The last Fire Emblem game I played was either The Blazing Blade or The Sacred Stones on the GBA (it’s been that long I can’t remember which). Needless to say, I’m not up on the franchise but it remains a strong one and Gabe Gurwin wrote a rank list of the best Fire Emblem games for Digital Trends.
Here are the write ups for The Blazing Blade and The Sacred Stones:
A prequel to a game that didn’t release in North America at all, 2003’s Fire Emblem was an odd choice for players’ introduction to the series. Despite this, its memorable three protagonists and their eventual struggle against a terrifying dragon could be appreciated in its own right, as could the game’s delicate balance of tutorial elements with slip-and-you-die tactics. Simple in comparison to the later games, Fire Emblem is nonetheless essential to the series’ legacy, with gorgeous sprite-based artwork and a stunning soundtrack that will be stuck in your head for weeks after finishing the game. It plays just as well now as it did at launch more than 15 years ago, which you can’t say about too many other games.The Blazing Blade review
The perfect follow-up to the relatively basic formula introduced in 2003’s Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones focused largely on player-choice to make the experience more personal and customizable. In place of predetermined class upgrades was a branching system, allowing you to fill in gaps in your party with defensive masters or high-damage characters. What was advantageous for one stage could be a liability in the next, and this balancing act was present from beginning to end. This choice extended to the story, as well, with twin protagonists Eirika and Ephraim splitting off and going on drastically different paths partway through the campaign. It encouraged replaying the game at least once, and the brilliant climax with an old friend made the entire experience worthwhile.The Sacred Stones review