Strategy RPGs are one of the most popular genres of RPGs, featuring powerhouses in the gaming landscape such as Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics. If strategy RPGs have one thing in common, it's their deep and satisfying gameplay that only gets better as you build out your roster, upgrade your characters, and unlock new abilities.
If you're looking to play a new strategy RPG, we've got you covered. There are too many strategy RPGs to count, but here, we've listed some of the best. Below, we've ranked the 12 best strategy RPGs, based on their gameplay, story, and cultural impact.
12 Jeanne d'Arc
Jeanne d'Arc is a strategy RPG centered around the plights of Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years' War. However, Jeanne d'Arc features a story centered on a fictional war between humans and demons, presenting a not-so-historically accurate France and retelling of the life of Joan of Arc.
The game's combat is based on a rock-paper-scissors system, with characters able to transform into a powered-up version for a brief period of time, similar to Fire Emblem Engage. Its deep gameplay options and character customization offer a charming game for fans of Joan of Arc or historical games.
11 Project X Zone 2
Project X Zone 2 is a strategy RPG, crossing over characters from Bandai Namco, Capcom, Sega, and Nintendo games. In a cross-over rivaling Super Smash Bros, you can engage in tactical strategy battles with Ryu, Dante, Goro Majima, Phoenix Wright, and many, many more.
Battles take place in the traditional strategy RPG style; move your units around a grid, utilizing positioning to strategically gain the edge. However, when your units attack, you are presented with a fighting game-esque combat system, where you use different directional inputs to combo the enemy. Project X Zone 2 is a wild blend of many different games, genres, and systems, but does it in a way that is charming and fun.
10 Pokémon Conquest
Pokemon Conquest is a spin-off strategy RPG for the DS, set in a feudal-Japan-inspired fantasy world, where warriors and warlords befriend Pokemon to fight for control of the land. Pokemon Conquest perfectly combines the monster-catching aspects of mainline Pokemon games with strategy combat.
As you conquer the various kingdoms of the Ransei region, you will recruit and battle against characters inspired by famous Japanese figures, like Oda Nobunaga and Akechi Mitsuhide. If you're a fan of historical Japan and Pokemon, this game is a great mix of the two.
9 Advance Wars
Advance Wars is a strategy RPG for the Game Boy Advance, developed by Intelligent Systems, the same team behind Fire Emblem. If you ever wished Fire Emblem could be about tanks and bazookas instead of swords and magic, Advance Wars might just be the game you've been looking for.
Although the first game has a less serious overall tone and easy-to-understand gameplay, this changed in its numerous sequels, as the games added more depth and even ventured into post-apocalypse settings, like in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. If you can't get enough of Fire Emblem, check out the other side of the coin in Advance Wars.
8 Marvel’s Midnight Suns
In Marvel's Midnight Suns, you will build a cast of classic Marvel superheroes, banding them together to take on demons in deck-building strategy combat. Each character has unique card that you can collect, upgrade, and build into decks, making each encounter unique with just the right amount of randomness.
When you're not hunting demons, you can wander around the Abbey, hanging out with the heroes and learning more about them. Fans of Marvel comics and movies will feel right at home in Midnight Suns.
7 Disgaea 5: Alliance Of Vengeance
The Disgaea games are known for their huge number of systems, mechanics, characters, and damage numbers. Disgaea 5 strikes the perfect balance of wacky characters and stories, with in-depth strategy combat.
With dozens of classes, weapons, and battle mechanics, the strategical depth of Disgaea is massive, and at times, daunting. If you're willing to learn, Disgaea 5, and other games in the series, are the perfect strategy RPGs for fans of the genre.
6 Valkyria Chronicles
Valkyria Chronicles is a unique combination of strategy RPG and first/third-person shooter, moving your units through 3D spaces before aiming down the sights of your gun to shoot at the enemy. In the game, you control a military squad in the fictional land of Europa in the 1930s.
The game's unique gameplay and art style blend perfectly with its poignant take on World War 2, although with typical anime-style characters and magic systems. If you're looking for a strategy RPG that is like nothing else on this list, the Valkyria Chronicles games won't disappoint.
5 Triangle Strategy
Triangle Strategy iterates on the classic Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre style, with the new modern 2D-HD art style. If you like your strategy RPGs with politics, story choices, and pixel art, Triangle Strategy checks all of these boxes.
Throughout the game, you will have to make certain choices that can alter the course of the story. There are multiple endings to achieve, and dozens of characters to recruit and upgrade. Triangle Strategy is high on replayability, allowing you to enjoy its in-depth strategy gameplay to the fullest.
4 Fire Emblem Engage
Fire Emblem Engage is the most recent entry in the Fire Emblem series. As a whole, Fire Emblem is one of the most prominent strategy RPG franchises. With its massive cast of characters, new Emblem Ring mechanics, and a plethora of maps and battles, Engage is one of the best new entries in the series.
In terms of gameplay, Fire Emblem Engage makes numerous improvements over Fire Emblem games in the past. The new Emblem Rings allow for more customization of your units, and provide fun and powerful bonuses in combat. If you're a fan of strategy RPGs, Fire Emblem Engage should not be missed.
3 Divinity: Original Sin 2
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a deeply complex and interactive strategy RPG, in which you have full customization of your character. Choose from one of several different races, classes, and origin stories to make your character your own.
The game's story can be entirely played with another player, where you each control your own character and one other party member, choosing between several recruitable characters throughout the game. Divinity: Original Sin 2 also features a robust modding and custom campaign community, adding even more content to the game
2 Tactics Ogre: Reborn
Before Final Fantasy Tactics, there was Tactics Ogre. Much of what makes Final Fantasy Tactics so great can be attributed to the original, Tactics Ogre. This game has everything that makes strategy RPGs so prolific, from its branching story, deeply satisfying gameplay, and amazing cast.
Tactics Ogre was remastered in Tactics Ogre: Reborn, improving the graphics and several systems to improve character customization. Although some may prefer Final Fantasy Tactics, it would be a mistake not to acknowledge the game that proved the strategy RPG formula was here to stay.
1 Final Fantasy Tactics: War Of The Lions
When it comes to strategy RPGs, not many can top Final Fantasy Tactics. Despite its age, Final Fantasy Tactics remains the gold standard for strategy RPGs, and features one of the best Final Fantasy stories of the series. As a spiritual successor of Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics builds on the strengths of the first game with classic Final Fantasy storytelling, jobs, and characters.
The War of the Lions version added several new cutscenes, multiplayer mode, and several additional playable characters, like Cloud Strife. War of the Lions is the updated definitive way to play Final Fantasy Tactics, and remains one of the best strategy RPGs of all time.
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