In RPG’s with overworlds, it’s best to create a theme that adds not only the feeling of exploration, but is also a theme that is very enjoyable, especially when you have to hear it countless times throughout the games. These are for more traditional overworld maps, so no games that have “kind of” overworlds like Persona where there’s just a giant map or maps like Pokemon. I’ll try not to use multiple games in a franchise to make the list as diverse as possible.
These are not in any particular order, but these are some of my favorites:
Dragon Quest – Unknown World
It’s hard to pick out of many Dragon Quest games which one had the best overworld theme, an easier one might be which one isn’t amazing. I stuck to the first one as it had a more mysterious feel to it.
Chrono Cross – On the Beach of Dreams
The two Chrono games have outstanding sountracks in and of themselves, but this particular theme you hear when exploring the other world it just fantastic. That viola is just mesmerizing.
Wild Arms – Filgaia Overworld
Wild Arms is a fantastic game, and this particular track definitely fits the feel of the game with its similarity to traditional RPG music with its Wild Western flair.
Final Fantasy VI – Terra’s Theme/Overworld
Final Fantasy VI is a game no short of praise, as well as its fantastic soundtrack. Terra’s Theme in particular is a great overworld theme to kick off the end of the Nintendo/16 bit era of Final Fantasy.
Tales of Phantasia – The Second Act
This is the theme from when you venture through the past, and I personally think this is the better of the three overworld themes in the game. Comparing overworlds from later games in the series, you can see that many are quite similar to the overworld themes from this game.
Star Ocean 2 – Field of Expel
Much like the game itself, the overworld theme has a grandiose feel, and the game lives up to the theme as well.
Breath of Fire 3 – Overworld Theme 1
This one is quite different from other overworld themes, and has a lovely flair to it. It’s quite relaxing compared to others.
Terranigma – Overworld Theme
This theme is quite mystical, and makes me want to really revive the world in the game. Love hearing it when I’m exploring.
Phantasy Star – Palma Theme
While later games in the series had much stronger soundtracks, for some reason the theme for Palma in the original game strikes me as the most memorable.
Bravely Default – Horizon of Light and Shadow
Last, but certainly not least, this is yet another fantastic track on the godly soundtrack of Bravely Default. It’s grandiose opening flows perfectly into the more softer ending of the track before it loops.
And that my readers is my personal top 10 list of overworld songs.