If you’re looking for games like Final Fantasy Tactics to play in 2023 then look no further as we have a list of ten great games to test your tactical brainpower.
Final Fantasy is best known for its narrative driven, numbered entries in the main series. Several games within the core franchise have become staples of pop culture, with heroes like Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII being as recognisable as gaming icons such as Mario, Sonic and Lara Croft.
The world and lore of each Final Fantasy is what makes it stand apart from other RPGs. Storylines deal with real-world issues including class disparity, environmental crises and international conflict.
Final Fantasy Tactics adapts those themes into tactical RPGs, allowing players to take control of multiple heroes where a well developed strategy overcomes brute force.
Fans have been clamoring for a remake or a remaster of Final Fantasy Tactics for years but it appears those desires will go unfulfilled for the time being after the game’s director, Yasumi Matsuno recently confirmed a remaster isn’t in the works.
That leaves gamers looking for a slice of tactical RPG cake looking elsewhere, and we’re here to serve up a generous portion of alternatives to enjoy in 2023.
Whether you’re looking for a tactical RPG that features wizards, knights, soldiers or superheroes, our list of the 10 best games like Final Fantasy Tactics has you covered.
Table of Contents
1. Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings (2007)
Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings is one of the few direct sequels to a mainline Final Fantasy game. Taking place one year after the events of Final Fantasy XII, Revenant Wings invites players back to the world of Ivalice to join Vaan and Penelo once more.
Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings moves away from its predecessor’s ingenious gambit battle system and instead fully embraces the intricacies of the real-time strategy genre.
A novelty of Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings is that the whole thing can be played using the Nintendo DS stylus. Opting to do so really conveys the experience of being a general in battle, much more of a pen-pusher than a sword-swinger.
Fans of Final Fantasy Tactics will find plenty to love in Revenant Wings with the series shared DNA connecting the two in the same way that every Final Fantasy is fundamentally linked.
There are even several locations from Final Fantasy Tactics that make their return within Revenant Wings with both titles set in the world of Ivalice.
With an intriguing story and clever battle mechanics, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings is a must have for Tactics fans.
2. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks Of Hope (2022)
Who said tactical RPGs had to be dour, serious affairs?
It’s obvious that nobody told the teams at Nintendo and Ubisoft that the genre needs to be stoic protagonists fighting to save the world from apocalyptic evil.
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks Of Hope is the follow up to the critically acclaimed Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and once again sees Mario teaming up with those bonkers Rabbids in tactical battles to push back the ‘Darkmess’ that’s threatening the galaxy… Ok, there’s some world saving to be had here!
Sparks Of Hope ditches the grid system from Kingdom Battle and instead allows players to freely move throughout each arena with an element of real-time combat to punctuate proceedings.
The blend of tactical RPG with the worlds of Mario and the Rabbids produces a joyous, silly and entertaining romp that earned the game a favourable ’86’ on Metacritic.
There’s even some cracking additions for players to jump into after finishing the game. The Phantom Show DLC sees the return everybody’s favourite limbless platforming hero, Rayman, after a painfully long sabbatical from the gaming scene.
3. The Banner Saga Trilogy (2014-2018)
Final Fantasy has often pulled elements from Norse mythology to flesh out its lore. Summons like Odin are based on the All-Father, ‘Ragnarok’ pops up in several titles as a weapon or a ship and whole books have been written about how Norse mythology inspired Final Fantasy VII.
It’s no surprise then that a game that fuses the best of Final Fantasy Tactics with the mythos of the Norse Gods finds its way onto our list of the best games like Final Fantasy Tactics to play in 2023.
The gorgeous presentation is reminiscent of early Disney classics like Sword in the Stone with hand-drawn animation that is a joy to behold. Poignant vignettes move the story of Vikings approaching cataclysm along while gameplay arenas are exceptionally realised and full of detail.
Each game in the series is relatively brief in comparison to other titles in our list, but as a whole they provide an emotional odyssey through this dark fantasy world. Gameplay is solid and pays homage to Final Fantasy Tactics in its moment to moment action.
We may be cheating a little by including all three of the Banner Saga games here but picking a single entry from the series would do a disservice to the trilogy as a whole.
4. Triangle Strategy (2022)
Triangle Strategy is a slow burner that rewards players that invest in its lore and story. A huge cast of characters shift and snake their way through this politically charged title that isn’t afraid to bump-off key players in often shocking and dramatic ways.
In a departure for what is often a genre staple, Triangle Strategy doesn’t deal with Gods or monsters destroying worlds and instead focuses on human strife in a land short of resource and the spirit of collaboration.
The action follows the blueprint laid out by Final Fantasy Tactics and is easy to acclimitise to in the beginning while later battles provide suitably challenging gameplay.
The level design is truly remarkable with maps that encourage players to explore all avenues before committing to their actions.
The beautiful 3D pixel art will entice fans of Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogres games and will be immediately familiar to anyone who has played Octopath Traveller.
The political intrigue, stunning graphics and best-in-class level design is sure to enrapture fans of the genre.
5. Valkyria Chronicles 4 (2018)
Plenty of tactical role playing games elevate the player into the role of Commanding Officer or an overseer who manages the battle from afar. These commanders presumably have their feet up with a huge cup of tea, just like our Editor-In-Chief, Seb does when he’s handing out our writing assignments for the day.
Valkyria Chronicles bucks the trend by letting players take control of individual units from a third-person perspective in addition to managing troops from a distance. The BLiTZ or, Battle of Live Tactical Zones, system sees players making grand operational decisions in Command Mode before swooping into the fray in Action Mode.
The ability to move freely around each World War I inspired warzone lends Valkyria Chronicles 4 a unique twist on the tactical RPG genre that rewards those brave enough to fight on the front lines.
It’s not only the BLiTZ system that sets Valkyria Chronicles apart from its contemporaries. The series is also known for a distinctive art style that seamlessly blends cel-shaded characters and objects with watercolour painting aesthetics.
Fans of Final Fantasy Tactics will love the setting and visuals of Valkryia Chronicles 4 and perhaps relish in the freedom of breaking away from the grid-based battles in a third-person saga.
6. Tactics Ogre: Reborn (2022)
We often talk about remakes at Retro Dodo but Tactics Ogre: Reborn isn’t just a remake. It’s a remake, of a remake!
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together first launched back in 1995 on the Super Nintendo before receiving a remake for Sony’s PSP in 2010. Tactics Ogre: Reborn builds on the legacy of the original game and delivers a beautiful modern rendition for Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation player in 2023.
Just like its Square-Enix stablemate, Tactics Ogre: Reborn sees characters adopting different classes on the battlefield to win battles using medieval weaponry, fantastic magic and strategic mastery.
Fans of grand Final Fantasy style narratives will love the story of Tactics Ogre: Reborn. Set in a nation divided by class and race, players control a group of rebels led by siblings Denam and Catiua Pavel and their friend Vyce.
The trio must work together, pushing back the oppressive forces in beautiful 3D pixel-perfect dioramas. Tactics Ogre: Reborn provides exceptional replay value by having diverging story threads, with the main storyline branching based on the actions of the party.
7. Fire Emblem Engage (2023)
Fire Emblem Engage tells the story of Alear, a dragon awoken from a millennium of slumber (and we thought we liked a lie-in) to defeat the evil Sombron.
Alear’s quest takes her across the continent of Elyos, collecting magic rings that hold the key to defeating Sombron once and for all.
Long time fans of the Fire Emblem series will be thrilled to see references to previous games with several fan-favourite characters returning as phantasmal copies within the game’s twelve magic rings.
The turn-based combat employs a grid system for each battle like in Final Fantasy Tactics. Terrain can be used strategically with rivers, fortresses and more all impacting the flow of combat.
The Emblem Rings grant characters the ability to ‘Engage’, bestowing buffs and additional skills that can turn the tide of battle.
It’s not all fisticuffs though as Fire Emblem Engage also offers a wide array of side content and mini-games for players to enjoy throughout its substantial runtime.
8. Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp (2023)
Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp is a fun and accessible tactical RPG for players looking to dip their toes into the genre. This remake combines the first two Advance Wars games that appeared on the Game Boy Advance in one tidy package for the Nintendo Switch.
The stories within each campaign keep things mostly light and breezy despite the comparisons to real-world international conflicts. Taking the role of a commanding officer, players move their troops across the tiles on each map.
Effective terrain navigation is essential to securing victory in Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp, with the variety of units impacted differently by the assortment of terrain. Capturing key locations on each map allows players to construct and deploy more artillery to help them win each skirmish.
The reboot gives these classics a lick of paint and some beautiful visual flourishes that make each map feel tactile and reminiscent of real-life game boards.
In addition to a light-hearted story, Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp also includes offline and online competitive modes for up to four players. Conquering your friends with your superior tactical brainpower never gets old!
9. XCOM 2 (2016)
Much like your standard, traditional role-playing game, tactical RPGs are usually solo affairs. But what if you’re the sociable sort? Somebody who loves hanging out with their pals but also yearns for strategic, turn based battles. Good news my pedigree chums, XCOM has you covered.
XCOM 2 in particular has a fantastic character creator, enabling players to build a squad of their chosing to enter into turn-based battles with the invading alien forces that threaten Earth. Those pesky aliens never seem to just want to hang out and play Micro Machines do they?
The best part about the character creator in XCOM 2 is being able to create your mates and take them into battle with you. There’s a simple joy in recreating your best buddies and seeing them face-off against the alien hordes.
There’s a greater sense of self-preservation in XCOM 2 when compared to other games like Final Fantasy Tactics due to the looming permadeath. That’s right, after building your BFF squad, any of them can take a permanent dirt-nap if you make too many tactical blunders.
The threat of unreversible death provides an edge to XCOM 2’s battles. Strategically positioning troops is paramount to a successful campaign with minimal casualties. Players should develop skills in ambushing the alien forces and working as a unified squad to ensure success.
XCOM 2 is a tense, puzzling tactical RPG for players to get stuck into. It’s also occasionally hilarious to see your mates decimated by aliens because you sent them running out of cover by mistake…
10. Marvel’s Midnight Suns (2022)
Now this is something a little different from the knights and wizards seen in our other picks in this list, unless of course we consider Tony Stark as a knight and Dr. Strange as a wizard (he’s technically a sorcerer).
Marvel’s Midnight Suns eschews the usual superhero game adaptation by foregoing frantic, real-time combat in favour of a tactical, strategic approach.
Brought to us by XCOM developer Firaxis Games, Midnight Suns sees members of the Avengers, X-Men and Runaways given the tactical RPG treatment the studio is known for.
The game introduces a new player created superhero called ‘The Hunter’ that can battle alongside Wolverine, Iron Man, Captain Marvel and the rest as they work together to defeat demon sorceress Lilith and save the world.
Gameplay sees teams of three heroes going toe-to-toe with a host of evil monstrosities. Using a robust deck-building system, players can use special moves and abilities to attack and deal damage.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns encourages smart use of the battlefield just like in Final Fantasy Tactics. Cleaver positioning of your heroes in each fight will enable players to deal additional damage when unleashing attacks that can push enemies into each other or into environmental hazards.
With stunning graphics, a witty script and fun, strategic battles, Marvel’s Midnight Sun is a solid recommendation for any tactical RPG fan.
This article may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to purchase an item we may earn a commission.
Theo first fell in love with gaming when he sped through Green Hill Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog back in 1991. Theo has previously provided reviews, news coverage and articles for The Games Cabin and enjoyed producing comedic Let’s Plays on his own personal YouTube channels.
A huge Kingdom Hearts and Metal Gear fan, Theo enjoys deep gameplay mechanics and complex storylines. A completionist by nature, Theo has earned over 140 platinum trophies including top digital trinkets for Stardew Valley, The Witness, Bloodborne and a plethora of GTA games.
Outside of gaming, Theo can often be found riding his motorbike, headbanging at gigs or out in the countryside exploring nature and marvelling at the ‘realistic graphics’.