Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is set to release December 4th 2018 and it got me to thinking. What other turn-based games do I enjoy? Honestly, I never really gave it too much thought. When you look at the landscape of these games whether it be strategy, RPG etc. there are so many good ones to play that it would almost be a mistake to make a “My top 5 turn-based games” list.
So I don’t want this to be that kind of list. Instead, why don’t we talk about some of the games that made a lasting impression on me and not in any particular order?
Number one on the list would have to be…oh wait did you really think I wasn’t going to make a list of these games? I think you should know better by now.
This is the Police 2
Now I understand if you think I am crazy for putting this on the list ahead of so many other great titles but hear me out on this one. Released in September 2018 by Weappy Studio, not only was This is the Police 2 a stellar sequel but the turn-based combat is incredibly well done. With this dark and gritty crime game you get to feel the intense situations as you coordinate your officers whether it be in a siege situation or a shootout from an ambush. It works fantastic and couple that with what I think is one of the best story lines ever and you get a great game. When you put down this game for the first time you will leave with an urge to step back into that role and head back out on patrol.
South Park: The Stick of Truth/The Fractured but Whole
This is my confession right here, I loved this game and the sequel. Both of these games are classic in my opinion. We get a fantastic game that is followed up with a sequel that is just as good if not better. The humor of South Park might not be for some but the turn-based style of gameplay cannot be denied for how awesome it played out. When I played the first one I knew I was in for a treat with the RPG elements and when the second released they took it to another level. There are so many ways to customize your character to fit your play style that it will keep you busy for hours. When you take a look at The Fractured but Whole and how they implemented being able to position yourself across the board during combat was pure genius. Now I didn’t say they came up with that strategy, I just have to give them credit for making a bold move with their game. I couldn’t imagine where they could take another game seeing how far out there the first two were but never doubt Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
The Banner Saga
The first in a trilogy The Banner Saga made me realize there are dire consequences falling in love with characters. Created by Stoic Studio and released back in January 2014 this game carved out a nice little spot in my heart. The Banner Saga is my favorite Indie title of all time and not just because of the beautiful artwork. The turn-based combat is one of the best you will get in a game and every move can lead to your last. There is no forgiveness in this game and there is no escaping what it will do to you emotionally. Fighting against the evil dredge is one thing in the game but fighting to keep the peace between Varl and man is just as important. You must keep hope alive as some greater evil seems to be eating the world into darkness. The Banner Saga plays on this really well almost as if toying with your emotions. However, the real beauty is the chess like strategy you will play against your enemies. Position with precision is what I like to think when I play this game because one wrong move and everyone will perish.
Released all the way back in February of 1998 Xenogears was one of the first games that blew my mind as a kid. I didn’t completely understand the religious aspect of the game back then but it definitely didn’t deter me from the storyline. I loved the characters in this game and it sucked me in for a lifelong fan of RPGs and turn-based combat games. The thing that Xenogears did so well was being able to combat inside a “Mech” or just with your normal self. It was cool, it felt cutting edge with upgrading the Mech’s and at times I had no idea what the hell was going on. It was that kind of game. To this day seeing Fei Fong Wong on the cover brings back fond memories of attacking in those giant mechanical bots, it was badass on another level. With a great combat system, cool abilities and items to equip, it would be tragic if you missed out on this game. I would say make sure to pick this one up and play it if you haven’t already but that would require a PlayStation one.
Final Fantasy VII
Boom! Okay maybe not so much of a surprise here but yes this is my favorite Final Fantasy game along with one of my favorite characters of all time. Released way back in January of 1997, this along with Resident Evil 2 gave me my first glimpse of what it is like to fall in love with a franchise. I still remember my friend showing me this game and I was immediately hooked. I had to wait to get my own copy but when I did, I couldn’t put it down. It was the first game I bought a strategy guide for and probably the first game that made me cry. It was a thing of beauty to me, the RPG, the combat, the characters, the story and the music. It was the complete game. Customizing your load outs to fit how you wanted to play or picking which characters you thought would help the best really did on number on me back then. Using potions, items, skills, I mean it had it all and I be damned if it didn’t have some of the longest boss fights ever! If you are a fan of the Final Fantasy series you might have another favorite but for me this will always be the greatest. I went to the movies to see Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. I bought Final Fantasy VII Advent Children on release. I sat giddy as a child and watched Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV with my son. All of this because of that game I played way back in 1997. So today I raise the Buster Sword in honor of Cloud Strife and the game that would forever change the way I look at turn based combat games. Now excuse me while I hop on my Chocobo and head out for a race.
I hope you enjoyed the list and as always please feel free to share with us your most beloved turn-based combat games.