32. Hearts of Iron IV
The genius of Paradox Interactive’s all-encompassing war sim is that it enables you to completely reroute the course of history, one incremental decision at a time. This is no digitized version of Risk. Micromanagement of any nation between 1936 and 1939 goes way beyond general foreign policy, right down to deciding what to build in factories, and how it’s delivered to the frontline. No real-time conflict emulator has ever drilled so deeply into a single global conflict. Nothing is spoon-fed, either. Its statistics can sometimes feel overwhelmingly complex and you'll need a stack of history textbooks (OK, maybe Wikipedia) to fully grasp what’s unfolding around you, but as a result it’s utterly involving, and every small battlefield victory feels euphoric.