Fire Emblem is a lot like Pokémon: After you’ve played one main title, you’ve more or less played them all. But some anime chess simulators are more robust experiences than others.
We’re not ranking all the Fire Emblem games. Some titles in Nintendo’s tactical RPG series never made it out of Japan (RIP Binding Blade and Genealogy of the Holy War). We’re also excluding the odd spinoffs and musou titles. Comparing wildly different styles of gameplay feels unfair. And it feels kind of unfair to include the free-to-play mobile game Heroes, which has gotten years of constant updates. We are ranking mainline Fire Emblem games only.
And look, I would have loved for this to be an all-inclusive list of staff opinions. It turns out, only Ethan Gach and I are masochistic enough to spend countless hours moving anime soldiers back and forth across dozens of maps. But we also have the best tactical RPG opinions at Kotaku, so you’re still in good hands.
So here’s the list, from worst to best: