Final Fantasy XII: The Best OST Music in The Game, RankedThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Hitoshi Sakimoto has been writing music for video games since the late eighties.
He began his career at sixteen, composing music for various PC and console games at the time, most notably the Tactics Ogre games. In 1997, Sakimoto had been brought on board to compose the soundtrack for Final Fantasy Tactics – which would become his most popular work and instantly tied his name to Ivalice, the game’s setting.
Nearly a decade later in 2006, Sakimoto returned to score Final Fantasy XII – the first mainline Final Fantasy game to take place in the country of Ivalice, and a canonical distant prequel to Final Fantasy Tactics.
Since they share the same world, they share many of the same musical themes and ideas, although Final Fantasy XII has its own distinct identity.
The FFXII soundtrack has a total of 100 tracks – a staggering amount.
If one were to read all this about Hitoshi Sakimoto and become curious enough to go to Spotify and listen, one might become overwhelmed. Well I’m here to help.
Let’s give a place to start digging into this OST by ranking some of the best music from Final Fantasy XII.
10. A Moment’s Rest
A Moment’s Rest is a gentle piece that invokes a mysterious energy about it, using a slower tempo and a gentle harp in the background the whole time.
It’s a song that invites the player to, as the name states, take a moment to both gather yourself. Maybe take in your surroundings before moving on to uncover what secrets they hold.
The song first plays in the courtyard before the Tomb of Raithwall, and then again when you arrive at Old Archades.
Both are places teeming with mystery and intrigue.
9. Chocobo Theme -FFXII Version-
Here’s Ivalice’s take on the classic Final Fantasy Chocobo tune.
This chocobo theme invokes warm feelings of comfort and nostalgia, while also adding the signature flair of both the composer and the world of which it resides.
The Chocobo theme here has an imperial sound, as though it were a song played to keep an army of the yellow, upright birds in order as they carry their passengers around the world.
8. The Fates
Here’s a piece of music that uses low strings to convey a serious tone – and is used when the current scene and conversation has to be taken as such.
It takes a break in the middle, becoming warmer and lighter for a moment, before returning to the more tonally serious side.
The piece escalates whatever scene it plays under to really escalate whatever emotions are on show.
7. The Esper
When the party summons an Esper to assist them in battle, the music changes to this aptly-named piece.
Using big timpani hits and a full-blown chorus, The Esper is a piece of music that turns up the intensity of the battle to match the newly-added magical beast the party invited to it.
If it’s a tough encounter, this music will only make the tension greater.
The Esper is a piece that can turn just about any battle into something as epic as a full-blown war.
6. Boss Battle
This is the standard boss battle theme that’s used during most, but not all, major encounters.
It has a rising nature that keeps escalating – but never truly reaches a peak, making the battles feel like they too will never end.
Each boss battle becomes a true struggle and a memorable encounter.
There’s no better feeling in FFXII when you’re gaining the upper hand in a fight with this boss battle music swelling higher and higher in the background.
5. Room of White
Room of White is a very melancholy piece that emphasizes somber emotion using string instruments.
It has hints of Final Fantasy XII’s main theme, as well as that of certain characters.
It’s most memorably used when Vaan is remembering the fate of his brother.
Room of White is a piece that offers pure heartfelt emotion. It truly encapsulates the sorrow, loss, and tragedy of the story it’s helping to tell.
4. Final Fantasy Theme -XII Version-
Music so good that it was used on the title screen!
This was originally composed by the great Nobuo Uematsu and rearranged for FFXII, the twelfth rendition of the Final Fantasy theme uses the big timpani and imperial sounds that Sakimoto is known for – while also maintaining and respecting the absolute legend that the music is and represents.
You hear it every time you start up the game, that’s how good it is.
3. Battle on the Big Bridge
As another classic track, Battle on the Big Bridge has seen many variations since its origin in Final Fantasy V.
Final Fantasy XII takes the familiar piece and turns it up using big drums and strings with marimba to create a unique Ivalician take.
The battle where this is used (on a big bridge, yes) will feel super nostalgic to long-time fans of the series, and really epic to the newcomers.
And that’s thanks in no small part to the music.
2. Battle with an Esper
Spread all around Ivalice are thirteen Espers, powerful beings created by the ever-present Occuria.
You can hunt down these Espers to make them available as personal summons – but you have to beat them in combat to keep them.
When you engage an Esper in a battle for dominance, this is the music that plays.
It’s a creeping piece with a steady, marching drum beat, and a distant ominous choir that makes you feel like you’re encountering something that humanity shouldn’t ever have discovered.
1. Life and Death
When it comes time to throw down with one of the few major players in the Archadian Empire, be it the brother or the father, the game sets the appropriate epic confrontational mood using the pinnacle of battle music:
Life and Death.
Big brass haunts the background of the intensifying string section that eventually opens up into a thrilling piece of music that’s perfect for any important battle – and makes them really feel like you’re doing something important.