Nothing beats a strategy game, even those about to turn a decade old. You might still be having difficulty beating these games even now, which is a testament to how good they are. Some are obviously easier than others, but a bit of nostalgia is always welcome.
Perhaps after reading this list you’ll find yourself dusting off your older-generation iPhones to look for clans of old and forgotten accounts. The games on this list are sure to take you on a trip down memory lane, even if they feel like they just came out yesterday.
10/10 Plants Vs. Zombies 2
For many, this may have been your introduction to mobile gaming. Everybody remembers the boom of Plants Vs. Zombies, and almost everybody playing this addicting mobile game. Even those who don’t claim to play a lot of games fell in love with this game. Who could blame them?
Even if you were battling zombies, it wasn’t particularly gory, with several dancing plants and shooting peas available to fend off the zombies. It’s not the most difficult strategy game on this list, but it’s probably the cutest.
9/10 Wargame: AirLand Battle
Set in 1985, you can choose to play as countries that are part of the Warsaw Pact or countries that are part of NATO. You get to roam different maps and choose to launch battles in different areas by planting tanks and aircraft. One of the best parts about this game is that you can unwittingly set up an ambush on players by setting up positions on the map or chase your enemies down with UAZs — although doing that might not be the wisest decision.
This real-time strategy game has consequences that affect other players depending on the decisions you make, so you’d better make every choice count or get totally destroyed.
8/10 Command: Modern Air Naval Operations
Command: Modern Air Naval Operations is a highly detailed game when it comes to its machines. A bit of tech and wartime engineering knowledge is handy when playing this game since the units you will be playing will be easier to recognize if you know them by name.
You can play this game in four modes, all of which offer a unique experience. At first glance, Command appears intimidating thanks to the amount of information it gives you about aircraft, but it’ll be a shame to miss out on playing a strategy game that’ll give you a great glimpse of modern warfare.
Don’t let the simple graphics fool you, this game is notorious for its difficulty. Imagine this game as Tetris in space, except there are also minions attacking as you slot in pieces that will serve as your offense and defense. Unlike in Tetris, you can assign what type of piece you’re going to be putting in your chosen location.
In the game, you can pick among corridor, extractor, reactor, gardens, kitchen, weapons, or quarters to assign as your pieces. Your placement of them will be essential to keeping your space station afloat in space. Luckily for you, this game is still available in the App Store and Google Play, even though it’s celebrating its tenth birthday next year.
6/10 Pikmin 3
This video game might also involve a trip to outer space, but the graphics make the playable characters and enemies cute and fun to look at. There are different modes to Pikmin 3 — main story, side story, mission, and battle — which gives you just enough content to go through in the new planet PNF-404 in its entirety.
Not all strategy games have to be stressful, and you’ll realize that throwing Pikmins out of your way will make them sound like chipmunks on helium.
5/10 Skulls Of The Shogun
Despite all the zombie bashing, you’ll find a great deal of humor in Skulls Of The Shogun. The character you play is someone who was meant to be Shogun, only to be tragically betrayed before he could claim the title. To make matters worse, General Akamoto (the guy you’re playing as) will have to wait before he’s deemed worthy to enter the afterlife.
Not having any of that, he decides to fight mobs of zombies. He later realizes that he was betrayed and murdered by his own lieutenant, which drives the story forward. Overall, this is a classic turn-based strategy game that’s easy to play and understand.
4/10 Total War: Rome 2
Total War: Rome 2 takes you back to Ancient Rome as it was essentially falling apart. You can choose between factions or houses, such as the House of Julia, The House of Junia, and The House of Cornelia. Each faction will give you different bonuses that will be useful in keeping your empire together.
If you’re looking for games that involve a lot of political savvy, this almost decade-year-old game won’t disappoint. Not only is it hard to finish a campaign in this game, but it’s also very fulfilling.
3/10 Company Of Heroes 2
If the previous war-related games have maps that you think are too big for you to play, Company of Heroes 2 is perfect for keeping things limited. You’ll get to build structures around your base and command your squads in battle.
Keep your squads alive and they become stronger soldiers — but be mindful that just because the scope of the game is smaller, that doesn’t mean it’ll be easier. A good mind for resource management and the proper placement of structures will determine your win in the game.
2/10 Democracy 3
Democracy 3 differs from other entries since it’s relatively simple in comparison. It isn’t really just about war strategies, but about keeping your country afloat in modern times. You pick a country, play as its president (or prime minister), and decide where to allocate your resources and what policies to pass.
This title isn’t about what ideologies you might have — instead, you become a full-fledged politician. Democracy 3 is a good game for just about anybody who might love political engagement and wants to experience what it’s like to be in the mind of a leader.
1/10 Europa Universalis 4
If you’re a European history buff, this game will make you feel a sense of accomplishment for being able to experience (and control) history as it happens. Like in Total War: Rome 2, you will need political cunning in order to seize lands and stay relevant on the map. Internal politics is also crucial in keeping your country together.
There are many ways to conquer the world, and you’ll find that it’s not isolated to waging war. Much like in real life, establishing soft power throughout other states and strengthening the economy can be key to becoming a global superpower.