Once upon a time, strategy games and consoles didn't really get along. If you wanted to play great strategy games, your best bet was to stick to a PC. However, things have changed. Consoles are far more powerful than they once were, and various developers have created solid strategy games which you can experience from the comfort of your couch. If you enjoy getting down to the nitty-gritty, looking for any advantage, and tactical planning, then strategy games might just be what you're looking for.
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Firaxis games have been churning out stellar strategy games for the better part of two decades. XCOM 2 is the latest entry to the long-running series, which was launched in 1994. Not unlike other installments, you take on the role of a commander in the military organization known as XCOM. It is your job to defend earth from occupying alien forces. XCOM 2 represents one of the purest military strategy experiences available on PS4.
1-2 Samurai strategy
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, developed by Mimimi Productions, is set in Japan's Edo period. Using real-time tactics, you command a squad of characters with various special abilities to investigate and take down a new warlord whose actions are serving to destabilize a unified Japan. It's a great real-time strategy game and the addition of stealth elements brings interesting depth and tactical possibilities.
Gorgeous anime strategy
With an anime-influenced, painterly visual style, Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a joy to look at. Aside from being a good-looking game, it's also a joy to play as you control your characters in third-person and choose your shots. This element helps the game avoid the rinse and repeat feel that some tactical strategy games can fall victim to.
Dragons Lair-esque strategy
First, imagine the beauty of Dragon's Lair but in a game that is actually fun and isn't designed for the sole purpose of stealing your quarters. That game you just imagined is Banner Saga. Pairing one of my favorite strategy combat systems in recent years with beautiful graphics, you end up with one heck of a game. If you enjoy turn-based combat and have a soft spot in your heart for Norse mythology, then this game is square in the middle of your wheelhouse.
City management games have long been an option for those looking for a more peaceful experience, as you flex your strategic muscles without constantly fretting over war machines and battle strategy. SimCity was the go-to for many years, but EA dropped the ball with the most recent SimCity games. Developer Colossal Order saw the fumble, picked up the ball and ran with it by releasing Cities Skylines, the answer to everything wrong with SimCity.
In this turn-based strategy game, you'll control the Adeptus Mechanicus as they investigate ancient Necron tombs. You'll have to manage and customize your Tech Priests with various weapons and upgrades while making careful decisions.
The "new" Battlestar Galactica TV series ended in 2009, but we didn't see a great tie-in video game until 2017. Fans of the show will absolutely love this game. This is your opportunity to take control of the colonial fleet and give those dirty toasters what for. With a laser-like attention to the details that made the TV series great, it's like playing the show in many ways, and until the powers that be give us another season, we'll take what we can get.
SteamWorld Heist was released a few years ago, but it still represents one of the best options when it comes to strategy style gaming on the PS4. With this, the third in the SteamWorld series from developer Image & Form, we are treated to a 2D turn-based mechanic that is loads of fun. You recruit and build a team of steampunk robots in order to take down the bad guys.
If you're a fan of city-building games but have always wanted to get your hands dirty with some political machinations, then Tropico 5 is the game for you. You will take on the role of El Presidente as you lead your island of Tropico through settlement, to the cold war, and all the way to modern times. The developers have done a wonderful job porting this game to console, making it one of my favorite city management games on PS4.
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There are a lot of games available on the PS4, especailly strategy games. They're a very specific sort of animal that caters to a very specific sort of gamer. The great thing is that that there are so many different types of strategy games that there's something out there for just about everyone. For the best-made strategy game I've ever played look no further than XCOM 2 (opens in new tab). My current personal favorite — it changes every few hours or so — is Valkyria Chronicles 4 (opens in new tab).
If neither pick is quite right for you, then have a look at Cities: Skylines. (opens in new tab) Cities: Skylines makes me happy in the way the old SimCity games used to. Working out the minutiae of a cities day-to-day working is a lot of fun and Skylines does it all so well, and so beautifully, I end up playing it for hours. If you like a good city management game, then this is for you.