Top 10 JRPGs With Amazing Soundtracks – Hey guys!. In this post, I’ll be discussing a list of Top 10 JRPGs With Amazing Soundtracks. Gameplay, story, characters – we all have those certain facets that define the great JRPGs in our minds. But one that I feel is often overlooked is the soundtrack.
In many cases, said soundtrack becomes inseparable from those moments. So I want to share with you guys in no particular order some of the JRPGs that I feel have amazing soundtracks, and I will keep it limited to one per franchise. Let’s find out!
1. Final Fantasy XIII
And kicking us off will be the original FFXIII, with honorable mentions going to the likes of FFX and FFXIV, yes it’s an MMO but I don’t really care, Soken deserves the praise. Now it’s no secret that me and the 13 trilogy don’t really see eye to eye. I’m not big on the combat of the original, and the design decisions for Lightning Returns had me abandoning it within 5 hours.
But one thing I will concede is that composer Masashi Hamauzu absolutely killed it with the OST for these 3 games, with the original standing out as the peak in my mind. Considering that this was a Final Fantasy without Uematsu, he had a lot to live up to in terms of legacy, but my goodness he hit it out of the park.
I’ll always remember the beautiful rendition of Sunleth Waterscape and the hope filled battle theme of Blinded By Light, how it starts somewhat sinister but gradually builds in to something triumphant. FFXIII has a knack of matching it’s tunes to the ambience it’s going for at any given time. If it wants to convey hopelessness, it can do that, if it wants to convey hope, it can also do that in equal measure.
2. Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy
This is another series that I feel in the majority has strong OSTs, there hasn’t been an Atelier title that I’ve played that I look at and shake my head in disappointment after sampling its soundtrack. Atelier games in the majority are going for that lighthearted feel, something upbeat yet mellow that will serve as ambience when you’re crafting your gear, as you’ll be spending most of your time at home base.
And for me personally, the second Ryza game is the one that nails that aspect, the acoustic guitar for Base of a New Adventure is just right for that feeling of being in your happy spot, the place where you’re free to try new things and experiment with what you’ve found on your journey.
But Atelier Ryza 2 also has one of my favourite battle themes ever in White Dew Windswept Grass, a song that’s fast paced and matches the action on screen beat for beat, very important considering Ryza moved away from the traditional turn based style of the past entries. The Atelier series is an excellent franchise in my eye and the OST of games like Ryza 2 are a big reason for that.
3. Cosmic Star Heroine
Up next is an indie title, but one that I feel deserves more acclaim and that is Cosmic Star Heroine. This is a title that is reminiscent of the 16 bit era of JRPGs, most notably drawing inspiration from the likes of Chrono Trigger in terms of its artistic direction. But Cosmic Star Heroine easily stands on its own two feet as a solid title that JRPG fans can enjoy, and it’s OST goes a long way in supporting that claim.
In the majority, you’ve got a decent collection here reminiscent of the days when JRPGs were really starting to find their feet, the main battle theme being a stand out. But I have to give Cosmic Star Heroine credit for having a song that actually made me want the final dungeon to be a bit longer.
In general I’m not a fan of this aspect within the genre, they’re too long, and they incorporate many cheap tricks to drain your resources before you get to the final bout. But if you have a popping song like Trojan Ruins acting as your ambience as you push through, then I’ll happily take another hour in these hell-scapes.
4. Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl
On to the 3DS now, and it’s for the Atlus developed gem Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl. Something that this game has in abundance is gripping atmospheric music – you don’t always need popping beats to be a strong OST, for if you’re able to instil a certain emotion within a player that matches what they’re doing at a given point, then you’re still a solid collection in my eyes.
As you traverse the floors, Millennium Girl manages to capture that feeling of adventure as you progress ever deeper. With such a simple yet gratifying gameplay loop on offer, it stands to reason that you’ll be hearing these tunes a lot, so it’s a testament to the quality of said OST that I never got bored of what I was hearing.
But if we’re going for the traditional banger tune, then look no further than the opening animated cutscene that allows us to feast on ‘The Beginning of the End’ – what an apt name, because it will mark the end of your free time as you’ll want to dedicate it fully to this game.
5. NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…
Now between Replicant and Automata, you can definitely argue for both, and I wouldn’t begrudge anyone who picked Automata as the stronger as that too has a stellar collection of songs. But for me, I give the slightest edge to Replicant. Now it is worth noting that there was indeed an original soundtrack too before this that was recomposed for the remaster.
And there are certainly players who will enjoy the original soundtrack more, feeling it has more impact as compared to this instrumental variant in Replicant. Since I never played the original Nier, I can’t comment myself, but what I will say is that Replicant did not disappoint me at all. It harmonizes wonderfully to create something that is beyond the sum of its individual elements.
And if I had to choose one song that illustrates that to a tee, it is Kaine – Salvation – what a song that is. When I first heard it, I was blown away by the composition, the structure, the build up. It was so memorable for all the right reasons, and really contrasted with, what was at this time, a more brash character in Kaine herself.
6. Ys Origin
We move now to some Falcom titles and you knew they were gonna be here eventually, I hold Sound Team JDK in very high regard and for good reason. For the Ys Series, I’m giving the crown to Ys Origin, but in actuality it could go to any of them.. One thing that Ys has always excelled at as a series is it’s OST quality and that even goes for the more divisive Ys V.
But I’ve decided on Ys Origin because it was my first experience with Falcom as a company, and I still play these songs religiously over a decade later. Ys Origin instilled excitement within me. From the moment I heard Genesis Beyond the Beginning for the first time, I knew that this game was going to be right up my alley.
There is not one bad song in all of Ys Origin, not in my eyes. It ranges from good to legendary and it gets you pumped for the fast paced action that it offers at every corner. Origin may have a more controversial game design in terms of repetition, but its OST massively contributes to making those return journeys enjoyable.
7. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV
Once again, this could go to any of the Trails games, the quality of the OST is once again at a ridiculously high level throughout the series, but for me personally, I feel that the Cold Steel arc has the strongest OST quality overall, yes I’ve stood by that for a very long time now, and among those 4 titles, I feel that Cold Steel IV has the most gripping among that sub series.
It’s no secret that I adore Cold Steel IV, it’s my second favourite game in the entirety of Trails, and one key reason for that is it’s music. I don’t say it lightly that this game has my favourite battle theme of all time – despite it’s questionable name, I was consistently looking forward to the recognizable beats of Burning Throb time after time. I play this song at least once a day, it is in every playlist I have.
But Cold Steel IV doesn’t just excel in it’s battle music, there’s also some amazing renditions like Radiant Hope, Lyrical Amber, To the Future, Majestic Roar and the foreboding Black Truth when the secrets of this story are finally revealed. I know Cold Steel IV divides opinion, but I will always sing its praises. And if that praise isn’t aimed at the story, then it’s instead directed at it’s amazing soundtrack.
8. Tokyo Xanadu eX+
And the last stop on the Falcom line is Tokyo Xanadu Ex+. Yes, Falcom do actually make games outside of Ys and Trails, and it’s a shame that gems like Tokyo Xanadu are forgotten because of it. But just because it’s often overlooked, doesn’t mean that this game lacks the chops to demonstrate its quality, and once again its collection of songs is one such notable strength.
Tokyo Xanadu splits the narrative adeptly through it’s approach – on one side you’ve got the daily life of a high school student called Kou as he traverses around the fictional outskirt suburb of Morimiya and then on the other you have the fantastical element of exploring the Eclipse and taking on supernatural monstrosities.
Songs like Hazy Moon instil that sense of mystery attributable to the Eclipse, while songs like Telepathy of the Beginning put you on ease during the more normal events. Tokyo Xanadu is loaded with excellent songs that hit that emotional tone just right, and it’s a shame that it’s often pushed aside for the arguably more popular titles within Falcom’s collection.
9. NEO: The World Ends with You
Keeping things somewhat rooted in modern society, we now move to NEO: The World Ends With You. It’s no wonder that the physical version of this soundtrack was recently restocked, it is that good. It’s sort of a fusion of Hip-hop, J-pop and pop punk of the early 2000s, which is right up my street considering some of my favourite bands growing up ranged from Green Day to Sum 41.
Now you could argue that the original is just as good, but my personal tastes swing to the more popping collection on offer from NEO, I just feel there’s more realised tracks here that fit this in your face style that the game illustrates. It’s loud, it’s stylish and the beats match that feeling perfectly as you traverse the streets of Shibuya.
If I were to pick a personal highlight though, it’s Transformation. This is an absolute killer of a song – easily the highlight of an OST that is already strong in it’s own right. If you’re looking for a game that will make love to your ear holes, then give this one a go, it might actually demonstrate to Square that people actually want this series to succeed.
10. Xenoblade Chronicles 1
Now just like Nier, Trails and Ys, pretty much all of the mainline Xenoblade games have exceedingly high quality soundtracks, akin to gold crowns sitting on velvet cushions with nary a blemish on them. But Xenoblade Chronicles 1, along with memorable tracks like the Gaur Plains and Satorl Marsh has the jewel embedded within its centre, a song that allows it to pip it’s two contemporaries.
That song comes right at the very end, and it is called Beyond the Sky. And this was very important, for at this point in time Xenoblade Chronicles was not the household name it is today, it was simply the new work of a team that had to cut short their ambitious project of Xenosaga a few years back.
Xenoblade Chronicles as a series consistently delivers on its endings, they never disappoint. But for me personally, the first game stands at the pinnacle at least in terms of OST quality.
I will give mention to the likes of both Chrono titles, Breath of Fire 3 and Secret of Mana as I know many people hold those soundtracks in high regards too, but I can’t pass judgment on games that I have never played. In the case of Persona 5, it was on the draft list to include here, but I think many people are aware of how good that is as well.
That is it from today’s post on Top 10 JRPGs With Amazing Soundtracks. If you do not agree with the points in the post and have some of your own opinions, share them with us in the comments section down below. Keep visiting Animesoulking for more information about Anime and Manga.