My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!
#10 Fire Emblem Heroes
Last year saw my first ever mobile game inclusion in my annual Top Ten Games of the Year list with Pokémon GO. Yet another Nintendo-adjacent property squeaks into my list this year with Fire Emblem Heroes.
Unlike Pokémon GO, Fire Emblem Heroes is a reasonable facsimile of its venerable tactical strategy-RPG series. By smartly condensing battle maps into the exact size of a phone screen (or tablet), the series was translated reasonably well onto the mobile platform.
Heroes from across several generations of games could battle together through random loot boxes. Loot boxes have become a hot topic lately, but Fire Emblem Heroes never left me feeling awful about my options. In fact I was always ridiculously flush with orbs and heroes just by playing casually.
The depth of tactical warfare couldn’t quite compete with the main series, but still managed to include the core concepts – the weapon trinity, balancing teams, and support, magic, ranged, and melee attacks. And I was completely blown away by the artwork and voice acting of each hero.
The campaign was surprisingly enjoyable as I recognized familiar faces from past games and was acquainted with those I had never seen before. Each chapter had multiple maps and difficulty levels that scaled well when leveling teams, and I always had several teams spread between different level ranges.
I loved playing through a match or two while cooking dinner or watching TV. Fire Emblem‘s turn-based gameplay translated perfectly to the way I enjoy mobile games – by multi-tasking with something else. Fire Emblem Heroes is easily one of the best mobile games I’ve ever played, and well deserving on my Top Ten list this year.