Tactical RPGs have roots in the ancient times of gaming, almost as old as standard JRPGs themselves. But the hybrid of strategy and story-based gaming is enjoying a renaissance on modern PCs, with AAA titles like XCOM sitting next to new indie darlings like In the breach and refreshed classics like Disgaea. Adam Patrick Murray, PCWord’s biggest TRPG fan, tried out 24 different tactical games on our YouTube channel.
It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that with turn-based combat and generally low visual demands, the tactical RPG genre is a fantastic match for handheld games. Some work better than others – older games and 2D titles may last longer on the Steam Deck’s battery and play smoother. The same PC-focused games lacked official control schemes, but there were usually options available from the Steam community. Some games with more complex controls, like Möbius Front ’83had some control issues, while a few oddballs like XCOM 2 had some weird one-time issues.
Here’s the full list of games with timestamps for the video above, if you’re short on time:
The vast majority of tactical RPGs are great for the Steam Deck, especially if you’re fine with playing at a locked 30 FPS for the most intense 3D titles. For more deep dives like this (and this time we tested 22 RPGs on the Steam Deck), be sure to subscribe to PCWorld’s YouTube channel.