Best Final Fantasy battle themes
Image via Square Enix

10 best Final Fantasy battle themes, ranked

The power of music

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Square Enix’s premier RPG series is known for its grand story, epic battles, and outstanding graphics, but it is also known for its Final Fantasy battle themes. Across its 36-year span, the Final Fantasy series has enlisted many talented musicians, including Nobuo Uematsu, Yoko Shimomura, and Masashi Hamauzu.

From Final Fantasy XIII‘s “Blinded by Light” to the original battle theme from the first FF, here are the best Final Fantasy battle themes, ranked. Let us know your favorites in the comments below.

10. Final Fantasy VI – “Decisive Battle”

This upbeat Final Fantasy battle theme ups the stakes with its frenetic tune and intense drumline that keeps your heart racing. A great battle theme keeps you energized and “Decisive Battle” certainly does that. Something about the nostalgic 16-bit tone also adds so much that’s lost within modern remakes of this track.

9. Final Fantasy XIV – “Torn from the Heavens”

Final Fantasy XIV is known for its epic themes whenever a big battle occurs, and “Torn from the Heavens” is certainly one of those. The callback to the main theme of the series alongside its gorgeous percussion and choir makes this an unforgettable track. The stakes are raised whenever “Torn from the Heavens” is played in this grand MMORPG.

8. Final Fantasy I – “Battle Theme”

All great series have their beginnings, and Final Fantasy I made an impression from the very start. The melody is as intense as it can get on an 8-bit system, and the flow of the piece is sublime. You’ll hear how great this composition is if you check out World of Final Fantasy‘s interpretation of the track. It truly gives the original piece justice with a rocky interpretation and a lovely strings throughline.

7. Final Fantasy X – “Battle Theme”

With a game that’s as long as Final Fantasy X, you’ll want to make sure the standard battle theme is a banger. Thankfully, it is. Tidus’ journey is complemented by a track with a tasty bassline, an exciting clash of drums, and a riveting melody that will keep you focused on the fight. What also helps with a battle theme such as this is the unpredictable nature of the track. It keeps surprising us with alterations to the song, and for the first ten times of listening to it, you’ll notice a new twist on the main melody.

6. Final Fantasy V – “Clash on the Big Bridge”

“Clash on the Big Bridge” used the SNES sound font to the absolute max. This battle theme has an impressive melody, a wonderful drumline, and will catch you off-guard with how fast it is. It’s a blast to play on Theatrhythm Final Bar LineThe otherworldly playing of the introduction is also striking and catches your attention.

5. Final Fantasy XV – “Stand Your Ground”

Yoko Shimomura is known for her work on the Kingdom Hearts and Street Fighter series but she brought her A-game to Final Fantasy XV.  The battle theme “Stand Your Ground” starts the track with an epic sweep of the strings section and doesn’t let you go until the very end. It then gets followed by a glorious reference to the main Final Fantasy theme, just like “Torn from the Heavens.” After that, the action gets elevated by a rambunctious array of the orchestra with the blissful woodwind matched with the thunderous percussion.

4. Final Fantasy VII – “J-E-N-O-V-A.”

Whenever you hear that high-pitched synthesized intro from “J-E-N-O-V-A,” you know you’re in for a good time. The melody is pleasing, the drum beat elevates the action, and the bassline is a grand accompaniment to the whole piece. It’s a track that sounds mysterious as Cloud and his friends are unsure of what lies ahead of them. Music should help set the scene, and “J-E-N-O-V-A.” does that perfectly.

3. Final Fantasy XIII – “Blinded by Light”

Final Fantasy XIII is arguably the most controversial game in the series, but you can’t deny how awesome the soundtrack is. “Blinded by Light” is one of the best Final Fantasy battle themes because it consistently engages the player with its striking melody and ability to let every instrument in the piece shine. The guitar in the background gives it a hard edge, and the heavy use of the emotive strings section makes this theme song epic, but beautiful at the same time.

2. Final Fantasy VII – “One-Winged Angel”

When “One-Winged Angel” plays, fear strikes the heart of every Final Fantasy VII fan. The dread-filled drums, the terrifying cluster of brass, and bewildered strings section all set the scene for the evil Sephiroth. Then there’s a badass guitar throughline and the deep choir that adds to the drama of the piece. Each fight with Sephiroth is meaningful, and “One-Winged Angel” makes it next level. While the Advent Children version isn’t technically from a game, it is the best version; it’s in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The PS1 and Remake editions of the track also deserve praise, however.

1. Final Fantasy VII Remake – “Let the Battles Begin!”

A great Final Fantasy battle theme is able to establish the danger present for your characters and motivate the player to carry on forward with the fight at hand. “Let the Battles Begin!” from Final Fantasy VII Remake successfully establishes that. The mixture of the powerful brass, thunderous drums, and emotive strings all make for a piece that truly stands out in the Final Fantasy series. Listen to it and you’ll get hyped for anything: a run, pumping weights, or going to your dreaded dental appointment. “Let the Battles Begin” is a perfect battle theme, through and through, and Final Fantasy VII Remake just takes it one step further.

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Chris Penwell
Chris is a writer for multiple outlets, including Destructoid! He loves narrative games like Kingdom Hearts, Life is Strange, and Beyond Good & Evil. However, he does enjoy Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from time to time.