Every morning, I take Santi (11) and Sami (8) to school.

In recent weeks, since I played and finished Final Fantasy XVI, I’ve been listening to a playlist of music from the game, and my kids complain:

“Dad, Final Fantasy music again!”

And of course, I understand them because a couple of years ago, the same thing happened when I played Final Fantasy VII Remake, whose music I also enjoyed immensely. I spent several months listening to those tracks over and over again, and I suppose my kids don’t want history to repeat itself.

Two of my favorite video games in terms of their music: Final Fantasy XVI (left) and Final Fantasy VII (right).
Two of my favorite video games in terms of their music: Final Fantasy XVI (left) and Final Fantasy VII (right).

Epic Battles in Final Fantasy XVI

So why do I like the music of Final Fantasy XVI so much? I really enjoy how the style of the music complements the action happening in the game, especially during battles.

In fact, I remember having a big smile when the game, within the first 40 seconds, had me playing an action scene. Without understanding anything about the story (since it had just begun), I already felt immersed in the gameplay. The accompanying music was definitely a significant part of the immersion and intensity of the scene, as shown in this video:

Action starts within the first 40 seconds, accompanied by epic music.

In this genre of video games, battles against “bosses” (the toughest opponents) are particularly long. They have multiple “phases” where it seems you’ve defeated the enemy, but then they transform into an even more powerful form, and you must defeat them again.

Final Fantasy XVI is full of such intense battles and experiences, where the music adapts to the on-screen action. I recall one particular battle, roughly halfway through the story, where the music shifted unexpectedly in style and tempo as the gameplay situation also unexpectedly changed. The following video illustrates this, although it contains major spoilers for those playing the game:

Multi-phase battle with changing music to match each phase.

One might think this style of music only works well when accompanying gameplay, but what happens to me is that when I listen to this music, I can’t help but recall the enjoyable gaming experience, and that’s why I love listening to it.

Furthermore, and of course, this is highly subjective, there are some tracks that I feel are good even without the game they were created for. “Find the Flame,” for example, is a track from Final Fantasy XVI that has garnered numerous covers on YouTube because it’s a tremendous piece. The following video shows where it appears in the game, but it contains a major spoiler, so don’t watch it if you want to enjoy the game’s story. I also provide another video with the same track, but without the video containing spoilers.

Warning, spoilers! The 'Find the Flames' theme at a crucial moment in the game.
'Find the Flames' theme, just the music, without spoilers.

Final Fantasy VII Remake and Its Music

Final Fantasy VII Remake, a modern and extended version of the original Final Fantasy VII released 25 years ago, also features music of a similar style. In this case, the composers took the original game’s music and brought it to an incredible level of production. This is evident in many tracks in the game, but the one I enjoyed the most was “The Airbuster.” The original version was already great, but the new version left me in awe when I heard it the first time I encountered that battle in the Remake.

The Airbuster, in the original Final Fantasy VII.
The Airbuster, in Final Fantasy VII Remake. Amazing.

Since the designers of the Remake extended the story and added many new elements, they also had the luxury of doing the same with the music, adding some tracks that pleasantly surprised me when I heard them. An example of this is the music for Hell House, one of the toughest bosses in the game.

Hell House, one of the game's toughest bosses, also has one of the best original themes in the Remake.

It’s clear, and I openly admit it, that I’m a die-hard Final Fantasy fan. So I realize that it’s easy to think my opinions may be somewhat (or very) biased. But at least I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. In fact, YouTubers like Alex Moukala have made several videos analyzing the music of this video game from a technical and musical perspective. So if people like them find these compositions so remarkable, it must mean they’re genuinely good!

Alex Moukala, one of the YouTubers who analyze the music of Final Fantasy VII Remake.

As for me, I’ll continue listening to the music of these tremendous games. Moreover, in February 2024, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the sequel to the Remake, is set to be released, surely with more incredible music. Poor kids, they’ll have to keep listening to it with me!

Do you enjoy the music of Final Fantasy as much as I do? Do you have other favorite games whose music you listen to non-stop after playing them?