The finest PC 4X games

So, you’re looking for the finest 4X games? This style of experience allows the player to eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate, and explore at its heart. As players make their way to the finish line in 4X games, they may be treated to an unbelievable storey. Many players enjoy the turn-based approach because it allows them to deliberate before taking each action while enabling them to govern enormous empires and global endeavours.

Guide writer Alan Emrich coined the word in the distant past of 1993. Still, the idea of directing a nation, a space fleet, or a bizarre fantasy species through generations of diplomacy, war, and technological growth has never lost its allure.

We’ve put up a list of several must-have 4X strategy games for you to consider adding to your collection. We’re leaning toward more recent games because we don’t think another list proclaiming MOO2 as the big 4X daddy does the gaming community any good. While these games contributed to the genre’s development, many newcomers are vying for attention, and we believe they deserve it more than the old standbys.

On PC, the finest 4X strategy games are:


For years, Triumph Studios has served as a quiet counterbalance to Civilization, with their fantasy-based Age of Wonders series combining hardcore wargame sensibilities with mainstream 4X strategic elements. With Age of Wonders: Planetfall, they’ve shifted their attention to the stars under the leadership of Paradox Interactive. It’s the 4X sci-fi adventure we didn’t realize we needed. There are a few glitches on the strategic level that need to be worked out, but one of the game’s biggest achievements is presenting fast and fluid turn-based tactical fights. It’s almost as if you’re playing a game like XCOM.

The strategic layer is visually appealing, with planets divided into sections that you must explore, colonize, and conquer. Each universe you create has its tale to tell, but it’s up to you whether you choose to connect with it or paint the town in your favourite colour. For any 4X enthusiast out there, this is must-have stuff.


Galactic Civilizations III is set in a massive, randomly created sandbox universe, and it was released nine years after its cult-classic predecessor. A loose storey continues from the last game, but the main fun comes from populating star systems, capturing planets, and engaging with the universe’s nine colourful space species. You take on the role of one of these creatures, with each species encouraging a different playing style based on their special powers. Or, as we attempted once, based on Bernie Sanders’ political policies.


Although this is a given, it would be impolite not to add it because most people think of 4X games when they think of this series. CivilizationIn all of its different incarnations, Civilization remains one of the most consistently popular strategy games on our fair platform, as evidenced by the Steam most-played statistics.


Like the venerable Alpha Centauri, Endless Legend is about numerous nations that crash-land on a mystery planet and attempt to conquer it in a variety of ways, including military conquest, science, expansion, and diplomacy. As magic and steampunk technologies mix, the game offers an exquisite blend of high fantasy and sci-fi themes.


Stellaris is a space-faring empire-building game that combines the finest of Paradox’s grand strategy games with 4X games’ victory routes. You choose from various cosmic races — or design your own – and begin by naming your empire after a single solar system (that is not a lot on the galactic scale). The robust ‘ethos’ scale allows you to choose the type of empire you want to be — will you be a collectivist, militaristic hivemind whose people crush those who resist you? Or perhaps a commercial empire that achieves fame and supremacy through its operations?


Look no further than Code Force’s Distant Worlds Universe if you’re seeking a hardcore 4X strategy game. The game’s complexity and inner workings are unprecedented. Therefore it’s a good choice for those searching for a challenge. While this difficulty may appear to be unfair, the tactile enjoyment of the game is what keeps the game’s many fans playing.