So, you want to know about the best 4X games? At its core this type of experience allows the player to do four things; eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate, and eXplore. 4X games can end up giving players an incredible story as they make the long journey towards the finish line. Many even relish the turn-based focus as it allows players to think before each move, and yet still allow control over vast empires and globe-spanning endeavours.
As a term it was originally coined by guide writer Alan Emrich as far back as 1993, but the concept of guiding a nation, space fleet, or strange fantasy species across generations through diplomacy, war, and technological progress has already proven to have endless appeal.
We’ve compiled a list of some essential 4X strategy games that you should consider adding to your game library. We’re skewing more towards modern titles, as we don’t think yet another list touting MOO2 as the grand 4X daddy does the gaming community any real service. While these games have helped shape the genre there are plenty of new entries that are trying to leave their own mark and we believe they deserve the attention more than the old legacies.