17 Best Real Time Strategy Games to Play in 2017 (for PC)

Best Real Time Strategy Games 2017
"Hell, it's about time"

Our Base is Under Attack! Get ready for 17 of the best RTS games to play in 2017... 

RTS games allow players to live out their best ‘ants under the magnifying glass’ fantasies from the comfort of their homes without ever having to set foot in the sun. RTS’s tend to fall under a couple of different classifications, 4x (that’s explore, expand ,exploit and exterminate) and base building/micro/macro strategy games. The 4x strategy games will have players building entire empires and conquering their neighbors through war or economic force.

These are your Total War games, Masters of Orion, and Sins of a solar empire. Base-builders like StarCraft and Grey Goo take place at ground level. You will manage resources and troops to defeat an opponent on a fairly small battlefield. The list below includes some up and comers, fan favorites and the latest and greatest in RTS action but they will all certainly be worth some mouse clicks. Check your APM’s as we dive into the 10 best Real Time Strategy games to play in 2017.

17. Endless Space 2

Endless Space 2 will feature cinematic and impressive looking space combat.

What is it? Endless Space 2 is the sequel to… Endless Space. In this 4x strategy game, players will command one of 8 major factions as they explore, expand, exploit and exterminate their way across a massive galaxy that the player helps establish before they play. Beyond simply building fleets and manhandling planets away from the opposing factions, players can use diplomacy and economic might to subdue many lesser factions into joining them. Combat wise, the game features fully modeled space fleet battle that players will give commands for prior to engaging. There is ground combat to strategize over as well but the bread and butter is definitely the space battles. This is all done to a very retro-esque synthwave soundtrack that fits right at home with the aesthetics of the game

When can I play it? Endless Space 2 is available on steam in an early-access form and has very positive reviews.

Official Website *check out the crazy cinematic trailer on the front page*

Endless Space 2 First Look- The Vision

16. Etherium

Etherium Gameplay Trailer

Since this is 2015, I thought it best to start off with something new. Etherium is one of the two new titles that really strive to capture the classic concept, though with some added complexity that may put off those looking for traditional.

Diggin' the big bots!

It resembles the old Red Alert titles, except in a more futuristic setting. Three factions, rock-paper-scissors units and pure military construction. However, there is one new interesting element in the equation - the weather. Depending on where you do battle, you might face sandstorms, blizzards, hurricanes and other challenges of nature. It also added a turn-based element with a space map, so you could call it a hybrid.

15. Grey Goo

Grey Goo Story

Yet another very new title. If Etherium put you off with its turn-based mode, then this will wheel you in. It's a back-to-the-classics title, but without the bells and whistles most games feel they need to add. I hope I won't get punched for this, but I dare call it a Starcraft (the old Starcraft) rip-off, which is good if you liked that game.

I wonder who came up with this system?

The catch here is that the three  (yes, again it's three) factions are very different. Only one is the standard RTS style you'd expect, while the namesake of the game (the Goo) is possibly the most unique faction you'll ever play in a real-time strategy game. Give it a shot if you want crave a nuance in the classics. Oh, and it has surprisingly good cinematic quality!

Grey Goo Multiplayer 1v1 Gameplay - Battle of the Epics

14. Age of Mythology Extended Edition

Age of Mythology: Extended Edition Trailer

For a change of pace, let's add something older. RTS fans have certainly heard of Age of Mythology a long time ago and it probably sparks a few good memories. Ensemble Studios though so too and they decided to modernize it for today's systems!

Pretty much the same, but is that a problem?

Obviously there are some enhancements like the graphics, resolution, lighting, sound and such. The big plus is that it lets you play multiplayer again (as the old service is no longer available). It's a classic that everyone loved, brought back to life with the expansion packed in. Go for it!

13. Starcraft 2

StarCraft 2 has had a rough year in the pro-circuits but doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.

What is it? StarCraft 2 is the Juggernaut RTS by acclaimed developer Blizzard entertainment. An unofficial national sport in Korea, StarCraft 2 has been top dog in E-sports for a long time. 2016 was not a stellar year, professionally, for StarCraft 2 however. Two major teams in Korea shut down, one of the longest running pro leagues in that country ended its run and a high profile match fixing scandal left a large stain on the Pro scene. That being said, Blizzard doesn’t look too deterred by this chain of events. With the successful launch of the conclusion to the StarCraft 2 Trilogy at the tail end of 2015, Blizzard introduced more ways to play including a co-op multiplayer mode where players take on the role of “Commanders” like Nova and Stukov of Brood War fame. Despite some E-sport setbacks, 2017 is looking to be another stellar year for the massively popular micro/macro base builder.

When can I play it? Right now. Even though the trilogy is now complete, Blizzard has released an episodic campaign following Nova, the Ghost who would have been the main character of the canceled 3rd person Stealth-action game. Blizzard also maintains constant balance updates for the multiplayer side of the game.

Official website

StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void Cinematic Trailer

12. Offworld Trading Company

Offworld Trading Company - Gameplay Trailer 

You've heard of Civilization right? Well, one of the genius minds behind Civ IV is also behind this recently released wonder. Offworld Trading Company is an RTS, except it's not the kind where you build units and fight other players. Instead, you have to know how to control and dominate the economy to seize victory.

If the first thing you thought of was Sim City (or some other city builder) - stop! No, this is not city building. Think of Civilization and the first few turns where you're running to grab all those resources. Now think a little later when you're trying to strike to best deals with other empires. That's what this is, but in a real-time setting. So, if you enjoy that aspect of the Civ games, are tired of pure military driven RTS games, or are just looking for something different - then this is a must try.

11. Homeworld Remastered

Homeworld Remastered Story 

This is an old game that went a little under the radar in the beginning. It was that one game that not many mentioned, but no one ever had anything bad to say about it, and eventually became highly praised. The remaster edition ended up being a love-or-hate release. Old-school fans hated it for taking away some of the complexity and changing up mechanics, but new comers enjoy it immensely.

For those of you who haven't tried Homeworld yet, here's why you should: the story! It was possibly the first and maybe only RTS that actually had a moment that hits you hard, and it's near the very beginning. It has more of course. Basically, it's an RTS with a story and world to rival even the best RPGs. If that's not enough, then take into account the combat in space. Space! There's just something about it that adds a new dimension (literally) to the battles.

Even in the midst of battle, it feels peaceful. 

 

10. Etherium

Etherium Gameplay Trailer

Since this is 2015, I thought it best to start off with something new. Etherium is one of the two new titles that really strive to capture the classic concept, though with some added complexity that may put off those looking for traditional.

Diggin' the big bots!

It resembles the old Red Alert titles, except in a more futuristic setting. Three factions, rock-paper-scissors units and pure military construction. However, there is one new interesting element in the equation - the weather. Depending on where you do battle, you might face sandstorms, blizzards, hurricanes and other challenges of nature. It also added a turn-based element with a space map, so you could call it a hybrid.

9. Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation Gameplay Trailer

Get ready to engage in massive planetary warfare in ashes of the singularity. The human race faces a new threat from the Substrate alien race who wants to wipe them off from existence.

Play as a general for the human race or as a warlord controlling the alien army. Either way, you will be able to experience real time wars on a massive scale.

In this expansion, the wars will take place on even bigger maps which mean even bigger battles across different planets.

War beckons, and it's time to choose your side.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation - New Unit Showcase

8. Blitzkrieg 3

Blitzkrieg 3 features a very robust terrain destruction engine.

What is it? Nival’s Blitzkrieg series has come a long way from the original battle focused RTS that released in 2003. With Blitzkrieg 3, which calls itself a massively multiplayer online real time strategy game (MMORTS), the meat and potatoes of the game is its multiplayer battles of attack and defend. The game features AI that will take over for players who have to go AFK and a large campaign that covers the entirety of World War II. Another bonus for players who purchase Blitzkrieg 3 is the exclusion of micro transactions and subscription fees.

When can I play it? The game is currently in early access and can be purchased through Steam’s download client.

Heavy infantry with bazooka's versus a tank. Hmm, guess who wins?

7. Total War: Arena

The scale of battle in Total War: Arena is on par with any other game in the series.

What is it? Total War: Arena is markedly different from any other entry in the Creative assembly franchise. Focusing instead on multiplayer 10v10 PvP battles, Arena will allow players to lead armies commanded by famous historical Generals in large scale combat similar in vein to the included multiplayer features of the series’ previous titles. As previously mentioned, Sega is teaming with Wargaming.net (of World of Tanks fame) to promote and publish this free-to-play game when it releases.

When can I play it? While there is no release date set beyond simply 2017, there have been a couple of closed Alpha tests and a promised beta on the way.

Total War: Arena Alpha Gameplay Trailer

More on this topic:
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Dark Souls 2, Hearthstone, Mad Max, Sunless Sea
Top 3 Favorite Games:Grand Theft Auto V, Bioshock Infinite, Call of Duty
This article makes me feel:

Previous Story

10 Best Real Time Strategy Games 201510 Best Real Time Strategy Games for 2015

Next Story

This is the most recent story

More Top Stories