The Best PS2 Strategy Games
Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories
This in-depth strategy game from Japan makes a comeback on the PlayStation 2 with a groundbreaking entry in the series. This sequel features an animated cutscene at the start of the game that is fully animated in beautiful anime style and thirteen chapters that will keep players glued to the screen from start to finish. There are also plenty of side-quests which can be accessed in the main character’s hometown of Holt.
The Item World also makes a comeback, allowing players to use an item to create a randomly generated dungeon with difficulty based upon the rarity of the item. This is a great title and an extremely engaging strategy game that fans will come to love and enjoy.
Ring of Red
For fans of turn-based military strategy, Ring of Red by Konami is the best of the best. The gameplay is similar to that of Fire Emblem where players move units on a grid in turns. When units engage in battle, the game shifts to a real-time battle where players can take direct control of their units.
Ring of Red takes place in an alternate history where the USSR and the US occupy Japan after World War II. During this time, Metal Gear like mechs have been built to deploy atomic missiles from the ground. For fans of alternate history stories or Fire Emblem, this is a must-play title.
Theme Park Roller Coaster
This strategy title is different from other titles on this list as it contains no combat. Instead, the player takes ownership of a Theme Park where they must plan attractions for guests and keep up with the maintenance of the park. The game has plenty of personality that will make players fall in love with its humor and quirkiness.
There are plenty of different attractions to choose from like funhouses, tea cups, giant coasters, and waterslides. There is also a ton of customization, meaning no two parks look quite the same. Optimize your attractions and dominate the world of theme parks with your killer design. This a great game for fans of more casual strategy titles.
Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love
This strategy title takes two beloved genres and creates an awesome title that fans will come to love. While being a strategy game, Sakura Wars is also a dating sim which allows the player to create relationships with their troops. Each dialogue choice is on a time-limit, forcing the player to go with their gut and say what they think is best to help create more realistic relationships.
The player takes control of Shinijiro as he battles demonic forces in New York City. The battles are turn-based, similar to Fire Emblem. This is an awesome strategy title that fans will be addicted to for hours upon hours.
Phantom Brave is another isometric strategy game with an awesome art style. The main character is Marona who is accompanied by a phantom named Ash that only she can see. This awesome anime-styled strategy title plays similarly to Fire Emblem, with all gameplay elements on an isometric board in which players move characters in turns to attack opponents strategically.
This is a very narrative driven game which includes awesome fantastical elements and interesting characters that keep players engaged in this beautiful story. Phantom Brave is an awesome game for fans of strategy, anime, and fantasy.
Dynasty Tactics takes the beloved Dynasty Warriors series of games and changes up the gameplay to create one of the best strategy titles on the PlayStation 2. While this title is more narrative based, the player has the option to take the story off its planned course for insane outcomes.
While the combat is on an isometric board like other titles in this list, outside of battles, players can get a birds-eye view of their land and other rulers in which they can manage troops, spy on enemy lords, and recruit new allies. There is a lot more strategy in this title than most and it has an awesome, gritty art-style that players will fall in love with. This is a nice departure from the Dynasty Series and is enjoyed by fans all over.
La Pucelle: Tactics
In this strategic role-playing adventure, play as an exorcist who is burdened with the mission of banishing all demons in this medieval world. Like other titles in this list, the combat takes place on an isometric board, but the environments are more fleshed out and units are also able to use magic. Some of these units may not play nice though, so choose units carefully for each battle.
This title has some amazing characters and each unit is unique in their own ways. This title, from the developers behind Disgaea, brings some freshness to the world of strategy RPGs.
This title has the player take the role of Lillet, a gifted magic student who wakes up to an empty school. Similar to the movie Groundhog Day, Lillet realizes he is reliving his first day at the school over and over until he can figure out the mystery behind this inexplicable time-loop.
Units in this title are gained through summoning with runes. These crystals can be mined for more mana to upgrade runes and increase the power of your army. Explore the castle and recover memories to discover the truth behind these disappearances. This is Harry Potter with an awesome anime twist that will engage fans for hours of gameplay.
Gladius is an awesome take on strategy RPGs. The player takes control of one of two characters who must lead a faction of gladiators in proving their worth through gladiatorial competitions throughout many regions.
With sixteen different character classes to recruit and match-up, each battle will be more insane than the last. There are also hundreds of pieces of equipment and fully customizable characters that will allow each player to create their own unique team to tackle these challenges. After passing through one coliseum, players are able to advance to even tougher regions and obtain glory. This is an awesome spin on strategy RPGs that adds a fresh new face to the PlayStation 2 library.
Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland
While previous entries in the Harvest Moon series center on the player’s farm, this entry wants the player to take more of a focus on the life of their character, adding a whole new level of immersion to an already great series.
The player must save their village from being developed into a resort by any means necessary. With the greater emphasis on the character’s life, players can spend more time strategically building more meaningful relationships with key characters and save their quaint village. There are plenty of new endings and characters to experience which adds some nice depth to this game. This is a must-play for fans of the series or games like Stardew Valley.
Nobunaga's Ambition: Iron Triangle
Nobunaga’s Ambition’s thirteenth entry brings back the real-time strategy action of previous titles and enhances it for the PlayStation 2. This title now boasts a fully rendered map and an Active mode which allows players to take a much larger role in their battles.
Unite Japan under one flag by strategically managing your clan’s resources and troops to take over enemy factions and help your people. There are plenty of unique officers to choose from in this title, allowing for each player to have their own distinct team which can lead to varying outcomes. This is an awesome RTS title which will engage players in the interesting series of Nobunaga’s Ambition.
Monster Rancher 3
Monster Rancher finally hits the PlayStation 2 boasting an awesome stylized world and better processing for even better monsters. While players will quickly recognize many facets that made the Monster Rancher franchise great, there are plenty of new features and quirks to give a fresh new experience to hardened Monster Rancher fans.
Now with the updated hardware of the PlayStation 2, create monsters from CD’s and DVD’s with plenty of new creatures. Some pieces of media may even hold new secret monsters which will give players an edge in the battlefield or competitions. This title is an awesome update to a beloved series and a must-play for fans of the franchise.