The 7 Best Real-Time Strategy Games on PC

These RTS games put the power of a ruler into your hands. Every move you make critically affects the success of your empire!

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Nothing’s more fulfilling than commanding a herd of warriors, and using them to completely decimate your foes. Real-time strategy (RTS) games are all about this kind of combat, which is what makes them so fun to play.

If you’re itching to take charge of your own empire, make tactical decisions, and lead an army, you’ll want to check out these addicting RTS games available on Steam.

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1. Total War: Warhammer II

Total War: Warhammer II gives you hundreds of hours worth of gameplay. Choose from four diverse factions, High Elves, Dark Elves, Lizardmen, or Skaven, as you prepare to wage war in an expansive fantasy world.

Not only does Warhammer II immerse you in a replay-friendly campaign mode, but it also lets you compete against other armies in online multiplayer.

2. Age of Empires II

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is the revamped version of the classic 1999 RTS title. You can now re-experience the original game in 4K Ultra HD graphics, as well as partake in three brand new campaigns and a new expansion pack.

With 35 civilizations, 27 total campaigns, and over 200 hours of gameplay, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is well worth it.

3. Sid Meier’s Civilization V

Civilization V challenges you to guide a civilization, starting from the beginning of humanity and into the space age. It’s up to you to determine the path of your civilization.

Engage in war, negotiate with other countries, and find new technologies as you strive to become the leading empire of the world. A wide selection of player-created mods makes this iconic RTS game even better.

4. Europa Universalis IV

In Europa Universalis IV, you take on the role of a leader of the nation of your choice. The game lets you choose over 500 different places to rule, which includes major, obscure, and even obsolete empires.

As you improve foreign relations, wage wars, and trade with other countries, you’ll also have to make decisions that alter the line of history and determine the success of your nation.

5. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun takes place in Japan during the Edo period. Instead of taking charge of a massive army, you control a small team of five tactical specialists.

Each member is an expert in a different stealth technique, and it’s up to you to make them work together as a team. Sneakily eliminate your opponents in beautiful Japanese environments by setting traps, or even by bypassing your enemies completely.

6. Command & Conquer Remastered

Released in 1995, Command & Conquer is one of the first RTS games ever released, which also makes it one of the most influential.

This remastered collection of Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert overhauls the graphics, UI, cinematic cutscenes, and the original soundtrack of both games.

While Tiberian Dawn concerns the battles over a mysterious substance called Tiberium, Red Alert takes place in an alternate history where the Soviet Union attacks the Allied Forces in WWII.

7. Stellaris

Stellaris comes from the same developers of Europa Universalis, and it shows. Unlike the Europa Universalis series, Stellaris is set in a future where intergalactic travel and numerous alien races exist.

In addition to waging war, exploring space, and expanding your galaxy, you can also fully customize your empire and the characters within it.

Are You Ready to Lead?

Whether you choose to rule an ancient empire, a futuristic space colony, or a group of tactical soldiers, you’ll still have to strategically plan all of your decisions, and hopefully get the reward of seeing them pan out.

Although city-building games aren’t considered RTS, the two genres have the same premise of creating an establishment from nearly nothing. If you just want to focus on the building aspect of your empire, they’re great!

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