Probably the most neglected genre, tower defensive games are most known for their popularity during the renaissance of the Flash game era. However, in the last decade, the genre has seen some of its best games. Unfortunately, with so many indie and AAA games bogging down digital and physical game stores, many glorious TD titles tend to go unplayed. So, to make life much easier for you, here is a look at the righteous handful that deserves your attention.
Defense Grid 2
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC
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 a variety of bases. It is a much more in-depth take on the genre, as you’ll have to constantly keep tabs on your upgradeable weapons – which there are ridiculous amounts of. The title is much more serious than the rest here, as it has a thorough story mode, with many tough missions ahead.
Plants vs. Zombies 2
Platforms: iOS and Android
Of course, there are other spin-offs and sequels we could choose from, but nothing has quite felt the same since Plants vs. Zombies 2. The game’s soundtrack and zany gameplay alone make the game eons better than most tower defenses. It doesn’t vary much from its cult-classic predecessor; however, 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 enemies. So, even though it’s a mobile-exclusive title, you’ll find yourself playing for hours from anywhere.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Zen Studio’s CastleStorm is mostly for those who want the iconic medieval castle battles. As users hold down their fort, their primary responsibilities usually entail dropping cannonballs on the enemy’s territory, while finding creative ways to halt oncoming soldiers. As you can imagine, the title shares most of its traits from games like Angry Birds, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to cleanse your palette. The real-time strategy game delivers many great modes so that you’ll always be on your toes.
Bloons TD 6
Platforms: iOS, Android, and PC
Another series born from the great Flash game boom of the early 2000s, the sixth mainline installment proves why the series still stands after all this time. It’s still as simplistic as remembered, as you’ll gain control of a monkey army that’s tasked with stopping a variety of deadly balloons from advancing to the end of a level’s path. Those who are successful in doing so will then be able to add cannons and archers to aid you. However, what’s so fascinating about Bloons TD 6 is its dazzlingly graphical upgrade, making it hard to go back to former titles.
Kingdom Rush: Frontiers
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, Mac, and Nintendo Switch
If your primary console is the Nintendo Switch, look no further. It’s the same experience on other platforms but is easily one of the best tower defenses on the eShop. Kingdom Rush: Frontiers is best described as a cartoon sci-fi 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 weapons. Don’t fret: users can also unlock these characters and use them to their advantage. It’s a fast-pace TD title that really masters the best features of the genre.
Orcs Must Die! 2
Well, the title really says it all, but it’s a different take on the genre. Instead of the traditional top-down camera, the game chooses to go third-person, as you’ll be taking the form of a spell-wielding sorcerer or mage. The biggest twist is its strategic currency system, though. Users will have to spend their money wisely, with it being the only way to purchase and set well-placed traps. In turn, traps and spells make for excitingly gory orc kills, as you protect your sacred dungeon.
Platforms: PC and Mac.
We cannot stress enough that Sanctum really is a diamond in the rough. The underground game blends together spectacular first-person shooter gameplay with more than enough options for wave defense to make it eligible for this list. Sanctum will surely have players wishing more games to explore this FPS-aspect, as they’ll feel much more immersed in the action. We believe any PC or Mac owner really should give it a try, as the eight-year-old gem rarely shows signs of aging.