5 Most Realistic Tank Games in 2024 (For PC & Console)

Most Realistic Tank Games

Ever been curious about what it’s like to sit in a giant metal can while being bombarded with explosives in World War II?

Well, it’s a weird thing to want, but luckily, quite a few game developers had the same thought. We’re far past the days of turn-based tank blasting now, though, and these days, games turn up the realism a little too far at times. 

Hopefully, tanks have seatbelts because you might want to strap in for some of these. There are even a few free ones to get started with, so hold on tight and blast away with these realistic tank games!

5. War Thunder

War Thunder

So real that the United States military has had top secret documents and vehicle blueprints leaked by the War Thunder official discord. That wasn’t just a one-off thing either, happening NINE TIMES in 2023 alone.

It’s oddly a testament to just how far the game goes in realism, along with how weird MMO games can be. 

War Thunder will put you in the seat of some of the most legendary tanks in history alongside planes and warships. The tank battles are surprisingly fast and furious, too, with a focus on World War II and Cold War-era units.

The vehicles themselves are incredibly detailed, and each has its own little quirks to movement and weaponry, just like the real counterparts. There’s a lot to love, with a ton of content being added constantly and realistic enough to scare the United States military.

Just be warned, you can easily pour as much money into War Thunder as the United States does into the military budget. The free-to-play system is in full effect, and while the initial leveling is fine, the grind gets rough later on.

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

4. Tank Mechanic Simulator

Tank Mechanic Simulator

Sometimes, it’s nice to have a more relaxed experience instead of an explosive one. Tank Mechanic Simulator has a nice, laid-back zen to it where you’ll restore classic World War I and II tanks from scrap. 

You’re going to oversee the full restoration process of eleven different tanks from the two World Wars, completely stripping them down to parts. It’s one thing to take it apart, and you’ll have to blast through a lot of rust before getting into the inner workings that control everything.

This game is definitely built towards those who have an appreciation of the engineering that went into these weapons of war long before there was advanced artillery like today.

The bonus is that it’s pretty damn cheap for a decent amount of gameplay. A lot like the other mechanic sims, it’s relaxing to turn on at the end of the day and just sandblast a Panzer clean.

After you restore each tank, take it out for a test run in the shooting range.

Play on: PC

3. World of Tanks: Blitz

World of Tanks Blitz

A more arcade-oriented form of World of Tanks, one of the biggest war games going right now, Blitz takes a different approach. Over three hundred real-life tanks and infantry vehicles are available for all out 7v7 matches. Things will get very hectic, very fast.

Realism in World of Tanks: Blitz is top-notch when it comes to the actual tanks involved. The game is getting constant updates as well, with more being added on top of already deep gameplay. That said, this is definitely more for the casual player who wants a realistic tank performance without a realistic recreation of the battles.

You’ll be able to get your main tank and replace parts as needed while also upgrading your crew skills to match up with others. Everything from pre-WWI to today is here for more explosions than a Michael Bay movie. 

Again, there’s the pay-to-win aspect that can make or break for a lot of people. That said, it’s not nearly as much of a grind as War Thunder and tries to keep everything balanced with an equal playing field for those who don’t spend money.

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

2. Gunner, Heat, PC!

Gunner, Heat, PC!

Meant as a throwback to the early tank sims of the 2000s with modern sensibilities, Gunner, Heat, PC! is killing it so far. The game is still in early access, and it can show with the environmental graphics being a little iffy at times. 

That said, when it comes to gameplay, GHPC (as the devs call it) delivers an in-depth tank sim that still manages to be fun. The ballistics and physics of firing long-range artillery are some of the most realistic yet easy to use that I’ve tried.

Managing to line up a good shot on an enemy unit just right, accounting for the shell drop and wind in modern tanks, delivers such a satisfying explosion. It’s still expanding, too, with a single-player campaign and AI battles that you can play out as you want.

A lot of the game relies on the simulation aspects and quick thinking, but there’s a great tactical element backing it. The devs describe it best by saying they wanted a realistic tank game, and since nobody else was making it they jumped at the chance.

The labor of love really shows, and constant updates are improving the game every couple of months. 

Play on: PC

1. World of Tanks

World of Tanks

World of Tanks is what you would get taking the tank modes for War Thunder but removing any real-life military espionage. Even then, that’s probably only because World of Tanks takes a historical instead of a modern approach.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of tanks to choose from, though, with models from pre-WWI to Cold War era around the world. Fight using Chinese, American, and Soviet (plus Australian!) tanks throughout ever-expanding maps like Siberia and the Western Front of WWII.

Unlike Blitz, the World of Tanks base version focuses on more large-scale battles that require more tactical thinking than just “explode everything”. It takes a certain amount of nuance and forward-thinking to find the others before they find you. 

World of Tanks leans hard into making sure the tanks and infantry units are as close to the original thing as possible. It really shows, and other than the paint jobs, everything is rendered with amazing historical accuracy.

There’s even a museum mode to look at them more in detail without worrying about exploding in the process.

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

About Ross Tyson 23 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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