20 Best Turn Based RPG Games of All Time – 2023


When we look at the history of video games, we can see the obvious superiority of turn-based RPG games. The best turn based RPG games, such as Final Fantasy, Heroes of Might and Magic, and Persona, were popular among old-school gamers. Although interest in turn based RPGs decreased as time progressed, they never ceased to exist.

Best Turn Based RPG
Best Turn Based RPG

That’s why we decided to take you on a wonderful journey through the history of video games. In our article, we will list the best turn-based RPGs covering the period from 2023 to the 1990s. Before moving on to our list, let’s take a quick look at how we determined these games.

How We Determined the Best Turn Based RPG Games

As you know, when it comes to video games, each player can have a different sense of entertainment. Some players may like only FPS games, and some may only like MMO games. For this reason, we took great care to be very meticulous when determining the best turn based RPG games. Turn based games are intertwined with other game genres such as simulation, strategy, and RPG games. So how exactly did we decide on this list?

turn based rpg
turn based rpg
  • We started by looking at the player communities. We’ve created our list based on the opinions of the players who like turn based games on Reddit and Steam. 
  • The second important detail is that we looked at the scoring system of an authoritative website like Metacritic. In particular, we paid attention to the ranking of our article according to the scores given by users to turn based games.
  • The final and most important point was to express our own opinions as ConsoleBandit. We have tried to reflect on our own gaming experience and video game literacy skills in our article. Now that we know the process of choosing these games, let’s start reading our article.

20. Valkyria Chronicles 4

  • Release Date: 21 March 2018
  • Developers: Sega
  • Platform: Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Xbox One, Stadia
  • Genre: Tactical role-playing

The 2008 Sega game Valkyria Chronicles had excellent combat, strategy, and tactical role-playing gameplay mechanics for its time. After 10 years, Valkyria Chronicles 4 brought a new dimension to the story and gameplay.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is probably on every list of the best turn based RPG games for the PlayStation 4 that you’ll find. You can look forward to a brand-new story with anime-inspired visuals that focuses on the Federation’s Squad E. Commander Claude Wallace and his childhood friends set off again to put an end to the war.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 turn-based game

Unlike the other best turn based RPGs, Valkyria Chronicles gives you complete control over the character that you control. For example, in the XCOM series, you could only move the characters to certain points with just one click. In Valkyria Chronicles 4, you have the chance to control the characters the way you want, as if you were playing an FPS game. Considering all this, we wanted to add Valkyria Chronicles 4 to the end of our list, considering its innovative gameplay style and also considering anime lovers.

19. Age of Wonders: Planetfall

  • Release Date: August 6, 2019
  • Developers: Paradox Interactive
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Genre: 4X, turn-based strategy

When we think of the best PC turn based RPG games, we always think of Paradox Interactive, a well-established developer company. Now, we want you to consider something along these lines. What if the worlds of XCOM and Starcraft were combined? What kind of a video game would they create? Frankly, these two games always come to mind when we think of the Age of Wonders series.

turn based rpg games
turn based rpg games

Age of Wonders: Planetfall is a game that was released in 2019 and tells about a dystopian future. In the game where we fight for our people, we need to break free from the tyranny of the galactic empire and build a new future. While exploring a rich sci-fi world, you will also be able to experience the best turn based RPG gameplay. You will be able to control many unique characters, such as Amazons fighting on top of dinosaurs, cyborg zombies, and AI commandos.

best turn based rpg strategy

Of course, not everything in Age of Wonders consists of tactical turn based RPG gameplay. You have the chance to control your resources on a world map and build cities for the race you choose. You can also engage in diplomacy with other races and discover apocalyptic technologies to destroy entire races. Would you like to destroy tyranny and create your own dictatorship?

18. The Banner Saga 3

  • Release Date: July 26, 2018
  • Developers: Stoic Studio
  • Platform: macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Genre: Tactical role-playing

Are you ready to take a journey into the bloody but epic history of the Vikings? The Banner Saga 3 is a game that took six years to develop and has won more than 20 awards. As one of the best tactical pc turn based rpg games, you have to survive with your characters in this game, which is in 18th place on our list. The world is falling apart, and you are embarking on a great journey not knowing who to trust.

In the Banner Saga series, the decisions you make while playing the game are vital. You can have very unique gameplay as your decisions can completely change the progression of the game. After each battle, your characters may receive some items. You can also assign skills to your characters. In short, you have the chance to bond with a character and turn them into the strongest person in the game.

17. Heroes of Might and Magic IV

  • Release Date: March 28, 2002
  • Developers: New World Computing
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
  • Genre: Turn based strategy games

When the legend of Heroes of Might and Magic was born in 1995, the door to a wonderful fantasy story was opened. There are six major campaigns in the game, and we begin by managing one of the kingdoms that rule each continent in Axeoth. For those who want to play the story from start to finish, the old game graphics can be boring. That’s why we wanted to add Heroes of Might and Magic IV to the 17th spot in the best turn based RPG list.

We start the game when the prophecies of the apocalypse in the story come true. We step into a magnificent world as we explore a forgotten past by battling deadly creatures. Tactical strategy is at the forefront of the game, where we determine all the skills, items, and fighting styles of our characters.

Do you like old-school games? You should definitely take a look at the Metal Slug Remake version of the legendary video game.

16. Magic: The Gathering Arena

  • Release Date: August 5, 1993 – September 26, 2019
  • Developers: Richard Garfield
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
  • Genre: Digital collectible card game

Would you like to step into a fantasy world created in 1993? Then we would like to introduce you to Magic: The Gathering, one of the best turn based RPG card games. The story of Magic: The Gathering, a complex card game, stands out in general.

Mana values are very important in this game, where you can use basic cards such as magic, attack, and defense. The stronger a card is, the greater its mana value will be. There are six different types of cards in the game. These are land, creature, instant, sorcery, enchantment, and artifact. Since each card has different features, the gameplay mechanics of the game begin here. Everyone can prepare a deck for themselves as they wish. You have the chance to create these decks in a complex form based on the type of card you want.

15. Slay the Spire

  • Release Date: January 23, 2019
  • Developers: MegaCrit
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Android
  • Genre: Roguelike, deck-building

Next is Slay the Spire, one of the best PS4 turn based RPG games. Designed in 2019, the game was released on PC, Nintendo, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in the same year. It is very similar to turn based RPG games with its roguelike progression style, deck building, and tactical combat mechanics.

In Slay the Spire, battles are played in turns. In each new round, the player receives a new card and a total of three energy points. In addition, each card has an energy cost. For example, if you play a 3-energy card in that turn, you cannot play any other card in the same turn. For this reason, strategizing and managing the amount of energy wisely helps you achieve success in the game. If you advance unsuccessfully and your character’s health drops to zero, you will lose the game.

14. Sid Meier’s Civilization® V

  • Release Date: September 21, 2010
  • Developers: Firaxis Games
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux
  • Genre: Turn-based strategy games, 4X

We think that everyone knows about the Civilization series, the legendary turn based strategy game designed in 1991. Developed by Sid Meier, 14 different versions of the game have been released up until 2023. The latest game, Civilization VI, allows you to play by selecting different countries on the world map. In the Civilization series, which has diplomacy, military, and political mechanics, details such as construction are also very important.

If you are looking for a strategy-oriented, turn based RPG, we definitely recommend that you take a look at Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. We think that you will have an incredibly fun time, especially if you like games with historical development.

13. Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut

  • Release Date: September 19, 2014
  • Developers: inXile Entertainment
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: tactical turn based games

Arm yourself and put on your masks; we want to take you to a post-apocalyptic world. Wasteland 2, a kickstarter project created by the original Fallout creator, has earned a spot on our list as one of the best PS4 turn based RPG games.

The game’s turn based mechanics are only valid during combat, and you can move freely on the map. For example, before entering combat, you can walk your team around the map, just like in Starcraft 2.

In Wasteland 2, we have to fight against deadly enemies with our team. In this battle, you will be able to equip each member of your team with the weapons you want. You will even be able to adjust your stats as you wish. For example, you can have a member of your team take on the role of the ranger as a sniper. After you’ve taken care of all this, you now have one goal. Survive and enjoy one of the best pc turn based rpg games. Have fun.

12. Hearthstone

  • Release Date: March 11, 2014
  • Developers: Blizzard Entertainment
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
  • Genre: Digital collectible card game

Hearthstone, developed by Blizzard, is a card game, just like the other game on our list, Magic: The Gathering. We can easily say that Blizzard’s other games, Starcraft, Diablo, and World of Warcraft, served as inspiration for Hearthstone’s rich narrative.

Hearthstone, ranked 12th in our best turn based RPG games list, has managed to become the most-played card game in 2023. The game’s rules require each player to make their own deck. Since there are hundreds of different cards in the game, everyone can create a deck that reflects their own vision. However, because some cards can be extremely difficult to obtain, some P2W mechanics were incorporated. But we always recommend Hearthstone due to its turn based gameplay and the richest content of its kind.

11. Gears Tactics

  • Release Date: April 28, 2020
  • Developers: Splash Damage
  • Platform: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
  • Genre: Turn-based tactics games

We’ve all heard of the Gears series, one of the flagship games on Xbox. Xbox Game Studios, which has been considering adding color to the Gears series for a long time, announced Gears Tactics in 2020. The main focus in Gears, a classic turn based tactics game, is the story. We enter the Gears universe when Sera, the leader of a coalition of regulated governments, wages a war to kill every human being on the planet.

Our team may feature a variety of characters in the game. Each character can take cover, shoot the enemy, or do defensive moves by gaining sight. In the game, we have to win every battle with as few losses as possible. Sometimes, even if one of our team members is shot, we can restore their health and get them back up. In short, a wide range of strategy and tactical gameplay is waiting for you.

10. SteamWorld Heist

  • Release Date: December 10, 2015
  • Developers: Image & Form
  • Platform: Nintendo 3DS, Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Stadia
  • Genre: Turn-based tactics, action-adventure

Our list of the best turn based RPGs includes SteamWorld Heist, which debuted in 2020 and features a steampunk setting. In the world of SteamWorld Heist, you gather oppressed robots to embark on an amazing space adventure. You and your team are attempting to attack and infiltrate hostile spaceships.

The combat mechanics in the game, where you try to defeat the robot opponents, are entirely turn based. You have the chance to control the weapon use of each robot on your team. The game was so popular during its debut that it even debuted on Nintendo. In fact, we can say that SteamWorld Heist is one of the best turn based RPG Switch games if we do not count Nintendo’s own productions.

9. Into the Breach

  • Release Date: February 27, 2018
  • Developers: Subset Games
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, Linux, Stadia, iOS, Android
  • Genre: Turn-based strategy

Into the Breach was designed as an indie game in 2018 and has become quite popular. This game, in which we fight giant monsters called Vek who want to destroy humanity, takes place in the distant future. The player must create their own team to fight giant monsters. You can also equip each member of the team with their weapons, armor, and all other equipment. It is possible to easily say that Into the Breach, in which we control the soldiers operating giant machines, is one of the best turn based RPG games.

A 2D map will appear when you examine the gameplay. This map’s battles and actions are all turn based. Into the Breach may not meet your expectations if you are looking for turn based RPG games with high image quality.

8. Darkest Dungeon

  • Release Date: January 19, 2016
  • Developers: Red Hook Studios
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation, Vita, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
  • Genre: Role-playing, dungeon crawl

In recent times, the Darkest Dungeon series has emerged as one of the best turn based RPG games. Darkest Dungeon first left its mark on the video game industry when it came out in 2016. The game, a gothic RPG, has you fighting the deadliest enemies 150 meters below the surface. Together with the members of your party, you should quickly eliminate your enemies using the appropriate skill and item combination.

The Darkest Dungeon’s gameplay mechanics allow you to customize each skill of your character. Your characters will get even stronger with the experience you get from the battles. The combat mechanics are comparable to turn based tactical gameplay. Obviously, in order to defeat the enemy, you will need to employ extraordinary tactics.

Are you a fan of dark, fantasy RPGs like Darkest Dungeon? Then take a look at the Dark and Darker playtest dates, which are scheduled to start in 2023. You might discover a new game that you will like.

7. Persona 5

  • Release Date: September 15, 2016
  • Developers: P-Studio
  • Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
  • Genre: Role-playing, social simulation

We are here with the latest game of the Persona series, one of the favorite role-playing games of anime lovers. Persona 5 is ranked 7th on our list due to its turn based combat and turn based strategy gameplay mechanics. It is very popular thanks to its socialization-based playstyle and the mechanics that let us navigate the dungeons.

In particular, it is possible to roam freely on the game map. You try to destroy the monsters you encounter while walking around by playing through turn based combat mechanics. Of course, you also have a great team at the same time. Just like our main character, The Joker, other members have skills. In short, if you like different gameplay and anime visuals, don’t forget to give Persona 5 a try. In addition, we would like to remind you that Persona 5 is one of the best turn based RPG Switch games.

6. Final Fantasy IX

  • Release Date: July 7, 2000
  • Developers: Square Enix
  • Platform: PlayStation, iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
  • Genre: Role-playing turn based games

Is it possible to forget about the Final Fantasy series when talking about the best turn based RPG games? Of course not. Here is Final Fantasy IX, designed by Square Enix in 2000. The Final Fantasy IX game starts with you exploring the entire map with a character. You move through towns, dungeons, and all areas on the map. You can move freely as there is no movement restriction.

Like other turn based RPGs, Final Fantasy IX has skills and items that can be changed. The attributes of your character can be used against a variety of enemies. Because they are turn based, combat mechanics are not difficult to understand. However, we would like to remind you once more that Final Fantasy IX might not appeal to you if you don’t like games that look old. However, it’s still something to consider.

5. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

  • Release Date: July 29, 2017
  • Developers: Square Enix
  • Platform: Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 4, Windows, Nintendo Switch Xbox, One Stadia
  • Genre: Role-playing turn based games

The competition is getting fierce as our list of the best turn based RPG games nears its conclusion. Now comes Dragon Quest IX. This game is great because of the variety of characters, original scenarios, great music, and 3D graphics options that transition from 2D. When we look at the story of the game, we come across a young boy, who is about to become an adult, living in a poor village. Unexpected events happen to our hero, who wants to go on an adventure with his childhood friends, and a magnificent adventure begins. Our young heroes travel the world to solve the mysteries of the past and destroy the enemies who want to hunt them.

Dragon Quest XI’s traditional turn based combat system is perfect for fans of cutting-edge graphics. You will be very impressed by each character’s distinctive gameplay. A game where you have to apply the best possible strategies with spells, melee attacks, and potions awaits you.

4. Divinity: Original Sin 2

  • Release Date: 14 September 2017
  • Developers: Larian Studios
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, Nintendo Switch, iPad
  • Genre: Role-playing turn based games

We are here with Divinity: Original Sin 2, one of the best PC turn based RPG games. It is possible to play this game online, which swept the gaming industry together with its first game, Divinity: Original Sin, in 2014. Due to the gameplay mechanics, you can determine the statistics, race, and origin story of your characters in the game. You can choose three team members who can help you. At the same time, these team members you choose can be played by your friends thanks to the multiplayer mode.

According to its story, we start a game centuries after the wars. You have to survive in this fantasy world where wizards are declared criminals, and you have to reach the end of the game by destroying your enemies. We think it’s a game that anyone can enjoy, as the image quality is modern.

3. Fire Emblem Awakening

  • Release Date: April 19, 2012
  • Developers: Intelligent Systems, Nintendo SPD
  • Platform: Nintendo 3DS
  • Genre: Tactical role-playing

Fire Emblem Awakening is without a doubt the best turn based RPG Switch game in the Nintendo universe. Fire Emblem Awakening is a Nintendo-exclusive tactical RPG war game.

When we take a closer look at its gameplay, we see 3D graphics during combat while still navigating the map in 2D. For instance, when you adjust your characters’ positions while looking at a 2D screen, we switch to a 3D gameplay where we can use skills to attack enemies. As we are used to it, the level and strength of our characters increase as we win battles. Naturally, as you progress through the game, stronger enemies will appear. To defeat those stronger enemies, you will need to put strategies and tactics into action.

2. Dwarf Fortress

  • Release Date: August 8, 2006 – Remake: December 6, 2022
  • Developers: Bay 12 Games
  • Platform: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Genre: Construction and management simulation, roguelike, survival

We would like to tell you about a masterpiece that just debuted on December 6, 2022. When it debuted on Steam, Dwarf Fortress succeeded in capturing the attention of a significant portion of the gaming community. We can say that it has left its mark on the game world thanks to its colony sim, pixel graphics, simulation, and turn based combat mechanics.

Please don’t let the quality of the graphics fool you in this game, where you set up your own colony. This game, in which you try to establish your own underground colony, is the ancestor of all city-building simulations. Everything in the game is about the behavior and perspective of your characters. For example, if a deadly enemy is attacking your castle, the game mechanics are not what sent it to you. Someone in your group has to have a past grudge against that deadly enemy. That’s why everything in the game happens with decisions and emotions. For example, even your dwarves getting emotional while drinking in a tavern can affect your gameplay mechanics.

best turn based games dwarf fortress
best turn based games dwarf fortress

If you’ve heard of the game RimWorld before, with much more detailed and fantastically deep stories, Dwarf Fortress is definitely the best turn based RPG. However, we did not have a chance to split the first place between the two games, so we added Dwarf Fortress to the second place. But you should know that the place this game really deserves is definitely the first place 🙂

1. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

  • Release Date: August 29, 2017
  • Developers: Firaxis Games
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux, macOS, Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Turn-based tactics games

In our opinion, Dwarf Fortress and XCOM 2: War of the Chosen should have ranked first on the best turn based RPG games list. That’s why we wanted to add XCOM 2 in the first place. XCOM 2 is a strategy-based game set in the distant future. In our story, the Earth is invaded by aliens, and we manage a defense team known as XCOM. Our main goal is to protect the earth from invasion and completely destroy the aliens. Accordingly, we can enlarge our team, recruit new warriors, and improve existing warriors. One of the great things about XCOM 2 is that you can customize your team’s characters, down to their weapons.

While you strengthen your team, your enemies have also become stronger with the new DLC. To deal with new enemies like The Chosen and Specter, you’ll need strong strategies. If you are thinking of playing XCOM 2, good luck in advance 🙂

Avatar for Sergen Çelik

Although years have passed, I still continue my adventure of RPG and Strategy games passionately, which started with World of Warcraft. And combining this passion with my editorial career, I try to prepare the best video game guides for you.

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