The 36 best strategy games for PC from 1997 to now

graceacupuncture - 19/02/2022 - STRATEGY - 271 Views

In this article we have collected best strategy games for PC from 1997 till the date. The medieval ones, the space ones or the fantastic ones. The strategy games for scanning wars, diplomacy attend, learn history a mile a minute and enjoy idyllic peace periods – in ‘ Balance of Power ‘ or ‘DEFCON’ was directly requirement for vencer- in a world conquered blow bayonet and mortar.

Here you have our gourmet selection, absolutely objective and truthful as the truth itself. Timeless classics and recent wonders, with buy link to try the ones you like best. Turn-based or real-time strategy? It does not matter. We could go back to the years of ‘ Wargy ‘ (1976), to the primitive hexagonal grids to speak of this immortal genre.

And please, if your personal favorite is not on this list, you can mention it in the comments. Nothing better to break the monotony of summer than facing a good RTS.

Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri (1999)

No, there is no room for ‘Beyond Earth’ here. Because we haven’t healed the scars on planet Chiron yet. Brian Reynolds did the design and Sid Meier signed – leading to a lengthy legal dispute – on what is probably one of the best-written RTSs.

Space operates of premium quality , where every shift counts. They were magic times without a doubt. The team was able to appeal to comfort and invent a ‘Civilization III’ with space colonization.

Instead, the recently inaugurated Firaxis turned all its industrial, technological and creative resources to build a jewel where the literature of Frank Herbert, Kim Stanley Robinson and Vernor Vinge draw our games.

Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri (1999)

Where to buy it:Steam| GOG

X-COM: Apocalypse (1997)

And why not the official debut, or the review that Firaxis carried out, or even thatXenonauts, a kind of unlicensed remake full of darkness and bad grape? Why not. ‘ X-COM: Apocalypse ‘, third installment in Julian Gollop’s master saga, limits space – a single game setting – and expands the bad grape – developing extraterrestrial technology – to its possible limit.

The fifth game from Mythos and is probably the best of its kind. There is nothing like it. Be very careful with mind control.

X-COM Apocalypse (1997)

Where to buy it:Steam

X-COM 2 (2016)

We jump almost two decades to a planet Earth dominated by aliens, turning the tables is almost impossible.

‘ X-COM 2 ‘ is that almost perfect sequel, the finishing touch for a dynasty marked by narrative milestones. Mostly the crux of the change is set: we must lay ambushes, move into the shadows, and burst their strongholds. Although a Chosen One can kidnap, interrogate and execute part of our troops and blow up our plans.

Where to buy it:Steam| Amazon

Command & Conquer Remastered Collection (2020)

The sacred scriptures in what we understand as remaking a classic that debuted in 1995 and still continues to arouse passions. Petroglyph, former members of the original Westwood, have developed this compilation where more than 100 missions – including console exclusives – will remind you of how to create an immortal RTS.

Yes, the story is somewhat crude and totally out of date stereotypes, but when it comes to moving troops there are few things more enjoyable.

Where to buy it: Steam

Age of Empires II HD (2013)

‘ Age of Empires II ‘ is living history halfway between mythology and didactics. High school students went from brooding ages of kings to clicking on blue troops and measuring the cost of sacrificing our cavalry. From the suicide outposts with William Wallace to the rise of Frederick Barbarossa.

That of the defunct Ensemble Studios was more than just the factory of the “wololo” meme, it was the home of the best light strategy, the gateway to a genre. Ifwe have not ceasedtotalk about it it is something (more than nostalgia).

Where to buy it:Steam

Total War: Warhammer II (2017)

Yes, we could have dedicated this space to reclaiming ‘Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War’, but the studio’s new trilogy offers a new point of view that players shouldn’t ignore.

The gigantic lore of ‘Warhammer Fantasy’ together with the mechanics system of ‘Total War’. Creative Assembly has peaked with this project. We can be stunned by the graphic quality of those rats out of the abyss or launch ourselves to conquer the three continents . Both options are valid, but it is obvious that this alliance is setting a pattern in the history of the genre.

Where to buy it:Steam| Amazon

Invisible, Inc. (2015)

One of the virtues of chess lies in its possible moves. After the first advance there are 400 possibilities. After the second turn we have 197,742 possible games. A simple board game on which it is almost impossible to quantify the time it would take to replicate all the possible movements.

This is also the virtue of Invisible, Inc : we lose because we have not analyzed the game with three or four moves ahead. The tension grows as we assess which option is the least bad. It is a game on which to throw in the towel at the first change and on which to stay and live after the first hours. Don’t forget to kill them all.

Where to buy it:Steam

Prison Architect (2015)

Strategy games are full of evil and perversion. They shake our morale until our worst intentions slip out of our pockets. Or a hidden razor.

If we did not have enough to bribe savages in pursuit of a good situation next to an iron mine or if it was not enough for us to fill our ice creams with ice, ‘ Prison Architect ‘ is born with an even more badass vocation: we must manage our escape from the jail. Or avoid it. And keep the prisoners happy. Or distracted. Or satisfied, at least. If not, they will set up riots, and the housing, security, and recreation systems will explode . Nobody wants to melt tied to the electric chair while a court enjoys the execution unless it is the same person who sentences the execution.

Where to buy it:Steam| Web

Total War: Rome II (2013)

Another bit of ‘Total War’ and a direct sequel to an absolute success. Not surprisingly, Creative Assembly is one of the main players in this business. What began as a European conquest has spread throughout Africa and the Middle East. In fact, just a few weeks ago four new kingdoms were added: Kush, Saba, Nabatea, and Numidia.

The care with which they recreate the movements of each regiment, and the way in which tribes, monarchies and republics coexist on stage is amazing. An ideal example to play, but also to see.

Where to buy it:Steam

Company of Heroes 2 (2013)

The first installment transformed grandfather battles into military lyrics. Destructible environments in 2006 and the most important historical events of the 20th century treated from the warlike aspect. ‘ Company of Heroes 2 ‘, sequel to Relic Entertainment, increases the volume and category: more battles, challenges, more enemies armies and the same sense of epic sieving the smell of shrapnel and fallen allies.

Anyone who likes the genre needs to move their tanks here. Taking advantage of the competitive / cooperative modalities of two to eight players, Relic’s is the perfect plan for a frosty Saturday.

Where to buy it: Steam

Hearts of Iron IV (2016)

Video games are the best catalyst to spit out certain drives, either to exorcise anger or to see unspeakable desires culminated. If there is something better than turning the United States into a communist republic, it is doing the same with Nazi Germany. Or delay the conflict through different trials and alliances.

Choosing as a starting point 1936 or 1939, in our journey we will have to change the course of events until the deadline, 1948. And read. Because if you are going to enjoy this unique piece, it is to review the different wikis and learn all the history that you failed in high school. I still wonder why this saga is not used to illustrate the dullest classes in modern history.

Where to buy it:Steam

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (2010)

If this word does not serve to excite your interest, perhaps we should say that Blizzard is one of the most popular sagas in the history of RTS. ‘ Starcraft II ‘ is one of those mandatory stops on our gastronomic route.

Using highly competent AI, controlling fragile terrans, invading with nasty zergs, or learning from clever Protoss leaves behind. Don’t forget to give it a try.

Where to buy it:Official Website

Medieval II: Total War (2006)

We recommend Medieval II twice : as a game it is splendid in almost all its facets, to the top of well-balanced options.

And as a skeleton on which to give birth to mods it is inexhaustible: ‘The Lord of the Rings’, ‘Warhammer’, ‘Gothic’ or even ‘The Elder Scrolls’: the most turbulent time in Western history is more joyful if we manage pop icons of fantastic literature.

Where to buy it:Steam

The Banner Saga (2014)

With the trilogy completed, we believe it is the perfect time to revisit the Stoic games.

‘ The Banner Saga ‘ is a Viking role drawn by hand where the leader’s decisions affect the group, internal relationships – we can lose allies or keep them fueled by fear. With a wide range of decisions, our goal is to make our people prosperous, and that this nomadic caravan has alliances in every corner of the map.

Where to buy it:Steam | GOG

Stellaris (2016)

Entire galaxies being generated based on how we propose the different strategies, affecting other civilizations with our military or diplomatic capacity, discovering treasures by accident in the middle of our scientific missions and another screamer of possibilities.

‘ Stellaris ‘ has snippets of the economy seen in ‘EVE Online’, inherits elements of the cold and ignored ‘Startopia’ and drinks from the different ‘Civilization’. It will be very difficult for you not to find something in it that does not keep you hooked on the mouse.

Where to buy it:Steam

FTL: Faster Than Light (2012)

Difficultand addictive. The fruit of a Kickstarter that grossed 20 times as much as requested, this roguelike-style RPG – you lose your breakthrough when you die – became an instant classics. Why? You can view Android RPG games in our previous post.

Justin Ma and Matthew Davis put us in command of the management of different spaceships. Our objective is to avoid being captured, destroyed or seriously affected by the different attacks from abroad, while we watch over our crew and the different modular subsystems of the boat. And hook. And it irritates, of course it does.

Where to buy it:Steam| GOG

Homeworld Remastered (2015)

We keep talking about things that carry the acronym HD because they can. Although in this case the review has been more ambitious. The love affair between Relic and Gearbox gave us an absolutely inexhaustible piece of real-time strategy.

He put on the table the tools with which to make any childhood fantasy come true: hyperspace at any moment, a three-dimensional circulation system – what was called the “z axis” and which is summarized in ships moving vertically and horizontally during the battle, with the consequent spins — and explosions of every possible color.

‘ Homeworld Remastered ‘, adapted from 2015, takes the minimal interface, the poetry of the journey and the epic of its single player campaign and complements it with support for mods, sick multiplayer and an even more intuitive navigation system.

Where to buy it:Steam | GOG

Dominions 5 – Warriors of the Faith (2017)

IllWinter designs classic-style strategy games. They are ugly, confusing and have quite demanding internal rules. But we are a god. While we put our magicians to cast spells against a titan, on the other side we can revive fallen troops to create a monstrous army.

We chose the fifth installment for obvious reasons: each one was a step up from the original model. And this fifth iteration is sold by weight: 86 factions, 200 gods, 3,000 types of units, 500 types of spells, 7 magical schools and up to 3,000 random events on different random maps. The goal is always the same: prevent your domain from dying.

Where to buy it:Steam

King of Dragon Pass (1999)

Some developers take the painful route, introspection on the megalomaniac scale, moral or even spiritual choices over strict military force. ‘King of Dragon Pass’ (not to be confused withKing of the Dragons ) proposes exactly what the title relates: to become the most important king of the Dragon Pass.

The developers involved are already finishing off a kind of sequel,Six Ages. Only they themselves could continue their unusual legacy. The best thing about this little gem is that it has versions on Android and iOS. So if you dare, you will no longer have to wait to continue playing every time you leave home. Win-win.

Where to buy it:Steam| GOG| Play Store

Endless Legend (2014)

You weren’t expecting this one, did you? Amplitude Studios’ lucid debut is well worth a spot here.

If ‘Homeworld’ makes pilots’ dreams of megalomaniacal ships come true, Endless Legend takes the classic framework and the rules of the four Xs (explore, expand, exploit resources and exterminate the rival) and turns them around with a basic trick: a end-of-the-world timer that we see environmentally translated, through the planet’s climate, fiercer by the minute.

Each faction has unique properties, nothing to impose diplomacy on barbarians (ghouls, in this case). The great virtue, if you ask me as a player, lies in its own rules. Some that extend through a trilogy of games, closing the different story arcs.

Where to buy it: Steam | Humble bundle

Crusader Kings II (2012)

‘ Crusader Kings II ‘ is one of the few games that can boast of turning vassalage into a hallmark. Marriages of convenience that bundle it up for you and faithful ones that break your trust with all the fury possible. Controlling inheritances and hierarchical struggles are essential, not a simple revolver in a drawer to turn events.

Covering the Middle Ages (1066-1453) and feeding each tinderbox of these four centuries, don’t forget that if you try it you will stay. On Steam, the average time that its buyers have dedicated to the title is 99 hours. Many of them have the250 euros in expansions.

Yes, with the third installment already on the street, what is the point of recommending the second? Well, I still have a couple of games to go to ‘ Crusader Kings III ‘ to make it my new obsession.

Where to buy it:Steam

Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance (2007)

To talk about this wonder of Gas Powered Games we must go back to ‘Total Annihilation’, the game that put Chris Taylor on the map. ‘Total Annihilation’ is something like the Our Father of PC RTS. An immense map where to get lost in hostile battles, a conflict between meat and machines has reached its ceiling and each side, as the intro of the game says, only accepts a single result: “the complete eradication of the other.”

Death in real time in an even broader review, bolder and full of small mechanical nuances that allow us to reach victory in so many ways that it is not uncommon to feel that playing one of a hundred possible ways.

Where to buy it:Steam

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion (2012)

We return to the stars: ‘Rebellion’ is the end of a stage, the decline of an empire . For those who do not know this delivery that acts as an expansion, suffice to say that it inherits from the popes of the genre (‘Pax Imperia’, ‘Masters Of Orion’) its spatial coldness and incorporates a million variables, a relatively accessible HUD and many bursts of laser beams.

We are in the middle of a great war between three factions (TEC, Advent and Vasari) and our mission is to survive at all costs. Electrical storms and gas giants will greet us every so often to test our nerves.

Where to buy it: Steam | GOG

Civilization IV (2005)

Speaking of Our Fathers, everything has been said about the perhaps most popular saga in the history of strategy games. And perhaps its vanilla version did not arrive as complete as its later installment – much less with respect toCIV VI – but today it is practically impossible to find a more effective and more addictive example.

Anyway, they all drink your oxygen: you finish a game and are already planning another with another empire. And I’m not going to argue if ‘Civilization VI’ is the best of the saga. Surely it is, but the fourth installment was the one that culminated in a form and intentions that are still valid today.

6,000 years of history where you will hear the voices of Leonard Nimoy in different tones and a main theme that continues to be an Our Father in Swahili. It was, in fact, the first song in a video game to receive a Grammy nomination.

Where to buy it:Steam

Europa Universalis IV (2013)

Paradox again, of course. If they strive to improve their game to the point of obsession, we cannot ignore the courage. Framed between 1444 to 1821 – from the pre-Renaissance to Colonialism – this time we control almost any nation where there is something to tell. In addition, the players, in their inexhaustible conformism, have recreated in recent years almost any province and nation that you can think of.

As taken directly from private libraries, Europa Universalis IV is a story rich in nuances, filled to the top of historical factors that mark the future of a troubled world.

Each action is part of a superior set . My colleague Probertoj defined this perfectly: “Thanks to the cultural nuclei, it becomes more important to manage the actions of missionaries, spies and the rest of our entourage.”

Where to buy it:Steam| Official Web

Factorio (2013)

‘Factorio’ is full of good ideas. Hidden under its innocent framework is a management game where we build and maintain factories, extract resources, research technologies and automate production to anticipate needs.

It is also an example of aridity, daunting in its goal: it turns every living space into diagrams where everything is green and brown, where coal and metallurgy dilute any evolutionary dream . Our goal, in fact, is to achieve perfection in the tech tree that requires the least possible human interference.

Where to buy it: Steam | Web

Desperados III (2020)

What a good year 2020 was for the strategic one , with this return and inXile Entertainment’s ‘Wasteland 3’ coming true. However, while in the wasteland you stumble upon bugs and glitches, here you will only stumble upon your hat if you are not vigilant.

‘ Desperados III ‘ is so good that it is hard to believe that it does not cover the covers of magazines.

This prequel to the original features pinpoint designs, fluid performance and gameplay, and a deck of characters that leads you to view each game as unique and radically opposite — from using two revolvers to casting voodoo spells there is a huge stretch. And if you do not fall in love with the tone and its great soundtrack, you will let yourself be carried away by its love of awakening our completeness. At Mimimi Games they are smarter than hunger.

Where to buy it: Steam

Darkest Dungeon (2016)

It’s roguelike time . Let no one light the torches. If you have played ‘ Darkest Dungeon ‘ you will know that resource management, decision making and planning the next step is cardinal. In the meantime, we may have burst into tears because a bad tactic has destroyed our group.

The thick line of a Poe in the narrative and the gothic charm of a certain old role is seen here through increasingly cretinous warriors, wizards and monsters. But the curiosity of survival overcomes any obstacle. We want to be better, we want to be that definitive master that changes the future of those poor and tortured lives.

Where to buy it:Steam| Web

Gary Grigsby’s War in the East (2010)

In a veiled way, he quoted a certain Chris Crawford at the beginning of the article. Well, next to him we must highlight another such Gary Grigsby. Between them the two practically invented the genre, when Sid Meier still couldn’t even tie his shoelaces.

The difference between ‘War in the East’ compared to a hundred other war games lies in its brain muscle. It is serious and sober, it requires time and money, and each variable opens up a thousand possibilities . A game that understands the small and dark nuances of the conflict on the eastern front literally: you have to suffer to win.

Where to buy it:Steam| Official Web

Men of War: Assault Squad (2011)

Both this andits divine sequelhave positioned Digitalmindsoft in the olympus of the development of tactical strategies. From an almost sick realism – with exact recreations of each unit, with different types of ammunition and clothing for each bastion, with direct control and overwhelming destructiveness – playing ‘Men of War’ is an exercise in perverse historicism.

Where to buy it:Steam

Anno 1800 (2019)

Are you one of the thousands who have not been able to leave ‘Age of Empires’ on time and have been giving it a ridesince the Pentium III ? Or are you more of exploiting resources to the fullest and elevating the epic with, say, a roller coaster that takes12 years to complete its cycle ?

Whether you are in one group or the other, what Ubisoft Blue Byte has achieved is absolutely colossal.

‘Anno 1800’has managed to rise to the podium, on its own merits, of the best city building simulators of all time. It may be difficult for us to see it here, in the face of true heavyweights of turn-based strategy but, in its own way, the ANNO saga has improved with each installment and this is, without a doubt, the most profound, sophisticated and leftover version of that. which we call 4x.

Where to buy it:Epic Game Store

Frostpunk (2018)

Imagine an alternate reality circa 1886 where a handful of volcanic eruptions have caused a nuclear winter, a kind of steampunk uchrony where survival is almost impossible.

With the usual aftertaste of Polish sadism, ‘Frostpunk’, the new exercise in the key of RTS from11 bit studios, is not only more gory than its ‘This War of Mine’ , it is also more savage in its objectives: to survive, much of it. of the time, it imposes sacrificing part of your people. A town that will expel you from THEIR city if you don’t do things right.

This is not a gameto feel like the king of a great kingdom, but the bloody and hostile exercise of building a self-sufficient city.

Where to buy it:Steam | Microsoft Store

Into the Breach (2018)

This was a space for ‘They Are Billions’. But Subset Games, the same studio that developed ‘FTL: Faster Than Light’, has snatched the spot at the last minute. A game where piloting mechas, with its strengths and weaknesses, turns into a game of chess that grows and capes, that implements layers and reminds us that every mistake is ours. And every mistake is paid dearly.

Where to buy it:Steam | Humble bundle

Iron Harvest (2019)

Nor can one of the sensations of 2019 be left out, another example of alternative reality developed in the fictional universe of the Polish Jakub Różalski, a Europe where giant diesel-powered robots must survive military devastation.

The result of a very successful Kickstarter – tripling the requested goal – KING Art Games has managed to find its niche and put on the table an addictive and richly narrative cosmos where Saxony, Poland and Rusviet share the remains of a cake that is about to rot.

Where to buy it:Official Website | GOG

Wargroove (2020)

What if ‘Nintendo Wars’ came back? In the longing of many players this idea floated that has already been satisfied thanks to Chucklefish, parents of ‘Starbound’ andpublisherof jewels like ‘Stardew Valley’. The dynamic is simple: we can take control of one of the 15 commanders, each with their own campaign and different dynamics, or bet on local, cooperative or PVP multiplayer.

The best part is taken by a very complete editor of campaigns that have led ‘ Wargrove ‘ to become one of the surprises of 2019.

Where to buy it:Steam

Gears Tactics (2019)

Following in the wake of the ‘ Halo Wars ‘, ‘ Gears Tactics ‘ is presented with shyness and ends up being revealed as a kind of ‘XCOM’ crammed with playable options and meanders. So much so that its difficulty curve will be quite arid to any user without experience in turn-based strategy. Three skills per character, four characters per squad, and movement in meters — not squares — where a guard is as important as a burst of shrapnel.

It is a game son of its fathers: you can sniff out the remnants of ‘Brink’, the failed fps of Splash Damage, along with the wild sense of scale of ‘The Coalition’. A visual joy (with signature executions), a step forward in the narrative (focused on the journey of Gabe Diaz, Kait’s father) and a bold seed on which to put down roots. Because there will always be a bigger Locust to dismember. Oh, and for Xbox Game Pass users it’s 100% free.

Where to buy it: Game Pass

Epic Games

Of course, if you haven’t had enough yet, you can always turn to free classics like Warzone 2100 or Dune 2: Battle For Arrakis , the perennial Tzar – three years of development took a long time to get ahead – or wait for the imminent ‘ Humankind ‘. Even letting yourself fall for lighter experiences like the ‘Tropico’ , fleeing from so many military squad in favor of a football manager or killing them all in Rise of Nations . In your hands is the power . At the click of a button.