12 Best WW2 Games for History Buffs in 2023

The best WW2 games that will make you relive one of mankind’s most tragic events.

Best WW2 Games

World War II is widely regarded as one of the most important historical events of all time. Not only is it a study focus for many avid historians, but it’s also the inspiration for a huge variety of movies, television shows, and of course – video games. Of course, finding a video game about WW2, that’s both accurate and exciting can be easier said than done.

There are thousands of different titles, many of which include the same boring mechanics or lackluster graphics. Fortunately, some phenomenal diamonds are also in the rough to track down. If you’re a fan of epic battles, warfare, and a fantastic story, then the following list of the best WW2 games for history buffs might just be the perfect way to spend your evening.

Note: A fair amount of games in this list do not take place in WW2 but instead provide an accurate depiction of historical World War tanks or warships (e.g., WoT, War Thunder, and World of Warships).

1. World of Tanks

Let’s start with the basics, World of Tanks, lovingly referred to as “WoT”, is one of the most popular and best WW2 games on the market, for a range of reasons. This massively multiplayer online game gives you the freedom to select a vehicle from a range of different tank options and take it to battle in a massive environment. You can customize your tanks with different weapons and defenses, which is useful, considering there are likely to be dozens of other players trying to blow you up.

While this game is relatively easy to get used to for beginners, it's not without its challenges; you’ll need to get to know your tank options carefully if you want to make sure you’re going to come out ahead of the competition.

2. War Thunder

Originally released more than 10 years ago in beta mode, War Thunder is a little older than some of the titles we’re going to mention today, but it still holds up well in the modern market. This free-to-play vehicular combat game gives you a myriad of vehicle options to control while you attack your enemies. You’ll need to learn how to master the land, sea, and sky if you want to win.

There are more than 800 different lovingly recreated vehicles in this game, so it’s a great choice for history buffs who know their stuff. Plus, there are a lot of strategic elements to explore, including the option to view battles from different angles to determine how you should make your next move.

3. Enlisted

One of the most highly rated WW2 games to emerge in 2021, Enlisted is a multiplayer video game available on all of the latest Microsoft and Sony consoles. The first-person shooter places you in the role of a commander taking charge of various soldiers in a squad. You’ll be able to equip your platoon with various weapons and gear to suit the situation and select which soldier you want to control at any given time.

Enlisted requires a significant amount of multitasking and strategy, so you might find it a little challenging to master at first. However, once you get into the swing of things, the experience is a lot of fun, and there are plenty of genuine WW2 vehicles to explore too.

4. World of Warships

We can’t mention World of Tanks without also giving a little love to World of Warships. This title essentially combines all of the tried-and-tested elements of WoT with a nautical theme. However, there are some unique changes to the gameplay to look forward to as well. The naval combat structure is a lot slower and more tactical, so you’ll really need to use your brain.

With a huge open sea-scape to explore, you’re sure to find plenty of opportunities to get into trouble when you’re navigating your ships. The most important thing you’ll need to learn how to do in this game is plan. Build out a strategy, and make sure you follow it if you want to win.

5. Call of Duty 2

Probably the most obvious choice for most people in search of the best WW2 games, Call of Duty 2 is genuinely one of the most impressive titles in the gaming world today. Sure, it’s pretty old compared to a lot of the games available to avid players today, but we still think it’s a gem worth playing. There’s a phenomenal campaign with a range of features that were new to the gaming world at the time. The gameplay is a lot of fun, and includes a range of weapons to choose from too.

The Call of Duty games also gives you a lot of options when it comes to how you want to play. You can decide to tackle the campaign solo or play in a variety of different situations in multiplayer mode. Overall, this game has all the ingredients you need for hours of fun.

6. Call of Duty: WWII

If you love the Call of Duty franchise but you want something a little more up-to-date, then Call of Duty: WWII could be just the thing. This game actually builds on a lot of the prior components you might have experienced in Call of Duty 2, but it includes some phenomenal, boosted graphics, and fantastic storytelling. The campaign has a bunch of brilliant missions full of opportunities to test your combat skills. Plus, there are multiplayer options too.

Like the other Call of Duty games, this version comes with a range of weapons to explore and different fighting styles to check out. There’s also some pretty impressive voice acting baked into this game, which you might not find elsewhere.

7. Commandos 2: Men of Courage

If you’re looking for something with a touch of nostalgia to it, then Commandos 2: Men of Courage could be just the thing – it’s even available to play on Nintendo Switch. The game is mostly based on strategy, allowing you to execute different battles in a range of different styles as you watch over your troop from a top-down position. Ultimately, your goal is to send your platoon through a realistic simulation scenario, preparing them for battle.

At first, this game might look pretty simplistic, but when you really get into it there’s a lot of strategy and planning involved. The simplest mistake can ruin your entire campaign if you’re not careful. Sure, the graphics aren’t particularly flashy, but you’ll still love the experience.

8. Steel Division 2

Another game for strategy lovers in our collection of the top WW2 titles, Steel Division is a highly-rated PC game that asks you to take control of a platoon of soldiers on the battlefield. You’ll have the option to take control of either side in the battle, so you can really enjoy some different perspectives. There are even some amazing realism elements built into the title, like the ability for your soldiers to use their motivation and enthusiasm after marching for too long.

Aside from organizing your platoon however you see fit, you can also take advantage of a range of different war machines, from tanks and boats to planes, and anything else you see as being valuable.

9. Hell Let Loose

Released in 2019, Hell Let Loose is a tactical first-person shooter with a focus on multiplayer elements. Available for the Xbox, PC, and PlayStation, this game is brimming with realistic details. Rather than just encouraging you to go out and kill as many enemies as possible, this title focuses more on encouraging collaboration and teamwork. Within the title, around 100 player battles are available across 9 different maps as well as two gaming modes to keep you entertained.

The capture points and other components are also dynamically generated for each session, which means no two games are the same. You’ll be able to take control of one of 14 unique roles to achieve your goals and complete your mission, which means this game has some brilliant replayability baked in if you’re looking for something you can enjoy for weeks at a time.

10. Silent Hunter 3

Silent Hunter 3 is a unique approach to the WW2 video game landscape, introduced in 2005. It follows on from the previous game, Silent Hunter 2, and places the player in charge of a German boat during the Battle of the Atlantic. You’ll be responsible for traversing the open waters in search of enemy ships. The key to success here is stealth over brawn, as the title might suggest.

You’ll need to strategically send out torpedoes to sink enemy ships and weaken the seafront of your enemy. At the same time, you’ll have a range of different side mission and tasks to complete along the way. You’re going to need to practice this game to really master it, however, as the navigation can really take some getting used to.

11. Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad

Another phenomenal tactical title on our list of the best WW2 games, Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, is a tactical multiplayer game with first-person shooter components. Situated within world war 2, the game places you in control of a platoon of soldiers, as well as a selection of battles. You’ll be able to recreate some of the most historic battles of all time with these tools.

Named one of the best games of the year at one point, Red Orchestra 2 is a unique game with a lot of complexity and strategy involved. Although it’s a lot of fun, it comes with a significant learning curve, as there’s no HUD to help you keep track of your stats and ammo. Plus, your guns can overheat if you’re not careful, which adds yet another challenge.

12. Order of Battle: US Pacific

A little less intense than some of the other options we’ve covered so far, Order of Battle: US Pacific is a top-down map-style game focused heavily on strategy. There’s a lot of detail involved in this game, which places you at the heart of World War 2, where you’ll be responsible for controlling a range of naval, air, and land units. Everything you do needs to be carefully planned out to avoid losing people.

The game has a range of different scenarios to explore, so you can put your skills to the test in a variety of unique environments. The game also has a number of DLC packages available on Steam, so you can expand the experience even further if you want to get more out of the experience.

The Best WW2 Games for Your Playlist

There’s no shortage of options to choose from if you’re interested in playing a World War 2 game in your spare time. The options above are just some of the titles we consider to be the most interesting and engaging on the market. However, there are various other great titles to consider too.

Have we missed your favorite World War 2 tactical or first-person shooter game? Leave a comment below, telling us why it should be part of this list!

While you are here, you can check our best war games, best naval games, and best tank games lists too!