Looking for the best PS4 strategy games? Even with the PS5 release later in 2020, you can still have lots of fun with the eight-gen console. And if you need a challenge, strategy games are the way to go. These titles demand patience and cunning. You earn your victories — button-mashing gets you nowhere.
So, what are the most rewarding PlayStation 4 strategy games? The answer ultimately boils down to your preferences, but the best ones can hook you in no matter what. From real-time strategy and turn-based competition to ones with huge RPG elements, these are the top strategy video games on the PS4.
20. Prison Architect
Developer: Introversion Software, Double Eleven
Publisher: Double Eleven
Prison Architect is one of the most successful crowdfunding projects ever. And thanks to Double Eleven, PS4 gamers can enjoy this simulation title as well. Think of it as Cities: Skylines, but for the prison world.
You’re the architect and governor here. Building facilities, hiring wardens, and managing finances are all part of the job. The goal is to keep your inmates happy and reduce recidivism to garner positive reports.
19. Lara Croft Go
Developer: Square Enix Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
If you liked Hitman Go, this should be right up your alley. Lara Croft Go is a turn-based puzzle title that keeps the classic elements of Tomb Raider: boulders, cliffs, traps, blades, and terrifying wild animals.
It’s only a single-player game, but there’s a ton of content: 40 levels spread across five chapters. Each new level brings increasingly complex puzzles filled with new mechanics and enemy types.
Developer: 11 bit studios
Publisher: 11 bit studios
Frostpunk is as unforgiving and relentless as it sounds. It’s a city-builder and survival game at the same time. Factors such as the sun dimming and Krakatoa erupting in 1886 send the world to a deadly winter.
As the Captain, you have to develop a city around a huge generator. Resources are scarce and the people won’t always cooperate, perhaps due to politics or the weather. Be a good leader or a ruthless tyrant.
From our Frostpunk review:
“Frostpunk is a beautiful game that doesn’t shy away from the ugliness of our species, nor does it pull any punches with its difficulty. It’s an uncompromising, completely captivating affair.”
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17. Defense Grid 2
Developer: Hidden Path Entertainment
Publisher: 505 Games
Like MOBAs, the tower defense (TD) subgenre of strategy games is simple yet addictive — Defense Grid 2 has perfected the formula. Defend facilities and stop all sorts of aliens from stealing your power cores.
If you’ve played the first Defense Grid, you should be familiar with most tower types. Still, a new addition called the boost tower opens up new ways of slowing down and ultimately defeating the alien horde.
16. The Banner Saga 3
Publisher: Versus Evil
How about a tactical RPG? This turn-based title is part of a trilogy, but it’s the best entry with fantastic visuals, enthralling combat, and a decent story to boot. Plus, who doesn’t love a solid Viking saga?
Over 40 heroes rely on your decision-making to survive. It’s a long, arduous journey, but that’s what makes this game special. You’re just as exhausted as your companions, but you must keep going.
15. Orcs Must Die! Unchained
Developer: Robot Entertainment
Publisher: Robot Entertainment
The name of the game doesn’t lie, but it’s not complete. Aside from hordes of angry orcs, you must also defeat other nasty creatures. Keep them away from the magic core using traps and other items.
But what sets Orcs Must Die! Unchained apart from your typical TD title is its direct combat feature. Your character can fight the creep wave, and if they’re out of health, you’ll have to wait for them to respawn.
READ NEXT: 20 Best PS4 Co-Op Games You Should Play
14. Darkest Dungeon
Developer: Red Hook Studios
Publisher: Red Hook Studios, Merge Games
Darkest Dungeon changed the strategy game landscape for the better. Yes, you lead a band of heroes through dungeons, but the further you go, the more stressed your heroes become — and that’s risky.
High stress in Darkest Dungeon is a volatile thing. It can improve your hero’s chances of survival or lead to their demise. You can have 25 heroes at a time, and they don’t respawn if they die in the dungeon.
13. Tropico 6
Developer: Limbic Entertainment
Publisher: Kalypso Media
With the sixth installment, the Tropico franchise shows no signs of ending. Everything about Tropico 6 is entertaining. Across four eras, you (as “El Presidente”) get to lead an entire nation in the Carribean.
Latin music is always a delight to hear and the humor is unbeatable. Sure, it’s political and demands a good understanding of one’s economy, but it always manages to address real-world issues with a smile.
12. Slay the Spire
Publisher: Humble Bundle
People who don’t believe card games are intense haven’t played Slay the Spire. It’s a dungeon crawler with cards. Build a formidable deck and keep improving it as you move up the spire one level at a time.
Slay the Spire requires quick thinking. You don’t get to choose which cards you get at first, and the relics won’t always supplement them. Learn which ones to keep, discard, or upgrade to improve your chances.
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Chucklefish published Stardew Valley and developed Starbound, so you should have a good idea of how engaging and complex this turn-based strategy game can get. Wargroove is cute but also action-packed.
Pick your commander, navigate the world, and stake your claim. Play multiplayer online and do PvP or co-op. Create your own maps and connect different missions for a unique gaming experience each time.
From our Wargroove review:
“Wargroove is the pixelated strategy game for a new generation of commanders. The shallow story doesn’t deter from the intricate gameplay that makes Wargroove the perfect indie game for even the finest of tacticians.”
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