So if you haven't been able to tell, I'm a Nintendo fanboy (as proof by this fansite and the Legend of Zelda one I created, among other things), and I play a BUNCH of their franchises, some religiously. I'm well versed in their library, yet as I said in a previous post, Fire Emblem is my favorite Nintendo franchise. Why is that?
Well, it's too things really. First, I really like the gameplay. It's simple, elegant,yet very deep and customizable. You can literally do the game a thousand different ways in regards to the gameplay and have different results every time. The units you have, or get throughout the game, add a grand layer of complexity that just makes it so much fun. And because we're dealing with actual characters, ones with names and personalities, when they die...they die for real...save for a very few exceptions. So now, you're not only trying to win, you're trying to protect evey single unit and ensure they only get stronger, but survive the experience.
I seriously cannot tell you how many times I've been so close to victory, then have a small slip up and someone dies, making me start over. It's frustrating, but I refuse to lose any units, so the rest is worth it.
The second is story. Fire Emblem can literally be defined as the deepest (if not one of) story franchise in Nintendo's library. Every title, whether it be a one-off title, or a continuation of a previous game, has a deep story. And each one, as mentioned above, has characters that are rich in story and personality. You learn about them after battles, and they grow on you. I have numerous favorite characters based on simple text dialogue. Some are funny, some are epic, and some make your eyes bulge out, it's just plain fun.
I'm a story guy, so any time a games's overarching story moves me? It's a favorite of mine for life. Fire Emblem does that consistently, and they talk about rather deep topics. Race, and how we treat those who aren't our own race. Theology and the role of gods in the world. Fate vs. predestination, etc. You don't think about these topics when you talk about Nintendo. And yet, here's Fire Emblem, doing exactly that.
I have never hated a Fire Emblem game, I just haven't. And hopefully, I never will, cause I love this franchise.