Final Fantasy 1987-1994 is for the most part a compilation album covering arranged albums from Final Fantasy I through VI. Final Fantasy arrangements spanned a variety of styles in that period and most are featured here, including orchestral, Celtic, piano and vocal music. There's even a bit of big band (in one of its two exclusive bonus tracks).
The tracks from Final Fantasy IV Celtic Moon and Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale don't really represent the best of those albums. The four Celtic Moon arrangements are all pretty, but most of that album's more distinctive themes and arrangements like the FFIV main theme having unfortunately been omitted. The sole inclusion from Grand Finale, "Aria Di Mezzo Carattere", is rather mundane compared to the other pieces from that album, operatic vocals notwithstanding.
Several of the selection from other albums, however, are essential listening for any Final Fantasy fan. Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite's dignified orchestral rendition of the series' main theme and heart-melting arrangement of the classic "Matoya's Cave" theme in "Scene III" make a perfect opening to a Final Fantasy best album. And both the solitary a capella vocals of "Roaming Sheep" and the wispy singing of a young woman in "Home Sweet Home" remain to this day among the most beautiful vocal pieces I've heard in a soundtrack.
The final two tracks are arrangements exclusive to Final Fantasy 1987-1994. The first is a feisty big-band rendition of the chocobo theme, the second a pretty piano performance of the series' main theme that though predictable closes out the album nicely. These two arrangements alone won't warrant purchase of the album for those who already own all the other selections, but as bonus tracks they do add a bit of extra value.
Final Fantasy 1987-1994 makes an excellent supplement to Final Fantasy music collections that have a few gaps remaining from the series' early years. Some of the albums represented are certainly good enough to own in full (Grand Finale and especially Symphonic Suite), and the track selection from Celtic Moon leaves something to be desired, but the producers did a commendable job of choosing from albums like Final Fantasy III Eternal Legend of Wind and Final Fantasy V Dear Friends their most powerful themes and organic arrangements. As one not endeared to either of those latter two soundtracks, I consider this best collection a perfectly good replacement. As for those listeners who have yet to experience any arranged music from the early era of the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy 1987-1994 is one of the best places to start.