The Top Games for Strategic Thinkers

elderly man thinking while looking at a chessboard
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Games that require strategy are some of the most fun and engaging content to play. That’s because strategy-related games require that extra bit of thinking – and you can get better at them over time! Improving these skills through games is an enjoyable way to level up your strategic thinking in everyday life.

In this article, we’ll explore the top games for strategic thinkers that can help almost everyone improve their critical thinking skills.

From classic PC games to more traditional games, mobile games and so much more, when it comes to strategy-based play, here are our favourites:


Chess is known to be a game that requires a lot of strategic thinking and rules – and some practice to get right. But once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s easier to get better at it quickly. Played between two opponents, chess helps you think in patterns contributing to your memory. And there’s research out there to show that people who play chess frequently use both sides of their brains, increasing their thinking capacity.

Famous strategic thinkers who have a love for chess include the likes of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barak Obama. So, you’re in good company if you’re a player!

Online casino games

Did you know that online gambling games can improve your strategic thinking? While games like slots are mostly games of chance, there are some other casino games that require planning out and some critical thinking. In fact, quite a few of them rely on it to get to your big wins!

Take, for example, the game of poker. Playing against your opponent, there’s an incredible number of different ways that you can win – and you need strategy to do it!

Other games you’d typically find in either a land-based or online casino that require strategy are blackjack, and roulette. Online casinos typically offer these types of games in live versions at their live casinos, here’s all you need to know about playing at a live dealer casino. One of the benefits of using strategy for these types of casino games is you’re playing for real money — so getting good them means you’ll be increasing your bank roll.


Sudoku is an addictive and short game that many people enjoy. But as it’s a puzzle to solve through numbers, it’s also a great way to train your mind and boost your critical thinking skills.

So, if you haven’t given it a try, now might be the time!

Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles are so commonly played these days – from online on website or in newspapers or magazines.

But these word-based games are actually a fantastic way to boost your thinking skills, as it requires you to think about words that can fit into particular spaces and improves your vocabulary too.

Into the Breach

Released back in 2018, Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy video game set in the remnants of human civilization. In this game, you need to hold off the threat of aliens through powerful mechs in an attempt to save all of humankind.

This multi-award-winning game has become a classic over the years and features new editions with extra features including added squads, weapons, enemies and pilots.

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Another popular turn-based strategy game is XCOM 2. In this 2016 classic — a sequel to XCOM: ENEMY UNKNOWN, you need to direct soldiers to fight enemies as well as control the operations of the alien ship Avenger.

The game received a lot of praise at the time of its release for being challenging as well as the ability to make mods. In July 2021 it was released on Android as well as being launched for iOS in 2020.


This sci-fi based strategy game is another fun one if you love a bit of a space adventure. Explore different worlds in this stunning galaxy, interact with aliens and so much more. The adventure aspect of this game evolves over time, with Paradox offering free updates so that the possibilities of your journey truly feel limitless.

This is also a very well-designed game and with such a detailed universe, it’s one that you’ll want to continue to explore. There’s also a high degree of customization so the world you create – and the strategy around it – really is up to you.

Desperados III

A strategy game that’s perfect for those who are fascinated by the WIld West, Desperados III is a story-driven title as well as a prequel to the classic Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive. Using strategic thinking is the key to getting through this game and can make the difference between surviving it or finding yourself at the end of a pistol. So, make sure that you play your hand, figuratively-speaking, right!

It’s also received some top reviews including the score of Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam.

Invisible, Inc

A turn-based tactics stealth game, Invisible, Inc was released way back in 2015 but still remains at the top of many gaming lists when it comes to strategy. In this game you control field agents in order to infiltrate dangerous corporations over a variety of different missions. It’s a perfect one for espionage fans, but really anyone who enjoys a bit of a stealth-related challenge.

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Andrew Cohen
I'm a gamer, but I'll admit that my skills in writing and researching are way better than my gaming skills. It's great to be able to share with you my passion for gaming!