Being the absolute ruler of a country and making decisions involving all aspects of life can be a very privileged position. For those moments when you thought what it would be like to become the one who calls all the shots, declaring wars, giving orders and laws that no one can contest, we made a list featuring 8 of the most intense games that let you play as the dictator. If you’re not afraid to use your power and oppress some of your citizens in the process, then this list is just for you!
Hearts of Iron 2
Together with its Armageddon and Iron Cross expansions, Hearts of Iron 2 is a great grand strategy war game where you can play as one of the 200 countries available. By choosing a state that has a totalitarian regime, such as Nazi Germany or the USSR, you’ll be able to implement rules and legislations that allow you to become the one and only dictator. Building land divisions, appointing commanders of forces and organizing your armies are just some of the actions that you can have fun with in Hearts of Iron 2.
In Overlord the players take the role of a resurrected warrior who is the leader of hordes of gremlin-like minions that are used in battles against opponents. The goal is to defeat seven other ruling heroes, take their lands and become the absolute lord over all the inhabitants. A “corruption” feature, similar to the one in Fable, allows the players to become evil and impose their dictatorship over their minions and the newly conquered populations. Overlord also brings some dark humor to the table, being considered a satirical parody of the fantasy genre.
The absolute series when it comes to games where you get to play the dictator, Tropico offers hours of entertainment with its addictive gameplay, laidback humorous tone and colorful graphics. The last installment of the series, Tropico 5 is the first one to introduce cooperative and competitive multiplayer for up to four players. So you’ll not only be able to become the meanest dictator the world has ever seen, but also to compete against your friends and find out who is the most skilled oppressive leader the island of Tropico has ever encountered!
You can keep reading but the video is way better.
Heavily inspired by the spy thriller genre, mainly the James Bond film series, Evil Genius is a real-time strategy and simulation game that allows the player to become the villainous force that will take over the world. As an evil mastermind you’ll be able to manage your very own operations base along with the minions that inhabit it and you’ll have to split your attention between managing this lair and committing “Acts of Infamy”. With its cartoonish visuals and tongue-in-cheek comedy, Evil Genius is the type of game where you can rule the world with an iron fist!
Even though it’s a government simulation game where you get to be the president or prime minister of a democratic government, Democracy 3 also offers several opportunities to implement dictatorial measures. The decisions that you make when introducing and altering policies in the seven sectors available will affect certain groups, restraining some of their liberties and civil rights, thus giving way to more of a dictatorship oriented political regime. Democracy 3 has a very complex decision making system, challenging the players at every step.
As the lord of your kingdom you have to create a stable economic system and a powerful military force to be able to defend against invaders, destroy enemy fortifications and conquer more land. In order to achieve these goals, you can be a kind leader and feed your people well, or, you can be an oppressive ruler who keeps them hungry, orders them around and uses threats as a means of communication. In Stronghold you get to be the ruthless lord that instates a true dictatorial regime, if that’s what you want.
Set in the time frame between 1836 and 1936, Victoria II allows the player to become the leader of one of the over 200 playable nations. Diplomatic, political, economic, military and even technological aspects can be modeled and adjusted accordingly to the doctrine your country is following. As a result, you can go towards a more democratic approach or, in the exact opposite direction, towards a full blown dictatorship because, as a leader, you are free to decide how you’ll manage your territories and policies.
In Rogue State you have the chance to take control of a Middle Eastern country that is just recovering from a revolution that changed the former monarchic regime. You have total freedom to decide how you’ll manage the foreign policies, forge alliances or, on the contrary, declare war on your neighbors. Rogue State is a geopolitical strategy game that allows you to become a true dictator, giving you enough control to invade countries, assassinate rivals and even nuke the entire planet if you feel like it!