5 Best Turn-Based WW2 Games to Play in 2024

Hand-picked for you by a lifelong gamer!


War doesn’t always give the possibility of taking time to think, often forcing you to make decisions in the heat of the moment.

Thankfully there are a few options for turn-based games in the WW2 space, making it a little bit easier. It’s always better to have the strategic confidence of a general going in instead of rushing through a war after all. 

Sure these won’t put you into the grit and dirt of World War II battles right on the ground. They will give you a damn good idea of what it’s like to call the shots from a strategic position though.

Make sure you survey the whole battlefield before making your decisions because these turn-based World War II games will punish you for the slightest misstep, much like real war.

5. Hearts of Iron IV

Hearts of Iron IV

The Hearts of Iron series has been keeping the RTS genre alive when it comes to WWII themes, and the fourth entry excels.

Take the spot of any country in the early days of the Second Great War, using your wits to navigate the diplomacy and battle knowledge needed to survive the horrors. 

It’s the typical Civilization approach to an RTS, but Hearts of Iron doesn’t really center around any of the culture building. Instead, you’ll take major time cultivating your country’s defenses while making diplomatic inroads with other countries.

The big difference with this is that it takes place in early World War II, so next to anything is possible depending on your decisions. Hell, you could just fast-track the development of a world-ending super-weapon if you want. 

Just keep in mind that for Hearts of Iron IV, there is a STEEP learning curve. It’s basically a cliff. That said, if you can stick with it and get the basics, you’ll spend hours trying the different campaigns with other countries, seeing who has the real advantage. 

Play on: PC

4. Company of Heroes 2

Company of Heroes 2

It might be a little weird to go with the option over a decade old instead of the most recent, but it’s really just the peak of the series.

Company of Heroes 2 is one of the best sequels of the last twenty years, improving on everything in amazing ways. Something Company of Heroes 3 doesn’t quite measure up to.

Campaigns in Company of Heroes 2 focus on the Eastern Front of World War II. The story is surprisingly great for an RTS, too, being retold through an interrogation of a former Soviet officer.

The RTS elements focus on a turn-based command style, but the twist is that you’ll eventually start having different conditions imposed. As the war rages further East, you’ll have to make advances under threat of fighting or being executed. War is hell, as they say.

Honestly, this one is a favorite not even for the gameplay but for just offering a different take on the WWII formula. It isn’t often you see war games from a different army perspective than the USA, and the turn-based combat makes the stakes much more real.

Play on: PC, Mobile

3. Call to Arms: Gates of Hell

Call to Arms Gates of Hell

Not to say those perspectives are less prevalent these days because some like Call to Arms: Gates of Hell have it in spades. This takes a later approach to the WWII conflict on the Eastern Front, pitting you as the Soviets trying to push into Germany.

Turn-based gameplay will have you setting up the front lines, pitting whatever dwindling supplies you have against the Axis powers. The gameplay for Gates of Hell is hellish in the most literal sense.

You’ll see the logistical disaster that the Soviets started to face at the end of the Second World War. Just make sure to keep your resources and troop morale in check while holding back the tide of fascism on the front lines. 

Call to Arms: Gates of Hell isn’t the one to pick if you’re new to RTS or turn-based strategy at all. This is grueling, deeply tactical combat that can easily overwhelm you in minutes at the slightest wrong command. Definitely not for the beginner strategist.

Play on: PC

2. Panzer Corps 2

Panzer Corps 2

Okay, so switching focus from just the limited view of the Eastern Front, Panzer Corps 2 shows the whole European Theater.

You’ll be able to choose from any power in the historical war, whether Axis or Ally and lead them to victory in the turn-based combat. 

Panzer Corps 2 gets massive credit for the sheer variety it allows in gameplay. Nearly every type of infantry, air, and sea vehicle is included, and the battles can become massive.

It takes a more Civilization approach with huge top-down maps, but the minimalism helps keep everything in order. Before long you’ll be covering the maps in supply lines and fighting along through Europe to take over or free other countries.

The single-player campaign is great, but the PVP scene is where Panzer Corps 2 shines. The community is thriving, too, so there’s always a game to find.

Just make sure to play single-player first, since it gives a pretty good intro to the ropes of the game. For casual RTS players, this is definitely the place to go for your WWII fix.

Play on: PC

1. Sudden Strike 4

Sudden Strike 4

Out of any RTS games that try to take a realistic approach to war, Sudden Strike 4 is the most accessible. It’s easy to just pick up and go, with a HUD that’s almost pristine compared to a lot of other turn-based games.

It’s a fantastic entry point for anyone, whether new to RTS or just the WWII genre.

You’ll hit the major battles of WWII, but with Sudden Strike 4 there’s a new general system implemented. You’ll choose from historical generals like Patton or Eisenhower, moving through the Eastern and Western Fronts in a single-player mode.

Call in airstrikes on tanks, occupy deserted buildings for ambushes, or just go all in with trench warfare and watch the war play out. Sudden Strike 4 allows for a lot more tactical playstyle, with the turn-based strategy being relatively loose and easy compared to others.

While I don’t come back to it as often as I used to, if I want a dose of RTS where I can jump in and out, it’s this one. The controls and everything are so straightforward it’s the perfect casual war strategy, especially for the WWII genre.

Play on: PC, PS4/5, Xbox One/Series

About Ross Tyson 22 Articles
Ross is a writer, gamer, parent, and tired adult. They’re from the Southeast US, and have been gaming since their first Sega Genesis as a kid. A parent, they often find themselves playing kids games these days, but makes time for plenty of RPGs, Roguelikes, and anything with the Kingdom Hearts name on it. They’re experts in Final Fantasy lore, and will try any anime game no matter how bad it may be.

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