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Which 3DS Fire Emblem game should I play first? (New to the series)

Which Fire Emblem game should I play first?

  • Awakening

    Votes: 440 85.6%
  • Fates - Birthright

    Votes: 10 1.9%
  • Fates - Conquest

    Votes: 11 2.1%
  • Fates - Revelation

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Echoes

    Votes: 52 10.1%

  • Total voters
    514
Oct 27, 2017
5,647
USA
#1
I have a long trip coming up and this seems to be a good time to give FE a shot. I've never played any of the series. I'm a little confused about which game (and version?) to pick up. Awakening has better reviews, but I don't know if a newer game would be better. And if I get the Special Edition of Fates, am I understanding right that it has all the versions of the game? (Yes, I know it's expensive, I'm not too worried about that.) I'm not typically a huge strategy / tactics game player, but I'm willing to give it my all.

Thoughts?
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,859
#3
Awakening first, then Fates if you enjoyed that

Birthright is also pretty beginner friendly though, its just the writing in Awakening is better
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,737
#5
I think Awakening or Fates: Birthright are fantastic games for beginners. Echoes is very unlike the other two since it's a pretty literal remake of FE2 for the NES, so I'm not sure it would leave the right impression. If anything, it's a little more streamlined, but it won't give you an idea of what the modern series is.
 
Jun 1, 2018
230
#9
Awakening is probably best for how next one will be. Fates has a lot of issues story wise at least in conquest. My personal favorite of the 3DS ones is Echoes - Shadow of Valentia but it ditches a lot from the newer games.
 
Oct 28, 2017
3,121
JP
#10
I think Awakening or Fates: Birthright are fantastic games for beginners. Echoes is very unlike the other two since it's a pretty literal remake of FE2 for the NES, so I'm not sure it would leave the right impression. If anything, it's a little more streamlined, but it won't give you an idea of what the modern series is.
I don't want to use unnecessary hyperbole, but Birthright is one of the... "least good" strategy games I've played. I really wouldn't recommend that, Awakening is much better while still being rather easy and featuring open maps.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,700
New York
#14
Awakening without question. It's the all around better experience, where Fates takes a pretty big dive story wise, but has some great changes gameplay wise. Echoes is a great game too, but is a lot more experimental gameplay and story wise compared to the majority of the series, but might be the better indication of where Three Houses on Switch is heading.
 
Nov 2, 2017
283
#16
I have a long trip coming up and this seems to be a good time to give FE a shot. I've never played any of the series. I'm a little confused about which game (and version?) to pick up. Awakening has better reviews, but I don't know if a newer game would be better. And if I get the Special Edition of Fates, am I understanding right that it has all the versions of the game? (Yes, I know it's expensive, I'm not too worried about that.) I'm not typically a huge strategy / tactics game player, but I'm willing to give it my all.

Thoughts?
Fates Birthright would give you a better idea of what the series is about. Awakening stripped out a lot (poor maps, lack of objectives and side objectives, broken classes and balance, missing little things like pirate units moving on water, creating passable terrain like FE7 logs, RD style elevation mechanics just not being present, incredibly bare bones beyond presentation) and smushed the rest together into some kind of community chilli of FE greatest hits.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,340
#20
Birthright is better than Awakening in most ways, but Awakening is still better for newcomers. Easier to grasp the mechanics without needing to know the finer details and an easier to digest epic story. Still go for Birthright later on if you liked Awakening, then Conquest if you want to push yourself with one of the series's high points. Rev and Echoes exist and can be done later, but aren't as necessary.
 
Oct 27, 2017
559
#22
I love all of the 3DS entries but I'd go with Birthright. The mechanics are refined in some smart ways from Awakening and it's simply a fantastic game. Awakening is a great choice as well. Both are two of my favorite games.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,913
#25
It depends, but either Awakening or Echoes for a newcomer.

Awakening will give you a good grasp of Fire Emblem fundamentals, and while it’s mechanically and tactically less interesting than Fates: Conquest, its story won’t make you want to skip scenes.

Echoes has by far the strongest presentation and writing of the 3DS entries, as well as full voice acting, but it won’t teach you certain Fire Emblem mechanics, like the weapon triangle or durability management. It will, however, give you the first glimpse of the 3D exploration that Three Houses seems to be incorporating.

All 3DS entries have Casual Mode, which disables permanent unit death. Echoes takes quality of life one step further by introducing Mila’s Turnwheel, which allows you to rewind turns.
 
Oct 26, 2017
827
#26
Awakening is a great introductory title to the series. It's a very memorable and fun game. I wish I could replay it for the first time again. Fates didn't catch me anywhere as close as Awakening.
 
Oct 27, 2017
743
#29
Yeah, go with Awakening first.

If you really really like it and want a variation on it, then play Fates afterwards. If you like it in concept but want to try a very different style of combat, go for Echoes. Echoes is a pretty weird Fire Emblem game.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,329
#30
Awakening is a good start.

If you start to enjoy the gameplay and want a challenge. Conquest is one of the best in series in terms of gameplay, the writing is bad tho, so if you like a good story. You won’t get it.

Echoes is pretty un-Fire Emblem in some aspects so I wouldn’t recommend outright, but if you want an enjoyable presented story with great music. That’s a good choice.

Don’t be afraid to use casual mode if you don’t like the perma-death.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,581
#33
Play Awakening first. It's a fantastic game. And when you move onto the next one you will appreciate Fates' simplifications that much more :)

Don't let people tell you Fates is garbo. Birthright is actually the greatest Fire Emblem game ever made; Conquest is pretty great, but more difficult; and what Revelations lacks in its really bad story it makes up for in having the most unique and cool map design in the whole series. I love Fates. Play the games and judge them for yourself!

Echoes I could take or leave tbh. I wasn't the biggest fan of it. Felt really "old school" and not in a good way. The one new character they made for the remake (Berkut) ended up being the best thing about it.
 
Nov 15, 2018
116
#35
Absolutely Awakening; it´s the game that made the series accessible to lots of people. Personally I´m not too fond it because I´m more of a fan of the "pre-3DS" games. But it still has it´s merits and can be great fun. You should note that the map-design is not representative of the series´ quality, it´s rather bland. Nonetheless, Awakening is a good starting point.

Orb May I ask whether or not you´re going to play with perma-death enabled?
 
#36
I've played all the Fire Emblem games in the order that they came out in the west but I'd say start with Awakening. Awakening is the perfect entry point IMO, it teaches you the basic mechanics and lets you experiment with classes and builds while also affording you the option to grind for XP and gold should you completely mess up by focusing on the wrong characters or use up all the weapons/items that you were supposed to keep around for the end game.

Then after Awakening play Fates Conquest on Classic/Normal, this game makes up for Awakening's shortcomings and doesn't allow for grinding.

I would honestly avoid Echoes until you've familiarised yourself with Fire Emblem and its systems, because it strips so many strategic options away that it would teach you the wrong patterns.
 
#39
I hadn’t thought terribly much about it, but it seems like Classic mode is the way the game is intended to be played so I’ll start with that unless FE fans suggest otherwise.
I would say start with hard/classic because that's the way I played and it gives the game some good difficulty. But I'm not sure if it would be too hard for a new player. I remember chapter 5 being decently hard.
Normal/Casual is definitely way too easy.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,329
#41
I would say start with hard/classic because that's the way I played and it gives the game some good difficulty. But I'm not sure if it would be too hard for a new player. I remember chapter 5 being decently hard.
Normal/Casual is definitely way too easy.
Hard has those terrible same turn enemies in Awakening tho. Might be better to start normal as a first timer to the series.
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,665
#44
Awakening has better characters. They're one-note joke characters, mind, but I found them fun enough.

Conquest's (I dunno about Birthright) story is trash but the gameplay and maps are legit the best in the series.

Echoes is fine but it's the worst of the three. It's an excessively faithful remake of an old famicom game, when the series hadn't quite figured out the gameplay, and does virtually nothing to improve on it. The main reason some people champion it is because it's a callback to a time when FE was less "anime," and fair enough I guess.
 
Last edited:
May 17, 2018
596
#45
Awakening easily is the best start and personally how I got into the series.
Don't let people tell you Fates is garbo. Birthright is actually the greatest Fire Emblem game ever made; Conquest is pretty great, but more difficult; and what Revelations lacks in its really bad story it makes up for in having the most unique and cool map design in the whole series. I love Fates. Play the games and judge them for yourself!
Hottest take on Birthright... But I definitely thought Conquest was great and the story wasn't as bad as people say it is even if it's not great. Fates is indeed worth playing and honestly I don't care that much about story with FE (although Path of Radiance proves FE can be fantastic at it when it wants to be) because the gameplay is always very fun and music is usually good too.