Looking for a real-time game but don’t know what to try next? Take a look at this list of great strategy games. We have recommendations whether you play on Playstation, Xbox or PC. Whether you’re Vikings or defending against them, all of these options are for the elite of the RTS world.
The best real-time strategy games on PC
The PC is the benchmark for strategy games because they are formatted for desktop computer screens. We’ve rounded up the best of the best, mostly sales and ratings on platforms like Steam. Here are our favorite RTS games that you can find on PC.
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Some RTS games, like Europa Universalis, have a lot of challenges to deal with from the start, which can be extremely overwhelming for some players. Northgard is a great option if you want to start slowly and grow your business over time. This small Scandinavian Viking village grows the more you take care of it and the more you protect it in strategic battle.
Age of Empires IV
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Age of Empires IV is one of the most popular RTS games on Steam for a reason. This is because it combines civilization building and kingdom management, meaning you get both detailed and extensive gameplay options. There are also multiplayer and single player game modes. As a bonus, it’s quite interesting to relive the lives of historical figures such as Genghis Khan. Age of Empires IV is great not only for its mechanics, but also for its beautiful art style.
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For a strategy game that sits on a small stage and includes very fast-paced gameplay, look no further than Warpips. Functioning like a tug of war, Warpips uses swaths of mud with nearby enemies to engage the player in constant defense and attack. A constant barrage of attacks means you’ll need to be on your feet all the time to enjoy the game. While this can be overwhelming for some gamers, it can be ideal for those who find other RTS titles a little slow.
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Europe Universalis IV
Image via interactive paradox
Europa Universalis IV is about as important to the RTS genre as it gets. Over four different centuries, you will be responsible for managing, protecting and expanding the kingdom. Use combat, diplomacy and real-time strategy to try and rule as many lands as possible. EU IV offers single and multiplayer play to provide an even more varied experience. You can also greatly customize the game, right down to controlling the speed of the passage of time.
The best real-time strategy games on Playstation and Xbox
Strategy games are often developed for desktop, so finding good real-time strategy games on console platforms can be difficult. That is why we have collected several options, ranging from real military battles to alternative universes. Here are the best RTS games you can find on Playstation and Xbox consoles.
Lornsworth Winter Chronicle
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Players looking to find a story integrated into their real-time gameplay should consider playing Lornsword Winter Chronicle. You play as a general who leads his army through a series of battles, seeking to expand and defend his dominance. Play local co-op, change campaign difficulty settings, and even upgrade your units over time. It’s a rather unconventional RTS game, but that’s why it’s worth recommending.
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Don’t let Bad North’s cute art style fool you; This is a fairly complex RTS game. Protect your land from enemy vikings who want to conquer your territory. Bad North is known to be quite ruthless with the decisions you make, making it the perfect new game for seasoned real-time strategy players. The simplified graphics of Bad North also give you plenty of room to focus on the combat mechanics.
Sudden Impact 4
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If you’re looking for an RTS game with a more realistic campaign, check out Sudden Strike 4’s WWII Battleground. You can play three different campaigns, each with different terrain, enemies, and challenges. What’s more, in Sudden Strike 4 you have a lot of unit management to do. Just follow the real battlefields! If you’re looking for something a little less serious, try the competitive multiplayer battle mode.
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Cross Kings 3
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Fans of Europa Universalis might think that Crusader Kings 3 is very similar to the European franchise. This is because Crusader Kings is also being developed and published by Paradox Interactive. While EU focuses more on broad gameplay with combat and diplomacy, Crusader Kings 3 leans more towards an interpersonal ending. Intermarry with other powerful families, produce heirs, and engage in strategic diplomacy to try and save your kingdom.
Image via KING Art
Many RTS games go a long way with semi-realistic universe rules, but that’s why we want to freshen things up by including Iron Harvest on our list. Play in an alternate universe of 1920s Europe filled with futuristic yet vintage technology. Iron Harvest comes with a story campaign, single and multiplayer battles.
Evil Genius 2: World Domination
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If you’re looking for a less serious game than most of the other games on this list, consider giving Evil Genius 2: World Domination a try. A cartoon-like simulation similar to games like Two Point Hospital and Planet Coaster is combined in this game with cool RTS mechanics. This is the perfect game for players who want a relaxing gaming experience, even if you’re using an evil corporation to try and take over the world.
Want to read more game recommendations? If so, check out the “Best games to play when you’re short on time” section of our pro gaming guides.