Top 10 best PC strategy games of all time Other video game genres can’t match the intense pace of real-time strategy games like StarCraft 2 or the high skill level of strategy needed to win a grand strategy game like Crusader Kings 3. PC strategy games are highly cerebral and come in a variety of genres; some are more slow-burning, while others can call for split-second decisions.
Sifting through the vast array of games available can be difficult, as there are so many to pick from. The choice of which title to devote time to will ultimately depend on the individual’s preferences and the goals of the experience. Fortunately, there are a ton of games out there that are good enough to satisfy the desire for strategy games for almost anyone, some of which have only been released in the last few years.
Top 10 Best PC Strategy Games Of All Time
Jagged Alliance 3 (2023)
After a 24-year break since the series’ 1999 debut, Jagged Alliance 3 marks the franchise’s comeback. Players must work as a team to complete various missions in the made-up nation of Grand Chein in this turn-based strategy game, which is similar to the X-COM series of games. Utilizing an extensive overworld map featuring numerous zones, the team needs to capture squares of land possessed by the Legion, a local paramilitary group.
Jagged Alliance 3’s combat system is entertaining and easy to use, and a variety of characters can be recruited thanks to advantages like cover and high ground. Each character has special abilities that alter how they behave in combat, and there is a sizable arsenal of weapons. One way in which the game differs from other turn-based strategy games is in its distinct overworld map, which features various points of interest that players can field different squadrons to handle. It’s a lot like the board game Risk, only with a lot more humor, excellent voice acting, and vibrant settings.
Company of Heroes 3 (2023)
Even though COH3 didn’t get a great reception at first, it builds upon a strong series of World War II-themed real-time strategy games. To surpass the adversary, players must construct a base and deploy troops and armoured vehicles. The game offers plenty of variety with both cooperative and competitive game modes, as well as win conditions that involve taking out the enemy entirely or capturing more points. The game is an entertaining illustration of how to create a realistic war RTS, and it also has fairly good cover and retreat mechanics.
But be aware that the game has also received a fair share of criticism. The main complaints center around the game’s aggressive monetization, which is said to be the reason behind its poor approach to releasing new content and apparent reusing of assets from earlier games. These criticisms are valid, and for those on a tight budget, Company of Heroes 2, which is considerably less expensive, offers a fairly comparable—though still highly enjoyable—experience.
Age of Wonders 4, the newest game in Paradox’s AOW series, might be the one to pick up for those looking for a new 4X experience. Age of Wonders 4 is a high-fantasy game that features a turn-based combat system and is part of the 4X game genre, which stands for eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. Age of Wonders 4 introduces a turn-based combat mode where winning requires strategic placement and tactics, in contrast to other 4X games where units battle each other with RNG and stats deciding the victor.
Age of Empires 4: Anniversary Edition (2021)
Among the most recognizable real-time strategy game series ever created is the Age of Empires series. It is distributed by Microsoft and Xbox, with contributions from numerous studios over the years. Relic Entertainment is responsible for the development of the most recent game, Age of Empires 4: Anniversary Edition, which is still receiving updates. The most recent seasonal AOE 4 update included three new maps, a number of bug fixes, and new content, including The Sultans Ascend expansion, which included the Byzantines and Japanese in the game.
Age of Empires 4 is a fun, classic experience that will feel very similar to previous entries in the franchise, despite some being somewhat underwhelmed by the game’s streamlined nature and limited eight-factions, suggesting that perhaps previous entries were stronger games.
Europa Universalis 4 (2013)
While some may find Europa Universalis 4’s intricate gameplay unappealing, fans of realistic geopolitical intrigue and civilization management may find this grand strategy game to be quite captivating. The game makes up for the complexities and mechanics of town management, but it lacks the fast-paced combat of real-time strategy games. In EU4, players assume command of a young European nation between the 1400s and the 1800s, having to balance a populace and an economy while juggling tense relations with other countries.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns (2022)
Marvel’s Midnight Suns, developed by Firaxis Games—the same company that brought us XCOM and Civilization—is a unique twist on the traditional turn-based tactics game. The game achieves this by adopting components from roguelike card games, in which every card has a unique ability. Fans of the Marvel universe will value this good title even more in addition to its RPG components.
Crusader Kings 3 (2020)
Perhaps the greatest modern game of the genre is Crusader Kings 3, which appeals to fans of grand strategy and those seeking a title with lots of engaging political intrigue. The game explores the intricate circumstances and problems that come with ruling a country by having players take charge of a noble house, build it, and expand its territory and influence. The game, which features dynamic and intriguing scenarios set on the vast European continent, has received praise for its complex mechanics and occasionally humorous random situations that players may encounter.
Civilization 6 (2016)
Civilization 6, the most recent instalment in a long series of renowned turn-based 4X games, is arguably the most well-known 4X franchise currently in existence. In the game, players assume control of a civilization and guide it through several historical periods. Though the combat mechanics in the game are similar to other 4X games, where stats and a roll of the dice usually determine the outcome in battle, games can be won by either diplomacy or warfare. Even though the turn-based gameplay sometimes makes it slower than other 4X games, this game is still regarded as one of the greatest 4X games ever created and can be played online with up to three other players.
Total War: Warhammer 3 (2022)
To create a seamless video game experience, the Total War series of games has integrated the best features from some of the best strategy games available. A massive world map set in the Warhammer universe, three games in the franchise combined into one, Total War: Warhammer 3 is perhaps Creative Assembly’s masterpiece. The grand campaign can only be fully experienced by playing all three games, but even so, it’s a worthwhile experience due to its high replay value and wide range of playable factions—each with their own special units and mechanics.
In Warhammer 3, users assume command of a Warhammer faction, such as the Dark Elves or the Empire, and enlarge their realm on a massive overworld map. The game’s real-time strategy mode, where enormous brigades engage in combat on expansive battlefields, begins when armies converge on the map. Expert control and mastery of battlefield strategy are necessary to win in combat, and the overworld map offers many grand strategy components, such as trade, taxation, settlement building, and diplomacy.
There are fortunately a ton of options available for fans of the strategy genre, regardless of whether they prefer the complex, leisurely gameplay of grand strategy games like Crusader Kings 3 or the fast-paced, hectic energy of real-time strategy games like StarCraft 2.
StarCraft 2: Legacy Of The Void (2015)
The story of 2010’s StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty is carried on in this stand-alone expansion, but most significantly, it significantly alters the multiplayer mode by changing the mechanics of resource gathering and construction. Legacy of the Void, which integrated all the knowledge from the earlier StarCraft games into a final product that endures to this day, is arguably the greatest iteration of the franchise.