Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Nintendo’s flagship Switch strategy game, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the most ambitious and technically impressive title in the series. Interspersing its finely honed turn-based fantasy tactics with fully voiced story scenes, there’s nothing else that quite matches it.
And although anime characters and artwork don’t suit some players, we have to recommend trying it before judging it! The author of these lines isn’t a big fan of anime as well, but the turn-based combat and well-written characters will make it up. Of course, if you prefer a real-time strategy instead, you can sit this one out.
See Fire Emblem: Three Houses at Nintendo Store
Into the Breach
From the maker of FTL: Faster Than Light comes this astonishingly good follow-up. It’s a dark take on turn-based strategy, where survival is your main aim above such quaintly noble concepts as ‘victory’. You have pixelated isometric tiles that just scream strategy no matter how you look at it.
Aside from that, you can plan ahead and work for the objectives ahead, while having a goal in mind. At the end of each enemy turn, you can make your move and hope for the best. Like chess, but you’re controlling mechs and the enemy has alien forces. The difference is that the grid spots can disappear here taking down everything that was on them permanently, and you get special abilities. So while it’s a bit like chess, it’s still a very interesting tactics simulation that will test your brain matter nicely.
Read our Into the Breach review if you’re curious to learn more about it!
See Into the Breach at Nintendo Store
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
The first time you realise you can play Civilization VI on your ickle Switch is one of those what a time to be alive moments. The daddy of 4X strategy games plays rather well on Nintendo’s console, too. If you are unaware of the Civilization series, you take the role of a ruler in a certain country and become one of its greatest historical leaders. For example Cleopatra in Egypt, Caesar in Rome, or Alexander the Great, well, you get the point. Then you start developing every aspect of your country, including scientific research, culture, military, and urban development.
Of course, there is a lot of diplomacy involved, and it gets spiced up with religion as well as natural disasters. It’s a wonderful blob, making it one of the best 4X strategy games for Switch and the rest of the platforms as well.
Don’t forget to read our Sid Meier’s Civilization VI review if you’re keen to learn more.
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A bit of an Intelligent Systems tribute, this one. Take Fire Emblem’s fantasy setting and political wrangling, mix in the pep and charm of Advance Wars, and you have Wargroove – a delightful turn-based strategy megamix.
Wargroove looks fantastic and if you are a fan of the classical turn-based genre, this game’s a gem. Oh, and it’s worth mentioning it has multiplayer too! So if you’re eager to show your friends just how good of a Commander you are, make sure to check this one out. We even have a Wargroove review in case you’d like more information.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
It’s an unlikely match-up, Nintendo’s mascot and Ubisoft’s… rabitty… creatures. And in a strategy game, of all things. But this team-based team-up really works, with a surprisingly tactical edge and adorable presentation.
It is as great as any other Mario title (no surprise there, right?), but this one has an edge over the others through its sheer amount of fun and tactical puzzles that sprinkle the way. If you like games like XCom, this is exactly like it, but with your beloved characters from the most well-known Nintendo world. Characters on a tactical grid have movement points, they can hide behind a total of partial cover and use their abilities to annihilate enemies. It’s a simple system that works well.
Oh, and don’t forget to read our Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle review either!
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Bad North is one of the best things to happen to the genre in a while, taking the real-time strategy basics and honing them for intuitive play. There’s a little tower defence here too, as you defend your islands from the Viking hordes.
We have a bunch of Bad North tips and tricks at your disposal, so make sure to check them out if you’re willing to adventure into this roguelite masterpiece.
We already explained that you’ll defend little islands from evil Viking invasion, (I mean they are portrayed with black colour), and you’ll have your little army that fights on their own terms. All you have to do during the course of the battle is set them up accordingly and move them around if needed. It doesn’t sound very interesting, but it will grip you from the very first moment.
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XCOM 2 Collection
One of the finest team-based strategy games comes to Switch. XCOM 2 Collection gives you an incredibly generous package filled with lavish 3D tactical battles, even if the graphics have had to be scaled back a few notches.
If you are not familiar with the setting of XCOM, let’s go through it swiftly. Aliens are invading the Earth, and as the governments fall they are looking to seal the fate of all humanity. You are leading the last remaining resistance that won’t give up so easily, trying to drive the aliens back while barely surviving their constant attacks and pressure. Although it looks like a twist of a bad movie and a total cliché it’s not.
XCOM 2 will bring up the constant unease as you always lack something and your decisions can have dire consequences, leaving you with the game-over screen before you know it. Try it if you are a fan of tactical strategy games. Or read our XCOM 2 Collection review if you’re not sure yet.
Download XCOM 2 Collection
The essence of Loop Hero is as follows: the main character independently wanders along a looped path, in which each circle is measured by a camp with a fire on which the character is healed. On the way, he fights all the monsters he meets without your participation. You can only change his equipment, and later choose skills getting levels.
In addition to items and experience, monsters drop cards with terrain that can fill the black void around the hero: mountains, fields, rivers, forests, and temples. After some time, the fire will change to the lair of the boss, which must be defeated in order to proceed to the next act of the story.
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SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition
Showing that turn-based strategy doesn’t have to be dry and remote, SteamWorld Heist gives you up-close side-scrolling battles between a memorable cast of clanking automatons. As funny as it is tense.
With quirky characters and a dark futuristic approach, you can enjoy both high-quality visuals and gameplay at any moment. Running a robot squad through a steampunk environment hasn’t been done this well before. You’ll fall in love with the world setting right away.
You should really check it out, especially if you love 2D platformers with strategic elements and fun interactions. We highly recommend it!
Download SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden – Deluxe Edition
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden – Deluxe Edition brings a little twist of something different to the team-based strategy genre. The game’s Swedish role-playing game origins give a little extra flavour to some solid XCOM-like battles.
In the post-apocalyptic world, you will encounter a bunch of interesting friends and foes, and that will give you a lot of room for freedom. You can assemble a team however you like, and try to carry out various battles depending on your needs. It’s unique in that approach and the fact that you can skill up each character on your team gives you a plethora of choices. Did we mention that you’ll actually play with duck and pig mutants, as well as other interesting combos? Feels like a deranged fairy tale, this whole setting, I tell ya!
Download Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden – Deluxe Edition
The Banner Saga
You can play the entire Banner Saga series on Switch, and we’d encourage you to start from the beginning. But narrative adventure, part team-based strategy game, and with a memorable Nordic fantasy art style, it’s a thing of hardbitten beauty.
In all three parts of this beautiful saga, you’ll follow the stories of different characters in the potential Ragnarok setting. Each of them has its own goal, personality and skills. Your choices will have a meaningful impact on the rest of the story, so choose wisely.
A strategic part will set you on the battle grid as figures, as well as your opponents. Every character can take up a different space, and has its own speed, and defence – you get the point. It’s a real chess game, in a way. Real fans of RPG strategy games shouldn’t miss out on this wonderful story on Switch.
Download The first part of Banner Saga
An epic PC city builder that’s been expertly shrink-wrapped for Nintendo’s console, with thoughtfully rejigged menus and streamlined systems. It’s the ultimate way to build and run your very own banana republic on Switch.
As in any other Tropico, you’ll take the role of a ruler of the tropical paradise island and decide what are you going to make out of it. Whether you’ll rule as a dictator and try to repress any form of freedom to try and have a firm grip over every citizen, or will you be revered as the avatar of freedom and give them a choice to live their life as they like and prefer is up to you. Either way, prepare for riots, management of the economy, freedom (or repression), diplomacy, and a lot of funny random events and comments from random citizens and your right hand, Penultimo!
Tropico is a simulation strategy game for Switch that will give you a lot of fun playtime! We have a Tropico 6 review too – in case you want to know more about the game!
Download Tropico 6
In Crying Suns you have to explore the space from your very own ship, deal with various anomalies and try to forge your own story. It looks fantastic, and its pixelated but highly detailed approach makes it one of our favourites of all time.
From hundreds of possible events and countless interactions, the procedurally-generated encounters make this title not only one of the best strategy games on Switch right now, but probably of all time. And can you blame us? After playing Crying Suns for just a few minutes, you can easily realise it has so much replay potential. Similar to the other title we mentioned above, Into the Breach!
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An RTS game with a Scandinavian tinge, Northgard is an altogether smaller scale, more personal 4X experience. And the best part of it all? It works well on Switch.
Northgard is full of challenges, fires, destruction, and wild animals attacking you, so even if you’re not about to die from a lack of food just yet, you might get killed in the process of getting it. It is truly strategy-focused, and every small – and big decision plays a role in your survival long-term. Read our Northgard review to get a better idea of that, but make sure to give it a try if you want one of the most strategy-focused and challenging Switch games.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a fantastic RPG with a turn-based combat system. Like any other RPG, this one has many items and skills that you can find and unlock. Become the most powerful warrior and destroy your enemies on the battlefield. What puts this game into the strategic category is the combat that’s really challenging. Your tactics will decide if the fight is victorious, and there are a lot of different mechanics with elements and traps that you can use to even the odds.
Bonus is an unbelievably exciting story with many memorable characters and unpredictable plot twists. It is a world full of secrets with an incredible atmosphere, music, and graphics. For those of you who like reading books, we would highly recommend this one, as the storyline is epic.
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Isometric stealth par excellence, with a memorable comic book sci-fi universe and a pronounced focus on stealth. Invisible, Inc looks and plays a little bit different.
Since it is created by Klei Entertainment, you can expect them to know a thing or two about survival and a viable tactical approach, given that they’re the creators of Don’t Starve. Invisible, Inc, while it might not be a survival per se, it has strategy at its core and that makes it truly awesome.
Download Invisible, Inc
A tactical roguelike with a distinctive Lovecraftian aesthetic and a correspondingly dark story. Its turn-based battles are frantically punishing, and the monochromatic approach with red accents makes the visuals both dark, beautiful and somehow futuristic.
That’s quite a feat, and we found it to be also pretty engaging when it comes to combat. It’s a beautiful game that takes the word ‘challenge’ to a whole new level. If you don’t struggle too much, it won’t take you too long to beat it. Is it the best Switch strategy game? Maybe not, but it’s definitely up there among the top.
The Escapists 2
Flipping the script on Prison Architect, The Escapists 2 places you in the crisp boiler suit of the freshly incarcerated, then tasks you with finding a way to escape. Don’t let your daily duties slide, though, if you want to avoid attention.
You are trying to escape prison, as you might be able to tell from the start, but it’s not all fun and games. You have a rather tactical title ahead, making it pretty tough to just dig your way out without anyone noticing. You’ll find it easy to fall in love with The Escapists 2, and even time and time again after a playthrough you might want to go back and play some more.
Download The Escapists 2
This War of Mine: Complete Edition
This War of Mine: Complete Edition is one of the grittier, more downbeat titles you’ll find on a Nintendo platform. But it’s also really good, a side-on slice of survival strategy set in a post-apocalyptic world. It puts you in the perspective of a civilian in a war-ridden land.
You have to basically survive through hell – that’s very simply put, given how many ordeals you have to go through. It’s a dark game that isn’t really afraid to show its true colours. It will pose existential and moral questions that you as the players have to answer, and based on that you’ll be faced with the result of all of your choices. No pressure at all!
Download This War of Mine: Complete Edition
Dungeon of the Endless
A unique roguelike that combines dungeon crawling with tower defence elements. Transport a crystal through randomly arranged sci-fi levels, fending off enemy waves. It sounds simple enough, but in reality, it’s as close as it can be to the truth.
Dungeon of the Endless is rather merciless, and you can easily miss the oh-so-obvious enemy that lies just ahead. That will easily result in your death time and time again if you haven’t planned ahead. It’s truly something unique and beautiful, and the colourful pixelated graphics work wonders for it.
Even in 2024, Dungeon of the Endless is one of the best strategy games for Switch and not only. It’s got all the ingredients for a timeless (or should I say endless?) and successful title. We have a Dungeon of the Endless review for iOS if you’re interested in reading more though!
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Tactics Ogre: Reborn
Many years after the original we got a Reborn, or rather reworked version of Tactics Ogre. It brings updated graphics and a new game design, but it doesn’t move too far away from the original. Combat is now quicker, there are autosave, and in general, a lot of quality of life improvements.
Although there are elements of RPG, combat in Tactics Ogre is turn-based and very strategic, and that’s where you’ll spend most of your hours in this game. Although it is grid-based combat, higher ground means a lot here, giving it the feel of a 3D game. What’s more interesting, each class can pick certain skills, and they vary a lot. Meaning, you can have a few characters that have the same class, but each of them would play a completely different role. This brings a lot of diversity of play, and a lot of replayability as well, because you’ll always want to test out something that was previously skipped.
Download Tactics Ogre: Reborn
If you haven’t heard of Worms in the last two decades, you must’ve lived under the ground (bad pun, I know). Worms W.M.D. is another title in the series of mayhem that started back in the ’90s on Amiga. Developers have proven that you can make a fun game and make it relevant three decades later with a minimal improvement of graphics and a couple of new features.
Worms W.M.D. continues the tradition of the great turn-based tactical game where you are in charge of the team of worms, looking to annihilate the other team of worms. You’ll have a huge arsenal of miscellaneous gadgets and weapons at your disposal, including the Holy Hand Grenade, Super Sheep and other destructive tools that are the trademark of this funny title. The newest additions are vehicles like choppers and mech suits. Our suggestion is to get a group of friends and have a hilarious and delightful evening. That’s how worms are supposed to be played, anyway.
Download Worms W.M.D.
Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock
It’s about that time again, the time when we just start praising Battlestar Galactica once again. If you’re not sure what to expect, this is a surprisingly decent (if belated) video game adaptation of the cult noughties show, with suitably tense tactical battles and agonising resource management.
You have a tactical space game that looks beautiful and plays accordingly – essentially, it’s similar to EVE and other tactical space strategies, but for Switch. You’ll lead a fleet of ships, trying to defend from the incoming attack of Cylon faction that will try to annihilate you. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of ships at your exposal, from light and speedy corvettes to the juggernaut like Battlestar.
Download Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock
PixelJunk Monsters 2
You can always trust Q Games and its sprawling PixelJunk series to deliver a quirky take on any genre it turns its hand to. PixelJunk Monsters 2 is a lovely little tower defence title that gives you a singular hero to control and a lovely tilt-shift world to defend.
If you’re into games with adorable junk monsters, this is as good as it gets. It looks adorable, and even monsters look very harmless but don’t be deceived by the looks. On the hardest difficulty, the game will sweat you nicely, and it will be easy to fail a level. However, you won’t even be able to unlock the top difficulty until you complete the game, which will be a good tutorial for what’s coming!
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Just because it’s last on the list doesn’t take away one bit from the ingenuity of Battle Brothers. For those of you that aren’t familiar with this PC port, you’ll be leading a band of fearless…okay, not so fearless…nearly immortal…okay, very mortal…hm. Let’s be fair and tell you that you’ll be leading a band of mercenaries, where each member can die in any fight, and will have to be replaced by another. So don’t bond yourself with characters, you’ll cry a lot.
Even though graphics isn’t something to write home about, every character is clearly visible, and so is their weapon and armour, so you’ll get used to it relatively quickly. Music, on the other hand, is fantastic, especially with the Complete Edition where all of the DLCs are included.
A sandbox environment that is randomly generated each time gives this strategy game replayability worthy of praise. It’s easy to find players that spend thousands of hours playing it, which really tells a lot about it. However, we do have to note that it’s exceptionally brutal and hard, so leave your kids out of this one.
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