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Sparticulous

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As a Rome lover. I will have to go with imperator closely follow by Victoria 2, and then eu4. i would put ck2 last. I would leave hoi4 un ranked as I haven’t played it. Sounds fun but I’m content with my selection. I wasn’t a big ww2 fan.
 

Marussian

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CK2 was the first Paradox game I played and since I love roleplaying, it was an amazing game for me.

After that played EU4 but couldn't bring myself to keep playing because of controlling nations not dynasties(not ideal for roleplaying as CK2) and I like Medieval Age and not Renaissance Era so...

Then it was HOI4.I knew it was similar to EU4 in terms of gameplay mechanics,but the game was set in an interesting era to me so I played more than EU4 but still not much.

Although I love sci-fi ,I never got Stellaris.Reading some reviews and comments from people saying the game is very complex and you need to micro manage every single detail made me stay away.I know GS games shouldn't be shallow but I can't handle too much detail either.

HOI4 and EU4 made my head dizzy as well with their complexity but never had a problem with CK2's level of detail.Maybe it was more about how they represented the detail than how much.

Finally,been playing Imperator since release and it was the best of both worlds for me really.My favourite historical era,combined with character system from CK2(roleplaying!) It has aesthetic beauty.Just lacking in flavour because there aren't much events and such but it is a minor issue and with future updates it will be fixed.It has a great potential to become best Paradox games but only time will tell that.

In conclusion,I can say that CK2 and Imperator were my favourites,although Imperator could take the top spot someday.No comment on Vicky2 or Stellaris since I never had the pleasure of playing and HOI4 and EU4 were my least favourite,the latter taking the last spot.That doesn't make them bad or worse,mind you,they were just not my kind of games.
 

V-Dogg

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Out of the current gen games:

1. CK2. The characters make this game unique and create infinite storylines. Not only the best game by Paradox, but maybe the best game ever.

2. Victoria 2. A bit dated and confusing in the beginning and I can understand the focus on economy turning off many strategy gamers. But the focus on things other than wars is what makes this so great and even makes the wars feel more special. This feels most like a simulation out of the Paradox games.

3. HOI4. The focus is really only on the war side as this basically just covers the WW2. HOI1 was the first Paradox game for me and I always dreamed of a game like HOI but covering a longer timespan than just WW2 (like Civ) and then I discovered the other Paradox games. But the HOI series easily has the best battle mechanics and although HOI4 feels super simple compared to the previous ones (my first game as Finland I stopped the Soviets easily and in my second game as Germany I pretty much destroyed everyone even though I felt like I didn’t understand any of the mechanics), it is still quite fun. Try Darkest Hour or HOI3 after 4 and you’ll know what I mean.

4. EU4. I loved EU3. But EU4 for me is my least favorite of the current gen games even though I’ve played it the second most (because a single game takes so long). It feels more like a (board) game compared to CK2 and VIC2. Monarch points used for too many things, no fun peace time mechanics and quite boring colonization. It has no soul compared to the others. Still not a terrible game and has a place in my top 100 games. EU with characters would be amazing.

I have not played I:R yet. As I feel it is too similar to EU4 as a boring map painter. But I have faith that it will eventually become a great game. Hopefully more focus on characters, internal politics and other peace time mechanics.

I have not tried Stellaris either. I loved MOO 1 and 2 but I have not enjoyed another space strategy game since then. Maybe I will try this at some point after I get tired of staying on Earth.
 

GundamMerc

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I'll have to disagree with the Victoria 2 getting high marks here, as it has some of the same lying interface issues of EU IV but none of the outcry from fans (gotta love AI refusing to support you in a war they said they would support you in).
 

fr-rein

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I'll have to disagree with the Victoria 2 getting high marks here, as it has some of the same lying interface issues of EU IV but none of the outcry from fans (gotta love AI refusing to support you in a war they said they would support you in).

Vicky 2 is not actively supported or developed like EU4, so it is not a good comparison or an ignored issue. We just acknowledge that it is dated with most issues coming with it.

In fact, EU4 having these issues (in even worse scale) after so many years ahead in support and development is much worse, hence the outcry.
 

Feeblezak

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CK2 is my favourite one, by far. The game is a masterpiece. The one i enjoyed the least was Victoria 2. Don't care much for that game. Played maybe 10 hours or so since it came out.

I suppose to rank them It would be

CK2 - Like I said, masterpiece.

HoI4 - I very much enjoy Hearts of Iron 4. I'm looking forward to espionage. Great modding community with lots of fun overhaul mods, like old world blues, kaiserreich, etc.

HoI3 - this was the first paradox game I put a substantial amount of time in. I played some of the others but not to the same level as this one, I have a lot to thank it for really.

EU4 - I can't really say much good about it, can't really say much bad about it. It is what it is. I keep going back to it so it must be doing something right.

Stellaris - I enjoyed this game a lot when it came out. I play it much less now that it is a glorified economy simulator. Ancient Relics was nice but I need about 20 mods to make this fun.

Victoria 2 - I don't like this game at all. I've tried it several times over the years and I simply cannot enjoy it. I don't know what's going on, I don't know what i'm doing and don't care to learn. I don't say it is a bad game, but personally I don't like it, nor would I be interested in a sequel.

I didn't buy Imperator because I had zero interest whatsoever in that game. The reviews on YouTube and forums indicate I saved myself a heap of disappointment.
 

Konig15

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I cannot say best game because it's subjective and I haven't played them all. I can only comment on which ones I enjoyed.

Of the games I have played, the ones I enjoyed were
Victoria, followed by Eu2, and this is because they were the most historical and least sandboxy. EU2 stands out because it was the only game where I feared the powers in my own government,

My least favorite by far is Stellaris, which has very interesting concepts but I feel completely shit the bed on so many levels. It's badly conceptualized, it's extremely boring, static, waging war is unrewarding, designing ship is unrewarding, colony building is unrewarding. This game was more mechanically boring but more accessible than Paper's Please. And the worst part is Stellaris could be fixed. It doesn't require a new game engine, though probably at least three DLCs and a redsigned script engine.
 

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For me, it depends on what mood I'm in when I get ready to play a game as to which game I most want to play.

But bang for buck tends to be real high value for me with PI. Forex, I have HOI4 but haven't played it yet because I'm still playing HOI3. I've been playing HOI3 since it launched. When I finally get burned out on HOI3, I'll move up to HOI4.

Same with the EU series.

Right now and for the last little while, my mood has been Imperator: Rome.
 

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CK2 best, HOI4/Imperator worst, but seeing as a lot of people here seem to love imperator, I might try to get back into it
 

Le Jones

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I've posted this elsewhere, but it is still true three months later...

I would have to divide my Paradox experience into the "classic age" of (largely) pre-Steam CDs/DVDs bought from a shop (we were a simple people!) and the "modern age" stuff based around Steam.

Classic Age (starting from the best)

1. EU2; cracking soundtrack (I curse losing the disc for that reason), fun map, easy gameplay. A gem - who among us hasn't sent an army storming ashore with Vivaldi?

2. HOI2(DD); a very close second - it spawned an AAR (my one and only) that lasted for two years, and provided many happy hours of gameplay. Decent graphics, accessible gameplay, soundtrack ok (not as good as HOI1 actually) and happily, beautifully, moddable/editable.

3. Vic1; I have to confess that I dipped in and out of it - the countries felt a bit 'one size fits all', in that everything felt bent towards the economics of the game engine. The scale of the map though, was something to behold. And exploration/colonisation felt genuine. Compared to what came next, boy oh boy it was good. Worth it for the incredulity experienced when a uni friend was convinced that he had received a message saying "the HMS Cretinous is ready for deployment".

4. CK1; I have it, I vaguely remember it, but I think it's a bit of a "near miss" for me. It's just, well, a bit 'meh'.

Modern Age (starting from the best)

1. CK2; I am genuinely surprised that I have typed this, but amidst an abundance of riches, it is the standout. Lovely map, acres of playability, tons of fun to be had from mad/lecherous/zealous characters. I view it as a credit to Paradox that I haven't even touched (yet) the China or India updates.

2. HOI3; this is the 'slow burner' for me. I hated it when it was released, but with some well-judged updates/DLC it is a genuinely good game. It is the well worn pair of slippers that I keep for comfort. I have a slow running game that I have been playing on and off since Nov 18, and, as I know the game processes well, I can leave it for weeks on end and quickly reacquaint with.

3. EU4; I so rarely play it now, but was obsessed with it when it came out - one of my rare pre-order purchases, in fact. There is a lot to love - a decent map, some great ideas (the advisors in particular) and some good DLC. There are some minor things that are just ill-judged (ship upgrades - sorry, I'm not sold), and rebels seemed ludicrously overpowered, but it's a fitting update to a flagship Paradox product.

4. HOI4; that this game is 'mid table' is probably right - it could genuinely storm up to rival CK2, or with one DLC could sink into Vic2 territory. What works? The mechanics of industrial production are magnificent, for the first time in a HOI game warship customisation feels like a genuine exercise in "what capabilities shall I focus on", the division designer is very good, and I like concept of 'political power'. But... there is a place in hell for its approach to land combat, focus trees need a tweak, and its perception of C2 is arcadey in the extreme. Montgomery and Alanbrooke were not, on any planet, Field Marshals (or, in the abstract, Army/Army Group commanders) in 1936. It's just flakey. Grrrrrrrr…

5. Stellaris; is probably heading in the direction of CK1 above - 'meh'. I have only really enjoyed it with a pretty comprehensive mod installed, and have completely lost track of the DLCs. A solid game, but one that could have been great.

6. EU3; seemed to emerge for a couple of years and then got superseded by its little brother EU4. I know that its 'place in the sun' was something like five/six years, but by the time I'd given up on EU2, EU4 was in development. But, while it was "top dog", it felt like a logical development of EU2; I remember loving the map when it came out.

7. March of the Eagles; argh. The Napoleonic Era is, if I am honest, so dear to my heart (I'm an English kid who was a teenager in the mid-late nineties - it was Sharpe and Hornblower all the way) that I was pretty dismayed when this erupted and was then so poor. This is a period that deserves some attention - it is like the Cold War in that it doesn't really fit into the game that covers the period/adjacent period (EU for Napoleonics, HOI for the Cold War). It could have been wonderful, but it was tightly drafted, poorly executed and lacked any sense of the period in which it was centred. I type this yearning for a Paradox Napoleonic game that is any good. I'd sell the wife/house/car.

8. Vic2; take a reasonable game, remove some basic features (naming ships, FFS) that should, nay must be in the core purchase version, and make a global canvas seem small. How on Earth the colonisation feature could seem so awful is breathtaking. I genuinely cannot get into this, and my God I have tried. It is like Hollywood's obsession with Marvel films - "great, I am pleased for you that someone paid to experience it, but it is just never going to work for me".

Most of the above was typed three months ago - but, reading the hierarchy again, I do not alter it. I have yet to try Imperator, and given the reports on this forum I'm wary of it atm.
 

Alaclis

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For me :

1) CK2 : It's a very fun game, extreme replayability, lot of game rules to play as you like (exclaves, de jure requirement, absurd events, ...). The only thing i don't like it's when my 30 years old ruler die from unexpected event and you have to wait with a long regency, but "c'est la vie". I hope naval warfare will be implemented in ck3.

2) Stellaris : i love space and explore unknown, the different species, spaceborn aliens, corporation. In this game you can play extremely tall, it's very nice with habitat and ring world. Problems are : end game lag for a lot of people (not much for me since 2.4, but 2.2/2.3 was unplayable), ai is dumb, like they don't know how to optimize planets, even with grand admiral bonus, they can't keep up, and this make playing with "feodal ethic" useless. And one last thing, pop need to migrate on their own, like on Imperator.

3) HOI4 : I love playing this with Sabaton ingame music or webradio, invading poland is always fun :rolleyes:. Not as much replayability than other paradox games but i think it's the best pdx game to play with friends.

4) Vic2 : I didn't play this a lot, but i like seeing organic population adapting by themselves.

5) EU4 : I hate mana system and all cheeses you can do on this game. I don't really like estates system too. Apart from that, i find EU4 challenging compared to other pdx games (or maybe it's because i played ck2/stellaris/hoi4 more), achievement are harder too, so it's rewarding to succeed (atleast for me).

6) Imperator : I preorder it, played 2h on day1 and stopped. Played 3h when 1.1 was released. 5h when 1.2 was released. I think this game need a lot of adjustement to be fun. But dev are in a good way and are in a good path. Wait and see.

PS : i play 95% of theses game with iron man / all dlc

PS2 : for the last 5%, i recommend Kaiserreich (HOI4) and AGOT (CK2). Still waiting for Fallen Republic (Star Wars mod for Stellaris), Warhammer 35M is nice too.
 

P-51

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Stellaris - I enjoyed this game a lot when it came out. I play it much less now that it is a glorified economy simulator. Ancient Relics was nice but I need about 20 mods to make this fun.

I'd be interested in an elaboration on this. I haven't played in awhile, more from lack of time than lack of interest, and am wondering whether the game changed with recent patches or does it simply lack the replay value that HoI/CK have?
 

Beagá

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Honestly a better thread would be which are the best and worst Clausewitz engine game, as Victoria 2 isn´t a Clausewitz game. For being in such an old engine it´s quite good.
 

PARAfel

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Beagá

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Well you didn´t include Stellaris or Rome, which had way more people playing compared to Victoria 2.

As for votes I would vote for worse (if it´s Clausewitz we are talking about) Stellaris and best EU 4. Stellaris is so bland, even after all the changes it still has so many AI issues... HOI 4 comes next.

For best I would vote for EU4.

However I wouldn´t consider Stellaris a "bad" game, more like a 7/10.
 

GundamMerc

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Well you didn´t include Stellaris or Rome, which had way more people playing compared to Victoria 2.

As for votes I would vote for worse (if it´s Clausewitz we are talking about) Stellaris and best EU 4. Stellaris is so bland, even after all the changes it still has so many AI issues... HOI 4 comes next.

For best I would vote for EU4.

However I wouldn´t consider Stellaris a "bad" game, more like a 7/10.
More like Stellaris has AI issues because of the changes. Before the huge 2.0 patch, the AI was at least able to get a handle on the economy and military. Nowadays it lags behind a lot.
 

Beagá

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Yes, it´s terrible how you still see AI fleets with T1 tech even by 2280. Won´t buy any extra DLC for Stellaris until I see that BS fixed.
 

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The best nostalgic games for me would be Victoria and EU3, but rating against nostalgia is not fair, so. Hearts of Iron 4! National foci and nicely drawn leader portraits help you feel like you're not playing a slightly different ball of stats, battleplans is the kind of convenience feature I really wish more strategy games had, at no point am I drowning in mundane paper clip collector micro and what you do roughly maps to what I think would be realistic. Only problem is broken AI which makes SP not as fun as it should be. Even that is not as mind-bogglingly crippled as it is in Stellaris...

Worst is CK2 which is a game about clicking pop-up events. It's incredibly irritating and in the end all I'm accomplishing is spewing out kid #57.