Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. An ideal handheld game. It's simple to pick up, the quest is long and worthwhile, and there's plenty of replay value.
  2. 95
    The gameplay is simply addictive, the graphics and sound are stellar and the storyline is incredible making Fire Emblem a must buy srpg for the GameBoy Advance!
  3. Overall, this game is brilliant. Great gameplay, good graphics, witty writing and a rich storyline support this game and make it one of the best of its genre.
  4. This is easily one of the finest and most refined GBA games to date (maybe one of the last, too). It contains a narrative that takes the audience seriously (yet provides good comic relief) and a superb cast of characters.
  5. Strategy noobs might find this title a bit too much to digest, as character death is permanent and even normal fights stretch your brain to the limit. [July 2005, p.126]
  6. Sacred Stones brilliantly treads the line between depth and accessibility, and Intelligent Systems has bone to great lengths with the difficulty settings to please gamers of all skill levels. [July 2005, p.100]
  7. It is challenging, with enough depth of both gameplay and story to please existing fans, while multiple difficulty settings will keep the title accessible to most everyone.
  8. Just as good as the original, but it doesn't bring anything new to the table. For fans of the series and newcomers this is a great thing.
  9. 90
    Not only is this title many times better than the original, it offers one of the best and fulfilling experiences for the Game Boy Advance.
  10. 90
    A great little game that instantly sucks you into a deep fantasy world of conflict and combat. The learning curve is average for an RPG game, but the rewards are well worth the study time.
  11. 90
    Easily one of best GBA titles to ever come out for the handheld system. Its rich story, colorful characters, and excellent gameplay all add up to make this a truly satisfying experience.
  12. This approach is similar to chess, but there are far more variables.
  13. One of the deepest and enjoyable games I have played in sometime, let alone the fact that is on the GBA.
  14. Offers a lengthy, rewarding, thought-provoking experience that truly makes you feel as though the decisions you make, waging one exciting battle after the next, carry serious consequences.
  15. If you can handle a strategy game that'll ruthlessly punish you for making even minor mistakes, pick this up the next chance you get.
  16. It takes a lot of time and effort to have the best experience. If you are like me and eat this stuff up like breakfast, Sacred Stones will last you 70 hours at a bare minimum.
  17. 87
    While the story isn't as long as others, there's definitely much more depth involved with the game and plenty of replay value to it as well.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 40
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 40
  3. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Jan 23, 2013
    Amazing game. I was a bit skeptical at first, but when I finally got to play it through the 3DS Ambassador Program, I was floored. This game is addictive as hell! The replay value is definitely strong in this one. Full Review »
  2. Oct 20, 2014
    Fire Emblem is a tactical turn-based RPG that hasn't been replicated in any other series and is quite unique. Now this series has been made from the NES era all the way till now with its newest addition, Fire Emblem: Awakening. The evolution of game play is more noticeable from the switch to NES and SNES to the Gameboy Advance. That means that some are just glossed over while others become more popular due to timing. Sacred Stones suffers from this same problem.

    Sacred Stones is a stand-alone game in the series and arguably the darkest of them all. The story is centered on the continent of Magvell which is ruled by several monarchies and political systems. The politics enveloping the land is just a small side-story of the entire game with its numerous sub-plots. The story develops in a depressing manner as the themes of death and loss constantly rear their ugly head each turn. This allows the player to feel ultimate triumph and at the same time melancholy as you see the destruction of lands and people around you. These mixed feelings make you ask questions while at the same time gives you some understanding of the time period. Like all the games before it, once you lose a character they will be dead for good and in this one some scenes are lost through said loss. The story changes and hinges on your ability to keep your allies alive which is an awesome feeling.

    Evolution wise it came right after the game changers and was the last on the GBA era of Fire Emblem games. While the maps in previous FE games were just for helping you place where you are in the story, in Sacred Stones it is more than that. This time you move around the map by your own volition and enter the chapter when you feel you are up to the task. This map didn't stop there; you had monster encounters, buying of weapons on map, and even challenge areas for the end game. It featured duels against other people as you choose your best units against theirs. If that wasn't enough, it added monsters unique to the game such as Centaurs, Skeletons and more.

    Now the nuances; this game has a large cast of characters that like most Fire Emblem games don't get much time to flesh out. In the past two titles, they added in support conversations for characters if you took the time to do them. I found that they perfected them in this game since each one allowed you to see sides of your unit you didn't know and allowed some sort of depth beyond the nameless face.

    It introduced crossroads in classing up units. Every unit had two choices to choose between. If you were a knight, you could either become a general or a great knight. As well as having the three units who could class up twice, this was an addition to the game that allows the player more choice than the past ones. Despite this being an interest road to go down, they ruin it later on with the overuse of this game mechanic.

    The OST has some of the more memorable songs for myself including the gentle ones like Lyon's theme and the dramatic encounters with a powerful opponent. It made it that much more satisfying as you finally finished off those who did you wrong. Graphics wise its not really different from the other GBA Fire Emblems. The only things to point out is the awesome opening and the ending boss' design.

    This game was a masterpiece and allowed Fire Emblem fanatics and new-comers a story to get enveloped into and to feel for. It adds onto the previous additions and makes further advances. Even though it was glossed over, Fire Emblem Sacred Stones certainly holds up, even to today's standards of handheld games.

    Story: 10
    Gameplay: 9.6
    Sound: 9.5
    Visuals: 9.5
    Overall: 9.6
    Full Review »
  3. May 24, 2014
    My favorite game in the entire series. Fun gameplay that improves on previous entries. Memorable characters that you will find yourself restarting the game for, so as not to lose them. An opportunity to strengthen characters at the Tower of Valni which helps if you're struggling. And lastly, fantastic replayablility seeing as you can have a completely different team that you focus on in each play through. Its easy to pick up and play even for newcomers to the series, I would strongly recommend it Full Review »