In this article, we’ll be listing every mainline Fire Emblem game in release order. We hope this will alleviate some of these series and continuity confusion issues. Additionally, it should be stated that most Fire Emblem games do not take place in the same world or continuity. That said, there are exceptions to this, such as Awakening taking place in the same world and continuity as the first 3 games. This will be noted when applicable. However, for most games in the series (the only exceptions being FE 3, 5, 10, Fates: Revelation, and 12), you can just jump in and play pretty easily without much prior knowledge.
Since its Japanese debut on the Famicom in 1990, as well as its worldwide debut on the GBA in 2003/4, Fire Emblem has been one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises. From recent masterpieces such as Three Houses to cherished classics such as The Sacred Stones, this series has proven itself to be the gold standard of the SRPG genre.
Intelligent Systems has been consistently releasing Fire Emblem games for 3 decades now. As a result, there are quite a lot of entries in the FE catalog. With 17 mainline games (not including spinoffs), things get confusing quickly when trying to decipher the structure of the series. This is made especially hard when the community refers to games by their number rather than their title. For example, someone may say FE 9 rather than the full title of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (FE 1)
- Released: April 20th, 1990 (Japan), December 4, 2020 (North America, PAL, limited time release)
- Sequels: Mystery of the Emblem, Awakening
- Remakes: Mystery of the Emblem, Shadow Dragon
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light stars Prince Marth in his journey to retake the kingdom of Archanea. Being the first in the series (as well as a Famicom game), it’s very very simplistic in terms of Fire Emblem games. The deep, engaging character writing the series is known for was not present in this entry. Still, it remains a fun game and an interesting look into the series’ past.
Fire Emblem: Gaiden (FE 2)
- Released: March 14, 1992 (Japan Only)
- Sequels: Awakening
- Remakes: Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
Unfortunately, the original version of Gaiden (as well as every game from FE 2 to FE 7) is only available outside Japan via fan translation. Thankfully, the game’s remake, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, is widely available and a very faithful recreation.
The series’ second entry took things in an experimental direction. It stars two protagonists, Alm and Celica, who lead separate but intertwined adventures through the lands of Valentia. Much of the game is spent flipping between each character’s respective journey. Gaiden also marks the beginning of character writing being placed at the forefront of the story. This trend continues to the modern day, in which Fire Emblem is a series that’s known for and largely carried by its character writing.
Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (FE 3)
- Released: January 21, 1994 (Japan Only)
- Sequels: Awakening
- Remakes: New Mystery of the Emblem
The series’ first entry on the Super Famicom was at once a remake of and sequel to FE 1. This game’s story is split into 2 books. Book 1 is a Super Famicom facelift of the original Fire Emblem game. Book 2, meanwhile, is a full-on sequel dealing with the aftermath of FE 1‘s story. Additionally, Mystery of the Emblem adds some much needed characterization to Prince Marth and his hearty gang.
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (FE 4)
- Released: May 14, 1996 (Japan Only)
- Sequels: Thracia 776 (spinoff)
- Remakes: None, though rumors and speculation abound of one being made soon.
Genealogy of the Holy War is about a brutal, deadly, continent-spanning war and the fallout which occurs in the aftermath of it. It is the first FE game to feature a significant time skip, showcasing how the story’s events affect generations of people living in Jugdral. Additionally, this game features the first romance and child system. In the game, your units can grow close with each other and eventually have children, who carry on stats and personality traits from their parents. FE 4 stands to this day as a dearly treasured fan favorite and one of the most truly epic entries in the series.
Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (FE 5)
- Released: September 1, 1999 (Japan Only)
- Sequels: None, is a spinoff set during FE 4
Thracia 776 is a spinoff set during the events of Genealogy of the Holy War. It focuses on how the events of that story affect Leif, his allies, and the small kingdom of Munster. Once again, this game places heavy emphasis on its characters. Additionally, its story can be hard to get into if you’re unfamiliar with FE 4. Thracia takes place at a very specific point in Genealogy’s story. Still, this game is among the fanbase’s most treasured favorites.
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (FE 6)
- Released: March 29, 2002 (Japan Only)
- Sequels: The Blazing Blade (prequel)
The story of The Binding Blade is structurally similar to Fire Emblem: Gaiden. In the land of Elibe, Roy begins an adventure to find a sacred sword in order to defeat a corrupt despot ruler. This game is infamous for being one of the most absurdly difficult in the series. Additionally, it ushered in the trio of GameBoy Advance Fire Emblem games, which is one of the series’ most beloved eras.
Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (FE 7)
- Released: April 25, 2003 (Japan), November 3, 2003 (North America, as Fire Emblem), July 16, 2004 (PAL, as Fire Emblem)
- Sequels: The Binding Blade
This marks the beginning of internationally released Fire Emblem games. As it was the first to be released outside of Japan, its overseas title was changed to simply Fire Emblem. The Blazing Blade is a prequel to FE 6 starring Roy’s father, Eliwood. The game is split into 2 parts, one of which serves as the game’s tutorial. Interestingly, you can import save data from The Binding Blade to skip this section of the game, which isn’t possible outside of Japan as FE 6 was never released internationally.
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (FE 8)
- Released: October 7, 2004 (Japan), May 23, 2005 (North America), November 4 2005 (PAL)
This game is the first to feature a split path story, asking players to pick one of 2 possible routes to play through. Similar to (but not exactly like) Gaiden‘s approach of flipping between the game’s 2 protagonists, The Sacred Stones asks you to pick one hero’s route and stick to it until they converge towards the end. FE 8 stars twin royals Ephraim and Erika in their quest to safeguard the titular Sacred Stones, powerful magic artifacts.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (FE 9)
- Released: April 20, 2005 (Japan), October 17, 2005 (North America), November 4, 2005 (PAL)
- Sequels: Radiant Dawn
Path of Radiance, as well as its sequel Radiant Dawn, form the “Tellius Duology.” Interestingly, Radiant Dawn gives players the option of importing their previous save data from FE 9, which affects many aspects of that game. This game introduces Ike, a stoic mercenary who is on a quest of vengeance against the mysterious Black Knight. Both Tellius games’ stories focus heavily on the geopolitical divides between regular humans and the shapeshifting laguz.
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (FE 10)
- Released: February 22, 2007 (Japan), November 11, 2007 (North America), March 14, 2008 (PAL)
- Sequels: Is a sequel to FE 9
In many ways, Radiant Dawn harkens back to many elements found in FE 4. For instance, it focuses on large scale battles taking place on huge maps. Additionally, the story includes many themes about the horrors of war and the devastation it inflicts on people’s lives. FE 10 is about 3 armies all facing off in the same war. You’ll be flipping between them during the story, and may be put up against the very units you control in other parts of the story.
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (FE 11)
- Released: August 7, 2008 (Japan), February 16, 2009 (North America), December 5, 2008 (PAL)
- Sequels: New Mystery of the Emblem, Awakening
- Remakes: Is a remake of FE 1
The series first remake is, fittingly, a recreation of the original game. As such, it includes basically the same story with some extra characters and additional character writing added in. This game also introduces an important gameplay feature which would quickly become a series staple. From Shadow Dragon onwards, players can utilize the “reclass” system to customize each unit to their liking. This greatly assists both player freedom and expression at the expense of some uniqueness in the playable units. Still, this is generally considered a very good addition by the community.
Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem (FE 12)
- Released: July 15, 2010 (Japan only)
- Sequels: Awakening, is a sequel to FE 11
- Remakes: Is a remake of FE 3
Due to Shadow Dragon‘s poor sales in the West, New Mystery of the Emblem was only released in Japan. Much like FE 11, New Mystery covers the same narrative as the original game with some extra characters and more in-depth writing. Once again, FE 12 adds in some core gameplay aspects of later games. Among these are Casual Mode, which gives casual players the option of disabling the series’ traditional perma-death mechanic. Additionally, this game introduced the concept of customizable player avatars in newly-added character Kris.
Fire Emblem: Awakening (FE 13)
- Released: April 19, 2012 (Japan), February 4, 2013 (North America), April 19, 2013 (PAL)
- Sequels: N/A, is set in the same world as FE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, and 15
At the time of Awakening‘s development, sales of the series were quickly diminishing. Fire Emblem‘s future hinged on this game being successful. As a result, the game was designed to be both a climactic finale and a revolutionary reboot of the beloved series. Luckily, it succeeded in the latter category, becoming one of the franchise’s best-selling and most beloved entries. To this day, Awakening remains one of the best Fire Emblems and an ideal game for both old fans and newcomers.
Fire Emblem: Fates (FE 14)
- Released: Birthright, Conquest: June 25, 2019 (Japan), February 19, 2016 (North America), May 20, 2016 (PAL) Revelation: July 9, 2015 (Japan), March 10, 2016 (North America), June 9, 2016 (PAL)
- Sequels: N/A, the 3 Fates games represent different timelines/choices of the same universe/world/story.
Fire Emblem: Fates actually consists of 3 games. Fates: Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation each serve as a different route protagonist Corrin can take in the story. In the war between rival nations Nohr and Hoshido, Birthright sees them picking Hoshido, Conquest sees them go with Nohr, and Revelation serves as a conclusion to the previous 2 where Corrin unites the battling nations. Fates is generally seen as one of the series’ weaker entries, being panned particularly for the story as well as how Corrin is written.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (FE 15)
- Released: April 20, 2017 (Japan), May 19, 2017 (North America & PAL)
- Sequels: Awakening
- Remakes: Is a remake of FE 2
Shadows of Valentia is a remake of FE 2 (Gaiden). It’s a very faithful remake, though it adds in many new gameplay features, story elements, and characters. Additionally, it adds in a new Epilogue which ties in with Awakening. It’s also the first Fire Emblem game to feature full voice acting and the rewind mechanic, which gives players a limited amount of times to turn back time and correct mistakes in battle.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses (FE 16)
- Released: July 16, 2019
Once again focusing on split-path storylines, Three Houses takes place in the land of Fódlan and the 3 nations which control it. Set at an officers’ academy, the player is given the choice between 3 houses representing these nations: Golden Deer (The Leicester Alliance), Black Eagle (The Adrestian Empire), or the Blue Lions (The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus). This game places much more focus on building your units up over the course of the game. Each student in your army begins as a lowly fighter without much combat experience, growing throughout the story into the mighty and powerful warriors they were destined to become.
Fire Emblem: Engage (FE 17)
- Released: January 20, 2023
- Sequels: N/A, adapts elements from every previous game.
Fire Emblem: Engage was developed in tandem with Three Houses. It was envisioned as a celebration of the entire series to be released alongside the franchise’s 30th anniversary. Due to the pandemic, this specific release date was pushed back quite a ways, however the series celebration aspects remain. Its story centers on Alear, a dragon-blooded royal seeking to gather allies around the land of Elyos to fight against a sinister dark dragon. Alear is assisted by special magical artifacts called Emblem Rings, which contain the spirits of various major characters from every proceeding Fire Emblem game. The story has been subject to a fair amount of criticism, however many fans of the series consider this game to have some of Fire Emblem‘s best gameplay by a wide margin.
Join the High Ground
That concludes our list of every Fire Emblem game in order. We hope this has helped alleviate the headache of trying to reason out every game’s place on a timeline.
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