Whether we like it or not, controllers weren’t made to play strategy games which is one of the most significant setbacks you encounter when you want to play one of those games on a console. Using a mouse and keyboard will always be the best option, but there are still some amazing strategy games on consoles that no fan should miss. Here are some of the best strategy games you can play on consoles.
10. StarCraft 64
StarCraft 64 includes the original campaign, the expansion Brood Wars and some extra missions. To translate this game to console, some concessions were made, such as the lack of cutscenes and the obvious lack of an online mode. That said, StarCraft 64 was a triumph for Blizzard because the company proved that porting strategy games to consoles was possible.
9. Halo Wars
Halo Wars is all about simplicity: simplicity in the combat, gameplay, base building and so on. Although that sounds great in paper, the game fails when it comes to giving you control of a giant army and there are several restrictions that fans of the genre will certainly miss (waypoints, customizable bases and so on.)
8. Civilization Revolution
There are so many moving parts in any of the Civilization games that once you start playing, it’s hard to stop. But micromanaging for days (and in some cases weeks,) makes the game hard to get into sometimes, which is why the console version is such as success. The core mechanics of this 4x are still here, but some were stripped down to the bare minimum to make the game more digestible and engaging.
7. Valkyria Chronicles
Valkyrie Chronicles mixes two dissimilar genres in an elegant way: turn-based strategy and third-person shooter. Although the specifics of how it works are hard to explain in a paragraph, this system allows you to position your troops in such a way that you can shoot enemies and that wouldn’t be possible in traditional turn-based strategy games.
6. Pikmin 3
Commanding charming characters to collect items and battle bosses has seldom been as entertaining as in Pikmin. These creatures come in different colors and this determines their abilities, but you can also mix colored Pikmin which makes the experience deeper than it looks at first sight. Don’t ignore Pikmin because of its childish looks. This is a deceivingly simple strategy game that’s easy to recommend to almost anyone.
5. X-COM: Enemy Unknown
Once the vicious circle of X-COM starts turning, it’s hard to stop playing: fight aliens, unlock new technology and use that technology to your advantage. Like in Civilization, several mechanics come into play at the same time and if you put some time into learning them, Enemy Unknown can be an incredibly deep, rich and satisfying game.
4. Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
The strategy genre has always been incredibly intimidating to newcomers, but that changed with the Advance Wars series on the Game Boy Advance, which convinced a lot of people who strategy games don’t need to be convoluted to be entertaining. Thanks to a system of paper, rock, scissors, Advance Wars 2 is easy to pick up and enjoy which is loyal to the spirit of the Game Boy Advance, since you can take the console wherever you go and play for a few minutes.
3. Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
If you’re looking for a strategy game that offers hundreds of hours of gameplay, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness will meet those requirements. In the game, there are princes, busty demons and of course penguins. But apart from the wacky sense of humor, Disgaea is all about more relaxed battles, since the game allows you to grind for experience or get better equipment at almost any point.
2. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
Tactics Ogre already was a rich turn-based strategy game, but this portable update added a lot of new content, making it the definitive version of the 1995 classic. One of the best parts about this remake is the chariot system which allows players to rewind time to undo some actions. Not only does this prevent one mistake from ruining important battles, but it also lets you experiment different strategies.
1. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
War of the Lions features new classes and re-balances old ones and the best part about this class-based system is that you can craft a party to combine attacks in some creative ways. The gameplay is so flexible, that battles are extremely rewarding. The only problem with this version is that the attack animations are slow, but other than that, this is one of the best options when you have to play Final Fantasy Tactics.
Other terrific console strategy games that didn’t make the cut include: Worms 2, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, Lords of the Rings: The Battle for the Middle Earth II, Battlestations: Midway/Pacific, Front Mission 3, Fire Emblem Awakening.