Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Fire Emblem: Awakening

Ranked: The five best Fire Emblem games

2:30 PM on 02.05.2013 // Chris Carter

Take a look at the franchise's history

Fire Emblem is a pretty mysterious series to many gamers out there. Firstly, it's a strategy RPG (SRPG), which already places it in an established niche. Then you have to consider the fact that Nintendo didn't release the series in American until the seventh game, Fire Emblem: The Sword of Flame, simply titled Fire Emblem in the US.

But with the release of the newest game in the series, Awakening, Fire Emblem has succeeded in captivating many new fans with the addition of a less intense optional mode of play, and thus, people are going to be looking for more games to satiate this newfound love.

Feel free to join me on a journey through the history of Fire Emblem.

The core pillars of the medieval flavored series are pretty simple to explain. Like many SRPGs, action takes place on a grid in a turn-based manner. If a unit dies, he is gone forever (otherwise known as permadeath).

Units can interface with each other in a number of ways, most notably with a relationship system that improves statistics of characters who fight together.

It's not hard on paper right? Well, actually playing it out is much more difficult than it sounds, as this series can prove to be insanely challenging for people who aren't acclimated to the genre. As a side note, the following list is in no particular order.

Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem  (Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo - Super Nintendo - 1994)

Provided you're already acclimated to the genre, a fan translation of Mystery of the Emblem is a perfect starting point from a lore perspective, as half of the game is a remake of the first Fire Emblem (that was remade again on DS internationally, as Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon in 2008).

Although it may feel antiquated by today's standards, from a pure gameplay standpoint it's still sound and offers the classic tactical action the series is known for, with a ton of content to boot. Unlike the first game, which had a fairly humble release, Mystery of the Emblem really helped put the franchise on the map.

Like the first two games before it, legendary Nintendo producer Gunpei Yokoi had a hand in creating Mystery of the Emblem.

Fire Emblem: Genealogy of Holy-War (Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu - Super Nintendo - 1996)

The fourth game in the series, Genealogy of Holy-War, is significant for being the first title to implement the "holy trinity" of weapon countering. Often referred to as the "rock-paper scissors" system, Genealogy features a system where lances beat swords, swords beat axes, and axes beat lances.

This would become a staple that would carry all the way into the 3DS game, 16 years later. It also introduced individual skills for units through the class/job system, which was pretty revolutionary for the time. In fact, Genealogy's success would influence the rest of the series in many other ways, and it's often regarded as one of the best SRPGs of all time by fans.

Sadly, this is the last game in the series produced by Gunpei Yokoi, as he passed away in a tragic auto accident in 1997.

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (Game Boy Advance - 2004)

As the second game released outside of Japan, Sacred Stones improved upon the release of the first international Fire Emblem (2003) in nearly every way. It features beautiful sprite work, it brings back the ability to wander a world map, and allows more general freedom in terms of how you choose to play the game.

Speaking of freedom, the class-change system was the crux of why Sacred Stones is so significant. For the first time, classes have branching paths that you can choose to follow, rather than pigeonholing units into certain jobs. It also featured the aforementioned skill customization of Genealogy of Holy-War, which was taken out of a few games preceding Sacred Stones. All in all, it's one of the deepest SRPGs to date.

If you were a part of the 3DS Ambassador program, you have this game sitting on your 3DS. Go check it out!

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (GameCube - 2005)

After the success of Sacred Stones, Nintendo decided that it was time to move the series back to consoles for the first time in six years. As the ninth game in the series, Path of Radiance offers a few concessions for the first time to more casual fans, including an "Easy Mode."

In terms of a pure aesthetic perspective, many people were angry that the series started to move into a polygonal direction in terms of the character models. A stark departure from the sprites of the previous games before it, the graphics style was polarizing to many.

This tradeoff came with a number of other bonuses however. For instance, Path of Radiance was the first game in the series to feature voice acting, which helped breath new life into the game's world.

Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS - 2012)

Yes, we've come full circle -- from consoles, to portables, to consoles, to a portable again. The newest Fire Emblem game, released on the 3DS, is possibly my favorite in the franchise, mostly because it opens up its former hardcore-only borders, and as a result, garners even more fans and gameplay options. Hardcore players can still opt to enjoy the "Classic" experience for more of a challenge too, which is part of the game's brilliance from a design perspective.

The visuals are also a treat, offering a perfect mixture of polygonal models and incredible artwork. And that's not even bringing the 3D effects into the mix, which I mistook for real life insects flying near my screen on more than one occasion.

Simply put, Fire Emblem: Awakening is one of the best SRPGs of this generation, and proves the genre is still alive and well. I can only hope the next game in the franchise keeps the spirit of the series intact, while creating even more fans in the process.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Fire Emblem: Awakening

  May 23

Awakening was almost the last Fire Emblem game

Needed to sell 250K for the series to continue

  Apr 18

New maps are on the way for Fire Emblem: Awakening

Over 240,000 copies sold to date, one third through eShop

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Cittadini di Twitter

Cblogs of 11/29/15 + Scott Pilgrim You Nefarious Swine!

Sexism in video games culture: social science says it’s real

How YOU can save DOAX3 (with diagrams)

Recap: Metal Gear Solid 2

Backward Compatibility Is More Important Than Ever (Maybe)

My beef with Sony

It's beginning to look a lot like censorship.

Solar Pony Django's Review on: Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival

Indivisible exposes why forced diversity and its proponents keep failing

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I was happy to have never spoiled myself the final boss of Splatoon's campaign. That was one of the best boss fights ever and I absolutely love the credits track. So relaxing. [youtube][/youtube]
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Today's kids will never know the struggle of putting an encyclopedia on top of an NES Max to auto-buy 99 potions before heading into Terra Cavern
CblogRecaps avatarCblogRecaps
Sometimes, on more dreary days, I make a smiley face with sliced-pickle eyes and bacon grin in my lunch-burger. It fills me up all the same, but I feel a warm sense of accomplishment, achievement and satisfaction on top of it.
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube][/youtube] Isn't this the greatest thing ever?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Well, my Bloggers Wanted post is up, but it timetraveled back to Sunday behind Zetta's blog or will only post two days from now otherwise. Mrgrgr.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Yeah I still can't take the new Batman and Superman seriously, Batman just looks so stupid with his cowl lol.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
This near final build of Nuclear Throne is going to bring back my eye twitch.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
When I was a lad, I loved this game something fierce. [img][/img] Anyone else ever play the tie in Small Soldiers games? Maybe it's nostalgia, but I remember them being not too bad.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Finally got my surface pro 3. Holy shit I love this little guy. And Windows 10 is better than I thought.
Putting more effort into iOS game review than African American history book report. This is not what Dr. King died for. Or maybe he did, I wouldn't know because I'm not doing the book report. Wha-hey!!
Lawman avatarLawman
More info and footage on that cancelled first-person THQ Avengers game is shown. The heartache's still real.
Archelon avatarArchelon
DailyFloze avatarDailyFloze
So just dropping in, just finished my first hands on with the new Bloodborne DLC..... in one word...Potatoes!!? #theoldhunters #dropitlikeitsyarnham #aintnothinglikeafromsoftwarething
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Indivisible's campaign just made it to $1.300.000! if you can back it please consider doing it.
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Slow day at work. [IMG][/IMG]
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
22/31 missions completed on Prototype, fun game with a ton of destruction but crashes on my desktop PC and barely runs on my dad's laptop. And it's distracting me from playing more Fallout 4. But hey, I can slice+disguise as tank commanders and that's fun
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
Virtua Fighter month begins tomorrow! First blog will be coming sometime this week (mostly Wednesday).
voex avatarvoex
*Sigh* time to figure out how much a Fallout 4 capable PC upgrade is gonna cost me...
ooktar avatarooktar
Ordered this on Thanksgiving and surprisingly got here today. The case is amazing and Now I got all the Persona Cards. [img][/img] [img][/
Jiraya avatarJiraya
You probably already saw this - but it is gold - Fallout 4 One Punch Man Mod [youtube][/youtube]
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -