Nowadays, gamers don’t seem to care much about real-time strategies and this genre has somehow became forgotten. Real-time strategies were the real deal back in the time, and those games were only for the smartest and the most patient PC gamers. Surely, we have some great RTS games at the moment, so you can finally remind yourself how cool it was to be a master of an RTS game. It’s very hard to count the best RTS games for PC, but I’ll do my best. Just don’t throw hatchets at me! The list of best RTS PC games is below.
1. Total War: Warhammer II
Total War: Warhammer II is the newest game in the series, and oh boy, does it delivers! This game is all you need from a modern RTS PC game with its gorgeous visuals and fantasy setting. If you are a little bit into strategy games, you know that Total War is one of the greatest series ever! Total War: Warhammer II supports both multiplayer and singleplayer, but the singleplayer wins the trophy here. It’s a breath-taking campaign that forces you to conquer and explore the vast world of the game, as well as enjoy great real-time battles. The game also features turn-based civilization management, so it’s a great choice for the fans of turn-based strategies.
2. Spellforce 3
Spellforce 3 came out ten days ago, and it’s a brand new RTS game. So, what you can expect from it? First, the jaw-dropping visuals. This game looks so good for a strategy game and everything from environment and characters to particle effects looks dope! As for the gameplay, you can expect a very good RPG experience where you’ll customize your characters and fight versus the enemies in a varied game world. Spellforce 3 marks a grand return to the series and I’m very happy about it.
3. Ashes of the Singularity
Ashes of the Singularity is one of the most popular games for benchmarking. Even though the game is a strategy game, many GPUs and CPUs find it very hard to cope with this game. This is because it features a wide, open area and HUGE battles. AotS really gives that feeling of size and scale, and it’s the largest strategy game I’ve ever seen. Battling versus the machines was never this fun and memorable, and if you have a solid PC, you can enjoy this game to the fullest. Don’t listen to the naysayers; this game rocks!
4. Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars 2 is here to give you proof of how the Halo series and Halo-based games are strong. Every game in the Halo series is great and provides so much fun. The same goes for Halo Wars 2. This game improves over its predecessor in every possible department. The graphics are amazing, the sound design is really good for a strategy game, and the story is solid. However, the main highlight here is the cutscenes. Cutscenes in this game are abso-fucking-lutely amazing! I know we are at the end of 2017, but come on… you can’t stay emotionless when you see how well they’ve done it. They should make a movie out of it!
5. Company of Heroes 2
Company of Heroes 2 isn’t only a very good RTS game, but an excellent strategy game overall. This WW2-based game is here to bring you the most satisfying, albeit brutal experience of war. The story in this game is focused on the USSR in WW2, thus providing a very solid foundation for the further story and battles. The world in this game isn’t colorful and you won’t admire flowers and vegetation, but snow, weapons, and blood! Nazis are more ruthless than ever, and you’ll need to be smart in order to survive the harsh winter in the USSR. Double time, soldier!
6. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Oh, Blizzard, how I love you! And you know why? Well, not because of WoW or Overwatch, but because of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Blizzard surely knows their business and I haven’t seen them mess up with any of the games they released. StarCraft II brings another science-fiction RTS experience with the three species; Terrans, Zerg, and Protoss. Each of those has their unique powers and fighting style and it’s up to you how you are going to play it. The game isn’t strong graphically, but story-wise and gameplay-wise, it nails it.
Spore isn’t your typical RTS and when you see it for the first time, you’ll hardly guess it’s a strategy game. This game is all about evolving and overcoming the obstacles in your life. Your character starts from a single cell and it evolves or not evolves, depending on you. It’s a unique game and its concept is very original. The best thing is that the game is played in real-time where you can complete various stages and overcome certain challenges in order to progress. Spore is a more real-time game but also has some strategy elements.
8. World in Conflict
I’ve always “bashed” this game for being too cliche when it comes to setting, but I’m not saying it’s bad. Actually, World in Conflict is a superior RTS game that will blow you away as soon as you start playing it. The story is typical “USA vs Russia” as the economic crisis hit the world and… you know, the world-war 3 beings, or whatever. Leave that aside, and take a moment to appreciate this game’s gameplay. It’s very fluid, smooth and simple to learn and that makes this RTS very approachable and intuitive.
9. Age of Empires III
Age of Empires III was a huge commercial success when it was released, and this was twelve years ago. I believe most of you were kids at the time and maybe didn’t pay attention to this game, but now it’s time to try it again. Age of Empires III offers you more than ten civilizations to play with and each new game begins with just a few villagers at your disposal. So, your goal here is to build your Empire and survive by gathering resources and fighting the enemies. It’s so simple, yet so sweet!
10. Total War: Rome II
Another game in Total War series is Rome II. Although it’s released a bit earlier than Warhammer II, this game offers a very good RTS experience. Being focused on Rome, the game is very interesting and perfectly mimic that feeling of watching your favorite epic movies. The large-scale battles, great political system, epic weapons, and improved visuals are to be noted here. Get ready for the daily dose of epicness with Total War: Rome II. Easily a great real-time strategy simulator for PC.
11. Supreme Commander
Supreme Commander is a very underrated RTS game released ten years ago. I remember that cool cover on the game’s disc, and when I installed it… wow! Supreme Commander is an older brother of Ashes of the Singularity, at least in terms of thematics and gameplay. It’s a futuristic game focused on large-scale battles, various war machines, weapons, and devastating firepower. Plus, the game lets you enjoy a coop campaign, which is even better. Get your friend to play it and protect our galaxy!
12. Rise of Nations
According to many reviewers, Rise of Nations is the greatest strategy game ever. Although the game is released at the beginning of the 21st century, Rise of Nations nails it when it comes to exploiting this genre to the fullest. You begin with a single ancient city and you build infrastructure, gain resources, research technologies and hope to succeed in building a whole nation. What more can we say? Be the best you can be and conquer the world! The battle begins now.
13. Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos
Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos is a legendary game. While many like The Frozen Throne expansion more, my absolute favorite is Reign of Chaos. This game kick-started the whole World of Warcraft series and brought an intense, yet satisfying RTS experience. Story-wise, Warcraft 3 is constructed similar to the StarCraft series, so you’ll have four factions to chose from, some of them being Orcs and Undead. Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos sold 4.5 million copies since its release and it’s a very important RTS game.
14. Star Wars: Empire at War
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… you know what’s up? You’re right- a Star Wars game. Star Wars: Empire at War is an RTS game based on the very popular Star Wars movie series. This game brings its A-game to the table, offering us fantastic space battles but also battles on the ground. You’ll use your skills and patience in order to win the civil war that’s been bothering the entire galaxy. Are you ready to command the whole galaxy and conquer every corner of this goddamn underworld? Let’s see how capable are you!
It’s cool when you try to develop your nation and survive on the Earth, but what about the vast galaxy? Well, the answer to that question comes from Stellaris. Stellaris is a grand strategy game that focuses on surviving and building your civilization deep into the galaxy. To do that, you’ll need to focus on exploration as well as combat in order to survive. With its amazing visuals and great gameplay mechanics, Stellaris promises to bring you a superior RTS experience.
16. Men of War: Assault Squad 2
Men of War: Assault Squad 2 is a type of strategy that I simply love. It’s a war strategy where you can use all of your weapons, tanks, aircraft, ships, and vehicles in order to bring a victory. the game looks gorgeous and the environment is varied, so expect everything from dry deserts to snowy mountains as the bullets and bombs fly over your head. Do you have what it takes to be a man of war? Find out in this brutal and unforgiving RTS game.
17. The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II might have a long name, but it’s not only the name of the game that’s long. This game divides into two campaigns with one of them being Evil and the other being Good. Although the game is RTS, it’s very immersive and immediately drags you into the story. In the Good campaign, you play as Glorfindel and in Evil you are Sauron. As much as I love when the good wins, Sauron is so badass! So take your stand and cross my line if you dare!
18. Anno 2070
Anno 2070 is a beautiful game. It isn’t epic as Warhammer II nor it’s brutal as Supreme Commander, but it has what it takes to be a great RTS game. The focus in Anno 2070 is on building your society of the future and surviving in this harsh and unforgiving world. However, the game isn’t about ancient times, but the future, which makes it very good-looking and interesting to play. You can now build tall buildings, vehicles and manage your resources to be the best you can be. Anno 2070 is for those who appreciate this type of game that requires patience and thinking.
19. 8-bit Armies
Do you ever wonder what strategy game can you get for just a couple of bucks? Let me give you the answer; 8-bit Armies! Here we are, in the 21st century, but we still crave that 8-bit feeling, and this game is here to bring it to your face. This RTS game boasts colorful, and surprisingly beautiful graphics with a focus on military battles. If you decide on singleplayer campaign, you’ll be greeted with 25 excellent missions, and 12 co-op missions. On the multiplayer side, you can enjoy skirmish battles and let your potential shine.
20. Grey Goo
Last, but not least- Grey Goo. Do you know about this game? If not, you should take a look at it. It’s a real-time strategy game that has that old-school feeling to it with its great combat system and large-scale battles. It also includes decision-making, which is very important for a single-player campaign. Grey Goo is an amazing RTS experience and it’s very intense as you try to survive and live another day. Simply an amazing, but overlooked effort.
21. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
More like a modern strategy game, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is a fun experience that gives you 5 different characters you can control. Each one of them possesses their own skill set which you can utilize in the battle to destroy the enemies. However, less in number, they may not be a match for a group of thousands of samurais on the other side. So, you should put your thinking skills while strategizing the battle. Each new level will require demanding puzzle-solving skills to lead your team to victory.