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Your favorite JRPG composer of the 1990s & 2000s ?

Best jrpg composer of the 1990s - 2000s ?

  • NOBUO UEMATSU (Final Fantasy series; Lost Odyssey; Blue Dragon)

    Votes: 54 55.7%
  • YASUNORI MITSUDA (Chrono series, Xenogears, Xenosaga series, Shadow Hearts series)

    Votes: 23 23.7%
  • KOICHI SUGIYAMA (Dragon Quest series)

    Votes: 4 4.1%
  • HITOSHI SAKIMOTO (Final Fantasy Tactics; Final Fantasy XII; Vagrant Story; Odin)

    Votes: 4 4.1%
  • HIROKI KIKUTA (Seiken Densetsu series)

    Votes: 3 3.1%
  • SHOJI MEGURO (Shin Megami Tensei series)

    Votes: 2 2.1%
  • MOTOI SAKURABA (Tales Of series; Golden Sun series; Valkyrie Profile; Star Ocean)

    Votes: 2 2.1%
  • MASAHI HAMAUZU (Final Fantasy X; Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII; Saga Frontier 2)

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • YOKO SHIMOMURA (Kingdom Hearts series; Parasite Eve; Legend of Mana)

    Votes: 3 3.1%
  • TAKEHARU ISHIMOTO (Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII; The World Ends With You; Final Fantasy: Dissidia)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 1.0%

  • Total voters
    97

Vier

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Yoko Shimomura is an excellent composer, Kingdom Hearts 2 in particular had an excellent soundtrack.

Masashi Hamauzu held his own in Final Fantasy X, and the soundtrack for Unlimited Saga is the best part of the game.

Motoi Sakaruba is also a worthy composer, I love what I've heard of the Tales and Star Ocean series (haven't played Infinite Undiscovery yet). Pure a Stream for instance from Star Ocean: The Second Story is one of the most beautiful JRPG tracks I've ever heard. I've never played a game in the Shin Megami Tensei series but I've heard the music of Meguro and I'm very fond of a battle track called The Battle for Survival.

With Hitoshi Sakimoto, I enjoyed more so for his music in Tactics and not so much XII, and I've never played Vagrant Story (though I have Odin Sphere to start).

And of course Yasunori Mitsuda , with such iconic soundtracks as Chrono Trigger and Xenogears under his belt, he is truly the second best in my book (really wish he'd work on more high profile projects).

Nobuo Uematsu, in my opinion, is the king of jrpg composers, what with so many classic Final Fantasy soundtracks (my favorites being VI, VII, and VIII). I would vote for him being the best, even though Mitsuda comes close.

So what do you guys think ?
 
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cireza

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Hitoshi Sakimoto for his works on MegaDrive.

List should also include Noriyuki Iwadare.
 

FR1908

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1. Hiroki Kikuta - Secret of Mana
2. Yasunori Mitsuda - Chrono Trigger
My kids listen to this and the Zelda series music when I bathe them. I love the music. Except that troll/sprite cave sound of Secret of Mana.

(btw. I think it is only possible to vote if you are on Neogaf for a certain time or post count? Or am I doing something wrong?)
 

cireza

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What are his / her most recognizable OST's?
Lunar and Grandia series are the most famous ones
He also worked on many other games/series

Also missing Yuzo Koshiro.
 
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Furball

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i want to vote alot but the poll only let me vote one so I guess i will chose Hitoshi Sakimoto
 

cireza

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We're talking about citrus now ?
Hum Koshiro did not make JRPG indeed (I thought about Japanese composers as a whole). I missed the point here !

Voting for Sakuraba, as this is about JRPGs only. For his works on Shining the Holy Ark, Shining Force III and Baten Kaitos.
 
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Moonjt9

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It’s so hard to choose between Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda. These two are absolutely legendary, and in my opinion, in a completely different league compared to other video game composers of the time. The melodies they produced are iconic.
 
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Vier

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It’s so hard to choose between Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda. These two are absolutely legendary, and in my opinion, in a completely different league compared to other video game composers of the time. The melodies they produced are iconic.
What are your top three songs from each composer?
I can help you decide.
 
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Picked Uematsu... even had a guitar for a little while to learn how to play Aerith's Theme...

But where ze Fork is Yuzo Koshiro? (Streets of Rage)
 

Furball

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It’s so hard to choose between Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda. These two are absolutely legendary, and in my opinion, in a completely different league compared to other video game composers of the time. The melodies they produced are iconic.
Easy let me help you. Nobuo Uematsu , atleast He still writting completely full soundtrack by himself despite he pretty much lost his touch .

Yasunori Mitsuda is just there writing blog and do some concert for almost 10 years and composed one or two piece of music in each album and somehow people think he composed full score . He barely did anything and still got credit . Dude is objective the most overrated composer of all time .
 
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Meicyn

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Whoever the hell is in Falcom Soundteam JDK. Love their music. They were the first to sell JRPG music on CD, pioneers through and through.
 
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Moonjt9

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Easy let me help you. Nobuo Uematsu , atleast He still writting completely full soundtrack by himself despite he pretty much lost his touch .

Yasunori Mitsuda is just there writing blog and do some concert for almost 10 years and composed one or two piece of music in each album and somehow people think he composed full score . He barely did anything and still got credit . Dude is objective the most overrated composer of all time .
What are your top three songs from each composer?
I can help you decide.
I ended up going with Uematsu because his work with final fantasy is so incredible. Mitsuda was like a firework. Chrono Trigger, Chross, and Xenogears were special and among the best OSTs ever, but I have more fond memories of Uematsu’s music as a whole.
 
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rahuljx

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The Xeno games and Chrono cross have some of my favourite music ever but for his sheer body of work it has to go to Uematsu. Each FF game had legendary tracks starting all the way back to Ff1 and any of at least 5 games in the series could take the crown for best ost.
 
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NeoIkaruGAF

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Mitsuda, and it isn’t close.

The OSTs to the Chrono and Xeno games changed game music and my perception of it. I think Mitsuda never returned to those highs after peaking with Chrono Cross and briefly going the John Williams’ way with Xenosaga 1, though.

Uematsu is still the undisputed king of those years. A lot more work than Mitsuda, and incredibly varied too. But he, too, mostly disappeared after he left FF.

Ever since Mitsuda and Uematsu started to decline, Shimomura has been the best. She is maybe a bit too recognizable, but her works are amazing.
 
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cireza

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Hey, Yuzo Koshiro did Etrian Odyssey. And Etrian Odyssey’s music fucking rocks.
Yes, but I did not feel that OP was talking about these more recent consoles. Also did 7th Dragon. First game has some very nice tunes.
 
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Metnut

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Mitsuda (Xenogears is my favorite OST of all time) wins but Eumatsu and Iwadare (can’t believe he’s not in the poll… wtf OP?) are close runners-up.

Crazy that Sugiyama, who wasn’t even near the best during his prime, is still running full soundtracks for DQ as he approaches senility. DQ11s soundtrack was a real shortcoming for such a long game and I hope Square Enix have a plan to fix this for the next one.
 
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cucuchu

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Its a tough choice but my favorite JRPG track of all time is Into the Thick of It (Secret of Mana) so Hiroki Kikuta gets my vote.
 

Shy-Gamer

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Close call, but I would pick Mitsuda too. His work in the Chrono and Xeno series is just on another level
 

DragoonKain

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I’ll put it this way. Mitsuda is the composer for like half of my top 10 favorite JRPG tracks, and probably all of my top 3 which all come from chrono trigger or cross. I think his music is “more beautiful” than Nobuo. However, I also evaluate game music with how it brings a video game to life and increases the enjoyment factor of the game, not just the tracks in a vacuum. And Nobuo’s music to me brings a unique flavor, charm, and melody that no other composer has ever brought.

He may not produce the eargasm tracks that Mitsuda has when Mitsuda is at his best. But when I hear Nobuo’s music, it takes me back to a time and place with full blown nostalgia that no other composer can quite match.

So I’ll give the slight edge to Nobuo here, even though Time’s Scar or Dreamwatch of Time might be my favorite JRPG tracks ever.
 
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gtrwll

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Mitsuda by far. His early work is phenomenal and later works e.g. the themes he composed for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are still just outstanding.

Edit. Hmm, I guess 2010s don’t count here, so my bad. But the answer’s still the same.
 
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UltimaKilo

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Choosing between Uematsu and Mitsuda is near impossible ask, but I give the very slight edge to Uematsu for his ability to evolve.
 

EdKeen

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Mitsuda above all, followed by Sakimoto in close second. Wonder if they ever came close to collaborating on something? Talk about a dream duo.
 

jshackles

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Like asking me to pick my favorite child
 

swaffles23

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I'm gonna go with Yasunori Mitsuda. I still listen to the Chrono Trigger OST all the time. Corridors of Time is a banger
 

FStubbs

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I voted Sugiyama, though I'd vote whoever does Falcom's soundtracks up there. Noriyuki Iwadare as well.
 

dave_d

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Yes, but I did not feel that OP was talking about these more recent consoles. Also did 7th Dragon. First game has some very nice tunes.
Didn't Yuzo also do Ys? Admittedly that probably counts as a 80s work though.
 

Karonoth

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If this was only the 2000s I would say Shoji Meguro. But if we include the 1990s it has to be Nobuo Uematsu.
 

Jeeves

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Shogo Sakai, for Mother 3 alone.

I'm talking a game with 50+ distinct battle themes, each one an absolute banger in its own right. Beyond that, the other songs in the game masterfully run the entire emotional gamut. All on the modest GBA soundchip.
 

Quazar77

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Even amongst the giants, Uematsu will always stand taller to me

I’d also include Yamaoka in there, but I have weird tastes


On a side note, poll makes it sound like Hamauzu did the whole FFX ost himself. The best tracks are Uematsu’s
 

AzafuseYugi

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Yoko Shimomura just because of the Mario RPG's.
Super Mario RPG was great and all but the Mario & Luigi games are also very good. yet they get underlooked
 

SlimeGooGoo

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Uematsu because of the amount of high quality content produced in only a decade
Sugiyama is a genius, but I would still place Uematsu above him in video game land.
Yasunori Mitsuda only has Chrono Trigger and Cross, smaller portfolio than the aforementioned.
 

Daymos

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Awesome topic! I love JRPG music!

Uetmatsu then, Mitsuda now, the xenoblade2 soundtrack is as good as the older FF soundtracks. Yoko Shim and falcom's jdk team are great too.

I also gotta add in Malukah as an amazing fan musician doing original covers (i dunno what you call them). I'd post one but she does Wrpgs and that'd be off topic a bit.
 
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