GameSided Roundtable: Favorite Gaming Soundtrack

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Daniel George (Twitter)

While I’m tempted to pick either Final Fantasy X or Chrono Trigger (as I did during the very first post introduction to GameSided), my tastes have slightly altered after going through some gaming backlog. My unabashed final answer, with no doubts in my mind, has to be Final Fantasy VI. In my mind, there’s nobody in the video game music industry who molds a tonally-beautiful soundtrack better than Nobou Uematsu, and Final Fantasy VI has to be his crowning achievement.

Although Final Fantasy X is still one of my favorite Final Fantasy games, the way that VI’s tracks capture the essence and mood of the cities and events through its music is unparalleled. Whether it be the busyness and onomatopoeia of a factory, the peacefulness of a calm and quiet city, the intensity of a tough fight, the uneasiness of a sketchy town or the sullen despair of a broken, destitute world that will never be the same again, each track in Final Fantasy VI is perfect to the moment.

I know that I may have cheated by linking several tracks previously (as to better illustrate my point), but if I were to boil the soundtrack down to one brilliant song, it would have to be Terra’s Theme. As the game begins and Terra marches down to Narshe in Magitek armor with Biggs and Wedge, the way that the song masterfully booms with a tinge of subtlety makes its opening one of the greatest in the series. It’s an overworld theme that holds up throughout tens of hours of play; an important feat for the sub-genre. Long story short; play Final Fantasy VI right now!

Erik Sugay

I figure one of my colleagues will choose Chrono Cross as their favorite soundtrack of all time – someone just has to – so I’m going with something different. Since it’s cheating to choose Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, I’m going to go with the most underrated and probably most derided Final Fantasy soundtrack: Final Fantasy X-2. It would be a challenge for anyone to follow up on Final Fantasy X’s remarkable composition; the legendary Nobuo Uematsu’s shoes are difficult to fill. However, Takahito Eguchi crafted what I consider the most fun Final Fantasy soundtrack.

From upbeat, jazzy sets to catchy J-POP tunes, FFX-2 covered a wide range of musical stylings that was just so different from what we’d come to expect from Final Fantasy. It had a unique sense of identity I’ve come to greatly respect. And if there was any doubt Eguchi could provide a heartfelt composition to tug at an unsuspecting listener’s emotions, well, listen to “Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~” and just try to pretend you don’t know how to feel.

Eric Chrisman (Twitter)

My favorite game soundtrack is Lunar: The Silver Star Story. It’s one of very few I own and still listen to. Music is such an essential theme of this game, so it’s important that it’s awesome or the game would have been a forgotten flop instead of the cult classic it is today. And it’s not just the music you hear in battle or in the various locations, which is great, but also the original songs, which at the time pretty much no game had, and very few games still have.

It’s tough to pick one track in particular, especially since with each re-release you often had new or completely remixed tracks that actually added to the quality of what was already a fantastic overall score. But I have to go with the opening song from the original Sega CD release. It’s an incredible track that I feel really draws you in and gets you ready for the epic adventure of Lunar: The Silver Star Story.