Would you be upset if I this is my favorite track?
Of recent games I played, Xenoblade probably had the best soundtrack. It does the day/night thing for a lot of zones, and while it does electronic stuff, it's fairly good and not out of place since it isn't a medieval setting. There's a lot of good syncing with the environments, too.
Seriously, I can rock out to this in my car headbanging until my neck pops.
On the other hand, I think that FFXI's style has an edge in combat music. It may be because they didn't want FFXIV's combat music to be so jarringly different than it's background music, but it almost ends up taking away from the experience by being far too milquetoast. In FFXI, even a battle with a bunny is an epic experience, and I think that stays true to how combat is usually handled in the franchise.
I actually believe this to be a bad thing. Something so simple as fighting a rabbit should be treated as fighting a rabbit. It shouldn't be treated as a battle of epic proportions because it just isn't. That, to me, diminishes the quality of the music. Music should be more about setting the tone and mood of the situation.
That said, I find XI did a pretty good job at this, and for the longest time, nothing held a candle to this track in XI
. It just sets the right mood. Light enough on the tone to keep you relaxed, but powerful enough to make you focus. It's a triumphant theme that begs for you to defeat the mob without breaking a sweat. I find no other battle theme in XI topped this one because frankly it just felt so right.
...That however, is topped by this
. Seriously, I @#%^ing love this track. It just has this "COME AT ME, BRO!" tone to it. It's a bit over the top due to the electric guitar, but that's what they were going for. It's a fun slice of music that sets the mood for almost every "random encounter" in the open world. You're supposed to enjoy the fight, because you're a badass adventurer, and you're sh*tting all over weak monsters you don't give a sh*t about. This is perfect as a battle theme to me.
Does ARR have a track like this? Right now, no. I find the battle theme to be too microscopic for my taste. It doesn't really have a personality. However, I do enjoy the hell out of the Event Battle theme that often plays during boss battles in dungeons.