Interested in video games that resemble Age of Empires in terms of graphics and gameplay? Besides familiarity with one of the shining examples of strategy games for PC first released in 1997, many games share low system requirements for basic graphics. Although not all games are set in the same historic period and deal with the topic, the titles we’ll mention all share themes. You’ll see leadership, building and managing armies and resources, constructing buildings, taking risks in attacking, and being surprised by enemy attacks. Therefore, you should get the same vibes from games like Age of Empires and the original franchise spanning over two decades.
1. Sid Meier’s: Civilization VI
Sid Meier’s: Civilization VI is all you can ask for if you seek games like Age of Empires. It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, steamOS, and Linux, and has single-player offline and multiplayer online PvP components. Moreover, the VI base game includes 18 DLCs, 2 expansions, and over 75 leader selections. Players may even get more in time, so there’s nearly endless content to enjoy. The gameplay is very similar, with you expanding your empire, doing research, and building armies, resources, and infrastructure. Your civilization is constantly tested by powerful neighboring enemies, and every move must be deliberated.
2. Rise of Nations
Like Age of Empires, Rise of Nations is an incredible strategy PC game that goes through centuries in front of players’ eyes. You get to control 18 nations from the Ancient Age to the modern military. Moreover, you can attach over 14 Wonders of the World to your nation to gain special benefits. As with similar games, players get tens of scenarios in a campaign and are tasked with expanding the infrastructure, manpower, and knowledge to advance their progress. There are hundreds of distinct military units, and you’ll enjoy over a dozen different map types.
3. Age of Mythology
Any fan of Age of Empires games will surely like Age of Mythology, as it comes from the same developer and publisher. Although it follows the classic strategy game premise you already know and love, this time the “empire” part comes down to legendary monstery and mythical gods and their effects on mortal humans. You can summon them to aid you in conflict and the technological progress of your empire. Although the original game dates to late 2002, we prefer the Extended Version from 2014. It includes The Titans DLC and Golden Gift Campaign, as well as drastically improved visuals and more features.
As you can guess from the name, focuses on the conquests of brave Vikings who discover a continent named Northgard. While the land looks suitable for a settlement, is full of riches, and there are numerous shores to be explored, it is also full of dangers. Not only is the Clan experiencing the harshest winter they’ve ever seen, but undead warriors and dire wolves exist. Thus, Vikings must start from a small settlement and dig into their roles (e.g., sailor, warrior, farmer) and manage their resources to expand. You can also trade instead of fighting, and play both Story Mode, local co-op, and online multiplayer.
5. Command & Conquer
Command & Conquer and its expansions Command & Conquer: Red Alert were the beloved leaders of the RTS (real-time strategy) genre in the late 1990s. There were many more released up to 2012 and after 2018. However, the 4K remaster from 2020 reminded us all of the intricacy and outstanding strategy game design the developers poured into the originals. The game lets you choose retro or remastered graphics, enjoy extra 7 hours of remastered music, and focuses on 100+ missions in the solo campaign and 250+ maps for online multiplayer.
6. Empire Earth
Empire Earth is an old game released in November 2001, making it suitable for low-spec games and fans of older Age of Empires titles. The Gold Edition also includes The Art of Conquest expansion and graphic improvement, so we propose that version. It has a similar concept to Rise of Nations. You start at the beginnings of human civilization and can advance through 500,000 years of growth to the theoretical nanotechnological era. Unsurprisingly, each epoch is marked by the clashes that left a historical mark. Thus, your civilization may thrive for a bit before getting extinguished.
7. Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War was released in 2004. It has 3 expansion packs: Winter Assault (2005), Dark Crusade (2006), and Soulstorm (2008). All three resemble Age of Empires but with a supernatural/alien twist set in the 41st millennium. The plot focuses on 4 playable fictional races, Space Marines, superhuman soldiers, and opposing Chaos Space Marines, Orks, and Eldar, all with superpowers. You can play a single-player campaign or try multiplayer, and develop combat tactics necessary to beat the competitors.
8. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
How do you feel about a free-to-play futuristic science fiction (sci-fi) strategy game? It’s set in the far future where humans, named Terrans, are battling the other two species, Zerg and Protoss. The title takes place roughly 4 years after the plot of StarCraft: Brood War. The protagonist Jim Raynor is back and will go through a non-linear campaign (unlike the first game) to expand his army and upgrade his firepower and win against the opposing species. Two expansions, Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void are Zerg and Protoss-focused campaigns, respectively.
9. Stronghold Crusader 2
How do you feel about Christian crusades, knighthood, and a mix between castle simulation, city builder, and RTS genres? Stronghold Crusader 2 is set during the captivating battles of 1189. You get to choose a side—Arabic freedom fighters led by the Sultan of Syria or Crusader Knights with Richard the Lionheart at the helm—and dive into the conquest for hold over the Holy Land. Players must then design ingenious castle structures, and get into full-blown attacks or long, patient defenses. They may play solo, in multiplayer with up to 7 more players, or co-op.
10. Warcraft III: Reforged
Many dedicated fans would put the original, such as Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, in place of the Reforged version from 2018. However, Blizzard Entertainment replaced the titles on players’ Battle.net accounts. Nonetheless, all games are classic RTS (real-time strategy) titles with incredibly long and complex lore. In short, you’ll commandeer a group of humanoids such as Humans and Undead, or Night Elves and Orc. You’ll be in a rush to build armies and upgrade your simple base to a battalion with an undefeatable fortress. That way, you can defend and conquer your enemies.