There is something about turn-based games that always manage to hype gamers up while playing. Whether it’s the anticipation of the thought that you’re going to deal the final blow with your next move or the thrill of getting flanked by enemy units, it always get your heart pumping with excitement.
If you are searching for some turn-based games to pass your time and test your abilities to make grand strategies for the win, here are some of the best turn-based strategy games you don’t want to miss.
Best Turn-Based Strategy Games
Panzer Corps 2
- Developer: Slitherine Software UK Limited
- Publisher: Slitherine Software UK Limited
- Release Date: 2011
- Platform: Windows, iPad
When it comes to delivering thrilling adventures of World War II, no one does it better than Panzer Corps 2. With turn-based action, you can expect it to be very competitive.
Panzer Corps 2 is mostly based on combat, but it also requires you to make solid strategies before going on the battlefield. It is unique, beautiful, and a lot of fun to play.
If you are new to this game, you might feel odd at the beginning as the scale in this game is kind of messed up, and you might see tanks bigger than the size of the city. But once you get through that stage, and you start to perceive things a little better, the battlefield becomes a playground where you can put all your strategies to the test and bring out the best result for your country.
There are some tactical strategies you can use as well, such as supporting fire and breaking your units to cover more areas to ensure that victory is yours.
- Developer: Splash Damage,
- Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
- Release Date: April 28, 2020
- Platform: Microsoft Windows,
Xbox Series X/S
While this game might be just a spin-off of the Gears of Wars game, it certainly delivers the thrills of playing a turn-based action-packed game. With an actual plot and character-driven storyline, this game is definitely one of the better turn-based games.
With your four-man squad, you push through enemy lines of defenses by taking down swarms of locusts and their boss while carefully planning each attack.
The gameplay is fast and interesting. The feeling of killing enemies while they make their moves to attack is great. In addition, it also offers customization and upgrades to your troops as well as weapons as you progress through the game.
Occasionally, you’ll also come across massive bosses which require much more than tactics to beat.
- Release Date: 24 Mar, 2017
- Platform: Microsoft Windows
Battle Brothers is a brutal playground of mercenaries who are trying to survive in a harsh world and make a living for themselves. You control a group of mercenaries who come from normal backgrounds, have normal stats, and travel across the world to get stronger together.
You’ll fight other mercenary groups in bloody battles, take contracts to earn coins, and hire more mercenaries for your group. As easy as it may sound, it is actually a very punishing game. Every battle you have can be a last for some of your soldiers, as dying there means you won’t ever see them again.
Your troops will follow you wherever you take them, and they’ll carry equipment whatever you give them. Fighting in this game is not a choice but a way of life as you engage in all kinds of battles to maintain your supremacy.
Whether you’re simply fulfilling your contract or battling for survival, fighting with enemies is inevitable.
Frozen Synapse 2
- Developer: Mode 7 Games
- Publisher: Mode 7 Games
- Release Date: 13 September 2018
- Platform: Windows
The bright neon colors and dark background of Frozen Synapse 2 give this game a unique characteristic. On the surface, it is just another turn-based shooter game, but as you look deeper into the mechanics, it requires much more than simple tactics to win in this game.
It looks simple and organized but is also a lot of fun when you’re actually playing. The gameplay is mainly focused on taking down different factions by carefully organizing specific moves for your troops. You’ll control a troop of armed soldiers wielding different weapons.
These troops have different roles in the battle, which you’ll have to assign. You can then specify moves for each of these troops, such as where they need to move and which action they need to perform individually.
Although the real fun starts when you hit the prime button, and all the characters start to make their designated moves. The battle lasts for five seconds, and after that, you’ll have to specify the moves again.
- Developer: Chucklefish
- Publisher: Chucklefish
- Release Date: February 1, 2019
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Wargroove feels a lot like an adventure game. The colorful retro graphics make you feel like you’re playing some classic old games. With an interesting story and character development, though, this game is far better than most of the games of this genre.
The gameplay is really simple; you start your journey from one end of the map and move to another end of the map by defeating enemies you come across, engaging in turn-based battles. If you want to progress through the level, you need to either capture the enemy base or kill off their commander.
However, achieving that feat is no joke as everyone is trying to defend their base, and they are much stronger than you think. The game also features a crafting and editing mode where you’ll be able to make your own custom maps and upload them to a community page for everyone to use.
Unity of Command 2
- Developer: 2×2 Games
- Publisher: 2×2 Games
- Release Date: November 12, 2019
- Platform: Microsoft Windows
It is another military game based on World War II where you’ll take control of the Western Allies’ military force and lead them to victory. You control a group of military forces and take them to the battlefield by carefully deploying them around.
These military forces can be a group of soldiers as well as armed tanks. Then, you’ll continue to march forward until you find enemy troops.
Oh, and yeah, it has a fog-of-war system, and you won’t know where the enemies are until you come across one. And as you might have guessed, the battle is done in turn-based modes, where each party takes turns in attacking until one side is destroyed.
In this game, good logistics and strategies are must-have skills, as mindlessly deploying your soldiers will get you killed every time.
- Developer: Firaxis Games
- Publisher: 2K Games,
Aspyr Media (Mobile)
- Release Date:
October 21, 2016
Civilization is a turn-based strategy game where your only goal is to progress your cities and empire through different ages of technology and achieve one of the six conditions for victory. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not necessarily.
Sure, there is more than one way to achieve victory but achieving those conditions is not simple either. You’ll have to explore the lands to expand your empire as well as make sure your civilization is growing in fields such as science and culture.
It is not all about constant battle either. You can make diplomatic relations with other civilizations and move forward together as well. You can unlock different technologies and governments as you go. It’s a big game that requires you to think like an actual ruler of the country.
- Developer: Firaxis Games
- Publisher: 2K Games
- Release Date:
February 5, 2016
If fighting other human civilizations is not enough for you, this game will put you up against an entire alien race. XCOM 2 is a tactical turn-based game where you basically play as a commander of a resistance force and control a small number of elite soldiers to take back the Earth.
These soldiers can be of different classes and may have different abilities, which helps you in formulating all sorts of strategies and plans. The battle is turn-based, and each soldier can perform limited actions within your turn.
However, it requires you to carefully command your troops because even one mistake can lead to disastrous events in this game. Your troops will be exposed even if one of them gets spotted by the enemy, so you’ll have to keep that in mind as well. The game is really punishing, but it does reward you for completing missions as well.
- Developer: Stoic Studio
- Publisher: Versus Evil
- Release Date: July 26, 2018
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
The Banner Saga 3 is an epic tactical RPG that gives the befitting end to an amazing series. The world is slowly being destroyed by an unknown force, and it is your job to find the source of it and get rid of it. Now, you’ll command a group of warriors and set out on an epic journey filled with dangers and adventures.
You’ll have to fight various monsters and creatures to move forward and make sure your troops are well fed and healthy. The game is brutal, where you have to make difficult decisions and watch how it affects your or your followers’ fate.
It has amazing storytelling, which explains the situation of the world beautifully and also in which direction the world is heading. There are people who are affected by the dark force and are ripped off of their homes.
And you’ll have to decide how to deal with them or what to do with them. But whatever you choose, there will be consequences for all of your actions. It also has two other prequels, which you must try before playing this game.
Into the Breach
- Developer: Subset Games
- Publisher: Subset Games
- Release Date: February 27, 2018
It is another tactical game where you control a group of mechanical tanks and defend against alien monsters that are trying to destroy the city. Your objective is to destroy these aliens and protect the civilians as well as structures of the city from getting destroyed. The game is played in an 8×8 grid, so you might as well consider it a board game.
The gameplay is simple; you move around your tanks and carefully place them in one of the grids. You have a power bar at the top that indicates your attack power, and when enemies destroy one of the buildings, your power bar drops as well.
The objective is to use your attacks creatively and destroy the enemies and save the city. You can use your attacks to either push them away from buildings, make them attack each other, or even block their path of spawns.
Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector
Black Lab Games
- Release Date:
22 Jul, 2021
- Platform: Microsoft WIndows, PlayStation 4, Xbox
At this point, I’ve lost count of Warhammer games. There are just too many of these games. However, they are not bad in any regard. Each Warhammer game provides you with different content and ways to enjoy it.
The Battlesector is a turn-based strategy game that pretty much sums up all Warhammer games. Your main job is managing your troops and pushing back the invaders away from your home.
There are different modes for you to choose from. Your troops will get stronger as you progress, unlocking new abilities along the way. And the game becomes harder as you go, which is perfect for someone who likes challenges.
Narcos: Rise of the Cartels
- Publisher: Curve Games
- Release Date:
19 Nov, 2019
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Linux, PlayStation 4, Windows, Mac.
Inspired by Netflix’s one of the greatest series, Rise of the Cartels is all about fast-paced action and drama involved in underworld business. It not only introduces characters from the show, but it also has soundtracks as well. It also allows you to play either as DEA agents or the Cartels themselves.
If you decide to play as DEA, you’ll have to stop the influence of Narcos and destroy his drug empire. However, if you decide to play alongside the Narcos, you’ll have to help him grow his empire by carrying out all sorts of dangerous missions.
But, whichever side you choose to side with, you can expect some hardcore action as you’ll have to take down your counterpart in order to get the job done.
- Developer: Snapshot Games
- Publisher: Snapshot Games
- Release Date: December 3, 2019
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Stadia
Phoenix Point is another turn-based action-packed game where you fight against the hordes of mutated creatures in order to save humanity from extinction. You do this by controlling a group of novice soldiers and searching different parts of the planet for resources and information, and killing enemies when you come across them.
Your soldiers will get experience as the game progresses and get super strong as well. There are other factions who are trying to deal with the creatures in their own way as well. When you come across them, you’ll have to decide whether you want to join forces with them or not.
You are completely free to work alone. However, joining forces does have its perks. You are constantly required to make strategies and find new ways of defeating enemies, as well as find resources to sustain your mission.