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. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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]
  8. 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]
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. One of the deepest and enjoyable games I have played in sometime, let alone the fact that is on the GBA.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. This approach is similar to chess, but there are far more variables.
  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.
  18. To put it plain and simple, this game is worth double its original price.
  19. Strategy fans will fall in love with Fire Emblem.
  20. 85
    It's still a great strategy experience, but because the game has already wowed us in the original 2004 release its lost some of its luster.
  21. Turn-based strategy that'll turn your life upside down.
  22. By bringing back some of the complexity from the Super Famicom titles that the GBA games have lacked, and by catering to new players by compensating the difficulty level, Intelligent Systems have crafted a fine addition to the Fire Emblem name. [JPN Import]
  23. A great handheld game. Though it doesn't offer the sort of depth or complexity your typical RPG will, the game is perfect for the sort of places a handheld was made to go, entertaining without being overly taxing.
  24. A hallmark tactical RPG that is sure to please fans of the series and those who like the genre. [JPN Import]
  25. More unique battlegrounds, different attack ranges and effects, a new mechanic or two - the Emblem formula would benefit from some added complexity. [July 2005, p.117]
  26. 82
    If you're a rabid Fire Emblem fan, you'll love this game. It's more of the same style with a new plot with new characters for you to match up, and the added bonus of extra dungeons to try to complete as fast as possible.
  27. You won't find anything grounbreaking here, but you will find a highly enjoyable strategy game. [July 2005, p.82]
  28. 80
    The successful parsing of battle, dialogue, and set-up sessions in Sacred Stones demonstrates again that the GBA might not be a Revolution, but it's something I sure would revisit time after time.
  29. 80
    It's full of story clich├ęs, but plot in these games is as vital as nipples on guys. It's the combat that really matters, and Sacred Stones is just about as good as it gets.
  30. For a change, the single-player mode is actually better than the multi-player mode. Expect weeks upon weeks of pure gaming fun.
  31. I didn't have any desire to replay it again, but in this case, your first time will indeed be the best.
  32. 80
    The main reason why I like The Sacred Stones is because it looks and feels old school, meaning it's reminiscent of classic NES RPGs, but beyond its look this is a quality turn-based experience that'll last you for hours.
  33. If you're looking to make a long-term commitment to a strategy role-playing game, then Sacred Stones is as wise an investment as you can make.
  34. This is just as beguiling as the first Emblem; but while it's still true love, I'm getting to the stage where we nag each other, and get fed up with each other's little idiosyncrasies.
  35. Don't be discouraged by Sacred Stones' similarity to the previous Fire Emblem game; we wouldn't change it for the world. [Aug 2005, p.116]
  36. Technically sound but leaving me feeling hollow and unsatisfied, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones reminds me quite a bit of the series I mentioned earlier, "Advance Wars." Both games hooked me immediately and sucked me in the first time around, and both sequels left me hungry by staying too close to the original formula and coming off like add-ons or extended missions instead of being true sequels.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 96 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  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 gameAmazing 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. Feb 11, 2012
    The game is one of the most addicting original gameboy games I have. Everytime I go on vacation, I always pack my DS and this game. I haveThe game is one of the most addicting original gameboy games I have. Everytime I go on vacation, I always pack my DS and this game. I have gone over the campaign multiple times, on different modes and various challenges and tasks for myself. The campaign is well thought-out and thrilling, and the graphics can definitely satisfy your eyes. Even in 2012 you should buy it, as it is worth every single penny. Full Review »
  3. Dec 3, 2014
    The Tower of Valni!

    If there was one beef I had with the first Fire Emblem on GBA in America, it was the leveling of my characters. The
    The Tower of Valni!

    If there was one beef I had with the first Fire Emblem on GBA in America, it was the leveling of my characters. The Tower of Valni addressed this in such a wonderful way. No matter which characters you took with you in the main chapters to battle, the Tower of Valni made it possible to max each character's level before continuing to a challenging chapter. Also new to the series are the skirmish battles around the world map, which weren't necessary to advance in the story, but good for leveling characted and testing out new strategies.

    -The gameplay is as addictive as ever. Nothing new added to the series here as you can still plot out your moves and see the odds of success before each battle. You can also see your enemies range of movement during each turn giving a great advantage over deployment. Characters can encourage one another on the battlefield by using the talk command between two compatible characters. However, I did not take advantage of this feature as much and it's definitely not necessary, just a useful tool at times and if you're looking for extra dialogue.

    -The Story is very memorable, although the dialogue can get to be a bit tedious at times and you may find yourself wanting to skip ahead. It won't take you on any kind of emotional roller coaster of sorts.

    -The cast of characters are plentiful. Which is necessary as character permadeath is still here, and if you lose one of your favorite characters in battle, it can be a devastating thing to experience. Sacred Stones balances this well as many times, you will get caught off-guard by enemy reinforcements, and if you've spent over 45 minutes on one chapter, getting close to the end and one of your characters die; you have a choice to press forward or start that chapter all over again. It's sometimes a hard choice to make.

    -The amount of content is incredible, not only will the Tower of Valni make you invest hours upon hours of gameplay, all the while improving your troops, but the skirmishes and the after game content is incredible, not to mention the two paths that can be chosen in the middle of the game. If you want to go back and experience the other main characters separate path, you have that option to play it all over again.

    This is a classic in the Fire Emblem series and not much can be said in the way for areas of improvement. If you're a strategy RPG fan and a fan of a good story, definitely play this game.
    Full Review »