10. Tales of Innocence
Tales of Innocence has one stylish opening, right from the get go. It starts with some moody black outlines of the main characters set against stained glass, all while the catchy opening plays in the background. After that, the animation perfectly sets up the game’s western-Steam Punk aesthetic, while showing off a bit of each main character. While there’s plenty of conflict shown off in the opening, you can tell this one is really going to be about the relationships between party members.
9. Tales of Legendia
Tales of Legendia came out when Namco was still using orchestral scores for the English openings of Tales games. However, both the orchestral and Japanese openings fit the game incredibly well. Each one makes Legendia feel sufficiently epic. The opening starts with some gorgeous landscape shots, and then focuses immediately on the main siblings, Senel and Shirley.
There’s some brilliant use of lighting in this opening that really makes it stand out, especially in one shot as Senel is battling the main villain. In terms of a mood setter, you can’t get much better than Legendia.
8. Tales of Xillia
Tales of Xillia was a unique entry in the franchise because of its dual protagonists, who you could choose between at the start of the game. Xillia’s opening does a great job of representing both characters, partially because there’s actually two variations, one for Jude and one for Milla.
You also get the sense right from the start of the opening that Xillia’s going to be a fast-paced title, due to the speed of the animation and intensity of the music. It features gorgeous animation, some incredible battle scenes, and an epic song that fits the game so well.
7. Tales of Zestiria
Tales of Zestiria’s opening is easily one of the most visually engaging the series has ever seen. However, it also features a more rock-themed song that lacks vocals, in contrast to the rest of the series. This turns out to fit the game perfectly though, as the opening shows off some absolutely incredible battle sequences for each of the main characters.
The animation on display is lavish and absolutely gorgeous, something we’d see even more of in Tales of Zestiria the X, the anime. After being treated to a two-minute opening, the final scene lands on a shot of Sorey looking out over a vast landscape, indicative of the lonely quest he has to undertake.
6. Tales of Rebirth
Tales of Rebirth’s opening is definitely toned down both in pace and action compared to some of the later openings of the series. However, it turns out to be a good fit, as it one by one introduces each of the important characters, reflecting a little bit of their personalities. Even so, there’s an interesting rotating shot of an intense sword fight between the protagonist Veigue and Mihaust. It’s definitely a mood setter and one that gives Rebirth a bit of a somber tone.
5. Tales of Destiny 2
Although here in the West we did see the release of Tales of Destiny, sadly, we never got to see Tales of Destiny 2, which focused on Stahn Aileron’s son. Still, Destiny 2’s opening is definitely a great one, which like many Tales games sets the tone perfectly. The opening uses a fast-poppy song all about love, that gives off an air of childlike innocence and wonder.
This is only strengthened by the fact that the animation in the opening is perfectly matched to the beat of the song. What results is an incredibly stylish opening with a lot of personality, that also gives you a glimpse at the characters, romance, and action to come.
4. Tales of Xillia 2
Much like the opening to the first Tales of Xillia, Xillia 2’s opening sets things at a breakneck pace with tons of action, and a song to match it. Despite the main character Ludger Kresnik being a voiceless protagonist, the opening shows his combat prowess and determination well, and the fact that he ultimately comes to blows with his brother Julius.
Xillia 2’s opening also does a great job at showing the dynamic relationship between Ludger and Elle, while simultaneously showing how each of the main characters from the first game has grown. The focus feels just as much on them, as it is on Ludger.
3. Tales of Symphonia
Tales of Symphonia’s greatest strength with its opening lies in the sheer amount of variation it shows off. The opening gives a great look at each of the main characters, while also giving players a glimpse at the wildly varied environments they’ll be visiting. The beautiful opening song also shifts from melancholic tones to more intense ones, to match the action of the animation.
At the same time, we also get a good look at the budding romance between Lloyd and Colette. In terms of giving you a glimpse at the entire experience, few do it as well as Tales of Symphonia. The PS2 version of the game also features a different opening song that fits the animation just as well.
2. Tales of Vesperia
Tales of Vesperia is another example of an opening that matches animation and music perfectly, this time right from the very beginning. The first few shots of the opening reveal the main characters, matched exactly to the beat. The lavish animation does a good job of showing the combat abilities of each character, while also taking the time to introduce each of the game’s villains.
At the same time, you get to see some more emotional moments, showing the struggles that the party will go through as well. Perhaps most impressive about Vesperia’s opening is that the main theme has both a Japanese and English version, both of which fit equally well. Tales openings have always done a good job of matching music to animation, but Vesperia is definitely a cut above most.
1. Tales of the Abyss
Oftentimes, good song choice can really make an opening into something great, and that’s exactly what happens with Tales of the Abyss. Karma by Bump of Chicken perfectly highlights Abyss, starting low paced before totally opening up.
From there, the song weaves in and out of a slow and fast pace, matching action on screen versus quiet character moments. It’s also a great representation of how Luke grows throughout the game, moving from an inexperienced kid, to horribly conflicted teenager, and then finally a level-headed young adult. Tales of the Abyss’ opening really fires on all cylinders, helping to highlight what makes a Tales game what it is.