Top 25 Best Koei Tecmo Games Ever Made

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Dead or Alive. Dynasty Warriors. Ninja Gaiden. Toukiden.

So many diverse games, united under the mighty umbrella of Koei Tecmo.

Since the merger in 2008, all the popular franchises published by Koei and Tecmo became part of the same family.

And this is a family known to feature some of the most diverse video games in recent times.

This makes it harder to pick the very best games here. But if you really wanna know where to start with Koei Tecmo, I’ve ranked my picks here.

NOTE: This list primarily focuses on games just released under Koei Tecmo, not older games released just by Koei, or just by Tecmo. We’ll have separate lists for those!


25. Destrega (1998)

Destrega Koei Tecmo - game screenshot

Rock-Paper-Scissors is a classic among kids. And among those who played a certain game on PlayStation 1.

Destrega is a 3D fighting game that tried to do things differently from all the Tekkens, Soul Edges, and Virtua Fighters of the late 90.

It did this by introducing a rock-paper-scissors system to basic short-range attacks, which ends up making reads on your opponent’s moves more important than ever.

Is it unique? Yes.

Is it successful? Not quite, as the huge number of subsystems result in a complex experience that’s very hard to pick up and play.

The exact opposite of what a good fighting game should be.

But if you’re willing to put your fingers and your brain to work, you will find that all these gauges, attack types, and symbols do make sense in the end.


24. Warriors All-Stars (2017)

Warriors All-Stars gameplay

Everyone’s here! Armed to the teeth, and ready to go!

Warriors All-Stars is the quintessential Warriors game, coming with all the features that make for a great hack and slash game.

Varied all-star roster with some wacky characters? Check.

Massive maps filled with enemies and revolving mission objectives that add a little more depth? Check.

Massive combos that can take down hundreds of enemies at once? Check.

Multiple play modes? Sorry, you’ll have to make do with just Story Mode, my friend.

But hey, don’t complain: which Warrior game features the fearsome cat general Oda Nobunyaga?


23. Dynasty Warriors 7: Extreme Legends (2011)

Dynasty Warriors 7: Extreme Legends gameplay

Dynasty Warriors 7: Extreme Legends takes everything to the extreme.

Is anyone surprised?

Expanding on the vanilla release, Extreme Legends features a lot of new content to enjoy.

Like new characters, and the amazing Legends mode that allows you to change your officer at any time.

With a plethora of characters and varied play modes, Extreme Legends is good. But it also plays extremely safe, as it’s similar to the original release. But, more extreme.


22. Samurai Warriors 2 Empires (2006)

Samurai Warriors 2 Empires game

Mindless button mashing can be quite fun.

To be completely honest, Samurai Warriors 2 Empires would fail horribly as a Warriors game. As it features the dullest iteration of the hack and slash formula that made the series popular.

What salvages the entire experience are the strategy mechanics, which allow you to decide how to proceed in your conquest of Japan by enacting policies that influence the combat scenarios.

Want to hire Ninjas or change formations? You can.

Or rather, you should, lest you want to fall asleep on the battlefield.


21. Kessen III (2004)

Kessen III - Koei Tecmo game screenshot

Want a little more depth from your hack and slash games? Say no more.

Kessen III combines an easy to understand tactical role-playing experience, with the hectic and chaotic hack and slash action of the Dynasty Warriors series.

This creates a mix that works surprisingly well.

Controlling the famous Nobunaga Oda as he tries to unify Japan during the Sengoku era, you’ll have to travel from province to province, set up your troops, let them clash with the enemy, and then let your generals have their fun in Rampage Mode.

This plays like any self-respecting entry in the Dynasty Warriors series.

The experience does become a little repetitive over time. But the massive battlefields and the sense of scale will quickly remind you why you’re enduring all this: to leave a permanent mark on history.


20. Romance of the Three Kingdoms X (2004)

Romance of the Three Kingdoms X gameplay

How many times have you experienced the end of the Han dynasty in ancient China? Nine?

Well, time to make that number round.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms X is not a game that will convert naysayers, since it features the same menu-based strategic gameplay fans have been enjoying for years.

But it does offer something more that elevates it from most of the series.

Aside from History Mode, which faithfully recreates the real-life events that happened between 200 and 300 AD, you can now choose your own path in Fictional Mode.

Create your own officers and conquer China in any way you wish.

History is all about choices and consequences, and it was about time you could take everything into your hands.


19. Operation Europe: Path to Victory (1991)

Operation Europe: Path to Victory gameplay

Very few games are as grounded as Operation Europe: Path to Victory.

Taking place during World War II, you’ll be able to join either the Allies or the Axis forces and take part in battles set in Europe and North Africa.

Taking advantage of the turn-based combat engine introduced in the Nobunaga’s Ambition series, Path to Victory is an extremely involving tactical experience, even more considering how the AI leaves very little room for error.

This is war, in case you haven’t noticed.


18. Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate (2018)

Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate screenshot

Another Warriors game? How surprising!

While it’s easy to make some easy jokes on the Warriors series as a whole, Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate is a serious as it can get.

Expanding on the frankly disappointing experience of the vanilla release, Ultimate adds more content than you can shake your katanas at.

All in the form of new story scenarios, new characters, higher level cap, and a revamped interface that makes navigating the menus less of a chore.

And if killing thousands of enemies in a single battle is not enough, hop onto Infinity Mode and lose yourself in a spiral of never-ending battles.

Say goodbye to your social life. You have been warned.


17. Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere Of Influence (2013)

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere Of Influence gameplay

Conquering a nation is no small feat, even in video games.

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere Of Influence is a game that rewards forwarding thinking, meticulous planning, and most of all, patience.

As one of the most complex strategy games released on PlayStation 4, the game requires an absurd amount of effort to start feeling fun. The depth of the gameplay leads to a lot of trial and error in the first few hours that can result in frustration.

But if you take your time and read through many tutorials (or watch ‘em) you’ll find a rather unique game that will fire you up with only the sheer force of numbers!


16. Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings (2017)

Atelier Lydie & Suelle - Screenshot of gameplay

The Atelier series is JRPG comfort food at its best.

You know what you’re getting into, and you love it.

Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings don’t differ a whole lot from the rest of the Mysterious subseries.

Lydie and Suelle are two lovable wannabe alchemists who must do their best to get the financial support of their kingdom, and explore the mysterious world hiding behind the paintings left by their father.

Quite mysterious indeed.

With the easy-to-understand, harder to master Alchemy system, plus straightforward turn-based combat and a charming cast of characters, Atelier Lydie & Suelle is an enjoyable RPG worth playing.

It’s sure to relieve your stress and charm its way into your heart with each item you create.


15. Fire Emblem Warriors (2017)

Fire Emblem Warriors - Game Screenshot

Fire Emblem Warriors is the perfect cure for turn-based fatigue.

I mean look at all the reasons it stands out as a Warriors game:

  • The ability to issue orders to allies
  • Pair two characters up to swap between them on the fly
  • Classic Mode which makes defeated unit gone forever (unless you’re willing to revive them by spending hard-earned money)
  • History Mode, which recreates classic Fire Emblem battles

Sorry, did you say that this is more than enough to make it stand out from most of the rest? Well damn right you are!


14. Dragon Quest Heroes II (2016)

Dragon Quest Heroes II game screenshot

Slapping stats and items onto a hack and slash game is more than enough for some developers to claim it’s an action role-playing game.

Not for Dragon Quest Heroes II, though.

Taking advantage of the traditional RPG roots of Dragon Quest, DQH2 isn’t just a simple JRPG meets Warriors game.

It’s an action role-playing complete with a semi-open world, varied level design, and features lifted straight from Dragon Quest.

You know, stuff like class changing and controlling your own monsters.

Puzzles and stealth sequences do slow the pace way too much if you prefer something faster-paced.

But when enemies start appearing, it’s no holds barred as usual!


13. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (2009)

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 gameplay

Even the most hardcore of action games needs some toning down every now and then.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is an updated version of the original Ninja Gaiden 2, featuring new massive bosses, online co-op, and new playable characters.

The new content, however, is not what makes Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 slightly better than the original: it’s the balance changes.

With fewer enemies on screen, you can be sure to better understand more of what’s going on inside that bloody vortex you create with your greatsword, Incendiary Shurikens, and all the tools that make Ryu Hayabusa the most powerful Ninja ever.


12. Pokémon Conquest (2012)

Pokémon Conquest - Koei Tecmo gameplay

Pokémon and Nobunaga Conquest.

The combination no one asked for, but everyone needed.

Taking the best features of both franchises, Pokémon Conquest is an experience worth playing for all kinds of gamers.

In their quest to unite the 17 kingdoms of the Ransei region, warriors all over link with Pokemon, take part in turn-based battles, and show their tactical prowess every step of the way.

You can take advantage of each Pokémon’s typical elemental status to wisely defeat each & every foe.

At the end of this bloody road will be the perfect land, shaped by the Pokémon who will conquer it. Let’s just hope it’s not Magikarp!


11. Toukiden 2 (2016)

Toukiden 2 - game screenshot

Did I hear someone say Monster Hunter? Must have been my imagination.

With its different weapon types, gameplay intricacies, and massive monsters to hunt, whoever said Toukiden 2 sounds a lot like Monster Hunter wasn’t too off the mark.

But do you get a powerful, mechanical Demon Hand to rip apart Oni in Monster Hunter?

Do you get a massive number of Mitamas to customize your character any way you wish?

Do you get a traditional Japanese atmosphere? No?

Then Toukiden 2 is definitely not Monster Hunter, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.


10. Attack On Titan 2: Final Battle (2018)

Attack On Titan 2: Final Battle screenshot

When the thousand grunts of your typical Warriors game become giants, things can’t stay the same.

Attack On Titan 2: Final Battle is among the most unique Warriors series spin-offs released to date.

It features a different combat system that does away with the furious button mashing the series is known for, in exchange for something with a little more finesse.

You still move around massive maps to complete objectives and live through the story introduced in the popular anime.

But the amount of combat options keeps you on your toes and prevents things from getting stale too quickly.

These giants mean business, in case you didn’t notice.


9. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 (2020)

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 gameplay

Time to set sail, and find the legendary One Piece!

On the surface, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is not all that different from its predecessors.

Spending a few minutes playing with any character, however, will show how a lot has changed.

All characters can now jump and perform aerial combos that feel satisfying to pull off, as well as unleash four different types of special attacks that make you feel like the true Pirate King.

Dramatic Log, sadly, presents a very abridged version of the story. So do not expect your journey into the New World to feel particularly epic compared to the anime.

But we ranked this game among the best One Piece games ever made, so there’s a lot to love about this title.


8. Dead or Alive 6 (2019)

Dead or Alive 6 - game screenshot

Dead or Alive isn’t all just about women fighting in skimpy outfits.

Well, that’s a lot of it.

But it’s also about women beating up their opponents in whatever outfit they choose.

Dead or Alive 6 features the same blazingly-fast, explosive 3D fighting experience of its predecessors, complete with the unique Parry system and the irritating juggle combos that can put an end to the match in seconds.

Thankfully the introduction of the Break Gauge gives us a way to escape from these combos. Proving that there’s a lot of strategy to this title.

Until they open you up again and start the whole circus again. What agony!


7. Fatal Frame: Maiden of the Black Water (2014)

Fatal Frame: Maiden of the Black Water gameplay

Forget your handguns, revolvers, lockpicks, and rocket launchers.

You only need a camera to survive what lies in the dark.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of the Black Water is a horror game like very few others.

Featuring an incredible atmosphere that always makes you feel vulnerable, the game brings you to Mt. Hikami.

This is a once beautiful place that’s now visited by those who want to end their own lives. You know what this means?

Vengeful spirits everywhere!

Thankfully, the game’s three heroines are armed with the Camera Obscura, a special camera that can be used to fight these spirits and send them where they belong.

And you don’t even need a flash to do so: just point with the Wii U GamePad gyro controls and you’re good to go!

Too bad there’s no Instagram in this world. Imagine how many likes you could get for these shots.


6. Gitaroo Man (2001)

Gitaroo Man - game screenshot 2001

Did you know that music can save the world from invading aliens?

Yeah me either.

Gitaroo Man is among the most unique rhythm games ever released. Every feature, from the story starring a lonely elementary school kid, to the actual gameplay, feels rightly absurd and extremely over-the-top.

In a fun way.

So much that you will definitely end up wondering why you’re playing a game like this.

Well it’s for the amazing soundtrack, of course. And to save the world, ostensibly.


5. Dragon Quest Builders 2 (2018)

Dragon Quest Builders 2 gameplay screenshot

Dragon Quest Builders 2 is the best of many worlds, and a title that pretty much all gamers will love unconditionally.

Acting as a sort of sequel to Dragon Quest 2, this “action role-playing game meets Minecraft” is an experience that likes to hide its true colors beneath its cute exterior.

Its humorous story features some incredibly touching moments that will stay with you for a while.

Plus its sandbox, crafting-focused gameplay feels on rails most of the time, but lets you go wild with your imagination when the right time comes.

I’d also say its online features feel like nothing more like a diversion, but showing off your creations to other players will become a staple in your gaming life.

And it doesn’t really matter that Dragon Quest Builders 2 doesn’t try to reinvent, or rather recraft the wheel: the sheer joy it provides is more than enough to make it one of the best games ever made by Koei Tecmo!


4. Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout (2019)

Atelier Ryza gameplay screenshot

Remember those complex crafting systems that you never truly understood, even after tens of hours of gameplay?

All gone now!

Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout set the bar for all future entries in the celebrated JRPG series. How?

By streamlining its defining feature, the alchemy system.

While it still holds a good amount of depth, the system is now much easier to understand. And those who just wish to continue the story can let the game do all the crafting.

Now that’s convenient!

Even more so considering the game’s sluggish pace in the first few hours makes gathering materials for alchemy feel pretty uninteresting.

Past these first few hours, however, the game shows its cards with an amazing turn-based battle system that does not wait for you to complete your attacks. Not to mention a loveable cast that will charm you at first sight.


3. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (2014)

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition gameplay

Hyrule Warriors.

A.K.A the Revenge of the Bosses.

While Hyrule Warriors feels a lot like Dynasty Warriors with a Zelda skin, the game does its very best to set itself apart from other similar games.

Boss battles, in particular, implement a weakness system that’s similar to the latest entries in the series. These weaknesses force you to think hard about which sub-items to use to expose weak points in battle. And then start mashing those buttons furiously again.

Adventure Mode, which features grid-based maps inspired by all Zelda games, is another clever way to break the mold of the Warriors series, and offer something unique with a massive lasting appeal.

I highly recommend giving this a try, even if you’re not a huge Zelda fan. There’s a lot to enjoy here.


2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2019)

Fire Emblem: Three Houses game screenshot

What’s Fire Emblem doing in this list? It’s the magic of game development!

Magic plays a large role in this entry of the celebrated series, as students of the Fodlan Military Academy will have to deal with ancient powers that aim to bring turmoil to a continent that hangs on the edge.

Starring a lot of new characters, you(as Byleth) will have to choose which House to take under your wing, deepen the bonds with your students, and become the man that will be able to make a difference.

Especially in the complex tactical battles set on a bunch of well-designed maps.

Modern Fire Emblem, in a nutshell!


1. Nioh 2 (2020)

Nioh 2 - Koei Tecmo game screenshot

Samurai Dark Souls? I’ll take it!

Describing Nioh 2 as a Dark Souls clone with a Feudal Japan design would be just looking at the surface.

This game, arguably the best game ever released by Koei Tecmo, twists the experience in some very clever ways.

This can make it even more brutally difficult than Dark Souls games (at times).

Combat is incredibly fast and varied, thanks to a plethora of weapon types and different skills. The loot system is engaging, opening up a lot of customization options.

And the bosses are so vicious that you’ll always be on the lookout for the perfect build to send these monstrosities back where they belong.

Fair warning: you will die a lot. But the joy of victory will be all the sweeter!

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