The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked Video Games

The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

5.3k votes 1.5k voters 154k views 53 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Vote up the best video games in the 4x genre.

The best 4X games don't necessarily have to be set in space, but many indeed are set in in the cold frontier of space. Wondering what the 4X in 4X strategy games means? It stands for eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate. A cheery and uplifting message, right? So what is the best 4X game of all time? The list below features all the best 4x games of all time for any console or system, according to fans.

Master of Orion II, arguably one of the best 4X strategy games of all time, is set in space. Like with any other 4X game, you need to foster your fledgling empire and turn it into a powerhouse with enough strength to take on your enemies. 

If you're not familiar with the 4x genre, it's a type of strategy game that eschews twitch reflexes and  instead embraces board control and patient strategy. These highly rated 4x games are ordered by popularity, so only the greatest 4x games are at the top of the list. Spanning the entire history of the genre, these 4x games are considered the best in the genre. This list includes all challenging 4x games that have ever hit the shelves, so it doesn't necessarily have all the more obscure or new 4x games.

This list contains games like Civilization V and Civilization IV. This list answers the questions, "What are the best 4x games?" and "What is the greatest 4x game of all time?"
List Photo: user uploaded image
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  1. 1
    + 397
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  2. 2
    + 329
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    1999

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  3. 3
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    2005

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    2010

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  5. 5
    + 187
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    1994

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  6. 6
    + 232
    - 100
    Civilization V: Gods & Kings is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked


    2012

  7. 7
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    - 59

    most listed & added by midnightq2
    2006

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  8. 8
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    Distant Worlds: Universe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

    added by NathanMartinsMaia

  9. 9
    + 23
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    Stellaris is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

    added by Alexey Sazonov
    2016

  10. 10
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    - 7

    added by rafie-gilang

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  11. 11
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    1999

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  12. 12
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    added by JacobAaenSundby
    Jun 04 2012

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    2007

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    1995

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    added by NetavoReikalas
    1996

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    2000

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    1997

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    1995

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    1998

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    added by luccgooner
    2006

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    added by luccgooner
    2006

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    added by hendrik-bitzmann
    1999

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    1997

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  25. 25
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    added by luccgooner
    2003

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  26. 26
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    2003

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  27. 27
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    1997

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  28. 28
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    1996

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    2006

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    added by Theotenai
    2006

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  32. 32
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    added by MarvinWhite
    1983

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  33. 33
    + 2
    - 1
    Galactic Civilizations III is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked


    2015

  34. 34
    + 1
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    Stardrive is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked


  35. 35
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  36. 36
    + 13
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    Horizon is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

    added by zzzerk

  37. 37
    + 23
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    1990

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  38. 38
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    added by henrik-zabel

  39. 39
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    2006

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    1989

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    added by henrik-zabel

  42. 42
    + 6
    - 11


    2007

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  43. 43
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    - 31


    1997

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  44. 44
    + 6
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    1994

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  45. 45
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  46. 46
    + 8
    - 15


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  47. 47
    + 6
    - 13


    1987

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  48. 48
    + 2
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    Master of Tactics is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

    added by davispm24

  49. 49
    + 2
    - 8
    Master of Tactics is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

    added by davispm24
    1 August 2013

  50. 50
    + 16
    - 26


    2010

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