PC Gamer Ranked is a list of the best, worst, and everything in-between from every corner of PC gaming.
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When the first edition of the tabletop wargame Warhammer 40,000 came out in 1987, it was able to set the right tone right away. As a citizen of the Imperium, this is what it’s like to live in a place like this: “When you’re a man in these times, you’re just one person out of a million or more. The cruellest and bloodiest regime you can think of is what it’s like to live in this world.”
None of the back cover blurbs were any better. “There’s no time for Peace,” it said. “There will be no time off, and there will be no forgiveness for you. It’s only WAR.”
Though they were often paired with a sense of the absurd, the Warhammer 40,000 adaptations that came after had a lot of fun with its grimness. In the board game Space Hulk, space marines are sent to derelict spaceships in power armour that is too big for them to move around in. They are then hunted by aliens through corridors that they can’t even turn around in. In the Eisenhorn books, an Imperial Inquisitor, who has been tortured so much that he can’t smile, makes compromise after compromise until he can’t be told apart from the people he wants to find. In the game Necromunda, the people at the bottom of the hive city eat mould, rats, and food made from the dead. You can almost hear them trying to outdo each other.
The best videogames have shown this world, its cursed people, and their terrible fates with the same glee. At other times, they look more like the cyberpunk COOL FUTURE meme with power armour on, but with power armour on. So many of them. They can’t all win.
1. Carnage Champions (2016)
When you play Carnage, you play as a side-scrolling autorunner that has lightning bolts and heavy metal music. This single-player game, which you could play for free on your smartphone or buy for real money on the now-delisted Steam version, no longer works. This, of course, is bad.
2. Kill Team (2014)
No, this isn’t the tabletop game called Kill Team that lets you play 40K on a budget. It’s a twin-stick shooter made with assets from Relic’s Dawn of War 2 and Space Marine. In this game, the co-op only works with people who live near each other. Before bosses are introduced, there are annoying checkpoints that you have to go through. The camera keeps swinging into bad places. This is what you’ll be looking at while 15 orks shout the same “Waaagh!” and kill you somewhere in the blackness that fills your screen.
3. Talisman: The Horus Heresy (2016)
1983 was the year that the first version of Talisman: The Magical Quest Game came out from Games Workshop. You had to race to get to the centre of a race-to-the-center board game. You had to find a talisman that would let you get to the middle, and you had to make sure no one else took it from you. Even if the other players didn’t make you feel bad, the luck of the cards and dice would still. It was a game of fantasy Snakes and Ladders with a lot of PVP.
There’s been a lot of good novels based on The Horus Heresy, which takes place 10,000 years in the past and takes place in 40K. This video game renames it with The Horus Heresy. It’s a more desperate and serious version of Warhammer 40,000, which doesn’t go well with a beer-and-pretzels game where you roll dice and laugh about your bad luck. Player turned into toads often in the original board game. This is how it works in Talisman: The Horus Heresy: Someone might find a card that gives them +1 to the Resource stat and think it’s a great turn.
4. Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels (1996)
This was the second time Space Hulk, a board game, was made into a video game. It was the worst. If you play this game in first person, you get to lead your own team, but the first six missions don’t actually let you do that. After you take command, you just stop to drop commands on the map, which is both less innovative than its 1993 predecessor and less satisfying than having full control over the commands.
Problem #1: Vengeance of the Blood Angels came out when 3D graphics and CD audio were still new, so they weren’t very good. Vengeance of the Blood Angels Everything is jerky and enemies don’t move smoothly when they’re close enough for a melee animation. The marines talk a lot, but their words are put together from samples. SAPHON: search this area for an archived record. I haven’t found an archived record. BETH-OR!: shout his name with the same cadence every time I’m chosen. This will make you want them to die. Not worth setting up the virtual machine you’ll need to run it today. It doesn’t have any charm at all.
5. Space Wolf (2017)
40K + XCOM is such a simple idea. In the Steam Workshop for XCOM 2, there are a lot of XCOM 2 mods that mix the two. A lot of games have tried to do the same. Even though Space Wolf looks like XCOM, it doesn’t play like XCOM.
A boltgun can only shoot four squares at a time, and when new enemies show up, they’re right next to you. This makes weapon ranges a little weird. As a bonus, each character has a deck of cards, and the only way you can attack is to play one of the weapon cards you’ve drawn. As long as you have the right card for it, your marine can shoot with a plasma gun. When you draw another plasma gun card, he can just forget about it until you do. A lot can happen during this time. He could suddenly have three different heavy weapons, like they were in a bag that he could pull out of nowhere.
6. Storm of Vengeance (2014)
Unlike Plants vs. Zombies, Storm of Vengeance is a lane defence game in which you have to keep your Dark Angels from coming out of their pods. It’s actually more like Eutechnyx’s Ninja Cats vs. Samurai Dogs, which is a game that came out before this one. In Storm of Vengeance, there is a progression tree so you can get frag grenades, multiplayer, and 3D models of orks, space marines, and ninja cats. There used to be ninja cats and samurai dogs in Storm of Vengeance.
7. Age Of Sigmar: Storm Ground
Storm Ground, even though we didn’t like it very much, is worth mentioning because it’s the first good Age of Sigmar strategy game since the tabletop game killed its older Warhammer Fantasy Battles brother six years ago. For a long time, Games Workshop didn’t let people use the new setting in games or movies. Instead, they made casual games for mobile phones and tablets.
Storm Ground is a good turn-based game that features three of the setting’s most well-known groups, including the Stormguard Eternals. Each group has its own unique playstyle and units. It’s a little rough around the edges, but it’s a good digital introduction to the setting and a good representation for people who already love it.
8. Blood Bowl 2
If you want to get really technical, Blood Bowl isn’t a game from Warhammer Fantasy, but it’s still a game that you play. Warhammer Fantasy is set in an alternate universe where disagreements are settled by hyper-aggressive games of the Rugby/American Football game “Blood Bowl.” Instead of a mighty battle of armies, these games are played to settle things quickly.
There are a lot of popular races from the tabletop game of the same name that you can play as in this game, and you get to build and manage a fantasy football team. So, who needs Football Manager when you have this? There will be a new Blood Bowl III game out in 2022.
9. Warhammer: Vermintide 2
Before The End Times: Vermintide, Fatshark made a game called The End Times: Vermintide 2 that was even better than the first one. Vermintide 2’s melee combat is the best you’ll find outside of games like Chivalry. Each character class has a different job and a unique way to fight.
Fatshark has also done a good job of supporting the game after it’s been out for a long time. You can go back into the game with a new set of skills to learn thanks to new DLC that adds new career paths for the core characters. If you want to play a Warhammer-themed Left 4 Dead-like game, look no further than this game.