Best Warhammer 40K games of all time

Warhammer 40K image. Shows a Space Marine kneeling holding onto a chainsword.
(Image credit: Games Workshop)

Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K is the most popular miniature wargame in the world, and its gothic science fiction setting – much more unique than Warhammer Fantasy’s – is greatly responsible for that. Unsurprisingly, it’s also nurtured tons of video games over the decades.

40K models are typically gorgeous, and its tabletop qualities are enticing for anyone willing to learn the ropes, but its universe gradually became attractive on its own as well. In the distant future, a dogmatic human civilization is under siege from all sides, fighting off armies of hostile aliens and terrifying supernatural forces. It’s grand and gritty in equal measure, and despite the many franchises it’s influenced over the years, there’s nothing quite like it.

(Image credit: Focus Entertainment)

Many Warhammer fans are familiar with 40K’s large body of novels, but it was video games that truly started to advance on soon-to-be Warhammer diehards. The medium’s unparalleled interactive possibilities have allowed the IP to flourish in both traditional and unexpected ways. With Warhammer 40K: Boltgun's imminent release, we thought now would be a good time to look back at the best Warhammer 40K games from across the years.

If you’re looking for other specific gaming picks, you might want to check out our list of the best space exploration games or maybe the all-spooky best space horror games list. And, if you want to get into Warhammer 40K but don’t know how to cut down costs, we’ve got you covered with some recommendations on how to save money on Warhammer 40K too. For the Emperor!

10. Warhammer 40K: Darktide

(Image credit: Fatshark)
  • Platforms: PC
  • Developer: Fatshark

Warhammer 40K really lends itself to first-person shooters filled with bullets and blood, and we’re surprised Games Workshop hasn’t explored that genre more often, but we’re getting there. Darktide launched only a few months ago, and it’s already caused a strong impression despite an overall lack of polish that’s being fixed as we speak.

The key here is that Fatshark’s natural talent for punchy and brutal combat is all there, brought over from the two Warhammer: Vermintide games they made before. Darktide follows the watertight four-player co-op FPS formula that was popularized by Valve’s Left 4 Dead back in the day, so you know what you’re getting into. Just make sure your PC is up to par or wait for the (delayed) current-gen Xbox release.

9. Space Hulk: Tactics

(Image credit: Focus Entertainment)
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Developer: Cyanide Studio

2018 brought us a pretty solid adaptation of the tabletop miniatures board game Space Hulk. This is a two-player versus game that distills Warhammer 40K into a cheaper, quicker, and tighter experience set in derelict spaceships and other pieces of space junk floating adrift and run over by Tyranids.

The game features two single-player campaigns, competitive multiplayer, and a skirmish mode. Moreover, it packs an impressive map builder that allows players to cook up and share their own maps. Just be aware that this one is very punishing.

8. Warhammer 40K: Battlesector

(Image credit: Slitherine Ltd.)
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One/Series X/S
  • Developer: Black Lab Games

Battlesector is another recent 40K game release that flew under the radar. However, both veteran gamers and fans have praised its take on turn-based tactics on a larger scale than usual, which results in a slower-paced and more meditative approach too.

The mission design can often be monotonous, but the moment-to-moment gameplay and the systems gluing everything together work well enough to achieve one of the best digital representations of the miniature wargame around. We’d love to see a bigger and better sequel of this one.

7. Warhammer 40K: Gladius – Relics of War

(Image credit: Slitherine Ltd.)
  • Platforms: PC, Linux
  • Developer: Proxy Studios

Gladius – Relics of War mixes Warhammer 40K and 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) systems. On paper this sounds like a match made in heaven and it largely succeeds at doing Sid Meier’s Civilization but 40K. If that sounds attractive, give it a fair shake.

While its older 4X brothers are far more addicting, Gladius’ more fast-paced nature and strong commitment to the 40K universe (diplomacy ain’t an option) make it an oddly relaxing – and unsurprisingly darker – take on a well-trodden formula.

6. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2

(Image credit: Focus Entertainment)
  • Platforms: PC
  • Developer: Tindalos Interactive

If you like spaceships (which is likely if you’re an avid reader of our site) and real-time tactics in your games, then Battlefield Gothic: Armada 2 is a safe bet. It adapts the 40K miniature wargame of the same name, and it does so with style.

This one features three narrative campaigns and 12 playable factions, with the option of doing co-op multiplayer as well. Even if you’re not well-versed in the Warhammer 40K universe, anyone into space strategy games should check this one out.

5. Warhammer 40K: Mechanicus

(Image credit: Kasedo Games)
  • Platforms: PC, macOS, Linux, Android, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Bulwark Studios

Mechanicus is yet another turn-based video game that follows a very specific faction of the human Imperium. This time around it’s all about the Adeptus Mechanicus, a group of cybernetically enhanced warrior priests. That sounds rad, and we promise that the game is rad too.

It’s also one of the few turn-based 40K titles that stick more closely to the obvious XCOM inspiration, so it might be an easier recommendation for players who are looking for that specific take on tactical battles. On top of the solid gameplay, the flexible customization and notable worldbuilding are highlights.

4. Warhammer 40K: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters

(Image credit: Frontier Foundry)
  • Platforms: PC
  • Developer: Complex Games

Warhammer 40K: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters was released in 2022, but it’s already become a favorite among fans thanks to its strong focus on the Grey Knights, a chapter of Space Marines composed of psychics whose purpose is the combat and eradication of the daemonic forces of Chaos.

Daemonhunters is a single-player, turn-based strategy game that does way more than just replicating XCOM with Space Marines; it’s largely unforgiving and deceptively deep. The audiovisual presentation is also top notch, making the (at times) seemingly impossible battles a blast to watch play out.

3. Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II

(Image credit: SEGA)
  • Platforms: PC, macOS, Linux
  • Developers: Relic Entertainment

Dawn of War diehards never fully embraced Dawn of War II, but it’s still one of the franchise’s finest gaming efforts and deserves its own spot in the list. It can’t be denied that it cemented itself as a sequel that can stand on its own thanks to a heavier focus on RPG elements.

Dawn of War II received two major expansion packs plus a fair amount of DLC that rounded out the experience, eventually nullifying complaints about the removal of the base-building element and the repetition found in some missions of the campaign. If you’ve exhausted the first Dawn of War’s options, give its first sequel a chance. We don’t talk about the third one though.

2. Warhammer 40K: Space Marine

(Image credit: SEGA)
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
  • Developer: Relic Entertainment

With Space Marine 2 slated to release later this year, there’s never been a better time to play (or replay) the 2011 original, especially after the free anniversary upgrade it got on PC in 2021.

Even before the announcement of a sequel, Space Marine has always had many fans. This was with good reason as it perfectly represents the brutality of the Space Marines up close and personal through a third-person view and visceral melee and ranged combat. Some of the Imperium’s biggest enemies are featured heavily in this one, and the plot is easy to follow, so it’s a nice entry point for newcomers too.

1. Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War

(Image credit: SEGA)
  • Platforms: PC
  • Developers: Relic Entertainment

40K fans and real-time strategy veterans alike agree that the original Dawn of War is one of the best PC games ever, period. Relic Entertainment once cracked the code and delivered an all-timer which is both accessible and unique. It perfectly adapts many of the miniature game and its universe’s nuances into a modern classic that nailed both the base-building aspect and the relentless combat across desolate scenarios.

Furthermore, Dawn of War packed spectacular story campaigns, a solid roster of units for all factions, and the option to customize the armies’ colors plus basic aesthetics. And, since it was a massive commercial hit, it received three chunky expansion packs which we 100% recommend. More specifically, the second expansions, Dark Crusade, which still to this day feels like a high point for the RTS genre.

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Fran Ruiz

Fran Ruiz is our resident Star Wars guy. His hunger for movies and TV series is only matched by his love for video games. He got a BA of English Studies, focusing on English Literature, from the University of Malaga, in Spain, as well as a Master's Degree in English Studies, Multilingual and Intercultural Communication. On top of writing features and other longform articles for since 2021, he is a frequent collaborator of VG247 and other gaming sites. He also serves as associate editor over at Star Wars News Net and its sister site, Movie News Net.