Kingdom Hearts 2 Box Art
Image via Square Enix

All Kingdom Hearts Intro Songs, Ranked

It’s hard to think of Kingdom Hearts without hearing Hikaru Utada music. It’s like saying don’t think of a black cat after mentioning one; it just isn’t going to happen. All the Kingdom Hearts intro songs are undeniably superb, but which ones are truly the best?

Before we delve into the list, we are going to make a small disclaimer. To ensure this list does not get too convoluted (plus, it wouldn’t change the ranking), we will pair up the English and Japanese counterparts into one entry, as the melodies are practically the same. As always, this list is subjective to opinion, and if you have a different order, please let us know in the comments below!

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“Simple and Clean Ray of Hope Remix” (Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue)

Starting off this list, we have one of many versions of “Simple and Clean.” Compared to the original, this rendition of the song is far more electronic and treads into dubstep territory, which certainly gives it a distinctive tone. This edit of “Simple and Clean” came out with the Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, where the opening heavily emphasizes Aqua, highlighting some of the main events that have happened to her throughout the series before falling into darkness. Simple and Clean Ray of Hope Remix may not be as memorable as the rest, but it’s still worth listening to.

“Face my Fears”/”Don’t Think Twice” (Kingdom Hearts 3)

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Fans of the Kingdom Hearts franchise didn’t know they wanted a collab between Hikaru Utada and Skrillex, but it’s hard to imagine Kingdom Hearts 3 without this excellent song. “Face my Fears” compliments the opening sequence for Kingdom Hearts 3 fantastically, as the song has a lot of fast and slow-paced segments, allowing the opening to build tension and then transition to high-paced action seamlessly. One of the most impactful moments of the song is the way it ends with the piano keys slowly fading out, which will surely leave you with goosebumps down your back!

“Simple and Clean” Orchestra Version (Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance)

Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance Art
Image via Square Enix

You would think different versions of the same song would get repetitive and tiresome, but this is not the case for “Simple and Clean”, demonstrating how great of a Kingdom Hearts song it is. The Orchestra Version is incredibly overwhelming and powerful in the best way possible, especially the brass segments. It might sound silly to say, as it’s a Kingdom Hearts intro song, but if you close your eyes and listen to the music, it sounds like it could be played in the next big-budget Disney film, so it nails the assignment it went for. Again, the opening sequence for Dream Drop Distance is glorious to watch, and the intro song captures the mood incredibly well.

“Sanctuary”/”Passion” (Kingdom Hearts 2)

Kingdom Hearts 2 Box Art
Image via Square Enix

This is where the list gets tricky, as honestly, both of these following two songs are up there for best intro songs for any video game, not just Kingdom Hearts. But in number two, we have “Sanctuary”. It’s almost downright impossible to listen to this song without feeling the chills, as it is so magnificent with its excellent melody and lyrics. The opening for Kingdom Hearts 2 also harbors a lot of great moments, with the highlight being Sora running up the staircase of the Oblivion Castle during the dramatic part of the song. Sanctuary is such a good song that you will find yourself starting a brand new Kingdom Hearts 2 file just so that you can listen to the opening again. It’s that good!

“Simple and Clean”/”Hikari” (Kingdom Hearts)

Kingdom Hearts Box Art
Image via Square Enix

“Simple and Clean” is such a beautiful song that it’s hard to listen to it without some emotion being evoked. Admittedly, the lyrics are open to interpretation, but I think that’s what makes the song so great, as it explores themes of uncertainty for the future, which is something anyone who listens can relate to, as nothing is guaranteed in life. The original Kingdom Hearts opening also complimented the song when it was released back in 2002, with its strong imagery. Arguably, the most notable one is Riku holding his hand out to Sora at Destiny Island sealine before the waves engulf the pair in the sea depths. Simple and Clean is the best intro song and the definitive Kingdom Hearts song, which is why it’s number one on this list.

Kingdom Hearts is now available on the PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via the Epic Games Store and Steam.

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