An official illustration of Agrias from Final Fantasy Tactics.
Image via Creative Uncut

5 Games to Play if You Like Final Fantasy Tactics

It's never too late to strategize

If you’re hoping to fill a Final Fantasy Tactics-shaped hole in your gaming heart, here are five games worth checking out.

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5 Games to Play if You Like Final Fantasy Tactics

Square Enix producer and director Naoki Yoshida, also known as Yoshi-P, has recently stated in an interview with TheGamer.com that much of the staff on Final Fantasy 16 not only love the original Final Fantasy Tactics, but worked on it, too. “It’s probably about time that we do a new [Final Fantasy Tactics,]” was Yoshida’s statement that set many fans’ hopes ablaze. Whether you’re looking for games like Final Fantasy Tactics to add to your Strategy RPG repertoire or to pass the time as you await a possible Final Fantasy Tactics-related announcement with your fingers crossed, these five games have you covered.

Unicorn Overlord

Unicorn Overlord has received incredible amounts of praise from critics and players alike for its in-depth strategy gameplay and massive roster of playable characters. While the gameplay can sometimes feel a bit complex for players new to Strategy RPGs, if you have experience with Final Fantasy Tactics, Unicorn Overlord likely won’t feel as overwhelming. As an added bonus, Unicorn Overlord has Final Fantasy Tactics’s director Yasumi Matsuno’s seal of approval: when fans asked him for a new Final Fantasy Tactics game on social media, he replied suggesting fans play Unicorn Overlord in the meantime, along with pictures of his own copy of the game. Although the game won’t be coming to PC, it’s otherwise fairly accessible on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox Series X|S.

Triangle Strategy

Triangle Strategy is an HD-2D Strategy RPG from Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler producer Tomoya Asano, and it takes many cues from Yasumi Matsuno’s work. In addition to solid Final Fantasy Tactics-inspired gameplay, Triangle Strategy maps offer an incredible amount of room for interaction. You can set grass ablaze to damage units, or melt ice into water and damage units within with electricity. Additional map props can be interacted with in unique ways, adding even more strategy to the gameplay.

Although Triangle Strategy can feel very story- (read: cutscene) heavy at times, the emphasis on narrative feels right at home for anyone looking for a game reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics. The game’s branching paths also give Triangle Strategy a lot of replay value. Clear one path, play another game on this list, then come back to Triangle Strategy to challenge another route—or attempt them all in a row. There’s no wrong way to approach Triangle Strategy, even if its system availability (Nintendo Switch and PC) is more limited in scope.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses (or Fire Emblem Engage)

Fire Emblem may not have all of the strategy features of a game like Final Fantasy Tactics, such as unit direction impacting damage dealt or received, but it is still one of the Strategy RPG forerunners, and for good reason. There are plenty of fantastic titles in the series’s storied history to recommend, but the ones on Nintendo Switch are by far the most reasonable to obtain. Fire Emblem: Three Houses has a politically charged storyline that may be up the alley of Final Fantasy Tactics fans, and its branching paths with different playable characters help add replay value. On the other hand, Three Houses features a major emphasis on school simulation that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and the alternate storylines all feature the same maps, which aren’t among the series’s best. Those looking for more strategy and interesting map design and less simulation can opt for Fire Emblem Engage instead, at the cost of a less compelling story. Both titles have the option between Classic and Casual mode—in Classic mode, units who fall in battle die permanently, while in Casual mode, fallen units return in the next map—so you can approach the games in whatever way you prefer.

Disgaea 1 Complete

And now for something a little different: Disgaea 1 Complete is an update of one of Nippon Ichi’s most popular games. Disgaea’s gameplay is inspired by classic Strategy RPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics, but it amplifies everything to absurd degrees. Instead of a traditional level cap of 99 like in Final Fantasy Tactics or 40 (20 before promotion and another 20 afterwards) like in Fire Emblem, the max level in Disgaea is 9999, and the amount of damage you can deal is similarly outlandish. In addition to the level grind, Disgaea takes unique approaches to the typical Strategy RPG formula, including on-map puzzles and the ability to pick up and throw your allies across the map—or to throw enemies into each other to combine them into stronger opponents. If you’ve ever wished you could supplement the more serious Final Fantasy Tactics with a game that can only be described as “over-the-top anime nonsense” (endearingly), Disgaea 1 Complete is the game to turn to on either Nintendo Switch or PlayStation 4.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn

If you’re looking to play a game like Final Fantasy Tactics, you can do no better than with Tactics Ogre: Reborn. The original Tactics Ogre is one of Yasumi Matsuno’s projects before Final Fantasy Tactics and can be seen as a prototype for the game in many ways. But being prototypical doesn’t mean it’s half-baked: Tactics Ogre is one of the greatest Strategy RPGs, with compelling gameplay and a superb story featuring alternate paths. The most recent release of Tactics Ogre—Reborn, for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, and PC—also includes modern features to give everyone more options when playing, such as the ability to rewind a certain number of turns each battle. Other elements such as fully voiced cutscenes and an orchestral soundtrack help further bring the ornate and tragic world of Tactics Ogre to life, and make Reborn one of, if not your best options for a game to play to scratch that Final Fantasy Tactics itch.


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Author
Niki Fakhoori
Niki’s love for video games encompasses a wide range of genres, but she is especially fond of RPGs, adventure games, visual novels, simulation games, and fighting games. Her favorite video game-related pastime is asking her unwieldy backlog why she doesn’t have any new games to play. When she isn’t playing or writing about video games, she’s playing with cats, journaling, painting, or obsessing over the latest news in the world of stationery and planners.