Compilations

Square Enix puts out a lot of compilation albums. There's really no other way to put it. There are dozens upon dozens of compilation albums with arrangements of the various songs from the series. For someone like me, who's a huge fan of the music, it's wonderful. (Aside from, you know, how much money it all costs...)

Anyway, this page covers most of the compilation albums Final Fantasy VI's music has appeared on, and whether or not you should check them out. (Some event-only or extremely limited-release albums have been left off the list; you can find a full list at VGMdb — this link leads to all of the albums FFVI's music appears on.) With so many albums out there, it stands to reason that not all of them are good, but thankfully most are. If you'd like to read reviews of the albums, you can typically find them linked from the VGMdb entries.

While some of these albums are rare and difficult to find, others are available on iTunes. Check if they're in your country; I know a lot of the recent ones are in the US store, at least. Some iTunes links are provided; otherwise, VGMdb has links to retailers for every album.

Listed by release date. Song titles are for the most part retained from the original release, with some exceptions for clarity.

Overwhelmed by the long list? Want a short list of albums to check out? Here's a quick list of the hits:

Many others on the list are also worth the time, these are just the ones you absolutely shouldn't pass up.

Final Fantasy Vocal Collections I -Pray-

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu, Ririko Yamabuki
Arrangers: Risa Ohki, Toshiro Mitsutomi, Masatsugu Shinozaki, Yoshiro Nakamura
Catalog #: PSCN-5006 (reprint NTCP-5006)
Length: 47:02
Tracks: 11, on 1 disc
Release Date: 25 June 1994 (reprint 1 October 1994)

Track 4: Wanderer of Time (Terra's Theme)
Track 11: Não Chora Menina (Kids Run Through the City Corner)

I highly, highly recommend this album; like the name says, it's a collection of Final Fantasy music done with vocals by Risa Ohki. All of the songs are excellent, and it's a great selection. Check it out for FFVI, stay for everything else.

Final Fantasy Vocal Collections II "Love Will Grow"

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu, Ririko Yamabuki
Arrangers: Masatsugu Shinozaki, Yoshiro Nakamura, Yuichiro Goto, Patrick Nugier, Haruki Mino, Risa Ohki, Kiyoshi Kobayashi
Catalog #: PSCN-5041 (reprint NTCP-5041)
Length: 42:41
Tracks: 11, on 1 disc
Release Date: 25 November 1995 (reprint 1 October 1994)

Track 9: God's Cradle (Relm's Theme)

Like Pray, this album is stupendous. I enjoy it a little bit less than the previous album, but that's mostly due to song choice. God's Cradle is an interesting departure from Relm's original theme; it's not my favorite rendition, but it's still very good.

Final Fantasy 1987 - 1994 / Final Fantasy N Generation: Official Best Collection

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Nobuo Uematsu, Katsuhisa Hattori, Takayuki Hattori, Máire Breatnach, Shiro SAGISU, Tsuneyoshi Saito, Ken Morimura, Shiro Sato
Catalog #: PSCN-9101 (regular edition PSCN-5011, NA release TPCD 0212-2, reprint NTCP-5011)
Length: 1:02:28
Tracks: 16, on 1 disc
Release Date: 26 November 1994 (limited edition), 10 December 1994 (regular), 22 October 2001 (NA), 1 October 2004 (reprint)

Track 12: Aria De Mezzo Carattere (Arranged and Remixed Version) (FFVI)

This one looks complicated, but it's actually pretty straightforward: this was a compilation album of arranged music for FF games released between 1987-1994. The songs on the collection were actually all from other albums released during those years, aside from two unreleased tracks. The sole FFVI contribution is the Grand Finale version of Aria di Mezzo Carattere.

This album was released in North America as Final Fantasy N Generation, reflecting that all of the games it covers came out on Nintendo consoles. A worthwhile purchase back at the time it was released; of little interest to anyone past collectors now.

final fantasy mix

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu, Hironori Doi
Arrangers: Nobuo Uematsu, Snow Productions, The Murderers of Cross Over, Phat Stylee, Ken Morimura, Hironori Doi
Catalog #: PSCN-5012 (reprint NTCP-5012)
Length: 1:08:09
Tracks: 15, on 1 disc
Release Date: 26 November 1994 (reprint 1 October 1994)

Track 1: Tina (New View Snow Remix)

This album has a little something of everything: it starts off with two remixes, then has some arrangements, then a bunch of previously unreleased tracks. Then it wraps it up with some more remixes. Definitely an oddball in the greater discography of the series, but I've actually always really liked this remix of Terra's theme. It's quite different from the original, but it works for me. Check out RPGFan's review for some samples of the music on this album.

POTION: Relaxin' with FINAL FANTASY

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Nobuo Uematsu, Máire Breatnach, Shiro Hamaguchi, Shiro Sato, Yoko Shimomura
Catalog #: SSCX-10051 (reprint SQEX-10073)
Tracks: 17, on 1 disc
Release Date: 21 January 2001 (reprint 19 July 2006)

Track 1: Terra's Theme
Track 2: Kids Run Through the City Corner

Like 1987-1994, this is a compilation album. The FFVI songs included are the same as those on the Piano Collections album.

POTION 2: Relaxin' with FINAL FANTASY

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Shiro Hamaguchi, Nobuo Uematsu, Máire Breatnach, Naganori Sakakibara
Catalog #: SSCX-10059
Length: 1:01:18
Tracks: 14, on 1 disc
Release Date: 21 December 2001

Track 5: Não Chora Menina
Track 10: Celes's Theme

Same as the first Potion, this is a compilation album. Não Chora Menina is the same as it is on the Pray vocal collections album, and Celes's theme is from the Piano Collections.

20020220 music from FINAL FANTASY

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Shiro Hamaguchi, Masashi Hamauzu
Catalog #: SSCX-10065~6 (reprint SQEX-10030~1)
Length: 1:17:27
Tracks: 25, on 2 discs
Release Date: 9 May 2002, (reprint 22 July 2004)

Disc 1, Track 9: Terra's Theme (FFVI)

The first of what would be many Final Fantasy concerts and their subsequent recordings. Terra's theme is the only song included from FFVI, but this is one of my favorite concert recordings, and one I highly recommend checking out — there's a great selection from the first ten games in the series.

The Black Mages

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Tsuyoshi Sekito, Kenichiro Fukui
Catalog #: SSCX-10080 (reprint SQEX-10019)
Length: 51:23
Tracks: 10, on 1 disc
Release Date: 19 February 2003 (reprint 10 May 2004)

Track 5: The Decisive Battle (Final Fantasy VI)
Track 6: Battle Theme (Final Fantasy VI)
Track 9: Dancing Mad (Final Fantasy VI)

The Black Mages was Nobuo Uematsu's band, which released three albums full of rock arrangements. The first album features three songs from FFVI, all of which are incredible. I mean, there's a 12-minute rock version of Dancing Mad. It's the greatest thing ever.

Dear Friends: Music from FINAL FANTASY Original Soundtrack

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arranger: Yoko Shimomura
Catalog #: TGCS-2726 (reprint SQEX-10288)
Length: 48:28
Tracks: 18, on 1 disc
Release Date: 16 May 2005 (reprint 15 September 2011)

Track 3: Terra's Theme

This album was sold at the some of the Final Fantasy concerts (including the Dear Friends run for which it's named), but the album itself isn't a concert recording — it'a s compilation of songs from the original soundtracks. So, Terra's theme on this disc is just the original. There is no recording available for the Dear Friends concert.

More Friends music from FINAL FANTASY ~Final Fantasy Orchestra Concert in Los Angeles 2005~

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Shirou Hamaguchi, Arnie Roth, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Kenichiro Fukui, Michio Okamiya
Catalog #: SQEX-10065
Length: 1:24:57
Tracks: 13, on 1 disc
Release Date: 15 February 2006

Track 5: Terra's Theme
Track 12: Opera "Maria and Draco"

As the title indicates, this is a live recording of the 2005 More Friends concert in Los Angeles. It's a solid album and well worth checking out; as far as FFVI goes, the highlight is that there's a beautiful 12-minute version of the opera in English. Terra's theme is also lovely.

VOICES music from FINAL FANTASY - Final Fantasy Premium Orchestra Concert

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Sachiko Miyano, Shiro Hamaguchi, Masashi Hamauzu, Naoki Takao, Kenichiro Fukui, Naoshi Mizuta, Motoki Matsuoka, Angela Aki, Arnie Roth
Catalog #: SQEX-20003 (limited edition SQEX-20001~2)
Length: 144:54
Tracks: 28, on 1 disc
Release Date: 21 June 2006

Track 20: Opera "Maria and Draco"

Another concert recording, this one from a concert held in Japan. I haven't heard this one myself, but the tracklist looks solid, so it may be worth checking out. This one has another performance of the opera; since I've not heard it myself I'm not sure which language it's performed in.

SQUARE ENIX BATTLE TRACKS Vol.1 SQUARE 1987-1996

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu, Kenji Ito, Ryuji Sasai, Hiroki Kikuta, Yoko Shimomura, Yasunori Mitsuda, Noriko Matsueda, Masaharu Iwata
Arrangers: Mitsuto Suzuki
Catalog #: SQEX-10097
Length: 1:09:28
Tracks: 25, on 1 disc
Release Date: 9 May 2007

Track 15: Final Fantasy VI 1994 "Dancing Mad"

Compilation album featuring music from Square games released between 1987 and 1996... released in 2007. Yeah, I don't get it either. The only song from FFVI is Dancing Mad, so at least it's a highlight. Same as on the original soundtrack.

Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Shiro Hamaguchi, Sachiko Miyano, Naoshi Mizuta, Hiroyuki Nakayama, Arnie Roth
Catalog #: AWR-10101 (reprint SQEX-10136)
Length: 1:14:31
Tracks: 13, on 1 disc
Release Date: 4 December 2007 (reprint 14 January 2009)

Track 11: Opera "Maria and Draco"

A recording of the first series of Distant Worlds concerts performed in Sweden. This would go on to become the main Final Fantasy international concert series. The opera is performed in English in this recording. A great album and well worth checking out; you can find it on Bandcamp.

THE BLACK MAGES III: Darkness and Starlight

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Kenichiro Fukui, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Michio Okamiya, Keiji Kawamori, Arata Hanyuda
Catalog #: DERP-10002
Length: 1:00:45
Tracks: 10, on 1 disc
Release Date: 19 March 2008

Track 9: Darkness and Starlight

The third album by The Black Mages (the second one didn't have any music from FFVI) featured — you guessed it — the opera. Unlike the other releases of the past few years, though, this was a rock arrangement, performed in Japanese.

Final Fantasy Remix

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Ante
Catalog #: SQEX-10119
Length: 55:36
Tracks: 12, on 1 disc
Release Date: 6 August 2008

Track 3: Terra's Theme / Piano Collections FINAL FANTASY VI

A remix album, featuring various remixes of FF songs. Interestingly, the version of Terra's theme remixed is the Piano Collections version. If you're in the market for remixes but haven't heard too many yet, I wouldn't use this album as your starting point; there are a couple of worthwhile tracks but overall this is not a strong album. Check out the fan remixes instead, many of which are free.

Guitar solo FINAL FANTASY Official Best Collection

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Yuji Sekiguchi
Catalog #: KR-0080
Length: 50:22
Tracks: 25, on 1 disc
Release Date: 20 September 2008

Track 12: Decisive Battle
Track 13: Searching for Friends

This was the first guitar album. Here's the thing about all of the guitar albums: they're really good. These are easily some of my favorite albums out of all of the FF albums. The two FFVI songs on this album are great picks, but honestly the whole album is worth it.

DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

Composer: Takeharu Ishimoto, Nobuo Uematsu, Naoshi Mizuta, Hitoshi Sakimoto
Arrangers: Takeharu Ishimoto, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Mitsuto Suzuki, Your Favorite Enemies, Shiro Hamaguchi, Kazuhiko Toyama
Catalog #: SQEX-10132~3 (limited SQEX-10130~1)
Length: 2:30:14
Tracks: 55, on 2 discs
Release Date: 24 December 2008

Disc 1, Track 26: 「Terra's Theme - arrange -」 from FINAL FANTASY VI
Disc 1, Track 27: 「The Decisive Battle - arrange -」 from FINAL FANTASY VI
Disc 1, Track 28: 「Battle to the Death - arrange -」 from FINAL FANTASY VI
Disc 2, Track 24: 「DISSIDIA - ending -」 from DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY

This is actually the soundtrack for the PSP game Dissidia, a Final Fantasy character brawler. The soundtrack is full of both original and arranged music from the games it represents. It's really a very solid album; the arrangements are all very good. The ending theme includes a section from FFVI's ending theme alongside the various ending themes from the other games.

CELLYTHM - THOSE WHO DISTORTED

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: L.Gallardo, Michio Okamiya, Tsutomu Narita
Catalog #: DERP-10004
Length: 19:49
Tracks: 6, on 1 disc
Release Date: 25 March 2009

Track 3: Battle Theme (THE BLACK MAGES / from FINAL FANTASY VI)

This is a 20-minute cello album featuring music from Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and Final Fantasy. To call it odd is an understatement. That aside, though, it's really good. I never knew I wanted to hear these songs on the cello until I heard this album. Unfortunately the RPGFan review doesn't include a preview of the FFVI track, but you can get a good idea of the overall sound from the other samples. Your mileage may vary, but I really enjoy it.

Final Fantasy Ukulele Solo Collections

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Kiyoshi Kobayashi
Catalog #: N/A
Length: 1:01:16
Tracks: 31, on 1 disc
Release Date: 30 September 2009

Track 19: Shadow's Theme
Track 20: Kids Run Through The City Corner
Track 21: Terra's Theme

Well, we've had guitar and piano... why not ukulele? I had no idea this album existed until I was putting this page together for this website, and when I tracked down the music I was really pleasantly surprised by it. Like the guitar albums, the songs are very short, but many of the arrangements are slow and soothing. If you happen across this album, I definitely recommend it.

Love SQ

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: PE'Z, DE DE MOUSE, NOVOISKI, livetune, SEXY-SYNTHESIZER, Good Luck Heiwa, note native, muZik, →Pia-no-jaC←, no.9
Catalog #: SQEX-10174
Length: 53:22
Tracks: 10, on 1 disc
Release Date: 25 November 2009

Track 9: Battle on the Big Bridge ~ Dancing Mad ~ One-Winged Angel

So, here's the deal with the SQ series of albums: they're compilation albums of fan remixes licensed and published by Square Enix. Fairly obscure stuff, but there's a decent number of them. This one's actually on the US iTunes store, so you can check it out for yourself, or RPGFan's samples. The sole FFVI entry is a mix of Dancing Mad with the two most known songs from FFV and FFVII; interesting stuff.

Incidentally, it's a fine distinction between putting this as a compilation album or a fan album; I err on the side of compilation because these are published directly by Square.

FINAL FANTASY SOLO GUITAR COLLECTIONS Vol. 1

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Daisuke Minamizawa
Catalog #: N/A
Length: 59:38
Tracks: 26, on 1 disc
Release Date: 2 April 2010

Track 12: Terra

The one thing I dislike about the guitar albums is that they all have similar names and it's hard to keep track of which one is which. In any case, this one has a lovely selection, and while there are many renditions of Terra's theme, it's beautiful on guitar.

Chill SQ

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Hidefumi Kenmochi, Hiroto Uyama, Mitsuto Suzuki, okadada, RE:NDZ, Ryussy, Akira Kosemura
Catalog #: SQEX-10193
Length: 34:49
Tracks: 7, on 1 disc
Release Date: 26 May 2010

Track 6: Chill SQ: FINAL FANTASY VI ~Aria

The second in the SQ series. I don't have this album, but it's available on iTunes and RPGFan has samples. This version of Aria is in English and sounds lovely; seems worth checking out.

Distant Worlds II: more music from FINAL FANTASY

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Kenichiro Fukui, Shiro Hamaguchi, Adam Klemens, Sachiko Miyano, Arnie Roth, Eric Roth, Nobuo Uematsu
Catalog #: AWR-10102 (reprint SQEX-10205)
Length: 1:02:11
Tracks: 13, on 1 disc
Release Date: 1 June 2010 (reprint 3 November 2010)

Track 6: Dancing Mad (FINAL FANTASY VI)
Track 9: Terra's Theme (FINAL FANTASY VI)

As you can see above, the opera has been done to death, so this was an album I was really looking forward to: it's got a 10-minute orchestral treatment of Dancing Mad. And it's amazing. The rest of the album is good too (and Terra's theme is good as always), but Dancing Mad is the real highlight. You can check the album out on Bandcamp.

Symphonic Fantasies - music from SQUARE ENIX

Composers: Jonne Valtonen, Yoko Shimomura, Hiroki Kikuta, Yasunori Mitsuda, Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Jonne Valtonen, Roger Wanamo
Catalog #: SQEX-10202 (Europe 476 404-2)
Length: 1:12:30
Tracks: 5, on 1 disc
Release Date: 15 September 2010 (Europe 17 September 2010)

Track 5: Fantasy IV: Final Fantasy (Prelude | Bombing Mission | Battle at the Big Bridge | Phantom Forest etc.)

This is actually a really cool release: it's not a direct arrangement of the tracks above, but a reinterpretation that turns them into a symphony. The album itself is a live recording of a concert dedicated to this; other music featured was from other Square titles such as Kingdom Hearts and Chrono Trigger. A very, very cool release; check out the VGMdb pages linked above for links on where to find it.

FINAL FANTASY SOLO GUITAR COLLECTIONS VOL.2

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Daisuke Minamizawa
Catalog #: N/A
Length: 56:55
Tracks: 28, on 1 disc
Release Date: 18 January 2011

Track 12: Shadow's Theme
Track 13: Spinach Rag
Track 14: Searching for Friends
Track 15: Epitaph

Second volume of the guitar albums, despite the fact that this is the third one. Shhh. I really enjoy this album in general; I've found that once arrangement albums get past the first volume and hit the highlights from all of the games, they get into the less-arranged tracks and create some real gems. I mean, really, Epitaph? Where else am I going to get an arrangement of Epitaph?

Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY Returning Home

Composers: Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu
Arrangers: Shiro Hamaguchi, Arnie Roth, Eric Roth, Tsutomu Narita, Adam Klemens, Masashi Hamauzu, Yoshihisa Hirano, Toshiyuki O'mori
Catalog #: SQEX-20004~6 (US AWR 10104~7)
Length: 2:05:00
Tracks: 27, on 3 discs (1 DVD, 2 CD)
Release Date: 19 January 2011 (US 1 April 2011)

Disc 3, Track 4: Dancing Mad [FINAL FANTASY VI]
Disc 3, Track 15: Terra's Theme [FINAL FANTASY VI]

The next entry in the Distant Worlds series of concerts. The tracklist for FFVI is basically the same as the last concert album, but the actual tracklist is pretty different; there's a lot of new songs from the newer games. It's also a two-disc set, so there's a lot more to choose from. And hey, I'm never going to turn down Dancing Mad. I am a little tired of the direct orchestral versions of Terra's theme, though. Don't get me wrong, they're lovely, there's just little variation between concerts.

DISSIDIA 012[duodecim] FINAL FANTASY Original Soundtrack

Composer: Takeharu Ishimoto, Nobuo Uematsu, Junya Nakano, Naoshi Mizuta, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masashi Hamauzu
Arrangers: Takeharu Ishimoto, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Mitsuto Suzuki, Keiji Kawamori, Rieko Mikoshiba, Kentaro Sato, Bruce Somers
Catalog #: SQEX-10235~7 (limited SQEX-10231~4)
Length: 180:38
Tracks: 71, on 3 discs
Release Date: 2 March 2011

Disc 1, Track 23: "Phantom Forest -arrange-" from FINAL FANTASY VI
Disc 1, Track 24: "Battle -arrange-" from FINAL FANTASY VI
Disc 1, Track 25: "Searching for Friends -original-" from FINAL FANTASY VI
Disc 2, Track 20: "DISSIDIA 012[duodecim]-ending-" from DISSIDIA 012[duodecim] FINAL FANTASY

The soundtrack from the second Dissidia game, again featuring arrangements from all of the games represented. As with the first game, the ending theme includes a section from FFVI's ending theme. I didn't enjoy this soundtrack as much as the first, but then again I never liked this game that much.

More SQ

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: ROCKETMAN, JABBERLOOP, Shisotex, →Pia-no-jaC←, SAKEROCK, sasakure.UK, Idiot Pop, ELECTROCUTICA, mouse on the keys, SPECIAL OTHERS, RE:NDZ, Miyuki Hatakeyama, Yusuke Hirado Trio, Kuricorder Quartet
Catalog #: SQEX-10238
Length: 1:00:49
Tracks: 13, on 1 disc
Release Date: 2 March 2011

Track 10: FINAL FANTASY VI Searching Friends

More SQ? Sure, why not. This one's on iTunes as well. I'm actually kind of surprised how often Searching for Friends gets arranged.

sq chips

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: DJ OMKT & MJ, Hige Driver, Hidekazu Tanaka, SEXY-SYNTHESIZER, Shisotex, (S_S), 203soundworks, Yoshino Yoshikawa, muZik, the3rdmimi, Mitsuto Suzuki, Another Infinity, Q/11A E07
Catalog #: SQEX-10248
Length: 1:18:27
Tracks: 18, on 1 disc
Release Date: 21 September 2011

Track 7: Final Fantasy VI "Terra's Theme" / 203soundworks
Track 18: Final Fantasy IV - V - VI "Ending Medley" / SEXY-SYNTHESIZER

We've now reached the point where a SNES game gets its music downgraded to 8-bit. These are strange and interesting times.

Anyway, this is a chiptune album. This one isn't on iTunes, but there are some samples on RPGFan. Not my thing, but if it's yours, here's a whole album of it.

cafe sq

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: pesama, RÄFVEN, Hajime Kobayashi, kous, millstones, KING COLUMBIA, Deadball P, yuxuki waga, Manami Morita, sasakure.UK, Duke of Pianeet, Serph, SmileR, The Reign of Kindo, Schroeder-Headz
Catalog #: SQEX-10276
Length: 1:14:15
Tracks: 14, on 1 disc
Release Date: 23 November 2011

Track 6: Cafe SQ: FINAL FANTASY VI "Johnny C. Bad" / KING COLUMBIA

Another SQ album, this one apparently... cafe themed. Okay then. This version of Johnny C Bad is actually pretty cool; you can check out a sample on RPGFan. I don't have this album (the SQ series is fairly obscure) but it seems interesting enough.

Symphonic Odysseys TRIBUTE TO NOBUO UEMATSU

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Jonne Valtonen, Roger Wanamo, Jani Laaksonen, Masashi Hamauzu, Shiro Hamaguchi
Catalog #: DERP-10017~8
Length: 1:34:56
Tracks: 14, on 2 discs
Release Date: 23 November 2011

Disc 1, Track 2: Final Fantasy Concerto ~ For Piano and Orchestra - I. Grave - Allegro
Disc 1, Track 3: Final Fantasy Concerto ~ For Piano and Orchestra - II. Adagio cantabile
Disc 1, Track 4: Final Fantasy Concerto ~ For Piano and Orchestra - III. Allegro molto

Remember Symphonic Fantasies? This is the next album by the same group, and it's really something. The three-part Final Fantasy concerto arranges music from Final Fantasy I through VI, and the result is fantastic. The rest of the album covers a wider range of Uematsu's career, but all told it's a really interesting album. Definitely worth checking out.

FINAL FANTASY GUITAR SOLO COLLECTION Selected by Original Soundtrack "FINAL FANTASY I~IX"

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arranger: Nobuyuki Hirakura
Catalog #: N/A
Length: 1:11:27
Tracks: 41, on 1 disc
Release Date: 20 February 2012

Track 21: Awakening
Track 22: Kefka
Track 23: Coin Song
Track 24: Forever Rachel
Track 25: Aria Di Mezzo Carattere

Yet another guitar album, this time covering just the music from FFI through FFIX. Not that that's a bad thing, since it allows for a lot more variety. I haven't heard this album myself, though I'd love to — if you know where I can get it, please do drop me a line.

PIANO OPERA FINAL FANTASY IV/V/VI

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arranger: Hiroyuki Nakayama
Catalog #: SQEX-10307
Length: 48:57
Tracks: 12, on 1 disc
Release Date: 16 May 2012

Track 3: Save Them [FINAL FANTASY VI]
Track 5: Searching for Friends [FINAL FANTASY VI]
Track 7: Kefka [FINAL FANTASY VI]
Track 11: Dancing Mad [FINAL FANTASY VI]

This is the second Piano Opera album — each covers three games in the FF series. I can't speak highly enough about this series of albums; I kind of consider them a spiritual successor to the Piano Collection albums. There's a great selection of tracks here (I will of course never turn down Dancing Mad) and the songs from IV and V are great as well. Definitely check this one out — it's on iTunes.

Symphonic Fantasies Tokyo

Composers: Jonne Valtonen, Yoko Shimomura, Hiroki Kikuta, Yasunori Mitsuda, Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Jonne Valtonen, Roger Wanamo
Catalog #: MSP-9612~3 (Japan 476 404-2, US MSP-9612~3d)
Length: 1:20:50
Tracks: 5, on 2 discs
Release Date: 11 June 2012 (Japan 20 September 2012, US 1 December 2014)

Disc 2, Track 2: Fantasy IV: Final Fantasy (Prelude | Bombing Mission | Battle at the Big Bridge | Phantom Forest etc.)

While at first this seems to simply be a rerecording of the original Symphonic Fantasies, it's actually a reworking — the composers of the symphonies went in and reworked the material. As such, it's slightly different from the original. You can grab this version on iTunes.

beer sq

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: RÄFVEN, Elequesta of Tabla, Keiketsu Ko, Hiroyuki Tominaga, Drakskip, MOHIKAN FAMILY'S, RF, Rio Okano, Daikiti Yoshida
Catalog #: SQEX-10317 (limited edition SQEX-10315~6)
Length: 40:30
Tracks: 8, on 1 disc
Release Date: 4 July 2012

Track 7: Spinach Rag ~ Character Medley (Final Fantasy VI)

So I guess the theme of this one is pubs? I can roll with that. The FFVI song is a rousing 9-minute character medley featuring most of the character themes from the game, with a side of Spinach Rag. It's a great track; well worth it for FFVI fans.

FINAL FANTASY SOLO GUITAR COLLECTIONS VOL.3

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arranger: Daisuke Minamizawa
Catalog #: N/A
Length: 55:33
Tracks: 25, on 1 disc
Release Date: 20 July 2012

Track 9: Kids Run Through The City Corner
Track 10: Kefka

More guitar? Thank you kindly. Kefka's on an earlier album, but surprisingly, Kids Run Through the City Corner had yet to be covered on guitar, so it's a welcome inclusion. Really, you can't go wrong with any of these albums.

FINAL FANTASY TRIBUTE ~THANKS~

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arranger: So many tears, mudy on the Sakuban, Calla Soiled, Kenmochi Hidefumi
Catalog #: SQEX-10358~9
Length: 2:17:50
Tracks: 25, on 2 discs
Release Date: 5 December 2012

Disc 1, Track 11: Searching for Friends
Disc 2, Track 3: Battle Medley (Fight 2 ~ The Final Battle ~ Battle 1 ~ This is the Last Battle ~ The Decisive Battle)
Disc 2, Track 5: The Man with the Machine Gun ~ Those Who Fight ~ Battle Theme
Disc 2, Track 9: Coin Song

This is, hands down, one of my absolute favorite Final Fantasy albums ever released. The remixes on these two discs are incredible. Even well-tread territory like Searching for Friends sounds brand-new, to say nothing of how Coin Song is reinterpreted. The non-FFVI songs on the album are stunning as well. Basically, this one is a don't miss.

A bonus CD came with the purchase of this album, RARE SQ. If you can track it down, I strongly recommend you do; it's fantastic.

FINAL FANTASY Orchestral Album

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masashi Hamauzu, Kumi Tanioka
Arranger: Shiro Hamaguchi, Hiroyuki Nakayama, Rika Ishige, Tsutomu Narita, Arnie Roth, Eric Roth, Yoshihisa Hirano
Catalog #: SQEX-20010
Length: 132:39
Tracks: 23, on 1 disc
Release Date: 26 December 2012

Track 8: Opera "Maria and Draco" Full Version [FINAL FANTASY VI]
Track 9: The Mystic Forest
Track 23: Battle Medley 2012 [FINAL FANTASY I~XIV]

Well, you can't say the title is misleading. Sure enough, it's an album of orchestral arrangements. According to VGMO's review, this album came out to celebrate the series's 25th anniversary. As a result, this album contains a few new arrangements (such as the Mystic Forest, above), reworkings of previous arrangements (as with the opera), and a slew of rereleased tracks from older material. Decisive Battle is part of the huge medley at the end.

FINAL FANTASY COLLECTION FOR A CAPPELLA Selected by Original Soundtrack "FINAL FANTASY I~Type-0"

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu, Naoshi Mizuta, Masashi Hamauzu, Takeharu Ishimoto
Arranger: ALLIANCE JAPAN
Catalog #: N/A
Length: 1:11:00
Tracks: 20, on 1 disc
Release Date: April 2013

Track 4: Aria
Track 5: Searching for Friends
Track 6: Coin Song

This album. Oh man, this album. This album is just one of the most fun albums I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. Every song is sung a capella, sometimes in English, sometimes in Japanese, sometimes just harmonized. And it's awesome. Aria is good, as always, but Coin Song is actually the highlight here. You wouldn't think it would work this well as a capella, but it does and it's great. Seriously, check out this album.

dancing dad

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arranger: Earthbound Papas
Catalog #: DERP-10020
Length: 55:50
Tracks: 10, on 1 disc
Release Date: 1 September 2013

Track 9: Dancing Mad (from FINAL FANTASY VI)

After The Black Mages disbanded, Uematsu formed a new group, the Earthbound Papas. Their first album didn't have any FFVI music, but their second album, Dancing Dad, features another arrangement of Dancing Mad. I will always be happy for more arrangements of Dancing Mad. This one is actually a lot slower and less rock-focused than the Black Mages version, but no less great.

cure sq

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arranger: Kuricorder Quartet (Masaki Kurihara, Yoshiyuki Kawaguchi, Kenji Kondo, Takero Sekizima)
Catalog #: SQEX-10412
Length: 32:40
Tracks: 11, on 1 disc
Release Date: 1 December 2013

Track 4: Gogo's Theme ~ Slam Shuffle (from FINAL FANTASY VI)
Track 10: Gau's Theme ~ Relm's Theme (from FINAL FANTASY VI)

The theme of this SQ album? The recorder. As in, the instrument. Okay, sure.

This one's on iTunes, so feel free to check it out. I'm not sure what to make of it myself. I'm still scarred from trying to learn to play the recorder as a kid. To this day the music it makes doesn't really appeal to me.

Final Fantasy Ukulele Solo Album Music Selection from FINAL FANTASY

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arranger: Nobuyuki Hirakura
Catalog #: N/A
Length: 56:33
Tracks: 34, on 1 disc
Release Date: 15 May 2014

Track 15: Awakening
Track 16: Kefka

Hey, there's finally another ukulele album! Took long enough. Haven't heard this one and I can't find any samples, but the tracklist looks great. I'd love to hear it — please drop me a line if you know where I can find it.

SQ Swing

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arranger: Taro Kuchibue, Drakskip, Hidehiro Kawai, KING COLUMBIA, RF, Iori Kimura, Bashiry, Yusuke Hirado
Catalog #: SQEX-10434
Length: 54:59
Tracks: 12, on 1 disc
Release Date: 28 May 2014

Track 4: Final Fantasy VI "Johnny C Bad"
Track 7: Final Fantasy VI "Shadow ~ Cayenne ~ Edgar&Mash"

Will the SQ series ever end? Probably not. I assume this one has a swing theme; I haven't heard it either. I'd be interested to hear the latter FFVI track; seems like an interesting mix.

A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arranger: Arnie Roth, Eric Roth, Shiro Hamaguchi, Adam Klemens, Casey Ormond, Nobuo Uematsu
Catalog #: N/A (alternate AWR-10103)
Length: 1:08:21
Tracks: 18, on 1 disc
Release Date: 22 August 2014

Track 4: Dark World (From "Final Fantasy VI")
Track 7: The Decisive Battle (From "Final Fantasy VI")

After years of orchestral concerts, eventually someone decided hey, let's do something a little different. This was the result: an intimate arrangement of FF music rather than the grand orchestrations of the Distant Worlds concerts. The result is absolutely spectacular. This arrangement of Dark World is one of my favorite tracks ever released: it's slow and eerie and just right. Check out the samples on Bandcamp; you won't be disappointed.

Distant Worlds III: more music from Final Fantasy

Composers: Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu
Arranger: Shiro Hamaguchi, Masashi Hamauzu, Sachiko Miyano, Hiroyuki Nakayama, Tsutomu Narita, Toshiyuki O'mori, Arnie Roth, Eric Roth
Catalog #: SQEX-10482
Length: 1:04:28
Tracks: 13, on 1 disc
Release Date: 21 January 2015

Track 6: Character Theme Medley (FINAL FANTASY VI)
Track 11: Balance is Restored (FINAL FANTASY VI)

I'll admit to having a certain amount of FF concert album fatigue by this point — as much as I love the concert arrangements, there are only so many times I can hear the same versions of Terra's theme before I get bored. I was pleasantly surprised, then, by this tracklist: there's a lot of new stuff in it from all of the games. FFVI got some of the best, with a medley of character themes and an arrangement of the ending theme, which (considering the length of the original) is usually ignored. A great showing, all things considered. You can find this album on Bandcamp.

Final Symphony - music from Final Fantasy VI, VII and X

Composers: Jonne Valtonen, Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu
Arranger: Jonne Valtonen, Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu
Catalog #: MSP-6710d (reprint SQEX-20021)
Length: 1:34:30
Tracks: 11, on 1 disc
Release Date: 23 February 2015 (reprint 16 September 2015)

Track 2: Final Fantasy VI (Symphonic Poem: Born with the Gift of Magic)

The same talent behind Symphonic Fantasies returns for Final Symphony, this time with the London Symphony Orchestra. There is honestly not enough praise to give this album. The 18-minute FFVI symphonic poem is nothing short of a work of art, beautifully blending together Terra's and Kefka's themes. If you listen to nothing else, you have to hear this. You shouldn't just check it out for FFVI, either — the three-part FFVII symphony is absolutely incredible.

You can get the album on iTunes, and if you'd like to learn more about this work itself, you can read an analysis of it here.

The reprint version is on Blu-ray; these days more and more albums are coming out on Blu-Ray special editions.

BRA★BRA FINAL FANTASY BRASS de BRAVO

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Arrangers: Yasumasa Sato, Yohei Kobayashi, Rika Ishige, Tsutomu Narita, Nobuhiko Kashiwara
Catalog #: SQEX-10487
Length: 52:37
Tracks: 11, on 1 disc
Release Date: 4 March 2015

Track 1: FF Battle 2 Medley
Track 2: The Airship Medley
Track 5: FF Dungeon Medley
Track 8: Aria di Mezzo Carattere

This is a really fun album, and not just because of its name. This is album focusing on brass instruments, but also percussion and woodwind, per RPGFan's review, and it's a blast to listen to. I personally enjoy it for the variety of the medleys. You can check it out on iTunes.

Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY THE JOURNEY OF 100

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, Masayoshi Soken
Arrangers: Sachiko Miyano, Shiro Hamaguchi, Arnie Roth, Eric Roth, Hiroyuki Nakayama, Kenichiro Fukui, FILM SCORE, Adam Klemens, Yoshitaka Suzuki, Shota Nakama, Toshiyuki Omori, Masayoshi Soken, Nobuo Uematsu
Catalog #: SQEX-20020
Length: 1:43:21
Tracks: 19, on 1 disc
Release Date: 19 August 2015

Track 4: FINAL FANTASY VI: Balance Is Restored
Track 8: FINAL FANTASY VI: Character Theme Medley
Track 17: FINAL FANTASY Battle Medley I - XIV

This release is a recording of the 100th Distant Worlds concert on Blu-ray, which is pretty incredible; it's amazing how far the concert series has come. I haven't picked this one up yet myself, but my guess is that it doesn't stray too far from the tracks on the previous Distant Worlds album.

That's all the compilation albums for now. But there are also fans who put out albums full of FFVI music — why not check them out?

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Final Fantasy VI and its music is © Square-Enix.
No infringement intended. Awakening is © Larissa, 2007-2017.