25 Best Military Strategy Games For PC

Millitary strategy, Strategy, Millitary, 4x, Tactics, RTS
Bruce Willis during the during the gulf war, circa 1931

Leading vast armies, or performing guerrillla warfare, here are the 25 best military strategy games to pla on your PC right now

Games where you are given control of a millitary force to battle often againts enemy forces have been around since the inception of gaming. They combine the best aspects of gaming, the feeling of control, of power and the ability to prevail against stronger forces through the use of clever strategy.

Let's look at the best 25 millitary strategy games.

25) Europa Universalis 4

Europa Universalis IV - Video Developer Diary: Exploration

Europa Universalis 4 is a game where you can choose any nation to play as, starting in the renaissance, up until the early 1800s. Just pick a country and see what kind of alternate history you can conjure up.

While the combat is not as deep and detailed as other games on this list, the economics and political aspect makes up for it. Betraying your allies or creating a vast continent spanning empire, all is possible in Europa Universalis 4.

Changing the destiny of the world, all up to you.

Fighting for the independence of the USA, just one event out of thousands.

24) Order of Battle: World War II

Order of Battle: Blitzkrieg Gameplay trailer

When thinking about millitary strategy, this is probably the most classical example, gameplay wise. The game is comprised of many campaigns like the pacific front or the invasion of Poland.

You get to control different armies in World War 2 and use hundreds of different units with unique stats to conquer your enemies one turn at a time.

The game is divided into territories which can be captured by invading the cities.

Horses are always the most effective way to deal with tanks.

23) Man of War: Assault Squad 2

Men of War: Assault Squad 2 - Launch Trailer

One of the world war 2 stategy giants, this is for those who prefer a more personal aproach to the genre. You control a squad of men, like Company of Heroes, but on a smaller scale. Each man can operate vehicles and have their own inventory which you have to manage, for in this game amunition is important.

If you want to get into the action, it is possible to take direct control of your soldiers or vehicles to influence the battle if you think that your aim is better than the AI’s.

Just a herd of tanks looking for fresh water.

Each tank has their own crew with unique inventories.

22) Napoleon: Total War

Napoleon: Total War Gameplay Trailer #1

For lovers of line battles, there is no better strategy game, a direct improvement over Total War: Empire, with amazingly detailed ship battles.The game follows the campaigns of Napoleon Bonaparte, and encompases the majority of Europe.

Great Visibility.

Politics also play a part in the game.

21) Sengoku

Sengoku Release Trailer

A typical Paradox grand strategy game, you take the place of a Japanese aristocrat in the shogun era. You can control any clan in the game and try to unify Japan. While the game doesn't possess the vast combat engine Total War does, its diplomacy is much more in depth with characters forcing others to commit seppuku, or rebelling against their lords.

All of Japan covered in a detailed map.

Clans fight for dominance.

20) Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon

Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon Gameplay Trailer

A typical turn-based military strategy, this game is set in the amazing universe of Warhammer 40k with a huge amount of unit variety. From Leman Russes to Warhound Titans, this game is a dream for Warhammer fans. The tactical aspect of the game is similar to other games of this niche genre, only with the rule set of Warhammer.

The sheer amount of unit types are amazing.

Those orks are about to get slaughtered.

19) Cossacks 3

Cossacks 3 Official Trailer

Cossacks is a traditional RTS game with resource gathering and base building, but it also combines the huge battles of Total War games and the quick and low health combat of Starcraft where micromanagement is important.

The base game offers twelve different nations to play as, such as England and Prussia. Each nation has unique units.

The game offers ageless 2d graphics.

Musketeers offer the classic line battles.

18) Ultimate General: Gettysburg

Ultimate General: Gettysburg Beta Gameplay

A real-time battle game set during the American civil war. While on the outside, it looks like another game with a Total War style combat, it is certainly different.

It features long drawn-out battles where small skirmishes determine the outcome of the battle, more closely resembling real life battles. The game is clean and the battles are easy to read with a pretty map and the ability to switch to topography mode where you can see the heights of the surrounding hills.

The clear graphics make it really easy to follow the battles.

The enviroment is important when managing your man.

17) Total War: ATTILA

Total War: ATTILA – Tyrants and Kings Edition – Official Trailer

One of the newest Total War games, Attila is set in the twilight days of the Western Roman Empire where you can control the invading barbarian nations during the great migration, including the Huns, or the still powerful but declining Roman empire.

The two sides offer different styles of gameplay which adds to the replay value of the game. While the barbarians focus on settling and nation founding, the Romans are trying to defend their ever shrinking empire from the myriad of foes.

Epic sieges were always the best part of Total War games.

Cinematic battles

16) Faces of War

Faces Of War Gameplay [HD]

Faces of War is the predecessor to the successful Man of War series, featuring a cover system, a powerful physics system where buildings can fall apart. All of this makes for a unique RTS experience with tactical depth.

Each soldier has its own inventory with ammunition and equipment and they can drive vehicles. Similar to Man of War you can also take direct control of them.

Highly detailed models.

Lots of inventory management.

15) Act of War

Act of War video game Trailer 2 - PC

Set in the near future, Act of War is an RTS game, where you play as one of the two unique factions as you fight in mostly urban environments. You have the ability to move infantry into buildings or even climb the rooftops, using this method you can sneak snipers around the maps, creating unique tactics.

While you only gather one resource - money, you can obtain it in different ways, like capturing enemy soldiers who got injured in battle or capturing banks. As you progress throughout the game you get more and more over the top weapons and vehicles.

Just an ordinary piece of artillery.

The campaign is great, spiced with live-action cutscenes.

14) Blitzkrieg 2 and 3

Blitzkrieg 3 - Trailer HD

If you want a tactical world war 2 game with large scale battles and destructible environment, Blitzkrieg is the game for you. The reason both games are on the list is while Blitzkrieg 3 is out, it is still in early access, so if you don't mind the older graphics, the 2nd game is a more complete experience, but on the other hand, the multiplayer scene is more lively in the newer installation.

In the game itself, while you don't have to worry about resources, you have to keep track of your squad cap as your soldiers die very quickly. The difference between victory and defeat is to position your troops in a way where they are harder to kill than the enemy. Dig trenches and build tank traps, occupy villages and hilltops.

A good old beach landing is always epic.

Infantry have the ability to man the artillery pieces.

13) Stellaris

Stellaris Launch Trailer - Grand Strategy on a Galactic Scale

Stellaris is a mix between a 4x game and a grand strategy, a great gateway for fans of both genres.

The game offers randomized races, huge amounts of interesting events, from extra-dimensional invasion, to A.i rebellion. You make interstellar fleets to protect your own people or conquer others, with the option to customize each ship to suit your needs.

Thousands of different events.

While battles are not controllable, they are fully modeled.

12) Medieval 2: Total War

Medieval 2 Total War Gold Trailer Remake

One of the best Total War games, where you take control of a European nation in the middle ages and try to conquer the holy lands while defending yourself from your neighbors.

Each nation possesses unique units and the massive research tree makes sure that the campaign evolves as Europe come up with new ways of destruction, like cannons. Because of the massive and complex castles and cities, sieges are long and fun.

The middle east region is also playable.

The typical massive battles of a Total War game.

11) Homeworld: remastered

Homeworld 2 Remastered Story Trailer (Homeworld Remastered Collection)

A classic space battle game. You control a small fleet of ships as you make your way through a galaxy. While your mothership can build new ships from processed asteroids, each lost ship is a blow to the fleet as your units are saved from one mission to the next.

You control a wide array of different ships from fighters to huge battlecruisers in epic battles with a soundtrack that takes inspiration from tribal music. The whole game feels like a mythical journey through a hostile and beautiful galaxy.

The whole game is basically spaceship porn.

In the distance looms mysterious remnants of races long dead.

10) World in Conflict

(HD) World in Conflict gameplay maxed graphics DX10

A unique approach to the classic squad vs squad strategy game. Set in an alternate universe where the USA got invaded. The game features huge beautifully rendered full 3D maps with destructible buildings.

Each side starts with a set of units and the abillity to call in reinforcements and airstrikes, including tactical nukes. While you can enter buildings and take the high ground, the most important thing is the composition of your army and the abillty to use the strikes cleverly.

The units are also part of the physics engine, which can result in amusing situations.

After a typical match, the cities often end up levelled.

9) Dawn of War 2 (and 3 upcoming)

Dawn of War 2 - Space Marine Trailer (HD)

Ahh, the Dawn of War series, the flagship of the Warhammer games. With an upcoming sequel, Dawn of War 2 is in many ways similar to Company of Heroes, with some RPG elements, and more focus on small scale combat.

Thr playable races are the Space marines, Orks, Eldar and Tyranids, and if you get the DLCs, you can also play as the Chaos Space marines and the Imperial Guard.

While having some minimal base building in multiplayer, the game is more about making a small squad and positioning them in covers. The campaign consists of a solar system where you have to defend the different planets X-com style.

Chaos terminators, bloodletters, just what you need.

Grimdarkness never looked so good.

8) Stronghold: Crusaders 2

Stronghold Crusader 2 - Skirmish Trailer

The sequel to the highly acclaimed Stonghold: Crusaders, you build highly detailed castles, with full control over the falls and towers and siege other fortresses. You can build ditches, traps, and all kind of medieval units each with a different trick to help you crack open huge castles.

Armies can be quite big.

Part of managing the castle is making sure your peasants are happy, or not rebellious at least.

7) Company of Heroes 2

Company of Heroes 2: Debut Gameplay Trailer (Official HD)

In terms of content and size, Company of Heroes 2 is the world war 2 RTS to play. The same cover system used in Dawn of War 2, combined with base building and a strategic map divided into territories each giving the player a different resource.

The vehicles have different weak points like the engine or the tracks; and the game monitors the bullets shot by the soldiers, that combined with an impressive physics system it results in an immersive gameplay experience. The game has a level up system and is great for multiplayer matches.

Amazing visuals.

Every little debris can be used as cover.

6) Total War™: ROME II - Emperor Edition

Total War: ROME II – Find a Way Trailer – US

Set during the ascension of the Roman Empire, Rome 2 encompasses the punic wars, and minor conflicts during that period. Featuring battles where each soldier became a real physical object; and battles where naval and land units are both fighting.

While it came out bugged and flawed, the patches have fixed many of the problems.

Sieges are back.

A more realistic version of Asterix and Obelix

5) X-com 2 (with long war 2 mod)

Official XCOM 2 E3 2015 Gameplay

A squad based tactics game where Aliens control the earth and you are the leader of the resistance, trying to get rid of a much more advanced foe. You control a flying base form where you launch your raids to save mankind. An unforgiving game on it's own, what makes it applicable to this list is the official long war 2 mod for it. This ramps up the difficulty and turns the game into more of a strategy game, where long-term thinking is essential.

You can customize each squad member

The aliens are not messing around.

4) Total War: Warhammer

Total War: WARHAMMER Gameplay Video - Dwarfs Let's Play

The latest Total War game, and the first one in a fantasy setting, namely in the world of Warhammer. The game encompasses most of the Old World, where you can play the major factions like the Empire or Bretonnia.

Because of the nature of the game, each faction is unique, giving the game an asymmetry, no other Total War game had before. Every race has different game mechanics, like raising the dead, corrupting the lands or reviving the Oak of Ages and traveling underground.

You can control mighty beasts.

Magic spells can turn a huge battle around.

3) Wargame: Red Dragon

Wargame Red Dragon: Launch Trailer

When it comes to modern military combat, Wargame: Red Dragon is the king in the genre right now, at least when it comes to strategy games. Great for multiplayer, you play on huge photorealistic maps where you can zoom out really far Supreme commander style and control large amounts of units. Each unit has a ton of different stats, with infantry squads that use multiple weapons.

Each player races to capture areas that give them resources in battles which can be played up to 20 players. The environment plays an important part as squads hide in forests and tanks mow down towns.

The maps look like google maps on steroids.

You can zoom down to a personal level.

2) Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance

Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance PC Games Trailer

One of the more unique RTS games, inspired many newer games, such as Red Dragon. Set in the far future of the infinity wars, you play as one of the highly mechanized factions.

You have to balance generating power and resources as you build up your forces, in a game where every unit is complete in a few seconds and die just as quickly, you have to manage large amounts of them as often multiple battles are taking place simultaneously on the map.

You can zoom out really far to control everything from the same camera perspective. If you like controlling large towering mechs and city-sized tanks, you should pick this one up.

Constant bombardment from the enemy is standard in the game.

Huge units.

1) Hearts of Iron 4

Hearts of Iron IV - "Take Action" - Release Trailer

A grand strategy from Paradox, set during World War 2, this is the ultimate experience when it comes to World War 2 grand strategy. Play as any country during the era, and change the course of history. The game starts before the war so the player has some time to prepare before the world burns, and the dynamic A.i and events can change the date of the starting point.

While you don't control the battles directly, you draw the battle lines, use high strategy to move the armies around, then engage in politics and production as well is keeping up to date with the latest warfare technology.

Yes, the famous second Civil War.

The frontlines are always moving.

Deciding the fate of thousands of people in one click, sending hundreds of soldiers to their doom with the push of a button, it is no wonder there games are so popular.

If you liked this list, you may also be interested in:  

21 Best World War Games on PC

10 Best Military Strategy Games to Play in 2015

17 Best Turn-Based Strategy Games Worth Playing in 2017

More on this topic:
Hello there, I have been a passionate gamer ever since I set eyes on my first game, I always wanted to share my opinions and infinite wisdom with the world.
Gamer Since: 2001
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Red Orchestra 2, Cities: Skylines, Faeria, Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dragon Age: Origins, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Europa Universalis IV
This article makes me feel:

More Top Stories