Hearts of Iron IV is an incredibly popular grand strategy games that allows players to flex their strategic muscles as they fight their own version of World War II.
With a major focus on military logistics, this game requires players to think about more than just what kind of weapons to build as they march through one of the most devastating conflicts in human history.
If you’ve finished playing this game, though, you might soon find yourself looking for similar titles to play.
Below are ten games like Hearts of Iron IV (HOI4) that you might want to pick up next.
1) Victoria II
If you are a fan of Hearts of Iron IV, it makes a lot of sense to stick with games made by the same publisher.
Paradox Interactive is one of the leading publishers of grand strategy games, with a number of its other titles bearing at least some similarity to Hearts of Iron IV.
If your goal is to play something similar that takes place in the 19th century, for example, you might want to check out Victoria II.
Victoria might be the least-known of Paradox’s big grand strategy titles, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth playing.
Dropping players into the early 19th century and allowing them to allowing them to build nations during the Napoleonic and Victorian eras, the game can almost be seen as a prequel to Hearts of Iron.
Though the systems and focuses are a bit different, the game is nonetheless an excellent strategy title.
2) Europa Universalis IV
If you’re looking to go back a little further, you might want to try out Europa Universalis IV.
While Victoria pushed the timeline back to 1800, Europa Universalis moves the timeline all the way back to the 15th century.
This means that not only is the playing field significantly different than what one would see in either of the latter games, but that there’s much more room for players to make grand changes in the state of the world.
Europa Universalis is one of Paradox’s flagship series, and for good reason. With four centuries to rule over, players can see the ebb and flow of history in a brand new way.
Often considered to be one of the most complex and most rewarding grand strategy titles out there, Europa Universalis is the perfect game to try out if you feel like you’ve gotten all you need from Hearts of Iron IV and you’re looking to follow it up with something that’s a little bit more complex.
3) Crusader Kings III
For many, Crusader Kings was the series that really made the grand strategy genre take off.
While you might be familiar with it if only for the various memes, the truth is that this title is one that did help to push forward the boundaries of what grand strategy could be.
With a timeline that starts all the way back in the 9th century and a world that’s both more constrained and more varied than that seen in some of the other titles, this is the kind of strategy game you want if you’re looking to really dig into history.
Crusader Kings III is probably best known for its emergent narrative gameplay. The various events that can happen over the course of the game mean that every playthrough is a little different and that every dynasty ends up spinning off its own tale.
With new elements added to this edition of the franchise like the formation of cadet branches and new ways to develop religious ethics, Crusader Kings III is a good example of all that can be done with a medieval sim.
4) Imperator: Rome
Can you successfully rule an empire that’s widely considered one of the most important in human history? That’s the question asked by Imperator: Rome, and one that’s a great deal of fun to answer.
Set the furthest back in the timeline of all of the Paradox games, this one allows players to jump into Rome in the era of the Republic and follow it all the way through the development of the Roman Empire.
Imperator is an interesting game compared to the others on Paradox’s roster because it’s a bit more limited in scope.
Much like Hearts of Iron IV, you’re really trying to deal with a single point in history rather than taking on a grand tour of the timeline.
This allows for a greater degree of focus, albeit one that’s still quite grand in scope. This is a perfect grand strategy game for those who are looking for an experience that’s more closely related to ancient history.
5) Ultimate General: Civil War
If your interest in Hearts of Iron IV had more to do with the chance to live out historical battles and try your hand at battlefield strategy, you might want to try out Ultimate General: Civil War.
Eschewing the grand timelines of Paradox Interactive’s games, this game actually allows players to focus on the brief but deadly conflict that was the American Civil War.
One of the truly interesting things about this game is that it not only allows players to try out the real-world scenarios of the American Civil War, but it also allows players a chance to try out some of the scenarios that could have been in history.
From figuring out what would have happened had the Union one the First Battle of Bull Run to finding a way to develop a Confederate offensive at Vicksburg, the game is a fantastic chance for wargaming buffs to prove that their armchair skills could work on the battlefield.
6) Civil War II
While Ultimate General: Civil War does a great job of engaging in the tactics and strategies of the Civil War, some players might be looking for something closer to the grand strategy of Hearts of Iron IV.
If you find yourself in that boat, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a game like Civil War II waiting for you to try out.
Civil War II is another game that allows players to play out their own versions of the American Civil War, but this time they’ll have to contend with not only military decisions but economic and political decisions at the same time.
Players appoint generals with various strengths and weaknesses to do the fighting while they handle the big decisions that can win or lose the war. A great game for history fans, this is a great game to play if you loved Hearts of Iron IV.
7) Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
It’s very hard to look at the world of strategy games and not immediately recommend one of the games in the Civilization series.
It’s hard to say that games like Hearts of Iron IV would even exist if it wasn’t for Sid Meier’s long-running series, after all, and those who enjoyed the former game would absolutely be remiss if they were to avoid dipping their toes into the Civilization series.
Civilization VI is the latest entry in the Civilization series, but it’s still hitting most of the same notes as the other games in the series.
You’ll still take command of a civilization early in its development and use a combination of diplomacy, economic skill, and diplomatic acumen in order to grow your territory and satisfy a win condition.
With better AI than ever and some amazing new tech under the hood, Civilization VI is a game that every grand strategy fan should try.
8) Total War ROME II – Emperor Edition
Total War: Rome II – Emperor Edition is the kind of game that you want to play when you’re really into the strategy part of grand strategy.
If Imperator is a game about trying to rule the Roman Empire better than the Romans, Total War: Rome II is a game about trying to be a better general than some of the most legendary commanders in human history.
Total War definitely takes less of a bird’s eye view than many of the other games on this list, but that’s not a bad thing.
Instead, you’ll get more of a chance to focus on unit tactics as you command individual battles.
This doesn’t mean that you can ignore the realities of ruling an empire, though, so you’ll still be able to get the same kind of grand strategy fix that you might also get from games like Hearts of Iron IV.
9) Total War: THREE KINGDOMS
Another game in the Total War franchise, Three Kingdoms moves the setting to feudal China.
A fantastic chance to check out a part of history that’s not as often taught in Western classrooms, Three Kingdoms puts players in the shoes of commanders of one of the most complicated eras of Chinese history and tasks them with succeeding where so many failed.
Three Kingdoms greatly changes the aesthetics and cultures that make up the grand strategy genre, yet at its heart you’ll still be exercising the same skills.
Three Kingdoms is an excellent game for anyone who loves strategy games but who is also ready to move beyond Europe in their attempts at learning more about history.
10) Shadow Empire
Shadow Empire is a smaller title compared to some on this list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t ambitious.
Instead of having a historical focus, the game takes the 4X gaming world into a post-apocalyptic near future that allows for some interesting experimentation.
Though it does have a lot in common with Civilization, the higher degree of military focus will make fans of many Hearts of Iron IV players.
Shadow Empire eschews the history elements that many love in this genre, but in that there is some freedom.
There are fewer constrains on what can happen and what technology should look like, allowing this game to go into some really interesting spaces. If you’re a fan of 4X games and want to try something you’ve never tried before, this might be the game for you.