These are the best strategy games for PC, 20 games that have marked a before and after in the genre, or that are simply very good and, even though they have not reinvented the wheel, they are the ones that help to make a genre loaded with jewelry.
The PC is a game platform. With the latest generation of consoles, the ” compatible ” have been consolidated as great machines to play. They are the ” total consoles ” since all kinds of games have a place in their circuits. However, there are some genres that seem exclusive to PC, such as MMORPG or strategy, and then we will tell you which are the best PC strategy games.
And, within the entire catalog of available games, strategy games are those that still seem to be exclusive to PCs because they are controlled by keyboard and mouse and, although they have tried to adapt to control with the remote, the accuracy of the combination keyboard + mouse, as well as shortcuts with the keys, is unmatched in the controls.
It’s a genre that has helped define the PC as a gaming platform, and there are some tremendously important strategy titles in electronic sports. In short, it is a veteran and very important genre, and then we will see the best PC strategy games.
Of course, before continuing, we must stop to see what a strategy game is. And is that, depending on who we ask, the DOTA 2 or League of Legends can be considered strategy games, when they are really more action-oriented, both by the approach of a single controllable character as the skills of each.
That said, let’s look at the 20 best strategy games for PC, among which we will find RTS, management strategy, combat, heroes or large-scale strategy. And let’s start with a game that, in addition to being very current, is a true classic.
The best strategy games for PC
The year 2010
StarCraft is one of the mythical sagas of PC strategy. In fact, if we ask for a mythical company in the strategy, Blizzard would be one of them, since they have two exponents that helped define the genre (and create others, such as the MOBA) and, in addition, have a lot of presence in sports electronic
Launched in 2010, StarCraft II is the sequel to StarCraft, a strategy game that bases its approach on three races, all very well differentiated, but at the same time perfectly balanced, that face on the battlefield.
The player must collect resources, expand the base and fight, so we are facing a very classic approach within the strategy in real time.
Visually it is spectacular, although it adapts wonderfully to all types of equipment, and in addition to a very complete competitive multiplayer mode, it has a story mode (one for each race) that is very careful at the narrative level.
StarCraft II is, without doubt, one of the best PC strategy games, one of those for which it is worth buying a compatible to enjoy their exclusive.
The year 2016
We return to a game that is topical, as it has just launched a new expansion for him, but it is a totally different game from Blizzard. And it is that from the strategy in real time we go to the strategy in turns.
Within the PC, Civilization is another one of those mythical sagas, since the good one of Sid Meier is the artificer (well, of this saga and of many others). It is a saga that invites us to create cities and expand our empire, both on the map and in time.
It is of those games to throw a good number of hours since the advance is slow (in spite of the fast speed that we can select), but it is also the most rewarding.
This is complicated since we must take many things into account, such as negotiations with other cities, but we also know how to reward when we move forward correctly.
In addition, it has something very funny, which are the deities or leaders, different figures that can configure our line of actions … or not. Can you imagine Gandhi developing Pump H? For in Civilization VI, a civilization that has Gandhi, can make them in trouble.
It is one of the best strategy games for PC, and if you have ever heard that about ” one more turn and I leave it ”, it is for ” fault ” of Civilization.
The year 2016
If you love technology and its intricacies, you probably follow benchmarks or processor performance tests. If so, surely you have heard about this game.
And, it needs fairly advanced hardware to work correctly and is so demanding with the CPU that its benchmark is used to measure the power of the processors.
It was the first game developed for DirectX 12, so it juices out high-end hardware. Now, what is it? It is a combat strategy, mainly, that encourages us to develop large-scale combat, with hundreds of units on screen, creating a brutal action.
It is not the best of his game, but he does know how to reward those players who simply seek to emulate the experience of certain sci-fi movies in which there is plentiful action everywhere.
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The year 2017
The Dawn of War saga of Warhammer is much loved by PC players. And, it is a saga that, during the years in which StarCraft had no games, or directly between the expansions, filled that gap. And I did not do anything wrong, you have to add.
The third installment of the series, Canada in 2017, is the culmination of the franchise. Everything indicates that there will be no Dawn of War IV, since the game did not meet sales expectations, and that is a fatal error in a large company like SEGA.
However, lovers of the strategy in real time will find a great game in the three installments of the saga. There are base construction, resource management, heroes, very different units and a lot of spectacular action.
History, like StarCraft, is very, very important, so it’s worth starting from the first. Without a doubt, it is one of the best real-time strategy games, and you do not need to have knowledge of Warhammer to enjoy.
The Creative Assembly
The year 2017
We continue with more Warhammer but in a totally different genre. From the strategy of management and combat in real time with bases and heroes, we move on to the strategy that focuses on diplomacy and pure and simple combat on a large scale, with hundreds of units on screen.
The Total War saga is well known in PC, and one of the mythical ones within the strategy, and this game with Warhammer units, based on the Warhammer Fantasy Battle table game, is one of the best we can find in compatible games.
At the beginning it can overwhelm, since we have before us a title that is based on the control of battalions and in which the strategy passes by where to locate the units and how to move them across the playing field, seeking to corner the enemy.
Each race has its own units, they are all different from each other and it is necessary to adapt to the complex battle system, but once we have it controlled, we feel like a true general.
The year 2013
We arrived at one of the strongholds of the PC strategy, a mythical game where there are, which created a school and which is still very much loved by many PC users.
The Age of Empires saga, although it is not at its best, is one of the ones that helped to define the genre of the strategy in real time, and in this HD edition, we will find the best of the genre.
Base construction, obtaining resources, population control and creation of units to fight are the foundations of a saga, and this game, which allows us to enjoy 18 civilizations, each with its unique units.
This edition in HD features the original game, The Age of Kings, as well as the expansion The Conquerors. Each game has multiple campaigns for one player, but we also have free play in skirmishes or online, very, very fun.
It is an old game, but for which the years do not pass, and if you have a PC, it is a title that you have to try since it is one of the best PC strategy games of all time.
The year 2018
And from a veteran remastered in HD … to another. If Age of Empires II seems that the years do not pass, something similar happens with StarCraft, the original. Again, we find three civilizations, and the game format is exactly the same as that described in StarCraft II. There are bases, resources to collect and units to train to fight.
We have online, skirmish mode and three campaigns with, again, a very good story. In fact, we could go directly to StarCraft II for its improvements in battalion control (with more units to run, it’s good to play the original StarCraft first to enjoy the story.
In addition, the remasterización in HD gives a second youth to a game in which the model of the characters is better than ever thanks to the resolution of up to 4K.
Westwood Studios, Victory Games
The year 2012
We continue with classic games updated. On this occasion, unfortunately, we can not talk about a remake or remaster HD, since it is not such, but simply an update of drivers so that the games go in the latest versions of Windows. Of course, there is a remaster of the original Command and Conquer on the way.
But let’s go with what we are dealing with. Electronic Arts has not treated too well the legendary Westwood strategy saga that, in fact, began to decline after the purchase of the study by EA, but at least we have a compilation that, although it needs patches to be able to be in Spanish, we allow you to enjoy some of the best strategy games of all time.
In this pack, we have 17 games among which we find the original Command and Conquer, Red Alert 1 and 2, Tiberian Sun and Command and Conquer 3, games that allow us to enjoy the strategy in real time in its heyday.
The system is similar to other games, such as Age of Empires (after the C & C saga), and we must collect, build and fight. We have online games and several campaigns to enjoy the fight between the Allies and the Soviets, as well as the one that exists between NOD and the GDI, depending on the games that we choose.
These are very, very good titles, and if we want more, we have others to choose from like Generals and its expansion, Red Alert 3 or Tiberian Twilight, as well as Renegade, a first-person shooter based on the franchise.
The edition is a little botched because, as we say, you have to download patches from the community to play them in the language you originally came from, but once they are set up, we have many hours of fun.
The year 2002
New Blizzard game, so you can guess what we’re going to find. This is the third installment of the Warcraft saga (as mythical as Dune, Command and Conquer or Age of Empires), and in this installment, in addition to the three-dimensional engine, we had the opportunity to play with the heroes.
That is, it is a game in which we must collect and build in order to create troops , but in each mission there is a hero, or series of heroes, that allows us to throw ourselves crazy for enemies, as these heroes go evolving and flirting with the RPG to be able to obtain and equip objects and use skills.
It has enough races and a campaign for each one of them and, although the important thing is this campaign, to be able to enjoy the story, it has an online mode. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best PC strategy games and, along with its expansion The Frozen Throne, a huge experience.
Many of us are still waiting for the announcement of Warcraft IV, which will have to come sooner or later …
The year 2013
The creators of the Dawn of War saga brought you in 2013 this spectacular title of war strategy set in World War II. The Company of Heroes saga is a delight for users who love this contest since everything is faithfully represented, from the battlefields, which are deformed with the impact of projectiles, to some dynamics and units.
For example, when a projectile falls on the ground, a crater is created, and if we send infantry units to the area, they will be covered, as in a “natural” trench. Coverages, in fact, are very important in this game to safeguard the infantry units.
There are also armored vehicles that work with fuel and heavy units that allow us to overcome the enemies. We can shelter units in abandoned houses so that they can shoot from a safe place and, in short, create strategies using the terrain.
It has a first part that is also highly recommended, although it is not essential to play the first game to enjoy this.
The year 2016
The XCOM saga is also one of the mythical, and XCOM 2 is one of the best PC strategy games. It is important to play the first installment, called XCOM Enemy Unknown for the continuity of the story, but if we do not do anything, we will also enjoy the turn-based strategy system.
As we say, this is a turn-based strategy game in which we control a small squad of elite soldiers on Earth, the last hope before an alien invasion that has cost us millions of lives and is, in addition, far superior, technologically speaking, to humans.
The game is fun, with really spectacular production values and a strong cinematic approach despite its more leisurely style of play than the RTS. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best strategy games for PC, although if the turns are not yours, you may get tired soon.
The year 2007
Before Massive was part of Ubisoft, and developed The Division, with its spectacular Snowdrop graphics engine, they launched with Sierra and Vivendi one of the best real-time strategy games that we can enjoy on PC.
It is a war game set in 1989, in an alternative past that presents us with a Third World War between NATO and the Soviet Union. The USSR decides to invade the United States, and there the conflict escalates.
The graphics engine is spectacular, and the level of strategy is quite deep, since we have all kinds of units at our disposal, allowing us to create the most entertaining matches.
Although it is something old and the graphics engine does not shine today as it did twelve years ago, it is still worth it.
The year 2001
Speaking of ” old ” games, we must go back to 2001 to find one of the best strategy games of all time. In Commandos we do not control an army, battalions or individual units, but a series of characters with unique characteristics and capabilities.
It is an elite group of the Allies, and they must sabotage the plans of Nazi Germany on several fronts. It is a spectacular production that will take us to different stages throughout the front, as well as recreate some of the scenes of the most iconic films that have been filmed about the Second World War.
You have to think carefully about each movement because, although it is developed in real time, we must take each step slowly so that the Germans will not discover us.
Intelligent Games / Westwood Studios
The year 1998
Lovers of Command and Conquer 95 who missed this style of strategy in real time, were in luck in 1998, as Intelligent Games and Westwood (the creators of C & C) launched what remains one of the best strategy games in Real-time for PC.
Dune 2000 is, basically, Command and Conquer, like the original, but with a more refined game system, better graphics and, above all, a more powerful thread than the other saga of Westwood’s real-time strategy games.
It is an authentic jewel that, for nothing, has been outdated. Dune 2000 is very worth recovering, so pay attention to us and do yourself a favor playing this jewel.
The year 2015
Not everything was going to be combat, and Cities: Skylines bases its mechanics on the construction of cities on a massive level. It is a game that competes directly with SimCity and, in fact, beats the latest installment of the Maxis game in every way.
Cities: Skylines is a game that overwhelms, mainly due to the depth we find in each element of the game, from the planning of roads and zones to the management of public transport or taxes.
Not only do we have to build, but we also take care of our inhabitants, and although at first, it seems like a simple task, as the city grows and becomes congested, or we need to control landfills or water communication systems, things get complicated.
It is one of the best PC strategy games, and it is with all of the law. It is a game that encourages us to enjoy with its slow rhythm and that, if we do it well, it knows how to reward like few others.
The Creative Assembly
The year 2011
Something veteran is Total War Shogun 2, the second installment of this mini-saga of Total War of which we can not tell you much more than what we have told you in Warhammer Total War.
The game system is the same, with diplomacy options, but mainly battles between large armies.
On this occasion, we go to feudal Japan, and the truth is that the setting could not be better. Of course, not everything is to fight, because we can not forget the diplomacy and certain elements of management.
It’s a strategy game, like all the ones in the Total War saga, to invest many hours, but when we catch the mechanics, it’s easy to jump into combat (although we’re not always going to have them all on our side).
The year 2018
We are facing one of the most recent games on this list of the best PC strategy games, and it has earned a position here freehand.
The game is set in an alternative 1886 in which we control a group of survivors who must face adverse conditions to get ahead.
Graphically stands out for its design, since it has a retro punk style that feels great and also has a very technical section.
It’s a different proposal, more focused on survival, but if you like strategy games, you can not let it go.
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The year 2002
One of the best PC strategy games of all time is Stronghold: Crusader, and it is for a reason as simple as having the most realistic medieval approach we can find. In addition, it has the exact percentage of management and massive combats.
It is, as we have said, a military strategy set in the Middle Ages during the Crusades. In the game, we must overcome a series of missions, although we can also play freely to build a great castle to our liking.
The best thing is that there is a variety of units and, above all, they can fight dozens at the same time, but also the system for creating those units. And, everything follows a logical chain. For example, to have a good castle, we must have resources, so you have to have different stores (food and other supplies) and production chains.
To create bread we need a wheat farm, a mill, a bakery, and a warehouse, and the same to produce leather or steel, with their respective sources of raw material, of course. It is very fun to see the different ” messengers ” between one post and another, and the truth is that it is very rewarding since everything works as it should in real life.
It’s a mistake to not have a story mode, but to ” take ” for a while, it’s a game that’s really good.
The year 1999
We return to the past of the hand of Warzone 2100, one of the best games of strategy for PC that, in addition, is totally gratuitous, since the code of the game was free in 2004.
Warzone 2100 is a great RTS that stands out for the combat between several factions (again, similar to what is seen in the Command and Conquer saga), but where the combat in vehicles has great importance, being able, even, “tuning” the units.
The game allows us to fight in real time, but also spend time getting technologies that allow us to create more powerful weapons. In addition, there are a couple of very interesting points. The first is that it was already, before the Company of Heroes, a game that used the terrain realistically.
Another is that there is a time limit within each mission and, in addition, what we build in a mission is not lost, but it is maintained in the following (as long as they do not destroy it, of course). This gives a sense of continuity that few games of this genre can transmit.
If you want a good strategy game, do not hesitate to give Warzone 2100 a try.
The year 2013
And we come to the end of this list of the best PC strategy games with The Banner Saga, the first installment of a spectacular trilogy that tells us about Nordic mythology and presents a rich story in a very successful turn-based strategy game.
There is decision making, but most of the time we will fight in different scenarios with a board layout (organized in cells) in which we must make the best possible move to end our enemies without them touching us.
It is quite complicated, but when we invest a little time and we know all the skills, strengths and weaknesses of our characters, it is very fun. In addition, it has an audiovisual section to remove the hat.
These are the best strategy games for the PC. Obviously, we left many in the pipeline, such as Empire Earth or Rise of Nations, without going any further, but we tried that the most important of each gender within the strategy were represented here
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