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Paradox Games are most interesting and in-depth strategy games. But which one is the most fun?
Have you ever imagined yourself being a Viking and asserting your alpha dominance on to every living being thing you lay your eyes upon? No? How about building a massive gladiator army in order to spread love and positivity throughout the land? What if you created your own religion and culture, what would it be like? Maybe being the lord of half of the galaxy and deciding whether to keep or destroy the planets in the other half? Or maybe just building a whole town all by yourself all from scratch?
Paradox Games are realistic roleplaying science fiction or historical games that go from the beginning of humanity up until the modern-day and test the power lover in you. You have control over everything in these games which can go from creating nukes to destroy the world, to making a policy for planting trees and flowers. Here are the top 10 Most Fun and player favorite Paradox Games.
10. Imperator Rome
Imperator: Rome – Launch Trailer
Alexander the Great, Caesar, Hannibal… these, and many more is what you will be able to play as and decide their destinies. Imperator: Rome is the newest grand strategy title in Paradox Games which invites you to join and rule in ancient times. You get a full set of choices for your starting location. You can play and shape the small Roman Republic into the mighty Empire, or any other tribe or land and reshape history. This is a full scape living and breathing ancient world that you can directly influence and change with your own actions and ambitions.
Ancient Greeks fighting near Sparta
Take your spear and shield, and go marching on to enemy territory without letting him know whilst stealing valuable resources. Create a grand fleet and go off raiding your favorite ancient world beaches. Build the grandest of grand cities with over 80% of the population as slaves! The ancient world has never been more fun.
While it has its mixed reviews because of the rough launch period, and more things are getting worked upon, today it stands as an active game with lots of followers. Recommended DLCs to enrich your gaming experience :
- Heirs of Alexander Content Pack – the ancient Hellenistic Greek Kingdoms and Mediterranean Asia are the main focus. Adds a lot of new mechanics, playable states, religions, missions
- The Punic Wars Content Pack – the biggest battles between the Roman Republic and the Carthaginian Empire with Hannibal are expanded and focused on.
Tyranny – Two Year Anniversary Trailer
From the creators of the most famous and successful old school RPG Fallout games and Fallout New Vegas, as well as South Park games and Pillars of Eternity – Obsidian Entertainment managed to create a true nostalgic yet fresh and new RPG experience. It is a brand new and original story where your actions directly change and impact the world layout around you.
Tyranny – World map
It has a huge and widespread map that changes around you as you go throughout the story. It is also affected by your choices. This is a realm where the tyrant already has won, and basically, you have a lot of freedom and choices between good and evil. You even start with power and authority to give you that weird feeling even from the very beginning that can affect you throughout the story. I can only think of a few other Rpg titles that can come close to handling choices as good as Tyranny.
Be the villain that you’ve always wanted to be. No! Be the hero you’ve always wanted to be! You get this question a lot in Tyranny as you have the destiny of so many lives in your hands. A couple of DLCs to make you question yourself even more:
- Bastard’s Wound – a whole new section in the map filled with refugees that fled from the war. Did they betray you? Did they fight against you? What will you do with them?
- Tales from the Tiers – expansion of the story diving you deeper even more. Tons of new encounters, travel events, and choices. Now you have even more events questioning your own morale.
8. Pillars of Eternity
Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition – Launch Trailer
Coming up right after Tyranny, from the same creator Obsidian Entertainment, is another unique RPG experience. Pillars of Eternity has been described as a Dungeons and Dragons session for people that don’t have friends. The whole experience is bonding and creating your team, whilst leveling them up and leading them through all sorts of dangers and adventures with complete freedom on how to do so.
Pillars of Eternity – World map
The map on this picture is not final, even after the DLC is added it gets even bigger. Choices, upgrades, spells, and battles are what make Pillars of Eternity a very fun game to play. The gameplay and story have this overcoming immersion upon you, you feel like the companions are your friends and you are a part of this living and breathing world. Every choice and decision you make is final making everything feel even closer to you. It is a very unique RPG because nothing makes you overpowered like in other Rpg games.
Slaughter, the starter Npc’s at the very beginning of the game, and get a whole different gaming experience! Get paid by farmers who want you to steal ogre babies so they can grow up and wipe out their entire land. Forget that you have a family and delve even deeper with this recommended DLC:
- The White March Part I and part II – added a whole new explorable map with tons of content and quests., a new level cap, companions. Beautiful new storytelling is split into two parts.
7. Prison Architect
Prison Architect – Launch Trailer
Don’t get fooled by the friendly and interesting art style. This game is as real as it sounds. You are a prison architect in charge of keeping cold-blooded serial killers and convicts in check. Everything that you build and plan about your safety and the others is entirely up to you. Or maybe hop on to the opposite shoes? Become the Warden’s worst nightmare and plot your way up to freedom while being a prisoner yourself. The outcomes are limitless and somehow each and every time it gets even more fun and rewarding.
In your cell late at night dreaming about freedom.
Although playing this game in single-player is tons of fun because the replayability is just out of this world. Still, the multiplayer experience is a completely different thing. Gather your friends and if you thought Among us is your favorite light game that you play with your friends, you are in for a surprise. Building your own gang with different personalities on your characters whilst trying to stay undetected from the cops is a true joy.
Earn your money while folding laundry and cleaning with a broom all day. Build your physique in the gyms and use your talking or punching skills to build a reputation for yourself. Find that best friend who can watch your back while you dig up a hole with a fork in your cell. Or just torture your prisoners for pleasure! Do it all in this amazing sandbox game. The base game is also perfect on its own, but here are a couple of interesting DLCs:
- Cleared for Transfer – being able to transfer prisoners across different sectors, create custom security sectors, initiate shakedowns, tunnel searches, and lockdowns
- Psych Ward – criminally insane convicts that are extremely unpredictable. Locking prisoners in upgraded and psych wards as well as sending them to a psychiatrist. Scary guard dogs.
- Second chance – good behavior can get sentences reduced. New work and training programs, meeting with civilians, and a chance for your inmate to rehabilitate and start fresh.
6. Victoria 2
Victoria 2 – Trailer
Although much older than any of the other top 10 games, Victoria 2 is still a fan favorite to a big percentage of the Paradox games community. The reason why I put it to number 6 is that it is way more complex than any of the others. But once you get through that learning curve, Victoria 2 might just become your favorite paradox game as well. It is centered in the era after the Napoleonic wars up until the First World War and believe me when I say, it goes way and beyond into leading and managing your nation.
Map of Europe in the 19th century in Victoria 2
You get to choose to play any nations and peoples that existed in the time. You guide and modify every single detail of your nation, and I really mean it. Have you ever thought what to feed your soldiers to keep them strong and healthy before? Well, that is how you wage war. You can change history and carve out your own. Diplomacy, trade, colonization, industrialization, world conquest, slave system, technology – it is all up to you. Multiplayer is still active and it makes you go even more in-depth with your country to be able to win.
Pack your bags and go on to a safari in Africa! Which European country can grab more for it? Fight in the Civil War in the US and guarantee victory for your side. Brainwash your people into a new ideology and use it as propaganda for a world war. Pollute the sky with industrialization and build factories absolutely everywhere! Here are a couple of DLCs that add a lot to the game:
- Hearts of Darkness – focuses on the scramble for Africa and a whole new colonization system. An international crisis is a thing, and newspapers are everywhere. New naval combat system
- A House Divided – focuses on the American Civil War and enhances the political, diplomatic, and economical side of the game. New focuses, new reforms, new paths to carve for your country
Stellaris – Ingame Trailer
How about thinking outside the box when just leading one nation is not enough. Why not lead an entire species? Well, that’s what you can do in Stellaris. This grand strategy is focused on space and every single detail about it. You start with discovering a way to travel between stars and the way ahead is simply extraordinary. You get to adventure, discover, learn and explore entire galaxies each one weirder and more interesting than the other.
Stellaris in the early game
It starts small and slow, but like any Paradox Games, it evolves into something far bigger than you might expect. You get to lead your own species, as well as modify and create new ones. You can indulge in deep diplomacy, trade, as well as planet galaxy destroying warfare. The choices are all yours, you got nobody stopping you from making your own Star Wars dreams but yourself. If you are a science fiction lover Stellaris is about to rule your world.
Go on and make Star Wars, Star Trek, Terminator, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, and Dune seem like cheap budget movies and nothing compared to your own created scenarios. If you didn’t know what time travel or space warp speed was like? Then just play Stellaris and see how 5 hours become 5.000 hours. Here are a couple of recommended DLCs:
- Nemesis – you get to decide the fate of destabilizing galaxies, end game crisis. You get choices on what to do with galaxies, whether by peace or by laying destruction upon them. Added new features like spying tools
- Aquatics – the most immersive pack yet. Gives you a chance to be a seafaring civilization traveling across the cosmos. New terrifying huge creatures in space. Lots of new underwater options
- Federations – the art of war without fighting. Expanded diplomacy in every way, giving new ways of dealing with friends or foes. Carve out and create your roots in your civilization.
4. Europa Universalis 4
Europa Universalis 4 – 8th Anniversary Trailer
The longest active and patched game from Paradox with the biggest community. Europa Universalis 4 is a grand strategy spanning from the time of the Renaissance to the Napoleonic Wars. You get to choose any type of land that had some sort of leadership. This can be everything from the big European powers like France or England, to the Aztecs in the Americas, and all the way to Madagascar tribes and Australian natives. You get to see something small and insignificant grow into the biggest world power.
Europe in the starting playable date
These 400 years in the game are when the biggest changes are being felt in the world. You can feel as time passes by how the game is changing and evolving and becoming very different than the start. You can influence and change religions, weaponry, and cultures, create new centers of the world, exploit the colonization of the Americas and Africas, and conquer the whole world. Become a Great Power in the military, economic or diplomatic field. The multiplayer experience is where this game peaks with random people making alliances as well as lots of backstabbing. The modding community is also superb.
Go on, colonize the Americas with the Ottomans, and make the modern US a Turkish-speaking nation today. Start the French Revolution in England and make the whole world drink cups of teas on command. Militarize and discipline every person in your country to be a cold-blooded soldier so you can spread peace, religious and cultural acceptance everywhere. Here are some recommended DLCs:
- Art of War – Europe enhanced, Pope mechanics, revolutions, religions
- Golden Century – Reconquista in Iberia, pirate republic, settlers
- Rights of man – great powers, traits, personalities, in-depth features, government forms, playable fetishist nations
- Mare Nostrum – naval system enhanced, naval combat, trade system
- El Dorado – Age of Exploration, colonies, tribes in the Americas
- Common Sense – diplomacy and internal development of nations
3. Crusader Kings 3/2
Crusader Kings 3 – Story Trailer
The biggest roleplaying game out of all of the mentioned in this list. Crusader kings 2, although much older, can offer much more in terms of the roleplay elements, but Crusader Kings 3 improves on the visual and gameplay aspects. I had to put Crusader kings 3 because it is still at the beginning of the journey, with a very bright future ahead. In these games, you play only one character. Only one person. This person is you. You get to see your character getting born, go through puberty, and grow up into an adult. It is all up to you how this person that you’ve raised will come up to be. This one character is responsible for everything that you do with your land.
Trying to restore the Roman Empire with the battle of Constantinople
Are you gonna be a brave and well-known Viking? Or maybe just a craven king sitting behind his desk while his closest companions lead the kingdom for him. How about a republican trader? The opportunities are unending. Every type of scenario can happen and that’s the beauty of it. You can play everything from a big Holy Roman Emperor to a small and poor barony in the cold north. It is the middle ages, so a lot of things can kill you and you can kill a lot of people. Changing the course of history has never been this fun and literally, it is absolutely crazy how much you can get immersed in this game.
So go on ahead and go wild. Capture your rival and torture him in your dungeon while seducing his sister. Create a new culture that is war-like and spread it across the land. Join Holy wars and make a profit from extorting your closest friends. Plunder and pillage everything in your sight until your coffers can be filled no more. Multiplayer experience is a whole lotta fun as well, but the modding community? The modding community is on a whole new level for this game. Some recommended DLCs:
- Royal Court – a whole new aspect of the game as you now have a chance to see yourself sitting in your throne room surrounded by courtiers. A big expansion of diplomacy and cultural system
- Northern Lords – focusing on the Vikings and their plundering across the land. New culture contents as well as many options for the Scandianivans and adventures
2. Cities Skylines
Cities Skylines – Release Trailer
Embark yourself on a city-building simulation. Have you ever thought about changing the neighborhood where you live at? Well in Cities Skylines you are a mayor and a creator of a whole town. You start with basically just land and 2 highways that lead in and out of this land. It is your job to build everything from the smallest bench for old people to sit on, to the biggest airport for exotic tourists to arrive. Who knew taking care of people and their needs can be that much fun.
A city in Cities Skylines from a bird’s eye view
Everything that you decide to build and create is all up to you, but that means that taking care of the people that decide to live in your town is all your care as well. You will have to provide them with a fresh water source, electricity, entertainment, job opportunities, education… It seems like a chore, but believe me, watching your little ole village grow to a big metropolis is so rewarding. Watching your tiny citizens and reading their tweets also feels so realistic. It is a fantastic creation of a simulation/game that can make you fall in love with it and see it as your art.
Will you decide to make a farm-focused plant-based green town? How about a coal factory in every corner of your city to keep your town nice and light. Build a quiet fishing village next to a river or a tall office skyscraper town with stadiums and carnivals that can be seen and heard from miles away. It is all up to you to create your own dream town worth living in. Here are some recommended DLCs:
- Airports – you can design, create and customize your own big airports
- Industries – various industries for making a profit in your town
- Mass Transit – new customizable ways of helping your citizens travel
- Parklife – design your own parks, with your own benches and sights
- Natural Disasters – added natural catastrophes that can happen
- Snowfall – added in an in-game weather system that raises immersion
1. Hearts of Iron 4
Hearts of Iron IV – Release Trailer
Who hasn’t watched or played a world war 2 movie or game with all the brutality connected with it. Being a soldier on the front and blasting your way into German territory in order to save freedom. Have you ever thought about the bigger picture, the time spent inside the tents with commanders planning their every move before they embark on that heroic saving mission? Well in Hearts of Iron 4 this commander is you. You are in charge of a nation in World War 2 either from the fascists, communists, or democratic bloc.
Planning to do D-Day in Hearts of Iron 4
You are the brains behind every action no matter how big or small it is. You draw the arrows to where your trusted army moves and attacks. Every single detail is so complex and open to your imagination – do you want paratroopers? Marines? The biggest tank army the world has ever seen? It goes ways and beyond whatever you expect out of a grand strategy game. Creation of industries, designing your tanks and ships, building your infrastructure, planning your every move from 1 soldier to 3.000.000 soldiers on a front. Every single thing that you can imagine as leading a world War 2 nation, you can do it. The biggest beauty of it is that you can change history as much as you want and the freedom that you have doing it is limitless. The multiplayer experience is a blast with the most active community out of every other Paradox game. The modding community is also superb.
So go ahead and spread the hippie movement and peace with Nazi Germany. Build your own magnificent creation of a tank, and blast every single village in the world with atomic bombs. Or maybe just go full historical and try to remake World War 2 on your own terms. Maybe if you were a leader back in those days, you could have done something different and more successful. Here are a couple of recommended DLCs to enhance your war pleasure:
- No Step back – focuses on the Eastern Front with the USSR. A lot of new tank mechanics as well as a complete overhaul of the infrastructure system. Added new focus trees
- Waking the Tiger – focuses on the Asia Front mostly with China and Japan. Tons of new options for Asian countries as well as new focus trees
- Death or Dishonor – focuses on the Balkans like Yugoslavia, options to make Austro-Hungary and Czechoslovakia
- Battle for the Bosporus – focuses on Balkans like Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. I had to include it because of the option to form Byzantine Empire