Final Fantasy Tactics is a tactical role-playing game that combines classic role-playing game mechanics with tactical strategy gameplay. The game was first released for the PlayStation 1 in 1997 and later released for handheld devices such as the PlayStation Portable and mobile.
Final Fantasy Tactics is set in the Kingdom of Ivalice in the middle of the war of the lions. The game follows protagonist Ramza Beoulve who seeks to uncover the mysteries and the truth behind the war.
As like most tactical RPG’s the game features grid-based turn-based action gameplay under time conditions. Likewise, the game plays like chess with characters having specific maneuverability.
When Final Fantasy Tactics was first released in 1997, critics reviewed it well, scoring an 83 from critics and a 9.1 from users.
Although the game is highly underrated amongst the Final Fantasy games, the reviews show that Final Fantasy Tactics is still a great game. Thus, although not as well known, it is one of the series best.
Furthermore, there are many tactical RPGs of the same caliber as Final Fantasy Tactics. This article will highlight a few of these. Thus, this article will outline 11 great games like Final Fantasy Tactics to play in 2021.
Games Like Final Fantasy Tactics – Our Pick👌
- Fire Emblem Three Houses
- Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
- Pokemon Conquest
- Advanced Wars Series
- Suikoden Tactics
- Lord of The Rings Tactics
- Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
1. Fire Emblem Three Houses
Fire Emblem Three Houses are one of the best Fire Emblem games and best tactical RPGs in general. Originally released in 2019, the game has you take control of the protagonist Byleth, a newly appointed teacher at the Garreg Mach Monastery.
The Monastery is the home of three distinct factions and groups, the Golden Deer, Blue Lions, and Black Eagles. Each group has unique characters, with each group owning a part of the region known as Fodland.
As Byleth, you assume the role of a teacher to one of these groups, teaching them how to battle. Quickly though, as the school year progresses, events start to unfold with characters within the factions plotting war against one another.
It is up to you to stop them. The story heavily focuses on Fire Emblem lore, with Byleth having a unique connection to the god Sothis. Fire Emblem Three Houses are full of lore, and one of the more lore-packed Fire Emblem games.
The game plays very similarly to Final Fantasy Tactics in that both games use grid-based gameplay. Likewise, both are turn-based and feature similar gameplay mechanics. As a result, Fire Emblem Three Houses is a game like Final Fantasy Tactics.
On the other hand, Fire Emblem Three houses feature a unique and complex story with multiple different story trees. The House you pick to teach will determine your story.
Each House consists of hours of story, adding considerable replayability to the game. Thus from a replayability and content factor, the game is one of the best.
When Fire Emblem Three Houses were released in 2019, the game scored tremendously with an 89 from critics and an 8.9 user score, making it one of the best Tactical RPGs on the market today. If you love the genre and have not picked up this game, you are missing out.
2. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
When Mario +Rabbids Kingdom Battle was released in 2017, the game took the world by storm. Historically, Nintendo has been reluctant to hand over its IP to other developers. But in 2017, the famous publisher did just that, handing over its Mario franchise to Ubisoft Milan.
An accumulation of hard work and collaboration led to the development of Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle, a turn-based tactical RPG that had you control famous characters from the Mario franchise and the infamous but oddly adorable Rabbids as you defeat evil in the Mushroom Kingdom.
The game consists of similar turn-based combat on a grid to Final Fantasy Tactics but adds a unique twist of humor.
Mario +Rabbids Kingdom Battle has a dynamic battle system featuring dodging, squad-based gameplay, and co-op multiplayer.
Although many games in the Mario franchise are considered easy, Mario +Rabbids Kingdom Battle is notably hard with challenging gameplay spread across various missions, puzzles, and bosses.
Furthermore, the game also has Amiibo functionality and support, allowing you to unlock weapons and items. Mario +Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a game like Final Fantasy Tactics in that both games feature very similar gameplay mechanics.
Both use tactical-based gameplay in an RPG-like style. Mario +Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a great game and is beloved by many fans, be sure to play this game before its sequel releases soon.
3. Pokemon Conquest
Pokémon Conquest is a unique game set in the Pokémon universe, a top-down turn-based strategy RPG rather than the classic turn-based RPG the series is used to. The game is a direct crossover between Pokémon and Nobunaga’s Ambition series of games.
Pokémon Conquest is set in the Ransei region and has your journey across the region, conquering each of its 17 sections. A warlord with a specific Pokémon controls each part of the region. You are tasked with defeating each warlord and uniting the land of Ransei.
The game is loosely based on ancient Japanese history and its warlords, taking direct inspiration from that specific era of the Japanese past.
Pokémon Conquest, much like the other games on Games Like Final Fantasy Tactics list, features top-down turn-based gameplay and involves strategic actions.
Although Pokémon Conquest was the first game in the series to feature tactical RPG gameplay, the game was much loved by fans when it was released in 2012.
Pokémon Conquest featured classic Pokémon such as Mewtwo and even mythical creatures such as Arceus. It is a great game that any fan should play. Pokémon Conquest is a game like Final Fantasy Tactics as both similar feature gameplay.
Likewise, both games are like spin-off titles, moving away from the respective gameplay genres associated with their franchises. Thus, both games took a risk in the tactical RPG space.
All in all, when Pokémon Conquest was released in 2012, the game was reviewed well, scoring a strong critic score of 80.
Xcom is a video game series originally developed by Mythos Games and later by 2k games. The series is a science fiction series that focuses on an elite team of soldiers saving the earth from alien threats.
The first Xcom (Xcom: Enemy Unkown) is considered one of the grandaddies of tactical RPG gameplay and has helped influence many video game titles such as Mario: Rabbids and even Pokemon Conquest.
The unique gameplay mechanics of Xcom helped to push the series to fame, with top-down isometric gameplay and tactical turn-based action.
Xcom Enemy Unknown later got a sequel with Xcom 2 released in 2016. Xcom 2, set 20 years after the first game, featured you fighting back against the alien threat as they have, despite all odds, managed to take over the earth.
Although Xcom Enemy Unknown got a direct sequel with Xcom 2 in 2016, many games were released, with countless Xcom spin-off titles.
Final Fantasy Tactics was undoubtedly inspired by the Xcom series, making the Xcom series of games like Final Fantasy Tactics.
Overall, Xcom is one of the greatest video game series of all time, helping to kickstart the tactical RPG genre. Thus, it is one of the all-time greats.
The series also reviewed well with critics, with the latest game in the series Xcom 2 scoring around an 88 on Metacritic.
Disaega Series The Disaega series is a tactical RPG first released in 2003, with the latest installment, Disaega 6: Defiance of Destiny, released in 2021. The series, as highlighted, is a strategic RPG published by Nippon Ichi.
The series takes players to the Netherworld, Celestia, the land of demons and earth. Each game has a unique story alongside different playable characters. Although each game features other characters, the games do include reappearing protagonists as playable characters and bosses.
The Disaega series is notoriously tough and consists of a complex turn-based battle system that requires you to defeat all characters on screen before you can progress through a level.
The gameplay also features team attacks alongside other mechanics present in the series, such as tower attacks. Despite the Disaega series not being the most popular tactical role-playing series on the market, the series is highly rated amongst critics scoring in the’ 70s-’80s.
As a result, the series scores speak for themselves. You should definitely pick up this game if you can.
5. Advanced Wars Series
Advance Wars is a turn-based video game series published by Intelligent Systems and developed by Nintendo. The series consists of four installments, with other parts in the series releasing in Japan only.
Advance Wars is a turn-based strategy game that involves tactical gameplay. The first game in the series, released in 2001, follows the efforts of the Kingdom of Cosmo land, who seek to push out the mysterious Black Hole army from their lands.
The other games in the series continue the story of Advance Wars, building on the lore of the previous games.
Although the Advance War Series is not as well known as other turn-based strategy games, it is one of the genre’s best, featuring dynamic gameplay with an appealing cartoon art style.
The series features top-down isometric strategy gameplay and a unique battle system that allows you to take out your opponents tactically.
The core gameplay involves several different in-game units with special abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. For example, infantry units are only good at taking out other infantry units, while tanks are great at defeating different enemy types.
Each game level has a different combat scenario and consists of you using your various units to take out your enemies.
As the game progresses, the levels get notably harder and present a real challenge. The Advance Wars series is known for its well-crafted tactical gameplay and thus has built a unique fan base.
Despite being widely known and somewhat dated, there are many fans of the Advance Wars series, thus showing how great this series is.
Recently, Nintendo announced a reboot of the series with the release of Advance Wars 1+2: Reboot Camp in spring 2022. This game will be a direct remake of Advance Wars 1 and 2, updated with improved graphics and features, developed by Wayforward.
All in all, Advance Wars is a game like Final Fantasy Tactics in that both games feature tactical, strategic gameplay.
When the series was first released, the game scored high amongst critics, and to this day, they are still highly regarded by fans and critics alike.
6. Suikoden Tactics
Suikoden Tactics is a tactical role-playing game set in the Suikoden universe. The game is set around the same time as Suikoden IV and follows a Scarlett Moon officer known as Walter, who seeks to uncover the mysteries behind the rune cannons and the Fishmen.
The game combines classic elements from the main series of Suikoden games and mixes them with tactical grid-based gameplay.
Like Final Fantasy Tactics, the game takes control of various units around the battlefield, instructing them through turn-based tactics.
The game features perma-death, a feature whereby if your character dies, it is lost for good. The feature was later introduced into other series, such as within the Fire Emblem series.
It is a great feature as it raises the stakes for gameplay. Suikoden Tactics also featured a range of different victory conditions required to complete missions, with various depth to gameplay rather than simply defeating the enemy. Other victory conditions include protecting units.
Furthermore, the games are unique because they have elemental fields, areas on the map whereby certain units can increase their power depending on what element they are.
Likewise, they face penalties if a unit stands in an elemental field that they are weak to. Thus, adding another layer of strategic depth to the gameplay.
All in all, Suikoden Tactics is a great game and is very similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, not just in how they play but because both games are spin-off titles of the main series.
Showing that although both main series of games are very different in their tactics spin-offs, tactical RPGs are flexible and work well with any genre of games.
When Suikodenen Tactics was released in 2005, the game was reviewed well, scoring a Metacritic score of 68 from critics and a strong user score.
7. Lord of The Rings Tactics
Lord of The Rings Tactics is a tactical role-playing game set in the Lord of The Rings universe. The game was released in 2005 on the PlayStation Portable and followed Frodo and Sam as they sought to destroy the One Ring before it got in the hands of the Dark Lord Sauron.
The game follows the same classic story beats of the Lord of the Rings movies and books, taking players to traditional locations such as the Mines of Moria, Rohan, and Helms deep.
Lord of The Rings Tactics is very different, unlike other games in the series, such as the Lego Lord of the Rings games and other third-person Lord of the Rings games.
The game features a grid-style battle system accustomed to tactical RPGs, allowing you to control your favorite Lord of the Ring’s characters across the battlefield. The game also lets you take control of Sauron’s armies.
Furthermore, Lord of The Rings Tactics features gameplay elements not found in other games, such as the zone of control, allowing you to trap enemies essentially.
Thus, the game is heavily strategic and can be complex. Likewise, the game also functions like an RPG allowing you to upgrade your characters, stats, powerups, and more.
Lord of The Rings Tactics is a game like Final Fantasy Tactics due to unique strategic gameplay and dynamic combat.
Although Lord of The Rings Tactics is not as well known as the other Lord of the Ring games, it is one of the all-time greats. When Lord of The Rings Tactics was released in 2005, the game scored 64 on Metacritic and a high fan score of 8.
If you are a Lord of the Ring fan and happen to have a spare PlayStation Portable laying around, I strongly suggest buying this game.
It will give you an appreciation not just for the Lord of The Rings franchise but the pure diversity of tactical Role Playing games.
8. Halo Wars
Despite Halo Wars being more of an action strategy game than a tactical RPG, the Halo Wars series is one of the all-time great isometric strategy games and deserves to be on this list.
Halo Wars is a real-time strategy game set in the world of Halo. The series consists of two main games, Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2. Halo Wars’ first game in the series was released in 2009 and later rereleased as Halo Wars the Definitive edition.
The game was set 21 years before Halo 1 and followed the events of the Human-Covenant war. Halo Wars had 15 different missions and had you control various UNSC troops and vehicles as you sought to defeat the Covenant.
The second game in the series Halo Wars 2 was released in 2017 for Xbox One and instead consisted of 12 main story missions. The game follows from the story of the first Halo Wars game and is set in 2559.
The game has you take on ex-covenant soldiers known as the Banished, a group of brutal pirates hellbent on exacting revenge on the human race.
Halo Wars 2, much like its predecessor, features a dynamic story, an excellent soundtrack, and polished gameplay/cutscenes.
Both Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2 consist of real-time, turn-based gameplay, having you control huge hordes of units as you take the fight to the Covenant. Both games have you build huge bases and feature a vast range of units and enemies.
The games also feature several game modes, such as Skirmish, whereby you battle AI across maps in team deathmatch modes, domination, and stronghold.
Although Final Fantasy Tactics and the Halo Wars Series are different RPG elements, both require effective strategy and tactics. Although easy in the beginning levels of the games, Halo Wars quickly ramps up in difficulty, similar to Final Fantasy Tactics.
Thus, the Halo Wars series of games are like Final Fantasy Tactics in many ways. When the first Halo Wars game was released in 2009, critics reviewed the game well, with a strong score of 82.
Likewise, Halo Wars 2 also scored high, with a critic score of 89. Any fan of Halo should play the Halo Wars series. If you haven’t already, you are seriously missing out.
Rampart is by far the oldest game on this list. Originally released in 1990 and developed by Midway Games and Atari Games, Rampart is a top-down puzzle strategy game that many consider one of the first tower defense games.
Although not similar to Final Fantasy Tactics in terms of RPG gameplay, the game is like Final Fantasy Tactics in that both at their core feature strategic top-down gameplay.
Rampart consists of several main levels, with you and your opponent taking turns to destroy each other’s defenses. After your opponent has ended their turn, you have a set time limit to rebuild your defenses, install cannons, and build castles.
Once your opponent’s fortifications are defeated by being unable to build, you can claim victory. Rampart is a unique game in that it was one of the first of its kind when it was released in 1990.
The game helped to define turn-based strategy and the strategy genre in general. Although not recognized by many due to its age, the game is popular with multiple rereleases, such as the Midway Treasures compilation for the original Xbox and later another collection for the Xbox 360 amongst other consoles.
Rampart was also unique for its time, featuring a multiplayer mode alongside its single-player campaign with up to three players playing with one another.
When Rampart was released in 1990, it received mixed critic scores with high scores from outlets such as IGN and lower scores from other outlets like Gamespot.
10. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is a tactical role-playing game released in 1995 for the Super Famicom and later the PlayStation and Sega Genesis.
The game is the second title in the Tactics Ogre series, featuring grid-based isometric tactical gameplay. Unlike the first game in the series, Tactics ogre is the first to take a smaller strategy approach rather than grand strategy gameplay present in the previous game.
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together consists of two different modes: a worldview mode that allows you to control your units, buy items from the shop, and progress through the story and a battle mode.
The battle mode features classic turn-based strategy gameplay similar to that of Final Fantasy Tactics. The story of the game is divided into four main sections alongside branching storylines, featuring storyline options.
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is a game like Final Fantasy Tactics in that both games feature near-identical gameplay mechanics and battle sequences. Both games feature top-down isometric strategy gameplay, as well as both being turn-based.
Interestingly, Yasumi Matsuno originally wrote and directed Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together and later went to work at Square Enix, where he directed and wrote Final Fantasy Tactics.
Thus, both games are intrinsically related and share similar DNA in terms of gameplay and art direction. Therefore, the game is like Final Fantasy Tactics due to being similar in many ways.
Overall, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together scored very well amongst critics when it was released in 1995. The game scored an 8.5 from IGN and a 9 from Gamestop. All in all, if you love Final Fantasy Tactics, this game is perfect for you.
Overall, Final Fantasy Tactics is one of the best tactical RPGs ever. It is a game not only full of RPG storytelling brilliance but a game filled to the brim with deep strategy mechanics and elements.
This article has outlined 10 great games like Final Fantasy Tactics to play in 2021. As highlighted by the article, the genre of tactical role-playing games is full of quality titles, from Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together to Pokemon Conquest.
Every game on this list is an excellent title and one of the strategy genres very best. Likewise, this Games Like Final Fantasy Tactics list has also highlighted the sheer adaptability of the genre.
From Pokemon to Suikoden, developers can adapt the genre of tactical RPGs to nearly anything, showing how great Strategic RPGs can be in telling new stories in familiar universes.
Thus, strategic RPGs are often heavily underrated as a genre of video games and should be given more love. Nevertheless, make sure to play the games on this list. As a fan of tactical RPGs, you owe it to yourself to do so.