The most effective Warhammer video games: Each Warhammer Fantasy recreation ranked
PC Gamer Ranked are our ridiculously complete lists of the perfect, worst, and all the things in-between from each nook of PC gaming.
For a quick interval between 1983 and 1985, Video games Workshop revealed their very own videogames, together with one referred to as Chaos: The Battle of Wizards by a younger developer named Julian Gollop who’d later make a reputation for himself with X-COM. However none of GW’s videogames have been set in their very own Warhammer Fantasy universe. On the time the setting was a barely shaped factor. 1984’s second version of Warhammer Fantasy Battle targeted on a battle between alien frogs and Amazons with laserguns on the continent of Lustria. Solely after GW acquired out of the videogame racket would the Outdated World evolve right into a gritty fantasy model of Renaissance Europe and develop into Warhammer’s middle stage.
In 1991 Gremlin Interactive tailored the board recreation HeroQuest, and Warhammer lastly got here to computer systems. Although it was a model of Warhammer focused at ages 9 and up, it nonetheless included distinctive components just like the fimir and the specter of Chaos. There weren’t many Warhammer video games over the following 20 years, simply a few fondly remembered technique video games and a tragically doomed MMO. It wasn’t till the 2010s that the Outdated World was explored extra totally. A lot extra totally.
In 2015 alone there have been 4 Warhammer Fantasy video games launched on PC and 4 extra Warhammer 40,000 video games. We went from a drought to a flood, from nothing to greater than anybody individual may sustain with… except they devoted months of their life to enjoying each single Warhammer videogame.
Properly, I’ve executed simply that. I’ve performed all of them. This checklist will make it easier to navigate the flood.
Variety of entries: 25. New and altered entries within the newest replace are marked 💀.
What’s included: Each Warhammer recreation on PC set within the Outdated World, the parody-football universe of Blood Bowl, and the Warhammer sequel setting Age of Sigmar.
What’s not included: Video games Workshop video games in different fantasy settings—like HeroQuest 2: Legacy of Sorasil, which ditched the Outdated World for a brand new setting referred to as the Lands of Rhia, and the Talisman video games which have developed their very own “world of Talisman.” It is fairly full, is what I am saying.
This is a separate checklist rating each Warhammer 40,000 recreation. And now: Each Warhammer recreation, ranked from worst to greatest.
25. Chaos & Conquest (2019)
Hunted Cow Studios/Tilting Level
Keep in mind Evony? “Play now, my Lord!” Keep in mind the licenced cash-ins that filtered all the things from Ultima to Recreation of Thrones by way of the identical precise components of settlement building and armed forces constructing, with free-to-play power mechanics and a number of currencies designed to confuse gamers out of money? Chaos & Conquest is that, however as a substitute of a woman in tavern-wench cosplay exhorting you to construct one other granary it is a champion in spiky armor suggesting you improve your Chaos Preserve. It sucks and I hate it.
24. Blood Bowl (1995)
Future Software program Productions/MicroLeague
Video games Workshop’s fantasy soccer recreation has been tailored a number of occasions, starting with this forgotten model revealed by MicroLeague in 1995. It is devoted to the board recreation however to name it barebones could be an insult to skeletons. There’s just one participant icon per workforce, so there is no strategy to inform a thrower from a catcher at a look, not to mention a puny skaven from a beefcake rat ogre, which is fairly essential. You must laboriously click on by way of each participant to be reminded which is which. Folks speak quite a lot of smack concerning the more moderen Blood Bowl video games by Cyanide, however that is as a result of they do not know how unhealthy we used to have it.
23. Dungeonbowl (2012)
Though that is nonetheless fairly unhealthy. The tabletop model of Dungeonbowl was an enlargement for the miniatures recreation, shifting it underground and including a parody of dungeon-crawling RPGs to its parody of American soccer. The videogame is a standalone tackle the identical thought, the place the ball’s hidden in a random treasure chest in a dungeon filled with teleporters that bounce gamers from room to room. When you thought Blood Bowl was too dicey earlier than, Dungeonbowl will probably be torture. Even in case you like Blood Bowl, taking its guidelines for maneuvering round open fields and squeezing them into corridors does not truly work. In any respect.
💀 22. Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower (2021)
The Warhammer Quest video games bounce to the Age of Sigmar, however extra worryingly develop into free-to-play. Whereas the primary within the collection had exploration between battles and story between dungeons, right here every time you end preventing on a recycled map you get shunted again to the menu within the hope you will spend cash within the store. What can you purchase? Lootboxes and random heroes. It is a gacha recreation, yeah.
A lot of the ranges are simple, even after they finally open up and cease being literal corridors, and the closest factor to a problem is ensuring you do not lose sufficient well being to attain lower than three stars—sorry, scrolls—on the occasional more durable one. Even rudimentary options of the earlier video games, like heroes having a number of fascinating skills to handle and a rotatable digital camera, have been binned.
21. Arcane Magic (2016)
Turbo Tape Video games
Usually I would not be harsh on one thing simply because it is a PC port of a cell recreation, however all the things about Arcane Magic feels restricted by its origin, from the tiny battle maps, to the best way scrolls are bought in “plunder packs,” to the twin currencies. Luckily the microtransactions have been disabled for the PC model, however the pacing remains to be designed round their presence and all the things feels barely off due to it.
The sport itself? Fundamental turn-based ways the place your wizards solid spells from a hand of playing cards whereas they discover the Outdated World gathering lumps of magic rock. It might be boring even with out its different issues.
20. Warhammer Quest 2: The Finish Occasions (2019)
A turn-based dungeon crawler that makes use of the apocalyptic ending of the Warhammer world to justify heroic knights preventing alongside skeletons and a darkish elf in fetishwear.
Whereas the sport it is a sequel to had problem choices together with permadeath, Warhammer Quest 2 has none. As a substitute you must play a recreation that is exhausting sufficient you might want to grind sidequests to maintain up with the curve, without having permadeath to make failure thrilling. As a substitute when heroes fall they take accidents that weaken them till their subsequent level-up, which implies extra grinding protected sidequests. I may let you know the fussy line-of-sight guidelines and the dearth of the primary recreation’s textual content adventures additionally let it down, however the horse is already lifeless and there is no have to flog it.
19. HeroQuest (1991)
A potent double-dose of nostalgia, each for 1991 when it was launched and for 1989 once I had the board recreation and performed it alone after boring each grownup who would sit down with me. HeroQuest was one of many basic dungeon crawl board video games that acted as a gateway drug to RPGs, like Descent or Gloomhaven do at the moment. The videogame is a direct adaptation all the way down to the quests and intro textual content, although it is solely capable of show a slice of the board at a time and the heroes waddle about like toddlers with full diapers.
If you wish to play HeroQuest on a pc with buddies Tabletop Simulator has you coated, however if you would like a half-bright AI for the monsters such as you’d wished for as a lonely baby in 1989, that is the drug for you.
18. Mark of Chaos (2006)
Black Gap Leisure/Namco Bandai
Two real-time Warhammer wargames preceded Mark of Chaos, and whereas it has the perfect UI of the three, with easy controls like mousewheel zooming, and the perfect graphics, with troopers that seem like the official miniatures of evening goblins and Imperial halberdiers and so forth, it nonetheless manages to be the worst of them. The animations aren’t so nice, all herky-jerky bent-arm swings, and heroes ship strange troops flying a ridiculous distance with each blow. However the true drawback is that Mark of Chaos is shallower than its predecessors, with too many battles that will not allow you to subject your full military, and ways extra like a drag-and-drop RTS.
It does not have the sooner video games’ persona, both, which made up for his or her clumsier controls.
17. Chaosbane (2019)
This action-RPG begins effectively. It is a competent Diablo-like with loads of darkish environment and Nurglings who climb one another like circus acrobats so you may bash them aside. Sadly its boss fights drag on due to their a number of well being bars, and too lots of the enemies in later acts are simply reskins of these from the primary.
The place different action-RPGs conceal the enjoyable within the endgame, Chaosbane frontloads it, and so will get much less gratifying the longer you keep it up. The primary act is fairly good, although.
16. Warhammer Underworlds On-line (2020)
Metal Sky Productions
A one-to-one adaptation of a tabletop recreation, Underworlds takes the much more heavy metallic excessive fantasy of Age of Sigmar and presents it at small scale, with squads of three and up preventing over goals that seem like leftover props from a D&D recreation.
Matches are solely three turns lengthy, which is usually not sufficient time to wipe out an enemy—as a substitute you win by finishing goals dealt from a deck of playing cards you assemble, which prioritizes considerate play and maneuvering over pure offense. There’s loads to be taught, and quite a lot of doubtlessly fascinating ways based mostly round establishing a warband and selecting playing cards for each goals and powers that swimsuit them.
Factor is, the whole singleplayer element is bot matches and the multiplayer is simply populated on the high finish. There’s hardly anyone in that candy spot between “completed the tutorials, on the lookout for an informal match-up” and “that is my without end recreation, over which I’ve achieved full mastery” so that you can be taught towards.
15. Mordheim: Warband Skirmish (2017)
Legendary Video games
In 1999 Video games Workshop launched a skirmish-scale tabletop recreation set within the ruins of the comet-smashed metropolis of Mordheim, the place warbands squabble over shards of magic “wyrdstone.” There have been a few digital variations, like this one which was initially launched for cell. It exhibits, however in ways in which truly add to it.
The Conflict of Clans-style fashions look agreeably like plastic collectible figurines and the brief length of battles offers it the snacky high quality that makes Into the Breach and XCOM: Chimera Squad simple to select up and play. With its conventional top-down view, it is also extra prone to set off any nostalgia you could have for the tabletop recreation than Rogue Issue’s extra bold model, just a few spots down the checklist.
Lastly, although I hesitate to say it in a rating of PC video games, this straightforward between-meals technique recreation is accessible on Change. I go away you to do with this data as you’ll.
14. Man o’ Battle: Corsair (2016)
You get to be captain of your personal ship. What’s to not like? Properly, AI so unhealthy at crusing that escort missions are a write-off, flying enemies that screech consistently and are exhausting to focus on, and janky dueling animations. So a good quantity, truly.
And but, as a result of Man o’ Battle offers you a lot freedom in the way you play, most of that does not matter. You’ll be able to focus on commerce, shopping for from ports that produce items in amount then promoting the place they’re in demand. Or hold the wind at your again whereas discovering firing options for the right broadsides. Both develop into a monster hunter, or simply flip sea monsters off fully within the menu. It enables you to focus on the plain enjoyable components of being a Warhammer pirate and provides a large berth to the remaining.
When you have fond recollections of Bethesda’s almost-forgotten Pirates of the Caribbean recreation, Man o’ Battle is kind of comparable. When you thought Sid Meier’s Pirates! could be higher with orcs, that is that.
13. Age of Sigmar: Champions (2018)
Age of Sigmar: Champions is uncommon among the many digital diversifications of Video games Workshop’s bodily video games in that it is a direct adjunct to a collectible card recreation, permitting gamers to scan of their bodily playing cards with a webcam or cellphone app after which use them within the videogame model. As a standalone free-to-play videogame it is respectable, with good card artwork and a few uncommon mechanics, like the best way unit playing cards rotate every flip, with completely different results on every rotation.
It actually comes into its personal when you’ve got a deck of the no-longer-printed precise playing cards, nevertheless, or choose some up second-hand and deal with this as a companion that can allow you to take your video games on-line or follow within the singleplayer campaigns.
💀 12. Age of Sigmar: Storm Floor (2021)
The Stormcast Eternals are holy lightning warriors who (often) come again after loss of life. Every reforging steals a few of their recollections and persona, nevertheless, leaving them metallic shells of their former selves. They’re splendid protagonists for a roguelike—think about Hades with hammers. As a substitute, Storm Floor takes roguelike development and provides it to turn-based ways.
The opposite playable factions are well-chosen, the undead Nighthaunts and daemonic Maggotkin each simply as prone to return from loss of life. The Maggotkin specifically are enjoyable to play, vomiting corruption throughout the map that heals them and hurts others, and from which extra of their items can spawn. The undead have executioners who carry combat-gallows, and the Stormcast concentrate on knockback assaults that may arrange chains of damaging collision.
If you become familiar with it, Storm Floor is completely respectable. It is exhausting to get to that time sadly, as a result of it is decided to be opaque. No tooltips, no guidelines reference or guide, and quite a lot of issues must be realized by trial and error. The “+1 squad summon” talent simply straight-up offers you a free copy of no matter unit you equip with it, and different expertise can work in stunning methods. The identical is true of items: you count on banshees to have a scream capacity, however the reality they explode on loss of life, damaging and pushing again anybody round them, is a little bit of a shock. In roguelikes trial and error is punishing, nevertheless it’s value studying to play Storm Floor despite itself.
11. Blood Bowl (2009)
Cyanide Studios/Focus Residence Interactive
Cyanide’s first take at Blood Bowl was truly their second, as they’d beforehand made a recreation referred to as Chaos League that was so near it that Video games Workshop’s attorneys got here round for a quiet phrase. One out-of-court settlement later and Cyanide by some means managed to attain the rights to develop an precise Blood Bowl recreation, which they did a reliable job of. Then they launched two extra variations of the identical recreation—the Legendary and Chaos editions—every barely increasing on the final.
Whereas their eventual 2015 sequel has a greater UI and nicer appears to be like, one factor I missed from this model was the actually demented number of bizarre cheerleaders, particularly the skeletons with pom-poms.
10. Shadow of the Horned Rat (1995)
This primary try at a real-time Warhammer wargame offers you command of a mercenary firm often known as the Grudgebringers. From this preliminary command of two items, one Imperial cavalry and one infantry, you department out unit-by-unit to finally subject all the things from wooden elf archers to dwarf gyrocopters, preventing towards greenskins and skaven.
These items are represented by primary sprites in a battle view restricted to a nook of the display screen, however what Shadow of the Horned Rat lacks in finesse it makes up for in persona, with a solid filled with Monty Python-esque accents delivering mission briefings, cutscenes, and battle cries. You will must tweak compatibility settings to get it working at the moment (Home windows XP Service Pack 2 mode works for me), nevertheless it’s value it.
9. Warhammer On-line: Age of Reckoning (2008)
Mythic Leisure/Digital Arts
Pour one out for Warhammer Age of Reckoning, aka WAR, one more MMO too lovely to reside. What’s that? You’ll be able to play it at the moment on community-run servers, and although there are some bugs and participant numbers aren’t all the time what they might be you may nonetheless have time? Hell, put that drink again within the bottle and go test it out.
WAR could have squeezed itself right into a World of Warcraft-shaped mildew to its detriment, nevertheless it additionally did nice stuff with realm-versus-realm fight, public quests, and a set of lessons that have been all cool in numerous methods. Like Metropolis of Heroes, it deserves a second probability.
8. Mordheim: Metropolis of Damned (2015)
It takes a minute to wrap your head across the mixture of over-the-shoulder digital camera and turn-based ways in Mordheim: Metropolis of the Damned (it is a bit like Valkyria Chronicles solely with overwatch slightly than enemies simply consistently firing infinite bullets on everybody’s flip). By “it takes a minute”, what I actually imply is “it takes your complete first marketing campaign, which you’ll lose.”
Mordheim is not simply XCOM from a unique angle, it is XCOM the place the Lengthy Battle on Iron Man mode is the one strategy to play. Your bosses demand funds on tight deadlines, story missions are brutal, and warriors lose limbs about as usually as I misplace my cellphone. Mordheim will get away with this harshness as a result of the playstyle it encourages—cautious, taking note of the enemy’s skills, studying the 3D maps in a manner your ground-level view facilitates—turns into gripping when you’re fastidiously shepherding a band of warriors with lacking arms and concussion by way of its ruined metropolis.
7. The Finish Occasions: Vermintide (2015)
As soon as Valve stopped releasing Left 4 Lifeless video games it fell to others to present us what we would have liked, which is the sense of being outnumbered however unwilling to fall, backed by our closest buddies who could or is probably not web strangers. Vermintide did that effectively, with heroes who’ve enjoyably outsized personas up towards skaven with no sense of self-preservation. Although its melee weapons did not have fairly the punchiness of these within the sequel, the unique Vermintide relied much less on leveling up and opening containers of barely higher gear. If that gradual gear accrual turns you off Vermintide 2, this primary recreation stays a blast at the moment.
6. Warhammer Quest (2015)
Rodeo Video games/Chilled Mouse
Midway between the roll-and-move simplicity of HeroQuest and the this-box-actually-contains-a-universe complexity of Gloomhaven is Warhammer Quest, a dungeon crawler with simply the correct quantity of downtime friction between dungeons.
Containers of textual content current easy selections, like “do you loot the tapestries or save the villagers’ donkey from being eaten.” Cities assemble themselves up out of the map like within the Recreation of Thrones credit so you may buy groceries or go to the temple for a blessing. It is primary in presentation, good for an outdated laptop computer, and since it began as a cell recreation and (horror of horrors) has DLC, it has been underrated. Ignore that Steam person rating of “combined,” Warhammer Quest is definitely fairly good certainly.
The High 5
5. Blood Bowl 2 (2015)
Cyanide Studios/Focus Residence Interactive
On the one hand Blood Bowl 2 is a recreation that does a horrible job educating you how you can play it. The singleplayer marketing campaign tries to be a tutorial, however introduces core concepts too slowly and solely enables you to play as one workforce. In the meantime, the AI is so rudimentary I’ve performed for over 50 hours and by no means seen it throw a move. And but, I’ve performed it for over 50 hours, as a result of Blood Bowl 2 is powerful the place it truly must be.
It takes the fantastic board recreation about skeletons failing to select up footballs and places it on PC extra slickly than ever, with multiplayer and an infinite league mode, provides some daffy animations and calls it a day. When you do not love the board recreation you will by no means perceive this, however in case you’ve spent nice evenings on the desk studying how you can set up your turns with the intention to get as a lot executed as doable earlier than Johnny Bones fumbles the ball and causes a turnover, that is wonderful.
4. Darkish Omen (1998)
The sequel to Shadow of the Horned Rat stored the real-time ways battles and the construction of a mercenary firm slowly constructing a various roster over the course of a marketing campaign, and improved virtually each different factor. As a substitute of the motion going down in a nook window it is 3D and fills the display screen. The UI will get out of the best way and the faces of troopers pop as much as shout as they cost or flee such as you’re in a videoconference with a whole battlefield.
If it had extra enemies than simply undead and greenskins, it may be good. As it’s, in case you just like the battles from Complete Battle however don’t need the technique stuff getting in the best way, right here you go. You will want some assist from PC Gaming Wiki to get it working at the moment (downloading EngRel’s “3D Repair & Excessive Digicam zoom & Overhead Map” did the trick for me), nevertheless it’s value it. There is a modding group too.
3. Complete Battle: Warhammer (2016)
The Warhammer mods for Rome and Medieval 2 proved there was an viewers for a Complete Battle: Warhammer, nevertheless it nonetheless felt like a miracle each that it lastly occurred, and that it was executed so effectively. The factions really feel distinct and make you need to truly play the marketing campaign greater than as soon as, and it cleverly ditches a few of the collection’ extra indulgent components like lineages and seasons to create a extra streamlined Complete Battle, one which feels suited to fantasy-bashing whether or not you are enjoying honor-driven Brettonian knights or headbutt-hungry orcs.
The sequel is healthier, however in case you’re significantly dedicated to one of many factions within the first recreation I might suggest it, and you are going to need to purchase each finally anyway.
2. Vermintide 2 (2018)
Generally in Vermintide 2 an enemy, whether or not a furry ratman or one of many worm-pale Northmen, will get killed the second earlier than your swing connects. The elf on the again places an arrow in a watch socket, or the witch hunter jabs his rapier by way of whereas working previous. Regardless that your personal assault is wasted, watching it join and sever an already lifeless enemy’s limb isn’t a downer, as a result of that is how good it feels to hit issues in Vermintide 2.
As you juke round its hordes, staggering backwards as you deflect a blow then blurring forwards for a riposte, you are feeling such as you’re in a lethal duel the place on one aspect there’s you and your mates, and on the opposite aspect there is a hundred mutants. It scales up all the things concerning the first Vermintide, with extra open ranges, a extra concerned levelling system, and extra enemies, however what actually makes a distinction is the way it makes the primary recreation’s fight really feel weightless by comparability.
To search out another recreation with first-person melee fight this good you both must sink into the fiddly aggressive world of Mordhau and Chivalry 2, or journey again in time to Darkish Messiah. However you do not have to do both as a result of Vermintide 2’s proper right here, and you may play it with your mates.
1. Complete Battle: Warhammer 2 (2017)
“Extra of the identical” generally is a flaw, however not after we’re speaking about Warhammer. This is not a setting that thrives on originality. It is about maximalism, all the things you want about trad fantasy baked collectively after which much more layered on high. That is what Complete Battle: Warhammer 2 delivers, with extra armies, extra distinctive mechanics for these armies, extra landmass, and extra campaigns—one a race to manage a magic vortex, one other the conquer-everything Mortal Empires. There are even bespoke campaigns within the DLC for factions just like the food-obsessed goblins who want their very own cooking minigame, or the a number of fleets of vampirates.
I used to suppose the perfect Complete Battle video games have been those with smaller maps, just like the Shogun video games, however Warhammer 2 has 4 continents plus change, with the Mortal Empires DLC making it even larger, and all its sprawling decadence ends in a giant opulent layer cake of all the things that is nice about Warhammer, solely extra of the identical. We have by no means had going again for seconds this good.
Do not let the remainder of PC Gamer discover out I stated this, nevertheless it’s not simply the perfect Warhammer recreation, it is the perfect Complete Battle recreation too, and by a major margin.
Warhammer: What to learn subsequent
That is quite a lot of Warhammer. However if you wish to know extra concerning the Outdated World and the tales behind its many video games, this is what to learn subsequent.