This article was first published in 2020 and has been updated from time to time.

Explore, expand, exploit and finish. These are the four defining points of the 4X strategy game.

For insecure people, this branch of strategy game is to control the group you choose, to develop the world around you, and to dominate your competitors in any way. But what are the best 4X strategy games on PC? Hope we can help.

4X games have changed radically over time, and have expanded into a glorious and diverse universe, offering many strategies to make your competitors the best they can be. So be it through military might or cunning diplomacy, you can come to the top by playing various roles.

If you are looking for a new 4X game to spend your time, we have created 12 best games. Every game on this list has something that makes it special, every different way your time is right. We have games spread with history, high fantasy and the mysterious future of space. Read on to see the best 4X games you can currently play on PC.

Want to support GameSpew? If you decide to purchase anything from this list, please consider using our affiliate links. They are included below each entry. It will not cost you anything extra, but we will get a small piece of purchase. Thank you for your cooperation!

1. Civilization V

Let’s get this out first: Civilization is the grand-daddy of 4X games and you can’t go wrong with it. You are taking possession of a famous civilization, taking them from the Stone Age to modern times. All in all, you will expand your borders, develop your cities, and confront your enemies. You too can win by playing for the benefit of your civilization and using your territory skillfully, by force over your opponents or by dominating the culture and diplomacy.

Civilization V (And its DLCs) is undoubtedly the best of the series and a shining example of the best 4X game on PC today. The most recent entry, Civilization VIIt’s also playable, but with less tactical game variety and slightly less balanced gameplay it feels inferior to the big brother.

Buy Civilization V On the CD key

2. Stellaris


Stellaris Not as turn-based as most of the games on this list. However, in every sense of the word it is still pure 4X. As soon as you start playing, you are leaving space for the first time with your chosen race and preparing for space exploration. Stellaris Gives you the most authentic and exciting exploration mechanics of any 4X game as you expand into the stars. This is a real achievement when you meet the next galactic empire and become part of a community of aliens.

Not so much Stellaris One of the best 4X games on PC, it also packs into all the flesh of the juicy Paradox Grand Strategy game. Its biggest achievement so far is that it is more accessible than other games in the genre, but still manages to maintain the level of complexity, density and surprise that we expect from its developers.

Buy Stellaris On the CD key

3. Endless fables

If you want to play a 4X game where each empire feels completely different, Endless fables Is for you It is wonderfully designed in its own fantasy universe and set with interesting races that you can control. No matter what race you play, you will be offered a series of fascinating quests that not only offer bonuses and rewards but also provide a backdrop for your people.

Endless fables Bringing together role-playing story and grand strategy like no other game on this list makes it one of the most unique 4X games you can play. Yet most fans of this genre will find it very familiar to those who want to build an empire of their choice.

Buy Endless fables On the CD key

4. Galactic Civilization III

Galactic Civilization III Another is the Spacebound 4X game, but one that offers something different Stellaris. First of all, Galactic Civilization III Its 4X component is more traditional, using both turn-based and hex grids. As a result, it will instantly become familiar to fans of the genre. It’s a bit like space civilization, which is definitely not a bad thing.

Galactic Civilization III However, there is an ace on his sleeve. As one of the best 4X games available on PC, its unique selling point lies in its ship designer. It’s a very deep dive, but once you catch it, it allows you to use your technology and resources to their full potential. And, of course, you can really build some amazing spaceships. It’s a win-win.

Yes yes Galactic Civilization IV May be available now, but like Civilization VWe find it Galactic Civilization III The most exciting game in the series remains. It’s smooth to play and easy to catch; The new is not always good.

Buy Galactic Civilization III On the CD key

5. Endless space 2

Endless space 2Just like his brother Endless fables, He has a real interesting heart and story. You are not a normal race of people, but a truly unique race that has fixed its place among the stars.

You will experience the same experiences as you would in a co-op location-based 4X game. Stellaris And Galactic Empire III – But here, you do it in a more storybook way. There is an unusual level of role-playing here, but it brings about a welcome and refreshing change. Each group plays differently because each has its own specific mechanics. As a result, Endless space 2 Depending on the race you play, colonizing the planet can be a completely different experience so it offers a lot of replayability. This makes it one of the best 4X games you can play on PC.

Buy Endless space 2 On the CD key

6. Total War: Warhammer II

Well, the Total War franchise may be known for its classic RTS battles, but every game in the franchise always includes a 4X overworld to dive into. These 4X overworlds are not just cosmetic campaigns, but in-depth historical entertainment of the period you choose. In Total War Games your ability to expand your empire, strengthen your army, and conquer enemies is made so satisfying that if you are looking for a military-centric campaign you can’t get any better than this.

Out of all the total war games, Warhammer II Offers the most diverse units, capabilities and settings. It has a remarkable depth of characters and groups that make it wonderfully lively. If that variety is not enough, you can combine the first maps Total War: WarhammerCreating a huge campaign that will be interesting for a long time.

Buy Total War: Warhammer II On the CD key

7. Age of Miracles III

Age of Miracles III It’s a great fantasy saga that offers a high level of action compared to other great 4X games. If you’re a fan of this genre, you’ll be familiar with the elements of its classic gameplay, but you’ll find differences depending on which race and leader you choose.

What does Age of Miracles III One of the best 4X games on PC is how fast and fast it feels compared to some of its counterparts. The world is much tighter than the others, which makes the game faster. Battles are also taken in a separate zone, fought on small hex grids where you are given the responsibility of a turn based battle with a chess-like experience.

Buy Age of Miracles III On the CD key

8. Europa Universalis IV

Europa Universalis IV It’s a great game, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Even after spending hundreds of hours with him, there is still wonder in his sleeve.

It is set in the post-feudal period of 1444 and 1821 and works to take you from one state to another. Its most striking feature is its ability to take its nation in different directions. You can expand your nation and assimilate your neighbors, create a fledgling trade empire and establish a new world, or stand up with your allies and gain control of shared destiny. The choice is entirely yours, to make Europa Universalis Undoubtedly one of the best 4X games on PC.

Fantastic details and accurate history make it suitable for fans of this period of history. However: be warned that some of the best features are locked behind the DLC. The Art of War and Common Sense DLC is definitely worth choosing if you want to learn in this epic game.

Buy Europa Universalis IV On the CD key

9. Northguard

The best 4X games on PC Northgard

Northguard Nordic weather is a mix of real-time strategy and 4X. It’s slower than most RTS games you play, and like 4X games, you can win by force. This hybrid style offers a unique and attractive experience that you should not miss.

It would also be a mistake for me not to mention the fantastic fjords and their entertainment Northguard. This is a beautiful and wonderfully styled game that gives you a place among the truly great Scandinavian leaders. Its playstyle that stands out from the crowd in terms of its Viking setting is one of the best 4X games you can play on PC.

Buy Northguard On the CD key

10. Mankind

Mankind's Best 4X Game on PC

Many games have tried to recreate the success of civilization, but some have succeeded. Mankind, However, what we see humans taking from the Neolithic age into the future manages to do what many others do not. Yes, it’s a decent clone for all intents and purposes, but it’s incredibly interesting that saves you time.

First of all, Mankind Is gorgeous. It has fantastic visuals that outperform its competitors. This will be the first thing you notice when launching a game and it will amaze you for hours. Secondly, its The opening game is more appealing than civility, strategically speaking. Of course, politeness is fun and full of possibilities in the early game, but Mankind Promotes real decisions. This is due to the fact that you start out as a nomadic tribe before settling down. Choosing where to settle is a journey, not a decision.

Not to mention how beautiful it looks, given the choices you make while playing and the constant support from the developers. Mankind One of the best 4X games you can play on PC.

Buy Mankind On the CD key

11. The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II: The Rise of the Witch-King

You hear the explosion of the iconic theme, its horns ringing in your ears and vibrating your spine. The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II: The Rise of the Witch-King It may not be a pure out-and-out 4X game – on the contrary, it focuses more on RTS – but its War of the Rings mode allows you to accept your desire to control the brightest groups in Middle-earth.

It may be quite open in some parts, but if you like the 4X strategy, there’s plenty to enjoy here. My dream was to build Gondor’s army and re-establish its once vast empire which can only be fulfilled in this game mode. And, now that it’s a little golden old, it won’t cost you much to try it out.

12. Might & Magic: Heroes VI

Another golden old man, Might & Magic: Heroes VI It’s just as much fun to play today as it was when it was released in 2011. In fact, almost any game Might & Magic: Heroes The series offers a rewarding 4X experience; Overall, they are all excellent. But this is probably our favorite.

Might & Magic Heroes: VI Set in a very imaginary area and gives you control over the family city. However, instead of having direct control over your heroes and their armies, you have to influence their actions using rewards and other cunning tricks. You still want to manage your expansion and exploit the resources closest to you, but in a more sophisticated way. It makes you feel like the real patriarch of a magical city and nothing like that.

Buy Might & Magic: Heroes VI On the CD key