“Gaming is a leisurely activity.” The statement was once true. However, with the gaming industry becoming more and more incredulous and involving deeper mechanisms, it is no short of a highly intensive mental exercise. And one contributing factor is undoubtedly tactical games. Today, those War Games, 4X, RTS, and other tactical genres have developed so much that one has to dedicate a better part of their daily life to playing the game in earnest. However, these genres are in demand as the titles are too popular among the gaming communities.
What is a Tactical Game?
Tactical games are all about strategy! They’re like a mental workout, always keeping you on your toes. Every move matters. Where should you position your characters? What resources should you gather for your base? It’s a careful balancing act that’s as thrilling as it is challenging.
Each one of your decisions can be the difference between winning or losing. The best part? You need to think fast, but also keep an eye on the larger game plan. Whether you’re figuring out how to survive a zombie apocalypse or planning war strategies, these games really pull you into the action.
So if you love outsmarting opponents and thrive when thinking several moves ahead, tactical games might just be your thing.
List of the Best Tactical Games for PC
After going through thousands of games out there that involve some kind of tactical play, we have concluded our list of the below given tactical games for PC –
1. Crusader Kings 3
Crusader Kings 3 is an awesome game that has been awarded the best strategy game of 2020. Even today, the game stands tall among its peers. As a gigantic and grand strategy RPG, it is not only unbelievably deep but also aesthetically appealing. The game has also improved from the last iteration as it focuses more on the role-playing aspect.
It aims to perfectly simulate the medieval ages and their lifestyle. Furthermore, the game has also improved the storyline and made it much more engaging. Despite being a hardcore RPG, it is pretty easy to get into the game. In the end, the game succeeds at capturing the essence, which allows users to emerge in the setting without getting bored with the premise.
- Award-winning grand strategy RPG.
- Deep and aesthetically appealing medieval setting.
- Improved role-playing aspects and engaging storyline.
- Easy for newcomers to get into.
- Immersive medieval simulation.
- Focus on dynastic politics and character interactions.
- Multiple expansion packs and DLCs for added content.
- Wide range of customization options.
- Active modding community.
- Frequent updates and support from developers.
2. XCOM 2
XCOM 2 is the second title in the popular turn-based strategy game. It is set in a sci-fi world with gruesome struggles, battle-hardened heroes, and aggravating aliens. As for the playable scenarios, the game offers multiple DLCs that can add to the gaming experience. The actual gameplay is not only challenging but also full of horrid adventures and a variety of enemies. The strategy is also equally engaging as you journey around the world, setting up cells and infiltrating black sites. The game also encourages players to hoard resources and alternate weapons. All in all, it is a fun yet strategic game.
- Sci-fi turn-based strategy game.
- Challenging gameplay with tactical depth.
- Varied scenarios and DLCs for extended play.
- Engaging storyline with a resistance theme.
- Strategic resource management.
- Diverse enemy types and encounters.
- Character progression and customization.
- Permadeath adds tension and consequences.
- Mod support for additional content and enhancements.
- Strong emphasis on strategy and decision-making.
3. Total War: Warhammer 3
Total War: Warhammer 3 is the final part of the Creative Assembly’s Warhammer trilogy. Although the game is super fun, it is equally strange and experimental. It urges the players to digress from the traditional sandbox experience. The campaign offered is fantastic, and it keeps the players engaged. However, for those who love deep strategies, the Immortal Empires DLC is also available.
The game offers multiple factions and different legendary lords who deck it out in a fantasy setting. It features characters from the whole trilogy on a huge map. If we are counting, the game offers almost 278 factions across 86 playable lords.
- Fantasy strategy game set in the Warhammer universe.
- Experimental gameplay with unique factions and mechanics.
- Engaging campaign mode with diverse objectives.
- Extensive roster of fantasy units and legendary lords.
- Immortal Empires DLC for deep strategy lovers.
- Massive map with multiple factions and lords.
- Grand battles and sieges with large armies.
- Rich lore and immersive world-building.
- Frequent updates and DLCs for added content.
- Vibrant multiplayer community.
4. Civilization 6
Any tactical gaming list would be incomplete without including the Evergreen Civilization series. Although there is a huge debate regarding which is the better title between Civ 5 and Civ 6, we, for the better consensus, have included Civilization 6, especially after the introduction of the Gathering Storm DLC. As a turn-based RTS game, Civ 6 has a lot to offer. The game now offers newer civilizations for players to explore with excellent leaders. Furthermore, there is both free and premium content. The players not only have to grow their respective empires but also develop their civilizations as they journey from the medieval ages to the recent information ages.
- Turn-based strategy game with historical and futuristic settings.
- Gathering Storm DLC adds new gameplay elements.
- Expansive world exploration and empire building.
- Wide selection of civilizations and leaders.
- Complex diplomacy and international relations.
- Cultural, scientific, military, and religious victory paths.
- Customizable cities and districts.
- Deep tech tree and civic system.
- Active modding community for custom content.
- Constant updates and balance improvements.
5. Command & Conquer: Remastered Collection
Command & Conquer has a spot in every tactical gamer’s heart. And with the latest Remastered collection, even those who are new to the franchise can enter the genre and fall in love with the title. This RTS is unconventional, yet sticks close to traditional strategy gameplay. The setting pits the GDI (Global Defense Initiative) and the Brotherhood of Nod against one another. The objective? Total control of a valuable resource called Tiberium.
Since it is a C&C collection, it has other games to offer, one of which is Red Alert. The premise of the game sets the story in an alternate world where Hitler was assassinated prematurely. Hence, the game turned into the Allies versus the Soviet Union duking it out all over Europe. However, the best part about the game is its unique technical tree. While the Allies have access to aerial weaponry, the Soviets are having fun with Tesla coils and Mammoth tanks. C&C is considered one of the best titles to introduce strategic gaming into your life.
- Classic real-time strategy franchise remastered.
- Unique GDI vs. Brotherhood of Nod setting.
- Tiberium resource management adds depth.
- Includes multiple games, including Red Alert.
- Diverse units and factions with distinct playstyles.
- Strategic depth with tech trees and unit upgrades.
- Engaging single-player campaigns.
- Competitive PC game with multiplayer and skirmish modes.
- Iconic and nostalgic gameplay.
- Accessible for newcomers while retaining depth for veterans.
6. StarCraft 2
StarCraft is a decade-old game. Thus, it is considered a classic RTS. And with the second title in the series, StarCraft 2, it didn’t disappoint as it completely overhauled how gamers view RTS. You will face everything from zombie frontiers to lava-flooded planets. The game offers single-player and multiplayer modes. The base game version is free to play, although you have to purchase the various expansions.
- Classic and iconic real-time strategy series.
- Overhauled gameplay and graphics.
- Engaging single-player campaigns.
- Balanced and competitive multiplayer modes.
- Multiple expansions for added content.
- Varied factions with unique units and abilities.
- Active esports scene.
- Frequent updates and balance patches.
- High skill ceiling for competitive play.
- Strong emphasis on strategy and micro-management.
7. Warcraft 3
Warcraft 3 needs no introduction. If you are a fan of MOBA, then certainly, you have heard of it. Warcraft can be considered the origin of the MOBA genre, and from this, you can imagine the influence of the game on the genre. The game includes elements from RPG, strategy, and RTS, where unique playable characters and neutral monsters also add depth to the gameplay. The game also gave birth to some of the other legends of the genre, including the popular LoL MOBA.
- Influential game that contributed to the MOBA genre.
- Blend of RPG, strategy, and RTS elements.
- Unique playable characters and neutral monsters.
- Custom map and modding support.
- Story-rich single-player campaigns.
- Competitive multiplayer and custom game modes.
- Iconic heroes and units.
- Balanced and well-designed gameplay.
- Nostalgic value for fans of the MOBA genre.
- Strong community and custom map scene.
8. Marvel’s Midnight Suns
The strategy gem from the developer Firaxis, Marvel’s Midnight Suns, has its own take on the tactical gaming segment. It is a turn-based game with additional deck-building. You play as Hunter, who is not only mysterious but also supposedly dead for the last couple of centuries. But he has to overcome his archenemy, who is none other than his mother. More or less, the storyline can be considered a pass, and the gameplay itself is intriguing enough to keep you engaged.
- Turn-based tactical game with deck-building elements.
- Unique storyline featuring Marvel characters.
- Play as Hunter with mysterious abilities.
- Engaging and strategic combat.
- Deck-building allows the customization of abilities.
- Variety of Marvel heroes and villains.
- Impressive visual and audio design.
- Story-driven gameplay with character development.
- Engaging tactical battles with superpowers.
- Strategy and teamwork are key to success.
9. Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is from the Homeworld franchise, but is a tactical game. The style is elegant and minimalist, capturing space warfare beautifully. Aside from the aesthetics, the game is also well-made. The players have to venture across a vast desert as per the mission in order to save civilization. All missions are connected in a chain and connected to one another. And the best thing is that the units that survive a battle will join the next one.
Like previous titles, the game has some of the best art designs one can find in an RTS. Combined with the gameplay and soundtrack, the game is a sure classic.
- Tactical game set in a minimalist, space warfare setting.
- Elegant and immersive aesthetics.
- Story-driven missions connected in a chain.
- Units that survive battles carry over.
- Unique art design and soundtrack.
- Engaging single-player campaign.
- Strategic resource management.
- Strong emphasis on unit tactics.
- Atmospheric and immersive gameplay.
- Sense of continuity in the campaign.
10. Into The Breach
And finally, we have the beautifully designed tactical/Mech action game. It is yet another gem from the makers of FTL. You can even call it a PC tower defense game, as the player has to defend against monster breaches. Waves and waves of Vek monsters will attack you on an 8×8 grid battlefield, and you have to wipe them out using mech punches and artillery strikes. You also have to keep your buildings safe from the monster’s onslaught.
The game is fun yet challenging at the same time. Along the game, you have to keep on unlocking newer and better mechs and devise innovative plans and strategies to defend against the monster wave.
- Turn-based tactical/Mech action game.
- Strategic tower defense gameplay.
- Defend against waves of Vek monsters.
- 8×8 grid battlefield for tactical planning.
- Mech punches and artillery strikes as combat options.
- Protect buildings from monster attacks.
- Unlock and upgrade mechs over time.
- Challenging and rewarding gameplay.
- Innovative plans and strategies are required.
- Addictive and replayable gameplay loop.