The 12 Best Offline Strategy Games to Play

Get your strategy fix even when the internet's down

A female gamer playing an offline strategy video game on her computer.

 Petri Oeschger / Moment

Strategy video games provide gamers with the opportunity to really delve into a game's world and characters and discover how certain aspects of them work. Some of the best strategy titles encourage resource and people management while others explore city building or wartime battle technique and planning.

Many strategy games often require that they be played online, or at least have a persistent internet connection, but there are still loads of fun titles that can be played entirely offline on mobile, PC, and gaming consoles.

Here are 12 of the best offline strategy games worth playing.

01
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Best Offline City Sim Strategy Game: Aven Colony

Avon Colony building strategy vidoe game on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Team17

 

What We Like

  • Fun combination of survival, building, and strategy.

  • Beautiful visuals display the alien environment perfectly.

What We Don't Like

  • Graphic quality can deteriorate as the player's city expands.

  • May be too challenging for younger players.

Aven Colony is an offline building sim video game that puts the player in charge of developing, managing, and protecting a human colony on an alien planet. The city planning and resource management will appeal to fans of the Sim City series while the science fiction setting sets it apart with its extreme natural elements and alien lifeforms.

02
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Most-Unique Offline Real-Time Strategy Game: 8-Bit Armies

8-Bit Armies real-time strategy game on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

 SOEDESCO

What We Like

  • Impressive amount of depth to the gameplay.

  • The 8-bit graphics help the game stand apart from its competition.

What We Don't Like

  • The controls can take some time to get used to on Xbox One and PS4.

  • Not as many factions to choose from as other real-time strategy games.

8-Bit Armies is a real-time war strategy video game where the player must command an army, research military technology, launch attacks on opponents, and lead their side to victory. The game's retro-inspired art style is distinctive but also deceptive as there's a surprising amount of content and depth beneath the cute exterior. This isn't the basic kids game that it looks like.

The 40 or so single-player campaigns will keep most gamers busy when playing offline, however, the multiplayer is also recommended for those that can get an internet connection.

03
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Best Offline RPG Strategy Game: The Banner Saga 3

The Banner Saga 3 RPG offline strategy video game on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC.

 Versus Evil

What We Like

  • The art direction is stunning.

  • A genuinely engaging storyline.

What We Don't Like

  • Those who played the first two games will get a better experience.

  • Some of the menu controls are frustrating on console.

The Banner Saga 3 is a popular strategic roleplaying game (RPG) that has won numerous awards for its strong storytelling, beautifully animated artwork, and strong turn-based gameplay. Each play through promises a unique experience due to the amount of character and game customization on offer and those who have played the first two Banner Saga video games will appreciate the respect for choices made in those games being reflected here.

04
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Best 4K Offline Strategy Game: Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 offline strategy game on Xbox One and Windows 10.

 Microsoft

What We Like

  • It's an Xbox Play Anywhere game which means that buying the Xbox One version unlocks it on PC for free and vice versa.

  • 4K HDR graphics on Xbox One X consoles and compatible Windows 10 PCs.

What We Don't Like

  • Those new to Halo may feel lost at first.

  • A lot of expensive downloadable content ranging from $6 to $30 each.

Halo Wars 2 is a real-time strategy game set within the same universe as the popular Xbox Halo video games. Unlike the main Halo titles though, which are shooters, the Halo Wars series focuses instead on managing armies, building bases, and engaging in epic battles in the traditional top-down real-time strategy format.

There is a strong emphasis on online multiplayer with Halo Wars 2, but the single-player campaign can be played entirely offline and is worth experiencing for its story, characters, and impressive cutscenes which look like something out of a big budget Sci-Fi epic.

05
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Most-Challenging Offline Strategy Game: XCOM 2

XCOM 2 offline strategy video game.

 2K

What We Like

  • A strong storyline and characters will keep most entertained.

  • Challenging for experienced players with difficulty options for newbies.

What We Don't Like

  • Long loading times can be frustrating.

  • Game performance can drop on consoles when a lot of action is happening on screen.

XCOM 2 is, as its name implies, the sequel to the original hit XCOM video game. Like its predecessor, XCOM 2 is a turn-based strategy game with a strong emphasis on its characters and science fiction storyline and a challenging learning curve that will keep players engaged.

Players can manage their own team of recruits and their individual skills, build facilities to unlock new abilities, and even strategize the best ways to increase support from the populace. There's a lot more to this strategy video game than its trailers let on.

06
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Best Family-Friendly Offline Strategy Game: Mario + Rabbids

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle offline strategy video game on Nintendo Switch.

 Ubisoft / Nintendo

What We Like

What We Don't Like

  • The Rabbids' physical humor will not appeal to everyone.

  • The cute art style may turn older gamers off.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle takes characters from Nintendo's popular Super Mario video game franchise and places them in a turn-based strategy environment that pays homage to their beginnings but very much embraces the new genre they've found themselves in.

Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, and their Rabbid counterparts each have their own strengths and weaknesses which encourage players to experiment and try new strategies instead of relying on their personal favorite. The game also has local two-player multiplayer which adds a lot more replayability after the initial campaign is completed.

07
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Best Angry Birds Alternative: CastleStorm

CastleStorm tower defense offline strategy video game.

 Zen Studios

What We Like

  • Family-friendly gameplay and visuals.

  • Easy controls that anyone can use.

What We Don't Like

  • Castlestorm can get repetitive after a while.

  • It is a little overpriced. Best to buy when on sale.

CastleStorm is a popular mash-up of the real-time tower defense and destruction video game genres that will appeal to anyone who's ever played Angry Birds and found themselves wishing the pacing was faster and more explosive.

CastleStorm is available on all modern consoles however the Definitive Editions on PS4 and Xbox One contain more content and improved graphics. A version is also available on PlayStationVR however this is a separate purchase from the PS3 and PS4 games.

In CastleStorm, players must build and protect their castles by managing their medieval armies and casting magic spells at their attacking enemies. The controls are very simple and are easy to learn for all skill levels while the light-hearted story mode will keep young helicopter gamers entertained while adults play.

08
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Best Offline Strategy Game for Anime Fans: Valkyria Chronicles 4

Valkyria Chronicles 4 offline strategy roleplaying vidoe game.

 Sega

What We Like

  • Cool anime-style artwork makes this a very unique game.

  • Good mix of strategy and action.

What We Don't Like

  • As with most Japanese games, dialog scenes go on for way too long.

  • Those who dislike anime won't have their minds changed by playing this game.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the fourth entry in the popular Valkyria Chronicles series of turn-based strategy games but it's considered more of a direct sequel to the first game than the third due to being set within the same time period.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is very much equally a roleplaying game as it is a strategy game with players taking control of a group of friends and guiding them through both personal and tactical decisions and even participating in the occasional third-person shooter action sequence.

The hand-drawn art style will appeal to fans of anime and manga series, however, those looking for an offline strategy game with a satisfying story will also find a lot to enjoy here.

09
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Best Offline Strategy Game for Gamers: Game Dev Tycoon

Game Dev Tycoon offline sim strategy video game.

Greenheart Games

What We Like

  • No in-app purchases or ads.

  • A truly original concept for a video game.

What We Don't Like

  • Developing a video game within Game Dev Tycoon can be frustrating, just like real life.

  • Very practical and scientific with little focus on character personalities.

Game Dev Tycoon is a simulation strategy game that allows gamers to experience the life and career of game developers from starting out in your garage to opening your own major gaming studio. Players get to partake in every major decision involved in game making such as pitching ideas, researching new tech, responding to negative and positive game reviews, and even firing employees. This is a sim game with a difference.

10
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Best Offline City Building Sim for Mobile: Pocket City

Pocket City Android and iOS sim stragey game.

 Codebrew

What We Like

  • Touch controls work really well.

  • Missions always give the player something to work towards.

What We Don't Like

  • The art style may be too simple for some players' tastes.

  • Game can slow down on older devices as more buildings are added to the city.

Pocket City is a very solid city building game for iOS and Android devices that will appeal to fans of Sim City and other similar strategy games. In Pocket City, players are given complete control of a city's development and must build roads, utilities, entertainment sites, and residential areas to help encourage people to move into and stay in the new metropolis.

This game features a very simple design aesthetic that makes things easy to see on small screens and Pocket City's in-game mission list will keep players continually building and adjusting their creations. Free and paid versions are available on Android while iOS users will need to buy the game outright before using.

11
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Best Fantasy Offline Strategy Game: Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales

 CD Project Red

What We Like

  • High quality script and voice acting.

  • The card game is really well designed.

What We Don't Like

  • Some of the cards work differently than in the main Gwent video game which can be confusing.

  • Thronebreaker's price feels expensive considering it was originally going to be a free mode in Gwent.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is part digital card game, part roleplaying, and part strategy game set within the fantasy world of The Witcher, a popular book and video game series. Like the main Witcher titles, Thronebreaker features a strong emphasis on interactive story elements and character interactions but differs by replacing most of the combat with the digital card game, Gwent.

There's some genuine strategy required in all aspects of Thronebreaker and the game introduces new mechanics at a gradual pace so the player never feels too overwhelmed. The main story campaign will keep most people busy for well over 24 hours of playtime and there's a lot to uncover for those that take their time.

12
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Best Offline Sci-Fi Strategy Game on Mobile: XCOM: Enemy Within

XCOM: Enemy Within mobile strategy game.

2K

What We Like

  • The game's UI works perfectly with the touch controls.

  • A full video game experience for a good price.

What We Don't Like

  • Takes up a lot of resources and runs slow on old devices.

  • Will not run on pre-iPhone 5 iPhone models.

XCOM: Enemy Within is a special mobile release of the XCOM: Enemy Within expansion for the XCOM: Enemy Unknown video game. Enemy Within is completely standalone though and features a full storyline, maps, characters, and weapons for iOS and Android users to enjoy.

Fans of turn-based action strategy titles will enjoy XCOM: Enemy Within while science fiction enthusiasts will be especially satisfied with its story, characters, and atmospheric world.