Best Strategy PC Games of 2021

Discover the best strategy PC games of 2021 and how to play them.
by Lena Borelli — 
Best Strategy PC Games 2021

From 'Wildermyth' to 'Age of Empires IV:' Best Strategy PC Games 2021

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The year 2021 brought plenty of opportunities to improve your gaming skills with all sorts of new releases, including in the beloved real-time strategy genre. PC users have been pleasantly surprised by new releases from popular developers Whatboy Games, Daniel Mullins Games, and a mash-up between Relic Entertainment and World's Edge.

When you are a PC user looking for a challenge, strategy games offer the ultimate adventure. They combine analytic skills with strong graphics and a vivid picture, making you feel like you are right in the middle of the game.

2021 brought us many excellent strategy games for PC users, but these are the best, based on critical reviews (the Metascore). Take a look at what made the cut below, and to continue playing, check out our expert picks for the best PC video games of 2021, the best PC video game releases, and the best video PC games of all time.


Metascore: 87
Best for: Fans of character-based storytelling
Where to buy: Steam

Driven by completely unique characters, Wildermyth is a huge hit with players far and wide. Although it is not rated for all ages, it is still an excellent choice when you enjoy roleplaying in a format that satisfies tactical RPG fans. This game tells the story of a band of farmers that become budding warriors, weaving their way through interactive battlefields and battling the monsters that cross their path.  Each choice you make can take you to a different place, offering plenty of opportunities for adventure and excitement each time you play. The characters are based on real emotions as they make sacrifices, fall in love, and mature throughout the game. Wildermyth combines fantastic storytelling with excellent graphics for a truly riveting real-life experience that fans are loving.

"Indie RPG Wildermyth aims to combine the best of storytelling with the best of procedural generation and succeeds, thanks to great writing, solid tactics, and some very clever design decisions." — IGN


Metascore: 85
Best for: Card game lovers
Where to buy: Fanatical

Developed by Daniel Mullins Games, Inscryption is a newer game, released in October 2021. This card game is of the horror genre, using a black card-based design with immersive graphics. Use cards to advance your play using Stoat, the Stinkbug, and the Stunted Wolf for help and guidance. Along your travels, you will meet many different woodland characters with a dark, surprise odyssey as you progress. Excitement grows as the game picks up speed after the first half, quickly gaining momentum as it takes you along for the ride. This game combines rogue-like with deck-building gaming for single-player use, and it is considered a real-world alternative reality game (ARG) for its immersive, realistic play. 

"Inscryption is a game that seeks to advance the medium, challenge the player and make him participate in something huge. This would be enough to consider it a great title, but on top of that it is brilliantly designed and the characters and story will not be easily forgotten." — MCC Spain


Metascore: 84
Best for: Role-playing gamers
Where to buy: Steam 

Griftlands is a deck-building rogue-like game that is set within a chaotic sci-fi realm. Players can choose from three players with very different personalities. They include Sal, the adventurer; Rook, the aging spy; and Smith, the underrated loafer. As your chosen character, you can make friends and find a job, all while collecting cards to open the door to new maps and abilities.  This is a game that is all about the art of persuasion, allowing players to negotiate, steal, and even fight their way to victory. It is easy to die, but the game delivers endless opportunities to play again with a new strategy each time. Released in June 2021, Griftlands is rated Teen and available via TV, tabletop, or handheld mode.

"Griftlands does what it sets out to do, offering a wholly compelling and unique take on its genre influences. It...is immediately memorable thanks to its reliance on world-building and character depth. Those who loved Hades, Slay the Spire, or similar games will find just as much to love in Griftlands." — Screen Rant


Metascore: 83
Best for: Those who want a virtual tabletop gaming experience
Where to buy: Steam

Strategy, creative decision-making, and teamwork are all core parts of playing this award-winning game. Created for up to four players, Demeo takes a virtual spin on the nostalgia of traditional tabletop tactics games. Immerse yourself in The 5th World and defend it from the eponymous powerful and evil dungeon crawler. You'll choose among such characters as the hunter, the guardian, the sorcerer, and more, and use their unique qualities to find the perfect combination to lead you to ultimate glory.

"Brilliant simulation of a traditional dungeon crawler board game with a decent variety of enemies." — The Games Machine

The Riftbreaker

Metascore: 83
Best for: Fans of survival-mission gaming
Where to buy: Steam

Become the Riftbreaker yourself as you play this game from the point of view of captain Ashley S. Nowak, a top scientist that wears a powerful and protective suit. Your goal is to create and construct a rift system from the distant planet Galatea 37 that brings you back to earth through power plants, mines, and more. As the planet begins to observe you as a threatening presence, you'll have to endure strong attacks, harsh weather, and enemy creatures. If consistent gaming attacks aren't your thing, you can also play in Sandbox mode, which really allows you to control your destiny.

"Its amazing visuals that scale well from less powerful rigs all the way to the latest GPUs keeps its aesthetic an eye-popping selling point across multiple setups. The fact that it can also showcase that graphical prowess on the latest consoles and still provide a refined strategy experience makes this a special entry into the genre." — Screen Rant

Tainted Grail: Conquest

Metascore: 82
Best for: Those who prioritize character customization
Where to buy: Steam

Developed by Awaken Realms DigitalTainted Grail: Conquest is a combination between deck-building and RPG gaming. You'll travel through corrupted land and discover the secrets of Arthurian legends as you build your village, complete quests, and build your character to your preferences. Players have access to nearly 500 cards, 300-plus passive skills, 50 masteries, and more.

"A great experience with a mysterious narrative, a gripping grimdark setting, and enjoyable deck-building rogue-lite mechanics. At times certain minor bugs or lighting issues can hold it back, but these things are trivial compared to the great fun players will have." — Game Rant

Age of Empires IV

Metascore: 81
Best for: Age of Empires diehards
Where to buy: 


Released in October 2021, Age of Empires IV brings a new twist on an old favorite from developers Relic Entertainment and World's Edge. Microsoft's most beloved strategy game for PC users returns to the Middle Ages, plunging players back to battle. This fourth installment includes four campaigns for great versatility with options that include The Normans, The Hundred Years War, The Mongol Empire, and The Rise of Moscow.  Plus, you can play using your Xbox Game Pass for even simpler accessibility. Rated Teen, this game supports 14 languages, including French, Italian, and German.

"While there is nothing especially groundbreaking about Age of Empires 4's formula, it should manage to scratch a very particular nostalgic itch for fans and offer a starting point for beginners to begin their own journey through history." — Screen Rant

Trials of Fire

Metascore: 81
Best for: Deck-building enthusiasts
Where to buy: Steam

Developer Whatboy Games released Trials of Fire, a deck-building rogue-lite, in April 2021 and it's rated Teen. Players have a choice between three different heroes to help you navigate a post-cataclysmic wasteland. Build your tactical skills through single-player CCG combat in this turn-based game of strategy. There is a battle for survival as you navigate the wasteland for crucial resources. You can be ambushed, though, so play carefully and strategically, plotting next moves before you are distracted by battle. You may also have the option to judge moral issues and determine punishment if necessary. Plus, you are in control of combat, timing play to meet your schedule instead of the other way around. 

"Combining all the best of tactical board game combat, deck-building, and narrative, this game is a contender for best rogue-likes available right now." — Gaming Trend