Some games require cat-like reflexes while others are more about your mental agility. Whether you are agonizing over every decision before ending your turn, or deciding whether to make peace or war, this category is all about strategic thinking. One of the earliest types of games created, strategy games are still going strong with some remarkable releases in 2016. It was a good year to be a tactical gamer, but one game had the best strategy for success.
With a totally revamped approach to diplomacy, as well as unpacked cities featuring districts, Civilization VI feels like a completely new title. Sure, it still fits with the franchise, but it offers such unique gameplay that you will need to take over the world all over again in myriad new ways.
Research and civics were also expanded in Civ VI, with cross influences and boosts aplenty. This makes the game feel much more realistic, and ever more strategic. Want to improve your war mongering? Not only can you research specific technologies, but you can also do train troops and in so doing learn new civics which then speed up your research. It’s all interlinked and promotes smart gameplay.
Above all else, Civilization VI is a polished, sleek experience that is welcoming to new comers while still posing significant challenges for franchise veterans. If you are a fan of strategy games, there’s really no excuse for not owning Civilization VI.
Fire Emblem Fates
Fire Emblem does something that is always intriguing in strategy games – making you care about the characters involved. Build your characters up, help them develop friendships and romance with other characters in order to boost their performance on the battlefield, then watch them make babies together who also fight in your army, and then die because you made one small mistake and are playing with permadeath. It isn’t just a battle, it’s a potentially game altering and devastating encounter.
This year, Fire Emblem was divided into three games, each offering a different approach to the game. Whether you wanted the entry level experience of Birthright, or the ridiculously difficult Conquest, there is something for all levels of strategic player in Fire Emblem Fates. If you’ve never played Fire Emblem before, or you’re a diehard fan, Fates is enough of a primer on the franchise while still going deep into new kinds of terrain and bloodline-based tactics.
Total War: Warhammer
The best possible marriage of two franchises, Total War: Warhammer finally let you build your amazing Warhammer army in an online game that could do it justice. Send your greenskins against the dwarves in lore-filled battles, with all the gaming credibility and strategic nuance of a Total War game. The best of both worlds, we can only hope that this game’s success leads to a similar title for all the Warhammer 40 000 fans.
PC gamers have already played this title to death, but this year the console gamers finally got to embrace their strategic sides. Taking on the role of the underdog in the fight against the aliens changed the whole dynamic of gameplay. But still, we all know that the only was to be successful is to never let any of your squadmates die, right?
Battlefleet Gothic Armada
While not quite the Warhammer 40k game we were hoping for, this one is certainly worthwhile. A fantastic micromanagement heavy “naval” skirmish game, it’s got enough Warhammer 40k flavor to keep fans happy. Plus, it has huge guns and a strong multiplayer component. What more could you want?
Last Updated: December 13, 2016
Alien Emperor Trevor
December 13, 2016 at 14:37
I want all 3 honourable mentions. The Warhammers can wait though, they’re still releasing DLC.