Turn-based strategy is one of gaming’s genres that has been around as long as anyone can remember. It also includes a whole array of different games that despite being turn-based, are all vastly different from each other. In this list, I will take a look at 5 of the best game’s that rely on a turn-based system. I will primarily focus on games where turn-based strategy takes the forefront rather than games that have free exploration but turn-based combat. Also, 4X games like Civilization will not be included in the list as they have been covered previously in a list entirely dedicated to 4X games.
XCOM2: War of the Chosen
XCOM 2 is one of the most hardcore gaming experience you can ever put yourself in. The game doesn’t test your skill and reflexes but rather your tactical thinking and punishes you mercilessly for any mistakes that you make. It’s one of the all-time greats in the turn-based strategy genre and rightfully so. The base game is already fantastic and filled with content but the game became even better (and harder) with the addition of the War of the Chosen DLC. The DLC added a larger variety of enemies as well as bounty hunters that start attacking your team of soldiers to make the game even more unforgiving. The game is available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Total War: Warhammer 2
Like any Total War game, you have to set out to conquer the world through shrewd diplomacy and ruthless aggression. The game follows the classic Total War formula of turn-based exploration mixed in with RTS combat. The combat is the main reason why Total War games have managed to get so popular, cause what’s more exciting than controlling an entire army? Well, let me tell you, controlling an entire army made out of dinosaurs or elves. This is exactly what Total War: Warhammer brings to the table and why it’s so fantastic. The game is also filled with an abundance of different factions to play and has 2 continents to discover. Pick this game up if you want to play a great fantasy war game cause it’s the best one on the market right now. The game is available for PC only.
If you ever wanted to play a turn-based strategy game that was set in an anime version of the Second World War then this is your chance. Valkyria Chronicles, despite its looks, is one of the best strategy games to ever be released. It blends turn-based strategy together with first-person action games. During each turn, you have to decide which characters will get to move around. However, once you have selected a character, the game will shift to a first-person view and you have to move the character around on the battlefield by yourself, while the enemy fires away at you. The game was originally released for the PlayStation 3 in 2008 but has since also been released for the PC, PlayStation 4, and might see a Nintendo Switch release in the future.
Despite being a relatively new entry to the turn-based strategy genre, it’s without a doubt that Battletech is already considered to be one of the genre’s greats. The game is loosely based on the tabletop game with the same name. The game is filled with different missions, events, and planets to keep you occupied. However, where the game truly shines is in its mech customization. You are given a huge variety of different mechs to play with, as well as different weapons. This gives you an incredible amount of freedom to create any ragtag team of mechs that you think will work. Due to the large variety of mechs you can play with, as well as the large variety of mechs an enemy can have, no single encounter or playthrough will feel the same. The game is available on PC.
Invisble Inc. takes the turn-based strategy formula but uses it in a completely original way. Instead of focusing on combat or war, Invisble Inc. is all about stealth. During the game, you play as a variety of special agents and are tasked with missions that require you to infiltrate enemy buildings. The genius part of the game is that if you’re spotted the game gets increasingly more difficult by having more guards out on patrol. However, killing guards also raises the alarm as they are all strapped with a heart monitor. This means that you have to take your time every turn to plan out how you will move around in order to avoid being spotted at all costs. The game’s art style is also fantastic and has you instantly know that the game was made by Klei Entertainment. It’s available on PC, PlayStation 4, and iOS systems.