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Best Strategy Game of 2020

Best Strategy Game of 2020 - Article

by Paul Broussard , posted on 13 January 2021 / 3,088 Views

Like the action genre, 2020 was something of a quiet year for strategy. After a console exclusive won our award for Best Strategy Game of 2019, the typically PC-dominated genre managed something of a return to normality in 2020, and all four shortlisted titles are both available and largely preferable on PC. Who wound up leading the pack in a more traditional year?


The Shortlist:


Wasteland 3


Gears Tactics


Crusader Kings III


A Total War Saga: Troy





The Winner:

Wasteland 3

Runner-up: Crusader Kings III

Squad-based RPGs have been some of the most critically acclaimed games in the strategy genre over the past decade, and Wasteland 3 is no exception. inXile Entertainment delivered a challenging, thought-provoking strategy game while simultaneously working in a number of poignant decisions that add a new flavor to the series' narrative and atmosphere, delivering a game that stays true to its roots while appealing to a new audience as well. 

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Zkuq (on 13 January 2021)

Not to complain about the game itself... but did an RPG just win the strategy game award this year? I mean, the battles of Wasteland 3 certainly seem to have a relatively deep tactical layer to it in comparison to most RPGs, but it most certainly seems like an RPG to me, at least at first glance. If Wasteland 3 is a strategy game, I imagine there's a point to be made that Baldur's Gate is a strategy game as well, and I just can't see very many people going there.

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Ashadelo Zkuq (on 14 January 2021)

Yes, yes it did.... hahahaha

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Azzanation Zkuq (on 14 January 2021)

Wastelands is a mix of strategy and RPG. Its online more with Gears Tactics and X-Com which are more RTS but also have RPG elements.

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Zkuq Azzanation (on 15 January 2021)

I haven't really played Wasteland 3 (backlog etc.), but judging by the videos I found, at times there's very little combat and much more of what you'd expect from RPGs. I looked up some more videos and found more combat content than before, but there still seems to be a lot of what you'd expect from RPGs and not that much what you'd expect from an RPG. Judging by videos, Gears Tactics (disclaimer: which I also haven't played) seems to be mostly about combat and not that much else. I guess the combat part seems similar in both of these games, but what separates them is how much other gameplay there is. To me, it seems like it puts Wasteland 3 in the RPG category, but in light of the videos I found today, I can more easile see where you're coming from.

One problem, I guess, is that both Wasteland 3 and Gears Tactics have combat that's on a very low tactical level, which sets it quite far from actual strategy and closer to what RPGs are doing. It's a fine line to walk in terms of genres, but I still think Wasteland 3 is more of an RPG than a strategy game mainly because of how much non-strategy gameplay it has.

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Azzanation Zkuq (on 15 January 2021)

Majority of games made today have RPG elements now. RTS games can lean heavy on them just as much as any game. Look at WarCraft 3, that game played out like an RPG even to the point where you level up characters and equip characters with items etc. That game is still an RTS. Some of the best story telling games are also RTS games. eg StarCraft, Homeworld etc.

The Wasteland series are very tactical, it tells a deep story and has exploration in the game, however the core of the game is all about tactics and strategies. Its basically an open world X-Com game.

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chakkra (on 13 January 2021)

4 of these games were on Game Pass day one. Not bad for a service that incentives low-quality shovelware.

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Jumpin (on 14 January 2021)

This is like giving best strategy game of the year to Lunar on Sega CD over Sid Meier’s Civilization 2.

But seriously, it’s Crusader Kings 3, and it’s not even remotely close.

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TheLegendaryBigBoss Jumpin (on 14 January 2021)


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Azzanation Jumpin (on 14 January 2021)

I felt the same with Animal Crossing over Flight Sim

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Chazore (on 14 January 2021)

Sad to see more turn based tactics in there than pure RTS like AoE/C&C

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