Sing Your Heart Out: My Favorite Vocal Songs From Final Fantasy

Before I became a full blown gamer, I was always an anime fan first and foremost. When I discovered a taste for Japanese music through the opening and ending themes of most animes I watched, I began searching the Internet far and wide for copies of these songs I heard to take with me on my iPod. Along the way, I accidentally stumbled upon music that came from video games and it started with Final Fantasy.

My knowledge and game experience with the entire catalog of Final Fantasy games have been largely limited, mostly because I became a gamer late or a lot of Final Fantasy games are only exclusive to the Playstation. Whatever access to the games I did eventually get, the music from Final Fantasy has become a huge part of my music playlist. The following are my personal favorite vocal tracks across the Final Fantasy franchise.

1. Eyes On Me. This song sung by Faye Wong and from Final Fantasy VIII is special in many ways because it’s the first time I discovered video game music during my search for anime music. The version of the song I have on my iPod is a remix of the original song, making it more of a dance track. After eventually listening to the original, it made me realize why I ended up loving this song so much. The lyrics are wonderfully romantic in nature and what little I knew of the game’s main couple Rinoa and Squall, the song seemed to fit their relationship really well.

2. Cosmos. When I started slowly building my gamer identity and figuring out which type of games I prefer to play at the time, among the platforms in my possession was a Playstation Portable (PSP). Being extremely eager to play any sort of Final Fantasy game in some capacity, I found and bought Dissidia Final Fantasy. It became one of my favorite games to play when I still didn’t have much of a backlog of games like I do now. This fighting game features all the major players from every Final Fantasy game ever to be released with the addition of newer characters, such as Lightning and Van, when Square Enix released Dissidia 012 Duodecim Final Fantasy. One of the songs I instantly loved to bits was Cosmos by Your Favorite Enemy. It was one of the songs I preferred hearing in the background during a fight, and the haunting vocals really stuck with me even when I wasn’t playing the game. The song truly captures the gentle and ethereal essence of Cosmos herself.

3. God In Fire. I may be sort of cheating to feature two songs from the same game, but honestly, most Final Fantasy music is instrumental and orchestral in nature. This is why when a game has one song with lyrics and a singer among their tracks, I always like every opportunity to be able to sing along with it, especially if the vocals and lyrics are just too good not to have on endless repeat for a time. God In Fire sung by KidneyThieves from Dissidia is a nice shift in musical tone from Cosmos. The entire song has a heavy rock beat with some killer violin mixed in. I especially love any rock song sung by a female lead. There’s an edginess to it and it echoes the fight between Cosmos and Chaos for the fate of the world in the Dissidia games. The song also conveys what it must be like to be Chaos––deliciously wicked and sinister.

4. Sunleth Waterscape. Final Fantasy XIII may be considered one of the more weaker entries of the entire franchise, but it’s undeniable that its music is still very much on point. Sunleth Waterscape is by far one of my favorite tracks with vocals in it. Sung by Frances Maya, the musical accompaniment with the lyrics feels as dreamy and fantasy like as you’ll ever get in a Final Fantasy game. There’s something about the whole song that makes you feel happy and want to skip along with it.

5. Stand By Me. Maybe this song might not really count as an original Final Fantasy song, as it is a cover version of Ben E. King’s famous original. Yet, the different musical take along with Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine providing her powerful voice to this new cover of Stand By Me for Final Fantasy XV makes it feel entirely brand new. Since much of Final Fantasy XV takes place on the road, Florence and the Machine’s Stand By Me somehow evokes the idea of being in a car with the top down and the wind blowing in your face. The first half starts off sounding like a soothing lullaby before the later half of the song transitions to grand drumbeats and the high crescendos of Welch’s voice, as if she were singing to the heavens at the top of her lungs. I think it fits in nicely with the rest of the Final Fantasy catalog of great music.

Which Final Fantasy vocal songs stand out for you?

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6 thoughts on “Sing Your Heart Out: My Favorite Vocal Songs From Final Fantasy

  1. I LOVE Stand by Me. I heard this version first – not being aware of the original – heard the original later and was like “meh”. There’s something so powerful about the way Florence sings it. It’s pleading, but not desperate, almost more like a wish. And it’s so great to listen to when I want to relax or just listen to a sweet love song. Great selection! 😀

    1. Thanks! 😀 I actually have always been very much in love with the original song, especially since the lyrics are so good. But I do think Florence and the Machine’s cover of Stand By Me makes the song even better, which I didn’t think it was possible. Have you heard the other tracks from Final Fantasy XV that they sing? Those are just as good and I was surprised by how many vocal tracks the soundtrack seems to have this time around. Either way, I’m really happy Florence and the Machine got selected to do some of the songs for the game. Stand By Me is probably my number one from this game’s soundtrack for sure, haha!

    1. Yeah, I already liked a good chunk of Florence and the Machine’s music. Learning that they would have a hand at FFXV’s soundtrack was a welcome surprise. They really do something special with Stand By Me. 🙂

  2. I’ve always been a fan of Final Fantasy XIII’s soundtrack, but I have to admit that I somehow forgot about Sunleth Waterscape. It really is quite a pretty song isn’t it? Thanks for the reminder!

    Final Fantasy XIII is one of those games I’ll go back to every once and awhile after hearing or song or two from it (Blinded by Light especially!), only to be reminded that of it’s overall blandness. I love the music, I just wish the game quality matched it (it wasn’t too far off!)

    1. I would have finished FFXIII if I still wasn’t perpetually stuck on that mini-boss I could never get past. I did fall in love with the music the first time I heard it. I also really like Blinded By Light and I’m so glad you can play a lot of the past Final Fantasy music in the car radio in FFXV during the driving moments. It’s how I’m able to get some of my FFXIII music fix! But yeah, admittedly when I played FFXIII I didn’t find level grinding in that game as fun as I do with FFXV. I agree some things could have been better with FFXIII and it really didn’t reach that high bar at all. It’s a shame too because I did kind of like Lightning.

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