essential buyer’s guide

The best strategy games on PS4 and PS5

From building your own theme park to pulling off the perfect heist in America's old west, discover the best strategy-based games on PlayStation.

Nation building strategy games

What would the world be like with you in charge? Why not build your very own nation and find out if your choices lead to fabulous riches or open revolt.

Sid Meier's Civilisation VI

If total world domination is what gets you out of bed in the morning, then take your place in history and build a nation from the first few huts to colonising space.

  • Colonise a huge, multi-continental world map that's unique in every playthrough.

  • Guide your nomadic tribe from the first blushes of civilisation to the heights of a technology-powered metropolis.

  • Build citadels and armies, conquer new lands and capture cities as you expand your empire.

Frostpunk: Console Edition

This unique city management game thrusts you into a bleak, frozen tundra, leading a displaced population in a desperate hunt for food, shelter and above all warmth.

  • Transform an icy crater lost amid a snow-covered wasteland into a thriving industrial refuge.

  • Survive a gruelling dystopian future in which an extreme ice age has decimated civilisation and left refugees scattered.

  • Keep spirits up as you fend off the freezing conditions, heating homes, developing industry and forging a new political establishment.

Cities: Skylines

Build the city of your dreams, taking on the role of municipal planner for a sprawling metropolis filled with bustling nightlife, hotel resorts and trendy suburbs.

  • From Hong Kong to Stockholm to Washington DC, build your city in a number of iconic locations around the world.

  • Create the ultimate modern suburbia, with sophisticated traffic systems, a buzzing nightlife and a day-night cycle.

  • Plan every inch of your dream city and respond to the needs of your population, providing housing, recreation, healthcare and more.

Tropico 6

As El Presidente, cast yourself either as a feared dictator or a peace-loving statesman, building and maintaining your tropical republic.

  • Realise your autocratic ambitions on a sun-kissed stretch of tropical islands complete with pristine beaches and palm trees.

  • Build a society fit for the modern age with all the smart conveniences and political pugilism of the 21st Century.

  • Channel your passions, building cities, resorts and precarious industrial relations as only a dictator can.

What is an 'RTS'?

RTS stands for 'real-time strategy' and refers to any kind of strategy game that unfolds in real-time. This means that players are free to respond and act as and when they chose, rather than having to wait for their turn as is common in more traditional strategy games.

Management strategy games

Launch your own fledgling enterprise, hiring, negotiating, building and investing your way to success.

Two Point Hospital

Take on the role of an ambitious hospital administrator and work to build your very own medical marvel in the shape of a world-beating infirmary.

  • Immerse yourself in a light-hearted recreation of the modern medical field and work to treat illnesses like 'bogwarts', 'cubism' and 'freudian lips'.

  • Build the hospital of your dreams, from laying the floor of your first waiting room to installing complex diagnostic equipment and balancing the books.

  • Take control of every part of the healthcare experience: diagnostics and treatment, hiring doctors and nurses and sprucing the interior decor.

Planet Coaster: Console Edition

Become the architect of the ultimate entertainment complex and create the most incredible theme park you can imagine, complete with hair-raising rollercoasters and colourful mascots.

  • Pick from a number of varied environmental settings in which to situate your dream park, including desert, tropical, alpine and more.

  • As administrator, take care of progressing your park form the first carousel rides and refreshment stands to the most unbelievable rollercoasters.

  • Hire staff, build death-defying rides, re-shape the landscape and ensure the safety and enjoyment of every guest.

Prison Architect: PlayStation 4 Edition

Take control of the building and running of a maximum security penal facility in a critically acclaimed 'lock-em up' where you decide how best to restore social order. Your prison, your rules. 

  • Construct a fully-operating modern prison complex fit to either punish society's worst or to rehabilitate them.

  • Start small, with just a handful of inmates and learn by doing, responding to the needs of the populace and the prison staff as you expand your penal facility.

  • Fend off prison riots by keeping your prison population content - ensure they have proper recreational facilities, that security are well-armed, and don't be afraid to frisk inmates for contraband.

Railway Empire

Take control of a budding railway empire, laying tracks and stations and commissioning a fleet of traditional steam locomotives as you attempt to map the North American continent.

  • Build your way across the great American frontier at a time of entrepreneurship, affluency and fierce competition.

  • Work your way from coast to coast vying for control of key regions to build the country's most comprehensive rail network.

  • Master challenges and objectives through a range of scenarios and unlock over 40 historically accurate steam engines as you optimise your transport network.

What does 'point-and-click' mean?

'Point and click' refers to any game where the movement and placement of objects and characters in the game world relies on moving a cursor to that point and issuing an instruction. Some modern strategy games have opted for real-time controls, but many still use a point-and-click approach - console games meanwhile often use a hybrid of the two.

Card strategy games

Build an army by building your deck in a selection of card-collecting strategy games inspired by real-world table-top RPGs.

Slay the Spire

Conquer the titular spire in a smart blend of rogue-like and card-building mechanics that focuses on planning and strategy.

  • Choose the risky or the safe path as you climb a colossal and ever-shifting spire filled to the brim with monsters, traps and more.

  • With each new attempt build your skills and your deck of cards, figuring out the best strategies to finally conquer the spire.

  • Optimise your deck and collect powerful relics that - in the right combinations - can radically enhance your play, but often come at a cost.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales

Embark on a new adventure into the world of the Witcher, in a smart hybrid between isometric RPG and the Witcher's celebrated Gwent card game.

  • Return to the Northern Realms and the medieval fantasy world of the Witcher in a new story set in Lyria and Rivia.

  • Follow war-veteran Queen Maeve as she marches her troops across the Northern Realms to face down a Nilfgaardian invasion.

  • Traverse a huge over-world map, exploring towns, villages and ruins whilst amassing troops and resources to deploy in fully animated Gwent card battles.

Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars

From the director of NieR Replicant and NieR: Automata, experience a traditional table-top RPG adventure told entirely through narration and card-play.

  • Lose yourself in a unique fantasy setting shrouded in mystery and built entirely from cards.

  • Follow a self-proclaimed hero as they set off on a bold journey to slay an ancient dragon recently roused from slumber.

  • Explore new locations, battle monsters and unfurl a high-concept fantasy story all through card-based interactions.

Hand of Fate 2

Explore a dark fantasy tale of manipulation and revenge as you embark on a dungeon-crawling RPG adventure manifest as a living boardgame. 

  • Do battle in a dark fantasy universe filled with magic and monsters in which an enigmatic card dealer rules over all.

  • Face down The Dealer in a game of life and death in which each card you draw has its own story to tell and rewards and punishments to discover.

  • Combine card strategy and mechanics with 3D action RPG combat as you embark on quests to topple foes and reunite lovers.

What is a 'CCG'?

CCG stands for 'card-collecting game' - they're also referred to as 'deckbuilders'. Taking cues from traditional collectible card games, CCGs encourage the player to progress through the game not only by mastering the cards they have but by finding scores of additional cards from which to build the ultimate player deck.

Action strategy games

Embark on adventure, intrigue and assassination in story-driven strategy games that blend traditional action and RPG elements with tactical and turn-based mechanics.

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

Stealth is a ninja’s deadliest weapon, and as you’re thrust into the world of feudal Japan, you’ll need razor-sharp skills to successfully take down a merciless warlord.

  • Explore huge sandbox levels set in some of Japan's most historic locations, from sleepy fishing villages to lavish estates.

  • Against a backdrop of feudal war, follow a band of mercenaries as they work to expose a seditious traitor.

  • Silently infiltrate fortified locations and despatch key targets with swords, traps, shuriken, poisons and more.

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark

Maintain order in an unstable realm in a tactical, turn-based RPG set in a sweeping steampunk setting filled with bandit hordes and monsters.

  • Explore a stylised fantasy realm dotted with ancient tombs, citadels and mountain temples.

  • As an Arbiter - a mortal agent of the Immortal Council - uphold order in an unstable world, leading your company into battle to quell conflict and maintain peace.

  • Build a party of trusted soldiers, outfit them with the best armour and weapons then lead them into tactical, turn-based encounters.

Desperados 3

In a long-awaited prequel to the beloved classic Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive, returning character John Cooper will join forces with a new band of mercenaries in all-new Western adventure.

  • Explore the ramshackle prospecting towns and pioneering railroads of Colorado and Lousiana in the last decades of the 19th Century.

  • Gather together an unlikely band of heroes as you set out on a quest of vengeance and retribution.

  • Employ a strategic mix of firearms, traps and decoys to carve your path to victory, assassinating targets and vanishing without a trace.

XCOM 2

As the commander of XCOM, you're the last line of defence against an invading alien force that has colonised the planet and driven humanity to the brink. 

  • Deploy your units in a ravaged near-future Earth, overrun by conquering alien hordes.

  • From the safety of your underground base work to unite the faltering nations of Earth and reclaim the planet for mankind.

  • Assemble a resistance force, expanding your homebase with expertise and technology gathered from mankind's last survivors.

Discover more great games

Explore expertly curated guides to the genres you love.

Indie games
Couch multiplayer
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Kids and families
Platformers
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Anime
Fitness
Sports
Racing
Battle Royale
Survival
Team shooters
Horror
Creative

Discover more great games

Explore expertly curated guides to the genres you love.

Indie games
Couch multiplayer
Free-to-play
Kids and families
Platformers
Roguelikes
Anime
Fitness
Sports
Racing
Battle Royale
Survival
Team shooters
Horror
Creative

Discover more great games

Explore expertly curated guides to the genres you love.

Indie games
Couch multiplayer
Free-to-play
Kids and families
Platformers
Roguelikes
Anime
Fitness
Sports
Racing
Battle Royale
Survival
Team shooters
Horror
Creative