Fire Emblem may be a modern phenomenon to many, but the franchise’s history goes way back. Even excluding the Japan-only releases that make up roughly half of the catalogue, you’re still left with 10 mainline games and multiple spin-offs. Those alone might make Fire Emblem one of Nintendo’s deepest franchises in terms of quality and volume.
Though I don’t think there’s a bad game in the series per se, there are certainly titles that stand out from the rest. It’s always been a goal of mine to rank them, but it’s been a long time since I’ve played some of these games, and I don’t want to do the legwork required to confidently place them on a numerical list.
Instead, I’m going with a tier list. Unless stated otherwise, there’s no particular rankings within each tier. As of right now, here’s how I’d rank the mainline games in the Fire Emblem series!
Are you curious about the Fire Emblem franchise but too intimidated to dive in? I don’t blame you. Spanning across multiple consoles – along with roughly half of the games in the series never making it outside of Japan – it can be confusing to know where to start.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start at all. With just a little nudge, you could join us on the Fire Emblem hype train! Hopefully this guide can clear up some questions you may have with regards to starting your journey into the series.
Over the course of seven games released outside of Japan, only one Fire Emblem title has failed to impress me. That dud is Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. Starring Marth, arguably better known now for his appearance in the Smash Bros. series, it was a remake of the first game in the series. Despite featuring updated graphics, its antiquated story and gameplay remained, leaving a lot to be desired for players who jumped on the bandwagon through more refined entries in the franchise.
My concern all along for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia was that it would suffer the same fate as Shadow Dragon. As a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, the second game in the series that was initially released in 1992, its fair to assume at the outset that this also would have aged poorly. Does this remake suffer the same fate as its predecessor? Continue reading