You’re playing one of the best turn-based strategy games, and the enemy is in position, ready to pounce on your capital city. The rest of your territory has been devastated, and all that’s left is your will to survive. But, you’ve been waiting for this moment. Suddenly, twenty of your men arrive at the enemy capital — and the king’s reign is over. Victory!

The scenario above is typical for battle-tested warriors who have proven their worth as a turn-based tactician. After all, the best turn-based strategy games are loaded with strategic opportunities like calculated attacks, troop reinforcements, and last-minute maneuvers. Do you have what it takes to outmaneuver the opposition and emerge victorious? Read on to see the best TBS games of 2019.

Best Turn-Based Strategy Games of 2019

We’ve rounded up the top 10 best turn-based strategy games of 2019 to help you find the perfect title.

1. Civilization VI

Civ 6

One of the best turn-based strategy PC games

  • Platform: Switch, Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS
  • Genre: Turn-based strategy
  • Developer: Firaxis Games
  • Release: 2016

Civilization VI is the latest installment in the mega-popular turn-based strategy series by Firaxis Games — and it absolutely delivers. The primary objective is to lead your empire from up-and-coming civilization to world power, with the goal of dominating the competition in one a variety of industries. Moreover, there are numerous paths to victory, with game modes granting wins based on technology capabilities, economic prowess, and military might. Think you’ve got what it takes? Check Civ VI out on PC and console today.

2. BattleTech

Battletech

One of the best turn-based multiplayer games

  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Genre: Turn-based strategy
  • Developer: Harebrained Schemes
  • Release: 2018

In BattleTech, players assume the role of a top-level assassin whose job it is to lead a squadron of powerful armored units known as battlemechs. The primary objective? Command the squad in combat to devastate the opposition and fulfill your contract. With several great houses scattered across the BattleTech map, you’ll have to choose who to serve, and who to kill. This game boasts fast-paced turn-based gameplay and offers hours of entertainment.

3. Age of Wonders III

Age of Wonders

One of the best turn-based Linux games

  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Genre: Turn-based strategy
  • Developer: Triumph Studios
  • Release: 2014

Age of Wonders 3 is another stellar turn-based strategy game that’s available to play on every major operating system. The game is set in a fantasy realm where players assume the role of a military leader. The goal? You must build up an empire and establish contact with the outside world, strategically expanding your sphere of influence while consolidating power. But be careful! You’re not the only one looking to increase their might, and danger lurks around every corner.

4. Empire: Total War

Total War

One of the best turn-based strategy war games

  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Genre: Turn-based strategy
  • Developer: Creative Assembly
  • Release: 2009

This game expertly combines turn-based strategy with real-time tactics to bring you the 5th installment of the Total War Series. Set in the 18th century, you’ll choose a faction and set out to achieve world dominance by whatever means necessary. Combat, diplomacy, economics, and espionage all play a major role in the game, and the campaign has you roam the map in pursuit of growth and glory. The game achieved high marks in every major category and remains popular for its action-packed mechanics.

5. Wargroove

Wargroove

One of the best Xbox One turn-based strategy games

  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Windows
  • Genre: Turn-based tactics
  • Developer: Chucklefish
  • Release: 2019

Released in early 2019, Wargroove by Chucklefish quickly ascended the ranks to become one of the most popular turn-based strategies on the market. Your primary objective? Explore the map and fight enemies by taking control of a badass commander hellbent on achieving crowning glory. With simple mechanics and quirky pixel art, it’s an exciting way to get your TBS fix. Moreover, it’s available on all major consoles and PC, and it rocks stellar ratings across the game industry.

6. Total War: Warhammer II

Warhammer 2

One of the best turn-based Mac games

  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Genre: Turn-based strategy
  • Developer: Creative Assembly
  • Release: 2017

The latest in the Warhammer lineup, this TBS game combines mechanics from multiple game genres and is published by gaming juggernaut Sega. Set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe, players are tasked with positioning their troops on the map to both defend and protect their territory. Engage in lighthearted diplomacy or obliterate the enemy with fierce resolve. Warhammer 2 features a number of different fantasy races for every type of player, and you’re free to play online or against the built-in AI system. An exceptional title.

7. The Battle of Polytopia

Polytopia

One of the best iOS turn-based strategy games

  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Genre: Turn-based world-building strategy
  • Developer: Midjiwan AB
  • Release: 2016

If you’re seeking one of the best iOS and Android turn-based strategy games, look no further. The Battle of Polytopia has you take the reigns from one of 14 tribes scattered across the map, with the goal of building your empire and outperforming the competition. This casual mobile game is great for passing the time, and it features a standalone AI mode, or you can pass-and-play with your friends.

8. Darkest Dungeon

Dark Dungeon

One of the best PS4 turn-based strategy games

  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS
  • Genre: Turn-based RPG
  • Developer: Red Hook Studios
  • Release: 2016

While most of the titles on our list are turn-based wartime games, we couldn’t help but include a turn-based strategy RPG. This hit title is beloved by critics and players alike thanks to exceptional graphics and epic gameplay. How’s it work? Take control of one of several character classes and carefully make your way into the dungeon. But watch out! You’ll need to use your entire skillset to make it through alive. Do you have what it takes? Play on console or check out Darkest Dungeons out on Steam.

9. Battle for Wesnoth

Battle Wesnoth

One of the best classic turn-based games

  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, Browser
  • Genre: Turn-based strategy
  • Developer: Battle for Wesnoth Project
  • Release: 2003

Originally released in 2003, the Battle for Wesnoth remains a beloved title in the turn-based strategy scene. It’s 100% open source, and it’s worked on by a small development team that releases updates and new content free of charge. What can you expect? Your goal is to build up a powerful army to control territory and defeat enemies, gaining experience and prestige along the way. Take part in one of the main campaigns or try your hand at various user modes.

10. Into the Breach

Breach

One of the best turn-based sci-fi games

  • Platform: Switch, Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Genre: Turn-based strategy
  • Developer: Subset Games
  • Release: 2018

Into the Breach is set in the distant future when humanity is under attack! An army of monsters known as the Vek are ravaging the planet, and you’re among the planet’s last hope. You up for the challenge? Take control of a giant mech and outfit it with the latest armor, weapons, and battle equipment. Then, unleash everything you’ve got! The playful artstyle is complemented by unique mechanics that are similar to chess, and you’re free to play on PC or Nintendo Switch.

What are Turn-Based Strategy Games?

A turn-based strategy game, or TBS, is a type of video game involving two or more sides that take turns completing their actions. These games come in many variations, but the term itself is often used synonymously with the strategic wargame genre. That said, all types of turn-based games that involve strategy are technically part of the TBS niche.

Turn-based strategies are unique because they involve careful planning and crafty maneuvering. In fact, many top titles require the use of a number of tactics, including espionage and sabotage. And similar to real-world wartime encounters, it’s necessary that you maintain a beat on the opposition in order to plan your moves and prepare future attacks. As for defense? Having a flexible strategy set early on is key to holding your position and successfully parrying your opponent’s attacks.

There are countless turn-based strategy games on the market, but the field has been dominated by a handful of top titles like the ones featured on our list. What’s this mean for you? We’ve done the hard work of sorting through the games to deliver the best options available.

General Thoughts on Turn-Based Strategy Games

Now that we’ve defined turn-based strategy games, let’s look at some general thoughts on the genre itself:

1. TBS games are inspired by board games.

Turn-based strategy games are largely inspired by traditional board games like chess, checkers, and go, where players take turns making moves from above the board.

2. The genre mimics wartime affairs.

Many of the best turn-based strategies have you assume the role of a fledgling empire that must defend and expand at all costs.

3. Combining tactics (almost) always works.

Some in-game tactics are better than others, but it’s easy to take the opposition by surprise when you combine moves and catch them off guard.

4. The niche is relatively small.

The turn-based strategy genre doesn’t boast quite as many titles as many rival game genres, ensuring that the developers pouring energy into these games are ultra passionate.

5. Master strategists emerge victorious.

In real life, expert generals usually win the battle — and it’s the same with the best TBS. Only master tacticians will lead their teams to victory.

Further Reading

Enjoyed our list of the best turn-based strategy games? Check out our other game roundups below: