I started with 1350 Final Fantasy songs and reduced that down to 768 for my 10 star video game music playlist. That's a 43% reduction in size. I might be able to cull additional songs but I've actually reached a pretty good size already. This means I can focus on the 'everybody else' side of the equation now in good conscience. The goal was to reduce my playlist size by half, and I pretty much met that goal on the FF side. I'll likely be able to do the same on the misc. side. If I don't, oh well, close enough. I not only reduced the size of my playlist by a large margin, I also made sure to keep all the best songs, thus ensuring I didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater in a fanatical attempt to meet execution quotas.
One surprising and sad fact I learned from this -- Nobuo Uematsu is all washed up. His FF XIV music was pathetic compared to even FF X, much less the classics from IV-VI. Even FF X already felt weak compared to FF IX, you could really just see him slipping over time.
I have more FF XV music in my 10 star playlist than FF XIV, despite the fact that FF XV is written by some no-name woman who's never even composed for FF before. FF XIV was a massive game, with 71 song tracks to choose from, but it still couldn't produce any hits. I complained about FF XV not having Uematsu to compose the music, but even if they'd given him the job he wouldn't have been able to achieve it. He's over the hill and would've just ruined the game if he had tried.
I have to wonder if the reason why FF XIV was so poorly received in the first place was simply because no one liked the music. That may be why 'Realm Reborn' threw out all of Uematsu's music and hired a new composer to make a new score. It's almost unprecedented for a game to be published, then scrapped, then completely remade. Maybe that's because it was unprecedented for Uematsu to compose such a poor soundtrack for Square.
Don't get me wrong, Uematsu is the best composer in the world. It's just that all legends eventually weaken via aging, and FF XV was when Uematsu hit a wall he couldn't possibly climb, which is why they handed the baton off to someone new. I can no longer criticize the decision because in hindsight they were 100% right. But where does that leave future FF? It's not like FF XV had a soundtrack comparable to even FF X's. So what is FF without good music? Luckily for now they're remaking FF7, so they can just use FF7's music. But I see no future for the franchise beyond that.
Meanwhile, I finished Baccano 18 and am now, supposedly, on the climactic volume 19. Though how any climax is possible so long as Fermet is alive is beyond me. . .