Tactical RPGs have roots way back in the ancient times of gaming, almost as old as standard JRPGs themselves. But the hybrid of strategy and story-based gaming is having a renaissance on modern PCs, with AAA titles like XCOM sitting next to new indie darlings like Into the Breach and refreshed classics like Disgaea. Adam Patrick Murray, PCWord’s number one TRPG fan, tried out a stunning 24 different tactical games over on our YouTube channel.
It shouldn’t be a huge surprise that with turn-based combat and generally low visual requirements, the tactical RPG genre is a fantastic match for portable gaming. Some work better than others — older games and 2D titles can go longer on the Steam Deck’s battery and play smoother. Same PC-focused games lacked official control schemes, but there were generally options available from the Steam community. A few games with more complex controls, like Möbius Front ’83, had some control issues, while a few oddballs like XCOM 2 had weird one-off issues.
Here’s the full list of games with timestamps for the video above, if you’re short on time:
- 02:15 – The Banner Saga
- 02:42 – BattleTech
- 03:15 – Dark Deity
- 03:39 – Disgaea PC
- 04:05 – Fights in Tight Spaces
- 04:31 – Gears Tactics
- 05:03 – Into the Breach
- 05:28 – Invisible, Inc.
- 05:52 – Möbius Front ’83
- 06:15 – Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
- 06:41 – Othercide
- 07:17 – Phoenix Point: Year One Edition
- 07:52 – Shadowrun Returns
- 08:18 – SteamWorld Heist
- 08:40 – Super Robot Wars 30
- 09:16 – Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga
- 09:40 – Valkyria Chronicles 4
- 10:13 – Wargroove
- 10:41 – Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters
- 11:21 – Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus
- 11:44 – Wasteland 3
- 12:28 – Wildermyth
- 12:49 – XCOM 2
- 13:39 – XCOM: Chimera Squad
The vast majority of tactical RPGs are great fits for the Steam Deck, especially if you’re okay with playing on a locked 30 FPS for the more intense 3D titles. For more nerd deep dives like this one (and that time we tested 22 RPGs on the Steam Deck), be sure to subscribe to the PCWorld YouTube channel.