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The Criminally Underappreciated Music of Final Fantasy XI


The Criminally Underappreciated Music of Final Fantasy XI

There are a lot of reasons to forget that Final Fantasy XI exists. Since it was (and still is) subscription based, it excluded many longtime fans of the series that couldn’t afford or weren’t willing to pony up the monthly fee. While it eventually saw console releases, it debuted on the PC, a first for the series.  Also, it isn’t a traditional JRPG as it incorporates MMO-style gameplay, a turn off for some. Because of all this, many don’t consider it a true numbered entry into the franchise.

I can’t blame JRPG fans for not giving FFXI a shot; all of those reasons and many more are enough for most people to understandably move on without trying it. This isn’t an article to tempt to you try out FFXI or to convince you to play the newest numbered Final Fantasy MMO, Final Fantasy XIV. Some people just aren’t into MMOs, and that is totally fine. Instead, I invite our readers to give its music a chance. Say what you will about the game itself, but its quality music transcends genre and gameplay.

The music in Final Fantasy XI is composed mostly by Nobuo Uematsu, Naoshi Mizuta, and Kumi Tanioka, and it is some of best in the entire series. Having spent over ten years playing FFXI, I have spent many hours listening to its wonderful tracks and have put together a list of the eleven best songs. The list encompasses a wide variety of moods across the main game and each of the game’s five expansions. To make the context of the songs easier, I sorted them out by category (town, battle, etc.) Even if you hate MMOs, if you love music, especially music from Final Fantasy, find some time to give each of these tracks a listen, you can thank me later.

Town Music

The Republic of Bastok: Final Fantasy XI OST (2002)

Selbina: Final Fantasy XI OST (2002)

Bustle of the Capital: Treasures of Aht Urghan (2006)

The Pioneers: Seekers of Adoulin (2013)

Battle Music

Fighters of the Crystal: Rise of the Zilart (2003)

A Realm of Emptiness: Chains of Promathia (2004)

Ragnarok: Treasures of Aht Urghan (2006)

Field/Dungeon Music

The Sanctuary of Zi’Tah: Rise of the Zilart (2003)

Movalpolos: Chains of Promathia (2004)

Tavnazian Archipelago: Chains of Promathia (2004)

West Sarutabaruta [S]: Wings of the Goddess (2007)

Ed has been a proud member of the Twinfinite staff since 2014. He plays everything on everything but is particularly fond of JRPGs, MMOs, and sports. He holds a B.A. in history and political science and a M.S. in education all from the University at Albany.

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