

Pretty much the turest statement on this thread. I don't think there's any other FF that gives all of its areas such an amount of personality through its music which is, incidentally, exactly what a good soundtrack should have.

Wolf Kanno
09-10-2016, 07:10 AM
Those were composed by Tsukasa Masuko, actually.

And what you're talking about is actually a natural progression that is logical for a game like FF, and it's not actually dependent on the composer - Uematsu's soundtrack to the Last Story is pretty much the same deal. Of course music is no longer center stage because designers rely more on cinematic scenes and voice acting to build their narrative and emotional impact on. For retro style games like Undertale or SMT it's still more about themes that stick with you as a direct reference to days gone by where the technology was weaker so you needed a good theme to make the music bearable.

Not saying either is better or worse, just different approaches that are the result of a natural progression in game design philosophy. Which is why I think soundtracks like XII's and XIII's should be judged on their own merits, taking into account the context that makes them what they are, rather than a raw juxtaposition with old titles and basing it all on how memorable the tracks are. Because damn it, of course The Lunarians are gonna be way more memorable because they sounded like trout so needed a melody that would stick. The things that make that track fantastic are just something totally different to what makes tracks like Dust to Dust fantastic.

Fair enough, but I am saying for me that if it came between the two styles, I prefer my themes to be a bit more than ambience, hence why I have a hard time enjoying XII and XIII's OST because they can't fulfill one of my requirements. They are still strong musical works on their own, but best OST to me signifies that I can place some requirements that allow me to ignore certain works. Even then I would point out that some series like the Silent Hill franchise and Persona have shown you can do both an atmospheric soundtrack along with a melody focused emotional pull style, so even then I would argue both games could have given us the best of both worlds.

Forsaken Lover
09-20-2016, 10:49 PM
Honestly, my choice changes based on my mood.

I think FFXII's OST is underrated but it's still nothing compared to the all time greats.

I also wish FFIV was getting more love in here. Come on, people! Battle With the Four Fiends? The best normal boss theme in the series? Red Wings? Theme of Love? Ingrates, the lot of you. Where would your precious FFV and VI be without FFIV's greatness?

But as for the top spot...I'll have to say either IX or XIII. IX has You're Not Alone, which very well might be the single greatest song in FF history and that's only the tip of the iceberg.

XIII has so many great tunes too that it's hard to pick one to single out. I'll probably go with this
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Absolutely beautiful. One of the great "sad songs" in FF history. In fact...I think I'll amke a topic on that.

But in the meantime, I also want to give a shoutout to XIII-2 which had a soundtrack as eclectic as the game itself. It was beautiful. You had rap, heavy metal, jazz, Latin choirs, piano solos... It had it all.
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maybee
09-21-2016, 09:07 AM
Going to vote for VI, IX and XIII's OSTs



IV, VIII and X for runner- ups.

Galuf
09-21-2016, 11:51 AM
FL mentioned all the great iv songs. Only one I can add is zeromus

Fox
09-21-2016, 02:25 PM
I will never understand the love for XIII's soundtrack. Not that it's bad or anything, but it has so little going for it in terms of interesting melodies. For me, XIII is a soundtrack that is 'nice to have in the background, but boring to listen to on its own'. With a few good exceptions of course such as Blinded by Light. XIII-2's soundtrack is a big improvement for me, although still a few levels below VI, VII, VIII, IX and X.

Of those, all are consistently high quality and all have their exceptional pieces. But overall I have to give it to FFIX, which is a masterclass in using leitmotif. IX is by far the strongest soundtrack when it comes to variations on a small number of themes to create emotional connections to those themes. But it also breaks away from time to time for an outstanding standalone piece like You're Not Alone or Hilda Garde.