Final Fantasy Random Encounter Themes: Ranked

Because I am a “rankaholic” and a “musicaholic” (hooray for made up words), I will be writing a series of blog posts related to music from the Final Fantasy series. So, without further ado, here are the random battle themes ranked from best to worst/not as good (#1 being the best, of course).

1. Battle 1 from Final Fantasy IX

For some of the themes, it’s difficult to choose a number one, but when it comes to random encounter music, Final Fantasy IX’s theme is leagues above the rest. It fully embodies what a perfect FF battle theme should be. It sounds like some of the old stuff, but also has a modern twist to it and better sound quality. While playing the game, I never got tired of hearing this theme, which is saying a lot since each FF game always has A LOT of random encounters. Just listen to this and bask in the glory that which is the FFIX random encounters theme:

2. Battle Theme from Final Fantasy III

This was another one of those battle themes that hardly ever got on my nerves (except in the last dungeon, but only because it was so long, had no save points, and I had to do it TWICE). I like that it is different from the typical FF battle themes. It’s more light-hearted, but still has battle-feel to it. Just listen to this:

3. Blinded by Light from Final Fantasy XIII

Even though I’m still in the process of playing this game, I knew even before I played it that the music was great. This battle theme is much different from the ones in the past, since they weren’t composed by Uematsu, but it still strikes a chord. When the music finally finishes building to that fast violin part beginning near the one-minute mark, you seriously want to rip off your shirt, magically dawn a superman suit, and go fight crime. It also has a very uplifting feeling to it. Whenever you’re feeling down, just listen to this random encounter theme, and it is sure to pick you up from the ground. Here it is:

4. Battle Theme from Final Fantasy II

One of the worst FF games with one of the best soundtracks. The random encounter battle theme was just one of the songs in this game that was great. It has a definite battle-feeling to it. Right when the music starts, you hear the tension building quickly to the climax of the theme and you just know you’re in an epic battle, even if it is only with little sprite monsters that are several levels lower than you. Listen:

5. Don’t Be Afraid from Final Fantasy VIII

Another game that contains some of the best Final Fantasy music. The random encounter battle theme, like many FF battle themes, begins with a buildup of some sort. Sometimes the buildup can be boring, but in this case, it most certainly is not. Then, when it gets to the actual theme, there is some power in it that makes you just want to make all the enemies in sight disappear. Have a listen:

6. Battle Theme from Final Fantasy XI

This wasn’t even composed by Nobuo Uematsu, but it certainly sounds like something he would write. The fast build-up with the horns and then the melody with the horns being the prominent part of the song. It’s a really good theme. Listen:

7. The Battle from Final Fantasy V

I’m still in the process of finishing this game, and I can tell you that, yes, this theme has gotten on my nerves many a time during the random encounters (that there are TOO MANY of), but that doesn’t make it any less of a good theme. It is explosive which is something you want when you’re feeling the need to annihilate some bad guys. Have a listen:

8. Those Who Fight from Final Fantasy VII

Though not of the best sound quality, there’s something just really epic about having a random encounter and this theme playing. It has many interesting sounds intertwined with each other. And if you think the in-game version is awesome, just imagine it being replaced with the Piano Collections versions. *Gasps* That would be heaven! Here, listen to it:

9. Battle Scene from Final Fantasy I

This is the one that started it all. Although it may be lower on the list, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t an awesome random encounter theme. Even though Nobuo Uematsu improved on his first FF battle theme, it’s always nice to hear how the first one sounded. So here it is:

10. Battle 1 from Final Fantasy IV

Although during the first few random encounters this theme can get you pumped up, after a while your ears might start to tire of it. Since this theme is number 10 out of 12, you can tell that it’s not my favorite. That’s not to say that it isn’t a good piece of music–because it is. I just think that the previous themes are musically better and more enjoyable for the ear.

11. Battle Theme from Final Fantasy VI

It’s rather surprising that arguably the best game in the Final Fantasy series with the (unarguably) best soundtrack has one of the worst random encounter themes. This theme is rather thin compared to the others in the series, and it definitely grates on your nerves after a few times of hearing it.

12. Battle Theme from Final Fantasy X

While the other themes on this list were all musically “good,” for lack of a better term, the battle theme from Final Fantasy X is the only one that I think is a poorly written piece of music. This theme is not good. It’s not good at all. Even the remastered version doesn’t make it good (although it makes it better). I honestly don’t know what Uematsu was thinking when he wrote this one because the rest of the FFX soundtrack is fantastic (and I know he did have some help on it). As you can tell, I do not like this random encounter theme, which is why it is dead last on my ranked list of random encounter themes.

Hope you enjoyed the list! While I do realize rankings are subjective, I do believe I did a fine job putting these themes in the correct order. Let me know what you think!




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