Top 10 Best Songs From Final Fantasy IX’s OSTThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Final Fantasy IX might be the greatest “fantasy” iteration of the Final Fantasy brand.
Don’t believe me? Well if this online poll didn’t change your mind, then Kotaku’s Jason Schreier calling it the “the Final Fantasy’s Final Fantasy” sure sounds like it could ignite a thousand Internet arguments per month.
No matter what you think of FF9 I feel like it wouldn’t have been a true Final Fantasy if it wasn’t backed up by great music. And I’m happy to say not only does the game have some amazing BGM songs, they’re also the kind of music that you’d listen to decades later. In fact that’s what we’re gonna do here!
I’ve wracked my brain to whittle down all these songs to just the top 10 best from the entire game. For newcomers to Final Fantasy IX, well maybe this is enough to encourage you to pick up the game and give it a try.
To the OGs who’ve played this game before, I really hope I’ve included your favorite song here cause I the last thing I want is to start even more Internet arguments!
10. Eternal Harvest
Now as is rightfully appropriate, let’s start talking about Final Fantasy IX with some river dancing music. Yes I kid you not.
And it sounds awesome, too.
The best part about this song is that the entire in-game sequence looks like it existed to showcase for Squaresoft’s technical and musical chops.
Opinions may vary on how the dancing sequence holds up twenty years later, but the music as it is still holds up in my book.
9. Freya’s Theme
For a game committed to reimagining magic and wonder as much as FF9 did, it certainly didn’t hold back in featuring dark and mature subplots.
Especially considering many of those darker story points contrast harshly against the game’s cheery aesthetic.
For instance, Freya Crescent is a main party member who also happens to have one of the saddest, yet most well-developed, stories out of any modern Final Fantasy character.
Appropriately enough, her accompanying theme fits her character to a tee. Like seriously, just listen to it and then search for her backstory.
Final Fantasy compositions, particularly those by Nobuo Uematsu, are remarkable for their melodies.
‘Terra’ is obviously no different.
When paired with an important in-game sequence that illuminates the gravitas of our heroes at the latter third of the game, it becomes even more memorable. Possibly one of the most memorable tracks if you were deep into the story by this point.
7. Feel My Blade
Hironobu Sakaguchi is a name closely tied to the Final Fantasy brand.
He was there from its troubled beginnings and all through the series’ peak years until his departure from Square in 2003.
In fact he went on record to say that FF9 remains the “closest” to what he envisioned an ideal Final Fantasy game would be. That’s a statement that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
I think the reason why he said this is that, as opposed to the overreaching grandeur of Final Fantasy VII and VIII, the overly-flashy details were pared down in FF9. And that also extended to its music too.
It’s easy to imagine “Feel My Blade” living another life as a peak-orchestra Squaresoft musical piece. However as a composition that served to move the story along, it’s a perfect enough rendition that fits the overall nature of the game so well.
6. Vamo Alla Flamenco
Let me clarify this for the Internet’s posterity: in a game set in a medieval-era sword and sorcery world, one of the best musical pieces in FF9 was a flamenco-inspired tune.
And one that was featured in an in-game theatrical play called “I Want to Be Your Canary”. Remember how Final Fantasy was willing to be goofy back then? This is such a fun scene that even gamers who only played through FF9 one time should remember this.
For longtime fans familiar with Final Fantasy since its salad days, this silliness is all but expected and especially for games back on the PS1.
This song is such a memorable track that I really feel it deserves a spot somewhere in this list.
5. Loss of Me (or Rose of May)
This is a song that you’ll know when you hear it for sure.
Although for a name it depends which title you’re more comfortable going with–and good thing that fans just agreed to call this theme whatever the heck they wanted without starting any drama.
“Loss of Me” is a Final Fantasy tune that calls to mind the simpler compositions of its 8-bit and 16-bit counterparts.
And as anyone who’s ever been in love with a simple song will know, this one just sticks in your mind for a long time.
4. You’re Not Alone
In terms of sheer memorability, “You’re Not Alone” sounds fugly in comparison to the more melodic Final Fantasy compositions making the live orchestra circuit.
However that doesn’t mean it wasn’t effective in scoring one of the most emotional moments in Final Fantasy history.
No spoilers, of course, but suffice to say that this was the sequence where fans may have been convinced that FF9 was the best Final Fantasy game ever. EVARRR.
3. A Place to Call Home / A Place to Return to Someday
Many AAA titles today are content with featuring minimalistic title screens.
It’s really crazy to think how this is the complete opposite of what videogames did back in the day of earlier consoles, which was to feature more big-budget cinematics with every title.
While not completely different from what other Square-Enix games are doing today, FF9 showed how opening with a cinematic can effectively set the tone for an entire game. Before the game even begins!
The opening theme song here fits the game perfectly and it’s such a great intro scene that it can almost stand on its own.
2. Melodies of Life
Seriously am I the only one who’s kinda missing theme songs with their JRPGS?
‘Melodies of Life’, both as a song and as a melodic leitmotif, works well enough in the FF9 game world.
Though I think the fact that this song wasn’t used as a romantic score (as opposed to what Final Fantasy VIII and X did with their theme songs) might have caused fans to overlook this little gem.
1. Crossing Those Hills
Here’s a question: what do you associate Final Fantasy with?
Is it stories that span entire worlds? Is it the characters?
Is it the battles that can literally take 20 minutes or even an hour to win?
Or could it also be the incredibly mystical background music?
Well if you want my answer it’s not just one quality. It’s really everything coming together in a digital environment that almost feels too real to be a video game.
Point is there are so many things that factor into what makes a classic Final Fantasy title, but it’s hard to forget those moments without the music.
‘Crossing Those Hills’ is FF9’s overworld map theme. It illustrates what a Final Fantasy experience can bring whether you’re just starting on your adventure or whether you’re just about to complete it.
And the cool thing about this kind of music is that the experience is ultimately up to your imagination.