With the release of Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader, you might be hyped for some more games set in the grim dark future of the 41st Millennium. There are various choices, from first-person and third-person shooters to RTSs and other turn-based tactical ones. Here are our Top 10 best Warhammer 40K games.
10 Best Games Set in the Warhammer 40K Universe You Need to Play Right Now
Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters
If you’re a veteran of the 40K universe, then you know all about the Grey Knights. If not, these are humanity’s greatest weapon. Think of Grey Knights as a mysterious elite group of Paladin-like demon slayers seeking to eradicate the corruption of the Chaos Gods. Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters channels this fantasy superbly in a fast-paced, turn-based tactical environment similar to Rogue Trader and XCOM.
Lead your company of Grey Knights against a plague-ridden world infested by the Chaos God Nurgle and his poxwalkers and plague daemons. Wield massive power weapons and innate Grey Knight Psyker powers to wreak havoc in a campaign to be remembered for a millennia. Essentially, where most parts of Rogue Trader focus on the human element and intrigue, Chaos Gate goes full throttle on the epic Terminator Armor daemon combat.
Space Hulk: Deathwing
Speaking of Terminator Armor, you get your very own in Space Hulk: Deathwing, a first-person online co-op shooter, where you’ll be mowing down hordes of Tyranids. You can take on the role of Terminator of the Deathwing and unlock powerful equipment and abilities of destruction in both solo and multiplayer modes. There are also various classes to be enjoyed including the new Chaplain class wielding a Power Mace.
In fact, there’s tons of weaponry to choose from, including Assault Cannons, Heavy Flamers, Storm Bolters, Plasma Cannons, and much more. If melee is more your style, wielding power weapons in Space Hulk is incredibly satisfying as you rip and tear through Genestealers with Power Spears, Axes, Hammers, and Lightning Claws. The game is based around 4-player co-op, but it can be enjoyed just as much in solo play, as well.
Warhammer 40,000: Gladius — Relics of War
If fighting Necrons in Rogue Trader wasn’t enough, then you’ll love Gladius — Relics of War. However, like in RT, they’re not the only threat. Relics of War is the first 4X adaptation of the Warhammer 40K universe where four factions will clash: Space Marines, the Astra Militarum, Orks, and Necrons.
You’ll explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate across Gladius Prime as you slowly strengthen your army in classic turn-based strategy fashion. It’s a battle for dominance that Civilization fans will love.
Warhammer 40K Boltgun
Let’s dive into some retro pixel art graphics with WH40K Boltgun, a Doom-inspired FPS. Boltgun puts you in the role of a lonely Ultramarine stranded on a world infested by daemons. You’ll fight your way through the Chaos hordes at first with nothing but your trusty Chainsword and of course, your Bolter.
Using the Bolter is extremely satisfying as you see and hear each fiery projectile vividly split open the heretical hordes. Progress through the game and find more weapons like Shotguns, Plasma Guns, special grenades, and more. It’s everything a Doom fan wants in a Warhammer 40K game. Movement feels amazing, and even though you’re in full Power Armor, you’ll be dashing across the stage, ripping and tearing daemons with your Chainsword and Boltgun.
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2
If you like the Voidship combat segments of Rogue Trader and are ready for something more complex, check out Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2. Similar to the original, this is a real-time strategy game with excellent spaceship combat mechanics. If you’re up for a full story experience, I would recommend playing the first one, too.
That said, the second part is a bigger and better game in every way, featuring numerous factions from Necrons and Tyranids to Chaos and Aeldari and even T’au. The solo campaign focuses on the Imperium, Tyranids, and Necrons, however, offering hours of space naval warfare goodness. You’ll claim back worlds and upgrade your imperial navy, or play as one of the xenos races and experience how they operate. Outside of the classic table-top wargame, Armada 2 offers one of the largest selections of factions in any WH40K game.
Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus
Dive into the Adeptus Mechanicus faction, worshippers of the Omnissiah, Tech-Priests of the Imperium. Mechanicus offers an experience similar to XCOM and Rogue Trader in terms of the turn-based tactics system. You’ll be facing down Necrons with your augmented Tech Priests.
The best part about this game is that you can customize and outfit your Tech Priests with numerous augments, weapons, support items, Servo-Skulls, and much more. This title offers a unique story from the perspective of the Adeptus Mechanicus that we don’t often get to see in video games. Imagine the 7th episode of Hammer and Bolter where that lone Tech-priest wanders through the ruined city, and you get to see how they think and react. Well WH40K Mechanicus is a full-length narrative into this underutilized faction in modern media.
The Dawn of War Franchise
You can’t go wrong with the classics. Dawn of War 1 was an RTS masterpiece. In general, Dawn of War games, despite being hit or miss in some aspects, are excellent narrative experiences of the WH40K universe. That said, the original presented an immersive clash of armies atmosphere that the second and third games have been trying to emulate ever since.
You can play and master Space Marines, Orks, Chaos, and Eldar with drastically more factions in the later games. There’s base-building, dynamic multiplayer, and some of the most iconic cutscenes in the franchise. I can only recommend picking up the more recent games on a sale, but they’re incredibly fun if you’re a Warhammer 40K nerd like me and have cravings for a decent war story.
Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector & Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach
Battlesector and Sanctus Reach are the perfect blends for me of RTS and tactics. Essentially, each unit you manage in turn-based combat in both games consists of a squad of units. Moving, firing, and performing special abilities is done by the entire squad. As your unit takes damage, members of the squad fall and, therefore, output less firepower. This is the case for both you and your enemies. Battlesector and Sanctus Reach work similarly so that’s why I included them in the same entry.
Both games allow you to have that massive war-game atmosphere with hundreds of units. However, for ease of management, they’re split into ten to fifteen actual units. It’s quite a satisfying experience that perfectly emulates the actual tabletop wargame with plenty of unit variety in both titles. Sanctus Reach is personally my favorite, as I love Space Wolves. In this game, you can either take them on a campaign against the Orks or control Orks against a host of Daemonspawn.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
Similar to Deathwing, Darktide offers an online cooperative shooter experience but one that looks absolutely gorgeous. You’ll be taking control of humans and Ogryns rather than Space Marines, but you’re not losing any fun since the gunplay is exceptional. In fact, you’re mixing melee and ranged weapons non-stop for a dynamic combat experience that is further modified by your class.
Picking up Zealot or Veteran exudes that classic FPS experience, and becoming an unstoppable tank with Ogryns that wield heavy weapons is immensely satisfying. If powers are more your preference and you’ve enjoyed Idira, Cassia, or Heinrix in Rogue Trader, Psykers are also available, this time in first person. The only small gripe I have is that progression for new goodies is a little slow, but you won’t notice it much when you dive into the carnage with your fellow Emperor lovers.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Time to mow down some Orks and Daemons in the role of an Ultra Marine. This was our resident shooter spectacle fighter before we had WH40K Boltgun. However, Space Marine is a much bigger game in terms of playtime, story, and a melee combat system. Captain Titus mixes ranged and melee weapons like the Power Axe or Power Hammer for some melee executions that work similarly as in God of War and Darksiders.
There are also various utility equipment items you can pick up, like the Jump Pack, to maneuver around levels more easily. However, the real reason I’m excited is that Space Marine 2 is coming out soon in 2024, and it looks like it will elevate every great about the game to new heights. Turn-based tactics are fun, but as a longtime DMC and GoW fan, Space Marine fills that itch perfectly as you snipe Orks with your Lascannon and then move into melee to eviscerate them with your Power Axe combos.
Other Important WH40K Recommendations Outside of Video Games to Check Out
Though these didn’t make it on my Top 10 list, I still highly recommend them. The WH40K TV series like Hammer and Bolter, Pariah Nexus, and Astartes by Syama Pedersen perfectly blends with the games above. Hammer and Bolter is an anthology series where each episode features a different story across the Imperium. Pariah Nexus focuses on a Necron Invasion opposed by a lone Sister of Battle and Salamander. Lastly, Astartes is a fan animation featuring Space Marines assaulting a mysterious Voidship for answers.
But that’s my top 10 list of best Warhammer 40K games. Hopefully, some have piqued your interest if you haven’t already played them. I highly recommend picking some of these up during the upcoming holiday sales season. Also, shoutout to Inquisitor – Martyr as a decently fun ARPG that I didn’t get to play as much and couldn’t include on the list officially.