Empire games are a popular genre in video games. From sci-fi, history to fantasy, there are many niches in empire games to meet your tastes. Play as a village chief and help build up a village or shape the world’s history while playing as iconic figures from the world. Empire games or strategy games are of two types, real-time strategy games, and turn-based strategy games. Both the types offer different gameplay styles. Here we have a list of the best empire games for PC:
1. Crusader Kings 3
Crusader King games have made a name for themselves by allowing players to play as individual characters, who throughout the game make decisions that shape history. All the drama, wars, alliances made by marriage, constructing castles, researching technology, etc. make up the grandest empire game. Characters have personality traits that influence their behavior, otherwise, they will build up stress. Crusader Kings 3 is a masterpiece because of the many such details and features which makes the gameplay immensely realistic and pleasurable.
2. Total War: Warhammer 2
Total War has surpassed expectations with Warhammer 2. The battle is played out between 4 unique factions in the story campaign with real-time battles. All the different faction technologies and attacks, new abilities to explore ruins, strong buffs granting rites, and the many iconic battles for victory, make the gameplay truly satisfyingly and worthwhile. If you’re done with the campaign, you can try many enjoyable multiplayer modes like skirmishes, free-for-all, etc.
3. Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition
With flashy new art and wonderful graphics, the good old empire game is back. After more than 20 years the definitive edition revamps the AI, art, graphics, and adding new campaigns and few more civilizations. The new versions remove the chore of managing minor aspects manually and instead automates them so that you can enjoy the campaigns more. The combat is varied, for example, a melee fight starts with you sending your troops into battle but part from watching the scene unfold you can’t do much. As for raiding fortified cities and sieges, they need careful planning.
4. Total War: Three Kingdoms
With this game, the Total War franchise takes players to ancient China to fight devastating wars. The campaign of Three Kingdoms is the best one yet! There have been some serious performance bug fixes so now, Three Kingdoms works very smoothly. The game reaches its crescendo during the end game. When you are strong enough to declare a war for the throne, the two other rivals will do the same as well. This makes the battlefield a bloody mess with three huge armies clashing gloriously.
5. Civilization 6
Civilization 6 literally offers you the whole wide world under your fingertips. A rewarding learning curve offers its players a vast world filled with endless possibilities and threats to counter. The gameplay is filled with technological, military, and diplomatic advancements. You will try to maintain relations with almost all the nations of the world but it is not possible to keep everyone happy. Your actions like colonizing a new country will produce negative feelings from other nations who wanted to do the same. Diplomacy is quite transparent in Civilization 6 as compared to other empire strategy games.
6. Europa Universalis 4
Europa Universalis 4 lets you freely shape and enjoy alternate history based on your choices, with far fewer constraints than any other real-time strategy game. Adding countries to your diplomatic rival lists declares it to the AI that there is a rival relationship. Thus, there is less friendliness and more disputes. Conquering other countries too fast makes your military and trade posts vulnerable, plus nearby counties see you as a threat! Random mini-events like revolts and civil wars always keep you on your toes. All these mechanics keep the gameplay exciting and fresh.
7. Total War: Shogun 2
From the Total War franchise comes the title inspired by samurai and of course, the wars they fought in medieval Japan. Total war franchise has only improved for what they have been known for, i.e. brilliant views of armies clashing in the middle of the battlefield. Plus there is all the trading, making alliances, and diplomatic war. The menu and tutorials are simple enough to understand, plus it has some complexity to provide the need of the hardcore players. Players will orchestrate massive wars and can enjoy the clashing between your armies in real-time. The AI is smart enough, but you will feel the heat in multiplayer battles.
8. Age of Wonders: Planetfall
Planetfall is a turn-based combat strategy game, much like XCOM 2 but instead of fighting alien invaders, you will be fighting six factions of sci-fi races on different planets. A plus point for Planetfall is that the story missions successfully drive the narrative with gusto. Most of these are handcrafted maps with clever tactics to hinder your progress. So completing them is an absolute joy. The military strategy of each army is completely different, this adds to the fantastic time you will have in battles without getting bored. The graphic art of each world is vivid and has distinct colors and themes to appreciate.
9. Sins of Solar Empire
Despite the total lack of a story campaign mode, Sins of Solar Empire stands tall solely on its multiplayer mode. This balanced multiplayer strategy game is all about warcraft between three factions. Multiple cool warships of different shapes and sizes offer unique buff and debuffs or straight-up dish out more damage. The Rebellion expansion pack made some minor tweaks to these factions but apart from faction-specific special technologies, nothing more has changed in terms of gameplay.
10. Supreme Commander
Supreme Commander is a giant strategic game, with so many units and not-so-simple combat dynamics, it takes some time to understand the basics. The game is definitely not for casual gamers, but if you like RTS games, it is definitely worth it. The gameplay has finesse which is easily noticeable in an hour of playing. Even though the single-player campaign is not up to the mark, the enjoyable multiplayer mode far compensates for it.
11. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
While it’s not a revolutionary game title, Red Alert 2 does make a stand of its own. Red Alert 2 is a strategy game played in real-time. Building structures and military strength along with farming resources are the basic premises of the game. The army units are divided into air, land, and sea units, each with its own special skill set. Special skills which make the gameplay more exciting are fun to use. For example, Weather Control devices, Nuclear bombs, etc. All the modes in the game are well made and diverse. Apart from the usual, there’s a cooperative campaign, single unit mode, skirmish mode, etc.
12. StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void
When you first play the game, the bold single-player campaign will have you hooked for a good number of hours. The missions in the game provide the players a challenge each time. These satisfying missions along with a minor resource scarcity make you seriously fight for survival. As for multiplayer, the matches are slightly shorter (otherwise they would be drawn out) thanks to the faster beginning period. In each multiplayer match, new army units are given to players. This prompts players to build unique and surprising strategies in each match.
13. XCOM 2
Set 20 years after the first game, in which our world was taken over by aliens, you will now fight in this turn-based strategy combat game to overthrow the alien colonials. XCOM 2 gives you a nail-biting experience to make sure you are never too comfortable. Randomization is instilled in the game at every turn to make sure you won’t be using the same methods repeatedly. It’s better if you wipe out an alien squad all together otherwise the last one may retreat and join others. Different enemy types keep the gameplay more tactical, like the Advent Shieldbearer can give its allies a shield, best if you take it out first.
14. Offworld Trading Company
Unlike the many war-based strategy games in this list, Offworld Trading Company is an intense economic empire game. You won’t be fighting an actual war here but rather playing with the economy of other corporations. Crash their economies by sabotaging their important production sites, or using the various random black market buffs and debuffs. For staging such detailed sabotage of the industry and the market will need some keen observation and deduction skills. This capitalist action is more fast-paced with other players instead of an AI in multiplayer mode.
15. Endless Legend
Endless Legend is definitely a looker. The art style and graphics are some of the most beautiful among empire games. This empire game has the similar basics of building a city, exploring the map, building military strength, advancing your technologies and engage in diplomatic fights with your rivals, etc. But it’s not just war and science, fantasy is also blended into it, with more than ten races to meet and fight. With vast different terrains offer unique advantages and disadvantages in battle or resource farming. It is when you are on the path to the endgame that the game starts to wear off and gets imbalanced.
16. Age of Mythology: Extended Edition
An empire game filled with a vivid variety of mythological gods and creatures from Greek, Egyptian, and Norse mythologies. Despite being far from games like Age of Empires it’s still quite fun to play because of the fantastical powers of the gods and a huge variety of mythological troops, each with their own stats. This is quite a feat for an updated game that was first released in 2003. The base mechanics are still the same, there are just minor optimizations and better graphics. The AI in single-player campaigns is not that smart so if you like a challenge try out the multiplayer mode.
17. Anno 1800
Anno 1800 is a constantly evolving strategy game based on village management. You will manage your island colony and its resources to make sure the inhabitants will survive. Some of these resources are not available on your land, so you have the option of trade or capturing other islands. Both of these actions have their own rewards and consequences. The real secret of the game lies in its name itself! Just think how the urban cities were in the industrial age around the 1800s. The living conditions of people were not good, workers were working more than 12 hours and housing quarters were small and stuck together to accommodate the high demand for manpower. So when laying out your structures pack them closely together to make the most out of your land!
18. Halo Wars 2
Microsoft’s blockbuster FPS game series “Halo” also has a real-time strategy game called Halo wars. In Halo Wars 2 the story is more or less the same as the Halo games. The single-player campaign is less than 10 hours. It is not that creative but serves as a complete tutorial for the multiplayer mode. The Multiplayer is a much better experience, the most played mode “Blitz” is about summoning troops with a deck of cards you have already prepared. At any given time you only have a few cards that you can play, this randomization keeps the gameplay spontaneous.
Stellaris is an intergalactic empire game from Paradox studios. During your early game, you will have two primary objectives. First being exploration, send out your ships to discover new planets, which in turn provide new quests, optimizations, resources, etc. The second is deciding how you would like to develop your empire. This part is more complex and exciting. Each empire has different ideologies and your actions and layouts will promote one or the other. At the beginning of the game, you can choose which ideologies you would like to base your empire on from different choices. Of course, the playthrough is quite different with each one. But after the mid-game, it goes downhill unless you are ready to give it some time.
20. Treachery in Beatdown City
On a quick glance, the game will look like a 1990s arcade game but upon closer inspection, you can see the strategy and sharp social remarks, which adds a peculiar layer to the game. You will play as one of the three protagonists in NYC from a “different dimension”. The streets are filled with graffiti-covered walls, obnoxious rich people, street rappers, corrupt police officials, etc. Fighting is quite a hassle if you didn’t pay attention to the instructions. The game is also light on your system as it has low requirements.