Front Mission is one of the best tactical RPG series out there. Each game offers vast customization options, challenging combat, and compelling narratives. While we haven’t heard much from the franchise since Left Alive (which left many long-time fans disappointed), we recently got a surprise announcement that a remake of Front Mission 1st will arrive this 2022 in just a few months, and a remake of the second game in development.
This is very exciting news for Front Mission fans since remakes or remasters of older games are a sign that there is renewed interest in the franchise and possible new games on the horizon.
As we wait for the Front Mission 1st remake, here are some of the best games like Front Mission that will scratch that tactical mech RPG itch.
Into the Breach
A game that combines the tactical combat of Front Mission with a dash of Advance Wars, Into the Breach is a challenging experience that is reminiscent of the franchise’s early games.
In a world overrun by Kaiju-like creatures, you command a time-traveling squad of mech pilots tasked with saving the world or try it on a different timeline. The game’s combat is punishing, with each mistake costing you crucial resources, pilots, or even your entire run.
This cycle of trial and error might feel frustrating, but the gameplay loop is rewarding, as beating Kaijus gives you upgrades, new pilots, and even unlocks new levels. The rogue-like elements of the game make this very replayable, giving you a different kind of challenge with each playthrough.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
Compared to the other games on this list, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, might not have the vast customization options, but it makes it up by having a well-written narrative. A story that features 13 characters and multiple time-skips, the amount of dialogue and world-building is immense.
When it comes to combat, you have mechs designed to fight off Kaiju in a real-time strategy system. Despite not being a turn-based strategy game, the amount of planning and preparation is right up there with other tactical RPG offerings. If you’re looking for a more modern game that has mechs and a wonderful story, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is definitely worth a try.
Zone of the Enders: Fist of Mars
The GBA has so huge library filled with many underrated games and hidden gems, and Zone of the Enders: Fist of Mars is one of them. While the ZOE games on console are known for their fast-paced and flashy action, Fist of Mars is a tactical turn-based RPG that is reminiscent of Front Mission, but with a few twists to the combat.
One of them is being able to hit or dodge attacks by going into a cockpit view and tracking your opponent’s movements. While it can get a bit repetitive, it’s an immersive mechanic that you’d wish to see improved in other mecha games of its kind. While it may not be as long and expansive as Front Mission, Fist of Mars is still a wonderful experience you can play multiple times.
Ring of Red
Arguably the most obscure game on the list, Ring of Red is a tactical mech RPG set in an alternate history where Japan is split into two after World War II. What sets this game apart from the usual turn-based combat is that you have control of your units when attacking each turn, giving you some extra combat options.
While getting an original copy of the game might be hard to track down right now, this is still a wonderful treat for Front Mission fans, since it offers a challenging tactical experience.
Based on a popular tabletop game, Battletech is developed by veterans of MechCommander and MechAssault, which gives it an extra mecha gaming pedigree that makes it stand out from the rest. Set in a distant future where noble houses are fighting over resources across the universe, you play as a character who becomes involved in one of the house’s struggles.
Turn-based combat takes inspiration from the tabletop game, while still being its own system. The customization options for mechs are vast, allowing you to pick weapons and parts from a wide array of models to create powerful mechs. Pilots also have their own skill tree, which is another form of customization that allows you to enhance your gameplay experience.
About the Author
A former teacher and guitarist, Jude (Twitter, Instagram) is currently a writer that covers video games and is one of the co-hosts of The Geeky Juans. Apart from hosting the podcast, you can also catch him streaming at Dude It’s Jude on Facebook.
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