Warhammer 40,000 is probably the most popular science fantasy board game in the world – even if you didn’t play the game yourself, you’ve probably heard or seen the series’ iconic space marines in their oversized armor suits.
Because of how successful Warhammer 40K is, it became an inspiration for numerous video games to appear on the market and today we’ll take a look at some of them.
The List of the Best Warhammer 40,000 games
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
What would be a better way to open the list than paying respects to one of the classics which is surely warmly remembered by most of those who love a good strategy game?
Dawn of War II is undoubtedly among the best Warhammer 40K video games available to play, and not without a reason. It’s not only a great Warhammer experience but also a game that can be enjoyed in its entirety by those not familiar with the Warhammer universe – it explains everything you need to know lore-wise, so no one will feel left behind.
The game focuses on the conflict between fierce hordes of Orks roaming the universe and conquering new star systems and Space Marines trying to thwart Orks’ plans. Dawn of War II does a few things differently than its predecessor. For example, the concept of base building is entirely gone, allowing you to fully utilize units’ unique skills and focus more on unit micromanagement.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
If you prefer getting close and personal rather than commanding an entire army on the battlefield, this game may be just the one you’re looking for.
Space Marine allows players to become one of the Space Marines and experience the conflict from a soldier’s perspective, meaning it’s a game for those who are not afraid of getting their hands dirty. Not literally, of course, as it’s still mostly your virtual character that will have to do the hard work, but you get the idea.
The point is, Space Marine is an extremely fun experience – it puts emphasis on fast-paced combat in more of a hack-n-slash style, so having fast reflexes and being able to accurately aim with your mouse will surely be useful during a fight. Don’t worry, if you’re not that good with action games, though – your soldier will wear the iconic armor suit which will protect you from harm and won’t let you die so easily.
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2
The latest installment in the Battlefleet Gothic series has a lot to offer in terms of gameplay – don’t miss the opportunity to command your own space fleet in large-scale futuristic conflicts.
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 is an RTS focused on space battles – these play a huge role in the whole Warhammer 40,000 universe, so it’s not a surprise that we’ve got a game that covers this exact topic. Although the game is played in space, which would suggest we’ll get a 3D environment at our disposal, it’s in fact played on a 2D plane where ships can be moved only in two dimensions. It makes navigating much easier, similarly to what you can usually see in 4X games.
The game features 12 factions known from the original tabletop game – each faction has its own unique units and offers an entirely different experience, which significantly improves the title’s replayability.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III
Dawn of War III is the newest Dawn of War game, and while it’s mostly the same thing you’ve already seen in the first two titles, it adds its own flavor for new and refreshing gameplay.
DoW III tries to learn from its predecessors’ mistakes, takes what was best about the first two games, mixes it all together, and throws some extra in order to create a game that can be fully enjoyed and appreciated by every WH 40000 fan. The game reintroduces base building, but in a simplified form and in a way that rewards a more strategic approach, instead of rushing the opponent mindlessly.
The game also comes with a new army painter, which, combined with the game’s updated graphics, results in a much more satisfying experience. You can use the army painter to color your units in virtually any way you want, which gives you a glimpse of how it feels like to paint real Warhammer 40,000 figures.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade
Although Dark Crusade is certainly not the newest game on the list and it doesn’t have the most appealing visuals, it’s still surprisingly playable.
Dark Crusade is no different from most of the other Warhammer 40,000 games in that it puts emphasis on combat and resolving most of your in-game issues by using force. There are several playable factions known from WH 40K universe, such as the iconic Space Marines, Eldars, and Orks, and each faction offers an entirely different playstyle, meaning that every player will surely find something enjoyable to play.
The game takes place on a risk-style campaign map, where players can conquer new territories, but battles are fought in real time on the battlefields.
Space Hulk: Deathwing
If you played the first Vermintide and wished there was something like that but in Warhammer 40,000 universe instead of Warhammer Fantasy, then you should really give Deathwing a try.
Space Hulk: Deathwing is an extremely fun and fast-paced shooter, where you will be able to control one of the Space Marines in his oversized Tactical Dreadnought Armour as you exterminate the hostile alien race known as the Genestealers. The term fast-paced may be a bit misleading here – don’t expect a Quake-style game with rocket jumps and unrealistically fast movement speed.
It’s fast-paced in that it favors mindless massacre over making important strategic decisions, so it’s a perfect title if you need to just casually relax after a day of hard work. Dust off your battle-hardened suit and get right into the middle of the action.
Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr
Imagine a game that combines Diablo with the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Sounds great, right? Well, what’s even greater is the fact, that you can actually play such a game right now, as Inquisitor – Martyr is just exactly this.
You know that oddly satisfying feeling when you see numbers floating above your enemies’ heads as you deal damage to them. It can be often found in Diablo clones and other hack-n-slashes, and it’s also the case here. Inquisitor – Martyr is an action role-playing game where you will be able to command one of the Inquisition members tasked with purging the heretics.
Fight against the forces of chaos and their influence in the Imperium to restore order and bring peace to the people. Choose your favorite class, earn experience, collect powerful equipment, and unlock new skills to become more efficient at dealing with various threats and dangers.
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada
Take the battle to space and fight the other factions with the use of spaceships designed by yourself in this real-time strategy set in the Warhammer 40K universe – meet Battlefleet Gothic: Armada.
The game is a real pleasure to play for those who love a good space strategy action. It shares a lot of similarities with 4X games, but it’s simpler and more accessible for newcomers, meaning that you can start enjoying the production in its entirety much quicker. One of the things that make the game so fun is the fact that you can customize your ships in any way you want.
Figuring out the combos that will work best and will be the most useful in certain scenarios is the key to success – familiarize yourself with all the possibilities the game gives you and develop your own strategies to defeat the opponents with ease.
Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus
Based on the Forgebane expansion, Mechanicus will take you to the WH 40K universe once more to give you the opportunity to explore the Necron Tomb World and its dangers in a turn-based fashion.
Not many turn-based games made it onto the list, so it’s only natural to finally present you with one of these, especially considering the fact, that it’s quite fun to play and has an atmosphere that can be hardly compared to any other Warhammer 40,000 video game.
WH 40,000: Mechanicus focuses on the Necron Tomb World – a forbidden place recently found by the Adeptus Mechanicus, Imperial followers of machines and technology, obsessed with improving their bodies with artificial parts to the point, where the only human thing left is their consciousness. Playing as the Mechanicus faction you will have to explore the Tomb World and learn about the mysteries it hides.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
For the final place on the list, we’ve got one of the iconic titles. The first Dawn of War was and still is incredibly popular, and there’s a bunch of good reasons for this.
At first, it may be tough to get into, especially if you didn’t play it ever before, due to its outdated graphics and certain gameplay choices that may appear to be unfun or even archaic these days. It’s just the surface, however – under the hood there’s hiding a true WH 40K gem, waiting to be rediscovered by the younger generation of players.
The game takes place on the Imperial planet Tartarus that is currently being besieged by Orks. As you might have already guessed, it will be your job to repel the invaders and preserve the Imperium of Man. Are you up for the challenge?
The Best Warhammer 40,000 Games
Warhammer 40,000 was originally just a board game, but due to how good it turned out to be, it grew far beyond the physical realm. Throwing dice to resolve combat as well as other disputable situations is always fun, but video games allow us to forget about dice and math – they abstract the entire calculation layer away, so we can focus more on the actual game. And once the WH 40K went to the virtual world, the developers were able to create a more immersive experience than we could possibly ever get with a tabletop game.
Even if you’re not a fan of the Warhammer universe, take a look at some of the best Warhammer games on the list above – some of them are so addictive gameplay-wise that they can be easily enjoyed even by those who are not familiar with the Warhammer world yet.