The Final Fantasy series has always been known for its music. Nobuo Uematsu is one of the most famous video game composers in the world, and it’s mainly due to his work on various Final Fantasy games. But Uematsu isn’t the only one who has contributed to the series’ excellent soundtracks throughout the years. Yoko Shimomura (Final Fantasy XV), Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy XII), and Masashi Hamauzu (Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy VII Remake) are just a few of the other names who have created memorable tracks we listen to many years later.
At the helm of Final Fantasy XIV’s music is Masayoshi Soken, who has somehow managed to deliver some of the most amazing, memorable, and emotional tracks the Final Fantasy series has ever had. I’m not really sure how Soken does it — each expansion I find myself thinking, “There’s no way he’s going to top this soundtrack,” and then he proves me wrong. I consider Final Fantasy XIV as one of the best games I’ve ever played, and one of the reasons is because of its music. The game is full of so many great tracks that it was very difficult to pick out my top 10 favorite for this list. This list will likely be constantly evolving since every patch has been adding some amazing additions — in fact, one of my current favorite tracks came in the most recent patch.
There is one thing I need to mention before I reveal my picks. If you’re a fan of Final Fantasy XIV, you’re going to find some noticeably missing tracks like Flow, Dragonsong, and Answers. Don’t get me wrong, they are truly amazing tracks and should be considered as the best Final Fantasy XIV has to offer, but when I compiled this list, I looked for songs you could set up on repeat and listen to all day long. I don’t feel like I could listen to those main themes all day long on repeat. That being said, here are my picks and some of these videos may contain spoilers!
11. Heroes Forge Ahead
If you’ve played through Endwalker, this track will bring back fond memories. It’s one of my favorites because of its upbeat and positive tone, but also because of when it plays. The music in Final Fantasy XIV often sets the tone, and when you hear Heroes Forge Ahead play, you know something awesome is coming.
When The Firmament first got introduced, I spent a lot of time in there to level up all my crafters. I still remember the one day I zoned into The Firmament and Hearthward played. Suddenly, I always found myself returning to The Firmament if I knew I had to sit around and craft for an extended period of time. This track manages to squeeze everything about Heavensward into one song.
9. Sands of Amber
I have a lot of great memories from Shadowbringers, but one that will always stick with me is the first time I went to Amh Araeng and Sands of Amber began to play. It was the middle of the night by the time I got to Amh Araeng and it was just the perfect tune for the mood I was in.
The Stormblood raid series is still my favorite, and it’s not because of Starboard/Larboard. Alpha is one of my favorite side characters in any Final Fantasy game and the story that the Stormblood raid series manages to tell with a little Chocobo is just so great. Heartless, Omega M/F’s theme, is a medley of sorts, with a bit of Maker’s Ruin and Torn From the Heavens.
7. A Land Long Dead
Another moment that will forever be etched in my memory is the first time I zoned into The Burn and heard A Land Long Dead start playing. This track reminds me of classic Final Fantasy themes with a modern take. Just a laid back, chill track to have on in the background while you’re working.
6. Upon the Rocks
The opening to Upon the Rocks might be the best few seconds of any Final Fantasy track ever. This is the theme that plays in the Pharos Sirius Hard dungeon and it is slightly different than what is played in the Normal dungeon — mainly the opening. If I ever have to complete a low-level dungeon for my Wondrous Tails, I go to Pharos Sirius so I can enjoy the theme.
5. To the Edge
There are so many reasons to love this track. The fight itself was such a great way to pay respect to Final Fantasy’s heritage. But another reason why this track is so meaningful is that Soken composed To the Edge while fighting cancer in the hospital. It’s the perfect song to wrap up all of Shadowbringers.
4. Fair Winds to Guide
Final Fantasy XIV Patch 6.5 arrived on October 3, 2023 and with it came the final Alliance Raid for Endwalker, Thaleia. The track that plays throughout the dungeon, Fair Winds to Guide, has quickly become one of my favorites. For longtime players of Final Fantasy XIV, this track can be a bit emotional, especially given everything that happens during the final tier. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed the music from this Alliance Raid, as another favorite of mine is further down the list.
3. A Long Fall
A Long Fall has resulted in memes that even the dev team has embraced. The theme for The Twinning, this track was my favorite for the longest time. I still remember the first time we ran this dungeon as a group and heard the song. The track alone convinced us that running The Twinning repeatedly each week to cap our tomestones wouldn’t be so bad, if we could jam out to this.
2. Dedicated to Moonlight
Introduced in the latest patch as the final track in the current tier of the Alliance Raid, Dedicated to Moonlight is Menphina’s theme, and there’s a good reason why everyone starts their dance emotes when they get to the fight. The bit with the fiddle in this track is just so good — it reminds me a bit of something Lindsey Stirling would come up with.
And finally, the track that I believe is currently the best song in all of Final Fantasy XIV is Dynamis. Even before everything happened with Meteion, I was loving this track. But when that one cutscene plays — and you all know what I’m talking about — it just cements Dynamis as one of the best pieces of video game music that has ever been created. The first time you hear Dynamis, it doesn’t really affect you. But anytime you hear it after you’ve finished Endwalker, it’s sure to make you emotional. It’s just a song that’s so simple, yet so beautiful, and it actually does a great job explaining the concept of dynamis from Final Fantasy XIV. Just the emotion that’s put into this track and how it affects others, is pretty much what dynamis represents.
Now, why this song wasn’t included on Endwalker’s Vinyl LP is beyond me, but hopefully another record is released in the future that does have it.
Bonus: Dynamis Orchestral Arranged Cover by Mikey O’Neil
As a bonus, here’s a cover of Dynamis by Mikey O’Neil and it might actually be better than the original. Kudos to O’Neil for making such a fantastic version of what’s already an amazing song.
October 6, 2023: Added another song to the list, Fair Winds to Guide.