World War II shaped the modern world. Nearly 100 years later, the big one remains on the minds of millions around the globe. The events and personalities of that conflict have also been one of the most consistent sources of inspiration for game developers, creating games spanning everything from simulations and card games to first-person shooters. Here are the best World War II games available for PC.
While the latest entry into DICE’s Battlefield franchise has polarized some players, it is hard to deny how much Battlefield V has going on for itself. Aside from the attention to historical detail which marks every aspect of the game, Battlefield V is just packed with content and things to do. With vehicle combat, fortification sieges and objective play, and both authentic and out-of-the-box weapons and equipment, the game has a lot to sink your teeth into.
Until the next chapter in the Battlefield series drops, this is the best the franchise has to offer. Battlefield is also continuously getting content drops and improvements, which would hopefully address some of the more pressing issues players have with the title.
Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault
What a long way Company of Heroes 2 has come. When the game first launched in 2013, players struggled with Relic’s take on balancing the game’s new approach to multiplayer. But Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault, the game’s standalone single-player campaign focusing on the American Armed Forces, ended up becoming one of the best World War II games in PC gaming’s history.
Ardennes Assault combines Company of Heroes’ classic objective-based multiplayer battles with an enormous tactical campaign centering around The Battle of the Bulge. Players must carefully move their armies around the larger region, choosing when and where to deploy against the German Wehrmacht. Every fight counts in this game, and only players that stay one step ahead of their enemy’s positioning on a grand scale can win the war.
Hearts of Iron IV
The Hearts of Iron franchise is known for its unrivaled complexity and historical detail, and the latest installment is the pinnacle of those qualities. Hearts of Iron IV offers players the ability to navigate WW2 conflicts from the perspective of their chosen nation, controlling everything from economy and diplomacy to large scale military engagements.
Hearts of Iron IV is regularly updated with new content in 2020, and has a large and active community. Game modes offer both competitive and co-op gameplay, including cross-platform support.
Rather different from the other games on this list, Kards is a competitive free-to-play collectible card game designed by some of the creators of EVE Online. Using beautiful artwork and refined CCG mechanics, Kards lets players take control of military powers in WW2 and engage each-other through a variety of battlefields.
While its gameplay is more abstract than games like Battlefield, Kards shines through the authenticity of its art, and the strategic depths it offers to competitive players.
Red Orchestra 2 & Rising Storm
Before Tripwire Interactive made a name for itself through Killing Floor, the independent development studio was creating its realistic Eastern Front World War II shooter, Red Orchestra. To this day, Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad and its Pacific Front counterpart, Rising Storm, remain some of the best online multiplayer World War II games around.
Each game throws players into realistic first-person combat across sprawling maps, recreating historical battles from both fronts of the war. Serving as either the Soviets or Germans in Red Orchestra 2 and the U.S. or Japan in Rising Storm, players fight against for objectives with era-specific weapons that aim, shoot, and sound accurate to their counterparts. With realism comes brutality, as it can only take a few shots to drop dead on the battlefield.
Neither game are as realistic as Bohemia Interactive’s Arma, but Tripwire provides a multiplayer experience that’s both immersive and intense for World War II buffs.
World War II-themed flight simulators have come and gone. From Combat Flight Simulator 2 to 1C:Maddox Games’ Pacific Fighters. But online multiplayer combined forces simulator War Thunder remains one of the best contemporary flight sims for one simple reason: versatility.
Released in part as a spiritual successor to IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey, War Thunder lets players team up and fight against each other across various game modes, from Arcade Battles to highly realistic Simulator Battles. While the game touts tank battles and naval warfare, War Thunder is easily best known for its flight combat, where players can choose from various famous Allied and Axis fighters and bombers. From the Spanish Civil War to the Korean War, hundreds of options are here.