Nobuo Uematsu (植松 伸夫) is a Japanese video game composer, best known for scoring the majority of titles in the Final Fantasy series. He is considered one of the most famous and respected composers in the video game community. After we interviewed him on our website we got inspired to countdown his top 10 compositions. We promised ourselves to limit each entry to one Final Fantasy game as we would be afraid that FFIV and VII would swallow up the entire Top 10, so without further ado…
The original soundtrack has been hailed as one of the best video game soundtracks ever made and was scored primarily by Yasunori Mitsuda, with assistance by veteran Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu. A sound programmer at the time, Mitsuda was unhappy with his pay and threatened to leave Square if he could not compose music. The result…magical!
Beautiful song in a place full of beautiful ladies.
“Jenova” serves as the eponymous battle theme for Jenova, and can be heard during the encounters with Jenova∙BIRTH and Jenova∙DEATH. When the theme shifts to the major mode for the “fanfare” section just before it starts over, the chord progression is either identical to or a transposition of the second half of the Prelude, depending on the relative keys of the two themes. It’s beautifully haunting.
Rad Racer 2! The game only had two main songs: Gum Ball Crash and Coast to Coast. We love it!
When Hironobu Sakaguchi left Squaresoft (now Square-Enix) and struck out on his own, he left behind the series he had created, Final Fantasy. Nobuo Uematsu, the series’s renowned composer, also left shortly after. The majority of the game’s score features live instrumentation, which especially leans towards oboes and bassoons, but several of the tracks utilize synth. The score is varied, and makes use of glockenspiel, harpsichord, xylophone, and sitar as well as the usual trumpets, flutes, and strings. The sad variation on the main theme in “Parting Forever” add balance to the score.
“To Zanarkand” was originally written by Uematsu before the development of Final Fantasy X, for the recital of a flutist friend named Seo. Uematsu eventually decided the track was too gloomy and kept it for a later use. When development of Final Fantasy X started, he decided to use the track for the game.
Ah…The main battle theme of FFVI! From the familiar intro, the drums crash in and trumpets soar in this rock-inspired and fiery battle song!
When I first heard the theme for her castle, it honestly creeped me out. But honestly, I think the theme matches the design of Ultimecia Castle perfectly which features a baroque organ, and is separated into three sections of varying emotions. The styles of these three sections vary from light-hearted, dark and sinister, and playful intimidation.
This arrangement is longer than any other version of “Kuja’s Theme”, and features “Wicked Melody”‘s opening, which leads to a fast-paced build up and then the theme breaks out in a guitar riff. This arrangement mixes the melody of the theme while elements of funk and rock can be heard in the background. One of the best villian theme songs ever, in our opinion.
The FFXI airship is quite different to the airship themes in other FFs and seems interesting. But most importantly, this tune brings me back to my old college days in the dorm playing this MMO for hours upon end. Its nostalgic, its melodic, and it’s catchy. When this tune plays you are in the middle of a cutscene and you can really take in the sights and sounds of the game. It’s perfect.
There you have it! What did you think of the list? Did you favorite make the cut? Leave your feedback in the comment section below!