The 25 Best Strategy Games of All Time That Are Still Fun Today

25 best strategy games to play today

Strategy games are today some of the most addictive and time soaking titles for the fans of the industry. What started as an “experiment” in 1972 with a Risk-like game called Invasion, grew into a platform defying genre that’s mainly responsible for the superiority of the PC over its competitors (as well as its endless customization options, better graphics, better prices, better gameplay, bigger “horsepower”, mods of course, and well, you get the picture, there are lots of them).

This list is mainly for war making/lots of killing strategy games so subgenres like city builders and top-down games like MOBAs (which are technically strategy games even thou they’re not considered as such) haven’t made the list. 

Today the strategy games industry has branched over into many subgenres, like 4X games (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate), Real-time strategy games, Turn-based strategy games and etc, offering everybody their cup of tea. Whichever style fits you, it’s time to honour some of the greats that are still worth a look in 2017.

25.Steel Division: Normandy 44 (2017)

Steel Division: Normandy 44 gameplay

Let’s start the list with the new kid in the block. Steel Division: Normandy 44 is a Tactical Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game, developed by Eugen Systems, the creators of titles like Wargame and R.U.S.E. This new game puts players in command of detailed, historically accurate tanks, troops, and vehicles at the height of World War II.

Players can measure their tactical skills against several opponents in big multiplayer battles or against enemies in a challenging single-player campaign. Steel Division: Normandy 44 allows players to take control over legendary military divisions from six different countries, such as the American 101st Airborne, the German armoured 21st Panzer or the 3rd Canadian Division, during the invasion of Normandy in 1944.

Battles rage over three distinct phases, where different units unlock over time, mimicking the movements of real-world armies and adding variety to the ever-changing theatre of war. A dynamic front line illustrates the ebb and flow of the conflict. Pin down your opponent's infantry to gain the advantage and force a retreat, or push through with a perfectly executed plan.

Lead the allies through Nazi-occupied France.

Draw up the battle plan and lead your boys to victory.

24.Hearts of Iron IV (2016)

Hearts of Iron IV gameplay

Shifting away from the harsh battlefields of the second World War, let us explore the political back-stabbing and the decisions making that shaped the war with Hearts of Iron IV. As a sequel to Hearts of Iron III and part of the Hearts of Iron series of grand strategy games focused on World War II, it allows the player to take control of any nation in the world in either 1936 or 1939 and lead them to victory against the major powers at the time: The Axis, the Allies and the Comintern (communist).

The game can be broken down into two “theatres” of gameplay. It’s the political theatre where you manage your country’s economy, military, diplomacy and all the other stuff, and the war theatre where you give orders to your fleets and armies. The game allows you to draw up all the Schlieffen and Barbarossa plans you want, to catch the enemy off-guard and take them out with a savage strike, and that’s the real joy of the game. You feel like a badass general, commanding the armed forces of the entire nation and bringing the world’s great powers to their knees.

The game starts off as a historical scenario that allows you to take any country and steer it along the path you chose to the big showdown of 1939. It’s “National Focuses Tree” gives the player great flexibility to follow the historical path or abandon it completely. You can form the fascist empire of America and turn on your French and British allies, or give up on your European domination dream and become a peace-loving Hitler. The choice is yours to make.

You can take control of whichever country you like and lead them to total domination. 

The German “War Machine” breaking through the French defences.

23.Age of Empires II (1999)

Age of Empires II gameplay

Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is a real-time strategy (RTS) game that lets you take control of a medieval faction and lead it to victory through five extensive campaigns.  It was released in 1999 followed with great critical acclaim and fans praising it as a worthy successor to the first game in the series. The game won multiple awards and is today considered a classic of its type, having had a significant impact on future games in its genre.

Age of Empires II 's gameplay is instantly familiar to practically anyone who has ever played a real-time strategy game before. The fast-paced game has you exploiting natural resources, constructing beautiful wonders and formidable castles, and advancing from the Dark Ages to the much more pleasant-sounding Imperial Age. Along the way, you use all the units, bonuses, and tech trees that are unique for every one of the 18 playable nations to violently crush other players from the map.

Build up your cities and protect them from the enemy hordes.

22.Endless Legend (2014)

Endless Legend gameplay

Endless Legend is a turn-based 4X strategy game, in which players take control of a fantasy faction to establish an empire through exploration, conquest, diplomacy and research. The game is set in the land of Auriga, with the layout of its landmass and ecosystems being randomized per game, represented on a model-like map made up of a hexagonal grid. It might look as a Civ knock-off at first (and it kinda is) but in reality, it takes all the familiar concepts of the genre and it innovates them where it is possible and needed.

The map is populated with a variety of terrain, each made up of biomes within the world which have effects on the player's units. Tiles and their layout are all randomly generated to create a unique playable world with each separate playthrough. You will have to gather resources quickly and build a strong army to withstand all the dark creatures of the world, from The Ardent Mages, who are masochistic wizards that generate magic through self-harm, to the elvish Wild Walkers, the Viking-like Vaulters who are survivors of a crashed spaceship and the noble warriors who call themselves The Broken Lords, who have to eat dust or drain life to survive.

Lead your people to victory.

Your cities can prosper and sprawl into many tiles if managed wisely.

21.Stronghold Crusader (2002)

Stronghold Crusader gameplay

Stronghold: Crusader is the stand-alone successor to Stronghold, meaning you don't need the original Stronghold to play it. It takes Stronghold out of Europe and into the Holy Lands, giving it a tighter focus and a more exotic flavour. It was released in September 2002 and received rave reviews from critics and fans alike who praised it for the graphics and the tighter gameplay it offered.

The gameplay is similar to the original Stronghold, the major difference being that the game is set in the Middle East. As a consequence, farms can only be built on oasis grass, which leads to rivalry among players for limited farmland and resources. This provides non-stop action for you as it is vital and hard to protect against enemies for the precious farmlands you possess.

The game contains several different characters, available to be selected as allies and enemies. The opponents from the original game make a return, as well as new Arabian lords and crusaders being available. There are 16 characters in total and they vary in terms of difficulty and tactics.

Build your defences in strategic positions to let your enemies with no choice, but suicide attacks.

Take the enemy castles by storm using a combination of artillery and infantry.

20. Age of Mythology: Extended Edition (2014)

Age of Mythology gameplay

Continuing with the RTS subgenre, let us gaze upon the awesomeness that is Age of Mythology, a spin-off fit for the gods. The game was originally released on October 30, 2002 in North America and a week later in Europe and it was commercially successful, going platinum four months after its release after selling over one million units. It was nominated for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' Interactive Achievement Awards for Computer Game of the Year and strategy computer game of the year.

Like many other real-time strategy games, Age of Mythology is based on defeating enemy units and towns, building your own units and towns and turning your villagers into heroes through money and resources. Players advance their faction through four "Ages" which act as the technology mechanic of the game. The game starts in the Archaic Age and then, the player may upgrade to the Classical Age, the Heroic Age, and finally, the Mythic Age with each upgrade to a higher Age unlocking new units and technologies for the player, which strengthens their settlement.

Unlike the campaign modes in Age of Empires and Age of Empires II, Age of Mythology only has one central campaign, Fall of the Trident which is significantly longer than campaigns in previous games, with a total of 32 scenarios. It follows Atlantean admiral and war hero Arkantos, as he sails for Troy and give Agamemnon a hand in his war while also hunt down the pirates that stole the Poseidon's statue trident. Along the way he gets into many other adventures and finds himself protecting Egyptian temples, rebuilding Thor’s hammer and escaping from the depths of Tartarus itself.

Build your settlements quickly and always stay on the lookout for enemy skirmishers.

19.The Banner Saga 2 (2016)

The Banner Saga 2 gameplay

The Banner Saga 2 is a tactical role-playing game where the player controls and is able to build up a party of colourful characters with complementing abilities. It is the sequel to the much-loved surprise of 2013, The Banner Saga, and the second game in a planned trilogy of games. A kickstarter for the third and final game in the series concluded on March 7, 2017, with 8,086 backers raising $416,986 of its $200,000 goal.

Travel to the icy northern lands of a medieval and Viking inspired culture where the helmets don’t have horns, but some creatures’ foreheads do (which is a nice compromise between creative license and historical accuracy, I guess). The first part of the trilogy details the opening act of what starts like the Third Great War, fought between the invading Dredge and the unsteady alliance of Humans and Varl, while this game picks up soon after the ending of the first part, with Dredge population that moves south-west en masse, fleeing westward to seek the protection of the Walls of Arberrang. The main protagonist/POV character of the second part of The Banner Saga is either Rook or his daughter, Alette, depending on the choices made in the first game.

The Banner Saga 2 builds on The Banner Saga's turn-based combat, adding depth with the introduction of new units, new talents, new enemies, interactive objects, and new objectives. It also introduces The Horseborn, a centaur-like race. Several heroes from the original return as playable characters, and many of the choices made in the first game have a direct impact in the second.

You will form alliances and make new untraditional friends to fight your common enemies.

18.King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame (2009)

King Arthur: The Roleplaying Wargame gameplay

King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame is a real-time tactics and role-playing game that lets you take control of The Kingdom of Camelot and its knights of the round table, and lead them to battles against foreign threats. It seeks to blend elements of the real-time tactics, role-playing, and grand strategy genres into one. It truly is a hidden gem of the genre that only looks like a Total War rip-off, but that is so much more (even though with the release of Total War: WARHAMMER you can say the debt has been paid since the developers seem to copy each other).

The story revolves around the man himself, King Arthur of Camelot who commands his knights and armies to expand his kingdom and protect it from the dangers across the border. It is explained that Uther Pendragon, Arthur's father, failed to draw the sword Excalibur from the stone. Arthur, years later, pulls the sword from the stone, unleashing ancient, evil forces upon Britannia.

Gameplay in King Arthur is a mix of real-time strategy, role-playing, and grand strategy elements and everyone who has played Total War will be familiar with it. The grand strategy portion of the game is played on a large campaign map of Britannia and when a battle is fought, the action changes to a real-time strategy mode. During the real-time battles, the RPG-style abilities of the heroes come into play which are the special thing that makes this game shine. Heroes wield magical and non-magical abilities, such as the power to call down lightning, or the ability to change the conditions of the battlefield while their melee combat abilities are able to take down dozens of troops.

Manage your forces in the grand campaign and lead them to battle against the forces of evil.

17.The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth (2004)

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth gameplay

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth is a real-time strategy game where you battle the forces of Mordor with the combined strength of the Human and Elves Alliance and like everything that carries the LotR name, it has a lot going for it. This is a big game packed with beautiful graphics and two huge campaigns. And while it doesn't reach the same epic scale as Peter Jackson's movies, it's still an amazing and well-made RTS game that captures the essence of J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginary world.

The good and evil forces of Middle-earth each have a campaign and they take place on an animated map of western Middle-earth, where each battle represents the defence/sacking of a territory. Armies and characters move on the map, and moving the cursor over them shows snippets of the movies (whereas battle cutscenes use the game engine). The game is a real-time strategy game which means warring factions gather resources, then use them to construct military bases and armies on-site. Its fast-paced nature guarantee plenty of action and its “units operating in groups” design guarantee many big, awesome battles

Gather your allies and fight the orcish filth that comes knocking in your doors.

16.World in Conflict (2007)

World in Conflict gameplay

World in Conflict is a 2007 RTS game developed by the Swedish video game company Massive Entertainment that hands you the command of many different US and NATO battalions to combat the Red Army. The game is set in 1989 during the social, political, and economic collapse of the Soviet Union. However, the title postulates an alternate history scenario where the Soviet Union pursued a course of war to remain in power

The single-player campaign puts the player in the role of Lieutenant Parker, a faceless, talkless United States Army officer in charge of a company. He, under the command of the fearless Colonel Sawyer and with the help of the totally inept, but good-hearted Captain Bannon, have to clear the soviet forces that have landed in Seattle and secure the American homeland. During the campaign, there are also flashbacks that take you back to NATO operations in France and Finland and also Russia itself where you complete special tasks.

World in Conflict does not offer base-building or resource gathering, but instead, players are given a pre-determined amount of in-game reinforcement points to buy units. This makes it that you never wait in a base for your tanks to build, but engage in action all the time. And you will want to do that because this game has possibly the best display of modern warfare action that has been produced so far by the industry. The graphics look great and polished and the scenarios offer some of the most fantastic destruction you will ever see.

Lead your forces through the streets and drive back the invading soviets.

15. Age of Empires III (2005)

Age of Empires III gameplay

Ensemble Studios makes a return into our list with another instalment in the series, the 2005 smash hit Age of Empires III. As well as receiving favourable reviews, it has garnered awards, including GameSpy's "Best RTS game of 2005", and was one of the best-selling games of 2005. The game numbers today over 2.5 million copies sold.

The age of discovery is finally here and with it come a few surprises. The colonial setting of Age of Empires III focuses on hypothetical conflicts between European powers vying for control over the New World and its riches. The campaign follows the fictional Black family in a series of three "Acts", which divide the story arc into three generations.

Age of Empires III advances the series hundreds of years into the future, trading swordsmen and catapults for musketeers and cannons, while keeping the series' signature formula basically intact. Players explore the map and begin gathering resources used to build additional units and buildings and to research upgrades or technologies. Actions such as training units, constructing buildings, killing enemy units etc., earn the player experience points. At certain experience point thresholds, players earn shipments that may be turned in for cards from the player's Home City, which can include units, upgrades, or resources.

Lead your regiments to victory against other Europeans that challenge your colonial ambitions.

14.Europa Universalis IV (2013)

Europa Universalis IV gameplay

Continuing with the age of colonialism, in typical Paradox fashion we shift away from the battlefields and the tactics and focus on the politics, alliances, trade arrangements and war management. Europa Universalis returns with a new instalment, taking players from the Late Middle Ages through the Early modern period (1444 to 1821 AD) and giving them the chance to control one of the countries of the world at that time and lead them to greatness and glory. 

The game itself is an interactive map of Earth divided into the provinces that compose nations. Each of these provinces contribute to their country either positively or negatively, as provinces can both provide resources to a nation and serve as a point of unrest and rebellion. The gameplay requires the player to lead a nation by finding a balance of military, diplomacy, and economy.

You will have to protect from foreign aggressors, build the economy, maintain the political stability of the state and negotiate international dealings. There is no set goal, but aspiring towards technological innovation and military expansion is always a good idea. Through the years, you will advance from a backward minded, plague-ridden, comet sighting, medieval hellhole to an industrialized great power of the age.

Choose one of the world’s nations and expand their borders.

Challenge the British in the sea and rule it for the benefit of your global trading empire.

13.Command & Conquer: Generals - Zero Hour (2003)

Command & Conquer: Generals - Zero Hour gameplay

Command & Conquer: Generals is a real-time strategy video game and the seventh instalment in the Command & Conquer series. It was released for Microsoft Windows in 2003 and the same year, its expansion pack, entitled Command & Conquer: Generals – Zero Hour was released too. Both Generals and Zero Hour were met with highly positive reviews.

Generals takes place in the near future, with players given a choice of three factions to play. In Generals, the United States and the People's Republic of China are the world's two superpowers, and are the targets of the Global Liberation Army (GLA), an omnipresent borderless terrorist organization, fighting as a fanatical irregular force (hmm that doesn’t remind me of anything). Of course, being a Command and Conquer game that means campiness and cheese galore await you, which is never a bad thing coming from a CC game because we are accustomed to it now and couldn’t enjoy the games as much without it.

Generals was a breath of fresh air that the series needed with exciting gameplay, big weapons, plenty of strategy, and a lot of well-designed missions. The expansion, Command & Conquer: Generals Zero Hour is a big one adding more units, more scenarios, and more fun that fans of the parent title will have a hard time not enjoying.

Attack the terrorist in full force and leave nothing behind.

Give the enemies a taste of American lead.

12.Sins of a Solar Empire (2008)

Supreme Commander gameplay

Sins of a Solar Empire is a 2008 science fiction real-time strategy game that incorporates some elements from 4X strategy games as well. It is developed by Ironclad Games and it lets you take control of an entire spacefaring empire and lead it to total domination. The game gives players all the tools needed and tasks them with conquering star systems using military, economic and diplomatic means.

Sins of a Solar Empire is a space-bound real-time strategy game in which players control one of three different races: the industrial TEC, the psychic Advent, or the alien Vasari. Players can conquer neighbouring planets and explore distant star systems in a "massively scaled, fully 3D environment featuring entire galaxies, orbiting planets, clusters of asteroids, space dust and radiant stars." Notably, there is no single-player campaign mode, but it features a sandbox mode, allowing the player to choose different types of solar systems to play against AI opponents offline and other players online.

Challenge the final frontier and anyone that stands in your way of Galactic expansion.

11.Supreme Commander (2007)

Supreme Commander trailer

Supreme Commander is a real-time strategy video game designed by Chris Taylor and developed by his company, Gas Powered Games and it comes as a spiritual successor to Taylor's 1997 game Total Annihilation. The game is focused on using a giant bipedal mech called an Armoured Command Unit (or ACU) to build a base, then upgrading units to reach higher technology tiers, and conquering opponents. The player can command one of three factions: The Aeon Illuminate, the Cybran Nation, or the United Earth Federation.

The setting of Supreme Commander is a future where humanity is able to travel through the galaxy quickly using a quantum gateway, which has allowed it to establish many new colonies and expand its frontier. All of the colonies created by quantum-travelling humankind were governed by the Earth Empire, until the events that created the Cybran Nation and the Aeon Illuminate caused the empire to fall, and the Infinite War between these factions began. The story however didn’t deliver and was far from spectacular.

Supreme Commander, like its spiritual predecessor, begins with the player solely possessing a single, irreplaceable construction unit called the "Armoured Command Unit," or ACU, the titular Supreme Commander and normally the loss of this unit results in the loss of the game. The mech suits are designed to be transported through quantum gateways across the galaxy and contain all the materials and blueprints necessary to create a 37th-century army from a planet's native resources in hours. Its mechanics coupled with the fast-paced nature of the game enable the multiplayer and skirmish modes in Supreme Commander to deliver some of the deepest and most refined RTS gameplay.

Gather your forces and go straight for the “snake’s head” (home base).

Battle your enemies in engagements of epic proportions.

10.Star Wars: Empire at War (2006)

Star Wars: Empire at War gameplay

Star Wars: Empire at War is a 2006 real-time strategy game set between Episode III and Episode IV that focuses on the fledgling struggle between the Empire and the Rebels. It lets you take control of all the weapons that are in disposal from the Rebel and imperial arsenal and use them against your foes. The game's plot is that of the Galactic Civil War and the construction of the Death Star which occurs during the events leading up to A New Hope.

There are three game modes: storyline-based Campaign, Galactic Conquest and Skirmish and in all of them the battles brake down into space engagements and land skirmishes. The land sections could be considered bland and are arguably the weakest part of the game. The same can’t be said for the amazing space battles which are fast, engaging, challenging and most importantly fun.

Despite its age, the game is still popular and played today with a strong modding community backing it up. As of May 31, 2014, online functionality, including network multiplayer and wireless chat is no longer available due to Glu Mobile purchasing GameSpy and shutting down all game servers, but that hasn’t stopped passionate and dedicated fans to find new ways to connect to each other. To anyone interested in this great title, we would recommend keeping an eye out for the “Star Wars: Empire at War remake” mod for it truly is one with the Force.

Take control of the Galactic Empire and finally break the rebel scum.

Take your Star Destroyers and crush the rebel fleets.

9.Sid Meier's Civilization V (2010)

Sid Meier's Civilization V gameplay

Sid Meier's Civilization V is a 4X video game in the Civilization series developed by Firaxis Games. In this game, the player leads a civilization from prehistoric times into the future on a procedurally generated map, achieving one of a number of different victory conditions through research, exploration, diplomacy, expansion, economic development, government and military conquest. It's similar enough to the past games to be familiar to veterans, but different enough to be fresh, and its polish and accessibility make it a great place for new players to pick up the addiction for what this franchise is known for.

There are 18 playable civilizations available in the standard retail version of Civilization V, with 7 DLC civilizations and a further 18 added by the two expansions; leading to a total of 43. The player chooses a civilization and assumes the role of its leader, based on prominent historical figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Augustus. You can interact with these characters every time you negotiate diplomatic treaties with them or whenever you receive a war declaration from the warmongering, nuke dropping Gandhi (which happens in literally every playthrough).

Graphics may be superficial in a game like this, but it has to be said that Civ V is indisputably the best-looking turn-based strategy game ever made. The UI is also top-notch and the tooltips are there to help you when you need them. For every new player who wants to jump aboard the franchise, Civilization V is your best choice to start.

Build your cities in strategic positions and found a civilization that will endure the ages.

Acquire your nukes as fast as you can and rain terror over the enemies.

8.Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2 (2009)

Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War 2 gameplay

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is a real-time strategy-tactical role-playing game developed by Relic Entertainment that pits them into a conflict based on the fictional Warhammer 40,000 universe. It features a non-linear interplanetary campaign, playable as the Space Marines. The campaign can be played either as single-player or cooperatively with another player through an online connection.

The standard operating procedure of the real-time strategy genre has been for a long time to build your base, order your troops, and command them in the field of battle, but now, with Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Relic has smashed apart a major pillar of the RTS formula. By eliminating base building and putting in its place fused elements of role-playing games, they have managed to make a major breakthrough in the evolution of the genre. The squads you control in each of the campaign carry over mission to mission, grow, and evolve according to what gear you decide to equip and what skills you decide to improve.

A major part of the campaign lies in choosing which battles and even planets to fight in, and there are consequences regarding which missions are chosen. There may be multiple distress calls to answer, for example, each available for only a limited duration. Once a mission is chosen, the player may still have to choose between various objectives, having to decide for example between saving civilians or obtaining a powerful piece of war gear.

Gather your marines and lead them into battle.

Use tactics and strategy to defeat the orcish hordes.

7.Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne (2003)

Warcraft 3 - Gameplay

Following the release of Warcraft III which was met with universal acclaim, Blizzard's expansion pack had a lot to live up to considering where it came from. Not only has the developer managed to create a bevy of brilliant and popular games, but it also has followed each of their titles up with an equally impressive expansion pack. Thankfully, Blizzard's trademark for quality doesn't seem to be slipping in the least.

The expansion picks up right where the original game left off. The campaign is divided into five sections and through them you'll get to see all sides as usual, with chances to play each faction as the different sides of the story are told. The game opens with the Orc leader, Thrall, waking from a nightmare warning him of the return of the Burning Legion and after a brief encounter with a man who is known only as "the Prophet", and fearing that his dream was more of a vision than a nightmare, he leads his forces in an exodus from Lordaeron to the forgotten lands of Kalimdor.

Those that prefer normal RTSs should know is that these campaigns don't usually play like traditional RTSs. Even though there are some "build base here and then conquer base there" types of missions, a lot of them take out resource gathering altogether and even building, and really focus on smaller, well put together groups. Some of the missions can probably even be thought of as dungeon crawlers akin to Diablo, only with more units and tactics involved, which may look boring first, but the production value and thought put into them make these sections really enjoyable.

6.XCOM 2 (2016)

XCOM 2 gameplay

XCOM 2 is the sequel of the reboot of the 1994 RTS classic X-COM. For years the franchise plunged into a series of bad shooters and for a time it looked like it would need to be put out of its misery and just die out. But leave it to Firaxis to take this gem and return it to its former glory.

Taking place 20 years after humanity lost the war we played in the first XCOM game, we’re now leading The Résistance, to overthrow a decades-long, fascist alien occupation of the planet. It’s a very thematically appropriate scenario for a game about taking four to six-person squads into guerrilla operations, to battle against initially-superior alien forces, and a great backdrop for these unpredictable, tactically deep, and addictive battles.

Just like in Enemy Unknown, you are the commander and you are tasked with upgrading your base of operations, choosing the right operation you wish to make against the aliens, leading the troops in battle and cracking some enemy heads. This game compared to the previous one is turned to eleven in every aspect of the game. There are more weapons, loot, enemies, map types, abilities and customization choices for your boys. It also introduces many new gameplay features and when all is said and done, this is a proper follow-up and it deserves all the praise it got.

Defeat the aliens and their fascist, puppet regime.

Customize your recruits and train them through battle experience to become real killing machines.

5.Homeworld Remastered Collection (2015)

Homeworld Remastered Collection trailer

Homeworld is a real-time strategy game and a true classic that was developed by Relic Entertainment and published on September 28, 1999. Set in space, the science fiction game follows the Kushan exiles of the planet Kharak after their home planet is destroyed. The survivors journey with their spacecraft-constructing mothership to reclaim their ancient home world of Hiigara from the Taiidan, encountering a variety of pirates, mercenaries, traders, and rebels along the way.

Homeworld is a RTS game and it follows the formula pretty closely. Gameplay, as in most RTS titles, is focused on gathering resources, building military forces, and using them to destroy enemy forces and accomplish an objective. Homeworld and Homeworld 2 definitely aren’t simple games, but their complexity is the rewarding kind. Controlling fleets that can move freely in full-3D space is challenging to get the hang of, but when you start to figure out what’s going and how to control an armada of fighters, bombers, and corvettes in a fight, you really feel like an admiral protecting the last remnants of your species.

On July 19, 2013, Gearbox announced the production of remakes of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 as Homeworld HD, later renamed Homeworld Remastered Collection after acquiring the rights to the series at auction for $1.35 million. Released digitally on February 25, 2015, for Windows computers by Gearbox, it was warmly received by critics, reviewers and fans alike. It also received praises for its fantastic and emotional story and for its entertaining gameplay.

Command your fleets carefully through the cold, unforgiving space and its creatures.

4.StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (2010)

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty gameplay

Hell, it’s about time we talk some StarCraft. Wings of Liberty is the sequel of the 1998 game StarCraft and its expansion set Brood War and after many, many, many years, it was finally released in July 2010. The game has been met with critical acclaim since its release and has been praised for retaining the popular RTS gameplay from StarCraft, while introducing new features and improved storytelling.

As for the gameplay, it's still the Terrans, Zerg, and Protoss clashing against each other, and you're still mining minerals with SCVs, Drones, and Probes and pulling Vespene Gas from the ground to fuel production. It's a classic style of real-time strategy play, one old-school RTS gamers should be very familiar with. While it's not a revolutionary game, it is one of the most fully featured, expertly designed, and impressively refined real-time strategy experiences on the market.

The story follows along with Jim Raynor, who begins the game as a gruff alcoholic in the process of rebelling against the corrupt emperor of the Terran Dominion. On Mar Sara, Raynor meets with an old comrade, Tychus Findlay, the badass who smokes in an airtight suit with the visor down . Together, they liberate the local population from Dominion control and start their movement under the banner of “Raynor's Raiders”.

Build your bases quickly to gain an early advantage over the opponents.

3.Company of Heroes (2006)

Company of Heroes gameplay

Let us return again to the most destructive conflict in human history and talk about the game that represents with accuracy the muddy trenches and hard conditions of this war. Company of Heroes is a 2006 real-time strategy game developed by Relic Entertainment that gives you the command of the US (or the British and the Germans if you buy the expansions for the game) forces and tasks you to push the enemy out of Nazi occupied France. Its campaign puts the player in some of the major American operations during the Battle of Normandy and the push towards Berlin.

Accompanying the plot is the fast action and gameplay style that should be familiar to anyone who has played Relic's other famous title, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. Completely destructible environments are used to enhance gameplay and create some of the most satisfyingly war-torn landscapes seen in video games and the fulfilling campaign, addictive gameplay, detailed visuals, and powerful use of sound make up the complete package. RTS fans who haven’t tried it yet should pay attention to this game because it’s an awesome experience that shouldn’t be missed

Break the Axis lines and march your soldiers towards Berlin.

Cooperation and mixing of your different kinds of troops is the key to victory.

2.Medieval II Total War (2006)

Medieval II Total War gameplay

Medieval II: Total War is the fourth game in the Total War series from Creative Assembly and in my personal opinion, the best in the hole franchise. It comes to us from the ancient times of November 2006, back when the developers had still some passion in them for something other than their wallets. The game is set between the years 1080 and 1530 and it lets you take control of one of the major powers of Europe and The Middle East at the time and lead them to victory.

Similar to previous titles of the Total War series, the game consists of two modes of play: battles and the campaign. In the campaign map, you will manage your kingdom, spending the treasury and taxes into buildings and infrastructure, or military and defence. You will also manage international relations using your agents, who will conduct royal marriages, perform espionage actions and manage trade relations.

Of course, the real meat of the game is the battles and this is where this game and all the franchise shines. You will command your armies (20 units max) in the battlefield and fight using tactics and cunning traps for your foes. Bonus point for this game are the general speeches before the game which are both interesting and fun to hear.

Fight epic scale medieval battles using smart tactics to achieve victory. 

Take your men in a holy Crusade to take Jerusalem or organise a Jihad to drive the infidels back to the sea.

1.Crusader Kings II (2012)

Crusader Kings II gameplay

And now that we reached the top of the list, let’s talk about the best RTS game most people have never heard of. Paradox makes it for the third time into our list with their 2012 medieval hit. It has been Paradox's second most successful release to date, after Cities: Skylines, with over 1 million copies sold.

The game is a dynasty simulator where the player controls a Medieval dynasty from 1066 to 1453, though the major DLCs, The Old Gods and Charlemagne allow for an earlier start date of 867 and 769, respectively. Through the strategic use of war, marriages and assassinations among many other things, the player works to achieve success for his or her dynasty. The open-ended nature of the game allows the players to go after their own set goals and achieve what they want in the world.

The most amazing thing about the game that you can find in other products of the company as well is its organic nature. All the great stories you might know about the cousins who fought over the throne, the wife that kills the husband’s bastards or the adventures nobodies who go to search fame and riches in raids or monastic orders, come to life in this game with no need of scripts or scenarios. You feel like you really are in the boots of your character and living in these times and as a history geek myself, there is nothing more enjoyable than that feeling when playing a video game.

Some people have criticised Paradox’s games for being just a bunch of button filled, bore fests because nothing really happens or shows up on the screen and to those people you can only say: Duh, that’s the point of them. The secret of these developers is that they understand that they make toys for grownups and that their job is to make sure that the toy is polished and functions and not to fill it with pretty graphics. You don’t need to see your guy killing someone in battle or ordering the assassination of your 9-year-old cousin in a cutscene because in the end, the best graphics card is our own imagination, and that makes this game truly timeless.

Choose whichever ruler you like and establish your dynasty as the top dog of regional politics.

So, there they are, the 25 best strategy games for PC.  There were many other games which could have made the list but in the end, these ones were our favourites and we had to put them up there. If you love this list and want to see more like it, you may also be interested in:

Top 10 Games Like Civilization. If You Like Civilization, You'll Love These Games

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25 Best Military Strategy Games For PC

 

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Gamer Since: 2005
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