Most Tactical Tower Defense Games

Tower defense games are infinitely replayable, favor experimentation, and are always interesting from a strategy, art, and lore background.

The basics of tower defense games are relatively simple. You begin on a map with a series of paths that lead to a specific endpoint. Your goal is to stop enemies who move along these paths from reaching the endpoint. You do this by placing buildings and units in buildable areas. After killing an enemy, you get either points or cash to spend.

Enemy units change over time or after each completed level. This requires players to upgrade or change their units and buildings. If you fail to stop an enemy, you either take damage or lose points. 

This sounds simple at first glance, but as the difficulty increases, you will need to take time to learn about the different units, their strengths and weaknesses, and the optimal placement of everything.

Here are some of the most tactical tower defense games.

Bloons TD 6

Bloons TD 6 is the sixth entry in the ever-popular tower defense game featuring 22 colorful monkey towers that each have eight upgrades, and more than 20 creative and fun levels. Each level now also includes obstacles that you can remove. This version of the game features new 3D graphics, units, levels, and so much more. 

Perhaps the best part of Bloons TD 6 is the price. You can get it for a few dollars or even free. The game is supported through in-game purchases, but this is not a requirement. Provided you put in the time, you can upgrade everything without ever spending anything.

Bad North

Bad North blends tower defense mechanics with the rogue-lite genre to create gameplay that is always new and challenging.

You are in command of an army that lands on a procedurally generated island. You have to build up your defenses to fend off the invading Vikings. Once successful, you move onto the next island. But be careful, the Vikings have a number of strategies that will sap your resources and make future playthroughs more difficult.

If you plan your islands correctly, the next mission will be easier. Like other rogue-lite games, if you fail, you keep a certain amount of resources you can use for permanent upgrades to help you get further into the game.

Orcs Must Die! 2

Orcs Must Die! 2 is an action-based tower defense game that puts players in control of a characters on the map. Instead of playing from above, you are ground level, using your skills and knowledge of the game to defend your base.

But all of the tower defense mechanics are still accounted for. You can use more than 50 traps, weapons, and guardians and buy into an upgrade system with more than 225 options. There is also a story-based campaign, an endless mode, and a classic mode. This aids replayability, as does a cooperative mode that lets you play with a friend; pick from either a War Mage or Sorceress to defeat every orc!

Dig or Die

Dig or Die is a side-scrolling tower defense game with multiple environments to explore, monsters to fight, and weapons to acquire. 

When the time reaches zero, a wave of monsters will attack the base you have built up. But build carefully. Everything is physics-based, so if your structure is damaged in the wrong places, it could collapse.

Along with all of the hallmarks of tower defense games, you will also have to contend with rain and underground rivers and lakes. During rain, water levels will rise, presenting a new challenge to overcome!