- Think before you shoot. Games about war
- The History Channel: Civil War – A Nation Divided
- Spec Ops: The Line
- Sniper Elite
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- Call of Duty 2
- Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway
- Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
- Hearts of Iron 4
- Valiant Hearts: Great War
- This War of Mine
- Make Love not War
Think before you shoot. Games about war
War accompanies humanity throughout its all history. People have been fighting since the dawn of civilization for land, resources, money, ideologies, and beliefs. It is no surprise that such a wide topic served as an inspiration for video games. As an interactive genre of media, video games explore different sides of the war and depict it from different angles. Starting from heroic plots of mighty warriors who defeat entire armies of enemies single-handedly and ending with heartbreaking dramas of regular people caught in the crossfire of the two battling sides. The genre’s variety also impresses: the most common forms of a game about war are first-person shooter or strategy, but there are unique examples such as stealth-action games, simulators, and even visual novels. We present you with a list of the best wargames of different genres and types. The list is not exhaustive, and each position is not better than the other. Consider it as a list of recommendations where each game is the best in its niche.
The History Channel: Civil War – A Nation Divided
American Civil War is a sensitive historical subject for generations. Social and political tension caused one of the greatest conflicts of the 19th century. Division of the country on the North and South and further years of bloodshed inspired dozens of media products, and one of them is Civil War – A Nation Divided. It is one of the rare games, which dares to place a player in a familiar genre of the first-person shooter but tweaks its rules and pace to create fresh impressions. Thus, the guns of the game are slow, and it takes time to reload them after a few shots. It increases the necessity of precise aiming and accurate shots. At the same time, the game creates beautiful battle scenes and war epics. The game was developed by Cauldron studio with association with the “History” channel and released in 2006.
Available on: Pc, Playstation 2, Xbox 360.
Spec Ops: The Line
Modern warfare took many forms and shapes, Spec Ops: The Line explores one of them. We play as Martin Walker, commander of the “Delta” squad that has to investigate the disappearance of the 33rd infantry battalion in the deserted Dubai. The most distinct feature of this war game is the setting: the modern megapolis covered in sand in an unusual sight in the modern military shooter. It is not only decoration but also an active gameplay element: enemies may be buried under tons of sand, and sand-storms may impair the vision during battles. The gunplay will be familiar for action-games veterans and works just as it should. The game’s plot is one of the strongest points of Spec Ops: The line. The story steps out from the pattern of “kill all bad guys” and explores the topic of war’s influence on man’s consciousness and psyche. The game was created by Yager Development and released in 2012.
Available on: Pc, Playstation 3, Xbox 360.
World War II is a popular setting for infantry combat: D-Day, battles across Europe in cities, and the trenches. Sniper Elite shifts the paradigm and gives us a new perspective on war. This time we play as a diversionist sniper deep behind enemy lines. We have to stop the development of the nazi’s atomic bomb and prevent its blueprint leaking. The game is set in Berlin in the year 1945. Despite the constant place of action, the game demonstrates different locations and gameplay situations, which keeps it fresh until the final. Sniper Elite simulates sniper shooting and takes into account such aspects as heartbeat, gravitation, positioning, and wind direction. Another feature of the game is cinematic shots of especially good hits, which look satisfying and don’t bore for the whole game. Sniper Elite makes it feel like real sniping but does not overcomplicate it, which makes gameplay engaging and fairly challenging. The game was developed by “Rebellion Developments” and released in 2005.
Available on: Pc, Ps2, Xbox, Wii.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
The Metal Gear series is famous for its anti-military mood and the idea of a non-lethal way of resolving conflicts. MGS 4 puts it on a new level for the war game. This is a concluding part of the game saga, which closes all the questions and end characters’ storylines. We play as the Old Snake and have to stop another metal gear threat, which is present in the middle of a battlefield. The game remains loyal to the series traditions and presents us stealth-action but with even higher stakes. Old Snake is old not only by name but for his age also, which puts limitations on his combat abilities, while he is opposed to cybernetically enhanced super-soldiers. Therefore, Snake has to be as stealthy as possible to achieve his aims and prevent another crisis. Through such tense gameplay, MGS 4 talks with the player about the nature of war, the role of a soldier in the world’s history, life, death, and one’s meaning among these conceptions. The game was developed by Kojima Productions and released in 2008.
Available on: Ps3.
Call of Duty 2
The Call of Duty series pleases players with a new game each year. Players fought in the future, in the past, and in every corner of the Earth. Still, the best game in the series and one of the best wargames is Call of Duty 2, which shows World War II like no other shooter. There are several reasons for this: we see war as it is, without insincerity and falsehood. Heroes are heroes, villains are villains, and soldiers are soldiers. There is no modern agitation for grey morals or depiction of veterans as the lesser evil. The combat is massive; we play as a part of a bigger army, and we oppose the same scale threat. We are no superhero or an ultimate soldier; we play as a regular man among the other soldiers. The game covers different sides of the conflict; we play as a British, American, and Russian soldier during the game campaigns. There is no better or worse soldier, only the battlefield.
The game was developed by Infinity Ward and released in 2006
Available on: Pc, Xbox 360.
Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway
Brothers in Arms is a more niche series and less popular than the other major competitors. Still, “Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway” has a few aces in the sleeve, which makes it rightfully one of the best war video games on the list. First, it is a game story. Usually, a shooter does not bother too much with the plot or character development. Brothers in Arms, on the contrary, tells a Hollywood-like, coherent, and dramatic story of an airborne squad where each soldier is a person and not a bit player. Second, the gameplay expands to usual shooting with a tactical commanding, making a player plan their actions a few steps ahead. Finally, the overall quality of the product: the game has decent looks and sounds even after years after its release. The game was developed by Gearbox Software and released in 2008.
Available on: Pc, Ps3, Xbox 360.
Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
The “Wolfenstein” series stands out among other war video games. One of the luminaries of the first-person shooters, Wolfenstein, keeps pleasing players even today. One of its latest incarnations – Wolfenstein: The New Colossus sets the new standard for first-person shooters for years ahead. The game is a sequel to the 2016s game “Wolfenstein: The New Order” and continues the story of B.J. “Terror-Billy” Blazkowicz, who eliminates numerous nazi soldiers. The game keeps all the good features of the New Order and expands them even further. Enemies are placed with greater variety; level design became more complex and open for experiments; in-game development influences the process. The story keeps mixing a war-drama of a man who lost almost everything and everyone in his life, and hardcore and brutal action, where the protagonist shoots heavy machine guns in both hands simultaneously. The combat became more balanced, guns – variable, and situations more eccentric. One of the most stylish among the best war video games.
Hearts of Iron 4
The strategies genre is rich with good war video games as much as first-person shooters. One of the brightest examples is Hearts of Iron 4. The game was developed by Paradox Interactive, which explains almost everything about the game that a player should know. Numerous tables with important data, complex resources calculation, deep and variable diplomacy systems, and challenging combat. The game starts in 1936, in the run-up of World War II. The player chooses one of the world’s countries of the time and leads it through the biggest conflict of the 20th century. A player is free to recreate the real course of history or to make entirely different decisions to correct mistakes and see other possible outcomes of the war. Hearts of Iron 4 shows the unpopular dimension of wars: war is not only heroism on a battlefield or tough orders to execute but the cunning of generals, masterful maneuvers, and ability to plan a few steps ahead of your enemy. The game was released in 2016.
Available on: Pc.
Valiant Hearts: Great War
Valiant Hearts is a unique game. It appeals to the Great War, which is a rare topic in video games. Moreover, it chooses an unorthodox genre for telling a war story. Valiant Hearts is a mix of point-and-click puzzles, a variety of mini-games, and a simple platformer. In one episode, we need to find a key to escape the room, and in another, we maneuver on the bombarded road. The game has attractive 2D graphics and a distinctive style; you won’t mistake Valiant Hearts for any other game. At the top of it, the game tells a very humane and touching story about a family torn apart by the war, and their long journey to the reunion. Besides, the game contains real facts about the Great War and provides a player with the historical context of events in which they take part. The unique vision of the game, distinctive style and touching story make Valiant Hearts one of the best war video games available. The game was developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and released in 2014.
This War of Mine
Games dedicated to war are extremely diverse. This is one of the best war games for Pc. They show soldiers and people on the battlefield, their losses, their victories, and triumphs, focusing more on fiction than real brutality. They allow some sort of assumptions and gaming conditionality to make the game more fun. This War of Mine is not about having fun, not about victories or triumphs. It is a harsh survival simulator about a group of people caught in the crossfire of two combat sides. Each person of the group is fragile both physically and mentally. They can die, they can commit suicide, and there is no turning back. You, as a player, have to decide who will scout for resources, who will have rest, and who will prepare to defend your shelter against the marauders. This War of Mine does not tell you a single, set story but gives you different situations and a choice of how to resolve them, making the walkthrough unique for each player. The game does not hold your hand and make you face the reality of simple people, this war of yours. The game was developed by 11-bit studios and released in 2014.
Make Love not War
Best war games may put a lot of pressure on a player. So much overcome and gruesome violence may get too tiring or boring. Therefore, why not find a distraction in something new? There is a place where you can find more games for your interest and even more. On our youtube channel “What’s happening?!” we create video game overviews, share interesting facts, and discuss novelties of the industry. The content of the channel is diverse, and you will always find something to entertain yourself or to learn something new. We conduct different top-lists from which you may find the best games of particular genres or themes. Video games are more than gameplay mechanics and plots; they are insane creative energy and art decisions. They are people who create these games. We want to share interesting stories of video games creation, easter eggs, and peculiar facts behind the curtains of the gaming industry. Modern plots of video games deserve separate attention. In complexity and detailing, they’ve reached the classic literature and deserve respectful analysis. On our channel, you will learn what makes the legendary video games series so interesting and captivating. If you want to know what’s happening – visit our channel.