An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC strategy games ever made, now freshened up to include our favourites from 2017 and 2018. From intricate, global-scale wargames to the tight thrills of guerrilla squads, the broad expanse of the genre contains something for everyone, and we’ve gathered the best of the best.
The vast majority are available to buy digitally, a few are free to download and play forever. They’re all brilliant.
Before diving into this delicious stack of games, we should define exactly what we mean when we say “Strategy Games”. In previous regenerations of this Master List To End All Master Lists, we’ve incorporated management simulations too, but as much as we ideally prefer to not be bound by Colonel Trousers’ rigid definitions, as outlined in the seminal brain-pacifier That Is Not Strategy Vol I-XXX, a recent renaissance in both strategy and management means we have a veritable embarrassment of riches to choose from. As such, it only makes sense to split the games that are more about community-wrangling than conquest off into their own forthcoming feature.
Even so, the church is broad – we haven’t ended up with a list of 50 games about World War II or alien spacewars. The treasures below are varied in theme, style and setting. Of course, you might find that your personal favourites haven’t made the list. When your moment of grieving has passed, remember that all attempts to rank games are arbitrary and ultimately futile, and whether X should be placed above Y might isn’t really all that important.
That’s not to say this isn’t the most accurate list you’ll ever read, of course, because it is.
The links below will skip you forward in intervals of ten, if you like. You can also change pages using the arrows beneath or below the image at the top of each page, or using your arrow keys: