Looking for an immersive gaming experience that takes you back to World War II? WW2 strategy games provide the perfect opportunity to step into the shoes of a commander and lead your troops to victory. From real-time tactical combat to grand-scale operations, these games offer a variety of gameplay styles that will satisfy any strategy enthusiast. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the 11 best WW2 strategy games that are worth playing. Whether you’re a fan of turn-based hex gameplay or prefer the challenge of real-time strategy, there’s something for everyone on this list.
1. Company of Heroes 3
Company of Heroes 3 is the latest installment in the critically acclaimed Company of Heroes series. Known for its exceptional real-time strategy gameplay, the game offers both single-player and online multiplayer modes. The campaign and skirmish modes allow you to experience the intensity of World War II battles, while the impressive sandbox mechanics enable you to blow up buildings and create dynamic cover. With the Full Tactical Pause feature, you can strategically plan your attacks at your own pace. Company of Heroes 3 is a must-play for any WW2 strategy gaming enthusiast.
2. Steel Division 2
Step into the shoes of a General, Colonel, or Weapons Expert in Steel Division 2. Set during Operation Bagration, the game offers a single-player campaign that aims to be historically accurate. With over 600 units and 25 huge maps, you’ll have plenty of strategic options at your disposal. One unique aspect of Steel Division 2 is the choice between real-time tactical combat and automatic resolution, allowing you to focus on the strategic aspects of the game. The attention to detail in the game’s visuals, particularly the vehicles and environments, adds to the immersive World War II experience.
3. Hearts of Iron IV
If you’re looking for a strategy game that puts you in command of the highest-level strategy in World War II, Hearts of Iron IV is the perfect choice. In this game, you don’t control individual units but instead oversee the development of technology, build and outfit armies, and make strategic decisions that can change the tide of the war. From negotiating alliances to managing resources, Hearts of Iron IV offers a complex and challenging gameplay experience. Whether you want to play as a major power or a smaller nation, this game allows you to shape the course of World War II from a strategic perspective.
4. Order of Battle: World War II
Order of Battle: World War II offers a unique approach to WW2 strategy gaming. While the game may seem like a free-to-play title, you actually buy each campaign individually. This allows you to choose the campaigns that interest you the most, making it a more cost-effective option. With over 700 units, including infantry, tanks, ships, and aircraft, the game offers a vast array of strategic possibilities. The turn-based hex gameplay is easy to pick up but provides a lot of depth, making it suitable for both casual and hardcore strategy gamers.
5. Panzer Corps 2
Panzer Corps 2 is a beloved WW2 strategy game that offers both a single-player campaign and online multiplayer modes. With over 1,000 authentic World War II vehicles and detailed unit models, the game provides a visually stunning experience. The scenario editor allows you to create your own campaigns and maps, ensuring endless replayability. With its depth and authenticity, Panzer Corps 2 is a must-play for any WW2 strategy gaming enthusiast.
6. Codename: Panzers
Originally released in 2004, Codename: Panzers has been remastered to work with modern systems. This real-time strategy game offers timeless tactical fun, allowing you to control various units such as battle tanks, flame-throwing squads, and rocket launchers. The story mode, supported by great voice acting, provides an engrossing experience. Despite its age, Codename: Panzers is still worth playing for its immersive gameplay and challenging missions.
7. War in the East
War in the East offers a unique tabletop war game experience in the form of a digital strategy game. While it may have a different visual style, it captures the essence of traditional war games. With a wide variety of units, including ski troopers, engineers, and tank destroyers, you’ll have to carefully plan your moves to achieve victory. The game’s complexity and attention to detail make it a challenging and rewarding strategy gaming experience.
8. Men of War: Assault Squad 2
Men of War: Assault Squad 2 is a top-down real-time strategy game that offers a wide variety of units and factions to control. With 200 soldiers, 250 vehicles, and intense battles, the game provides a realistic and gritty World War II experience. Engage in armored warfare, sniper battles, and large-scale infantry engagements as you strive for victory. While the game can be difficult, it offers a rewarding and immersive strategy gaming experience.
9. Sudden Strike 4
Sudden Strike 4 stands out among other WW2 strategy games as it is available on multiple platforms, including PS4, Xbox One, and PC. With over 100 units to command and zoned damage areas on tanks, the game provides a realistic and engaging experience. The three campaigns, each from a different side of the war, offer a variety of gameplay options. Whether you’re a console or PC gamer, Sudden Strike 4 is a great choice for a WW2 strategy gaming experience.
10. Unity of Command II
Unity of Command II is a follow-up to the cult classic Unity of Command, offering a fresh take on the Western Allies’ perspective in World War II. With dynamic campaigns that respond to your decisions, you can shape the course of history. The attention to detail in the unit models and historical accuracy will please any history buff. The scenario editor, with Steam Workshop support, allows you to create and download custom campaigns, providing endless possibilities for gameplay.
11. Close Combat
The Close Combat series has been around since 1996 and continues to deliver immersive and realistic strategy gaming experiences. With changing mental and physical conditions for your troops, the game captures the hardships of war. Each game in the series focuses on a different key event from World War II, offering grand campaigns and large maps. Despite its old-school graphics, Close Combat offers gameplay that stands the test of time.
In conclusion, the world of WW2 strategy gaming offers a diverse range of experiences for players to immerse themselves in World War II. Whether you prefer real-time strategy or turn-based hex gameplay, there’s a game on this list that will suit your preferences. From commanding individual units to overseeing the highest levels of strategy, these games provide a unique perspective on the war. So gather your troops, plan your strategies, and embark on a journey through the most significant conflict in history. The fate of World War II is in your hands.