The 10 Best Tactics Games on Steam
Tactical RPGs were once a very celebrated niche. The genre was a huge deal when consoles started flourishing.
Among many other titles, people should never forget Shining Force on the Sega Genesis, Front Mission on the SNES, and the legendary Final Fantasy Tactics on the first PlayStation.
Although it became less popular, the genre didn’t just die. In fact, a nearly forgotten franchise managed to single-handedly bring the genre back.
Thanks to nostalgia and digital copies, it’s far easier to find good games of the genre, and I want to share them with you. The list has what I consider the 10 best tactics games on Steam.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn
Although this is technically a remake of a rerelease of a remake that is now 12 years old, Tactics Ogre: Reborn still is one of the most memorable franchises of the genre.
If you are a fan of the genre and haven’t had the chance to play this version of the game, or any version of this title at all, then I’m sure this version will be worth your time.
The game, which is based on the 2010 Tactics Ogre title, has updated game mechanics, better visuals, and remade sound effects to create a new Tactics Ogre while staying loyal to the source material.
While new players will discover a game unlike anything they’ve played before, Tactics Ogre veterans will enjoy a game even better than they remember.
Thanks to Tactics Ogre: Reborn, fans of the genre get to fully immerse themselves in the universe and intrigues of Tactics Ogre. Remakes such as this one allow us to enjoy an aesthetically enhanced and more complex gameplay design.
The fact that Fae Tactics is not more famous as a tactical game is nearly a criminal act.
This is a hardcore tactical RPG with turn-based battles much like the ones you see in classics such as Shining Force and Front Mission.
Fae Tactics might fool you as a casual game. You sure could consider it one of the best pixel games on Steam if you are a tactics fanatic, but the game’s qualities go way beyond the way it looks.
The game has unique turn-based tactical gameplay without a menu for more immersion and less visual pollution. The tactical elements are much more than positioning.
You must manage your party’s magical elements to counter the ones used by the opponent on top of all the other usual tactical staples seen in games of the genre.
There’s an element of monster hunting and party gathering too. You can fight monsters and add them to your squad. You can also hunt for spells to have even more options when fighting enemies.
Disgaea 5 Complete
This 2018 release is one of the best games in the franchise. Disgaea 5 counts with a bunch of scenarios, known characters, and great visuals.
If you are a fan of tactical RPGs, you probably know this franchise quite well. Disgaea combines a good storyline with comedy and very well-crafted tactical battles.
This game has hundreds of hours of content. There are many characters, many different possible party compositions, and exciting tactical battles with inventive systems.
In Disgaea 5, the young demon Killia has to rise up and become the one to take down Void Dark, the game’s main villain.
As Void Dark attempts to rule the many Netherworlds, Killia and his rebel army will fight to put an end to the main villain’s horrific campaign.
Disgaea 5 damage numbers are unquestionably over-the-top, alongside the game’s humor and spells, making this game a memorable experience.
Banner Saga Trilogy
Banner Saga Trilogy is an impressive Viking RPG in which you make your own fate and fight epic tactical battles.
In this game, you will guide your people through places where gods have died, and the sunlight isn’t a thing anymore. It is your duty to make your tribe survive.
There’s some resource management involved in this game, from the traveling bits to the turn-based combat.
If you like innovative games that mix narrative elements with gameplay, Banner Saga Trilogy will undoubtedly be something you’ll enjoy.
On top of being an exciting game with innovative elements, Banner Saga Trilogy also has excellent animations, an immersive soundtrack, 48 playable characters, 4 different races, 40 different classes, and so much more.
Combat and travel are equally vital in this game. It is up to you to develop and manage your caravan as you make your way across the most dangerous lands of the world.
If that sounds interesting, go ahead and give this game a shot.
You might have never heard of this game if you are not a hardcore Digimon fan.
Digimon Survive is a hybrid game that mixes visual novel and tactical RPG gameplay. Due to this mix, players get great anime graphics to go along with the excellent tactical battle system present in Digimon Survive.
In this game, you will experience an adventure in the mysterious Digital World. In the game’s story, you will deal with dark themes, survival, friendship, and the consequences of your choices.
In fact, your choices affect more than the plot. Besides changing your relationship with NPCs and the final result of your adventure, choices can also affect how you interact with the world and how Digimons evolve.
There’s nothing intrinsically new to Digimon Survive. The light novel and the tactical parts of the game do not necessarily reinvent the wheel. The way this game mixes two genres is not the most innovative thing.
The visual novel aspect of this game is very present. It is not like the original Front Mission, where there will be some dialogue and mostly RPG. This game is half, if not more, a digital novel.
So, if you are equally fond of both genres, there’s a good chance you will enjoy this game.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns
As a long-time Marvel fan, I never thought I’d see a good superhero game with a well-designed turn-based tactical combat system.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns has a very high-stakes story in which you participate directly by creating your own character. You will recruit many different heroes, from famous fan favorites, like Iron Man, to not well-known characters, like Magik.
This is one of my favorite aspects of Marvel’s Midnight Suns. A game that will let characters shine even if they are only known by long-time fans is something I can get behind.
It’s not only about recruiting, though. Team composition is part of the gameplay. You can make your own team and choose who will go on missions with you, adding a lot of depth and strategy to this tactical game.
This game was developed by the people behind XCOM: Enemy Unknown. In fact, XCOM’s modern reboot was often referred to as responsible for resurrecting turn-based tactical games. That being the case, they probably know what they’re doing.
As for the combat, besides team composition, characters also have a card-based system that allows you to individually customize them.
If you like either tactical games or Marvel characters, you will probably like Marvel’s Midnight Suns. However, if you like both the theme and the game’s genre, then playing this title is a must.
Into the Breach
It is a turn-based tactical game that has innovative mechanics to complement the other genre, rogue-like. Since, due to its genre, you can only lose the game once, the developer had to create a way to make the game fair.
The plot is pretty simple. Giant beasts are threatening humanity in this game. Humanity’s only remaining chance is the giant mechas from the future. With them, you will engage in combat to stop the monsters from destroying the world.
In Into the Breach, the enemies signal how they are going to act, so you have to use your mechs the best way you can to adapt to the enemy’s actions.
I played Into the Breach for the first time on a Nintendo Switch, and it ended up being one of the greatest turn-based games I had played on that system.
Since it has a Steam version and is a top-notch pixel-art tactical mecha game, Into the Breach is deserving of a spot on this list.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
XCOM: Enemy Unknown took many people by surprise. Although this franchise was well-known by old-school gamers, its genre was never super popular.
However, XCOM: Enemy Unknown was able to pierce the genre barrier and become a popular title for long-time fans of tactical games and newcomers.
In this game, players take charge of XCOM, a covert paramilitary group. They need to defend the world against a horrifying worldwide alien invasion, and you are the one to make that happen.
As the XCOM commander, you will have to control resources, command your soldiers, and use technology to win turn-based tactical combats for the future of Earth.
On top of that, you will manage your personnel while recruiting and customizing soldiers to make them unique and fitting to your play style.
You also get to build and grow your XCOM HQ while handling the alien menace.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown and its sequel are very well-received games, and the people behind it went to work on Marvel’s Midnight Suns due to their talent.
If you like tactical games, It’s safe to assume there’s a good chance you will enjoy playing XCOM.
Wildermyth is a very charming and special game that intends to provide players a taste of what it’s like to play a tabletop RPG.
The characters change, age, meet new people, and the story often takes unexpected turns.
Although each character has unique backstories and personalities, they might end up in radically different places depending on the choices you make throughout the adventure.
Your tales will live in your own legendary pantheon throughout many lifetimes if you use them for fresh adventures.
Although Wildermyth is a tactical RPG, its main focus is on the characters. The game will put you in situations that force you to make choices that can’t be unmade and deal with their consequences.
Each playthrough is unique, with different heroes, situations, and outcomes.
Lead a group of heroes who progress from farmers to unique and competent warriors. Deal with unexpected threats, strange monsters, and fantastic mysteries in a fantasy world that constantly renews itself.
You can consider me biased, but as someone who played the tabletop and 16-bit games of the franchise as a kid, Shadowrun Returns was a dream come true.
Using guns, magic, and technology while hacking the enemy and unloading a rifle on magic creatures and orcs carrying shotguns is something that only exists in the world of Shadowrun.
Although the first game didn’t have an impressive budget, the developers were competent to develop a full game that pleased the players. On top of that, they also delivered an intriguing plot about a Shadowrunner being hired by a dead man.
Since then, and thanks to the first game’s success, we got other tactical Shadowrun games on Steam. Now, we also have Shadowrun Dragonfall and Shadowrun – Hong Kong.
Both games are generally considered better than Shadowrun Returns, but we have the first game to thank for the other two.
When it comes to gameplay, Shadowrun is a true, turn-based tactical game with all kinds of characters and approaches to different situations.
In the world of Shadowrun, you have huge trolls, agile elves, gunners, spellcasters, hackers, street samurais, and even dragons.
Shadowrun was innovative when it first came out and is the reference to everything remotely similar to it. If you like unusual worlds and turn-based tactical games, you must play Shadowrun Trilogy.