Best strategy games for iPhone

We've dug up the very best strategy games that you can put on your iPhone. We've got a good range of tactical combat, global domination, tower defense, real-team strategy, and whatever else fit the bill. Keep in mind we're squaring off puzzle games and board games into separate categories and will be rounding them up shortly.

Grab your thinkin' caps, because these are the best strategy games for iPhone.

Anomaly 2

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Anomaly 2 brings the same reverse-tower-defense mechanics as the original, but the updated graphics, new transforming tanks, and multiplayer mode make this sequel more than adequate. In the multiplayer mode, one player gets to be in charge of the alien defense, complete with consumable special abilities and resource management.

If you're looking for loads of tactical depth and eye candy to boot, Anomaly 2 delivers.

Autumn Dynasty Warlords

Autumn Dynasty Warlords is a finger-friendly real-time strategy and turn-based empire management game set in feudal China. Players direct a varied force across a wide range of terrain types in a single-player campaign or skirmish mode. Commands are made with a variety of gestures, each leaving a stylish calligraphic trail (though standard button input is included for more traditional control). Between matches you'll deal with some light persistent base-building and territory control, complete with espionage and diplomacy.

Autumn Dynasty Warlords is the best traditional real-time strategy game you'll find on mobile, and a fine empire-builder to boot.


Eufloria is a deceptively calming, abstract strategy game where players have to send swarms of spores between asteroids to germinate them and produce resource-bearing trees. This gets tricky once you encounter other life forms that are aiming to do the same. There are 25 levels in story mode, plus one-off skirmish modes to keep the fun coming after that. Levels are procedurally generated, so no two matches will be the same. If you'd like something more laid back, there's a relaxed mode, while the dark matter mode makes things considerably more challenging.

Though the music is bound to make you nod off at least a little, stay on your toes - Eufloria requires careful planning and attention throughout.

Kingdom Rush Frontiers

Kingdom Rush Frontiers brings the acclaimed tower defense game to the next level. In addition to the same goofy, frantic fantasy tower defense that you remember from the first Kingdom Rush, there are a whole slew of new heroes to pick from, each with their own special abilities that you can upgrade as you progress through the single-player campaign. Of course, there are also a ton of new towers, enemies, and bosses to explore across a wide range of difficulty ratings.

Though Kingdom Rush Frontiers can be extremely challenging, its lighthearted take on tower defense keeps you coming back for more.

Plants vs. Zombies 2

Plants vs. Zombies is a venerable iOS franchise for a good reason. The bizarre premise of protecting your back lawn from hordes of undead with sunflowers is certainly part of that, but there's a lot of tactical thinking in terms of plant choices before the attack begins, and placement. In Plants vs. Zombies 2, you're taken back in time to defend against zombies dressed in era garb, and try out all sorts of new mechanics. The zombies are getting smarter, and challenge your reaction speed in a number of ways, though you also have a whole new complement of plants to use. Stages also have new terrain features to keep every round fresh. Plant food can be collected to super-charge any plant when things get especially hairy.

All in all, Plants vs. Zombies 2 presents deep strategic gameplay in a fun, colorful package.


Rymdkapsel combines Tetris-style base building and real-time strategy resource management in a minimalist and finger-friendly package. Players have to build residences, feed the populace, and expand towards objectives, all while fending off wave after wave of progressively more difficult enemy air strikes. Rymdkapsel is decidedly unique in both its art and play style.

Rymkapsel prunes away all of the extras in real-time strategy games and leaves players with a clean, pure experience.


XCOM's mobile port keeps the addictiveness of the game's tactical combat in one piece. Players form an elite squad of secret soldiers attempting to defend humanity against an impending alien threat. Over the course of that mission, players recruit, equip, and improve squad members. Missions require careful consideration for who you take along - picking the wrong guy from the wrong job can mean a quick failure. In addition to the extensive single-player campaign, there's also online multiplayer so you can test your skills against friends online. Combined with the full-bodied base-building and research elements, XCOM has earned its venerable status across all platforms.

Hardened strategy fans shouldn't bat an eyelash at the pricetag; XCOM is worth every penny.

Civilization Revolution 2

In Civilization Revolution 2 players build an empire starting with a single humble city. They then harvest the resource tiles nearby, expand their nation in science, culture, religion, and military, and achieve global dominance through warfare or diplomacy. The refreshed Civilization Revolution features new wonders like the Red Cross and Silicon Valley, new units like the Stealth Bomber and Jet Fighter, leaders such as JFK and Churchill, and research options for Modern Warfare, Modern Medicine, Lasers, and Information Technology. To top it all off, there are going to be new scenarios, including one which is Revolutionary War-themed.

Civilization Revolution 2 is the perfect game for keen micromanagers.

First Strike

First Strike is a real-time strategy game of global nuclear domination. Players have to invest in research to improve their visibility and defenses, while also building up the needed stockpiles to destroy and conquer other nations around the planet. Though the setting may be dark, First Strike enjoys some highly polished graphics and addictive gameplay.

Fans of Risk looking for a modern upgrade will want to try out First Strike.

Plague Inc.

In Plague Inc., players gently guide and evolve a disease in an attempt to wipe out humanity while battling government research efforts. Increasing transmission, deadliness, and severity are all core to success, but also ensuring that you have enough healthy hosts to thrive on. Different disease types enjoy different characteristics and offer new strategic options. It's a grim premise, but an entertaining one.

Your favorite strategy games for iPhone?

New, excellent strategy games are coming out all the time, and we want to know what your favorites are for iPhone. Sing out in the comments!

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.