The Mana series, known in Japan as Seiken Densetsu (聖剣伝説, lit. "Legend of the Holy Sword"), is a medieval-fantasy action role-playing game series from Square (currently Square-Enix), created by Kōichi Ishii. The series began as a handheld side story to Square's flagship franchise Final Fantasy, although most Final Fantasy-inspired elements were subsequently dropped, starting with the second installment, Secret of Mana. It has since grown to include games of various genres within the fictional world of Mana, with recurring stories involving a world tree, its associated holy sword, and the fight against forces that would steal their power. Several character designs, creatures, and musical themes reappear frequently.
In 1999, the series comprised four games. In 2003, a remake of the first was ported to GBA. Since 2006, it has experienced a revival through the World of Mana campaign, with four new games released in the span of one year. As of 2008, the Mana series comprises eight console games and two mobile games, in addition to four manga and one novelization. The Mana series reception has been very uneven, with Secret of Mana earning wide acclaim, such as being rated 78th in IGN's yearly "Top 100 Games of All Time", and being highly praised for its musical score, while the games from the World of Mana series have been rated considerably lower.
This main series consists of (English titles in bold):
- 1991: Seiken Densetsu Final Fantasy gaiden (Final Fantasy Adventure in the US, and Mystic Quest in Europe) – Game Boy. This was later ported to Game Boy Advance under the name of "Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu" which was called Sword of Mana in the West.
- 1993: Seiken Densetsu 2 (Secret of Mana) – SNES
- 1995: Seiken Densetsu 3 – SNES [unreleased in the West]
- 2006: Seiken Densetsu 4 (Dawn of Mana) – PS2
Apart from that, there are the spinoffs (mostly for DS), explained in the Franchise entry."
Source: English Wikipedia, "Mana (series)" and Japanese Wikipedia, "聖剣伝説", available under the CC-BY-SA License.