The best strategy games are easy to find, but hard to master. They’re classics, either by themselves or within a series, that have passed the test of time and are enjoyed by millions all over the world. A great strategy game comes with many features that we all know, but the most important of them all? Progressing through the challenges, constant, palpable progress.
It’s not an easy task to be able to come up with a best RTS games list, from starting a decade ago and until our present days. Yet we’ve put in the effort for this task and found the very best of the best titles down below. You’ll find a collection of ultimate RTS games that you’ve either played, have heard about, or have no clue what they’re about. Enjoy, either way!
Looks Of A Great RTS
What makes a great real time strategy game? What are the features of it? It all starts with the real time aspect, the way the gameplay is happening, and the reality of it all. When you play strategy, you have to have this feeling of everything happening when it should, but also going out of control at any moment. Second, the strategy aspect is crucial, as you’d expect.
Strategy is all that makes an RTS valuable. The elements of strategic planning, executing, and then repairing the damages, it’s all that has to be done perfectly from the development team in order for the game to be memorable. Age of Empires, for example, is a classic exactly for this reason, for the strategic aspect, which has been done so incredibly well.
Best Strategy Games Of The Last Decade
Now that we’ve figured the definition and features of a legendary RTS game, let’s dive right into the matter. Below is the list of some of the most amazing strategy games of the decade. Classics, as well as modern titles, have made it on the list. Pick your favorite, or the one you’ve never heard off before, and start playing right away!
Stellaris - A game about galactic exploration in a 4X manner, this title has started slow, but quickly managed to pull itself up thanks to the many DLCs and expansions. Variation is the key word here, as are exploration and building.
Sid Meier's Civilization VI - Complete when it comes to strategy, Civilization VI is the biggest leap forward of the entire series made by Sid Meier. Take your nation from nothing to robot domination, as you get nuked by Gandhi or pressgang the United Nations.
Age Of Empires II - It's the game that needs no presentation. The Original Gangster. This game, when it came out, was probably the most exciting release in the history of strategy games. Years later, it still is a fan's favorite!
StarCraft II - This game is the ideal version of all of the micro-heavy multiplayer RTS games ever made. Players from all over the world are trying to master it, with gamers reaching 150 actions per minute! Get ready to reach for the stars.
Europa Universalis IV - Looking back at what a great strategy game is, this title checks all of the boxes. Players are able to control almost any nation that has ever existed, giving them complete power to make history. It's a must!
Total War: Three Kingdoms - A fan favorite of the Total War series, Three Kingdoms is one of the best at telling the story while keeping the strategy part of the game alive all the way through. This is the most dramatic Total War, for all the good reasons.
Anno 1800 - If Age of Empires is not your thing, and for that, what are you even doing here reading this, there's Anno 1800. This game has reached legendary status recently. Build up your colony and manage it from a settlement to a metropolis.
Best Strategy Games Of Today
Today, there are many strategy games that stand out from the crowd. Why? Because they've done very well, but also because they’ve evolved in terms of visuals and mechanics over the games of the past. Here are three RTS titles that are new, modern, and fun.
Factorio - Introducing a game about building and creating. What? Well, factories that produce the most complex items, all within the 2D world. Imagination is useful here, as you design and then make use of your factory. A great strategy game from last year!
RimWorld - This is a colony simulator of sci-fi origins, which is driven by a storyteller with AI. It was inspired by Firefly, as well as Dwarf Forces. It generates endless stories based on gunplay, psychology, combat, diplomacy, binomes and more.
Trials of Fire - A surprise in the strategy games community, Trials of Fire is set in a post-cataclysmic realm of fantasy and it's based on single-player gaming. This deck-building game is replayable endlessly, which gives everyone a chance to get legendary at it.