The 11 Best Warhammer 40k Games (PC)

A look at the greatest games from the 41st Millenium

In the future that is the 41st Millenium, there is only war

And it’s that very reason that the many titles that take place in the world of Warhammer 40k comprise some of the best strategy and action games available for the PC. Games Workshop, the company that created and owns the tabletop game that started it all, has been increasingly willing to let video game developers explore the many aspects of their huge, lore rich property, and the results have produced a number of hits. For gamers who aren’t familiar with the universe or longtime fans who might not be up to date on Steam’s newest releases, here’s the top 11 Warhammer 40k games for the PC.

11) Dawn of War 2

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Cinematic Trailer

Dawn of War 2 shines the spotlight once again on the Blood Ravens Space Marine Chapter, letting players take control of a new commander of a group of veteran space marines. These veterans fight together to stop an orkish invasion of their system, collecting chapter relics and honing their skills as they move from mission to mission.

Following the lasting success of the long running Dawn of War, Dawn of War 2 turned its attention away from the massive battles and base building that characterized its predecessor. What players got instead was an intense tactical experience that relied heavily on terrain and cover to keep their scaled down units alive, allowing for greater control of individual units. The game also featured a noticeable improvement to its graphics, with detailed models and environments based off their original tabletop models.

Combined with its two expansions, Chaos Rising and Retribution, the game features six of the factions and two fully developed story campaigns. Each campaign features limited RPG elements similar to that used in the XCOM series, with each character choosing a focus based on their unit type. Chaos Rising took this a step further with Corruption, a mechanic that measured how influenced by the forces of Chaos characters have become, creating a comprehensive experience.

Dawn of War 2 gameplay

When destroying enemy cover isn’t an option, Dawn of War 2 gives Space Marine players access to assault marines, capable of jumping over cover to take the fight directly to them.

10) Space Marine

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine gameplay

Space Marine is a cinematic action game, a huge departure from the Warhammer franchise’s focus on the strategy genre. Following the exploits of an Ultramarines captain as he battles through hordes of orks and chaos cultists, the game truly captures what it’s like being a space marine on an embattled Imperial planet. It also features a wide range of imperial equipment, including the chainsword, jump pack, power axe, and heavy bolter.

The player controlled captain partners with two other members of the Ultramarines, a by the book line soldier and a veteran who took a tour of duty with the Deathwatch. The three plunge into the thickest fighting on the planet as a Ork Warboss tries to crush all Imperial resistance. As they move from conflict to conflict they uncover a plot started by a lone inquisitor, who promises to help end the war with a powerful weapon he has been developing.

The game also has a small but thriving online community that takes advantage of the RPG elements associated with the head to head multiplayer feature. Players are able to customize their own space marine or chaos space marine to suit their play style. There have also been a large amount of DLCs that add cosmetic items based on different space marine chapters and chaos legions, giving them the freedom to make their own unique warrior.

Space Marine Gameplay

Space Marine provides one of the most cinematic and visceral experiences in the Warhammer setting, with epic clashes and massive maps.

9) Deathwatch

Warhammer 40K Deathwatch Gameplay

In Deathwatch, players take control of a diverse space marine kill team tasked with hunting down Tyranid infestations on the wild edges of Imperial space. This turn based strategy game features beautifully rendered graphics powered by Unreal Engine 4, and takes players to parts of the 40k setting. What other game thrusts player units into the heart of a tyranid bioship?

Like with other games of this style, Deathwatch allows players to fully customize their space marines’ skills to suit different tactical situations. The game also provides recruits from different space marine chapters, including the Imperial Fists, Dark Angels, and the Black Templars. Over the course of the game players will be able to outfit their marines with a wide range of imperial weaponry, offering nearly limitless customization.

Deathwatch Gameplay

Deathwatch pits the titular marines of the Deathwatch against swarms of tyranids in the desolate edges of the Imperium.

8) Regicide

Warhammer 40,000: Regicide gameplay

Regicide is named after a strategic board game within the lore of Warhammer 40k, a favorite of primarchs, commissars, and armchair generals alike. Modelled after traditional chess, this turn based strategy game lets players play as either space marines or orks as they fight to conquer the board. The game has a number of different units corresponding with chess pieces, and each has their own special abilities that adds another level on the classic strategy game.

Regicide features two different gaming modes, the classical mode, a toned down version that only has the traditional chess mechanics, and Regicide Mode, which allows players to unleash awesome firepower and psychic powers on the opposing force. With options to outfit your force as eleven different space marine chapters or ork clans, and a competitive online leaderboard, Regicide is great for both Warhammer fans and chess players looking for a great PC game.

Regicide Gameplay

Regicide ups the ante from traditional chess by implementing the typical level of Warhammer firepower.

7) Eternal Crusade

Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade gameplay

One of the things that draws people to the tabletop and PC strategy games associated with Warhammer 40k is the largescale conflicts and massive firepower. Eternal Crusade, a free-to-play third person action game, brings these two elements together in massive 60 player matches. With a huge selection of weapons, equipment, and vehicles to rain death down on your enemies, each match captures the chaos and destruction that has made Warhammer so very popular.

Eternal Crusade features four different factions; Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Eldar, and Orks, along with four classes available to free-to-play players. The game’s developers continue to release free expansions and updates to keep the game fresh, and, as with most free-to-play titles, it has options to purchase exclusive in-game content. There’s also a separate PVE game mode that lets players band together in groups of five to fight against hordes of Tyranids, with a strong possibility of future PVE modes in the future.

Eternal Crusade Gameplay

Many of the maps in Eternal Crusade pit players against each other in massive fortresses, with the goal being to assault and destroy the enemy’s citadel.

6) Sanctus Reach

Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach Gameplay

Sanctus Reach is perhaps the most faithful reproduction of the tabletop game to be made for the PC, bringing highly detailed models and tactical gameplay. The game brings the savage Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter and pits them against the brutal Goffs Ork Clan in two story campaigns with 45 missions. The game also features several major characters from the lore, including Ragnar Blackmane and Grukk FaceRippa.

With 60 units across two factions, each with their own set of rules, abilities, and weapons, Sanctus Reach has a lot of replay value. Players can experiment with their army line up, using a similar point system to construct their force as the original tabletop game, and test new strategies with each match. Key units can also level up and acquire new skills between missions, allowing players to form a core group of veteran soldiers.

Sanctus Reach Gameplay

Terrain and cover play a large part in how effective attacks are in Sanctus Reach, with individual unit types benefitting from them in different ways.

5) Space Hulk: Deathwing

Space Hulk: Deathwing - Solo Campaign 13min Uncut Gameplay

In a huge departure from the rest of the Space Hulk series, Space Hulk: Deathwing puts players in direct control of a space marine librarian. Deathwing brings the mysterious and secretive Dark Angels Chapter to the spotlight, once again tossing the player into the shadowy, haunted depths of a space hulk. The twist is that rather than being a turn based squad game, Deathwing is a first person action game that has the enemy genestealers coming at them in real time.

The gameplay features RPG elements with three skill trees, allowing players to develop their psychic abilities to suit their needs. They don’t have to take on the space hulk alone, however, as the game has a coop mode that lets friends form a terminator squad of their own. With a tense atmosphere and mechanics that give characters constant progression, Deathwing is a standout 40k game.

Space Hulk: Deathwing Gameplay

The Terminators of the Dark Angels will need to rally their weaponry and psychic powers to stand against the broodlords of the genestealers.

4) Space Hulk Ascension

Space Hulk Ascension gameplay

Coming out a year after the remake of Space Hulk, Space hulk Ascension sought to add several new gameplay features that the original 1993 release lacked. Ascension incorporated an RPG system that allowed players to customize their space marines, rewarding exploration with XP bonuses. With 3 campaigns totaling in over 100 missions, the game provides a massive amount of content.

Space Hulk Ascension expanded on the original’s tactics and weaponry, as well as giving the spotlight over to the Ultramarines Chapter, widely regarded as one of the more significant chapters in 40k lore. The arsenal expansion wasn’t limited to the space marines, however, with genestealers having a number of variations to make them more aggressive and unpredictable. While the original Space Hulk is a classic, Ascension’s new features let it stand on its own as a unique and challenging strategy experience.

Space Hulk: Ascension

Space Hulk Ascension gives a greater focus on unit customization than its predecessor, allowing players to outfit their characters to fill specific tactical needs.

3) Space Hulk

Space Hulk gameplay

Space Hulk has been one of the longest lived titles made by Games Workshop, a board game that pits lumbering space marine terminators against the slavering genestealers on the titular space hulk, a massive conglomeration of ships, space stations, and space debris. The board game’s popularity led to a PC game made in 1993, and impressed players and critics with its dark atmosphere and sci-fi/horror elements. The game spawned a 2013 remake, a turned based strategy title that combines those elements with a fully realized 3D environment and an aggressive AI.

Space Hulk (2013) brings the heroic space marines of the Blood Angels Chapter back and pits them in a 15 mission story campaign based on the original board game, letting them explore the infested depths of the infamous space hulk known as the Sin of Damnation. The game also features cross platform multiplayer with options for a co-op campaign, letting players take on hordes of genestealers together. While recent titles in the Space Hulk series have made their own spin on the original concept, this remake takes the best of previous iterations and improves it with modern graphics and features.

The Space Marines of the Blood Angels navigate through claustrophobic halls of the Sin of Damnation, encountering savage AI driven genestealers in its shadowy depths.

2) Armageddon

Armageddon gameplay

The Third War of Armageddon has gone down as one of the most significant events in the recent history of the Imperium of Man, bringing an unrelenting and seemingly endless horde of rampaging orks against multiple legendary forces dedicated to the Emperor of Mankind. With it drawing in so many major players, it’s not surprising that a developer would center an entire game around the epic conflict. Developers Flashback Games and The Lordz Games Studio came together for this project, creating a game that’s just as big as the name Armageddon promises.

Armageddon is a hex-based, turn-based strategy game with an intricate plot that draws heavily on the rich lore of its planetary setting, bringing many of the characters of the tabletop game to life. It’s also extremely expansive, with over three hundred units representing soldiers from the many groups present, each with multiple weapon options. Combined with its online maps and terrain features, Armageddon presents a unique tactical experience and sets the bar for developers trying to center games around key points in 40k lore.

Armageddon Gameplay

Armageddon puts multiple Imperial forces under the control of the player, pitting them against the Ork WAAAGH of Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka.

1) Dawn of War: Dark Crusade

Dawn of War: Dark Crusade gameplay

Without a doubt, Dawn of War: Dark Crusade was the definitive Warhammer 40k gaming experience on the PC. The game expands upon the foundation of the original Dawn of War and its expansion Winter Assault, bringing two new factions and new units for all existing factions. These factions, representing a large portion of the diverse factions of the 40k setting, are given a unique general that players can upgrade by achieving campaign goals while they conquer the planet of Kronus.

Like previous installments in the original Dawn of War franchise, Dark Crusade is a real-time strategy game that forgoes the resource management typical of the genre, favoring lightning paced action. Similar games that used multiple factions would usually have set strengths and weaknesses for each army, but Dark Crusade goes further by giving each a non-linear story based on which enemy fortresses the player destroys. It all comes together to make the game engaging and greatly replayable, and it still maintains a large group of online players and modders.

Dark Crusade Gameplay

Dawn of War holds up after so many years thanks to its massive battles, base building mechanics, and combat animations.

Sorcerer and scribe, I am always seeking out new stories, new worlds, new horrors. Delving into dusty libraries and tombs, I work to drag the Weird into the light, even if its not a very good idea...
Gamer Since: 1998
Favorite Genre: RTS
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