Ten Great Strategy RPGs For Those Not Picking Up Fire Emblem Engage

From The Beginning

Fire Emblem

It’s only been a few years since the last Fire Emblem title, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, released to major acclaim, but it feels like it’s been a lot longer since we got to enjoy the latest in Nintendo’s long-running strategy RPG series. While for many players, the genre begins and ends with Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics, the genre actually has a ton of awesome titles well worth your time. In celebration of the release of Fire Emblem Engage today, we decided to look back on ten of the best the genre has to offer for players who maybe don’t pick up new games on day one.

 

Arc the Lad II

 

Fire Emblem

Platforms: PlayStation

Sony’s Arc the Lad series were major titles in other parts of the world, but for years they didn’t think they’d sell in the west, and the rest of the world were left out of the party. That’s a shame because Arc the Lad II is one of the finest early PlayStation titles. Featuring an epic story that directly follows the first game, improved combat, and far more missions than the genre is known for, this is one of the genre’s great epics. Thankfully for English-speaking players, Working Designs published the first three games in the series as a collection late in the life of the PlayStation, and they eventually went on to see a PlayStation Classics release on PS3 which allowed the possibility of playing it on PSP and Vita as well. Later games in the series saw a quicker release in the west, but they never again reached the heights of Arc the Lad II.

 

The Banner Saga

 

Fire Emblem

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS, Android

One of gaming’s great Kickstarter success stories, The Banner Saga is perhaps the genuinely great indie strategy RPG. Made by a group of former Bioware developers, The Banner Saga looks quite different from most games on this list. With a unique art style and strong gameplay, this Norse-inspired tale is well worth the time of genre fans who have yet to check it out. Two equally strong sequels followed, so if The Banner Saga catches your eye, it’s definitely worth checking out.

 

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

 

Fire Emblem

Platforms: Switch

Picking a single Fire Emblem game for this list felt like an impossible task. You could go with the early SNES games, which although a bit dated, still feature strong mechanics and interesting stories. The GBA games, which finally brought the series to the west, are also strong contenders. Path of Radiance arguably moved the series forward more than any other title, while Awakening and Fates on the 3DS brought mainstream attention to the series like no earlier title could. I ultimately settled on Three Houses, though, the most recent game in the series, which features fantastic characters, an interesting stories, multiple paths which provide different takes on the same core story, and evolved the mechanics between battles to feel a bit more like Persona, allowing for many chances to add depth to its large cast. It’s one of the largest games in the series and offers so much excellent content. With the Fire Emblem series seemingly only getting stronger, we’re excited to see if Engage can top this one.

 

Front Mission 3

 

Fire Emblem

Platforms: PlayStation

Another one still locked on the original PlayStation, luckily for players, a remake is on the way for the Switch, which will hopefully give this one new life. The Front Mission series has offered an excellent mech-inspired take on the genre since its first release, but none of them top Front Mission 3. It moved the series forward in a major way, featuring a far more in-depth story and role-playing elements that allowed characters to fully invest in its characters and war. Combat has far more depth than earlier games in the series as well, adding options like the ability to abandon a mech and even steal a different one during combat. It’s such a strong entry that Square Enix were never able to top it in subsequent entries. Hopefully, soon modern players will be able to see what the hype is about.

 

Jeanne d’Arc

 

Fire Emblem

Platforms: PSP

Another title that is locked on a single platform, unless you count the ability for the Vita to play digital versions of PSP games, Jeanne d’Arc is a truly unique take on the genre because it attempts to retell the story of Joan of Arc, albeit with a fantasy style which focuses on a war between humans and demons. While not attempting historical accuracy, this is something that even now is so rarely attempted in gaming, and Jeanne d’Arc nailed it, with fascinating storytelling and deep combat. With Sony releasing certain PSP games on the PlayStation Network, this is one we hope they’ll dust off soon.

 

Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

Join Our Discord!

Join Our Discord!

Click the icon above to join our Discord! Ask a Mod or staff member to make you a member to see all the channels.

Review Archives

  • 2023 (15)
  • 2022 (391)
  • 2021 (523)
  • 2020 (302)
  • 2019 (158)
  • 2018 (251)
  • 2017 (427)
  • 2016 (400)
  • 2015 (170)
  • 2014 (89)
  • 2013 (28)
  • 2012 (8)
  • 2011 (7)
  • 2010 (6)