Best Base Defense Games


  • Base defense games combine elements of base building from RTS games with waves of enemies to defend against. They require resource management and building defenses.
  • The best base defense games offer unique visuals and innovative gameplay mechanics, standing out in a saturated genre.
  • Each base defense game mentioned in the article has its own distinct style and gameplay elements, providing a unique experience for players.

The base building and resource management mechanics of popular RTS games and city-builders are core design pillars of those genres. However, by tasking the player to defend against constant waves of enemies using elements from tower defense and survival games, the broad genre of “base defense” was born.


9 Most Unique Tower Defense Games

Players in the mood for creative tower defense games should take a look at these examples.

A base defense game often combines elements of base building (commonly found in RTS games and city-builders) with consistent waves of enemies to defend from. In these games, players often manage resources, build defenses, and manage an economy.

Updated on February 10, 2024, by Harry Ted Sprinks: The base-building and base-defense genres are often packed with high replay value and easy-to-learn gameplay mechanics. As a result, the genre is relatively saturated. However, plenty of games manage to stand out with their distinct visuals and innovative gameplay mechanics. The best base defense games, such as the recent Thronefall and games such as The Riftbreaker, come with new ideas and their own distinct style, offering a unique experience for veterans of the genre.

10 They Are Billions – Zombie Survival Meets Base Defense

Steam User Rating: 85%

They Are Billions gameplay

They Are Billions

June 18, 2019

Numantian Games

As one of the most popular base defense games, They Are Billions is a steampunk-themed strategy game in which players must build a base and defend it from truly massive hordes of undead. As well as the traditional defenses usually found in base defense games, They Are Billions includes a handful of units the player can train and control in real-time to help defend their base.

They Are Billions features a campaign with over forty missions, but the game really shines in its randomly generated survival mode. They Are Billions is a harsh and unforgiving experience that can sometimes feel repetitive, but its impressive hordes of zombies make for a real spectacle, especially when they’re being mowed down by a well-designed defense.

9 Diplomacy Is Not An Option – Defending A Castle From Hordes Of Enemies

Steam User Rating: 85%

Diplomacy Is Not An Option gameplay

Diplomacy Is Not An Option

February 9, 2022

Door 407

Diplomacy Is Not An Option has players building a sprawling castle and defending it from hordes of enemies. The enemy sieges are made up of thousands of enemies that react when hit, with catapult stones and arrows sending enemies flying with fully simulated physics.

Diplomacy Is Not An Optiontasks players with managing food and resources, burying their dead, training units, and preparing an organized defense before the enemies show up in droves. Diplomacy Is Not An Option also features magical spells, RTS elements, and an endless mode.

8 KeeperRL – Dungeon Keeper Meets Traditional Rogue-Like

Steam User Rating: 86%

KeeperRL gameplay


March 31, 2015

Michal Brzozowski

KeeperRL combines the unforgiving gameplay of old-school classic roguelikes with the base-building and defense mechanics of games like Dungeon Keeper. In KeeperRL, players control units, gather and manage resources, and build a base to defend from other factions while also controlling their “Keeper” and trying to keep them alive; if the Keeper dies, the player loses for good.

The combat in KeeperRL works very much like the turn-based combat of old-school roguelikes, while the base building and colony-sim elements of the game play out in real-time. KeeperRL allows players to invade and wipe out other factions through careful army building and management, but those factions will often come back to raid the player if they aren’t wiped out completely.

7 Ratropolis – Roguelite Deckbuilder Meets Base-Builder

Steam User Rating: 88%

Ratropolis - Gameplay


December 22, 2020

Cassel Games

This unique roguelite game combines a variety of genres and gameplay mechanics to create a distinctive base-defense experience. While Ratropolis is primarily a deck-builder, it tasks players with managing and playing their cards to build and defend a small base from waves of enemies.

Thanks to its fast-paced gameplay and deck-building mechanics, Ratropolis has a high replay value, allowing players to try out a variety of strategies. With over five hundred cards in the game, ranging from buildings and military units all the way to economic cards, Ratropolis features plenty of variety that keeps things engaging throughout.

6 – Abstract Base Defense About Building Supply Chains

Steam User Rating: 89% - Gameplay

  • Platform(s): PC
  • Released: 2019
  • Developer(s): Tobias Springer

Developed by the creator of Shapez, is an abstract base-defense game that may not look like much. However, beneath its simplistic surface is a deep and strategic game about building efficient supply chains to defend an ever-growing base from zombies.

The game’s structure is simple: survive as long as possible against endless waves of enemies. Players will construct and upgrade defensive towers, mine crystals, and build supply chains in order to feed ammunition to those towers.

5 The Riftbreaker – An Action-RPG & Base-Building Survival Game

Steam User Rating: 91%

battle in The Riftbreaker Prologue

The Riftbreaker

October 14, 2021

EXOR Studios

This base-building survival game features action-RPG elements, tasking players with building a base on an exotic alien planet and defending it from a variety of nasty creatures with defenses and a physical playable character in the form of a powerful mech.


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The Riftbreaker is a visually stunning indie title that manages to pull off a careful blend of dynamic action-packed combat and strategic base building. The game features a full campaign to play, as well as a classic survival mode with randomized maps.

4 Kingdoms And Castles – Defending A Miniature Kingdom From Castles & Vikings

Steam User Rating: 93%

Kingdoms And Castles gameplay

Kingdoms and Castles

July 20, 2017

Lion Shield, LLC

This city-building sim has players building a medieval fantasy town and expanding it into a sprawling city of happy citizens while defending it from vicious Viking raids and devastating dragon attacks. Both the Vikings and the dragons pose two very different threats, from pillaging the town and kidnapping citizens to burning down entire sections of the Kingdom.

In Kingdoms And Castles, players don’t just have to worry about building defenses and armies, but also about the happiness of their people and the economy of their Kingdom. Every defense needs to be manned by a villager, and that villager needs to be paid. This strategic puzzle of expanding the Kingdom and managing resources while keeping everyone happy and defenses manned is a constant juggle that keeps Kingdoms And Castles engaging for a good while.

3 Mindustry – Tower Defense Meets Automation

Steam User Rating: 95%

Mindustry gameplay


September 26, 2019


This addictive game combines factory/base building with army building, tower defense, and real-time strategy mechanics. In Mindustry, players build factories in order to gather resources, make ammunition, and feed that ammunition into defenses that protect the factories from increasingly difficult waves of enemies.

Mindustry has players building an abundance of conveyor belts and production lines in order to create defenses and build (and rebuild) armies in order to survive. This combination of factory building, automation, and tower defense/RTS makes Mindustry a challenging experience that focuses on careful planning and micromanagement.

2 Thronefall – A Minimalist RTS Game Meets Tower Defense

Steam User Rating: 97%

Thronefall desert level


August 2, 2023


This minimalist base defense game features a cartoon flat-color art style and brilliantly simplistic gameplay that’s both highly accessible and mechanically deep. Thronefall combines tower defense and RTS mechanics to create a unique base defense game in which players fight off waves of enemies with a combination of their playable character and the units that they’ve built.

In Thronefall, players have minimal control over their units, but the controls are so intuitive that it makes micromanaging them easy. Economy plays a large part in Thronefall, with the longevity of a player’s defense usually boiling down to how well they can handle their little Kingdom’s economy. Although Thronefall is a very accessible game, it contains an abundance of difficulty modifiers that help bring extra challenges for those who are more experienced.

1 RimWorld – A Colony-Sim With Brutal Raids

Steam User Rating: 98%

A player's colony in RimWorld


October 17, 2018

Ludeon Studios

This highly popular colony-sim heavily revolves around building up a base and defending it from constant enemy raids and neighboring factions. Although RimWorld also focuses on building and managing the colony itself, some of the game’s greatest threats are its various raids.


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RimWorld features a small array of defenses that can be unlocked through research, but the success of a player’s defense often comes down to how well they have planned and constructed their base, as well as careful micromanagement and equipment allocation of colonists.


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