Looking for the best tower defense games on PC? For a time, the humble tower defense was one of the most popular genres. They may seem like simple strategy games for more casual gamers, but fans would call them accessible tactical titles that require sharp reflexes, a sharper mind, and quick improvisation.
The closeness of tower defense games it’s because of how deceptively simple they are, at least at first. A horde of enemies comes from specific directions across a small arena and the player has to improvise a set of appropriate defenses, using scarce resources, to deal with them. Enemies become tougher and more numerous as the game progresses, but the player also has access to better equipment to deal with them.
They’re also highly addictive, which is why there continues to be a constant influx of tower defense titles; they even appear in other genres, like the entertaining lair defense minigame in Assassin’s Creed Revelations. While the genre often drifts towards smartphone and tablet games, there are still plenty of fantastic tower defense games out there for PC right now. Here is the best of the best.
The best Tower Defense games for PC for 2022 are:
Kingdom Fever Revenge
Ironhide Studios has spent the last decade perfecting a line of fantasy-based tower defense games known as Kingdom Rush. From the original Kingdom Rush game in 2014, to the most recent entry, Vengeance, which takes place from the perspective of the series’ antagonist, Kingdom Rush is a household name in the world of tower defense. There is even a spin-off of the board game.
Kingdom Rush has all the basics of the genre, like towers and the need to defend against waves of relentless enemies. There are also heroes that you can deploy with powerful abilities of their own and lots of other fun twists. Tower defense fans should definitely check this one out if you haven’t already, it’s on mobile too.
PLANTS VERSUS ZOMBIES
For many, Plants vs Zombies is the ultimate game, period. Even by tower defense standards, it’s simple: there’s no long way to defend, zombies come from the right, and the player defends from the left. If a zombie makes it to the left in a lane, an opportunity is available in the form of a lawnmower.
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However, Plants vs Zombies is a perfect cycle of addiction. Each level offers something new to keep you hooked: more challenging zombies are gradually introduced, numerous mini-games break up the game, and new plants are available to play. Combined with the engaging visuals and aggressively fun sound design, it’s easy to see how Plants vs Zombies became a phenomenon – a shame later Plants vs Zombies games have been mobile-only or online shooters.
DEFENSE GRID: THE AWAKENING
Defense Grid: The Awakening is simple perfection, and unlike many games on this list, you’re actually using towers for defense. Stop aliens from stealing power cores from a lovely British AI companion and kill them if they try to escape. Defeating the aliens generates the resources to buy or upgrade the various types of towers, and there are the usual labyrinths of death that the player can build.
Defense Grid is a pure and addictive tower defense delight, and if that’s not enough, there are also DLC tie-ins to Borderlands and Portal. However, Defense Grid 2 is a bit tricky – we’ll stick with the original.
From the studio behind Satisfactory and, er, Goat Simulator, Sanctum 2 is unique in that it’s also an FPS game. If you only play the first few seconds, you could be forgiven for thinking you bought a Borderlands-style co-op shooter, until you hit the arena and have to throw up walls, turrets, tesla coils, and other defenses to stop yourself. the alien hordes take out their power cores.
All you really need to know is that you can create labyrinths of death in up to four player co-op. Sanctum 2 is one to throw at anyone who says tower defense games aren’t exciting.
BLOONS TD 6
Anyone who has written off the Bloons series for seeming childish, basic, or microtransaction-heavy should think again, as Bloons TD 6 is nothing short of the highest-rated tower defense game on Steam. The games are deliberately cartoonish in nature: you place monkeys with special powers around a map to protect it from malevolent balloons.
The game focuses on characters rather than structures, which can be upgraded, leveled up, and better equipped. There’s an almost XCOM level of squad management here, taking Bloons TD 6 to a whole new level of addictiveness.
DEFENDERS OF THE DUNGEON
Dungeon Defenders is part MOBA, part action RPG, all tower defense. You must defend the fantasy land of Etheria against hordes of orcs, goblins, etc., your typical RPG fare, creating a character from various classes, equipping the right gear, upgrading skills, and going into battle.
From here, players are dropped into a small arena where enemies attack in waves from specific directions, if that sounds familiar. Each class has its own defenses to place, which can be repaired, sold or upgraded, but they can’t do all the work – the player has to get stuck too.
kingdom two crowns
This broadens the definition of tower defense to some extent, but we’re assuming you’re here because you want to play more awesome TD games. If you like what’s on the rest of this list, you’ll like Kingdom: Two Crowns. This is a side-scrolling strategy game where you play as a mounted monarch who is tasked with rebuilding a kingdom under constant threat from Greed, who will attack your settlement in waves of increasing difficulty.
To survive, you will need to collect tithes from your population and invest the money in defenses (walls and towers for the most part), but also in weapons. You control no one but the ruler directly. Everyone else will automatically go about their business based on role, but certain actions will incentivize certain behavior. Builders will build what you tell them to, but they can also cut down trees to earn more money. Eventually, you can improve your economy to rely less on hunting and more on farming. Meanwhile, Greed will keep attacking your walls to try to destroy your home.
Two Crowns is the current iteration of Kingdom and involves a sprawling campaign that sees you travel from island to island exploring the wilderness in search of powerful secrets, new mounts, and a way to destroy Greed forever. It also comes with cooperative mode: online or local split screen.
ANOMALY: WAR ZONE EARTH
Anomaly: Warzone Earth is a complete inversion of the tower defense genre: the player controls units that try to sneak past defenses to attack. it is tower offense.
After charting a course through an alien-controlled hellscape, players must keep their limited units healthy, upgrading them whenever possible, to reach the objective while attacking the various defense towers along the way. It’s not the longest game on this list, but it’s an innovative and fun twist on the genre.
THE ORCS MUST DIE! 3
The orcs must die! The series blends third-person shooter, melee, and magical combat with fantasy-based tower defense, requiring players to mix strategy with skill: you can’t just rely on your weapons or Dungeon Keeper-style traps. to defeat the hordes of orcs.
The third game in the series was exclusive to Google Stadia, but has since been released on Steam. The orcs must die! 3 is a welcome addition to the franchise, featuring a story mode that takes place 20 years after Orcs Must Die. 2 and War Scenarios, a new mode that allows players to battle against the largest orc armies ever assembled.
From Psychonauts developer Double Fine comes this underrated blend of mechanical third-person combat and tower defense. After World War I, a crazed scientist tries to take over the world with his army of killer TVs, but luckily the guys from the mobile trench division are here to save the day.
The player gets a fully armed robot, which is fun, but they’ll also need to set up defenses to counter the Tube’s attack. Double Fine’s unique gameplay, cooperative mode, and snappy wit make Iron Brigade worth a visit.
Bardbarian features a barbarian named Brad who hung up his ax to play guitar. By playing sick tunes, Brad can call several fighters to follow him, who attack enemies as they get close. It is a tower defense game where defenses accompany the player around the battlefield.
The player doesn’t attack at all, although they can be killed, you just lead the troops, boost them with guitar riffs, and collect gold for upgrades, which include new unit types, more effective upgrades, and a town drunk who vomits on the path of the enemy. The usual things.
ROCK OF 2 AGES: LARGER AND STONES
The Rock Of Ages series is an intriguing combination of tower defense, Super Monkey Ball, and the animated parts of Monty Python. Each level features a downhill course with a base at the end that the player must protect with various wacky defenses. At the same time, the player’s opponent (human or AI) is doing the same thing.
When either of them is ready, they can control a rolling boulder and try to break through those defenses and crash into the enemy base. Rock Of Ages 2 is probably the best of the series as the most recent third game leaned too much towards difficulty and lost much of the fun.
Now you have a selection of the best tower defense games, ready for the approaching hordes of aliens/zombies/terrifying balloons. As you watch them fall before you, check out our guide to the best strategy games on PC.