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5 Best 4X Games on Xbox Series X|S (2023)

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Best 4X Games on Xbox Series

Games have evolved so much over the years, branching out into multiple genres to suit every gamer’s taste. Take strategy games, for example. They’ve branched out into strategy board games, real-time strategy games, and a sub-genre called 4X games. If you’ve played turn-based games that have you starting as a low-rank player, then slowly building up your forces and power, and using your wits to outsmart enemies and take over the reign as the most powerful ruler, then you’ve likely played a 4X game. 

These types of games follow the explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate recipe for building an empire. And often, they pay off after hours upon hours of planning and executing the perfect strategy. Believe it or not, 4X games have been around for quite a while now. So, if you’re looking for the best 4X games to play right now, look no further than these best 4X games on Xbox Series X/S (2023).

5. We Are the Caretakers

We Are The Caretakers | Xbox Announcement Trailer

If you love fighting against climate change, then you might want to check out We Are the Caretakers. It’s a sci-fi game that tasks you with managing a squad that protects endangered species and the planet from extinction. 

Such a feat will require tactical thinking and long-term planning. As you navigate the game’s afro-futurism and the post-apocalyptic world, you’ll assemble, upgrade, and manage a faction of 100 high-tech protectors. 

Managing your squad has all sorts of angles, from their building their reputation, to budgeting their activities, researching new ways to defend endangered animals, and forming alliances that go a long way. It’s the culmination of a grim, dark narrative, solving deep mysteries, and managing escalating conflicts with easier-said-than-done solutions. 

Ultimately, you need to make decisions that inspire others to join your cause, balance power with diplomacy, and be willing to live with the choices you make. 

4. Humankind

HUMANKIND™ Launch Trailer

Humankind is a 4X strategy game that allows you to rewrite history as you see fit. It takes you back to the Ancient Era, giving you access to 60 cultures and allowing you to mold them into an empire that rules over the lands in the Modern Era. 

The game features cultures from all over the world, whether from Africa or Latin America. That means that you could have limitless endgames depending on how you choose to create your new civilization. 

At each juncture, Humankind presents challenges that test your morality. It’ll have a myriad of opportunities to make scientific discoveries and use them to your advantage. 

Once you build a thriving city, you’ll need to build and command an army against all opposing forces. All, in the name of leaving a lasting impact and making the deepest mark in history. 

3. Before We Leave

Before We Leave - Launch Trailer

Perhaps you prefer a non-violent 4X strategy game on Xbox Series X/S? If you do, consider Before We Leave, which is a city-building venture set in a cozy corner of the world. 

A group of people called “Peeps” depend on you to strengthen their influence in the world. They’ve just re-emerged from a bunker, and need to rebuild and rediscover civilization. 

Before We Leave isn’t without its threats to humanity, which are the people themselves. Issues like pollution can still affect you if you don’t keep an eye on how you spend your resources. Space whales can make dinner out of wandering peeps, too, so watch out for those.

2. Age of Wonders 4

Age of Wonders 4 - Pre-Order Trailer

Age of Wonders is a series best known for blending 4X strategy games and tactical turn-based combat. In Age of Wonders 4, players explore new magical realms and control a faction that grows and evolves with every progress they make. 

You’ll need to master the Tomes of Magic to help upgrade your faction. Then, prepare for the battle of the season by fighting against the current rulership of Wizard Kings and taking their place, instead. 

The secret to winning lies in building an empire unmatched by any other. This can be anything from forming a clan of moon elves to cannibal halflings. Each clan has different skins, arcane powers, and societal traits, so it’s up to you to find what works best for you.

Additionally, deep thinking will come in handy, whether finessed to the goal of brutal dominance, arcane knowledge, or cunning alliances. These play a huge part in the tactical turn-based battles curated to a world shaped by your decisions. 

If you’re feeling creative, feel free to design your own realm using new location and trait variations. You could opt for an Elsa-themed world with ice queens seated on the throne or a post-apocalyptic ruin where dragons fly around unbothered. Regardless of the path you take, Age of Wonders 4 is a game that bends to your will and dedicates itself to making your wildest wishes come true.

1. Stellaris

Stellaris: Console Edition - Launch Trailer

Space lovers wanting a 4X strategy experience should check out Stellaris. It’s a sci-fi grand strategy game that lets you explore the depths of space and forge a galactic empire from scratch. In your hops from one planet to another, you’ll make tons of discoveries of new species, buried treasures, and galactic wonders.

Through science, you can make technological advancements that help build your empire. You may form alliances with friendly alien species and use them to fight against volatile nations. Each turn holds an adventure among the stars and countless possibilities to mold a society after your own heart. 

With each decision affecting the larger narrative and every battle impacting a greater context, it’s no secret whether embarking on an adventure among the stars is worthwhile. You can enjoy having a say in the future, and watch your progress evolve from ruling a single planet to dominating the entire solar system however you see fit.

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our best 4X games on Xbox Series X/S (2023)? Are there more 4X games on Xbox Series X/S we should know about? Let us know down in the comments or over on our socials here.


Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.