How Do You Play All the Fire Emblem Games in Order?

Some of the series' greatest are woefully not localized yet.

by J.R. Waugh
Fire-Emblem-Order
Images: Intelligent Systems

Fire Emblem has grown as a series since its original 1990 debut on the “Family Computer” also known as Famicom. Despite the franchise not reaching the west for 13 years, many games were not and continue not to be available to play in any official localized capacity. But as the franchise continued to grow more successful with its subsequent releases, many of these titles got remakes, but not all, and fans might be confused about what to know. If you’re wondering how you can play Fire Emblem games in order, we’ve got the answers.

How to Play the Fire Emblem Series by Order of Release

Fire-Emblem-Games-Order-Shadow-Dragon
Image: Intelligent Systems

It should be noted that while there are 17 mainline releases for Fire Emblem, 3 of them are enhanced remakes of the first 3 games. This can make things tricky if you’re just looking to enjoy the stories of the franchise, but it was also greatly appreciated by fans who wanted either a modern port or even just something released outside of Japan. But these are all 14 mainline Fire Emblem games and their remakes, by order of release date:

  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (1990, Famicom) — Japanese Release
    • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (2008, DS) — Remake, International Release
    • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light for Nintendo Switch (2020, Switch) — International Limited Release
  • Fire Emblem Gaiden (1992, Famicom) — Japanese Release
    • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (2017, 3DS — Remake, International Release
  • Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (1994, Super Famicom) — Japanese Release
    • Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem (2010, DS) — Japanese Release
  • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (1996, Super Famicom) — Japanese Release
  • Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (1999, Nintendo Power, 2000, Super Famicom) — Japanese Release
  • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (2002, Game Boy Advance) — Japanese Release
  • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (2003, Game Boy Advance) — International Release
  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (2004, Game Boy Advance) — International Release
  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (2005, GameCube) — International Release
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (2007, Wii) — International Release
  • Fire Emblem Awakening (2012, 3DS) — International Release
  • Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright/Conquest (2015, 3DS) — International Release
    • Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation (2015, 3DS) — Additional Campaign Storyline DLC
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2019, Switch) — International Release
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses Cindered Shadows (2020, Switch) —Additional Campaign Storyline DLC
  • Fire Emblem Engage (2023, Switch) — International Release

Many of the Fire Emblem franchise games take place in separate worlds from one another, acknowledged in the Awakening and Fates titles in particular. Some spin-offs have varying levels of connection to the franchise as a whole, but are noteworthy in their own right, listed below:

  • BS Fire Emblem: Archanea Saga (1997, Super Famicom Satellaview) — Japanese Release
    • Interquel between the events of Shadow Dragon’s Prologue and Chapter 1
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE (2015, Wii U, 2020, Switch) — International Release
    • Crossover with Shin Megami Tensei
  • Fire Emblem Heroes (2017, Mobile)
  • Fire Emblem Warriors (2017, Switch) — International Release
  • Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes (2022, Switch) — International Release
    • Alternate timeline in the world of Three Houses
Tokyo-Mirage-Sessions
Image: Atlus

There’s plenty of enjoyment to be had in the Fire Emblem franchise even if you’re not as interested in the turn-based tactical RPGs the original games are meant to be. But this is the simplest way to enjoy the games as they were released, as long as you can access them. But if you’re curious about a strict timeline to consider, we’ve got you covered on that front as well.

Fire Emblem Timelines

Geneaology-of-the-Holy-War
Image: Intelligent Systems

You don’t have to play all Fire Emblem games in order as they’re released to enjoy the story for any particular reason. There are several sagas that play out in the franchise you can play through, but can be thoroughly enjoyed if played in order of the events rendered in the games. Some games like Sacred Stones can be played realistically at any point, and there’s no “right order” to play the games collectively, but there are some exceptions:

Archanea, Valentia, and Jugdral Timeline:

  • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
  • Fire Emblem: Thracia 776
  • BS Fire Emblem: Archanea Saga
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light
  • Fire Emblem Gaiden
  • Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem
  • Fire Emblem Awakening

Elibe Timeline:

  • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
  • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

Tellius Timeline:

  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

Fates:

  • Fire Emblem Fates Birthright/Conquest (either version in no particular order)
  • Revelation

Any timeline should be considered for the order it follows as they exist essentially in the same world. You can coherently enjoy stories like those on the continent of Elibe with Blazing Sword, the first internationally released FE, as it’s a prequel to Binding Blade. Genealogy of the Holy War predates the original games by centuries and serves as an interesting, shockingly dark basis compared to other entries. Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn are specifically crafted with a saga and order in mind for the continent of Tellius.

Regardless of how you choose to enjoy the franchise, these are great guidelines to follow. Fire Emblem is a special series for its increasingly growing fan base. With the January 20, 2023 release of Fire Emblem Engage, fans are increasingly being introduced to some of the franchise’s greatest games yet to even be played by much of the world.

Hopefully, this helps when somebody lobs a reference like “FE17” at you, especially since you can debate that the newest title is FE14. As a side note, we hope against hope that FE4: Genealogy of the Holy War, gets the remake treatment, as it’s possibly the most influential game in the series, yet it still hasn’t been localized.

- This article was updated on January 23rd, 2023

Trending on AOTF