Games Like Final Fantasy Tactics
While being part of the larger Final Fantasy franchise, “Final Fantasy Tactics” has earned a reputation that turned it into a phenomenon of its own. It’s widely regarded as the greatest tactics-based RPG. Thanks to an immersive storyline, impressive battle sequences, and challenging combat systems, Tactics has made quite a cultural impression. It’s no wonder that casual players, hardcore gamers, and critics alike all adore this game. Over the years, many other replicas emerged hoping to achieve the same level of success as Final Fantasy Tactics. Many have tried, but few have succeeded. If you’re looking to rekindle the magic of building your party, gathering your strength, and playing on isometric arenas, here’s a list of the best games like Final Fantasy Tactics to try.
1. Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling
The first on our list is for entomologists or just anyone who isn’t afraid of critters. Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling is an RPG developed by the independent Moonsprout Games. Vi, Kabbu, and Leif are the main characters, and they’re on a mission to find the Everlasting Sapling that grants eternal life. Inspired by “Paper Mario” and “The Thousand-Year Door,” “Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling” has a turned-based format, unique player abilities, and an imaginative world that’s both familiar and strange. No wonder it’s a critically acclaimed game!
2. Children of Zodiarcs
Visit the realm of Lumus and accompany Nahmi as she tries to strike a blow against the elite! Sounds great? Children of Zodiarcs is another well-received RPG game that utilizes a deck-and-dice-based combat system. This new gameplay demands a good strategy, but you’ll be rewarded with an enriching story and great characters. Along with Nahmi come other outcasts whose abilities you can customize. So consider every trick or skill and how these affect your chances on the battlefield. Remember: in this world divided by affluence and poverty, no one leaves unscathed!
3. Disgaea Series
Initially released in 2003, the Disgaea Series has since become one of the biggest franchises in tactical RPG gaming. The original sprouted several sequels, manga, its own TV series, and several spin-offs. Talk about popularity! Don’t let the cute characters and funny dialogue lower your guard. This game has complex gameplay, very high levels, and other features that make it quite a challenge. Your goal? To help Laharl reclaim her throne. If you’re looking for a comedic yet tough tactical RPG, this is it!
4. Insignia: Tactics
Of course, creating a list of games like Final Fantasy Tactics, we had to talk about our own smart phone app! Insignia: Tactics follows the story of a nation coming to war. You play as one of the characters who’s fated to help shape the coming conflict. Insignia features a turn-based combat system where actions and movement take place on a Final Fantasy Tactics-like grid. The game offers 14-playable character classes, over 70-unique spells/ abilities that characters can use, and a wide range of customization. If you’re looking for tactical battles, centered around an immersive story, look no further!
5. Fire Emblem
If you’ve been a long-time Nintendo fan, you’re probably already familiar with the adventures of Roy, Ike, Marth, and the rest of the “Fire Emblem” characters. The “Fire Emblem” franchise is another hit tactical RPG that’s been around since 1990. One of the most notable aspects of this game series is the permanent death of characters in Classic Mode. Of course, the turn-based gameplay, time management elements, and complex strategies also made the series a hit! Try Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the series’ latest release!
6. Front Mission Series
This is the first in our list that doesn’t involve fantastical elements — a common theme among many tactical RPGs (developers can’t help it with the magic and spells and supernatural creatures). Instead, the Front Mission Series is set in a near-future world filled with robots called wanzers. The wanzers are part of your army, led by Lloyd Clive. With him, you’ll investigate munitions plants and discover nefarious plots within. Along the way, enjoy the isometric grid system, turn-based battles, and an immersive storyline.
Gungnir is based on Odin’s magical spear, which the general public might know from the Thor movies. But that’s not the only connection between the game and movie franchise. “Gungnir” the tactical RPG was first released in 2011, the same year that Marvel first introduced the character of Odin. Still, the spear’s name is the only connection to mythology. The game is set in a fantastical world with demonic weapons, intriguing heroes, and a unique gameplay feature called “Tactics Gauge” that set it apart from other tactical RPGs.
8. Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark
Hailed for having one of the most immersive storylines, Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark is a world that you’d want to get lost in. This tactical RPG is story-driven for the most part. It’s set in a fantasy world with a bit of steampunk. By taking control of Arbiter Kyrie, you’ll get to explore the land, lead your soldiers, and fight the enemy’s troops. It’s not just the narrative that’s addicting. “Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark” has an intuitive class system and unique gameplay that will have you playing for hours.
9. Jeanne d’Arc
Yes, the title is the French name for Joan of Arc. As you can expect, this tactical RPG revolves around the religious figure and badass heroine. Playing as Jeanne and her fellow compatriots, you’ll get to experience her historic battles and clash with foes. The developers have taken a few liberties with her story, adding fantastical elements and giving characters special affinities. While the gameplay is masterful, critics also praise the game’s historical significance and Jeanne’s character arc (pun not intended). If you want an adventure that brings you to the 15th century, full of knights, politicking, and magic, then this is it!
10. Luminous Arc Series
Ooh — another game with an “arc.” This one is also a medieval fantasy tactical SRPG, with similar themes of religion. But don’t walk away just yet! Luminous Arc has remained a popular series thanks to its excellent gameplay, entertaining intermissions, and multiplayer battle mode — a rarity in the vast world of tactical RPGs. The first iteration follows the story of Garden Children. They were sent on a mission to hunt witches and eventually discover that their enemies aren’t the bad people they seem to be.
11. Monster Hunter: World
The Monster Hunter series is a hugely successful game franchise that also had an anime series, a manga, and even a movie that starred Milla Jovovich. While most of the “Monster Hunter” franchise is more of an action RPG, “Monster Hunter: World” has more tactical RPG elements. You’ll be the hunter and go on quests to trap and slay monsters. While that’s hardly a novel concept, the game remains popular thanks to a player’s ability to craft weapons and environmental spaces. If you want to take down the biggest and the baddest, you’ll need some creativity!
12. Moon Fall
If you want an old-school RPG game set in a 2-D side-scrolling world, then this is the one to get. “Moon Fall” is a Japanese game set in an industrial gothic universe. What’s outstanding is the hand-painted world that feels as classic as Final Fantasy Tactics. More than the aesthetics, Moon Fall showcases many levels filled with formidable enemies, a real-time combat system, and a quasi-locking mechanism that tests your mettle. Slash and hack away!
13. Ogre Battle
If there’s one game that could possibly rival the fame of Final Fantasy Tactics, it’s probably the “Ogre Battle” series. It’s one of the classics in strategy RPGs, spawning a large franchise that remains popular today. “Ogre Battle” is set in the medieval Kingdom of Valeria, and players get to clash with the ogres and other monsters hounding the kingdom. If you’re looking for a true tactical RPG with isometric graphics and turned-based gameplay, make sure to get Tactics Ogre: Reborn.
14. Sword Legacy: Omen
Much like “Jeanne d’Arc,” Sword Legacy: Omen is based on medieval figures. This time, it’s King Arthur and his mythos. However, there’s a morbid and brutal twist: you’ll be playing Uther, a vengeful knight. Merlin will be there too, but he’s an eldritch terror instead of the wizened sorcerer. Travel along Broken Britannia on a quest to find the Excalibur. You’ll enjoy the true tactical RPG experience with turn-based gameplay, exceptional graphics, and lots of gore. Definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart!
15. Tenderfoot Tactics
If you’re tired of the overly stylized designs of most RPGs and humans being the protagonists, then check out Tenderfoot Tactics. For once, it’s the goblins that take the stage. The game also has a minimalist design that helps you focus on the game. Focus is indeed important because you’ll need to understand the elements around you during the game. Part of the deterministic combat system is manipulating the elements and finding ways to battle the Fog, a mysterious force that serves as the main antagonist of the story.
16. The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics
Anyone who grew up in the 80s or 90s would be familiar with the epic story of “Dark Crystal.” So if you’re a fan, you’d love the new RPG The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics. This one is based on the critically acclaimed Netflix prequel show. Since it was just released last 2020, “The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics” has modern graphics and amazing visuals. But the game remains true to the classic tactical RPG mechanics. So devise your winning strategies, play new and familiar characters, and defeat the evil Skeksis once and for all!
17. Undernauts: Labyrinth Of Yomi
Undernauts: Labyrinth Of Yomi is mainly a dungeon crawl game with elements of tactical RPG. It follows a band of Undernauts, a group of miners set on exploring and collecting the riches of the Labyrinth of Yomi. While adventuring, you’ll encounter monsters, friends, and treasures beyond your imagination. Thanks to the novel gameplay concepts and incredible game design and graphics, “Undernauts: Labyrinth Of Yomi” has become one of the most beloved games in this subgenre of RPG. Make sure to check it out!
18. Unsung Story
Dubbed the spiritual successor of Final Fantasy Tactics, Unsung Story has the same imaginative world, intriguing characters, and intuitive gameplay — all made more visually pleasing with 21st-century graphics. It’s also directed by Yasumi Matsuno, the same person that designed “Ogre Battle,” Final Fantasy Tactics, and other notable tactical RPGs. The story will have you traveling back in time to see what triggered the 77-Year War. Evil has won, so it’s up to your team to find out what happened and make the changes that will save the world.
19. Vandal Hearts
First released in 1996, Vandal Hearts remains one of the top tactical RPGs worldwide. You’ll play as Ash Lambert, exploring the medieval fantasy setting and navigating the religious conflicts plaguing the land. The end goal? To overthrow the tyrannical regime and protect the world from an ancient evil. Immersive story aside, “Vandal Hearts” is beloved for the several character classes that use rock-paper-scissors gameplay, split movements, and a (sometimes) unforgiving gameplay. You might need to revisit levels, but it will all be worth it!
20. Yakuza: Like A Dragon
If you’re expecting fire-breathing monsters for this game, there aren’t any. But the exceptional gameplay, intriguing characters, and immersive stories more than make up for the lack of fantasy elements. “Yakuza: Like A Dragon” is set in the modern era, and it’s part of the Yakuza games franchise. The biggest deviation of Yakuza: Like A Dragon from the original games is how players can use nearby elements during combat, not just what’s on their inventory. This created more dynamic gameplay that relies on the player’s creativity. So toss a bicycle or trashcan — it will damage the enemies!