Edward the Great: The Greatest Hits is Iron Maiden's third "best-of album", originally released on 4 November 2002. In contrast to other works by the group collecting together songs from different albums, such as Best of the Beast, Edward the Great includes no tracks with performances with vocalist Paul Di'Anno; however, material from when Blaze Bayley fronted the band were included.
According to Mick Wall, the collection was controversial amongst fans as it was released not long after previous compilations such as Best of the Beast and Ed Hunter. Bassist and founder member Steve Harris comments, "We did get a bit of flak for the Edward the Great album but it wasn't aimed at the hardcore fan, it was aimed at the peripheral people who've heard the name or seen the name on a T-shirt and wouldn't know which record to pick up." To satisfy "the real collector", the band released the Eddie's Archive box set simultaneously. Notably, neither edition features any songs from Paul Di'Anno's tenure.
In 2005, a revised edition was released in Europe, Asia and South-America with an updated track-listing. The new version coincided with the release of The Essential Iron Maiden compilation, released solely in North America, and featured songs from the Dance of Death album as well as an alternate live version of "Fear of the Dark". The updated CD also added the song "Brave New World" from the album of the same name and the booklet included a new foreword by Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood, replacing the original foreword by founding member Steve Harris. The album cover does not differentiate between the two editions.