17 Turn-Based Strategy Games To Play If You Love XCOM 2 (2022)

After beating the aliens in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, fans didn't know where the developers would take the story. Surprise: humans actually lost, and now the Commander and crew operate as splinter cells to fight the alien scourge. This unexpected retcon worked and made taking down Advent in XCOM 2 feel incredible.

With the addition of the DLC War of The Chosen, the game saw renewed interest, and, realistically, operated as a totally different game with new classes, new challenges, and cameos from many actors from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Fans on the lookout for gaming experiences like the ones from the XCOM series have so many options when it comes to turn-based strategy. They can opt for more alien-smashing 4X action, explore nostalgic options like Final Fantasy Tactics, or pick up hybrid games that pair turn-based strategy with isometric RPG elements like Wasteland 3.

Updated on January 18th, 2022 by Geoffrey Martin: The strategy genre continues to evolve and grow year over year, with new titles being released from both indie developers and AAA teams. Covering a wide variety of aesthetics such as fantasy, sci-fi, and even horror, strategy game fans have a lot to choose from. Due to these reasons, a list like this can easily be updated with extra titles for you to check out, whether you are new to the genre or a long-time fan.

17 Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

17 Turn-Based Strategy Games To Play If You Love XCOM 2 (1)

Are you looking for a more lighthearted take on the strategy genre? If so, then you absolutely need to check out Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. For all intents and purposes, this game is essentially XCOM meets Nintendo, and Rabbids of course. While the game may look simple and cartoony on the surface, rest assured, it's a tough game.

In Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, you play as a host of Nintendo characters such as Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach, along with a bunch of wacky Rabbids. Each character has their own special weapons, skills, and abilities, and it's your goal to explore the colorful lands while progressing through deeply strategic battles.

16 Fae Tactics

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Fae Tactics is another colorful and vibrant strategy game that appeals to both genre newcomers and veterans. Taking place from a classic isometric perspective, Fae Tactics seems to take cues from genre classics such as Final Fantasy Tactics and Ogre Battle 64. Fae Tactics tasks you to play as Peony, a young magician who adventures across a fantasy kingdom using her spells and magical abilities.

One of the unique features in Fae Tactics is actually something that has been removed, namely, cumbersome menus. Strategy games typically shower you with menus in order to choose your moves, however, Fae Tactics eschews this in favor of a more hands-on approach to moving and battling.

17 Turn-Based Strategy Games To Play If You Love XCOM 2 (3)

XCOM: Chimera Squad might seem a bit on the nose for a list like this, but fans unfamiliar with this game will find it surprising. First off, the turn system is altered from other XCOM franchise games. There's a new "breach" mechanic that's really fun and unique.

(Video) Three games to play when you crave XCOM 2 (2022)

Each character also has totally unique abilities and buildout opportunities. In fact, in one playthrough, fans cannot recruit all of the playable characters. So, it ups the replayable factor in order to experience all that the game truly has to offer.

14 Wasteland 3

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Hot off the success of its predecessor Wasteland 2, Wasteland 3 stretches the genre of turn-based strategy game into a hybrid of isometric RPG gameplay and turn-based strategy combat.

The game takes place in a radiation-poisoned, cult-controlled, frozen-over Colorado in the 22nd century. The player characters hail from Arizona and are part of their Desert Rangers, adding an element of the Wild West/gunslingers to the game. The best part of the game is the incredibly difficult trade-off decisions the player must make and then dealing with the subsequent consequences of each decision. For fans of hardcore turn-based strategy and isometric RPGs, this is the perfect blend.

13 Valkyria Chronicles

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This game released in 2014, while the most recent entry in the series, Valkyria Chronicles 4, released in 2018. However, for gamers new to the franchise, starting with the original is the best way to experience the series with its beautiful art style, engaging story, and sometimes unforgiving combat.

In Valkyria Chronicles, players can take control of individual units to move them across the map in third person. One must line up headshots, take on tanks with rifles, and weigh each and every decision against all the possible outcomes.

12 Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem remains a classic and iconic franchise, with Fire Emblem: Three Houses being the series' latest release. The semi-academy aesthetic lends the game a lighter tone and the player character can ally with one of the three characters and the houses they come from. Pro-tip: the player is also a teacher in the game.

Players can adjust classes on the fly and, once players can take their team to battle, they'll pair traditional attacks with Combat Arts, flanking opportunities, and other strategic moves to boost lethality and efficacy.

There are also unique features for players who opt to play online. Certain combat tiles will have glowing lights over them that mark where other players got downed, and, if the player goes to those, they can get weapons for specific characters.

(Video) Top 15 Best PC Turn Based Strategy Games That You Should Play | 2022 Edition

11 Gears Tactics

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Fans of the Gears of War series might be used to combat with third-person shooting, but Gears Tactics still has chainsaw guns and plenty of alien mobs to mow down, all with a turn-based style like that of XCOM.

Despite a bit of a slow start, the game pairs classic Gears chaos with beautiful visuals and epic executions. For an experience very similar to XCOM, this is where fans should start.

10 Wargroove

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Wargroove is an Advance Wars tribute that carries a ton of nostalgia, content, and adorable little doggos to boot. Developer Chucklefish, behind Starbound and Eastward, opted for a pixel-art style with lots of color for a vibrant, lively experience.

Players can move across the map and engage enemies using their unique commander. Mid-battle, the player can summon other units, as well. It's a fantastic game for the Nintendo Switch and the Arcade mode offers another way to enjoy the game in a less time-intensive way.

9 Final Fantasy: Tactics

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This might have been many people's first foray into a tactics-style game with turn-based combat. Final Fantasy Tactics originally released in June of 1997 with a 3D isometric field, sprites for characters, and plenty of difficult strategic choices.

Bonus: it takes place in Ivalice which fans of Final Fantasy XIV will recognize. With the recent remake of Final Fantasy 7, fans of this game desperately hope that Square Enix will remaster it, too, as it represents one of the best games in the franchise. It also makes use of the job system in ways no other game across the franchise does. Definitely a must-play for anyone who wants to learn more about turn-based strategy games.

8 Battletech

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(Video) Best 5 Tactical Turn Based Strategy Games

Much like Valkyria Chronicles, Battletech can be unforgiving at times, as mech pilots can suffer PTSD on top of mortal wounds, and the player won't always have the parts they need to fix their mechs—but that makes each victory mean so much more.

A product long-awaited by fans of the tabletop version, the environments and mechs are gorgeous. Gameplay features resource management, mech battles, and staff oversight. The developers just released the first expansion for the game, so there's never been a better time to get into it.

7 Sid Meier's Civilization V

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Despite Civilization VI being newer, many fans continue to flock back to Civilization V, instead. This may be due to Civ 6's updated district system vs. Civ 5's more streamlined approach to city building. This game also marks an easier entry to the series itself for newer players.

The hex-based system sees players build cities, using workers to collect resources, traders to gain gold, and meeting other civilizations to eventually work or war with. Be warned, though; players can lose tons of time to this game. It is very much a "just one more turn" kind of experience.

6 Phoenix Point

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Phoenix Point may be the most similar game to XCOM on this entire list—apart from Chimera Squad, of course. It's a hardcore tactics game set in space with a 4X-style overworld. In fact, the creator of the original XCOM, Julian Gollop, helped make this game.

TheGamer's reviewer called it "XCOM all grown up," and it really is. The player operates as part of a global resistance force working against the Pandorians, aliens targeting Earth with a red mist to destroy ecosystems. Even the environments have a similar look and feel to those in XCOM, so it is a must-get for fans of that series. Unfortunately, the game has been an Epic Games exclusive for quite some time, though the Steam version has a planned release date of December 10, 2020.

5 Divinity: Original Sin II

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This game is definitely not a science fiction universe setting. But the turn-based combat is S-tier for fans of the gameplay in XCOM 2. There are also unique classes that allow for different playstyles and plenty of opportunities to make impactful choices.

Much of the management that players in XCOM 2 find themselves doing also appears in the Divinity: Original Sin series, as well. With the amount of polish on this game and its undeniable panache, it doesn't make sense not to pick it up. Meaning: pick it up.

(Video) "Sometimes Citizens Don't WANT To Be Saved" Phoenix Point Season 2 (Festering Skies) - Episode 113

4 Crusader Kings III

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This game instantly grabbed attention after its release due, in part, to the excellent graphical update from its predecessors. For some XCOM fans, a barrier to entry for Crusader Kings II was its non-intuitive interface and controls. This follow-up improved on problem areas and further developed the strengths of the series.

Though it is not in a sci-fi setting, the player still pretty much controls the success or destruction of the world. This game just employs more spying, horses, assassinations, and some politically motivated marriages.

3 Invisible Inc.

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This game received a surprise Nintendo Switch release during the summer of 2020. The game features turn-based gameplay combined with roguelike elements, as well as hacking. The cyberpunk feel to it pairs well with one of the main mechanics: creating infiltration squads.

Invisible Inc., from the developers behind Don't Starve, definitely stands out as an emergent gameplay giant on this list. Much like XCOM 2, there are seemingly infinite directions for people to take the combat scenarios.

2 Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden

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This game got off to a bit of a rocky start when it first launched. Many players initially called it too difficult to find it enjoyable. But now, about 2 years after its launch, many more people have come to relish the stressful and rewarding combat of Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden.

This game, in contrast to XCOM games, endears the players to its characters much more. Sure, people get attached to their squads sometimes. But the mutants from this game become like family to the player. As it is available on Xbox Game Pass, this title is definitely worth checking out.

1 Warhammer 40K Space Wolf

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(Video) Psionic Power - XCOM 2 Long War of the Chosen Steam Release - 70

This one is a fantastic option for lovers of 4X games and the iconic Warhammer 40,000 series. It plays in a similar turn-based, square movement, and action style. Except now, instead of fighting the Advent, the game pits people against "xenos" from its own world. The game does feature its own unique tactical twist with its card-driven combat.

Unfortunately, Steam reviews do mention that the game can be quite buggy. XCOM fans are known to put up with their own fair share of bugs. That could either innoculate them to bugs in other games or simply make any bug aggravating.

NEXT: The 10 Best Alien Invasion Games


17 Turn-Based Strategy Games To Play If You Love XCOM 2? ›

17 Turn-Based Strategy Games To Play If You Love XCOM 2
  1. 1 Warhammer 40K Space Wolf.
  2. 2 Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden. ...
  3. 3 Invisible Inc. ...
  4. 4 Crusader Kings III. ...
  5. 5 Divinity: Original Sin II. ...
  6. 6 Phoenix Point. ...
  7. 7 Sid Meier's Civilization V. ...
  8. 8 Battletech. ...
Jan 18, 2022

What style of game is XCOM 2? ›

XCOM 2 is a 2016 turn-based tactics video game developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K Games. It is the sequel to 2012's reboot of the series, XCOM: Enemy Unknown; it takes place 20 years after the events of Enemy Unknown.

What games are like XCOM? ›

XCOM: Enemy Within

What type of strategy game is XCOM? ›

Turn-based tactics

Will there be an XCOM 3? ›

June 11, 2022 - Firaxis confirm XCOM 3 is still happening

Although Summer Game Fest didn't have any news on XCOM 3, we did get some updates via an interview with PCGamesN, who was speaking with Firaxis project lead Garth DeAngelis ahead of the release of Firaxis' Marvel's Midnight Suns game.

Does XCOM make you smarter? ›

However, like similar types of video games, the strategy involved in XCOM forces players to think differently and change their tactics if one idea doesn't work. By doing so, the reasoning and cognitive skills of players can become much improved.

What month does XCOM 2 end? ›

Unfortunately for fans of these modes, Firaxis has announced that it “will be retiring services for multiplayer and Challenge Mode for the Steam version” of XCOM 2 on March 28, 2022 – although this only applies to PC users as the Mac version won't be touched, apparently.

What makes XCOM 2 so good? ›

The game is very fast-paced even at the start and although there's lots of options they only really start to stack up hours into the game when you're familiar with what's going on. The combat is great but the two things I love most about the game are the unpredictability and the customisation.

Is XCOM better than XCOM 2? ›

XCOM 2 has more streamlined R&D which yields convenient and cool results, while XCOM: EU/EW is grittier and arguably more interesting, but it can be costly to actually start benefitting from the upgrades you've spent a lot of time and resources researching.

Is there a Star Wars game like XCOM? ›

Respawn is working on a Star Wars strategy game with former XCOM devs. Respawn Entertainment is working on not one but three new Star Wars games.

What should I prioritize in XCOM 2? ›

Prioritize Intel, Scientists and Engineers

Although getting Supplies might sound good, you want to prioritize getting Intel, Scientists and Engineers. The latter two are crucial to getting upgrades both for your troops and your base. The more you have, the faster you get the upgrades.

What should I build first in XCOM 2? ›

XCOM 2: Best Facilities To Build & Upgrade First
  • 7 Proving Ground.
  • 6 Laboratory.
  • 5 Resistance Comms.
  • 4 Psi Lab.
  • 3 Guerrilla Tactics School.
  • 2 Shadow Chamber.
  • 1 Advanced Warfare Center.
May 11, 2022

How do you dominate in XCOM 2? ›

XCOM 2 Tips: Top 5 Tips to Dominate Mission Combat (How to ... - YouTube

What should I research first in XCOM 2? ›

Originally posted by Tamiore:
  • Modular weapons.
  • Start alien biotech.
  • Do resistance comms ASAP and contant the black site region.
  • Finish alien biotech.
  • Magnetic weapons.
  • Gauss weapons or Armor.
  • Armor or Gauss weapons.
Jan 6, 2018

I show you some games like Final Fantasy Tactics that take inspiration from it and recall some of its elements. Learn more

It was back in 1997 that Final Fantasy Tactics was released in Japan.. The first Final Fantasy game in the series opted for a tactical combat system .. What makes Front Mission different is the characters and the wanzers they are using.. The team who made this game would later develop the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance after the company Quest was incorporated by Square Enix.. Movement in battle is key as you can do more damage by attacking something from behind when someone is already in front of them through something called ‘Burning Aura’ acting sort of like a team attack.. or fight random battles to improve your party similar to FFT as well.. Developer: Imageepoch Platforms: Nintendo DS, PSP Vita Developed by the now unfortunately defunct Imageepoch which has rebranded into Mikage LLC, the Luminous Arc series began on the DS and spanned several sequels all the way to the PS Vita.. Although a sequel, there is not much connecting the characters of the first story and second.. Think of it like indie Final Fantasy Tactics.. There is a large focus on a story where corruption plays a major role.. Developer: From Nothing Game Studios Platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Developed and published by From Nothing Game Studios, Tactics V has all the basic elements a game like Final Fantasy Tactics has but the graphics might be geared toward a console generation or two earlier or a style commonplace in the PC’s 90s days.

Wasteland 3 is a modern take on a classic RPG formula, and here are similar games to check out for those who've already sunk too much time into it.

While the title will take players plenty of time to go through, afterward, they might feel like checking out any of the games similar to Wasteland 3 below .. If you are one of these players who has seen everything there is to see in the RPG and looking for games of a similar ilk, then play any of the games below.. Because of the game's continued popularity and the developer's increased profile within the industry thanks to being purchased by Microsoft, we decided to add even more games to the list.. The married couple's most recent game is Empire of Sin, a turn-based strategy game taking place in the 1920s.. Similar to Wasteland 3, this game also has plenty of choices for the player to make.. While a smaller experience than the average first-person western RPG, player choice heavily impacts the story and the game world , making the relatively short length more forgivable since one will want to replay the story to see different outcomes.

Let's take a look at some noteworthy turn-based free-to-play games from the past year before we look ahead to 2022. Learn more

All the Free to play games shown below are PC games released during 2021 , and some of them are also available on mobile devices.. Set in a well-illustrated fantasy world where a magical mist obscures the “true” reality, it implements a turn-based combat system that not only puts the player and their NPC allies into the action, but allows them to invite other players as well.. The game is free, but players have to go through a lengthy one-time registration process that includes personal information so the developers can prove to the EC that they aren’t artificially inflating player numbers.. The free-to-play model makes the game accessible to anyone, but in this early stage of the game’s life cycle there are player concerns about it becoming pay-to-win.. Indeed, GITCL acknowledges its Final Fantasy heritage – the paid expansion to the free main game is called Battle on the Big Boardwalk , a clear reference to Gilgamesh’s theme Battle on the Big Bridge in Final Fantasy V . The active-time battles will immediately be familiar to anyone who played a JRPG in the 90s, and the pop soundtrack gives the game a high-spirited modern vibe over its retro visuals.. The free-to-play turn-based Card game from Mad Devices requiring the player to not only decide when to play their best cards but also where they need to go for best effect adds a layer of depth that many online card games are missing.. Echo of Combats is still new, and like any head-to-head multiplayer game will live or die by its player base.. Originally an adventure board game spinoff of the famous Warhammer Fantasy Battles , it was out of print for a long time before being resurrected in the franchise’s new Age of Sigmar setting.

The vastness of space has inspired countless minds to imagine worlds beyond our world. These are the best space strategy games on PC.

The game simulates a large universe from top to bottom, putting in NPC ships, stations, making economies for players to interact with without having to make it themselves, and so on.. Although designed as an open ended space trading game, X3 features lots of strategy , players are dropped right into the cockpit of a ship and are tasked to building a corporate empire that extends towards the far ends of the galaxy.. Featuring a scale larger than any other strategy game, Sins plays out in a 3D web of planets and other celestial objects where various space civilizations compete over dominance of a multitude of solar systems spanning several galaxies, linked together by wormholes.. And in this game, you’re part of a planet that needs to build one in order to feed a machine that can truly make you expand amongst the stars.. Because this is a game that’s not just about exploration, but creativity and how you build things to survive in space.

Do you feel relentlessly bored during the day? And, find nothing to do except for watching the Spider-Man Movies. Try something different this time, when you

I have listed down some incredible games of different genres including sci-fi shooting like war-fare to battlefield games.. The 2017 Game of the Year Award Winner Cuphead is one of the most exclusive indie games on my list.. From different gameplay genres including cinematic single-player models to enthralling multi-player shooting games, this list has everything you need to know about before getting into a game.. This game is the reboot of the best JRPG game.. The remaking of the game is incredible because it expands the story of the game and adds more interesting characters.. Final Fantasy Remake 7 is so far the best game and a perfect game partner when feeling bored.. It often feels intriguing to players Multiplayer mode of the game Unlocking cute characters throughout the game Enjoyable and worth-playing. You can enjoy different matching games and treasure hunting games.. Game controls feel fumbling Your game will end with any accidental swipe.. The game is challenging, fun, and brainstorming needed A clear and impactful art design with soft music The game is not frustrating which is a good point

Civilization 6 has tons of different mods players can try out. Fans of the series will love the changes that these exceptional mods bring.

Any serious fan of Civilization 6 should definitely give these mods a try.. This list has been expanded with a handful of additional Civ 6 mods that are sure to delight players in one way or another.. The mod adds a further dynamic to how a civilization plays, which is always a good thing.. One of many useful Civ 6 mods, it organizes a civilization's most important information, including policies, city-state bonuses, yields, unit placements, resources, and much more.. The mod, in one manner or another, reworks each civilization's abilities and bonuses.. Arguably one of the best available for the game is the Environment Skin mod, which alters the map visuals to bring them more in line with Civilization 5 .. Enhanced Mod Manager allows for a much neater record of one's mods.. Unique District Icons , a very simple mod, makes identifying and managing one's districts a lot more appealing to the eyes.


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(Charlie Pryor)

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