Yesterday was Fire Emblem day! Though really, with how many installments there are in the series, any day could be that day. Still, with Fire Emblem Engage here and more people likely discovering the series, we felt it would be a good time to revisit the best games in the series and recommend some of them to potential players. Hint: They are all pretty great!
Just like the bias I have towards FFX as my first Final Fantasy, I have a very strong bias for the Tellius duology. That’s Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. The characters were really fun, and even as a stupid child who couldn’t read instructions (what in the world was the biorhythm mechanic all about?), I managed to clear it all through sheer grit and plenty of sacrifices. I salute all of the random characters I let die just so that my Nephenee could live. The story was kind of messy but still easy enough to follow, and they were both just a super fun experience. Like, I beat Radiant Dawn four times in the span of a year. Admittedly, I only played half of Path of Radiance because I didn’t own a Gamecube, but I liked it just fine. My main gripe was the game forcing me to bring Sothe to the endgame dungeon in Radiant Dawn because he was freaking useless and outclassed by virtually everybody. So thanks, Sothe. — Stephanie
I’ve said before that I’ve bounced off nearly every Fire Emblem game I’ve played besides Three Houses. As it turns out Three Houses was something of a black sheep compared to other games in the series, so whatever Intelligent Systems and Koei Tecmo did to depart from the formulas established in earlier titles and the Awakening era worked its magic on me. Perhaps it was the daily-life structure or the route-based narrative, or the more realistically proportioned character graphics, but Three Houses is what I think of these days when someone mentions Fire Emblem. — Josh
There are certainly flaws to every Fire Emblem game, but all of them are magical and special in their own way. (Except Mystery of the Emblem. Sorry, bud.) But there’s a reason that Awakening saved the franchise. The characters are endearing! There are nods to past fans, but not in a way that muscles out gameplay or story. Also, hey: it can be both approachable for new fans and punishing at higher levels, rewarding smart unit builds and creativity. — Graham
Since Graham already picked what I would consider my favorite Fire Emblem game, I’ll go with the best recent entry I’ve played… Fire Emblem Engage. I really loved this entry, partially because the gameplay reminds me so much of that first 3DS entry. I think a lot of the characters are pretty lovable too. It’s a solid installment with a lot of challenges to it, and I appreciate that. — Jenni
Related: Fire Emblem Engage is Almost Perfect on Destructoid