20 Strategy Games Like Age of Empires
When it comes to the RTS (real-time strategy) games, Age of Empires is on top since its release. Back in the day, I used to play it all the time.
Age of Empires is all about building your own empire, collecting recourses, creating large armies, and lead them to battle. There are different eras in the game, from the stone age to iron age. You can collect recourses and upgrade through each era.
The game allows you total freedom to do whatever you want. If you are quick and smart, you will be a significant threat to your enemies.
If you are here, then you are probably a big fan of Age of Empires and looking to play RTS games. I hope you will find this post exciting.
Ensemble Studios, who created Age of Empires, decided to make a spin-off series based on mythological beliefs. This game takes place in the lost land of Atlantis and focuses on the famous Greek, Egyptian, and Norse myths and legends.
In short, it’s an Age of Empires, just with a mythological setting. Be prepared to fight almighty Kraken, who isn’t that big as legends describe. All in all, Age of Mythology is fun to play, and it’s a must-try for every Age of Empires fan.
Rise of Nations was released in 2003, but despite the age, it still looks good. I wish that somebody said this about me. In this game, you can choose from 18 different civilizations and guide them through 8 different stages of the world’s history, mostly by pillaging and destroying other civilizations.
The game has some unique RTS gameplay elements, including automatic spawning of citizens-workers, who automatically look for a task to perform, which is far from reality because people usually try to hide from their responsibilities.
Other unusual feature is unlimited resources. No, that doesn’t mean that you can mine zillions of everything, make zillions of soldiers, and then achieve zillion victories, no. Instead of limiting resources, the game is limiting extraction speed.
The first part is the most loved by old-school players, but let’s be fair, the graphics are outdated. So, if you’re not a fan already, you might want to choose another part. It also has very low ratings, and I doubt that you want to play a game with a user score of 2.8 out of 10.
Let’s look at the second part of Empire Earth. It’s way less outdated than the first and way less terrible than the third. According to a game description, you will become the greatest conqueror of all time. But in reality, it could be the other way around. You could actually suck at this game and be conquered all the time, just like in real life.
Warcraft 3 was released in 2002, so it’s an old game, but not too long ago, in 2018, Blizzard issued an update for it, supporting widescreen monitors, adjusting viewpoint, and making it look like a new game.
Warcraft 3 is really fun. It has a great campaign story, great gameplay, and amazing multiplayer with a matchmaking system, meaning that you will always find an opponent to battle. The game is still popular, so you definitely will.
Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
Galactic Battlegrounds, a lesser-known entry in the Star Wars game franchise, is significant because it was developed by Ensemble Studios.
Released in 2001, it was released a few years after the highly successful Age of Empires II game. The game can be described as Age of Empires with a Star Wars theme, although it has its own unique features.
Although not considered the best Star Wars game ever, it gained a dedicated following, especially with its expansion focused on the Clone Wars. The game was released around the same time as Episode II’s theatrical release and thus, did not have the advantage of the post-prequel era’s contributions to the Star Wars universe.
Despite this, the game can still be purchased on Steam for under $5 and has been fondly remembered, with a number of great mods available.
Empires Apart, a game that has flown under the radar, is one of the best games that resemble Age of Empires. Made by a small indie team and published by Slitherine, this game openly draws inspiration from Age of Empires.
It boasts an attractive graphics design, a challenging AI, and well-designed factions. A basic version of the game is available for free, while other civilizations can be unlocked through micro-expansions.
The game offers options for skirmishes against AI, online multiplayer, as well as a survival and challenge mode. Despite its initial struggles to gain traction, even after switching to a free-to-play model, Empires Apart remains a commendable and underrated attempt to pay homage to the legacy of Age of Empires.
As we anticipate the release of Age of Empires IV, it’s worth considering games like this.
Anno Online, a browser-based real-time strategy game developed by Ubisoft, can be played for free. This game allows players to not only construct cities but also manage the economic processes.
In Anno Online, players must build and expand their country while defending it against rival nations. In addition to city building, the game features elements of combat, exploration, diplomacy, and trade, making it appealing to students of economics.
It incorporates the classic economic principles that are a hallmark of this award-winning franchise, challenging players to manage their entire city as never before.
The most exciting aspect of the game is that players control their own key island, where they can build their business empire by satisfying the needs of their community, constructing new buildings, and managing production.
As players progress, they will unlock new buildings and face new challenges imposed by their environment and population.
Command and Conquer: Tiberium Alliances
Tiberium Alliances is a military science fiction game inspired by Westwood’s “Dune 2” strategy game and shares similarities with the Age of Empires series.
Players can select their starting sector on the map and begin building and expanding their military base by constructing buildings, gathering resources, and battling against enemy forces. This is a multiplayer online strategy game where players can form alliances with other players.
The first base will have temporary protection, but it becomes vulnerable if the player launches an attack on another player before the protection ends. The player can continue to enhance their base through construction, resource collection, or warfare.
The game utilizes various resources such as Tiberium, crystal, power, credit, and research points, each serving different purposes such as base construction, infantry and military unit production, and upgrades.
Although not a real-time strategy (RTS) game like Age of Empires, the Civilization series shares many similarities. Of the series, Civilization 6 is the most comprehensive.
The game features abundant technology trees and various methods to defeat opponents. As a turn-based strategy game, it requires more deliberate decisions, such as strengthening trade relationships with other players and colonizing new territories by sailing ships to expand your empire.
In addition to the base game, Civ 6 also has several expansions that offer new ways to play. The Rise and Fall expansion enhances the diplomacy and government systems, while also introducing Great Ages and Loyalty.
The Gathering Storm expansion adds natural disasters and geological elements, giving the world more depth and affecting how players establish their first cities.
Bannermen is a medieval real-time strategy game that aims to refresh the RTS genre. The game takes place in a semi-fantasy medieval world that has been brutally damaged due to decades of war, starvation, and natural disasters.
The game’s goal is to lead your bannermen to victory and defeat the evil once and for all. The game contains a single player campaign and several multiplayer modes. Everything looks really fun, especially in destructible environments.
The Stronghold series began in 2001. The game focuses on a historical setting and especially on the war side of strategy games. Stronghold does still feature an economic side and even features two separate campaigns (one economic and one military).
Other game modes include one-off missions (both combat and economic) where players must complete specific goals, a siege mode, and a free-build mode.
So, where to begin? I recommend you to start with an original game but be sure to find the H.D. version on Steam, and then slowly and cautiously progress up because some of the later games are not so loved by players and critics. Some are great, and I do recommend Stronghold Legends: Steam Edition.
0 A.D. is a free, open-source, cross-platform real-time strategy game, which is still under development by Wildfire Games. Works on this game began in 2001 as a mod of Age of Empires 2 and later evolved in a stand-alone project.
It offers twelve different civilizations. You will advance from the village phase over the town phase to the city phase. These phases represent the size of settlements in history, and every phase unlocks new units, buildings, and technologies.
The game looks outstanding, especially if you keep in mind that games like Age of Empires are rare in our days. And if you have a low-end P.C., you might think that this game is too modern for your machine, take a look at the requirements it’s probably not.
The game offers a real-time strategy experience for Windows and Xbox 360 users, which is actually rare. Consoles and RTS games aren’t well known to be best friends. The game has six different factions, each having its own units and structures along with a preferred type of gameplay.
Men of the West, Elves, and Dwarves represent the good side of Middle Earth and Goblins, Isengard and Mordor represent evil. But only Mordor and Goblins can summon Durin’s Bane: The Balrog. No doubt the coolest unit in this game. Or should I probably say, “the hottest one.”
Unlike most other Real-Time Strategy games, the Cossacks series focuses on huge confrontations between large armies. However, most of the rest of the game is like a traditional RTS, in that you build a base and gather resources.
The first game, Cossacks: European Wars and its expansions were set in Europe in the 17th and 18th century, with the sequel Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars and its expansion is set just in the Napoleonic era. Cossacks III, released in 2016, is a remake of the classic game initially launched in 2000. It looks really good, has nice graphics, and everything is in 3D.
It has randomly generated maps and five historic single player campaigns, and you can create amazing huge battles. I have read that this game has issues with multiplayer. Some say that game crashes when the total amount of units goes over 1500, and others say that if your connection is lost, you automatically lose the game. Maybe creators will fix that.
From Middle Ages through World War II, here you will find an array of historic troops and abilities over land, sea, and air. Lead 7 civilizations, fight three campaigns and conquer epic maps in historical battles throughout history.
Convincing voice acting, lovely map design, and good graphics. As one person said, not excellent, but clear and easy to read. Seems like an excellent game, huh? But what are the flaws? Well, people are saying that on Windows 7 mouse cursor doesn’t work. I hope that it is already fixed but be sure to check the latest comments.
Starcraft 2 is free to play the game. If you want to play multiplayer, there are no restrictions. You can download it and immerse yourself in amazing battles. If you want to play campaigns, you will have to pay real money, but hey, they are really good, so it’s worth it.
Starcraft 2 is undoubtedly one of the greatest real-time strategy games and, to be fair, one of the greatest games overall. You can choose from three races. They are entirely different with distinctive gameplay, units, and so on. Zerg, Protoss, and Terran – alien insects, alien aliens, and humans relatively.
Game is relatively easy to learn, but if your dream is to be a professional player, you will have to perform about 300 or more actions per minute. That’s a lot, and if you’re a casual player, you will probably start with about 20.
Anniversary Edition includes Spellforce 2: Shadow Wars and the add-on Dragon Storm, many bugfixes and widescreen support, and full compatibility with modern operating systems. At least this is officially written on a Steam platform.
But when you read the comments, you can find many that are not so happy and talk about bugs and other issues, but overall reviews are mostly positive, so don’t be scared.
Spellforce is a bit different from other games in this list because it has many RPG elements. Some even say that this is half Baldur’s Gate and half Deep RTS put together into a fantastic game, but it’s a good thing after all.
Spellforce is certainly a pretty game with some nice visuals and day and night cycles that help you to immerse into another world. Huge levels make exploration fun, and the fact that you can travel back to previous levels at any time lets you feel like this game is not fragmented, but instead, it’s an actual continuous world.
You can also try the original Spellforce and Spellforce 3, which is released in 2017 and has nice visuals, but it has mixed reviews, and it’s quite expensive, so it’s up to you.
After years of tireless explorations, brave Vikings have discovered a new land filled with mystery, danger, and riches. The boldest Northmen have set sail to explore and conquer these new shores, bring fame to their Clan and write history through conquest, trading, or devotion to the Gods.
That is if they can survive the dire wolves and undead warriors roaming the land, befriend or defeat the giants, and survive the harshest winters ever witnessed in the North. People say that once you understand the drill, it takes six hours and one save to explore everything in the game.
For six hours, it is fun, and later it becomes repetitive and kind of boring. But hey, six hours of fun is way more than most games can give you. Just wait for a sale.
Ok, this may sound hard to believe, especially if you never heard about Knights of Honor, but this is one of the best strategy games ever created. Oh, I can already hear you saying, “In your dreams bro, there is no way this game is the best.” But look at the user score, it’s 9.
People say that this is an absolute must for a Real-time strategy fan, and everyone is surprised how they could make a game with such simple graphics into one of the most addictive games ever made.
This may not look like exceptional RTS, and it’s not, by all means, a perfect game, but it has several good qualities. First, it’s the price. 0,99 Euro cents. Second, it’s well made RTS. Seriously, it’s a fantastic example of a properly made RTS game.
It has an excellent community, level editor, single-player, multiplayer, it has great A.I., and when I wrote this text, all reviews on Steam, every single one of them was positive, which is impressive.