There are so many amazing tracks on the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack. How do you pick just one for our greatest video game soundtracks playlist?
In some respects it’s a nice problem to have, struggling to pick the best of an amazing bunch, but pick we must. Somewhere along the line we decided that we were only going to allow a single entry from any one game into our greatest video game soundtracks collection; in cases like this, we’ve made our jobs very difficult.
The opening track, accompanying the initial reactor bombing mission, sets the atmosphere and pace of the game perfectly, while the game’s over-world main theme is a traditional Final Fantasy classic. The operatic J-E-N-O-V-A theme is the iconic piece of music that sticks in everyone’s head and Sending a dream into the universe is poignant and sorrowful, but the 80s metal-inspired extended battle theme Still more fighting/Those who fight further is an amazing change of pace (especially when performed live by Nobuo Uematsu’s Final Fantasy-themed metal band, The Black Mages).
If this were down to a committee then we could be arguing forever on this one, but thankfully, it isn’t. I’m making the decision here, and for me, there’s only one piece of music from Final Fantasy VII that could make it into our greatest video game soundtracks playlist: Aerith’s theme.
Because my wife walked down the aisle to this beautiful orchestral version, performed during the Tour de Japon – Music from Final Fantasy series of concerts back in 2004.
Performed at the Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo. Original composition by Nobuo Uematsu. Arrangement by Shiro Hamaguchi. Conducted by Taizou Takemoto.
Image by concept artist Lap Pun Cheung, from his Final Fantasy VII speed-painting series, available as a free PDF download.