Best The Legend of Heroes: Trails Games Order
Image Source: Nihon Falcom

Best The Legend of Heroes: Trails Games Order

The best way to play one of the longest JRPG series.

Longstanding JRPG series aren’t always the easiest things to get into. A series with a large number of games can look prohibitive, especially when there isn’t a clear place to start. The Legend of Heroes: Trails series started in 2004 and, with its most recent release, is 10 titles long. For that reason (and as fans of the series), we are bringing you the definitive play order for The Legend of Heroes: Trails series.

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The Best Order to Play The Legend of Heroes: Trails Series

There are three big arcs at this point in the series, all based on a different nation in the fictional continent of Zemuria. The series is well known for its terrific world-building, which shows mostly in the wider cast of characters being shared between games. Therefore, it’s always best to tackle the story in an order that lets you experience the character’s growth rather than skip around and make certain events out of order.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC

Trails in the Sky FC
Image Source: Nihon Falcom
  • Original Release Date: 2004 in Japan and 2011 Worldwide
  • Platforms: PC (available through Steam and works perfectly on the Steam Deck)

The first game released (and first chronologically) is Trails in the Sky. This story takes place in the kingdom of Liberl and follows siblings Joshua and Estelle Bright. This brother and sister duo set out on a quest to become Bracers (somewhere between police officers and mercenaries) like their father.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC

Trails in the Sky SC
Image Source: Nihon Falcom
  • Release Date: 2006 in Japan and 2015 Worldwide
  • Platforms: PC (available through Steam and works perfectly on the Steam Deck)

Continuing right where the first chapter ended, the story picks up as a new threat settles over Liberl. Joshua and Estelle have split up on different adventures, but she will stop at nothing to find him. While the previous game merely hinted at it, this sequel fully delves into Joshua’s mysterious past.

Related: Which The Legend of Heroes Game Did You Like Best? on Siliconera

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd

Trails in the Sky the 3rd
Image Source: Nihon Falcom
  • Release Date: 2007 in Japan and 2017 Worldwide
  • Platforms: PC (available through Steam and works perfectly on the Steam Deck)

The final game of the Liberl Arc follows Kevin Graham rather than the Bright siblings. While on a mission in Liberl, Kevin is sucked into another dimension known as Phantasma. This unusual dimension seems to create facsimiles of important cities and has the power to somehow summon characters from wherever they ended up after the second game. It is in Phantasma that Kevin comes face to face with his dark past.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero

Trails from Zero
Image Source: Nihon Falcom
  • Release Date: 2010 in Japan and 2022 Worldwide
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch

(Note: the Crossbell Arc games take place at around the same time as the first two Erebonia Arc games and can be played concurrently or their orders swapped. However, the latter games feature a sizable jump in graphics, and it might be jarring to swap between or go backward after them.)

Trails from Zero marks the start of the Crossbell Arc, and the story begins only three months after the end of Trails in the Sky the 3rd. Unlike Liberl, Crossbell has a more precarious governing system, as it serves as a buffer state between Calvard and Erebonia. Lloyd Bannings has returned to Crossbell after the death of his police detective brother Guy forced him to go live with relatives. In order to combat the popularity of the Bracer Guild, the Crossbell police department has created a team called the SSS (Special Support Section), and Lloyd is asked to lead it.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure

Trails to Azure
Image Source: Nihon Falcom
  • Release Date: 2011 in Japan and 2023 Worldwide
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch

Trails to Azure starts with Crossbell still trying to pick up the pieces from the previous game’s conclusion. The SSS is split up to undertake separate duties to help Crossbell recover. With the group fractured, new members join the SSS while it seems like several threats are converging on this little state all at once. War seems to be brewing, and only the investigation skills of the SSS can try to get ahead of what is coming.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

Trails of Cold Steel I
Image Source: Nihon Falcom
  • Release Date: 2013 in Japan and 2015 Worldwide
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS3, PS Vita

The series finally introduces fans to the empire of Erebonia. Rean Schwarzer has been accepted into Thors Military Academy, the most prestigious school in the empire. While classes at Thors are typically separated by social class, Rean has been selected to join the newly created Class VII. In this special Class VII, students from all backgrounds are grouped together to explore and assist citizens all over Erebonia. However, a civil war is brewing in the empire, and the kids won’t be able to avoid it for long.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II

Trails of Cold Steel II
Image Source: Nihon Falcom
  • Release Date: 2014 in Japan and 2016 Worldwide
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS3, PS Vita

The events at the end of the previous game forced Class VII to all go their separate ways as the empire breaks out into conflict. Rean’s newfound partner is key in getting them all back together, but it also makes him a target. A shadowy terrorist group previously seen in the Liberl and Crossbell Arcs finally plays much more of a role in this sequel.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III

Trails of Cold Steel III
Image Source: Nihon Falcom
  • Release Date: 2017 in Japan and 2019 Worldwide
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5 Switch

While only a year has passed between the second and third games, everything is different. All Class VII members have graduated, and Rean Schwarzer is now a teacher at the Thors Branch Campus. He is given a new Class VII to instruct in honor of his accomplishments and history with Thors. This Class VII is vastly different, considering it starts with only three students. As one of them is from Crossbell, it makes the lessons learned from exploring Erebonia more impactful.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV

Trails of Cold Steel IV
Image Source: Nihon Falcom
  • Release Date: 2018 in Japan and 2020 Worldwide
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5 Switch

Due to the events of Cold Steel III, Rean is entirely missing. Interestingly, Juna serves a similar role as he did in Cold Steel II in trying to reunite the cast to help find him. Meanwhile, tensions between Erebonia and Calvard are getting dangerously close to war. This isn’t about the humans, either. Valimar and the other Divine Knights are fated to fulfill their final purpose. This finale to the Erebonia Arc gathers just about every major character from the previous eight games in one grand adventure.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie

Trails into Reverie
Image Source: Nihon Falcom
  • Release Date: 2020 in Japan and 2023 Worldwide
  • Platforms: PC, PS5, PS4, Switch

After years of invasions and other terrorist mishaps, the leaders of Crossbell are finally ready to declare its independence formally. However, the unlucky state comes under siege yet again, this time led by a man who is supposed to be locked in prison after the events of Cold Steel IV. A strange alternate dimension also gathers everyone but keeps their memories upon exiting. For the first time in the series, Trails into Reverie splits into three concurrent storylines that follow Rean, Lloyd, and the enigmatic masked C.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Through Daybreak

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Through Daybreak
Image Source: Nihon Falcom via Twinfinite
  • Release Date: 2021 in Japan and 2024 Worldwide
  • Platforms: PC, PS5, PS4, Switch

It’s been a year since the events of Trails into Reverie, and the world has somewhat settled for the moment. Ouroboros has been largely quiet, but in this lull, it seems a new shadowy mafia has risen with their own goals. The Calvard arc opener introduces Van Arkride, a ‘Spriggan’ who will take on almost any job, regardless of legality. His first job comes from a girl trying to hunt down mysterious devices left behind by her famous great-grandfather, who suggests in his notes that they could bring about the end of everything.

What Comes After Trails Through Daybreak? Answered

The next game will be Trails Through Daybreak II. It is unclear if it will keep the Crimson Sin subtitle of the Japanese version, but we can expect it probably in late 2025. However, the Calvard arc is already almost over in Japan releases. The Legend of Heroes: Kai no Kiseki -Farewell, O Zemuria- will be out in September. This game is set to end this part of the series and kick off the last phase, and it’s unknown how many games there might be until the finale.

Where Does The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails Fit in the Series? Answered

Nayuta is a spin-off to the Trails series but isn’t considered canon. This means that while it might share some features or similarities with any of the above games, it is an entirely separate story that isn’t required to enjoy the Zemuria storylines.

Trails of Cold Steel Anime Timeline Placement

The Trails of Cold Steel – Northern War anime takes place between Cold Steel 2 and 3 but doesn’t follow any of the main cast. Instead, the anime takes series fans into North Ambria for the first time. Here, a group of soldiers is tasked with doing extensive reconnaissance on Rean Schwarzer. It adds a fun bit of story flavor but isn’t mandatory.

With all of that in mind, you now have all the information needed to enjoy the Trails series in the proper order for maximum impact.


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Author
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Cameron Waldrop
Cameron is a freelance writer for Twinfinite and regularly covers battle royales like Fortnite and Apex Legends. He started writing for Twinfinite in late 2019 and has been lucky enough to review many really great games. While he loves a good shooter, his heart will always belong to JRPGs.
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