ArqadeWhat are some good "turn-based tactics" titles for the PC?
[+16] [24] TM
[2010-07-14 23:19:57]
[ pc game-rec turn-based-strategy ]

I've always loved "turn-based tactical" games, the kind that are played on a grid.

Some examples of my favorites from this genre are:

However, I haven't seen new games of this type in years, and I seem to have played them only on my old consoles / handhelds. Recently I stumbled upon a free web game called HRmaggeddon [1], which I had a blast playing for a few weeks, but it still seems tough to find them.

What are some good games of this genre for the PC?


Based on some of the answers below, it seems I've been a bit ambiguous with this question, so I'll attempt to clear it up. When I say "played on a grid", I mean specifically the battle system, not games that have traditional RPG gameplay in battle, but have tile-based "world maps" (example, Final Fantasy 1 isn't the type of game I'm talking about).

I still haven't found ANYTHING on a PC that was half as much fun as Final Fantasy Tactics, which is worth buying a GBA or DS to play. I even went and bought the PS1 version of Final Fantasy Tactics, which is fun too, but nowhere as great as the GBA version. - Warren P
@Warren P: Yes, that is a fun game (and I do own it). - TM
Kinda possible duplicate of… - Oak
[+16] [2010-07-15 00:38:49] Raven Dreamer

X-Com. The original, DOS game. Can be picked up for 2-5 bucks on Steam. Squad-based turn-based tactics game.

It can be pretty brutal on a first timer though (especially Terror from the Deep)

(1) i would give you +10 for this answer if i could, also check out UFO2000 the multiplayer version - meo
(1) The story I've heard for why X-Com: TFTD is so hard is that the original X-Com shipped with a bug that whenever you restored from a save-game it reset the difficulty to beginner. Since everyone complained about the game being easy, X-Com 2 bumped the difficulty up. There are since patches to fix the original X-Com bug, I assume the steam version has applied them. - Aidenn
or you could just download openXcom. Its xcom with the same graphics same game-play etc.. But no bugs and its working on Linux, Macos and a OS not worth mentioning :P - meo
[+14] [2010-07-14 23:24:12] Kevin Y

Battle for Wesnoth [1] is free, and there's a Windows, Mac, and Linux version. It has online multiplayer and TONS of content (and even more user-submitted content).

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[+10] [2010-07-14 23:25:37] JSmyth

Heroes of Might and Magic III

Has both strategy and tactical elements. Available at good old games for a measely $10:

You should mention Heroes of Might and Magic 4 as well. This title was pretty good. Heroes of Might and Magic 5 is not my favourite of the line but is decent. There has been rumours about a Heroes of Might and Magic 6 coming also from Ubisoft. Finally there is a Heroes of Might and Magic Online in the progress by some Asian developers, weird stuff. - JCL
I found Kings Bounty : The Legend so nice. Very much related to HOMM series. - Warren P
I loved HOMM2 and 3, but I didn't care for 4 at all. It basically made it too easy to do things that used to be part of the challenge, such as finding efficient ways to ferry troops to your main heroes. - Kyralessa
[+6] [2010-07-14 23:44:41] pcg79

The HOMM series are good, HOMM 3 already mentioned above. If you end up liking those, check out King's Bounty [1] on Steam.


Took time to get into but Kings Bounty is really fun, and now I'm really addicted! - Warren P
[+6] [2010-07-15 04:33:25] David Ma

Jagged Alliance 2 [1] is an excellent turn based tactical game. You can pick it up on both Steam and GoG (unfortunately since I don't have 10 reputation I can't give you direct links).


[+5] [2010-07-15 01:29:02] Dave Swersky

The old classic- Masters of Orion!

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[+4] [2010-07-15 01:07:00] user637

Fallout: tactics

[+3] [2010-07-15 12:39:11] Seboss

You might want to have a look at Space Rangers 2 [1] and its expansion. It's an odd ball mix of RPG, text adventure, Elite, turn-based gameplay and even real-time strategy, but it all really work pretty smoothly. It got a lot of replayability since you can embrace pretty much any career you can think of in a space game (privateer, pirate, trader, police...) And it's the only game I can think of where NPCs can actually beat the game before the player.


Good recommendation, seconded. - NPC
[+3] [2010-07-15 17:46:46] JCL

Warlords was nice when it started (warlords 2 & 3 especially). But from there they pretty much went downhill.

[+2] [2010-07-15 17:51:24] Hudey

Warlords ... [1] ... is the one that got me hooked. I got so addicted to this game I didn't sleep for days at a time!


[+2] [2010-07-15 00:26:01] Bonnici

Panzer General [1] and its sequels are classics.


[+1] [2010-07-17 17:12:45] Daenyth

Batallion Nemesis [1] is a flash spinoff of advance wars. I quite like it. If you click the "related" link toward the bottom left, you can see other games in the series.


[+1] [2010-07-15 13:12:27] meo

[+1] [2010-07-15 16:24:31] nullspace

Panzer General Forever [1]is a free remake of PG that I've been having fun with lately.

Armageddon Empires is a bit different than games you listed because it is a bit more 4X and the hex by hex movement is less important, but it's certainly turn-based and tactical, with resource collection, tanks, aircraft, supply routes, giant robots, assassins, heroes, technological and biological upgrades, nukes, and dinosaurs.


[+1] [2010-07-17 07:33:15] spadequack

Try out Weewar [1] - it is an online multiplayer turn-based strategy game, not too different from Advance Wars, or so I've heard. It is played in the browser so no download required. You control various units on a hex grid with varying terrain, leaving open lots of room for different strategies and tactics. Games can be slow or fast-paced to fit your daily schedule. Definitely worth a look. Hope this helps. =D

Disclaimer: I am currently doing an internship with their developers.


[+1] [2010-07-15 00:22:20] George

FallOut 1,2,3. (it's more of a RPG, but..)

It's a delicate mix of strategy, RPG, adventure and it's just tons of fun.

(4) I wouldn't exactly call Fallout 3 turn-based tactics and add the aptly titled Fallout Tactics instead ;) - gfr
(1) Fallout 1 is a very fun turn-based-battle RPG with free ranging movement outside of combat. The fixed-perspective isometric graphics over a hextile grid is dated looking, but SO fun! - Warren P
i still havent played fallout 3 :( so, i imagined it had the same gameplay :P - George
[0] [2010-07-15 02:00:33] Mechko

Imperialism and Civilization also have that, I believe, though the focus is on the city building stuff.

Final Fantasy XI has absolutely nothing resembling turn-based tactics, I'm not sure where you got that idea. - Chad Birch
sorry my bad. I've played some old final fantasy games but I guess the newer ones don't follow the turn thing. I don't know. But what about imperialism and civ (2) - Mechko
[0] [2010-07-15 04:17:55] community_owned

WinSPMBT [1]


[0] [2010-07-17 08:06:45] Oak

The Silent Storm series, as I have outlined in this answer [1]. To summarize it: very good small-team tactical, turn-based game, with some emphasis on realistic wounds, unit placement and destructible environments.


[0] [2010-07-17 08:54:09] Chu Yeow

Here's one I'd recommend that no one has mentioned yet: Jeanne d'Arc [1] on the PSP.

Otherwise, I also recommend these games that others have mentioned:

  • Fallout Tactics
  • Jagged Alliance

I've also heard good things about the Disgaea series (PS2/3 and PSP) but never really managed to get into it.


[0] [2010-07-17 16:49:46] Luc M

I know thar someone has mentionned Civilization but I think that freeciv [1] deserves to be mentionned. It's free and you can play alone or online.


[0] [2010-07-15 16:26:33] user873

Civilization or Hearts of Iron 3 are the two big ones at atm

[0] [2010-07-15 17:40:36] Paul Marshall

On the MMORPG side, Atlantica [1] uses the "tactical turn-based rows-of-people" model for combat. I stopped playing it due to the grind (I honestly don't have the patience for MMOs), but if you like MMOs and turn-based combat, this could be for you. (Side note: if you don't move fast enough, your turn ends, but a minute is easily enough to get everything done with time to spare.)


[0] [2010-07-16 05:25:59] Tyronomo

Not on PC, but if you are a fan of TRPG you should get ahold of Disgaea. You can get it on PS3, PS2, PSP and NDS. In various version/sequal between 1 and 3.