The best turn

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Though real-time strategy games are newer & arguably have sầu had a more notable explosive sầu rise in popularity, turn-based games still remain the more prolific and varied sub-genre in comparison. There is an inherent allure to the tension found in turn-based games where players take their time lớn deliberate, analyze, & act. Since turn-based gaming is such a broad topic, we decided to lớn menu the best turn-based strategy games (one entry per franchise) for new and veteran players to lớn kiểm tra out.

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The Best Turn-Based Strategy Games


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trăng tròn. Dominions 5: Warriors of the Faith

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Dominions 5: Warriors of the Faith

Developer: Illwinter Game DesignPublisher: Illwinter trò chơi DesignPlatform(s): PC, macOS, Linux

Turn-based strategy has always been a favored system for hardcore wargames và Dominions 5 is the best example of such a game. If you ever wondered what a 4X Dungeons & Dragons game would ever look like, then look no further. The amount of content in Dominions is staggering, from the three distinct ages, khổng lồ the huge number of factions, và an absurdly massive danh mục of spells that would make any game master blush.

This content buffet does come at a cost as the learning curve in the game is incredibly steep and the dated graphics and UI don’t vị a great job of easing players in. Yet, there’s a kind of charm khổng lồ the pixel art style that gives the game’s setting a fitting otherworldly và fantastical atmosphere.

Learning the game is quite the challenge, but once players get comfortable with its systems, they will discover an incredibly deep và detailed strategy game.

19. BattleTech

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BattleTech

Developer: Harebrained SchemesPublisher: Paradox InteractivePlatform(s): PC, macOS, Linux

From fantasy to science fiction, BattleTech is a turn-based tactics game set in the eponymous universe based on the classic mech combat miniatures game from the 1980s. Players will take commvà of a company of mercenaries with their impressive sầu bipedal warmachines và make a name (and a living) for themselves in the fractured world of the future. The highlight of the game of course being the mech combat & everything associated with it, such as pilot levelling and mech customization.

BattleTech is not without its flaws, such as an unimpressive story, inconsistent pacing, và some balancing issues, but the chất lượng of the combat and the thrill of hunting for new mechs (a la Pokémon) make the aforementioned issues look like small tốc độ bumps. As an added bonus, the game has an extensive modding scene for players to lớn delve sầu inlớn khổng lồ further spice up their playthroughs with tweaked systems & all new nội dung.

All this makes BattleTech not only one of the best turn-based strategy games, but also one of the best mech games on the market.

18. Sid Meier’s Altrộn Centauri

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Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri

Developer: Firaxis Games, Westlake InteractivePublisher: Electronic Arts, Aspyr Media, Loki SoftwarePlatform(s): PC, macOS, Linux

Some older turn-based strategy games still hold up khổng lồ this day — Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri definitely fits that category. In essence, Alpha Centauri is similar to lớn the Civilization series in gameplay structure (same development studio) except that it’s set on an alien world where players seek a new beginning for humanity. However, Altrộn Centauri isn’t just a science fiction Civilization reskin, but a true example of forward thinking game design that evolves the core formula in appropriate và meaningful ways.

Altrộn Centauri’s standout features are it’s well-defined and characterful factions, a wide array of victory conditions, and the treatment of the planet as an integral part of player decision-making. Though at this point the game’s age is quite apparent in its controls, UI, và graphics, Alpha Centauri’s overall high unique is yet to be met (Civilization: Beyond Earth tried with limited success) và it continues to lớn influence 4X games lớn this day (Proxy Studio’s Gladius-Relics of War is a good recent example).

For someone itching for a colonization game with all the complexities of human ideology và politics, Altrộn Centauri is the best interpretation of our struggles on an alien planet.

17. Sword of the Stars

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Sword of the Stars

Developer: Kerberos ProductionsPublisher: Lighthouse Interactive sầu, Paradox Interactive sầu, DestineerPlatform(s): PC

From a single planet & beyond, Sword of the Stars is a galaxy-spanning 4X strategy game where players will take commvà of one of several distinct factions (a common theme throughout this list) và conquer their way khổng lồ victory.

Unlượt thích the more recent Endless Space 2 or the real-time 4X game Stellaris, Sword of the Stars stays closer to its hardcore gaming roots with extreme attention to lớn detail to fleet comm& and empire management. This includes granular budget management, fleet mission selection, & extensive sầu ship design. Just lượt thích Dominions 5, this detail-oriented approach comes at the cost of a steep learning curve, one definitely worth working through however.

Sword of the Stars is very much the Total War of space opera 4X games as it combines turn-based grand strategy with exciting and visually impressive real-time tactical battles. And just as Altrộn Centauri is yet to be matched, the same goes for Sword of the Stars as the high unique combination of strategic và tactical layers seems khổng lồ elude recent titles (looking at you Endless Space 2). Though it may be an old & underrated game with a buggy sequel harming its legacy, Sword of the Stars is still a goldmine for players looking to lớn engage in galactic conquest.

16. Renowned Explorers: International Society

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Renowned Explorers International Society

Developer: Abbey GamesPublisher: Abbey GamesPlatform(s): PC, macOS, Linux

Strategy gaming isn’t all about combat và conquest. Renowned Explorers is a strategy adventure game where players compose a team of characters and go out on expeditions across the world with the goal of becoming the best explorers in the world. Right off the bat, the game stands out with its charming humour, vibrant artstyle, & endearing sense of humour.

In each expedition, players will encounter traps, hostile parties, & events that will challenge their skill and creativity. One set of tactics for a combat situation might fare poorly against a pack of deceiving pet velociraptors who will demoralize or pacify the players tiệc nhỏ with tears and smiles.

The combination of creative challenges, an excellent theme and setting, and fantastic presentation makes Renowned Explorers one of the best indie turn-based strategy games.

15. Heroes of Might and Magic 5

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Heroes of Might và Magic 5

Developer: Nival Interactive, Freeverse IncPublisher: UbisoftPlatform(s): PC, macOS

This entry will probably be the most controversial on the các mục as Heroes of Might Magic 3 is widely regarded as the pinnacle of the series. However, Heroes of Might & Magic 5 holds several advantages over its predecessor, such as a vibrant and bright art style, which holds up khổng lồ this day, an excellent soundtraông chồng, and refinements to lớn tactical gameplay.

The Heroes of Might & Magic series is a strategy adventure series with light role-playing elements where players control a faction, build up their cities, và defeat their opponents, all the while levelling their heroes, collecting loot, và learning new skills và spells.

Despite the narrative being quite convoluted and generic, HoMM offers a lengthy chiến dịch that gives players a chance to play as every faction và get to lớn know their tactical strengths and weaknesses. The skirmish mode allows players lớn take what they learned and apply it against, admittedly very poor, AI or against other players in multiplayer where climactic tactical battles are second lớn none in intensity & visual flare. Unfortunately, Ubisoft doesn’t tư vấn the game’s multiplayer servers anymore, requiring third party virtual LAN software lớn run.

Despite this, HoMM 5 is still an incredible love letter to the series that respects the series’ roots while carving out its own place in strategy gaming history.

14. Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock

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Deadlock

Developer: Blachồng Lab GamesPublisher: Slitherine SoftwarePlatform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Licensed games are all the rage these days, which means that lesser known, smaller, or underrated franchises have a chance for coverage. Battlestar Galactica made a successful jump to turn-based strategy games with Deadlock, going for a simultaneous turn system (aka WEGO) as its control scheme. Unlike the 2003 reimagined TV series covering the apocalyptic second Cylon War, the game retells the events of the first Cylon War as the sentient AI Cylon automatons rise up against their human inventors in all-out interstellar warfare.

The unique of Deadloông chồng comes from the astounding variety of ships and capabilities players will have access lớn for both the Cylons and the Colonial space fleets, including distinct fighter squadrons, deployables, and ordnance options. Though the AI is mediocre and the campaign’s gameplay can get repetitive from inconsistent pacing, the battles themselves are both tactically sound and visually stunning, with multiplayer making combat even better & challenging.

It may not be as flashy as some other space combat games, but Deadlock’s detailed and simple-to-underst& tactical systems make it one of the best turn-based strategy games.

13. Blood Bowl 2

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Blood Bowl 2

Developer: Cyanide StudiosPublisher: Cyanide Studios, Focus Home InteractivePlatform(s): PC, macOS, PS4, Xbox One

You might think that sports and strategy gaming would be a perfect match, but sadly there are only a few examples of strategic or tactical sports games. Blood Bowl 2 is one such game & happens to be the only Warhammer universe game khổng lồ make the menu.

The game is a faithful adaptation of the Games Workshop-produced board game of the same name where players will coach a fantasy team in a rugby, American football, and chess mashup.

The biggest highlights of Blood Bowl is the incredible number of varied teams and the deep character progression system. These two systems work so well together that it will warrant multiple playthroughs of the same team, allowing players to lớn try different approaches & tactics. Luck is also a huge part of Blood Bowl, sometimes to its detriment, but it gives the game a high level of tension and excitement when players exexinh đẹp their moves. All this makes it a great sports and strategy game to lớn boot.

12. Panzer Corps 2

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Panzer Corps 2

Developer: Flashbaông chồng GamesPublisher: Slitherine SoftwarePlatform(s): PC

Panzer Corps is a bit of an odd historical strategy game as it models World War 2 tactical combat on an abstracted strategic scale rather than being an accurate simulation or direct adaptation of history (lượt thích Unity of Comm& 2). This definitely doesn’t take away from the game’s overall quality, but can make it feel more lượt thích a puzzle game than a fully fledged strategy game.

Where Blood Bowl 2 had a huge variety of factions, Panzer Corps 2 delves more into lớn unit variety as the number of air, l&, & sea units present in the game is absolutely staggering. Unit variance is also compounded with the introduction of heroes, unit achievement upgrades, và skins customization, which further personalizes the player’s troops & opens new tactical possibilities.

As an abstract turn-based puzzle-strategy game with a historical setting, Panzer Corps 2 is definitely one of the better ones.

11. Endless Legend

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Endless Legend

Developer: Amplitude StudiosPublisher: Sega, Iceberg InteractivePlatform(s): PC, macOS

From history to lớn fantasy, Endless Legend is the premier fantasy 4X strategy game. Though it may initially look lượt thích a fantasy version of the Civilization series of games, it plays quite differently as the game introduces sector control, turn-based tactical combat, and HoMM-like hero management và levelling. Endless Legkết thúc is also quality in that it exists in the greater Endless series of games, which range from 4X strategy to roguelikes, giving an additional cấp độ of narrative sầu chất lượng.

Where other games pride themselves on large numbers of factions lớn give players opportunities to lớn play through a game multiple times, many of them still have sầu a common gameplay system và framework. Endless Legend is a game where the factions are not only numerous và diverse in visual style, but they’re also the closest lớn being truly asymmetric in thiết kế, which makes the game’s fantasy setting refreshing when compared khổng lồ others.

While the tactical combat leaves much to be desired, the sheer amount of creativity coupled with a pleasant & clean UI makes Endless Legkết thúc one of the best fantasy strategy games of all time.

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10. Age of Wonders: Planetfall

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Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Developer: Triumph StudiosPublisher: Paradox InteractivePlatform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

In many ways, Planetfall is similar khổng lồ the previous entry in that it combines strategic play with tactical battles for a holistic grand strategy experience, this time in a science fiction universe. Planetfall ekes out Endless Legkết thúc for the 10th spot primarily for how fleshed out both components are. The strategic layer has enough elements, such as retìm kiếm, diplomacy, colony management, & nhân vật management, for players to lớn take into consideration in their decision-making while the tactical dimension is incredibly fun, deep, và challenging.

Though Planetfall’s factions may not necessarily be as memorable or creative as in Endless Legkết thúc, this is made up for in how flexibly players can engage with each of the factions, choosing the anh hùng that leads them, as well as the secret công nghệ that can drastically change their playstyle. Occasionally, this may lead lớn the game feeling a bit blvà, especially on the strategic layer since all the factions generally follow the same rules with little deviation.

Despite this minor lapse in thiết kế, Planetfall’s compelling strategic depth & fun volatile tactical combat make it worth looking into lớn.

9. The Banner Saga 3

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The Banner Saga 3

Developer: Stoic StudioPublisher: Versus EvilPlatform(s): PC, macOS, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Compelling narratives và gripping storytelling are areas where the strategy genre can innovate & The Banner Saga 3 (along with its two predecessors) are the best example of such innovation. If there is one thing to come away with from this fantastic trilogy, it’s how the player’s choices affect the characters. Though we placed the third game of the trilogy on the danh sách, all three games are directly and intricately connected & can be considered part of this entry as well.

Undoubtedly the standouts for The Banner Saga are the characters, writing, visuals, & the narrative. The tactical combat is also challenging and varied, especially when characters from different storylines meet, creating interesting combos và tactical possibilities, though admittedly it can get repetitive at times, in the first installment in particular.

Even with some frustrations, the emotionally impactful choices in the narrative sầu & well-realized tactical combat makes The Banner Saga 3 one of the best turn-based strategy games ever.

8. Into lớn the Breach

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Inlớn the Breach

Developer: Subphối GamesPublisher: Subphối GamesPlatform(s): PC, macOS, Linux, Nintenbởi Switch, Stadia

Into lớn the Breach is another mech strategy game to lớn grace the menu. Whereas BattleTech is bombastic & expansive in its approach lớn mechanized warfare, Into lớn the Breach takes a more subtle, almost chess-lượt thích approach. The game is essentially a turn-based strategy roguelượt thích hybrid game where players select a team of pilots và their mechs to lớn go baông xã in time lớn fight kaiju and prsự kiện the devastation of Earth.

Though the gameplay structure is relatively simple, there are a huge number of status effects, abilities, modifications, and mechs for players to consider in any given run. The enemy kaiju will also evolve sầu và change based on the terrain the player is fighting in và how far they’ve sầu gotten in a playthrough, keeping players on their toes.

While Into lớn the Breach certainly isn’t as ambitious as some of the other entries on the menu, the overall chất lượng of its gameplay loop that doesn’t overstay its welcome makes it an incredible indie gem of a strategy game.

7. Field of Glory 2: Medieval

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Field of Glory 2

Developer: Byzantine GamesPublisher: Slitherine SoftwarePlatform(s): PC

Another board game adaptation, this time of the Field of Glory miniatures wargame, Field of Glory 2: Medieval is a turn-based tactics game mix in the Northern parts of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe during the High Middle Ages where players field massive sầu armies lớn drive sầu the enemy from the field.

The premise và control scheme may be simple, though the tactics needed khổng lồ succeed are anything but. Though very similar to lớn the original Field of Glory 2 phối during the Punic Wars of Antiquity, we decided lớn place Medieval as the entry due to lớn improved graphics, refined UI, và overall more approachable Feudal European warfare (the original is absolutely worth checking out, though).

The biggest strengths of Medieval lie in the variety of available army lists và the effect terrain has on the battle. In terms of modeling terrain và being historically authentic, the Field of Glory series is second-to-none. The campaign system is the biggest let down of the game by far (it’s barely even a campaign), but it doesn’t hamper the core tactical experience, which will provide hundreds of hours of theorycrafting, experimentation, và exciting battles. Field of Glory 2: Medieval is a must-have Medieval strategy game for anyone with an interest in history.

6. Darkest Dungeon

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Darkest Dungeon

Developer: Red Hook Studquả táo, Sickhead GamesPublisher: Red Hook Studquả táo, Merge Games, DegicaPlatform(s): PC, macOS, Linux, iOS, PS4, Xbox One PS Vita, Switch, iOS

One of the more recent highly influential strategy games to lớn grace the genre is Darkest Dungeon, a Lovecraftian-inspired horror-themed dungeon crawler. In it, players will command a restoration effort to clear out their ancestor’s castle from evils undead, mutilated, living, and eldritch.

Though some may clayên that Darkest Dungeon is more of a role-playing game, I’d argue that it is most accurate to Gọi it a war simulator (with elements of RPGs), where the overall long-term effort takes precedence over individual characters. The game has been so successful và influential that it has inspired other games lớn incorporate dungeon crawling as a focal system inkhổng lồ their strategy games with Slay the Spire being a good example.

Darkest Dungeon has a striking artstyle, impactful và creative combat that includes the physical & the psychological, & a svào core of hunting for loot và completing objectives. It can get repetitive at times as any chiến dịch takes quite some time to lớn complete and the gameplay loop rarely deviates. However, due to lớn the massive sầu number of character classes và unique setting, Darkest Dungeon stands out as one of the best turn-based strategy games of all time.

5. Total War: Shogun 2

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Total War: Shogun 2

Developer: Creative AssemblyPublisher: SegaPlatform(s): PC, macOS, Linux

Shogun 2 is not only one of the best strategy games, but is also the best Total War game in the series. The game is phối during Japan’s Late Middle Ages Sengoku Jidẻo period where feudal lords jockeyed for power to become the next Shogun (overall military leader) & players can represent one of the many clans of the period. Unlike many of the games on this danh mục, faction diversity isn’t as prevalent in Shogun 2, but each clan is chất lượng enough (some more than others) in their bonuses, units, and starting positions that it will warrant multiple playthroughs.

The Total War series combines turn-based strategic gameplay with real-time tactical battles & in Shogun 2, these two layers are the best they’ve ever been, with exciting and complex fast-paced samurai battles và deliberate strategic decision-making taking center stage. Shogun 2 may lachồng some of the quality of life improvements from recent Total Wars, though not enough lớn dampen the gameplay’s depth.

Shogun 2 is a great entry point for players interested in the Total War series or high-chất lượng strategy games in general.

4. Unity of Command 2

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Unity of Commvà 2

Developer: 2×2 GamesPublisher: 2×2 Games, CroteamPlatform(s): PC

From Medieval nhật bản we return khổng lồ WWII (a popular historical setting for strategy games) with the best WWII strategy game ever developed, Unity of Comm& 2 (the original is also worth looking into).

Similarly to Panzer Corps 2, Unity of Comm& 2 presents the player a series of challenging scenargame ios that are puzzle-lượt thích in nature, but unlượt thích Panzer Corps, authentically illustrate the operational setup of any given historical engagement. Furthermore, Unity of Comm& 2 has a lengthy persistent campaign covering the campaigns và battles of the Allies on the Western Front with options for alternate history paths based on player success.

The amount of systems at play, such as supply, command and control, unit experience, ability activation, weather, terrain, và troop upgrades, is absolutely staggering & no one system outshines the other. Paired with a competent AI (a rarity in strategy gaming), all these mechanics & features work together like a symphony. Unity of Commvà 2 can be considered a hardcore wargame, but the developers have sầu done their utmost khổng lồ make the game accessible & easy khổng lồ understand, helping Unity of Command 2 to become a cut above sầu many simulation wargames.

3. Civilization 6

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Civilization VI

Developer: Firaxis Games, Aspyr MediaPublisher: 2K GamesPlatform(s): PC, macOS, Linux, iOS, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Android

No turn-based strategy games list would be complete without mentioning the most influential 4X strategy game series – Civilization. For this entry, we’ll focus primarily on the most recent sixth installment in the series, which has notably evolved some of the series’ mechanics. The biggest change is the so-called “unpacking” of cities where players will now have sầu khổng lồ be more considerate of terrain for their speciacác mục districts, wonder construction, and troop movements.

Civilization 6 still retains its predecessors’ addictive gameplay as seeing a well-thought out long-term plan coming together is one of the best feelings any player can experience in a strategy game. Not khổng lồ mention, Civilization 6 has a well-rounded cast of leaders & civilizations (some quite unbalanced) for players lớn experiment with and try lớn achieve sầu different victory conditions.

With recent expansions, Civilization 6 has only developed for the better with the introduction of new mechanics, but even in its vanilla version there’s enough strategic depth to Gọi it a fantastic turn-based strategy game.

2. XCOM 2

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XCOM 2

Developer: Firaxis Games, Feral InteractivePublisher: 2K Games, Feral InteractivePlatform(s): PC, macOS, Linux, iOS, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Coincidentally, the second best turn-based strategy game, XCOM 2, is also developed by Firaxis, và just like Civilization, has become one of if not the most influential strategy games in recent memory (Phoenix Point, Gears Tactics, và Mechanicus are all good examples of XCOM-like games khổng lồ kiểm tra out).

XCOM 2 is a turn-based tactics game with role-playing elements where players lead the eponymous organization in a massive guerilla resistance operation against the all-controlling and alien-led Advent. An interesting note about the game’s narrative is that it came from player statistics of the original XCOM: Enemy Unknown, where so many players were defeated in their playthroughs that it led lớn the aliens taking Earth in XCOM 2’s narrative.

The game’s strengths lie in its well-realized setting, excellent customization, modding tư vấn, và challenging AI. Players will have sầu khổng lồ contkết thúc with an ever-changing and developing opponent while constantly facing new situations requiring creative sầu tactics và solutions. This will inadvertently create unwinnable or near impossible situations, which can lead to you running the gamut of emotions. Aside from the laông xã of meaningful branching story paths, XCOM 2 has set the bar high for future turn-based strategy games khổng lồ live sầu up to.

1. Battle Brothers

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Battle Brothers

Developer: Overhype StudiosPublisher: Overhype Studios, Ukiyo Publishing LimitedPlatform(s): PC, Switch

And that bar has been broken with the natural evolution of XCOM’s game systems coming to lớn a head in Battle Brothers, a low fantasy tactics-RPG hybrid.

The core elements that make the game stvà out are infinite replayability, satisfying difficulty, & meaningful emergent storytelling. Though not necessarily a strategy game series, Mount and Blade is a good comparison khổng lồ Battle Brothers as both cốt truyện the absolute player freedom in decision-making và choice of path.

Players lead their own mercenary company, hiring new characters from all walks of life with the overall goal of becoming the most famous và renowned mercenary company, but in actuality, players can vị anything they wish and create their own stories of how hilariously they fail & gloriously win.

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There isn’t enough space to sing praises for Battle Brothers as all of its systems work so well together leading players khổng lồ learn something new every time they try a new playthrough, something many video games strive for. Hands down, Battle Brothers is the best turn-based strategy game, if not one of the best đoạn phim games of all time.