The Legend of Heroes Series RANKED from WORST to BEST

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Missed some other ranking videos? Check these out!
The Tales Series:
Final Fantasy v. Dragon Quest:
The Dragon Quest Series:
The Final Fantasy Series:

Want some more Legend of Heroes coverage? Check out these great videos!
Series overview, Part 1:
Series overview, Part 2:
Series overview, Part 3:
Trails to Zero plot summary:
Trails of Azure plot summary:

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Ao > Zero > Sky SC > Sky FC > Sky 3rd > CS3 > CS2 > CS1

    Crossbell is by far the best arc. Followed by the Liberl Arc. Cold Steel 1 and 2 are rather meh…
    I'm still playing CS3 (just arrived in Ordis in chapter 3), but the Crossbell chapter alone has placed CS3 on the top of Cold Steel.

  2. For me worst to best (of which I've played – i.e. trails) would probably be:

    Ao, Sky 3rd, Zero, CS1, CS 2, Sky FC, Sky SC, CS 3. (Just. Barely. Mainly because the protagonist(s) have truly been given a chance to fail, which allows their characters to have more depth. As much as I love Estelle, she's too pure, so to speak; Rean goes through a struggle that Estelle can't. Of course, if I'm let down by CS4, 2nd will probably replace it back at the top of the tree.)

    3rd would be higher if not for its shonky balance between gameplay and exposition. It's got some utterly wonderful lore, but it has serious pacing and balance issues (balance between exposition and combat rather than gameplay balance). I'm tempted to put it above Zero purely down to Renne's star door, however.

    The less said about Crossbell the better. Easily the worst storytelling in the series – Ao in particular is just laughable come the end in terms of utterly falling to pieces come the merest scrutiny. You can tell that it was added rather than intended from the start, because the story just doesn't work as a whole even at a surface level. The 'oh he's not the real mastermind, this character is… just kidding! it's actually this o- nope, not that one either!' is primary school level storytelling. The lack of proper foreshadowing is awful, and for a series that is so good at having complex villains that can't be typecast, the sheer caricature nature of all of the major villains was depressing. 'I'm going to become the very caricature of a megalomaniacal tyrant for… Justice!!!' or 'I've been planning this for years and years but a five second speech made by the hero is going to make me want to repent'. Good god, I was half laughing, half wincing at how bad the finale was. And don't even get me started on Wald. The best thing about it was my guilty pleasure, 'Pom!'

    After playing Crossbell I'm half convinced that their popularity is mainly down to the fact that they've never been released officially in English which gave them a 'I'm special that I've played this game and lots of other people haven't' sheen. I felt so let down after finally playing them. Maybe when I replay it eventually I'll feel differently about them, and find it was just the overblown hype about how good they are that gave me such a negative view.

  3. I know this is not in your list and probably not going to be, but where would you put DS: The Legend of Heroes II at?

  4. Oh gods. CS2. Probably worst game in the series with continent sized plot holes and plot that so forced that force alone would be enough to push an elephant through the mouse hole. Well to each their own i guess. For the main series i would go Ao>CS3>=SC>The 3rd>Zero>FC>CS1>CS2

  5. I enjoyed the video and its great to hear other viewpoints, not to mention a bit of a history lesson on non-Trails games, but i'm genuinely amazed at that No. 1 choice. Personally I think CS2 is a train wreck and the worst game in the series by a mile.

    Filler plot for the most part, Rean being the most unimaginably dull character in the series, to the point of dragging the rest of the games story down with him. Zero character development in a game heavily reliant on it's story.

    But the handling of the only notable plot point in the game, which is the Civil War, is just atrocious. Class 7 are sort of kept out of it, but the total lack of impact on NPC's, game world and characters means that the game basically relies on your suspension of disbelief during the Civil War phase. It's hands down the worst point in the entire series and for a series that has 15 or so years of high-end storytelling behind it, it makes it stand out even more.

    I'm not a fan of CS1, but at least that handled the introduction of Erebonia quite well and I personally enjoyed the slightly faster pace compared FC and Zero as it mixed things up a bit. CS2 is the one and only game in the series I've played (played all up to CS3) that I would genuinely classify as a bad game.

    TL;DR – Great vid, interesting to hear a polar opposite viewpoint, but a bizarre choice for No. 1!

  6. Only played 7 of these games so far (Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch, the Sky Trilogy and Cold Steel 1-3). My personal favourites (so far) are Trails in the Sky SC and Trails of Cold Steel 3, both incredible games. Hoping to squeeze in the two Crossbell games before Cold Steel 4 comes out, I've heard lots of good things about Zero and Azure!
    Its absolutely criminal how badly the PSP versions of the Gagharv trilogy were handled (especially considering how they are the only versions available in English). Having looked at videos of the original versions of the games and also the Sega Saturn version of Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch its hard to believe how different the PSP versions are (and not for the better). Hopefully decent localisations of the original versions of the games happen one day.

  7. I am still kinda mad trails in the sky the 3rd does not star Estelle and Joshua. Should have been about learning how to set other bracers to their assignments from behind the reception desk as well as sending calls without being wire tapped. Missable book would be Bingo Book list of S rank criminals and each one you capture gives you 1 piece of end game gear although you will want to do that alot for all party members. Would be nice to see Estelle go into the Calvard republic and later Erebonia. As well as discover Mystic orbments that have S artes and if you combine S art with s craft it makes mystic art. But oh well, Ideas for a game that will never be released for Estelle to go artifact hunting for the church mainly. Although later on there is society involvement.

  8. Am I the only one that didn't like CS3? I've heard many people saying that it's the best game in the Erebonian arc but in my opinion is tied for the worst game in the whole series with CS1 and Sky the 3rd. About the gameplay, how can anyone say that it has a good combat? It is the most busted and (as a result) boring combat in the series. Orders and Break look like fine addition on paper, but in reality they are way too strong. Every single boss fight was Sledgehammer into Wind Blade to straight up CHEESE the boss. During most of the boss fight the boss could only throw out one move, then instanly got the break gauge depleted and that was it, my party could then throw out a lot of attacks without the boss turn coming up and that was the fight, pretty lame. Thanks to that, and also because even defensive orders are OP (90% dmg reduction? Really?), every time you don't have an Order up you're screwed, every enemy hits like a truck, is super fast and inflict statuses.
    The new characters are the only saving grace of this game: Kurt, Altina, Juna, Ash and Musse were interesting characters that fit right in the game, nothing to say about that. Even side characters aka the other students were interesting enough to make me want to interact with them and complete their requests.
    The story itself, on the other hand, was just plain REPETITIVE and as a result boring for 3/4 of the game. It was just as the first game, but this time you don't even have a new set of characters every field trip, and more importantly you have to do literally the same thing over and over again: everytime you gotta stop Ouroboros gathering up mana for their new Aions. Every field trip was like a chore to me, because I felt like I already had everything spoiled since the first one, I knew I had to go and get the permissions, I knew I had to go the the respective character house and hear a bit of their backstory, I knew I had to go to stop Ouroboros. The other thing that really pissed me off about the field trip would be the old members of class 7 just barging in and """saving""" Rean and the new class 7. And the game does this for literally EVERY OLD CLASS 7 MEMBER, after the first few it just became a boring clichè/anime trope.
    The last part of the game was pretty good though. Finally thing start to get interesting and the grand scheme of things get revealed (FINALLY), the "bad ending" with the cliffhanger was pretty good and we get to see something unexpected (like the death of Arseid, Toval and Prince Olivert, it was pretty shocking). The final boss was god awful though, it literally did a single basic ass move before getting stunned for the rest of the fight (thanks, break gauge) and my party murdering him.
    In the end I think it was a decent game but it does not reach the standard of the other trails games, the most glaring problem in my opinion is just how repetitive and tedious it is, it could have really been trimmed down to half of what it is and it would be a better game overall.

  9. I really wish someone would fan-translate Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes 2. It's the one game in the series without any form of translation, preventing us from playing the entire series.

  10. I really dislike the story of the cold steel games, not the lore with the divine knights and stuff, but the actual story is kind of trash, at least the gameplay was mostly fun, that all being said, cold steel 2 was the best of the bunch in my opinion, despite certain story elements that absolutely failed imo

  11. The past few months I have been on a Trails binge, and I'm halfway through Cold Steel 2 and I gotta say right now in terms of story, Zero and Azure have been absolutely mindblowing in terms of story, the Crossbell arc is so damn good, and focusing on a small cast works in their advantage, and I really liked playing detective with Lloyd. And the West Zemuria Trade Conference was one of the best chapters ever, I loved the political tension and intrigue.

    When it comes to Sky 1st and 2nd, I'll be honest I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I wish I could because of Estelle. I've seen a lot lf people praise her and her character development, calling her their favorite of all time and that's absolutely fine by me but personally I don't like her. She's overly bright, overly positive, and can come off as pushy and overbearing IMO. I do enjoy positive characters, one of my favorite of all time is Zack Fair from Crisis Core FF7, but Estelle is just way too much for me and whike she did have growth throughout the two games, those traits stayed at the core of her personality.

    Sky 3rd was just a dungeon run, but it did contain some really cool bits of lore to build up the sequels.

    Without having knowledge of the events of Sky and Crossbell, and Falcom's tendecy for slow burning games, I doubt I would have enjoyed Cold Steel 1 and 2 as much, but I really did, they're my favorite right now in terms of characters. I relate a lot to the MC Rean, especially with the themes of feeling lost in life and looking for a place to belong to, a reason to push forward, he's someone I can identify with. The cast is really appealing to me as well, I like them as much as in the Crossbell games. What I didn't like in Rean, and this can be applied to all Trails MCs, it's the sheer amount of cheesy, borderline cringey speeches about bonds and staying together and overcoming the odds as long as we trust each other no matter what. I don't completely disagree with these themes, and I expect cheesiness in my JRPGs, hell I like it, but the Trails game really like to shove these themes down your throat every hour or so, and I feel like these could have been less in your face and better written. And they can push some character traits way too far like overemphasizing how kind hearted each protagonists are (it's fine to point it out here and there, but it's done so damn much), pointing out and joking SO MANY TIMES about how Lloyd is dense with women and what he says, and Estelle's "I'll beat you with my stick" schtick. The Trails game have amazing stories, I'm happy I got into them but they can be pretty flawed in some aspects of the writing in my opinion. Congrats if you read that far.

    My ranking:
    7. Sky 3rd
    6. Sky FC
    5. Sky 2nd
    4. Cold Steel
    3. Zero
    2. Cold Steel 2
    1. Azure

  12. Cold steel series' cliffhangers and revelations are better than others in the LOH series.. But i can't make it my number 1 no matter what..maybe because i can't fully make myself love the characters as much as i loved characters in trails in the sky..trails of cold steel's main cast for me is not as likeable (especially original class 7) as those characters so i can't attached myself with them

  13. as a side note, the whole treasue chest jokes was purely on xseed, originally it was "the chest is empty" on checking them again.

  14. i believe the crossbell games as a whole should be higher, while they were the start of that horrible harem thing, the way you spend so much time with the main group, have 3 very good supporting side characters, and most of them have story that you cant help but feel for them, those characters in my opinion are better written then cold steel 1 and 2 (cold steel 1 and 2 only really have crossbell supporting it in the background since it is running alongside crossbell in the timeline, and most cold steel characters dont come close to the majority of playable crossbell or sky characters) sky had a love story for 3 diffrent characters, joshua and estelle, olivert and schera, and tita and agate, in crossbell most party members from those that you play the most with have amazing personal hitory, even elie wich is the "canon" and the weakest out of the group.

    then again, it's my own opinion therefor everyone else is wrong sarcasem but yea, crossbell and sky hold a really special place in the series, my problem with cold steel was just, they just throw too much characters that you dont really get as much of a development with them.

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