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

6.6k votes 1.7k voters 155k views 63 items Embed

List Rules 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?"

1
+ - 449 129
Master of Orion II: Battle at ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

The Best Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked The Top Cars For Teenagers

2
+ - 497 183
Civilization V is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

3
+ - 361 130
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

4
+ - 354 132
Civilization IV is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

5
+ - 215 79
Master of Magic is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

6
+ - 260 121
Civilization V: Gods & Kings is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

7
+ - 90 24
Endless Legend is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

8
+ - 203 99
Endless Space is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Endless Space Jun 04 2012

9
+ - 72 15
Stellaris is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Stellaris 2016

10
+ - 208 102
Sins of a Solar Empire is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

11
+ - 146 78
Galactic Civilizations II: Dre... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

12
+ - 87 35
Distant Worlds: Universe is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Distant Worlds: Universe

13
+ - 81 29
Civilization II is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

14
+ - 98 58
Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

15
+ - 100 65
Ascendancy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Ascendancy 1995

The Best Dragon Pokemon of All Time The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans

16
+ - 33 7
Europa Universalis IV is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

17
+ - 89 63
Space Empires IV is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Space Empires IV Nov 07 2000

18
+ - 74 52
Imperium Galactica II: Allianc... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

19
+ - 74 53
Star Wars: Rebellion is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

20
+ - 61 53
Imperium Galactica is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

21
+ - 30 19
Star Trek: The Next Generation... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

22
+ - 15 4
Master of Orion: Conquer the S... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars

23
+ - 33 24
Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

24
+ - 57 54
Stars! is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Stars! 1995

25
+ - 13 6
Galactic Civilizations III is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Galactic Civilizations III

26
+ - 17 11
Civilization III: Complete Edi... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

27
+ - 51 51
Galactic Civilizations is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

28
+ - 13 7
Sid Meier's Colonization is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

29
+ - 18 19
Dominions 3: The Awakening is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

The Easiest Video Games to Complete 31 Things That Are Normal In The Day, But Terrifying At Night

30
+ - 14 9
Civilization: Beyond Earth is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Civilization: Beyond Earth

31
+ - 13 9
Galactic Civilizations III is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Galactic Civilizations III 2015

32
+ - 20 23
Sword of the Stars is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

33
+ - 27 35
Space Empires III is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Space Empires III Jan 01 1997

34
+ - 28 30
Emperor of the Fading Suns is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

35
+ - 7 6
Stardrive is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

36
+ - 6 8
Europa Universalis is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

37
+ - 9 9
Civilization III is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

38
+ - 21 25
Classic Empire is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

39
+ - 27 38
Starships Unlimited is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

40
+ - 28 41
Pax Imperia: Eminent Domain is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

41
+ - 15 23
Horizon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Horizon

42
+ - 1 1
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

43
+ - 11 18
Reach for the Stars is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
Reach for the Stars Jan 01 1983

The 12 Most WTF Fighting Games of All Time The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists

44
+ - 7 13
Warlock II: The Exiled is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

45
+ - 7 13
Warlock: Master of the Arcane is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

46
+ - 17 29
FreeOrion is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
FreeOrion 2006

47
+ - 2 5
Sid Meier's Civilization Revol... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

48
+ - 24 35
Spaceward Ho! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

49
+ - 25 37
Fragile Allegiance is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

50
+ - 16 27
C-evo is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best 4X Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked
C-evo May 21 2006