10 Best Final Fantasy Battle Themes, Ranked

A split image featuring characters from Final Fantasy XV, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Final Bar Line, and Final Fantasy VII REMAKE

Since 1987, Final Fantasy has been one of the most iconic JRPG series of all time. Despite each entry being its own self-contained story, the franchise is full of recognizable recurring elements that help establish its identity. One of Final Fantasy‘s most beloved elements is its music, which is so prolific it can almost be considered a separate subgenre of video game music.

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Every numbered Final Fantasy game is filled with beautiful songs, but the battle themes are particular standouts. As the songs that accompany the games’ most intense moments and the songs the player will likely hear most often, it’s essential that the battle themes are on point. Fortunately for players, they almost always are.



10 Battle Theme 1 (Final Fantasy II)

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy II’s “Battle Theme 1” is surprisingly upbeat for a battle theme. Its unconventional melody keeps listeners on their toes and their minds focused on the fight. The theme can get a little silly at times which helps keep the players optimistic in the face of defeat.

At one point, the song does get noticeably darker in tone. Once the song reaches its darkest point, however, the music starts to swell before looping back into “Battle Theme 1’s” upbeat and fun melody. The song perfectly represents the highs and lows of battle and is a fondly remembered classic.

9 Battle (Final Fantasy)

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu

The one that started it all, “Battle” from the original Final Fantasy laid the groundwork for all future battle themes. Though it’s light and bouncy, the song carries a serious edge to it. It perfectly represents the feeling of facing off against a pack of monsters, while still feeling fun.

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The song undergoes a tonal shift before looping back around, getting noticeably slower. The notes are played one at a time, feeling heavy and impactful. It captures the feeling of blows being traded and really puts players in the mood for an epic clash of good versus evil.

8 Battle 1 (Final Fantasy V)

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy V’s “Battle 1” is a beautifully epic backdrop for the game’s many fights. Suiting the game’s more easygoing protagonist, “Battle 1” carries a free-spirited air to it. The song’s harmonies and soaring melodies combine to make something that players will be humming along to as they slay monsters.

Like most battle themes, V’s “Battle 1” goes through a loop. What makes this song unique is that the song carries a sense of uncertainty before looping back to its triumphant beginning. The song gives the impression that even if the listener is unsure, everything will be okay if they remain true to themselves.

7 Battle 1 (Final Fantasy III)

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy III’s “Battle 1” is probably the most fun of all the battle themes while still sounding appropriately action-oriented. It starts out with long notes that suddenly end in short ones as if giving a playful wink to the listener. Listeners can’t help but wonder if the Onion Knight’s childish personality and appearance in Dissidia Final Fantasy was inspired by this song.

Like most of the other themes, “Battle 1” does get darker to simulate the ebb and flow of battle. What makes it special is the abrupt return to the playfulness of its inevitable loop. It’s as if the song is mocking the forces of darkness for thinking they have a chance against the player.

6 Don’t Be Afraid (Final Fantasy VIII)

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu

While Final Fantasy VIII is one of the more contentious entries in the franchise, no one can deny that its music is every bit as excellent as the other games. And with many Final Fantasy titles, its battle theme is one of the better songs on its soundtrack. VIII boasts a triumphant-sounding song appropriately titled “Don’t Be Afraid.”

Fitting VIII’s military school setting, “Don’t Be Afraid” has a constant, militant percussion throughout. The courageous brass that plays over this oppressive sound encourages the player to be brave and perfectly suits the song’s title. The only thing holding it back is that it perhaps cleaves a little too closely to Final Fantasy VII’s “Let The Battles Begin!”

5 Blinded By Light (Final Fantasy XIII)

Composer: Masashi Hamauzu

Final Fantasy XIII is a remarkably different Final Fantasy game, and “Blinded By Light” is a suitably different battle theme. While most battle themes are fast-paced and lively from the beginning, this song starts out noticeably slower. The opening notes are low and heavy as if representing the insurmountable odds the protagonists face.

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But just when the listener has become accustomed to the feeling of oppressiveness, the triumphant strings burst in with a heroic melody. It’s an uplifting tune that feels like the auditory equivalent of a light shining in the darkness. Any player listening to “Blinded By Light” will feel like they can do anything.

4 Battle 1 (Final Fantasy IX)

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy IX is a beloved entry for returning to the franchise’s medieval roots while also bringing all the lessons it learned from VII and VIII. Its battle theme, “Battle 1,” perfectly encapsulates that feeling. Not only does it go back to the original naming convention, but it starts with the iconic bass line of the classic battle themes.

From there, the song goes in a wonderfully modern direction. The song has an excellent melody that feels uplifting and triumphant the entire way through. “Battle 1” is a modern classic that serves as the perfect backdrop to the player’s battles, as well as some of the best-looking summon animations of the Playstation 1 generation.

3 Battle Theme (Final Fantasy X)

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu

As the first Final Fantasy game for Playstation 2, Final Fantasy X needed to make an impression. While there’s a lot of debate on the game’s quality, everyone can agree that the music accomplished that goal. Starting with a triumphant fanfare of trumpets right out of the gate, Final Fantasy X’s “Battle Theme” immediately grabs listeners’ attention.

The song has a lot of great things going for it, from its beautiful orchestra to its rising and falling melodies that simulate the tide of battle—but the element most listeners will have stuck in their heads are those persistent trumpets. No matter how difficult the opponent is, anyone who hears those trumpets will feel invincible.

2 Let The Battles Begin! (Final Fantasy VII)

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu

When fans think of Final Fantasy, many will think of Final Fantasy VII. And when they think of the game’s music, “Let The Battles Begin!” will be one of the strongest examples that spring to mind. Final Fantasy VII marked a turning point for the franchise, and its battle theme is the perfect example of that.

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The song’s opening notes are instantly recognizable to any fan of the game, and the ensuing melody will have any Final Fantasy veteran humming along. It perfectly captures the feeling of facing incredible odds before hitting them with a giant Buster Sword. Just as Final Fantasy VII changed the franchise forever, “Let The Battles Begin!” rewrote the rules for battle themes.

1 Stand Your Ground (Final Fantasy XV)

Composer: Yoko Shimomura

“Stand Your Ground” from Final Fantasy XV is not just the most beautiful battle theme in all of Final Fantasy, but perhaps in all of video games. The song arrests the listener’s attention with its epic opening notes. By sprinkling the classic Final Fantasy theme in shortly after, the song ensures that any fan will be all in.

True to its name, “Stand Your Ground” makes the listener feel like they are facing incredible odds, but there is a courageous air to the song that makes the player feel like they can triumph if they just hold on a little longer. Sure enough, the song gets more and more heroic and uplifting as it goes.

NEXT: 10 Best Final Boss Themes In Gaming


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