-I talk about some of the games on this list in great detail. I bring up major character deaths and story points, so read at your own discretion……. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!-
Nothing beats playing a great RPG. It’s like comfort food for me. My wife thinks they’re dumb, BUT WHAT DOES SHE KNOW! Starting out with a clean slate, setting off on a grand adventure. That sense of discovery and growth you get is second to none in gaming. One of my favorite things about them is the music, they can have the most epic songs and they can also have some of the most relaxing. Finding a new town to stock up on items and hearing the town theme for the first time is an indescribable feeling. The list I’ve compiled is random, there’s a menu song on this list, and a farming simulator…. but dammit it’s my list so I’ll do what I want! It’s a mishmash of Town Themes, Overworld Themes and anywhere in between. There’s plenty more I could add (honestly I could have made a top ten list of songs from just one of these games alone), but I wanted to narrow it down to the ten I love from 10 different games I love (I know, I’m guilty, most of these are Squaresoft, I can’t help it if they’re awesome). Also, if you haven’t played any of these games, go play them right now, they’re all fantastic. Anyways, let’s get to it!
#10 Menu – Secret of Evermore
Here’s that awesome menu song. It’s so soothing, and all you have to do is press start to listen to it. This game needs to see a Virtual Console release at some point. With the coming release of the Seiken Densetsu Collection (which you can read about here), maybe it will be popular enough to convince Square Enix to do a Secret of Evermore re-release. Then we can all just sit around listening to this….. and maybe play the game too.
#9 Can You Fly, Sister – Seiken Densetsu 3
Speaking of Seiken Densetsu, this song plays anytime you hop on the back of your flying companion Flammie. It goes into full Mode 7 and it’s just fun to fly around, having this song play. I could do it for hours and never get bored. Until my wife tells me to get off and ruins all the fun.
#8 Main Theme – Skies of Arcadia
The Dreamcast has plenty of memorable games, and this is one I would love to play again. This song is full of soul and emotion. It reminds me a lot of Grandia. Just how enthusiastic the party is and the carefree sense of adventure they all have. It also saw a release on the Gamecube but it isn’t cheap if you’re looking for a copy. They’re usually around $50-$100 on Ebay. If you’ve got the spare cash though it’s totally worth the investment. You won’t be disappointed.
#7 Opening – Harvest Moon
I know it’s not your typical RPG, but you know, you’re playing the role of a farmer in a game…….soooooo. This game consumed my life for quite some time. Whenever I hear this song it takes me back. Back to a time when I would raise my livestock, tend to my crops and just relax. Once I had a full farm going though the days got pretty overwhelming, tending to all those damn crops and animals…..
#6 Terra’s Theme – Final Fantasy 6
Final Fantasy 6 has plenty of memorable moments. The Opera scene, Kefka destroying the world, Kefka himself, the death of Cian’s family, did I mention Kefka? It also has a memorable Overworld Theme for the World of Balance. Terra’s Theme not only plays when you’re traveling but it plays at certain key parts in the game. They’ve even included it in Final Fantasy 14; when you ride the Magitek Mount, this song plays. It’s epic and beautiful. It’s hard not to whistle it after you’ve heard it.
#5 The Edge of the World – Grandia
Grandia is huge. When you reach this point in the story where Justin and his crew make it to the “End of the World” you’re only about half way through the game. It feels like you’ve been playing way longer. You’ve climbed all the way up this giant wall, camping out every now and then. After what seems like an eternity, you make it to the top, you’re treated to an amazing view, the music plays and it really feels like the game has just begun. It’s a powerful moment that is well earned.
#4 The Poem For Everyone’s Souls – Persona 3/Persona Series
When you first enter the Velvet Room, you’re introduced to Igor…. again. Igor is a recurring character in the games, and judging by the Persona 5 trailer, he’s going to be back again. The purpose of the Velvet Room is for managing your Personas and using them in Fusion. This song plays in there. It’s beautiful and melancholic. Fits the creepy atmosphere of the game perfectly.
#3 Strange World – Marching Through The Fields – Dragon Quest 8
I’ve recently started playing this again and man the soundtrack is so good. My favorite part however is just going into the field and having this play. It gives the game a grand sense of scale, it makes you feel like you’re on this giant adventure with a guy named Yangus……and you are… and it’s amazing.
#2 Truce Village 1000 AD – Chrono Trigger
Definitely one of the most memorable soundtracks for sure. When you walk out of Crono’s house for the first time, you’re met with this song. It’s beautiful. It definitely struck a “chord” with me. Get it?… No?.. What’s that? I’m lame? Ok moving on.
Shower of Blossoms – Star Ocean: The Second Story
The Town of Cross is where this plays. The Star Ocean games have always had great soundtracks, this song is definitely one of my favorites. In the newest Star Ocean game on PS4, I prefer using the Valkyrie Profile soundtrack for the battles. It sounds like the classic Star Ocean music and it makes me feel all warm and nostalgic inside.
Aerith’s Theme – Final Fantasy 7
The death of Aeris had a huge impact on me when I first played Final Fantasy 7. There are other main character deaths that effected me (Galuf – FF 5, Josef – FF 2, Vivi – FF 9 the list goes on), but having the use of CG to convey the moment, when Cloud lets Aeris sink into the water, it’s all kinds of emotional. Maybe (definitely), just maybe (most definitely), it had me shedding some man tears. That’s why it didn’t make the list “officially”, it’s also why we don’t play it in the house anymore. Too many man tears.
#1 Balamb Garden – Final Fantasy 8
Balamb Garden is the one song that’s always playing in the car and MP3 player in Final Fantasy 15. As soon as I found out that was going to be a thing, I just knew I was going to love that game. It’s honestly one of my favorite songs of all time. After taking a nasty slice to the face from your rival Seifer in FF8, you wake up in the infirmary of the school. You get up and immediately start playing Triple Triad, ignoring all your other responsibilities. Also, this song plays, and it’s amazing. Whenever I have a stressful day I just put this song on and relax.
So there you have it! These are my favorites, but I want to know, what are yours? Are they on this list? Leave a comment below and let me know! – NVJ