What do you think is Paradox's best grand strategy game?

Just curious what your opinions are :)

Why are we limited to just Paradox? What’s your end-game?

I love them all, but right now I’m only going to consider the current generation - Victoria 2, Crusader Kings 2, Hearts of Iron 4, Europa Universalis 4, and Stellaris. There are things I love about each of them but I think the clear winner for me, right now, is Europa Universalis 4. They’ve really tightened up the gameplay to the point where I’m always making an interesting decision, but I’m not necessarily taking 1,000 clicks to make something happen. I can play a game as a republic trade nation, or I can have an entirely different experience playing as a imperial military power. I can see what would happen if I made China a colonial superpower, or try my hand at having Frankfurt unify Germany. When you throw other enhancements like institutions and ages, I can play this game for hundreds of hours no problem.

I’ve been meaning to give Victoria 2 another go but having forgot about how the systems work makes re-learning it tedious. I often play Stellaris but my wrist hurts after a session because of all the micromanagement. I have fond memories of Crusader Kings 2 but I think the game is a little long in the tooth for me. I happen to be in the middle of a game of Hearts of Iron 4 right now, but the focus is completely different and I find that I have to be in a very selective mood to want to play that one. Still a great game though.

Thanks for the topic… laying out what I love (and not so love) about this games was very cathartic.

EUIV hands-down, but I sure love the production system in HOI IV.

EU2 with AGCEEP.

I think it provides the best balance of complexity and complication without getting bogged down in almost endless subsystems.

It has its frustrations (e.g. doesn’t show why in particular you lost a particular battle) and lacks the scope of both EU3 and EU4, but personally, I don’t always believe that more is better in a strategy game!

Stellaris. Fun, easy to get into game. As much as I want to learn the others, I never want to spend the time to really learn them. Stellaris has its issues, but the early game especially is great fun.

EU 4 is the only one I’ve wanted to play over and over and over again. I like all the Paradox strategy games I’ve played, but I don’t want to explore any of them as much as I do EU 4.

I like a lot of them for different reasons, but as of today, I have to put EU4 up there. I loved it at release but the continued development and updates have expanded it to a degree that it’s my all-time favorite strategy game.

There’s a lot I really like about HOI4, but at the end of the day I’m more of an empire builder than I am a wargame player, and that title skews more to the latter. Stellaris might eventually surpass EU4 for me, but they’re still recovering from design stumbles they had out the gate.

EU4 easily for me, although I haven’t played HOI4.

My personal favorite is Crusader Kings 1 (not 2).

Most Paradox fans will swear by EU4 though, with CK2 in second place. Make of that what you will. ;)

The best is without doubt Hoi 4, it’s leagues past anything EU 4 can offer, but it’s not the same type of grand strategy, so Eu 4 fits the category better, and thus wins, crusader king 2 doesn’t fit well either imho.

They got it into a playable state? I just remember reading about lots of crashes and bugs so never bothered.

EU4. Stellaris is the game I wish topped the list, but as others have identified has some micro issues.

HOI4 could be as good or better than EU4 with more time to expand content.

I actually meant all their major releases which include HOI’s and CK’s.

What’s my end-game? :p Just reading a lot about Paradox game updates this week and it got me curious.

For me, it was pretty stable when I played it. It’s my most played Paradox game too, BTW. It was indeed “dropped” in terms of support (the last patch ever released was officially Beta and stayed that way forever) but I could play it just fine back then, and I didn’t notice any severe bugs of any kind.

Hands down EU IV for me.

The other EUs were good but lacked that je ne sais quoi. The game was too basic at some points, too complicated in others. It is not that I did not enjoy them but I was not addicted. I playThe hed EU 3 for around 70 hours but played Civ IV with BtS (which came out about 6 months later) for about a million hours. EU IV is now my most played game on Steam with about 10 times as many hours as the 3rd one.

I have not been able to get into CK or CK2. I am simply bored to tears on the 2nd one.

Stellaris is not quite to the level of EU IV.

HoI 2 and 3 were lessons in micromanagement. I love HOI 4 but it still does not come to the level of EU IV.

Thus far in the thread, EUIV is coming out on top. I looked in my Steam library and I bought it (probably on sale at some point) but haven’t played it. I did play quite a bit of the first EU back in the day. I notice that EU:IV has a ton of DLC which I don’t own. If I were to fire up EU:IV, is the base game good, or is there DLC that is highly recommended?

The base game will give you plenty. Of all the DLCs, the must have for me would be Common Sense for the province development. You don’t need it to play or enjoy the game, just pick it up if the game seems like something you could sink some time into.

I purchased just the base game and had a wonderful time with it for many hours.

If you decide to get DLC, the top two are Art of War and Common Sense. Those two are almost necessary to play the game after so many patches.

Crusader Kings 2 is tops. Way back when, my first engagement with Paradox was with EU, but CK2 just came and stole the show. The narratives that get spun out of my playtime are just great. Don’t get me wrong I see those in the other games but I like the dynasty focus of CK2. I think it’s wonderful to have the player follow the family and not necessarily the nation.

Tom Mc