Best Upcoming Strategy Games 2021 (And Beyond)

If you enjoy coming up with new ways to outwit your opponents, chances are you’re looking forward to playing the best upcoming strategy games of 2021.

Whether it’s turn-based or real-time, 4X or city builder, this year is full of great-looking titles that fall under the strategy umbrella.

In this list, we’ll be highlighting our most anticipated strategy games releasing throughout 2021 and beyond.

We’ve taken the liberty of including any known release dates along with gameplay footage where ever possible.

Make sure to check back for updates regarding release dates, trailers, and new announcements.

Related:Best Deck-Building Video Games 2021Best Tower Defense Games 2021Best Upcoming PC Games 2021 (And Beyond)

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Due out sometime this year, Manor Lords presents an interesting blend of city-builder and RTS battling set during the Medieval Times. The game sees you building your own city on a gridless map that provides full freedom to place and rotate items as you see fit.

As cities flourish and populations grow, players will be able to expand their horizons by crafting trade routes, building fortifications, and forming armies to defend against invaders. However, success won’t come overnight, as settlements require constant upkeep to ensure there are enough resources to keep villagers happy and healthy.

Obstacles such as harsh weather conditions, disease, and famine are all unfortunate realities to keep in mind as you progress in the game. Manor Lords is currently being developed by Slavic Magic, a one-man operation, so try to temper your expectations regarding the scale and scope of the final game.

The 2004 strategy-management sim Evil Genius is finally getting a proper sequel in 2020, with Rebellion handling both production and publishing. Evil Genius 2: World Domination will see players reprising their role as an evil mastermind as they build a secret base from the ground-up while recruiting and managing an army of minions.

An early gameplay trailer highlights the many improvements and new features being worked into the sequel. These include streamlined base construction and minion recruitment systems, as well as the ability to send minions out on missions once they’ve been adequately trained.

Evil lairs can now be infiltrated by secret agents, requiring players to use a variety of over-the-top defenses to stop them. Considering the original game couldn’t quite deliver on its exciting premise, we’re eager to see how Evil Genius 2 pans out.

Coming from indie developer Amplitude Studios, Humankind is a 4X strategy game that sees you rewriting history by establishing unique civilizations based on 60 historical periods starting with the Bronze Age up until modern times.

Players will be able to influence societies by making tough moral decisions, reacting to historical events, and spearheading scientific breakthroughs. The game shares some obvious similarities with the Civilization series, but we can’t exactly blame it.

The Sid Meier games have dominated the 4x turn-based strategy subgenre for almost 30 years, so you could say fans are overdue a worthy alternative. Still no word on an official release date, but expect HumanKind to be released sometime next year.

Many strategy gamers consider Age of Empires to be the best long-running series around, starting with the first entry’s release in 1997. While the original focused on human history throughout the Stone and Iron Ages, later installments have shifted their focus to the Middle Ages, a trend that appears to be continuing in the next game.

Age of Empires IV will attempt to recapture the magic of the original trilogy while offering new experiences tailored for both veterans and newcomers to the series. In it, players are tasked with managing their civilization’s workers and military units, eventually turning their small population into a mighty nation. 

The game is expected to feature a lengthy campaign that will see you advancing through the ages as you collect resources, wage war with enemies, and unlock new technologies. It’s unclear when fans can expect to get their hands on Age of Empires IV, but with Microsoft backing it, we’re confident the game will get the love and polish it deserves.

Now that Ubisoft has acquired developer Blue Byte, fans can look forward to a full-fledged reboot of the city-building franchise The Settlers. Currently in development, The Settlers will be the first new entry in over a decade and is rumored to include a ton of features designed to breathe new life into the series.

For one, gameplay has been expanded to now include elements of real-time strategy, namely during battles. That being said, the main focus will still be managing your town’s population and resources, ensuring things run as smoothly as possible.

Additionally, players can expect new upgrades and techniques for keeping their township organized as it grows over time. Considering Ubisoft’s previous role in The Settlers franchise and their extensive history with the Anno series, we’re curious to see what they have in store.

Set during the 14th Century “Dark Age,” Going Medieval sees you attempting to rebuild society in a world where 95% of the global population has fallen victim to rampant plague. In the wake of society’s ashes, nature has reclaimed most of the land, providing the perfect foundation for a new civilization.

This is where you step in, guiding the few remaining survivors to come together and establish a new home safe from not only disease but also outlaws, barbarians, and religious fanatics. You’ll design, build, and expand your own settlement, going from humble wooden huts to stone castles and underground strongholds.

As you progress, you’ll be able to unlock new weapons and equipment using research and crafting systems to give your colonists a fighting chance. However, there’s more to caring for your people than winning battles, as each villager has individual wants and needs that will cause their mood to drop if neglected.

Developed by Ominux Games and published by Chucklefish, Starmancer is an upcoming colony management sim with strategy and base-building elements. In it, you take on the role of a highly-resourceful A.I. tasked with constructing and managing a space station capable of sustaining human life.

The game affords you the freedom to either play things straight and keep your colonists happy or play into their fears and doubts by sabotaging their mission at every turn. Regardless of how you approach things, you’ll eventually have to grapple with the consequences of your actions.

Colonists will remember especially traumatic experiences and are prone to spreading rumors and gossip throughout the station. At times, you may find yourself having to overcome challenges like alien invasions, psychological breakdowns, and total mutiny aboard the station.

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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