So, you want to know about the best Warhammer 40K games in 2022? While Games Workshop’s licensing history has been a bit sporadic, the grim darkness of the far future is one place the company has consistently experimented with in terms of digital adaptations.
Some of the best Warhammer 40K games are from decades ago, but after a brief wobbly spell in the middle, we’re finally getting some decent digital grimdark adaptations of the physical tabletop game, but we’re also being treated to space games and even action-adventure RPG games as well. We’re not here to highlight our ancient battle-brothers of 40k games of yore – they’ve had their time in the sun. We want to highlight the best Warhammer 40k games that have been released in more recent times.
These are the best Warhammer 40k games:
- Space Marine
- Space Hulk Tactics
- Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War
- Battlefleet Gothic Armada 2
- Dawn of War
- Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector
- Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr
- Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunter
Space Marine released amid the growing hype around third-person shooters thanks to Gears of Wars’ glorious ascent. But when the PR buzz phrase is “You are the cover”, you know you’re in for a special time. This is one of Relic’s hidden gems that offers a surprisingly robust Space Marine power fantasy where you live up to the one-man army mythos surrounding the Adeptus Astartes.
It is also quite clever in how it lets the player – assuming the role of Ultramarine Captain Titus – stand out despite being from the most on-brand Astartes chapter in existence. There are no good-guys in the grim darkness of the far future, but the Ultramarines are the closest you’ll get. We were excited to learn that a Space Marine 2 is one the way, and look forward to finding out more.
Space Hulk Tactics
The history of Space Hulk digital adaptations has been rocky, to say the least, which is why Space Hulk Tactics is a very welcome surprise in that it’s actually quite good. It follows the design of the original tabletop game more closely, offering a slick, fresh turn-based tactics experience.
It’s not perfect, but there’s no denying that this is the best Space Hulk game on the market right now, and a pretty great strategy board game adaptation.
Another one worth checking out is Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus, another tactical game that swaps out Genestealers for Necrons, and Space Marine Terminators for the Adeptus Mechanicus – the grumpy nerds and IT supports of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War
In the long history of things that nobody asked for, I’d say a ‘Civilization-but-it’s-Warhammer-40K’ is high up the list. Gladius is a 4X game that strips out diplomacy, trade, and other niceties and keeps it focused on the setting’s core purpose – war.
It’s pretty good, all things considered. Most of the 40K roster is present now via DLC packs, and they all have a varied playstyle which means even though all you can do is fight each other, you at least have a different way of going about it. It’s not just about fighting AI or human opponents either – the early game sees you struggle against local alien wildlife as you try to exert your dominance over the planet Gladius.
Battlefleet Gothic Armada 2
While there are some elements of the original Battlefleet Gothic Armada game that were arguably better, Armada 2 gets to claim the top spot as it has received a lot more love and support, with every major 40K faction represented at launch. Inspired (but not a direct translation) by Games Workshops’ tabletop fleet-based tabletop game of the same name, Armada is an RTS game where you command fleets of grimdark warships and fight it out in space.
There are three dynamic campaigns, one each for the Tyranids, Necrons, and the Imperium. There are also some neat persistence elements across single-player and multiplayer where you can take the same ships in battle and have them earn experience. Apart from that, it has a very bombastic aura to it, making it one of the finest space naval warfare games on the market, as well as a great 40K game to boot.
Dawn of War
The undisputed king of 40K PC games still remains Relic’s masterpiece in the original Dawn of War. Based on the award winning Company of Heroes format of real-time tactics games, it allows you to experience the visceral, bombastic action of the far future in gritty tactical action. The original release featured Orks, Space Marines, Chaos Marines, and Eldar, but over time and expansions the Imperial Guard, T’au, Necrons, Dark Eldar, and even the Sisters of Battle were added as additional playable races via expansions.
While the original game followed Company of Heroes’ model of linear missions for its campaign, the later spin-offs would experiment with campaign meta-layers, with Soulstorm seeing you fight over an entire system. These higher-level design concepts haven’t been Relic’s strongpoint before now, but the studio is fully embracing the challenge with how it’s approaching Company of Heroes 3.
Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector
Despite our guarded Battlesector review, this gets a place on the list for two key reasons. Firstly, between the points-based army setup, the wargear options, and the turn-based design this is an excellent distillation of the tabletop game. Secondly, if you like Space Marines and Space Marine (above) wasn’t enough, this does make you feel very good about everyone’s favourite 40K faction.
Fighting against the Tyranids on a moon orbiting the Blood Angel’s homeworld; while it’s not especially taxing, it does immerse you in the power fantasy of Games Workshop’s golden boys in a way that only Dawn of War has managed previously. The technical foundations of this game are solid, but it needs better scenarios and – ultimately – more factions for it to really come into its own. Thankfully, the Necrons have arrived to ruin everyone’s day via the Warhammer game’s first faction expansion, and we can’t wait to see who else appears.
Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr
What if you take Diablo, but it’s Warhammer 40,000? Inquisitor – Martyr is a rough and ready action-RPG that sends you to the Caligari sector, far from the Emperor’s grace and in dire need of an Inquisitor to straighten things out with some good ol’ fashioned hack-and-slashing.
The game can be played in solo, or co-op with up to three other players, and there are three classes you can choose from. There’s also a battle barge’s worth of micro-DLC packs that offer extra missions and other things to keep you entertained. These minor expansions support all of the free content updates Inquisitor – Martyr has received since releasing in 2018, and is overall a refreshing departure from the kinds of warhammer games we typically get.
Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters
A surprisingly fun turn-based strategy game based on one of 40ks most humourless chapters, this is an XCOM-like tactics game where a small group of perpetually outnumbered Grey Knights take on never-ending tides of Nurgle.
Daemonhunters’ greatest strengths don’t come from its satisfying management interfaces or its chaotic tactical battles, however, but from the fact that it manages to condense some very dense lore and mechanics into an experience that’s readable, and surprisingly efficient at teaching the player how to play the game. As our Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters review shows, there are some rough edges to iron out, but this is a surprisingly good Warhammer 40k game that takes an easy spot on this list.
And there you go, the best Warhammer 40K games on PC. There are more interesting projects on the horizon – Fatsharks’ Darktide (Vermintide but 40k) to name but one – so we imagine more faces may appear on this list in due course. In the meantime, why not check out some excellent management games, or perhaps you want some Warhammer games for a Games Workshop experience that’s less grim and dark.