I like path of radiance alot but radiant dawn was the perfect sequal.
I recently finished awakening. It wasn't bad, but i didnt enjoy the openendedness. I like Fire emblem for beeing story oriented. Awakening and i guess fates added grinding aspects to it that i don't enjoy that much and the story development seemed to have suffered from it. So, every fire emblem before awakening i consider better because its more story driven. The characters simply come out better developed throughout the story. Awakening clearly rushed story elements and story development in favor of gameplay elements wich added more boredom than enjoyment.