They may not have flashy open worlds or complex stories, but there are several modern day tower defense games capable of supplying action-packed fun and a whole of replayability. However, as underappreciated as they are, most of these worthy titles end up buried and out of sight on any given platform’s store. So, to ensure you’re not missing on the greatest and latest, here is our countdown of the best tower defense games to play in 2022.
10) Diplomacy is Not an Option
Despite being in early access, Diplomacy is Not an Option is one of the newest tower defense games that has caught our eye. The game features both a campaign and an Endless Mode, both tasking players to turn a small watch tower into a full-blown castle all while being attacked by hundreds of thousands of enemies. It’s not an easy game by any means, but there’s a great sense of achievement to be found when finally gathering dozens of your own soldiers and deadly weapons.
9) Defense Grid 2
Maybe the most visually pleasing on the list, this sci-fi title throws players in the role of a space station commander to hold off waves of robotic aliens landing on various bases. It is a much more demanding take on the typically straightforward tower defense, as players will have to constantly keep tabs on weapon health while maintaining a safe fortress. Although its difficulty may be a problem for some, it’s filled with over 100 challenges and an excellent story mode to keep you coming back anyway.
8) Dungeon Defenders: Awakened
Although it doesn’t quite hit its stride quite like the original, Dungeon Defenders: Awakened is a smoother and more graphically pleasing installment to play in 2022 due to it being playable on current-gen hardware. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, the third-person fantasy series blends elements of RPG progression with tower defense-style missions, as players earn XP and unlockable weapons of all sorts throughout its campaign and co-op modes.
7) X-Morph: Defense
The 2017 top-down shooter X-Morph: Defense has slowly become a cult classic to tower defense fans with its genius take of having the player become the invader. In either split-screen co-op or the campaign, users will be manning an alien spaceship, watching over their galactic army’s duties of harvesting resources from Earth. As military groups come in to halt this process, players can choose to take enemies out via weapons or by using nearby buildings to topple these forces.
6) Legion TD 2
As the sequel to a Warcraft 3 mod of the same name, Legion TD 2 revolves around protecting a kingdom with over 100 unique heroes at your dispel — but it isn’t that simple. The two-lane tower defense game isn’t just about defending, but also making enough Gold to ultimately hire your own attackers to destroy the enemy’s kingdom. Thus, with it essentially being a sport of its own, those interested can expect to see a campaign and online multiplayer modes packed in.
5) Kingdom Rush: Frontiers
If your primary console is the Nintendo Switch, then look no further. Kingdom Rush: Frontiers is the same experience on other platforms but is easily one of the best tower defenses on the eShop. Frontiers is best described as a comedic war-simulator with absurd tower defense elements. Like Bloons TD, you’ll survey a path, but with dozens of soldiers, gorillas, ninjas, and more, breaking down your equipment. The twist: users can eventually unlock these characters and have them turn on enemy forces.
4) Orcs Must Die! 3
Orcs Must Die! 3’s charming cartoonish and bright art style is a refreshing boost to the series, and the same can be said for its gameplay. It is a third-person game pitting spell-casting mages against deadly Orcs that look to overtake one of 18 castles. Veterans of the series will be pleased to know this fourth entry finally introduces weekly-updated challenges, a new campaign, and a wave-based Endless Mode that sees just how long you can last.
3) The Riftbreaker
The Riftbreaker is a gorgeous sci-fi title that combines the best elements of a fast-paced hack and slash with in-depth base-building. As a mech lost on another planet, players must research ways to return to Earth while constructing a base that protects them from waves of vicious monsters. Although the starter base is essentially next to nothing, this mech is armed with plenty of bombastic weapons that even make combat a thrill ride. At the time of writing, The Riftbreaker includes everything from a Campaign, World Editor, and even a Mission Editor, though co-op options are expected to come by the end of 2022.
2) Bloons TD 6
Another series born from the great Flash game boom of the early 2000s, Bloons TD 6 proves why the series stands the test of time. It is still as simplistic as remembered with users gaining control of a monkey army that must halt waves of deadly balloons from a path’s end. Those who are successful in doing so can then even add cannons and archers to aid them. However, what’s so fascinating about Bloons TD 6 is its dazzling graphics and designs, making it hard to ever go back to its predecessors.
1) Plants vs. Zombies 2
There are plenty of other spin-offs and sequels we could choose from, though nothing has quite felt the same since Plants vs. Zombies 2. The game’s soundtrack and zany gameplay alone make the game miles better than most tower defenses. It doesn’t vary much from the famed original, but it fills in what was formerly lacking. For one, level designs are kinder to the eyes, as each world has its own dynamic theme and zombie types. It may still be a mobile exclusive, but you will find yourself playing for hours from anywhere.