Great Games That Teach Strategy

Plenty of games let players take on the role of a general leading troops into battle. Others let gamers develop tactics to advance a civilization's growth across a plain or even across the expanse of space. There are even board and card games that can be used to strengthen a player's skills to think multiple steps ahead. Below, we've gathered a list of games that help teach tactics and strategy to players, getting them to see that planning ahead will help them reach their goal faster and easier. If you're interested in games with more fast-paced action, check out our Best Action Games for Kids list. If story and adventure are more to your liking, check out our Adventure Games for Kids list.

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Bakugan Battle Brawlers: Battle Trainer Poster Image
GAME

Bakugan Battle Brawlers: Battle Trainer

age 8+

Toy-and-cartoon spinoff provides surprisingly brainy fun.

Platforms: Nintendo DS , Nintendo DSi (2010)
Monopoly Family Fun Pack Poster Image
GAME

Monopoly Family Fun Pack

age 8+

Fun version of the iconic board game -- with extra modes.

Platforms: Xbox One , PlayStation 4 (2014)
Zubo Poster Image
GAME

Zubo

age 8+

Pokemon-like battle game is funnier, with less violence.

Platforms: Nintendo DS (2009)
Re-Mission 2 Poster Image
GAME

Re-Mission 2

age 9+

Six fun games turn cancer treatment into a winnable battle.

Platforms: Mac , Windows (2013)
Style Savvy Trendsetters Poster Image
GAME

Style Savvy Trendsetters

age 9+

The focus is on looks, but business strategy makes the game.

Platforms: Nintendo 3DS (2012)
Build-a-lot Poster Image
GAME

Build-a-lot

age 10+

Accessible building sim both challenging and fun.

Platforms: Windows (2008)
Defense Grid 2 Poster Image
GAME

Defense Grid 2

age 10+

Terrific strategic tower defense game has mild violence.

Platforms: PlayStation 4 , Windows , Xbox One (2014)
Gamestar Mechanic Poster Image
GAME

Gamestar Mechanic

age 10+

Grand adventure teaches you to design your own games.

Platforms: Mac , Windows (2010)
Hearthstone Poster Image
GAME

Hearthstone

age 10+

Popular card game shuffles fun with amusing turn-based play.

Platforms: Mac , Windows , iPhone (2014)
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Poster Image
GAME

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

age 10+

Madcap, must-have strategic adventure for Nintendo fans.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch (2017)
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes Poster Image
GAME

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes

age 10+

Puzzles meet strategy in fun fantasy for older kids.

Platforms: Nintendo DS , Nintendo DSi (2009)
Pikmin 3 Poster Image
GAME

Pikmin 3

age 10+

Fun and colorful strategy/puzzle game is a Wii U must-have.

Platforms: Nintendo Wii U (2013)
Star Renegades Poster Image
GAME

Star Renegades

age 10+

Strategy game has retro visuals, strong combat dynamics.

Platforms: Windows (2020)
Stellaris: Utopia Poster Image
GAME

Stellaris: Utopia

age 10+

Civics takes to the stars in deep space strategy expansion.

Platforms: Windows (2017)
FTL: Faster Than Light Poster Image
GAME

FTL: Faster Than Light

age 11+

Innovative space strategy game rewards thoughtful play.

Platforms: Mac , Windows (2012)
Into the Breach Poster Image
GAME

Into the Breach

age 11+

Deceptively complex strategy game vs. bugs rewards failure.

Platforms: Linux , Mac , Windows (2018)
The Political Machine 2012 Poster Image
GAME

The Political Machine 2012

age 11+

Kids experience civics by building a dream candidate.

Platforms: Windows (2012)
Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World Poster Image
GAME

Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World

age 11+

Brilliant expansion makes Civ V more edifying than ever.

Platforms: Windows (2013)
Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods & Kings Poster Image
GAME

Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods & Kings

age 11+

Fab expansion to historical sim adds religion to the mix.

Platforms: Mac , Windows (2012)
Spore Poster Image
GAME

Spore

age 11+

This exceptional evolution sim is a masterpiece.

Platforms: Mac , Windows (2008)