Skip to main content

The 7 Best Modern ‘Fire Emblem’ Games, Ranked

When I was younger, all I knew about Fire Emblem was it was the game that gave us Marth, the femboy of my dreams. But I didn’t actually play a Fire Emblem game until many years later, and suddenly found that, despite all the memes about it, it was a damn good franchise. Yes, the anime aesthetics were a little much for someone who’s not all that into that sort of thing, but the games were fun, campy, and easy to get attached to.

What a disappointment, then, when I tried to find copies of older games (pre-Awakening, to be clear) and they were either restricted to consoles that weren’t easily found, or they sold for $200 because of retail scarcity. I’m not joking, my old mom and pop store is selling a copy of Path of Radiance for like $219.

Ike Fire Emblem GIF - Ike Fire Emblem Grace Moment - Discover & Share GIFs

So if you’re in a similar position and looking to stay within the realm of realism AND affordability, I gotchu. We gotta get prepared for the upcoming game after all, with all its nostalgia and whatnot.

7. Warriors

(Koei Tecmo)

I mean, it’s a Warriors game with Fire Emblem characters. You either like this sort of thing or you don’t.

In this specific case, it’s just … I dunno … kind of boring? Like the gameplay is the same as it always is, albeit with supports for cross-game characters, but aside from that it’s just meh. If you want to see Tightass Frederick chat up “So True Breasties” Camilla, then you can totally do that, if that’s, you know, your thing.

6. Heroes

Donnel the monster at work

I’m sorry, I know, why am I putting the gacha game above the “actual” video game. I just think Heroes is more fun! You don’t have to put a lot of effort into it, and I’ve never spent a dime on this game yet still managed to have a good time. It’s cool seeing your favorite characters get new designs, and it’s even cooler to get a chance to learn about older characters without having to spend an arm and a leg to play their games.

As for actual discourse about gacha games … man, I dunno, Capitalism Bad, we’ve gone down this path before. I just like Summer Sylvain.

5. Fates: Conquest > Birthright > Revelations

Forrest Fire Emblem Fates

Yes, yes, “Fates bad,” whatever. It’s easy to clown on clownish behavior, so I’m gonna try and focus on the positives.

Gameplay-wise, Fates kicks ass. The maps are incredibly fun, and they really experimented with the gameplay format here in a way that sticks with you long after. If you’re willing to turn off your brain and treat this game like a bad 2AM anime on Toonami, then you’ll probably have a good time.

Where it gets knocks is in the obvious: the crappy stories, the weirdly sexual mini-games, and, you know, the “incest but not really.”

4. Echoes: Shadow of Valentia


Everyone said that Shadows of Valentia, the 3DS remake of Gaiden, has the best story in the entire franchise. And I mean…I guess? I don’t know? It’s certainly serviceable, but when it comes to stories, I’m comfortable saying that Fire Emblem‘s best is everyone else’s average.

But I’ve put it this high up for a reason. The gameplay is incredibly basic and at times highly frustrating, but it’s otherwise a really cool, unique game within the series. Celica is a fantastic protagonist, and the rest of the cast honestly deserved a bigger game, because they were pretty compelling characters individually.

3. Warriors: Three Hopes

Edelgard being a badass leader in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes

“Wait, Mad, what the hell? Why is another Warriors title this high up when the first Fire Emblem Warriors title is at the very bottom?” Because one’s a good game and the other isn’t, don’t @ me!

For real, maybe I’m just blind to my love of Fodlan, but I really enjoyed my time with Three Hopes. The gameplay loop gets repetitive pretty fast, but surprisingly, the story makes up for it in droves. It ties up so many loose ends from the previous games and creates alternate routes that are actually quite compelling (similar to Age of Calamity). In fact, these routes are compelling enough that they made some people mad: “Why is Claude doing all these douchey things all of a sudden?” Because Claude is a douche! We just never got to see it in the last game because that professorial booty got him acting unwise!

2. Awakening

Fire Emblem: Awakening Screenshot.

Many people are torn as to whether or not Awakening is actually a good game. It got a lot of flack for “woobifying” the series and turning it into yet another romance sim. And it also got a lot of praise for reviving the series with what it brought to the table.

On my end, I think this is one of the best games Nintendo has ever released, and I honestly couldn’t tell you whether I prefer Awakening or Three Houses as my favorite Fire Emblem title. It’s so tropey in so many ways, but I like to think that the best stories take tropes, lean into them, and do little things to make them their own, and that’s what Awakening does in spades. It’s fun, it’s cool, and it’s always delightful to pair new units together to make war-criminal babies.

1. Three Houses

three houses babies who is coming back?

Okay y’all, don’t even start, Three Houses is a great game and I’ll die on that hill. Did it definitely steal some elements that made Persona 5 successful? Hell yeah. But did it do so with style and panache? Obviously! I’m pretty judgmental when it comes to the media I consume, yet despite my prior anti-uwu feelings, Three Houses very quickly became one of my top five favorite games once I was done with it.

Sure, this game has a lot of faults, and it could have benefitted from some more time in the oven, but a lot of games can say that. I still think the finished product was something to admire, and it honestly makes me sad that this is the last we’ll see of Fodlan for a while. But hey, it was good while it lasted.

And YES, I did use that one picture of Byleth as our featured image because I think she’s a hottie. And I DID buy this game because I’m down with the thickness. AND, I love her outfit. I am the one person who loves her outfit.

(Featured Image: Chinatsu Kurahana/IntSys)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).