The first Evil Genius was good, but in all honesty, it could have been better. Fortunately for us, Rebellion thought so too because in 2021, they came out with Evil Genius 2: World Domination and went for broke on the whole James Bond villain business simulator. And not only did they go for it, but the improvements they’ve made make it one of the best strategy games to have come out in 2021.

Evil Genius 2: World Domination puts you in the role of a super villain running an evil operation from a humble island hideout. Throughout the game, you build up your evil business, carrying out schemes and hiring up on henchmen as you expand your industry into dealings throughout the world. Of course, when you get notorious enough, the world will start taking an interest in curtailing your empire. That means sending super spies after you. For that, you’ll need to craft traps and arm your goons with the training, equipment, and leadership to turn an M16 into an MIA.

Evil Genius 2: World Domination really upped the ante on how you do business inside and outside of your lair. You can hatch outlandish schemes such as kidnapping the entire English royal family or torching Alaska. There are an absolute ton of objectives in the game to pursue if you have the means to chase your evil dreams. Meanwhile, you can also hire henchman that can bring as many flaws as benefits to your operation. The important thing is that you can slap them around or even outright murder them when they dare to fail you.

Rebellion took a great concept, polished up the rough ends, and expanded it greatly in Evil Genius 2: World Domination. The different leaders you can choose from, the way you can build up your lair, the many opportunities to get embroiled in world affairs, and gratuitous options for punishing those who try to stop you made this game a delight to strategize around and manage throughout the year.  That’s what puts Evil Genius 2 over the top to make it our Shacknews Best Strategy Game of 2021.

Watch the Shacknews Awards 2021 YouTube playlist or read our Year of the Games: 2021 article for all of the awards in one place. We wil be announcing our Shacknews GOTY 2021 on December 31.