Turn-based combat, squad customization, heavy RPG elements, and fantasy settings should be the elements of games like Fire Emblem.
The latest entry in the series, Three Houses, debuted in July 2021. Many fans are looking for similar games, while others have never had the chance to try out the Nintendo series.
Various games are just as good, and a few we believe are better. Still, we think some Fire Emblem entries are at the top of the genre. But as an RPG fan, I bet you’d want to play most of the titles below.
Selecting Games Like Fire Emblem
We believe Fire Emblem fans would like games featuring a mix or a twist of the series’ aspects:
- Genre: Fire Emblem is a fantasy “role-playing simulation” series with tactical, squad-based, turn-based combat, and date simulation segments.
- SRPG: Developers call it an RPG simulation as most progression systems are randomized. Still, the tactical combat is fully-fledged.
- Setting: All games share Medieval or Renaissance themes, with a mercenary or r royalty main character and kingdoms in conflict.
- Linear Progression: You progress linear fashion by completing each section. You see the progress on a 2D map.
- Exploration: These games have a world map, and you can do some amount of exploration before advancing the plot.
- Combat: You take turns to move your characters across a grid, and use skills, items, and attacks.
- Squad: You customize your squads as you play from large character roosters. Each character mostly features unique perks and skills.
- Permadeath: When characters die in battle, they are out of the game permanently. Some game modes or difficulty settings skip the feature, though.
- Progression: When characters level up, the system randomly raises their stats. You can also unlock skills as you play.
- Avatar: Most Fire Emblem games feature a customizable avatar as the main character. That includes class and innate skill.
- Character Classes: There’re character classes, which affect how they move on the grid, and the skills they can use.
- Weapon Triangle: Like rock, paper, and scissors, the three main weapons have weaknesses and strengths. These are swords, axes, and lances.
- Magic Triangle: Magic uses the same system as well. The magic types are fire, wind, and thunder.
- Weapon Durability: Various Fire Emblem games feature different weapon durability systems. In essence, though, you need to repair or upgrade the weapons before they break.
- Relationships: You develop relationships with other characters outside and during battle. It increases battle abilities.
- Genealogy: Some titles allow characters to fall in love and have a child. The child inherits skills and stats from their parents.
- Hub: Lastly, some Fire Emblem games feature a customizable base of operations.
Overall, games like Fire Emblem should feel like fantasy RPG titles with deep, customizable squad-based combat systems. We’ll have to look across wargame tabletop simulations, classic RPGs, and squad-based RPGs for similar options.
Games Like Fire Emblem
- Developer: Overhype Studios
- Publisher: Overhype Studios
- Release Date: April 2015
- Platform: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S
Battle Brothers is a 16-bit turn-based, tactical, and squad-based RPG game akin to a tabletop war game. You play as a group of mercenaries in a grim and gritty medieval fantasy world.
The map is fully open and procedurally generated, and the progression is non-linear. You’re free to choose contracts or travel around the world. You’re also free to fight or help any faction. Similarly, you have the option to take and train dozens of companions.
There’re two gameplay mechanics. First, there’s the strategic world map, where you make decisions for your companionship. Then, there’s the tactical combat layer, where you duke it against your enemies for loot, XP, and bounties.
Combat features a grid, and your party takes turns to move and use skills, items, and attacks. Then, there’s a complex triangle system dictating the advantages and weaknesses of the weapons. Also, there’s a permadeath mechanic, so your companions will stay dead, or undead, after brutal injuries.
Lastly, all of your companions come with randomized backgrounds, stories, traits, and a free class system. Similarly, there’re random events in the world, plus scripted events that force you to make game-altering decisions.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
- Developer: Larian Studios
- Publisher: Larian Studios, Bandai Namco, Entertainment
- Release Date: September 2017
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, macOS
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is the ultimate modern CRPG. As the Gods dwindle and die, your group of heroes rises from prison to Goodhood. However, the road requires learning deep truths about the origins of Divinity.
The story is okay, but not the game’s highlight. Instead, the title has the best turn-based and squad-based combat I’ve seen. You can go solo or with a party of 4 highly customizable characters. There’s gear, attributes, skills, civil skills, and talents. Also, there’s a free class system, and you can respec at any time.
Each character takes turns moving, using skills, items, or spell scrolls. Then, the environments are highly interactive, so you can set the floor on fire or freeze it. You can make your enemies bleed and then electrify the blood. Or you can create a smokescreen by launching fire into water and “bless” the smoke to heal.
Then, the game followed the 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. The game considers your character stats to determine your success both inside and outside combat. Combat is tough, dialogue is tricky, and pointers are few. Moreover, there’re various difficulty settings, and the Honor Mode features permadeath.
Making your own way is the core experience. See, you play through 4 episodic acts, each featuring a semi-open world. Advancing through the story requires doing something specific, but no NPC clearly tells you how. It’s up to you to figure out the way out of many possibilities and branching paths.
Baldur’s Gate 3
- Developer: Larian Studios
- Publisher: Larian Studios
- Release Date: October 2020 (Early Access until 2023)
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Google Stadia
Baldur’s Gate 3 is a classic RPG that follows the 5th Dungeons & Dragons tabletop edition rules. Prior entries in the saga came from Beamdog and Bioware, but the new one is by Larian Studios.
Original Sin Creators are keeping the high standards of the series. Although it’s still in Early Access, it offers about 30 hours of deep RPG gameplay, outstanding cinematics, a gripping storyline, and a new full 3D design. However, every time the studio launches a new patch, you have to start from scratch.
You start the gamer by customizing your avatar’s appearance, gender, class, skills, attributes, and abilities. Then, you gather a party and travel across the Forgotten Realms to defeat the Mind Flayers. These are parasitic aliens that take hold of your brain, and you or may not resist the darkness.
Combat happens in turns. You move your characters and order them to attack and use items or skills. Moreover, inside or outside combat, the system will roll a “dice” to determine whether your actions are successful. You can play solo, as part of a 4-player team, or in 4-player co-op multiplayer.
Lastly, all scenarios are hand-crafted and highly interactive. Similarly, your avatar, as well as companion characters, are highly interactive. Either character is tightly connected to the main story, and your choices will affect their ultimate demise.
The Banner Saga
- Developer: Stoic Studio
- Publisher: Versus Evil
- Release Date: January 2014
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android
The Banner Saga is a classic and epic RPG game. It’s the first part of a trilogy, and choices carry over to the last entry. It means there’re branching paths, distinct endings, and game-altering consequences.
This is a Viking story. You make allies, travel on caravans, and choose who to help during chaotic times. Every decision you make on your travels and every combat and conversation has an outcome and affects the overall story.
It means it’s a player-driven narrative, plus many possibilities. And aside from choices, there’re 25 playable characters, 2 races, 7 glasses, and many abilities and skills.
Combat is strategic and tough. You fight per turn but decide which characters you take to battle beforehand. However, there’s permanent death either on victory or defeat and the game will always remember the fallen heroes.
Lastly, a key part of the game is managing and building your caravan. It allows you to travel further and towards inhospitable places. It also allows you and your followers to survive.
- Developer: Shiro Games
- Publisher: Shiro Unlimited
- Release Date: December 2021 (Early Access)
- Platform: Windows
Wartales is an open-world RPG with a plethora of systems. You lead a mercenary group across a medieval land to explore, recruit, collect bounties, and raid tombs.
Gameplay mechanics happen in three parts. You explore maps with a top-down view, where you see enemies, caravans, resources, and more. You explore towns to talk to NPCs for trade and information, and you fight per turn.
Combat is quite familiar. You play on a grid, and your squad takes turns to move, attack, and use skills. There could be traps and other environmental aspects on the maps, though, so you’d have to drive carefully.
Outside of combat, you visit towns to talk to NPCs. Dialogue unlocks professional possibilities, information, and quests. In particular, after you open a profession, you can make a character follow it, which allows you to craft items in specific places.
Lastly, the world and the story are open. You take bounties, follow treasures, and defeat enemies according to your choices. There’s an overarching story, but your goal is to survive in an apocalyptic medieval world.
- Developer: Benjamin “ThingOnItsOwn” Hauer, Benjamin Hauer
- Publisher: Goblinz Publishing, Maple Whispering Limited
- Release Date: March 2022
- Platform: Windows
Hero’s Hour is a fast-paced strategy game with a turn and real-time combat blend. It also uses 16-bit graphics and a fully 2D interface. Additionally, it uses a procedural generation to craft its maps, factions, enemy armies, and more.
The simple visuals are there because too many things happen during combat. See, you develop armies and cities, but armies mostly fight on their own in real-time. It means there’re two gameplay mechanics: cities and combat.
You capture and develop cities in a procedurally generated world. You construct buildings, create armies, and develop technologies. These systems add up to your overall army, which you move across the map per turn.
The enemy also moves their army on the map, and you can meet them in battle. Your dozens and hundreds of units fight automatically. Still, you can pause to issue simple commands and use the hero’s special skills you choose.
Combat is very tough, though, and your whole army can fall at any minute. If it happens, you have to start over with a new hero and create a new army. But because the campaign is procedurally generated, no playthrough will be the same.
Heroes of Might & Magic III – HD Edition
- Developer: Dotemu
- Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment
- Release Date: January 2015
- Platform: Windows, Macintosh, Linux, iOS, Android
Heroes of Might and Magic III is a newer version of the classic 1999 RPG game The Restoration of Erathia. It comes with HD graphics and improved mechanics, but the same story.
You follow Queen Catherine Ironfist on a journey to unite her ravaged kingdom. The journey takes you into combat against demons, necromancers, dragons, archangels, and other perils.
There’re three gameplay mechanics: city management, army management, and combat. You manage resources, build, and create army units in your cities. Then, you move your armies on a world map, per turn. Finally, you meet enemy armies in turn-based battles.
Combat maps are not grids, as you don’t need to move. Instead, each character takes turns to use their skills and spells or surrender. The reward is loot for your hero, XP, and currency to develop your cities.
Lastly, you’ll grow a group of followers as the story goes on. You have the main hero, and you can also recruit archangels, wizards, rogues, and much more. You can customize the skills and gear of each companion.
- Developer: Firaxis Games
- Publisher: 2K Games
- Release Date: February 2016
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux
The latest entry in the XCOM franchise is the sequel to 2012’s Enemy Unknown, the award-winning sequel reboot. As before, you control a military squad and fight against alien invaders. So, it’s a full-on squad/turn-based tactical experience.
You travel worldwide from a ship, your base of operations, to select your next mission. Inside mission maps, there’s no exploration. Instead, you combat a grid per turn until you clear all enemies in the area or complete a specific goal.
Your ship, the Avenger, grants open-ended gameplay. Aside from deciding where to go, you also manage ship and squad systems from the hub like research, upgrades, and resources.
Then, you recruit resistance soldiers. These are customizable warriors, as you pick from five classes and skills. Each class is necessary on the field, but achieving a balanced or effective team is quite challenging.
Similarly, combat and enemy AI are tough. Still, you have many tactics at your disposal. These include high ground, cover, concealment, ambushes, items, gadgets, critical hits, etc.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
- Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
- Publisher: Versus Evil
- Release Date: May 2018
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS,PlayStation 4,Xbox One
Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire comes from Fallout: New Vegas creators. It’s another key isometric RPG experience, and it also uses the classic D&D tabletop as an influence.
Gameplay happens in three parts: on a ship, exploration on foot, and combat. These are the key mechanics to fulfill the story as you play a group of heroes hunting for a rogue God.
You can use your boat to travel across a large archipelago 2D map and reach different land locations. You also hire NPCs, buy resources to manage your boat, and fight against other ships in turn-based and text-based combat.
On foot, you explore towns, cities, castles, and dungeons. Then, combat relies on 5-player groups and real-time action with a pause button. Your characters have a class, but they can use skills from the other two classes to create deadly combinations.
Lastly, the world is open, and you can plot your own course and explore any location you wish. The areas are distinct, rich, and full of side stories and loot. Similarly, your companions are highly interactive and feature romance possibilities.
- Developer: inXile Entertainment
- Publisher: Deep Silver
- Release Date: August 2020
- Platform: Linux, MacOS, Windows, PS4, Xbox One
Wasteland 3 is the latest entry of the Wasteland saga. Creators of the original Fallout title founded inXile, which focuses exclusively on its turn-based RPG. If you’re a fan of the former, you’ll find the Wasteland quite familiar.
This is a party-based RPG game with a unique wasteland setting, outstanding reactive story, and a wicked sense of humor. You play as a group of Colorado Ranges on a quest to restore order in Colorado. Yet, you may do that in multiple ways.
The quest has you pursuing three faction leaders to help the original Colorado leader. However, you may become an ally of any leader, go your own way, and follow your own agendas.
You explore the “overworld” on a tank for gameplay, but you need to upgrade the tank to go further. Then, you explore hub-like worlds to complete quests and talk to NPCs.
Lastly, you customize your party of characters with aesthetics, skills, stats, perks, and gear. You take turns to use skills or items for combat, shoot, launch grenades, take cover, hide, and more. You can persuade, convince, or intimidate NPCs to help you outside combat.
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous
- Developer: Owlcat Games
- Publisher: META Publishing
- Release Date: September 2021
- Platform: Windows, macOS, PS4, Xbox One
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous takes the 5th edition Pathfinder tabletop RPG rules. You should know it’s way more complex than D&D, something you can see on a character creation screen with 25 different classes.
After you customize a character, you enter a story about defeating the Abyss. The path towards victory includes gathering an army to challenge demon lords and save the world. However, reaching the end-game is as hard as successfully creating a compelling character.
See, you customize class, race, and innate powers. Then, there’re thousands of spells, feats, and abilities. This becomes part of the real-time combat, so you’d be using your pause button to make careful decisions.
Decisions have weight, as the game is about crafting your own path. Game-altering choices include the life and death of companions and NPCs or the change and survival of NPC towns.
Lastly, there’s a strategic map that offers an extra complexity layer. You recruit, manage and move an army across a board to meet enemies in battle and conquer territory. The combat happens on a grid, on turns, and winning unlocks new areas.
- Developer: Logic Artists
- Publisher: THQ Nordic
- Release Date: January 2022
- Platform: Windows
Expeditions is a turn-based RPG with a classic Rome setting, which is not a common option for the genre. You build a party of Praetorians and lead your group into conquering foreign lands.
The story is deep and features multiple moments where you make significant decisions. You’re Legatus, and you become an enemy of the politicians. Your only way to return home is to gather strength as a military conqueror.
The campaign takes you to Greece, northern Africa, and Gaul. You’re to conquer key locations in each area via squad and turn-based combat. However, action is tough, and enemy AI is capable of working together and making clever decisions.
Then, you recruit characters from various classes, which match the type of warriors you’d find in a Roman cohort. Moreover, you can customize Legatus’ aesthetics, gender, class, and skills.
Other game mechanics include companion background, political intrigue, looting, and crafting. Lastly, the story takes influence from historical events and characters.