There are lots of different types of turn based strategy games – adventure games, survival games, empire building, deck-building and more.
Whether you prefer a fantasy genre or something truer to history, you will be able to find something that piques your interest.
We have put together this list of the best turn based strategy games to help you decide which ones you should be playing. Keep reading to find out more.
The Best Turn Based Strategy Games
This RPG can be played single player or co-op multiplayer. It is considered to be one of the most fun turn based strategy games to play because it has so much content (see also “30 Best Games To Play On Facebook“).
The tactical turn based combat is just the right balance between challenging and engaging.
It is also very interactive, with lots of opportunity to make your own choices and create your own adventure.
The second game was not as successful, but the first one is highly recommended.
2. Power Chord
Power Chord is a deck building game that requires a strategic mind.
The concept is fun – you have to assemble a group of musicians to fight demons and take back control of the dive bars.
There is a great range of characters, each with their own guards and specialist gear.
Special abilities from different characters can be combined to attack your enemy and do a lot of damage, and you unlock new strategies along the way.
The Battletech video game is based on the tabletop game of the same name, and is very similar in the way that it works.
It is set in an interstellar civil war and your job is to command mercenaries to fight robots.
Your mercenaries are called Mechwarriors, and they can be specced up with customizable mechanics and features.
You need much more than brute force to succeed – you need a good strategy to get you through.
There is no doubt that Dominions 5 is a perfect example of a war themed turn based strategy game.
There is a super impressive amount of content in the game, from ages to factions to spells, so you can have endless hours of fun.
There is a lot to learn and it can be quite overwhelming, so this game isn’t recommended for beginners.
The graphics aren’t amazing, but once you get into the game you won’t really notice.
Your focus will be on learning the different elements so you can master this incredibly detailed strategy game.
This indie game has had a lot of positive reviews from players. It is a cross between a story game and turn based strategy game.
The decisions that you make have an impact on what you come across during the game which characters are featured in your story.
It is based on heroes, and you follow them throughout their career and shape their fate.
There are hours and hours of gameplay to be enjoyed, and each story you start will have a completely different outcome.
This game will take you on an exciting journey to become a samurai mage.
On your adventure you will be deck-building and using hex-grid strategies to banish evil and protect the kingdom from demons.
This is a challenging game for players to sink their teeth into, with plenty of areas to explore as well.
All of the Civilisation games are great, but number 6 is the most recent iteration and it benefits from some new features.
This game really sucks you in – be prepared to become addicted and not know when to stop!
The premise is that you are guiding a primitive civilisation into the modern age until they eventually become spacefarers.
As you play, the research tree becomes more advanced.
You build technology centers for new discoveries to be made. It is an engaging and challenging game that will keep you hooked.
This is an older game but it is still a great choice and stands up against the newer releases.
It is made by the same studio who developed the Civilization games but with a different premise – humans are starting a new age for humanity on an alien planet.
You can play as different factions and use strategy to cope with the challenges of the planet conditions. It is a great example of a colonization style strategy game.
This is a Sci-fi turn based strategy game with tense battles and tough challenges. It is considered to be quite a difficult game, but the difficulty increases gradually as you progress.
This means that beginners can spend a bit of time getting used to the format before things get really tough.
You will find yourself getting attached to the characters you create and feeling pretty devastated when they are lost in battle or fall victim to permadeath.
10. Master Of Magic
The 2022 remake of a cult-classic turn based strategy game is a big success. You can choose your character from 14 different wizards, each with unique abilities and traits.
The wizards are competing with each other for power, and you will be commanding various fantasy factions and using them to conquer more territory.
Support your faction with spells and battle your enemies to become the ultimate master of magic.
This is a free turn based strategy game which makes it an ideal choice for beginners who want to see if it is something they can get into.
There are different campaigns to have a go at with various factions to learn about to send to battle.
Those that survive battle will gain experience points and upgrade. You get an impressive amount of gameplay considering this is a free game.
This strategy game takes place across a whole galaxy where players can command various factions. Your aim is to conquer other factions and take control of the galaxy.
You will do this by managing your fleet and your empire, which includes staying on top of your budget and designing your own ships.
There is a lot to learn with this game because it is so detailed, but once you get to grips with it you will have a fantastic gaming experience.
A lot of players find that the original game is better than the sequel.
This game is quite complicated and can be challenging – there are plenty of occasions where you will lose everything you have gained and will need to rebuild from nothing.
However, if you are ready to face the challenge then you will be rewarded with excellent game mechanics.
You will take your spaceship and your rogue crew through a galaxy, facing different obstacles along the way.
The galaxy is randomly generated, which means that everyone’s experience of the game will be different.
14. Dwarf Fortress
This legendary game is known for being one of the most intricate world simulations ever created. The premise is simple, build a fortress for your dwarves and keep them alive.
However, in reality there are a lot of things in the world of this game that could harm your dwarves.
You will have hours of fun using different strategies to keep your dwarves alive.
15. Into The Breach
In this game, you are leading MechPilots from the future in a war against aliens. Each challenge is randomly generated and the fate of the world depends on your success.
It may seem simple but there is more to it than meets the eye, making it a very satisfying game for those who love strategy.
It is also great for people who want to avoid getting drawn into 6 hour long gaming sessions. It is easy to play for a short amount of time and still feel like you have progressed.
This is a strategy based adventure game with vibrant graphics and plenty of wit and charm.
You will put together your own team of adventurers and take them on expeditions, with the overall goal to become the best explorers in the world.
Each different expedition will require problem solving and strategy, using the different skills and abilities of your adventurers.
You will need to think creatively in order to succeed.
17. Darkest Dungeon
This turn based RPG game is dark and full of horror. The heroes that you recruit and train will face unimaginable terrors and challenges.
Not all of them will make it out alive, and those that do will be traumatized. This sounds heavy, but it is great for fans of horror games.
You need to think carefully about reward vs risk – if you explore every area of interest you will end up losing your heroes.
This offering from Marvel is darker than their usual stuff, and fans love it.
Your character is Hunter, a legendary demon slayer. Use strategy and tactics to fight the demons with the help of the Midnight Suns – Blade, Magik, Ghost Rider and Nico Minoru.
Together you are Earth’s last line of defense against darkness and evil. You will see lots of recognisable characters along the way.
19. Total War
Total War is a franchise of turn based strategy games with something to suit everyone.
Whether you want to delve into a specific period of time like Ancient Rome or Han Dynasty China, or you are a Warhammer fan and you want to conquer a fantasy world, you will find a Total War game that is perfect for you.
Each game provides a great mix of turn based strategy and real-time strategy, with cities to build and battles to win.
Many gamers will say that Heroes Of Might & Magic 3 is the best in the series, but the fifth installment of the game has refined the tactical gameplay to make the experience even better.
The soundtrack is definitely better, and the visuals are improved. In this game series you will control a faction and build cities.
You will go to battle to defeat your opponent, whilst leveling up your troops as they learn new skills and spells.
The background story is quite long-winded, but this gives you the opportunity to get stuck into a long campaign and really get to know the features of each different faction.
Final Fantasy Tactics is a spin off of the original final fantasy games that is focused on turn based strategy gameplay.
Battles are fought on a grid map with an active time system to determine turns.
Each character will have a set of skills based on their job function, but as they level up they can learn new skills from other jobs.
This has been heralded as one of the best strategy games on the Playstation.
This is an improved version of the 2010 game ‘Tactics Ogre’, with an improved game design and some updated sound and graphics.
Fans of the original game will find everything they loved and more, and new players will be impressed with the immersive world.
This tactical RPG game is set in a civil war and offers an exciting and enticing strategy RPG game with a great backstory and interesting characters.
23. The Banner Saga
The Banner Saga is recommended for beginners who want to start playing turn based strategy games.
The trilogy of games is set in Viking times and has an interactive story. You and your caravan will travel across difficult landscapes, making allies and fighting enemies to protect your civilization.
24. Nitro Kid
Nitro kid is a strategic deck building game that has a lot of positive reviews from players. It is set in the 80s, with neon colors and a synthesizer soundtrack with 30 different songs.
You choose your character and build a deck, then fight your way through each floor of the infinity tower. This game is a little different and is a big hit.
Deadlock was a change of direction for Battlestar Galactica, as it was their first turn-based strategy game.
It turned out to be a good move, as the game was well-received by strategy fans.
It is set in the first Cylon war (before the TV series), and is a battle of survival.
Humans must overcome the sentient automatons that are rising against them and win the interstellar war.
One of the most impressive things about this game is the variety of ships that you can use. The battles are fun and you can even play multiplayer.
Fire Emblem is a well known series of strategy games.
Fans love the intricate backstory and the well developed characters and each game in the series is just as good if not better than the last.
A firm favorite is Three Houses, and it is also one of the best for beginners to get into. The 16th game is a rich narrative and excellent gameplay which will give you a fantastic experience.
27. Sunday Gold
This is a turn based adventure game with a point and click gameplay. It is great for anyone who likes solving puzzles.
You play as a trio of criminals who are trying to expose an evil corporation.
Follow the leads to uncover secrets, facing lots of obstacles along the way. The game is set in dystopian London in the future, and has a quirky animation style.
28. Blood Bowl 2
Blood Bowl is a blend of Warhammer and American football. It is fun and wacky, and one of very few strategy based sports games.
It is an adaptation of the board game that has similarities to chess in terms of planning your moves and understanding what each player can do.
There are different teams and various player characters on each team, giving you lots of options and different ways to play the game.
You can play as different fantasy teams such as orcs, elves, humans, ratmen, dwarves and more.
Planetfall is the fifth installment of the Age Of Wonders games, switching it up with a Sci-fi setting.
There are 6 different factions that you can play as, all with their own strengths and weaknesses.
You will need to adjust your playing style depending on the faction to come up with the best strategy to build your empire and defeat your enemies.
The clue is in the title with this game – three nations are battling for power in a war-torn world.
You must use strategy to control multi-tiered battlefields, securing the most advantageous location to assist your victory.
Use the elements to fight and to manipulate the battle conditions – for example you can use fire to melt the icy ground or electrify water to injure your enemy.
We have included a range of different turn based strategy games that all come highly recommended by players.
Whether you want to use magic to conquer a nation, build an empire using space ships, or go on an adventure, there is something for everyone.