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The War Arc is a Story Arc that concerns two or more large-scale factions (city-sized at least) in conflict with one another, with the protagonists being involved somehow. The scale will usually be very epic, with politics usually playing a role. Expect to see a Big Badass Battle Sequence.

See also Rescue Arc and Tournament Arc.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • One Piece: The Straw Hats have been caught up in a few of these from time to time.
    • Alabasta was the first major war arc in the series, centering on Princess Vivi trying to stop a civil war from destroying her country due to the machinations of Crocodile, her family's most trusted advisor, who wants to find an ancient weapon of mass destruction that he believes in hidden within Alabasta.
    • The second, Skypiea, where the Straw Hats inadvertently get caught between a war between natives of a land of Earth shot up into the sky fighting to reclaim their homeland and the current evil ruler of the sky island, Enel, and his forces who rule over it.
    • Enies Lobby is probably the first time where they lead the charge of the war. In this case, the Straw Hats declare war on the entire world government to save a member of their crew.
    • The Whitebeard War saga, especially the Marineford arc, is the third and most famous war arc due to the sheer scale, as powerful characters throughout the series all converge for a Big Badass Battle Sequence with serious implications on both the characters themselves and the world at large; everyone expects this to signal the End of an Era regardless of who wins. This all started when Ace, brother to Luffy, lost his fight to Blackbeard and was sent to the Marines for execution. Whitebeard, Ace's captain, mobilizes his entire fleet at the Navy's HQ, Marineford, to try to rescue a man he considers a son. The Marines mobilize not only hundreds of thousands of their forces, but all three Admirals, dozens of Vice Admirals, and the Shichibukai to stop Whitebeard, with Fleet Admiral Sengoku himself leading the defense of Marineford. Due to the circumstances surrounding Ace, Marineford also doubles as a Rescue Arc, as the whole point was to save Ace from execution. It's also unusual among both war and rescue arcs for a couple of big reasons: almost none of the main cast are present (the protagonist is there, but none of his True Companions), the hero is actually one of the weaker people on the battlefield, and the antagonists win the war, albeit at a price. The rescue also fails, with the character they're trying to rescue getting killed.
    • Fishman Island is a much smaller scale one, involving the main characters stopping an attempted coup by two human-hating Fishmen, Hody Jones and Vander Decken.
    • Dressrosa arc ends up devolving into this once it was revealed that the current ruler, Doflamingo, was secretly enslaving people and erasing their existence via a Devil Fruit user in the process. Doflamingo doesn't take kindly to this and traps the entire island in a cage of string where the only way out is to defeat him. Plus there's the added urgency of the cage shrinking and threatening to slice everyone into ribbons if he isn't stopped.
    • The Whole Cake Island starts out as Luffy and half of the Straw Hats trying to sneak into Big Mom's territory to rescue Sanji, and while they're in the area steal a key clue to the location of One Piece. Since the Straw Hats trying to be sneaky goes about as well as you'd expect, they instead end up as key players in a war between Big Mom and several of her rebellious ex-subordinates.
    • Technically set up before Totto Land but not beginning in earnest until afterward, the Wano arc is the first time the Straw Hats have done in planning to be part of a war from the beginning instead of being dragged in by circumstance. Having formed an alliance with the Minks and a group of Samurai (and one Ninja) loyal to Oden (a former daimyo of Wano) in order to overthrow the Shogun, who is in turn a puppet of Kaidou, the other half of the Straw Hats have infiltrated Wano while waiting for Luffy to bring in more allies for an all-out war. But it isn't just the heroes making alliances: Kaidou teams up with his old crewmate, Big Mom herself, forming a Big Bad Duumvirate. At the climax, Kaidou and Big Mom are defeated by Luffy, Kid, and Law, a monumental change in the world order as the old guard finally start giving way to the new generation.
  • The Shinobi World War Arc in Naruto is the most prominent example, confronting the Five Great Shinobi Nations and Akatsuki and Kabuto's resurrected Ninja army; but it had the Konoha Invasion arc several hundred chapters earlier, pitting Konoha against Oto and Suna fooled into an alliance by Orochimaru, which tied in with the Chuunin Exams Tournament Arc and actually cut that one short.
  • Bleach:
    • Ostensibly, the "Winter War" between the Gotei 13 and the Arrancar led by Sosuke Aizen. It was less of a War Arc than a Rescue Arc ramped up to eleven, with a Big Badass Battle Sequence for the remaining antagonists at the end of the Arc.
    • The final arc is the culmination of 1,000 years of intermittent warfare between the Shinigami and the Vandenreich. The Blood War has been characterised by massacres: there was one a thousand years ago, another one two hundred years ago, and another one begins in the final arc, which includes major deaths including Yamamoto.
  • Attack on Titan has a few of them:
    • "The Struggle for Trost" arc: Eren and the 104th Cadets are caught up in the middle of a Titan attack in the district of Trost, what follows next is the struggle of the Garrison and Cadet branches to defeat the Titans, as they are eventually saved by Eren's Titan form and the reinforcements from the Survey Corps.
    • "Return to Shiganshina" arc: After Erwin and the Survey Corp stop the government conspiracy during the Uprising arc, the Survey Corps prepare a massive expedition to Shinganshina to close the gap Wall Maria, and eventually they are caught in a trap by the Beastial, Armored and Colossal Titans. Now both sides must play mindgames and strategy to defeat their enemies.
    • After the battle it's revealed there was no Titan apocalypse, human civilization is still running up and well. A hostile nation called Marley is sending Titans in attempts to exterminate the peoples inside the walls, which are "Eldians", a race of humans that can transform into Titans. The whole story turns into a war between Marley and the Eldians of Paradis in the "Marley" and "War for Paradis" arcs.
    • "War For Paradis" is the second to last arc and features a large scale battle in Shiganshina between almost all of the surviving named characters. Reiner and Eren have an extended rematch, Mikasa and Armin fight Pieck and General Magath, Zeke betrays Marley and openly fights against them and the Survey Corps/Wall Garrison goes toe to toe with Marley Infantry.
  • The ongoing conflict between the Exorcists of the Black Order and the Millennium Earl's Akuma make up a good portion of the Myth Arc for D.Gray-Man.
  • The Arachnophobia arc, a war between DWMA and Arachnophobia which has highlights such as a battle in Lost Island for the Demon Tool BREW, and culminates with a full-scale assault on Baba Yaga's Castle, Arachnophobia HQ; and the Moon arc, pitting DWMA and legions of Clowns defending the Kishin Asura in Soul Eater. In both cases, Medusa and her gang take part to reap some benefits or being an important factor for the heroes to suceeed.
  • The war between the Kingdom of Midland and the Tudor Empire is the second plot of the Golden Age Arc in Berserk.
    • The Falcon of the Millennium Empire arc focuses on one between Midland (and the Apostle army led by the reincarnated Griffith) and the Empire of Kushan led by the rogue Apostle Emperor Ganishka.
  • A Certain Magical Index has the British Civil War arc, and shortly thereafter, the World War III arc, the latter of which makes for the climax of the original series of light novels.
  • SD Gundam Force has the Neotopia Invasion arc at the end of the first season.
    • The second season gives us the Ark Civil War arc.
  • Fairy Tail has a few, which are identified by the entire Fairy Tail guild getting involved rather than just the main characters and a select number of allies:
    • The Phantom Lord Arc focuses on Fairy Tail going to war with Phantom Lord, a rival guild who trashed their hall and brutally crucified three of their most defenseless members simply because Phantom's master Jose couldn't stand having another guild challenge his own. This one ended with zero deaths, mostly thanks to Erza stopping Phantom Lord's Jupiter Cannon from taking out the guild, the guild working together to stop the Abyss Break from taking out the whole town, and finally Makarov recovering from the crippling injury he was inflicted with early on in the arc and nuking whatever was left of Phantom Lord out of the fight to stop Jose from trying to take hostages to force a surrender in his favor.
    • The Tartaros Arc, similar to the Phantom Lord Arc, sees Fairy Tail going to war against the dark guild Tartaros, which is made up of the Big Bad's demons trying to resurrect E.N.D., the strongest of their ilk. It ultimately turns into a major Wham Episode, as Natsu's dragon dad Igneel returns after his series-long absence, only to get killed by Acnologia, and the emotional scars left by the battle cause the guild to disband for a year, while Tartaros's plans (which ended in surprisingly most of the guild getting Killed Off for Real considering the usual aversion to death in the series) prove to be All for Nothing when E.N.D. is revealed to be Natsu himself.
    • The series concludes with the Alvarez Empire Arc, an intercontinental war between Fairy Tail and the titular empire, featuring the ultimate confrontation between Mavis and Natsu against Zeref, and the final showdown with Acnologia, with the guild's allies across the Kingdom of Fiore quickly joining the fight. Besides Disney Deaths happening left and right (with one outright coming Back from the Dead), roughly half of the arc's Quirky Miniboss Squad getting Killed Off for Real, and plenty of Red Shirts on both sides biting it, no pre-established characters die in the end besides Mavis, Zeref, and Acnologia, with the former pair's deaths made more ambiguous with the appearance of seeming Identical Strangers in the final chapter.
  • EDENS ZERO, a sprawling Science Fantasy whose central conflict is between humans and machines, has two major war arcs:
    • The Aoi War, the fourth and final arc of the Aoi Cosmos Saga, is a rare three-way war between the crew of the Edens Zero, the Nero Empire, and the Interstellar Union Army, with a surprise appearance by Ziggy, the Demon King himself, who causes a robot uprising and aims to stop Nero from shutting down all the machines in the Aoi Cosmos. This leads to two major antagonists squaring off one on one as one of the highlights of the arc. Unusually, the Aoi War is not shy about killing off major characters, such as Witch Regret, the main characters' Team Mom, Creed, a Love Interest to one of the main heroines, and Nero himself, and showing the true human cost of such a conflict and the grief it leaves behind for the survivors. Its conclusion leads to a three-year Time Skip, marking the end of the first half of the series.
    • The Kaede War is the second arc of the Kaede Cosmos Saga, having taken place after the three-year Time Skip. With Poseidon Nero dead and his empire destroyed, Demon King Ziggy is now firmly the Big Bad of the series, and the Edens Zero crew has spent the past three years liberating 17 planets from his grip. But now that Shiki Granbell, the captain of the Edens Zero, is recognized as an outlaw, the Interstellar Union Army plans on pursuing both Shiki and Ziggy, leading to a Gambit Roulette as all sides try to one-up each other, which eventually leads to full scale war breaking out once again.
  • Hoshin Engi has the Great Sennin War, a conflict between the Sennin from the Kongrong Mountains and the ones from the Kingo Islands.
  • Toriko: The Cooking Festival becomes a warzone when the Gourmet Corps. invade it.
  • Kingdom is based all around actual wars with entire battalions of thousands of soldiers, lead by generals and strategists to gain territories. The only breaks from those kinds of battles are when the political side of war takes over, be it with the inner conflicts of Qin or talks of alliances with other nations.
  • Vagabond, as a manga based on the lives and deeds of historical Japanese martial artists, is bound to have war arcs.
    • In the beginning, the series' setting is the aftermath of the Battle of Sekigahara (a turning point in Japanese history), and the story deals with how the main characters, who fought for the losing side and have survived, must fight their way out from the battlefield.
    • During the Kojirō arc, the story eventually returns to the time of the Battle of Sekigahara, but this time in a lengthier way: the characters are put in the time of the prelude, then in the battlefield proper, and then in the aftermath where they must carry out survival missions under heavy hostility from mobs of angry peasants.
    • The Second Yoshioka arc deals with the large-scale conflicts between Musashi Miyamoto and the Yoshioka clan when Musashi returns to Kyoto after 1 year. The arc reaches its climax in the Battle of Ichijōji: Musashi's epic solo battle against 70 Yoshioka sword fighters!
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V's main story is about an interdimensional war between four dimensions. While the main characters are only a small team of Lancers, they face off against the Fusion-based Academia and their army. Each arc focuses on the specific factions and their takes on the war.
    • The Synchro arc focuses on the City faction: it is controlled by head of security Jean-Michel Roget, and the City's council. The council wish remain neutral in the war, while Jean ultimately plans an insurrection to seize control over the city for his own ambitions, while fighting off Academia to keep himself in power. The Lancers have to bring him down, restore the council's power and form an alliance with them to fight Academia.
    • The Xyz arc focuses on the Lancers helping the Xyz dimension's La Résistance fight against Academia.
    • The Fusion arc takes the Lancers and their allies to Academia's home turf, invading their base and trying to stop them directly.
  • The "Stone Wars" arc of Dr. STONE features Senku and Tsukasa's factions finally coming into open conflict. For a war arc, it's surprisingly bloodless, with the only "death" being Tsukasa himself after being stabbed by Hyoga. Even then he's not technically dead, just made into a Human Popsicle until Senku can find a way to heal his wounds.
  • My Hero Academia has the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, in which all the heroes of Japan raid the various bases of the Paranormal Liberation Front (which is the union of the two most powerful villain groups in the series; the League of Villains and Meta Liberation Army) in an attempt to round up the organization's thousands of members all at once. The arc hosts major deaths such as Twice and Midnight, major turns such as Shigaraki's body being taken over by All For One, and ends with Hero Society itself totally collapsing.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen has the Shibuya Incident Arc, where the Jujutsu Sorcerers take on the Disaster Curses and their Curse user allies, following the sealing of Satoru Gojo. The arc features prominent deaths on both sides, culminating in the story's Darkest Hour and shattering of the status quo.

    Comic Books 
  • Avengers vs. X-Men had the two superhero teams facing off over the fate of a mutant girl who, supposedly, will inherit the Phoenix Force when it returns to Earth and the conflicting sides trying to handle the situation to prevent a disaster.
  • Amazons Attack!, which features the Amazons of Themyscira, led by Wonder Woman's mother, Queen Hippolyta, launching an invasion on Washington, D.C., with various superheroes, including the Justice League of America, attempting to quell the conflict.
  • Chaos War: The miniseries is this for The Incredible Hercules.
  • Cosmic Marvel has had multiple war arcs in the last few years. Annihilation was a war between the Negative Zone and the normal universe, Annihilation: Conquest told the tale of the Phalanx's invasion of the Kree Empire, War of Kings depicted the war between the Kree and Shi'Ar empires and The Thanos Imperative was a war between the normal Universe and the Cancerverse.
  • Civil War focuses on heroes taking different sides and fighting about whether or not to put themselves under government control and do away with secret identities.
    • 11 years later, it got a sequel, Civil War II this time with the focus on an Inhuman being discovered who can see into the future and it is argued by the heroes if they should use his powers to stop disasters before they happen or leave it be before they end up causing the disasters themselves.
  • Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War (Green Lantern Corps vs. Sinestro Corps), War Of Light (7 different Corps against each other) and Blackest Night (everybody against Black Lantern Corps).
  • Inhumans vs. X-Men which saw the X-Men trying to defeat the Inhumans before the Terrigan Mist, which turns out to be fatal to mutants, kills them.
  • Secret Wars in which a being named the Beyonder pits good and evil in an experiment to see who would win. It got a sequel sometime later, a somewhat sequel in "Beyond" a few years down the line with a similar premise and a remake in 2015 which had the remnants of the destroyed main and Ultimate Marvel universes fused together into one planet ruled over by Doctor Doom.
  • Wonder Woman (1987) featured the two-part story arc Paradise Island Lost, which centered around a civil war between the two Amazon tribes of Themyscira and Bana-Mighdall.

    Fan Works 
  • A Diplomatic Visit: Chapters 5-7 of the sequel Diplomat at Large are this, with cleanup following. Pretty much all the actual fighting takes place during a single decisive battle with Equestria and its allies on one side and the Storm King and his army on the other in chapter 7, while the preceding chapters mostly involve preparations.
  • Earth's Alien History has had several so far:
    • The Space Pirate-Citadel Council War: The Space Pirates invade the worlds of the Citadel Council, who get some support from Samus Aran and other freelancers.
    • The Mekon War: The Mekon, along with his Romulan and Gamilan allies, invade Citadel space. TeTO gets involved on the Citadel's side.
    • The Vinn War: The Vinn infiltrate and invade the Alpha Quadrant, with TeTO doing most of the work of holding them off.
    • The Tesskan War: The Tesskan overestimate their power level and go to "war" with TeTO and the Romulans.
    • The Five Galaxies War: The Five Galaxies invade the Alpha Quadrant, with TeTO, the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Citadel teaming up against them. The Continuum of Makers briefly ally with the Galactics due to misunderstandings, but eventually withdraw.
    • The Reaper War: A massive conflict long enough to be an entirely separate story on its own. The Reapers invade the Alpha Quadrant and everyone teams up against them.
    • The Revenant Crisis: Rogue Decepticons ally with the Klikiss robots to conquer the Ildrian Empire, which receives aid from TeTO and the Pact of the Raptor.
    • The Praxis War: A Klingon Civil War between reactionary forces led by House Duras, and the more progressive regime of Chancellor Azetbur. Further complicated when the Cardassians and Breen take advantage of the situation to invade Klingon space, attacking both sides.
    • The Goa'uld War: TeTO and their Klingon and Yautja allies go to war with the Goa'uld.
  • The Night Unfurls:
    • The whole point of this story is Kyril being involved in the war-torn country of Eostia. With his help, it marks the end of the Forever War between Celestine and Olga's forces, as well as the beginning of another war thanks to the betrayal from the Black Dogs. Suffice to say, every Story Arc counts as one, with detailed descriptions about people on both sides leading armies into battle.
    • Chapters 4-6 of the remastered version focus on the war between the Black Dogs and Olga Discordia. Compared to that of the original, this event shows a bit more detail and changes one major event (Vault ending up dead rather than alive).
  • The Pony POV Series:
  • Son of the Sannin, in addition to the two canon arcs, has had several of these:
    • The Kirigakure Civil War: Mei Terumi hires a battalion of ninja from Konoha to aid her rebellion in overthrowing Yagura as Mizukage.
    • The Fall of Takigakure: Hidan and Kakuzu invade Takigakure with an army of mercenaries and Jashin cultists to capture Fu. Konoha and Suna aid the survivors in taking back the village (Kiri would have helped as well, but difficulty in getting there in time meant that they were only able to provide relief aid).
    • The Akatsuki Invasion: The equivalent to canon's Invasion of Pain arc, only it's almost every living Akatsuki member, an army of Zetsu clones, and Toneri's puppets attacking.
  • The Vizard Trilogy revolved around the war between the titular Visoreds and the Shinigami.
  • We Are All Pokémon Trainers
    • The AU arc has the backdrop of the Scolemis dictatorship and the Resistance fighting one another, only for it to take a direct role when they have their generals invade Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn directly and have the J-Team fight them there during the latter portion of the arc. Later on following Napoleon's rebellion, it turns into a Mêlée à Trois between him, the Resistance, and the Scolemis loyalists.
    • The Conquest Arc takes place in the middle of a war between Spectra and its allies/conquered states, Nixtorm and its allies and, Illusio and its allies.
    • Return to AU has as its setting a massive world war with various disparate resistance movements fighting against the forces of the Seven Jerk Dragons hellbent on taking over the world and placing themselves above humanity and other Pokémon.

    Films - Animated 
  • The first Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf movie, The Super Adventure, is about the goats shrinking to investigate what's made Mr. Slowy's snail friend sick. The cause of his illness is a war raging between two factions of bacteria that the goats assist in stopping.

  • The Beginning After the End: The plot of the series revolves around the Divine Conflict between the Asuras of Epheotus and the exiled Vritra Clan. Certain volumes focus on specific conflicts or phases of said war.
    • Volumes 6 and 7 focus on the Alacryan invasion of Dicathen, with Volume 5 acting as a prelude to the invasion. This is the main Proxy War between the two factions, as the Vritra intend to have their Alacryan underlings conquer Dicathen as a stepping stone before their invasion of Epheotus. Thanks to a severe case of We ARE Struggling Together and Poor Communication Kills among the Dicathians and their allies, not helped by the Vritra manipulating events into their favor, the war ends catastrophically for Dicathians. After being abandoned by Epheotus, the Alacryans are able to conquer Dicathen with ease and execute its kings and queens in the aftermath.
    • Volume 10 focuses on the Dicathians retaking their homeland from the Alacryans after Arthur returns. He is able to successfully retake the continent in only a matter of days thanks to his newfound powers and feats. While Arthur retakes his homeland, Seris - the Scythe who had been covertly backing Arthur during his time in Alacrya - takes advantage of the chaos to stage a rebellion against the Vritra on Alacryan soil to further distract them.
  • Magical Girl Raising Project has a war arc that's split into two parts:
  • The War of Five Kings in A Song of Ice and Fire, a massive Civil War which embroils all of the Seven Kingdoms and is triggered by Robert Baratheon's and Ned Stark's deaths at the end of A Game of Thrones. The war is the main focus of A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords, before mostly drawing to a close by the end of the latter, following The Purge of Robb Stark and his family and armies at the Red Wedding.
  • Books 21-25 (and beyond?) of the Gor series are focused on the war between the city-state of Ar and Cos, the island Ubarate. Tarl, our protagonist, is on the side of Ar; but Cos won the far.
  • Mercedes Lackey has The Mage War in her Heralds of Valdemar books.
    • There is also the Hardorn/Valdemar conflict which starts in Book 3 of the Arrows trilogy, continues in the latter third of By the Sword and is a driving factor in the background of the Mage Winds books even before Elspeth returns home with the magical aid she was sent to seek.
  • The final two books of the Harry Potter series follow the civil war between Voldemort and his Death Eaters and the rest of the British wizarding world. While Voldemort had previously been operating in secret, his return is revealed to the public following the events of Book 5, after which he and the Death Eaters move into the open. At the beginning of Book 6, the new Minister for Magic informs the Muggle Prime Minister that the wizarding world is in a state of "open warfare", and the climax of the final book involves the Battle of Hogwarts, the Final Battle between Voldemort's Death Eaters and Harry's friends and allies.
  • The Dresden Files has a massive Myth Arc about the Secret War between Red Court vampires and the wizards' White Council, which breaks out in Grave Peril and comes to an abrupt end in Changes.
    • A much shorter one occurs in Summer Knight, where Harry gets embroiled in a war between the Seelie and Unseelie (Summer and Winter) Courts. While it doesn't directly affect the humans in Chicago below them, the weather gets crazy and threatens to go cataclysmic. Harry is way outclassed, but ends the battle by killing Aurora.
    • As a result of the Red Court's defeat in Changes, a new war starts up with the Fomor trying to take advantage of the Evil Power Vacuum, which runs through the background of the next several books. The titular events of Peace Talks are meant to finally bring this to an end but instead, the Fomor's true ruler Ethniu the Last Titan uses the talks to declare war on humanity and invade Chicago, which carries into the following book, Battle Ground.
  • The New Jedi Order is a nineteen-book War Arc within the Star Wars Expanded Universe between the New Republic and the Yuuzhan Vong.
    • Then again, the Star Wars Legends canon was actually quite fond of this since it is a "star wars", where it seemed once Darth Sideous arose, there was at least 1 war every 10 years. The Corellian Rebellion comes to mind as another major war arc in that canon that was 9 issues long between The Galactic Alliance and Corellia, with the Jedi caught in the middle trying to figure out their side.

    Live Action TV 
  • Babylon 5 featured the Narn-Centauri war, the Shadow war, and the Earth Civil War.
  • Kamen Rider Build has the "Invasion of Hokuto" and "Invasion of Seito" arcs, often referred to together as literally the War Arc, that revolve around a civil war that the villains had been spending the first arc trying to, and succeeding at, starting, and the trauma the heroes go through in their efforts to end it. The civil war actually continues into the following arc, but around that point the heroes are more worried about the Big Bad potentially starting The End of the World as We Know It.
  • A few Star Trek series mustered some of these into their runs.
  • The Last Ship: While every season has plenty of combat, Season 5 is the only one with a full-scale declared war, pitting the United States and its allies against the forces of the restored Gran Colombia.
  • The Walking Dead Television Universe:
    • The Walking Dead (2010):
      • The back half of Season 3 sees Rick's survivor group encamped in the prison coming into conflict with the Governor's forces at Woodbury. The Governor later returns at the midpoint of Season 4 with a new group, but that conflict is composed of only one battle.
      • Starting midway through Season 6, the survivors at Alexandria and the other nearby communities come into conflict with Negan and his Saviors. By Season 8, it's a total war between the two factions, which climaxes at the season's end.
      • The back half of Season 9 and all of Season 10 sees the coalition of communities going to war with the Whisperers.
    • Fear the Walking Dead:
      • Season 3 sees the Clark family and their friends dropped into the middle of a conflict between the members of the Otto survivalist camp and the Native American tribe whose land they stole. Later, the last few episodes of the season sees them fighting the Proctors Motorcycle Club for control of a damn providing water and power to the region.
      • In the first half of Season 4, Madison's group fight a prolonged battle to protect their new encampment at the baseball stadium from the group of scavengers known as the Vultures.
      • In Season 5, Morgan's group fight with Logan's for control of resources, especially fuel. Midway through the season, Logan is revealed to be a patsy for Virginia and her Pioneers, who become the new antagonists in this struggle, which then extends into Season 6. After Virginia's defeat and death midway through that season, a new conflict emerges as the survivors find themselves fighting Teddy's Apocalypse Cult.
      • In Season 7, Morgan and Strand come to blows over whose philosophy for rebuilding is better, which grows into a full-scale war between their factions.
      • The first half of Season 8 sees the protagonists in conflict with the PADRE organization to try and end their brutal regime.

    Video Games 
  • Tales of Xillia features the protagonist, Milla, trying to stop a war between Rashugal and Auj Oule over resources. When that fails, she and the rest of the party have to run across a battlefield to try and convince Gaius, the king of Auj Oule, to not use the Lance of Kresnik. They fail, and the weapon is fired, causing a global catastrophe that makes the fighting stop, if only because now the world's on the brink of collapse.
  • Mass Effect has the conflict with Saren and the geth in the first game. Notable battles include Saren's attack on Eden Prime (the prologue), the geth besieging the human planet-colony of Feros, the brawl on Saren's headquarters at Virmire, a side-quest that has The Hero attacking several bases to prevent the geth from launching an invasion, and the Battle of the Citadel as the finale.
    • The second game, notably, avoids this from the main plotline, but the possibility of a second war between the geth and quarians is addressed several times. Additionally, the Enemy Civil War between the True Neutral geth and the Always Chaotic Evil heretic geth is brought to light, but we never see the actual fighting take place, and we can end it for good during the Sixth Ranger's loyalty mission.
    • In the Arrival DLC, Admiral Hackett outright states that war between the humans and batarians could erupt, following the destruction of a batarian-occupied system. Didn't turn out to be true, since the batarians were unfortunate enough to be in the Reapers' way as they headed for Earth.
    • Mass Effect 3 features the war against the Reapers, the conflict with a massively strengthened Cerberus, and the quarians retaking their homeworld from the geth, all going on at the same time. The developers have repeatedly said that Mass Effect 3 is the start of World War II IN SPACE!...
  • Halo has the Human-Covenant war as its first Myth Arc, with the Covenant's Great Schism as a late side-effect which carries past Halo 3. In the post-war era, this was then mainly replaced by the wars the Covenant remnant have been fighting with both the Swords of Sanghelios and the UNSC.
  • A major plotline in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the conflict between the Imperial Legion and the Stormcloak rebellion led by Ulfric Stormcloak. The player is free to help the Empire quell the rebellion or the Stormcloaks fight off the Legion and have Skyrim become an independent nation.
  • Fallout: New Vegas centers around a war between the New California Republic and Caesar's Legion, with Mr. House serving as a potential third party. You're given the opportunity to support any three of those. That or decide to oppose all three and rule Vegas yourself.
  • Final Fantasy IX: From halfway through Disc One until the end of Disc Two is a long one, showing Brahne's bid for power - even going as far as stealing her daughter's powers to do it. She actually makes good progress on her goal of owning the entire Mist Continent - too bad Kuja turns Bahamut back on her.
  • Fire Emblem: Most games in the series follow the protagonist in some kind of war with the evil nation.
  • Chapter 3 of Bravely Default more or less boils down to this, combined with Rescue Arc; the party helps the defensive Shieldbearers turn the tide on the Swordbearer rebellion, while rescuing a captive from their main base. The side quests from this chapter involve eliminating high-ranking Swordbearer commanders.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and 3 are more or less the war arcs of the Modern Warfare series with most of the world fighting World War 3 against Russia after Russian extremists instigate it by framing the U.S for a suppose terrorist attack on Russian soil. Granted in the first game you fight in a few wars too but they're mostly foreign civil wars and a means to an end to track down the main villain. The second game however shows how the Big Bad got Russia riled enough to begin the war shows the start of the invading forces attacking Washington D.C and U.S Soldiers fighting to reclaim the White House as events go on elsewhere to find the real culprit. 3 is a continuation of this with the war in full swing while the main characters close in on the mastermind and try to prevent his plans from escalating further.
  • Half-Life 2 has the Uprising as its war arc, which starts after the destruction of Nova Prospekt due to the Combine teleporter. The human resistance and the Combine engage in open warfare within City 17, with Xen aliens and antlions acting as undeclared third parties that simultaneously attack both sides.

  • The Order of the Stick has the Battle for Azure City.
  • Season 3 of Weak Hero steps away from the battle between Eunjang High School vs. the Yeongdeungpo Union and instead focuses on the larger war happening in Seoul between its two halves, Yeongdeungpo and Mapo. What starts as a Mapo construction company trying to muscle into Yeongdeungpo turf ends in the Union crossing the river and taking the fight to Cheongang, Mapo's most prominent gang.

    Web Original 
  • Red vs. Blue has the "war" between the vastly incompetent or undesirable Reds and Blues, but we barely see any sort of firefights between them (Battle Creek flag zealots notwithstanding), and it's actually just a training scenario used by Super Soldiers; the last detail is kept secret from the Reds and Blues themselves. Played Straight during The Chorus Trilogy, where the Reds and Blues are thrust into the middle of a genuine Civil War on an isolated planet.
  • Every Endbringer arc in Worm is a multi-chapter enormous battle in which a small army's worth of parahumans defend a city from kaiju. The human supers have the advantage of numbers, but the Endbringers, in addition to the toughness and strength expected from being giant monsters, have their own kaiju-scale superpowers. They're strong enough to wipe out whole teams of supers in moments, and are smart enough to adapt their tactics to unexpectedly tough opponents and focus their attacks in ways that will slowly but surely cripple human society if allowed to succeed.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The first series is about stopping a war that's already going on, sort of making it a series-long War Arc. Specifically though, there are a couple arcs that are full blown onscreen battles between our heroes and their allies and the Fire Nation.
    • The Siege of the North is the first season finale. Technically a 3 or 4-parter but the actual battle lasts 2 episodes. This is the first genuine military conflict that we see our heroes take part in. It's also a moment where the reality of the Hundred Year War hits Aang and by extension the audience, because for the first time his presence alone can't decide the outcome of a battle.
    • The Day of Black Sun acts as the mid season 3 finale and the final war arc before the Grand Finale. This arc covers the invasion of the Fire Nation Capital by the heroes and a ragtag army against the Fire Nation on their home turf. Many big reveals and surprising moments are had.
  • The Legend of Korra actually see the events leading up to one between the Equalists and the Benders. The final season has the world near on the brink of another world war, this time by the Earth Kingdom.
  • The Teen Titans spent the near-entirety of the fifth season battling the forces of the Brotherhood of Evil, ending just before the final episode.