As one of Nintendo’s longest-running franchises, Fire Emblem has seen numerous mainline and spin-off games as well as remakes released throughout the series.
This can make it tricky for new players to keep up with the current Fire Emblem timeline and determine the correct order to play through the tactical RPG series.
To make things easier, here we’ve compiled all of the Fire Emblem games in order of release along with a breakdown of each game’s story, gameplay, and critical reception.
We’ll be updating this list following any announcements of new Fire Emblem games, so make sure to check back and let us know if we missed anything important!
Table of ContentsShow
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light
Release Date: April 20, 1990
Platforms: Famicom, Nintendo Switch
The franchise starts with the first mainline game, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, a Japan-exclusive tactical RPG developed by Intelligent Systems and Nintendo R&D1 for the Famicom.
In it, players are introduced to a prince named Marth as he sets out to reclaim his throne after being forced into exile by the evil sorcerer Gharnef and his master Medeus, the titular Shadow Dragon.
Forging new alliances with neighboring kingdoms, Marth builds an army and charges into combat, represented in-game as turn-based battles on grid-layout maps with permadeath mechanics.
Upon release, Shadow Dragon received extensive negative criticism from Japanese publications but ultimately proved enough of a success to warrant a sequel.
Fire Emblem Gaiden
Release Date: March 14, 1992
Shadow Dragon’s follow-up would come two years later in the form of Fire Emblem Gaiden, another Japan-exclusive tactical RPG, and the last game in the series to be developed for the Famicom.
Set in the same world as its predecessor, the game follows two rival armies as they wage war amidst political strife brought about by the princess Celica and her childhood friend Alm.
Gaiden builds upon the original’s strategic gameplay while introducing new elements such as a freely navigable overworld with additional areas opening up as the story progressed.
While it fared much better than its predecessor in terms of critical reception, reviewers were divided on the addition of new gameplay and difficulty changes.
Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem
Release Date: January 21, 1994
Platform: Super Famicom
Mystery of the Emblem takes a unique approach by dividing its story into two parts: first, a remake of Shadow Dragon, and second, an original story acting as a sequel to the first game.
After defeating Gharnef, peace is restored and Marth returns to his kingdom; however, soon after, his ally Hardin begins a military conquest that forces Marth to bear arms and confront his old friend.
Gameplay is modeled after the traditional Fire Emblem system with some refinements and visual upgrades.
The changes were welcomed as Mystery of the Emblem was met with a positive critical reception and would go on to become the best-selling title in the series up until Fire Emblem Awakening.
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
Release Date: May 14, 1996
Platform: Super Famicom
Featuring a story spanning two generations, Genealogy of the Holy War takes place on Jugdral, a continent split between eight countries founded by an ancient group of soldiers called the Twelve Crusaders.
The first generation follows the Grannvalian prince Sigurd’s military exploits while the second centers on his son Seliph as he wages war with an evil cult in an effort to avenge his late father.
Tactical battles were still fought on grid-based maps but factored in new features such as the Weapons Triangle and Support systems.
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War was generally well-received, with much of the praise attributed to its streamlined gameplay, emotional story, and vivid graphics.
Fire Emblem: Thracia 776
Release Date: September 1, 1999
Platforms: Nintendo Power, Super Famicom
Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 is the fifth mainline game in the series and originally released through the Nintendo Power flash cartridge in 1999 before coming to the Super Famicom the following year.
In it, players return to the continent of Jugdral and follow a new protagonist named Leif as he rallies an army to defeat the ruling Grannvale Empire and restore his lost kingdom of Thracia.
Much like its predecessor, the game builds upon the classic Fire Emblem combat by incorporating new elements, namely a fatigue system where characters lose energy with each action performed.
Upon release, reviewers issued positive feedback regarding Thracia 776’s gameplay refinements and increased difficulty level compared to previous entries.
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
Release Date: March 29, 2002
Platform: Game Boy Advance
The sixth entry in the series and the first one to be developed for handheld, Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade was originally in development for the N64 before the project was scrapped and restarted.
Set on the continent of Elibe, the story follows a young nobleman named Roy as he leads a growing army against King Zephiel, who is gradually taking over Elibe with help from a mysterious power.
As with other games in the series, battles are fought on grid-based maps and incorporate a Support system where characters next to each other can speak to gain Support Points and boost their stats.
The Binding Blade received positive reviews as critics were impressed with the game’s pacing, drop in difficulty, and transition to handheld.
Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
Release Date: April 25, 2003
Platform: Game Boy Advance
The second handheld release in the series and the first to be localized for international audiences, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade was initially conceived as a companion title to The Binding Blade.
However, its prolonged development would lead to internal delays as new features such as multiplayer functionality were continuously added, resulting in the game being positioned as a prequel instead.
It tells the story of three young lords Lyn, Eliwood, and Hector, as they band together on a journey to locate Eliwood’s missing father while investigating a larger conspiracy.
Upon release, The Blazing Blade was met with positive sales and international critical acclaim that would help cement the franchise’s legacy in the West.
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Release Date: October 7, 2004
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is the eighth entry in the series, the second game to be released outside of Japan, and the third and final title developed for the Game Boy Advance.
Its story takes place in a separate continuity from previous Fire Emblem games in Magvel, a continent divided into five nations, each built around a magical stone connected to an ancient demon.
Players follow Eirika and Ephraim of the royal family Renais as they gather allies to stop one of the five nations from destroying the stones.
The Sacred Stones was very well-received, with critics celebrating the game for its surprisingly sophisticated story complete with a cast of endearing heroes and villains.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Release Date: April 20, 2005
Path of Radiance would see the series’ first return to home consoles since Thracia 776, with the game released exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube in 2005.
Set on the continent of Tellius, it centers on mercenary Ike and his companions as they set off to restore order to the war-ravaged nation of Crimea by reinstating its heir, Princess Elincia.
The game revisits the traditional Fire Emblem formula that includes the Weapon Triangle system alongside a similar system that governs magic attacks.
Following its release, Path of Radiance was met with positive reviews and has been cited by Nintendo as being among the most successful GameCube titles for 2005.
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
Release Date: February 22, 2007
In Radiant Dawn, players are dropped into the war-torn nation of Daein where protagonist Micaiah and her allies, the Dawn Brigade, are rebelling against the oppressive Begnion Occupational Army.
Similar to previous games, the story is divided into multiple parts, specifically four, with each one focusing on a different faction’s perspective throughout the continent of Tellius.
Much like its predecessors, Radiant Dawn features tactical turn-based combat with units moving across grid layout maps and subject to permanent death if slain in battle.
The game received generally favorable reviews celebrating its depths and refinements over Path of Radiance while some critics felt it was too similar to its GameCube predecessor.
Fire Emblem Awakening
Release Date: April 19, 2012
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Serving as the thirteenth installment and the first to be developed for the Nintendo 3DS, Fire Emblem Awakening takes place 2000 years after the events of the first game in the series.
In it, players follow a prince named Chrom as he leads his army of Shepherds across the nation of Ylisse defending it from undead invaders called the Risen and the hostile nation of Plegia.
The game maintains the franchise’s core tactical format while incorporating new relationship mechanics, adjustable difficulty levels, a mode that disables permadeath, and multiple camera POVs during battle.
Upon release, Fire Emblem Awakening received widespread critical acclaim for its expanded social system and battle mechanics and is generally regarded as one of the best games on the 3DS platform.
Fire Emblem Fates
Release Date: June 25, 2015
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
In contrast to its predecessors, Fire Emblem Fates was released in three versions: Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation (DLC), each featuring a different story based on the same characters.
The overarching narrative focuses on Corrin, a customizable avatar who finds themselves caught in a war between the Kingdoms of Hoshido and Nohr, and must decide which side to support.
Gameplay shares many mechanics with previous Fire Emblem games, especially Awakening, while introducing new elements unique to certain combat scenarios.
The various versions of Fates all reviewed well, with Revelation having the highest overall score followed by Conquest and finally Birthright.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platform: Nintendo Switch
The series would make its second grand return to home consoles in 2019 with the release of the sixteenth installment, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, for the Nintendo Switch.
Set on the continent of Fódlan and its three divided nations, the game sees players taking on the role of Byleth, a former mercenary tasked with choosing a class to lead into battle.
Furthermore, it retains the turn-based tactical gameplay of its predecessors while incorporating more social sim and time management elements.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses was met with generally favorable reviews regarding its story and characters while some critics claimed the gameplay was too easy at times.
BS Fire Emblem
Release Date: September 28, 1997
BS Fire Emblem is an episodic tactical RPG s developed by Intelligent Systems and released shortly after Genealogy of the Holy War, during September-October 1997.
Positioned as a prequel to the original Fire Emblem and Mystery of the Emblem, it consists of four episodes that were broadcasted over the satellite-based game peripheral Satellaview.
Gameplay is reminiscent of the mainline Fire Emblem games but implements a three-hour time limit as the player’s party is forced to battles waves of enemies.
Despite being included in the franchise’s official timeline, BS Fire Emblem is generally considered a spin-off not counted among the main entries but rather, an extension of Mystery of the Emblem.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE
Release Date: December 26, 2015
Platforms: Wii U, Nintendo Switch
Developed by Atlus and published by Nintendo for the Wii U, Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE is a crossover between the Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem series.
In it, players control a party of modern-day teens as they navigate life and split their time between dungeon-crawling and musical performances that include singing, dancing, and acting.
The game features spirit-like companions that fight by the player’s side, with many of them being based on Fire Emblem characters like Chrom, Tharja, and Virion.
In 2020, the game was released for the Switch with an enhanced port titled Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Encore which includes additional songs, playable characters, and story content.
Fire Emblem Heroes
Release Date: February 2, 2017
Platforms: Android, iOS
Next up is Fire Emblem Heroes, a spin-off free-to-play tactical RPG developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for mobile devices.
In it, players control a team of up to four characters dubbed “Heroes,” and lead them into battle against enemy teams of varying sizes for battles on 8×6 grid maps.
The game features over 100 distinct units based on characters that appear throughout the series and can be obtained using a gacha rewards system using both in-game and premium currencies.
Although Fire Emblem Heroes released to mixed reception, it has also received several awards for “Best Mobile Game” and is reported as being Nintendo’s highest-grossing mobile game to date.
Fire Emblem Warriors
Release Date: September 28, 2017
Platforms: New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch
Developed by Omega Force and Team Ninja, Fire Emblem Warriors is a hack and slash game that combines Koei Tecmo’s Warriors franchise and Nintendo’s Fire Emblem series.
In it, players follow royal twins Rowan and Lianna as they travel across the continent of Aytolis rallying support from other nations to aid them in defeating the evil Chaos Dragon Velezark.
Gameplay is modeled after the Dynasty Warriors series while incorporating Fire Emblem’s characters, weapons, and support system.
Upon release, Fire Emblem Warriors received generally positive reviews as critics were impressed by how well both franchises meshed together.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
Release Date: June 24, 2022
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is an upcoming hack and slash game that serves as a spin-off to Fire Emblem: Three Houses and a direct sequel to Fire Emblem Warriors.
Much like its predecessor, the game combines action-driven gameplay with RPG progression inspired by the Dynasty Warriors series with appearances from Fire Emblem characters.
The story sees players returning to the continent of Fódlan to relive the war depicted in Fire Emblem: Three Houses from a different perspective.
This time around, players control Three Houses’ protagonists Byleth, Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude in real-time, utilizing their talents and tactics in action RPG combat scenarios.
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
Release Date: August 7, 2008
Platforms: Nintendo DS, Wii U
In 2008, Nintendo issued a remake of the first entry in the series as Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for the Nintendo DS and later Wii U (virtual console).
It was reported that while developing Shadow Dragon, Intelligent Systems viewed the project as less of a remake and more of a renewal on a new platform with updated mechanics and features.
As a result, it offers many improvements over the original such as colored tiles for movement/attack ranges, the Weapon Triangle, a new class swap feature, and for the first time in the series, online multiplayer.
Following its release, the game was met with generally positive reception as critics praised its gameplay balance and multiplayer functionality.
Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem
Release Date: July 15, 2010
Platform: Nintendo DS
The next game in the series to receive a remake was Mystery of the Emblem, which was released in July 2010 as Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem for the Nintendo DS.
The story retains the original’s structure but includes a new customizable avatar as the main character along with adapted content from BS Fire Emblem dubbed the New Archanea Chronicles.
It also adds a new Casual Mode in which defeated units could be revived, a feature that would end up being a point of contention among the development team prior to release.
Upon release, New Mystery of the Emblem received critical acclaim from both Japanese and Western journalists who praised its new narrative elements.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
Release Date: April 20, 2017
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Last up on our list is Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, a remake of the second game in the series, Fire Emblem Gaiden.
The story is largely the same as the original and follows dual protagonists Alm and Celica as they try to bring an end to an ongoing war using opposite methods.
Gameplay carries over many of the series’ core gameplay concepts while revisiting mechanics from Gaiden, most notably its dungeon-crawling sections.
Shadows of Valentia was generally well-received, with reviewers noting improvements in regards to the game’s voice acting, combat, and narrative.