[Top 15] Best War Games to Play

Beats a 9 to 5

What do we love about war games?

As a society we are instinctively drawn to the destruction of our fellow humans. War is innate in our DNA. For this reason TV, books, and video games offer an outlet. A way for us to take part in either fictional or historical conflicts. As players, we are able to immerse ourselves into this dark place of humanity away from reality.


15. Sniper Elite 5

1944 France, you play as Karl Fairburne, a legendary commando fighting against the Nazi war machine. More akin to the Metal Gear Solid series, “Sniper Elite 5” has you crawling around large open maps and taking out Nazi officers as you try to end the war.

“Sniper Elite 5” is more similar to a fantastical Hollywood depiction of World War II espionage than what was really the case. There are no large scale battles or a lot of close quarter combat. The game is more revolved around sniping (hence the title). Even though this is not your typical war game, there is room for World War II enthusiasts with a creative mind to appreciate the story and gameplay direction.

Realistic bullet physics, anatomically correct damage, and intelligent AI make “Sniper Elite 5” what it is. Having to account for bullet drop while also making sure you pull the trigger the same time thunder strikes to mask your gunshot, makes for very interesting gameplay.

“Sneaky, sneaky”


14. World of Tanks

800 vehicles from 9 nations, “World of Tanks” is a realistic armored vehicle combat game, set within the years of the 20th Century. Realistic damage models for each vehicle means an authentic experience that any tank enthusiast would appreciate.

Starting off in the first tier of tanks, you make your way up the ladder to unlock not only better vehicles, but vehicles that are more of an iconic status. There’s no cooldowns or penalties, so you’re able to jump right back into action upon respawn.

In “World of Tanks”, the developers did their research. Each vehicle is modeled perfectly, with the armor and armament mimicking reality. 

“Steel beasts set free”


13. Total War: ROME II - Emperor Edition

A strategy, realtime tactic, wargame with a niche community where the player is able to modify history. Combat is not the only focus as you have to feed and supply your army as well.

Set during the Roman era, you command an army to grow your empire. You can attack neighboring towns or provinces or you could choose to befriend them. The player decides the outcome of their population.

The Total War series has cemented itself into the real time strategy genre. A genuine war game where politics and diplomatic relations play a huge role.

“An entire army at your disposal”


12. War of Rights

Maryland, 1862, during the American Civil War is where players will find themselves in “War of Rights”. Choosing between the Union or Confederate army, you fight alongside your teammates to change history.

The game is very barebones and the combat is linear but that stays true to the era. You fight in formation taking shots at the enemy team. Rifles take a long time to reload but revolvers are quick and artillery is deadly.

What’s amazing about “War of Rights”, is the way it has players fight in the way the real battles were fought. It’s very slow paced but enjoyable to enjoyers of American history.

“Ready, aim, fire!”


11. Chivalry II

“Chivalry II” throws players into a completely fictional world where they have to fight each other through medieval combat. Swords, axes, and crossbows dominate the battlefield.

Various game modes and maps help to keep gameplay fresh. You could either fight in large scale wars or duel one on one with another player. Success depends on timing and strategy. There’s more skill involved than your average first-person shooter.

The most intriguing part of “Chivalry II” is its setting. Being set in the medieval era with fictional factions fighting one another. You’re given the opportunity to live out Hollywood style action.



10. This War of Mine

“This War of Mine” is more of a survival game than a traditional war game. It puts you in the shoes of civilians during a fictional conflict in a fictional region.

You control up to four survivors, more depending on the DLC, and have to keep them alive for as long as possible until a ceasefire is determined. Gameplay consists of gathering supplies and interacting with NPCs who can either aid you or bring you down.

“This War of Mine” is an exceptional look into the untold side of war. The side where the ones who have nothing to do with the conflict are still affected. A truly humbling view of the realities of war.

“Desperate for survival”


9. Escape From Tarkov

Set in the fictional Russian region of Norvinsk during the present day, you play as either a private military contractor or a local militant. Moving through the apocalyptic landscape, you and other players around you are looking to escape.

Starting off with nothing, you’re made to fight and loot to survive. Gunfights are intense and death is quick. Realism is the goal in Tarkov.

Even though “Escape From Tarkov” is not a true war game, it still deserves a spot on the list. The hyper-realistic mechanics that are employed into the game turn it into a high-adrenaline, frightening, war-like experience.

“Moving through the desolate city”


8. Insurgency Sandstorm

Set during a fictional conflict between Coalition Forces and Insurgents, you’re offered a special combat experience. Blending the typical attributes of an arcade shooter with that of a tactical first-person one.

Multiple game modes and maps exist within the game, keeping the player engaged in realistic warfare. The weapon customization is grounded in reality where you wouldn’t find any outlandish designs.

The most interesting part of “Insurgency Sandstorm” is its ability to stay casual while still offering intense experiences. The modding community is also thriving and keeps the current state of the game alive.

“Through the smoke”


7. Battlefield 1

The Battlefield series touched on many theaters of war. From World War II to future warfare but never The Great War. “Battlefield 1” is where all that changed. Set during dozens of iconic World War I locations and battles along with vehicles and weapons of that era.

Keeping true to the gameplay style of previous Battlefield titles, the same level of destruction and large scale combat persists. Players battle on large open maps with tanks, planes, boats, and in some cases, massive naval destroyers.

“Battlefield 1” did an incredible job with their sound design, cementing the horrible sounds of war into the game’s environment. Loud explosions and the screams of soldiers fill the atmosphere.

“Beauty during the horrors of war”


6. Six Days in Fallujah

A tactical FPS that first emerged way back in 2005, is now in its early access stage. Imitating the real world events of the Battle of Fallujah during the Iraq War, you’re thrown in with a squad of either friends or AI and have to battle your way through the city.

The goal of “Six Days in Fallujah” is to be something of a documentary. It’s meant to deliver the true unpredictability and chaotic nature of war that is oftentimes overlooked in most video games. There’s a genuine effort as much of the game has been designed around the experiences of service members who served during the conflict.

Much of the gameplay is CQB and unpredictable with randomly generated and extremely detailed environments.  With its hardcore gameplay mechanics, “Six Days in Fallujah” really does offer an experience unlike any other. Death is possible at any corner, any turn, any hallway.



5. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam

Made by Tripwire Interactive who are the creators of a few World War II based FPS games, “Rising Storm 2: Vietnam” is one of their most popular and successful titles. A tactical shooter set during the Vietnam War, between the years of 1965 to 1975.

Chaotic scenes engulf every map as there is a constant stream of conflict. There’s never a dull moment as you can spawn directly into the action and fight alongside dozens of players with historically accurate weapons and environment. Asymmetrical gameplay is the main focus, the US with their attack helicopters and the NVA with their tunnels and guerilla warfare. A beautiful blend of realism and balance.

“Rising Storm 2: Vietnam” moves in an interesting direction in the way it handles the game's setting. There is a multiplayer campaign mode which starts in 1965 where you can play as early war versions of the US Army and NVA. As each match progresses you go up the years and your character’s uniforms, equipment, weapons, and maps will change accordingly.

“Rushing the enemy”


4. Hell Let Loose

A World War II based, first person tactical shooter, where players are dropped into some of the most iconic and bloodiest battles of the war. Stalingrad, Normandy, Kursk and many more locations can be relived with a 50v50 server setup.

Offensive and Warfare are the two game modes in “Hell Let Loose”. In Offensive, one team attacks a point while the other defends it. If the point is lost, then a new point is set up pushing the map further back. Warfare is a simple game mode, where you have three or four sectors around the map and whoever holds the most when the time runs out, wins.

“Hell Let Loose” is refreshing in its ability to not drown the player in “tactical realism” like some shooters of the same genre do. The game will only punish you for 15 seconds for dying, but after that you’re able to spawn and if you want to go on your own solo missions, then you’re free to do so.

“Standing point”


3. Foxhole

Low-poly, massively multiplayer, realtime war strategy game. Set in a fictional World War II setting, “Foxhole” has players participate in a massive conflict.

The game consists of gathering resources and fighting in battles in order to help your team succeed. You and thousands of other players fight in the same war, supplying and assisting one another. Creating weapons and vehicles and dividing resources across units spread out on one large map.

“Foxhole” is one of a kind. There’s not a single other game that does what “Foxhole” does. It’s a massive war where each player has a role in deciding the victors. 

“Blockade on the bridge”


2. Squad

A tactical milsim where working together as a team is the most effective strategy. With 14 factions and dozens of maps all being used as a battleground for infantry, tanks, helicopters and more, “Squad” offers a genuine combat experience.

A variety of game modes and maps exist in “Squad” keeping the experience fresh each time. In these maps you are put into a squad of 9 with one squad leader and the rest varying in combat roles. Your objective is to fight with your squad and your team in a unified fashion to defeat the enemy.

What makes “Squad” differ from other titles of the same vein is the way you are able to play the game without feeling forced to role-play in order to make the firefights seem genuine. The combat in “Squad” is natural and the outcomes of each battle are completely in the player’s hands.

“Mechanized support”


1. Arma 3

Dubbed a “Military Simulator” or “Milsim” for short, “Arma 3” has seen large success since its release. It’s a military sandbox game where there are no limits in the scenarios created. A truly community-run video game.

There’s hundreds of mods to choose from and servers that cater towards whatever type of conflict you desire. Whether it’s the African theater of World War II, the US invasion of Iraq or even a post-apocalyptic survival scenario. “Arma 3” is there to offer.

“Arma 3”’s vanilla gameplay isn’t that spectacular. The graphics are a little outdated and the controls can feel clunky at times. But as said before the modding community is what makes this game so great.

"In position"

You may also be interested in:

With a drive for adventure, I continue to throw myself into whatever ventures benefit me best. Much like the way Mario chases Princess Peach or Steve chases his diamonds. I chase exploration.
Gamer Since: 2007
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Escape From Tarkov and War Thunder
Top 3 Favorite Games:Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Outlast

More Top Stories