The 50 best strategy games on PC

51 of 52

1: Into The Breach (2018)

Developer: Subset Games

Publisher: Subset Games

Screw it, let’s forget ourselves and embrace some ‘Q magazine declaring OK Computer to be the greatest album of all time in 1997’ madness. In a perfect world, something will come along and handily leapfrog this turn-based mechs vs giganto-beasts follow-up to FTL, any day, but in terms of what strategy game we would go out and tell almost anyone to go out and play right now? There is no other answer.

Into The Breach throws out every millilitre of superfluous strategy bathwater without losing even a single bit of baby in the process. It asks you to focus only on the most immediate problem to hand: your guys are there, the acid-spitting enemy is there, a skyscraper full of helpless civilians is there: what are you gonna do, hotshot?

It’s very easy to lob chess comparisons at any turn-based strategy game, but ITB really does nail that move-to-move dilemma. Every. Single. Action counts; failing to do something useful with one of your three units almost always spells doom. Most of all, ITB is masterful at slowly dumping a whole load of knowledge into your head – recognising a wide array of enemy types and their special abilities on sight, figuring out how to combo an equally wide range of mech abilities, and most of all grokking the importance of moving enemies, above and beyond attacking them – without your even realising it’s happening.

The adjective to beat for Into The Breach is ‘elegant’, but maybe that makes it sound cold and distant. Only the opposite is true: it rings high drama out of every movement, and it does so while having the confidence to leave your imagination to fill in the gaps left by its 2D, minimally-animated presentation. To show anything else would take time, and taking time would only make it baggy, and it is precisely because Into The Breach is not baggy in the slightest that it feels like such a (currently) final word on how to make a turn-based strategy game.

An instant-classic masterpiece that doesn’t even remotely try to tell us it’s a masterpiece. It just gets on with the job.

Notes: Despite its minimalism, Into The Breach also functions remarkably well as a story game – but, just as with its action, it only gives you the broadest strokes of how and why your mech pilots are travelling back through time to try and prevent the near-destruction of Earth by giant bugs from god-knows-where, leaving your imagination to fill in the rest. Which, again, is exactly why it works so well.

Where can I buy it: Steam, GOG, Humble.

What else should I be playing: BattleTech offers a far more decompressed and statty take on mech combat, if ITB is all too minimal for you. And, if you have an olden Nintendo portable, the GBA’s Advance Wars is another smart lesson in how to do meaty TBS with none of the flab.

Read more: We talk to the devs about hurting our feelings, writer Chris Avellone sheds light on ITB’s greatest mysteries, our Into The Breach review.

85 Comments

  1. Phantom_Renegade says:

    Why is the steam link ridiculous and the Humble isn’t? And why not the GoG link for an ethical purchase?

  2. Themadcow says:

    I just came on to disagree with the top 3 places… but aside from the order of 1 and 2 I’m kinda OK with it :)

    Probably should mention Phoenix Point in the notes though.

    P.s. Hyperlinks to Top 10, 20 etc currently don’t work.

    • SaintAn says:

      Just seems to be a list of strategy games with no real order to the list. I mean, many of the actual best ones are around the 30’s.

      • Themadcow says:

        That’ll be the whole ‘subjectivity’ thing going on I reckon.

        • SaintAn says:

          For the list makers sake I hope it was random and not ordered. Nerds have mercy of their ignorant digital souls if this was intended to be ordered.

          • Aetylus says:

            Yeah. We can’t even have a decent comments argument about where the list is wrong because the list is so far out as to be unintelligible. Like trying to critique a Shakespearean sonnet after first jumbling the words up. 100% objectively CORRECT top order is:
            1 – Civ (whichever one is your favourite)
            2 – EU (the original)
            3 – CK2
            4 – X-com (old)
            5 – Xcom (new)
            6 – Warlords 3
            7 – Dominions
            8 – Total War Medieval 2
            9 – HoMM 3
            10 – Panzer General

            And no. There are no good space games.

            Top ten list of best PvP strategy games is:
            1 – Atlas Reactor.
            That is it.

  3. Turin Turambar says:

    Dominions 4 is no.14? Well, you may want to put Dominions 5 there, it’s the same game but with more stuff and improved in some areas like UI.

  4. Lord Byte says:

    I loved X-COM 2 and keep bouncing off War of The Chosen hard… Like ALT-F4 uninstall hard. Retried twice. It all just feels incredibly unfair on how so much of the battles seems to be purely random luck rather than anything related to tactical acumen. Like how the director of Left for Dead 1 was just fine, and Left for Dead 2 just seems spiteful and nasty.

  5. AngoraFish says:

    All the links on page one for The 50s through The 10s are 404ing for me…

  6. shrieki says:

    i would add age of empires and for sure dungeon keeper and Populous the beginning. i mean freaking Populous not on the list ? dude ! :D

  7. Premium User Badge

    Big Dunc says:

    CoH is always in my top ten, as it really did seem to revolutionise the RTS. The downside, is that every other RTS I’ve played since has felt somewhat shallow and uninteresting. For example, I’m currently playing through Deserts of Kharak, but I am really struggling to be engaged by it.

  8. moe mo says:

    Stellaris doesn’t belong on this list at all, let alone halfway through it. Half the gameplay is missing, and they still haven’t figured out how to make the combat fun.

  9. Megatron says:

    “Julian Gollop’s latest game, Chaos Reborn, is a remake of one of his earliest creations., 1985’s Chaos: The Battle of Wizards.”

    I’d say it’s more Lords of Chaos than Chaos. The difference between parent a child is pretty vast; Reborn seems to be child of child.

    Chaos should definitely be your number 1, btw. Purest strategy game ever made. (Up to) 8 wizards + 1 single-screen arena = an infinity of chaos.

    And yes it IS on PC: check out Chaos Groove.

    • Themadcow says:

      Chaos is a Spectrum game at the end of the day – and probably the finest of all Spectrum games.

      As for Chaos Reborn vs Lords vs Chaos – I’m inclined to think that Reborn is marginally closer to Chaos. Lords of Chaos tried to merge Chaos mechanics with a Laser Squad/X-Com style set of missions.

      Ultimately, neither Lords or Reborn are close to being as good as the original – which is also pretty good on Android.

  10. Dinger says:

    Into the Breach:
    There are two things I vehemently disagree with about ITB:
    1. It is “Fair” with no RNG, beyond building damage resistance.
    2. It is without rough bits.

    1. There’s all kinds of randomness here. The way the Vek move is something like this: A. calculate all possible targets (possible target = building, player/friendly unit, iced friendly). B. pick one randomly. Pod contents are random. Map selection is random. Island arrangement is random. Rewards for perfect runs are random. Contents in the reputation shops are random. And so on.
    There’s all kinds of randomness and it can be the difference between success and disaster.

    2. The mid metagame sucks. Tying unlocks to achievements, and requiring achievements for advancing makes achievement farming obligatory. And 100% achievements are required for unlocking everything. I can only image how it must suck for someone with a disability that makes the Blitzkrieg achievement impossible. And, on the other side, that requirement means that some achievements are just not there.

    You know, like scoring 30,000 points in a run (a “no-hitter”, where, on hard, you lose no population centers). Or even a “perfect-game”, where you get a no-hitter and also achieve all the objectives and don’t lose any pylons at the end. I haven’t done that myself, especially since I keep forgetting about blocking spawns until it’s too late.

    It’s a good game though; one I should be over, but keeps dragging me back. Does it deserve its spot? Well, does any game?

    • Cederic says:

      I must be missing something. I can only see where to spend 30 coins unlocking things, out of the potential 55 you can earn.

      Given you can earn all of the coins (that I’ve got access to so far) on ‘easy’ I’m not sure why this is a massive issue. I’ve only got two things left to unlock and I’ve only even played with three of the squads. A 2 island victory which each of the other five I can already use will leave me one coin short of unlocking everything, let alone the 3/4 island wins and the various achievements.

      • Dave Mongoose says:

        The last 25 coins go to unlocking a ‘secret’ squad, but it’s more of a curiosity / gimmick than anything else.

        The only ‘RNG’ I’d complain about is the chance to find the secret pilots – I’ve not seen either of them even though I’ve completed almost all of the achievements!

      • Dinger says:

        I wouldn’t say that it’s a “massive issue,” but your explanation shows why it’s poor design. In order to unlock functionality, even “bonus” functionality, you need to farm achievements. Achievements should never be required for any game features. This is basic.

        The secret pilots: I keep forgetting to look for them. It’s usually at the end of an island when I realize that I’m one pod short that I figure it out. But I’m not sufficiently obsessed to scan every map.

  11. Catchcart says:

    From the EU4 page:

    … or head back to ancient times with Europa Unversalis: Rome (while wondering if there will ever be a sequel), or the grim darkness of the twentieth century with Hearts of Iron III.

    This copy needs updating, guys. The sequel has been confirmed (and I think we’re on dev diary 4 now?) and wouldn’t it be more obvious to reference HoI4?

    (Not that older titles in series don’t merit attention. Before CK2 we had CK1 and what it lacked in CK2’s believable and detailed systems and mechanics it made up for in sheer fun and ridiculousness)

  12. Bull0 says:

    Dune 2000 skirmishes in OpenRA are good fun.

  13. Landiss says:

    The list really should have included Fields of Glory or Sengoku Jidai or Pike&Shot (or all of them).

    Also, Into the Breach, really? I mean, it’s not a terrible game, but it really is not that great, even if polished, and I would argue it’s more a puzzle than a strategy game. Would definitely fit in the top puzzle/logic games list along with all the Zachlikes.

    • g948ng says:

      Puzzle games in military skins are considered strategy these days, it seems. They also lump tactics and strategy together, so you cannot really expect much.

  14. magogjack says:

    I may disagree with parts of this list, but it has Ground Control; so it is correct.

  15. Obojo says:

    I’m still waiting for a sci-fi spiritual successor to King of Dragon Pass. Keep all of the gods, mythology, and culture, but change tula to star system, warriors to fleets, etc. Or just throw it all out, but have the same strategic CYOA gameplay in a high-tech setting.

  16. EvilMonkeyPL says:

    So many great games, all worthy of our time. I only lament the omission of Total Annihilation. Partly because of nostalgia, for sure, but I also feel that it remains to this day one of the finest RTSs ever made, with Supreme Commander and Planetary Annihilation completely missing what made TA such an achievement.

    • Megatron says:

      What did make TA such a achievement? Curious minds must know….

      • Haradasun says:

        I agree Total Annihilation is one of the finest strategy games ever made. Gameplay was fun and tense with great base building features including amazing tech upgrades (big berthas!), an open ended resource gathering economy, limited only by your skill and ability to defend your territory, charismatic 3d units with their own strengths and weaknesses (ie some had faster turning turrets, firing animations etc) and a realistic physics model (ballistic weapons fired further on top of a hill fex). Air units were amazing as were naval units. Blizzard still hasn’t worked out how to use 3d terrain. I agree Sup Comm was a pale shadow of the original though it did benefit from newer technology. I hope Chris Taylor is listening and just replicates as much as he can of Total Anniliation. we don’t need bigger with more buttons!

      • EvilMonkeyPL says:

        What the person above me said is pretty much what I would say. I would just add that it was both balanced and varied at the same time. Sure, the two factions were for the most part functional copies of each other, with only minor differences, but the playstyles they allowed were very broad (as mentioned above, you could go all fast mechs or heavy tanks or carriers with gunships or stealth bombers. Or just nuke the hell up and pelt everything else with super-heavy artillery capable of firing across the map). The hand painted 3d terrain was great, as was the ballistic simulation of various projectiles.
        Also, it is the only RTS game I can think of that had meaningful radar/jammer system. And the score was great, too. And the mod scene was pretty strong for the time. I remember downloading over dial-up something like 500 more units and structures, in the early 00’s.

    • ThornEel says:

      In addition, the “what else” section is sorely lacking of any Spring-based games. Which are, let’s remember, free open-source games.

      The two biggest are Balanced Annihilation, which I haven’t tried but has been described as a modernised but faithful version of Total Annihilation – and Zero-K, which while (deliberately) smaller in scale, is the ultimate refinement of TA-like strategy games.
      Also Zero-K is on Steam if you want the least-effort version.

  17. Spider Jerusalem says:

    I know we’re currently living in a nightmare of a timeline, but I didn’t think it had gotten HOMM3-at-39 bad.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      I know. It really should have been either HoMM2 or 5.

      3 is still pretty great though!

      • Someoldguy says:

        It had me rolling my eyes too. I can remember a number of challenging campaigns in II and being appalled at how play-by-the-numbers easy the campaigns in III were. Mainly because the AI couldn’t navigate around intelligently to build their armies.

        In fact in several cases where RPS have picked an iteration of the series I’d contest they picked the wrong one. XCOM is the saving grace, because they listed both and in the right order, with the original UFO above them both.

    • magogjack says:

      I honestly, as a strategy/tactics fan, do not really like HoMM very much. The only one I have found memories of, at all,is playing the first one hot-seat in high school.
      I never got on with the King’s Bounty or Disciples, as they are murder stack games. I realize this is just a form of “leveling” but I just liked the MoM, Age of Wonders approach.

  18. Lumière says:

    So, it means that there will be a distinct list for management/tycoons games, right? It would be a shame if it was not the case and games like Sim City, Dungeon Keeper, Theme Hospital, etc, are absent of the strategy list. Or this list already exist and a missed? D:

  19. Edzepplin says:

    Point of order: the copy for #46 reads, “In some ways, it’s the opposite of Master of Magic, the previous game on this list”, which is no longer valid as the previous game on the list is now Imperialism 2

  20. Cederic says:

    I just didn’t get on with two of the top ten – Invisible Inc. and Homeworld Remastered so I find it inexplicable that they’ve made the top ten and games like Company of Heroes has not.

    I think this reflects an RPS distaste and lack of understanding for games depicting actual historical human warfare.

    But the two really confusing entries on this list are Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance, which while the best SupCom is still no match for Total Annihilation, and then Total Warhammer.

    Total Warhammer isn’t even the best Total Warhammer (#2 is the better game), let alone the best Total War. Rome still holds that title, by a country mile.

    • klops says:

      Distaste and lack of understanding? I hope you wrote this tongue-in-cheek and I just didn’t get it. Company of Heroes has very little to do with actual historical human warfare. Sure, the setting is WW2.

      Also 2: There was at least Unity of Command, Men of War, Gary Grigsby’s Barbarossa and HoI IV mentioned here.

      • Cederic says:

        There are individuals at RPS that do like a good war set game (hi Tim) but in general the site does seem to hold them in similar disdain to games involving tight shorts and inflated bladders.

        I wont pretend to be any good at these games but there is an element of comfort in knowing that it’s a Panther G turning to face my troops and they’re going to need a bigger gun. You don’t really get that with xcom.

  21. Ejia Arath says:

    If you want a modern Alpha Centauri, Endless Legend is basically it. A living planet, customizable units, and even sea bases! The only thing it really lacks is terraforming, which is true for most non-space-based strategy games anyway.

    In a similar vein, the more I play Distant Worlds, the more it feels like a modern update to Space Empires. Not that I’m ever going to stop playing SE4 from time to time. I lost even more time to SE3 in the late 90s than I did to Warlords 3.

  22. Syrion says:

    I’m not a fan of strategy games at all, probably only seriously played 5 of the games on that list, tops. Yet, good old UFO is one of my favorite games of all times, so nice pick!

    On that note, though, you absolutely must mention OpenXcom on its little page! It makes the game so much more comfortable to play while retaining absolutely every little thing that already makes the original great.
    Plus, it allowed for the wonderful Android port (available on the official forums) that probably shouldn’t work as incredibly well as it does. It fits the touchscreen like a glove and actually plays much better than the (also decent but unfortunately no longer properly maintained) port of XCOM: Enemy Within.

    Now, if only I could find some time bubble to live in for a few weeks and finally get into Jagged Alliance 2. Sigh.

    • klops says:

      Speaking of Open X-Com: XPiratez. It’s really, really, really good. It’s insanely good! My only gripe is the usual mod syndrome of “more is better”. Sorting million different, very similar and often very useless weapons and armours with an ancient UI is quite frustrating, but the pros outweight the cons easily. The end lines of the RPS review sum it up exellently: “X-Piratez isn’t only the greatest total conversion mod I’ve ever played; it’s fighting a fierce and convincing campaign to become the best UFO/X-COM game ever.
      link to rockpapershotgun.com

      I’m most likely in the minority, but when you have that bubble I’d say play vanilla JA2 instead of very recommended and ambitious 1.13. It has the same mod syndrome of “more is always better” that XPiratez suffers from. More isn’t always better, even though 1.13 is very, very good.

      • Syrion says:

        Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve spent quite a while reading up on the (really confusingly titled) 1.13 mod last time I ment to take on JA2, and I came to the same conclusion that I’ll probably be best off playing the vanilla game first, and use the mod only if I feel I need its major changes to enjoy the game, or if I finish it and want to start over. It really seems to cater to all the fans who have played the vanilla game for years and want changes and improvements, and less so the first-time-player.

        XPiratez is on the same pile of my backlog as JA2. As you mentioned, it seems a bit daunting to just give it a go casually, knowing I won’t have much time to spend on it.

  23. Mark Schaal says:

    When I got to number 1 I was wondering why chess was missing, so imagine how pleased I was to see it show up at number 0.

  24. bigc90210 says:

    no mention of any of The Settlers series, Dungeon Keeper or Syndicate :/

  25. pizzapicante27 says:

    “What else should I be playing: Galactic Civilizations 3 is available in Early Access form but is currently light on features in comparison to the prequel.”

    It feel this article is not completely up to date.

  26. JB says:

    I take issue with the statement “The greatest after-action report ever recorded on these pages” regarding Neptune’s Pride. Anyone with an iota of sense knows that Gameboys from Hell was that.

    Pshaw, says I.

    (Seriously though, the SI diary is better than the NP one, though the NP one is still great)

    • bramble says:

      It’s a shame we don’t see more features like those. I know PC gaming today is waiting for console ports by playing some $15 deconstructed indie rouguelike, but months-long, play by email campaigns to conquer the world / galaxy / throne of god are also uniquely PC gaming experiences. It feels like a real miss on a site dedicated to PC gaming, the same way we rarely hear about mods or MMOs on RPS. Dominions 5 has a vibrant community, reams of strategy tips to read, and is more than ready for an engaging, RP-lite write-up.

  27. Moraven says:

    Sins of a Solar Empire, Empire Earth 2, Sword of the Stars Complete, MOO 2 would be my personal replacements.

    And well Valkyria Chronicles, but I associate that more with console than PC games.

  28. Kaeoschassis says:

    Good, good list. Definitely wouldn’t call it a perfect or comprehensive list, but I can imagine most kinds of strategy gamers finding SOMETHING new to play here so that’s great.

    Kinda sore at the loss of Master of Magic, though. While I honestly feel that the complete Age of Wonders 3 manages to scratch most of the same itches in a prettier and more immediately approachable way, there’s one thing it certainly doesn’t have, and that’s MoM’s CONTENT. Nothing does. Period (Okay Dominions arguably takes that one even further but it’s a very different beast). I’d say Master of Magic is still a very relevant, very entertaining game that still gives you things you can’t get elsewhere, and the GOG version is – while not perfect – stable and playable enough that you can just grab it and enjoy it with no fuss. Frankly I’d say it still belongs on this list.

    • AttackRabbit says:

      Whilst visitng my mum who instructed me that 10 years is long enough to store my mountains of junk and I should take away anything I didn’t want chucked out I came across my MoM CD and manual…think it was one of the first PC games I bought after getting hooked from the demo on an ancient games magazine :)

      The customisation was so nice, not just in making your master but also crafting magical weapons / armours.

      I may just have to find a CD drive for my PC and see if it will play nicely with Windows 10

      As you mentioned Age of Wonders III does scratch many the same itches but playing that just makes me pine for MoM :(

    • klops says:

      MoM is a great game on paper and I loved it back in the days but playing it nowadays just doesn’t work. The mentioned Colonization or Alpha Centauri are much better in the core gameplay.

  29. Marclev says:

    Did they ever fix Homeworld 1 Remastered?

    Because they used the engine from Homeworld 2, it made it near unplayable past a certain point. Things like formations were just broken.

    • ThornEel says:

      They should have put Homeworld Cataclysm Emergence there anyway.
      A game that manage to be a great narrative game, a great zombie horror game or a great space strategy game is worth a mention.
      A game that manages to be the three of those simultaneously deserves the Top 10.

  30. InfiniteSubset says:

    Steam links on several of these, including Into the Breach are broken or incorrect. Into the Breach brings you to X-COM: UFO Defense.

  31. Zeyl says:

    I get that the list is subjective, but XCOM 2: War of the Chosen at #48 is criminal.

  32. fuggles says:

    Excellent words on dawn of war, it probably is now the most content complete wh40k mod ever, unless creative assembly get a go!

    Whilst I wouldn’t champion it like Dow, metal fatigue is now out on gog! Well worth a look if you like mechs.

  33. Grizzly says:

    Any particular reason why Dominions 4 was chosen over Dominions 5? The small sect that plays it on the RPS discord wishes to know.

  34. Grizzly says:

    Incidently, no mention of SupCom Forged Alliance should go without a mention of the excellent Forged Alliance Forever, which is designed to keep the multiplayer and modding scene alive. Multiplayer Supcom can be very intimidating at the start, but there’s nothing else like it, and it might just be the game for you if you normally bounce off from the faster StarCrafts and what have you.

  35. Arkteryx says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: tiny navigation arrows beneath a changably sized image is a terrible design. Put the arrows on the sides or above the image or, gasp, put more than one per page. Letting us use the arrow keys helps but doesn’t really solve the problem.

  36. AttackRabbit says:

    Great list and some games I passed over that I’m definitely going to have to go and have a look at as well as some I have never heard of. Also love the shout outs to 2 of my most played games that no one else I know has ever heard of let alone played: Eador and Silent Storm

  37. themrdistinguished says:

    I really enjoy RPS opions. And I enjoyed your reviews. But you forgot to put Age of Empires in a list of strategy games…

    Also you mention that Legacy of the Void is an up-and-coming expansion to SC2. It’s been out a while :)

  38. hfm says:

    How Stellaris did beat out Endless Space 2… ES2 is a better game..

  39. agisthos says:

    There is a few games that could definitely be added…

    Stronghold – Was a great castle building RTS and had a fun resource system. The HD remake done a few years ago brings it up to speed for modern PC.

    Kohan – This is one of the best RTS games ever and should be on this list. A unique company formation system for combat units, for example a front line of swordmen and a rear line of spellcasters or magicians. No micromanagement of individual units.

    Cities had expanding or decreasing zones of supply where decimated units could regenerate. The resource handling was automated and yet finely balanced.

    Gameplay had stuff like building outposts at choke points, and combat could rage back and forth across the massive maps for hours.

    I’m not talking about Kohan II, which was weak. The original Kohan and its expansion, Ahriman’s Gift, is the one to get.

  40. CaesarNZ says:

    Oi.. WTF is Empire Earth? I loved that game. I wish they would bring an HD version of it out.

  41. CelestialSlayer says:

    Thanks for introducing me to king of Dragon pass

  42. taosaur says:

    This slideshow BS is unforgivable. The 3 out of 50 clicks you got out of me have radically reduced the likelihood of future clicks.

  43. TorQueMoD says:

    I’m actually shocked to see that Tastee:Lethal Tactics isn’t in this list especially with Northgate here. I realize it’s a relatively unknown indie strategy game but it’s freaking awesome and I would have sworn the rps crew would have known about it.

  44. Crackerjacker says:

    That Dawn of War is considered the pinnacle of that series but not Dark Crusade is folly. Subjective, I know, but wow.

  45. rumsod says:

    smac not being in the top 10 is a true injustice against human achievement

  46. Dust and Cobwebs says:

    Could I request a link to the summary as is usual for these types of lists? I mean yes, I did click through the long way starting from #10, but it would have been much more convenient to just go straight there.

    As for the list, I see most of my favorites represented here, and have nothing to say about the many games I don’t know. HoMM III is criminally low on the list, and I’m a little surprised Dawn of Warhammer 3 ranked at all (my impression of it was a bit of a muddled mess–perhaps I should give it another try some time?), but overall I am satisfied. Maaaybe swap Stellaris with ES2?

    One game I’d like to see on the list is Infested Planet. If you’re interested in a swarm-control-style RTS where the opponent is constantly adapting to your strategy, it’s well worth checking out. It got some coverage here, but largely seems to have fallen through the cracks as so many indie games do.

    Also, obligatory reference to the upcoming Phoenix Point. Can’t wait to see how that one turns out!

  47. Alien says:

    “X-Com” is only Nr.2!? I have no words…

  48. Rudel says:

    Hmm. ITB is a neat little game, but the best strategy game? I had some good 15-20h of fun and would definitely recommend it. But that’s basically it… that’s like 0.001% playtime of a Paradox game. ;)

  49. beavis87 says:

    Total War: Warhammer is the only mention in the Total War series, WTH? I have yet to find a game that better incorporates grand strategy turn-based city and empire building with real-time tactical play with as many units and men on a single battlefield in all its variety of factions and units. TW mastered this with Medieval II: Total War but then completely broke faith with its diehard modding community that started with Rome: Total War (14 years ago) and continues to this day to fix the crap Sega and Creative Arts pushes on us after R2TW. M2TW (12 years old) still has an active community with 62k+ threads and 1.6 million+ posts at twcenter.net. I play a mod of M2TW that fixes all the historical inaccuracies of the base game as much as possible while still keeping it fun, Europa Barbarorum 2, which started on RTW. The beauty of the mod is it brings together amateur historians, modelers, scripters, and artists together to work with an old, constrained game and make it feel polished and immersive, something that CA seems to have diverged from. The TW series (pre-R2TW) was always a game where I wanted control of every aspect of my empire, sure there were some nice things added with R2TW but they also took away a lot of that control and that’s why I keep coming back to M2TW. My dream is that CA would re-release M2TW to be optimized for current Windows and PC hardware and allow for even more modability.

    • hogie says:

      Awesome list but I can’t believe the following omissions of some of the best strategy games I have played:

      – Age of Empires (and the followup Age of Empires 2)
      I’m actually still playing this today online … awesome game!

      – Master of Orion 2
      Totally captivating 4x space strategy

      – Total Annihilation
      RTS on an epic scale

      – Dune
      The mother of all real time strategy games

      – Starcraft (and predecessors Warcraft and Warcraft 2?)

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