We’ve selected the best tank games on PC and consoles. How have tanks come to occupy their own genre in video games? Surely it’s partly because they embody the sense of agency and spectacle that makes guns mechanically convenient for games, only exaggerated with great range and explosive shells.
In modern video games, their hulls can tear through buildings and their weaponry can piece apart clods of earth from concrete on destructible battlefields. They make daunting opponents, posing tactical challenges to other players. Meanwhile they’re a challenge to operate, their power checked by lumbering tracks and limited ammunition. These are the ingredients for tense, spectacular skirmishes.
From the combined arms tactics of Company of Heroes to the focused simulation of War Thunder, we’ve had our fill of games with tanks over the years. So what are the best tank games? In no particular order, we’ve listed them below.
1. World of Tanks
World of Tanks may be a massively multiplayer online game with somewhere over 500 historic tanks, but it’s an arcade experience for the most part. Hugely popular, World of Tanks is free to play and a component of Wargaming’s wider series of vehicular combat games. Players can skirmish other players or virtually re-enact historical battles.
While it was originally launched on PC, World of Tanks is also one of the best tank games for PS4 and Xbox One. World of Tanks has been released on Android, iOS and Nintendo Switch with the title World of Tanks Blitz.
2. War Thunder
Incorporating war in the air, on land and at sea, War Thunder, available on PC and consoles, mainly focuses on the vehicles of World War Two. As a tank game, it’s suitable for committed simulator fans. There are hundreds of tank choices available for players, though it’s probably less accessible to new players than World of Tanks.
3. Battlefield V
Battlefield V features exciting tank action as part of its arcade experience which is as suited to consoles as PC. Set in World War Two, Battlefield V takes 15 tanks into its large, destructible battlefields set in the Pacific, Europe and North Africa. Meanwhile its final campaign chapter follows the story of a Tiger tank commander.
Whether patrolling in a Staghound Armoured Car specialised with dumbfire rockets or packing your friends into a Churchill tank, there’s lots of fun to be had with Battlefield V’s tanks. The mix of well-known and lesser known vehicles can be further customised with variants and specialisations.
4. Hell Let Loose
Not for Hell Let Loose are the arcade tank battles of Battlefield, in which a single player can drive and operate a tank in the midst of combat. A tank in Hell Let Loose is compromised if it doesn’t have its multiple roles occupied by players, and ideally they should all be talking with each other.
With their periscope, the tank commander is the spotter and leader. They can drop pins on the landscape to direct the driver towards targets, and how to get to them. In crises, the gunner can switch to high explosive rounds, while the driver is charged with keeping the tank’s most vulnerable areas shielded. It’s only on PC.
5. Post Scriptum
Like Hell Let Loose, streamers have made hay from the tension that undergirds the deliberate tactics of Post Scriptum. A tactical shooter most of the time, effective control of the tanks in the game and retaining good communication with other players are both essential to multiplayer success.
It’s similarly set in World War Two, with separate chapters of the game covering Operation Market Garden, the 1940 Invasion of France and the 1944 Invasion of Normandy. Dozens of vehicles are included in the PC game, which confront each other at range over large scale maps.
6. Company of Heroes 2
One of the best World War Two real-time strategy games, Company of Heroes 2 has some of the best tanks in games, too. Manipulating them from a top-down perspective, they’re a core part of the game’s combined arms approach. The game makes players think hard about how to position armoured vehicles and how to respond to counter-plays.
The original PC game which gave access to the Red Army and the Wehrmacht Ostheer has been expanded over the years with units from the Western Front Armies and British Forces expansions. Company of Heroes 3 will embellish the tank battles even further, taking inspiration from films like Fury.
7. Steel Armor: Blaze of War
Steel Armor: Blaze of War is a tank simulator for PC set in the 1980s. It invites players to assume control of either a Soviet T-62 tank or a US M60A1 tank. Generally excluded from World War Two or modern tank simulators, the inclusion of these vehicles is probably why despite its age, it still has its fans.
8. Armored Warfare
Another free-to-play, multiplayer tank game, Armored Warfare can be played on PC, Xbox and PS4. Instead of World War Two or the late 20th century, however, it’s focused on contemporary tank warfare. Players can use over 100 vehicles modelled on real-life equivalents. As well as player versus player combat, there’s cooperative challenge missions against AI of different difficulty levels.