Strategie Games Top-Themen
Teamfight Tactics. Age of Empires. Civilization VI. Total War: Three Kingdoms. XCom 2: War of the Chosen.
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Fantasy 4X Endless Legend is proof that you don't need to sacrifice story to make a compelling 4X game. Each of its asymmetrical factions sports all sorts of unique and unusual traits, elevated by story quests featuring some of the best writing in any strategy game.
The Broken Lords, for instance, are vampiric ghosts living in suits of armour, wrestling with their dangerous nature; while the necrophage is a relentless force of nature that just wants to consume, ignoring diplomacy in favour of complete conquest.
Including the expansions, there are 13 factions, each blessed or cursed with their own strange quirks.
Faction design doesn't get better than this. Civ in space is a convenient shorthand for Alpha Centauri, but a bit reductive. Brian Reynolds' ambitious 4X journey took us to a mind-worm-infested world and ditched nation states and empires in favour of ideological factions who were adamant that they could guide humanity to its next evolution.
The techs, the conflicts, the characters— it was unlike any of its contemporaries and, with only a few exceptions, nobody has really attempted to replicate it.
Not even when Firaxis literally made a Civ in space, which wasn't very good. Alpha Centauri is as fascinating and weird now as it was back in '99, when we were first getting our taste of nerve stapling naughty drones and getting into yet another war with Sister Miriam.
Pick an Age of Wonders and you really can't go wrong, and if sci-fi isn't your thing, absolutely give Age of Wonders 3 a try, but it's Age of Wonders: Planetfall that's got us all hot and bothered at the moment.
Set in a galaxy that's waking up after a long period of decline, you've got to squabble over a lively world with a bunch of other ambitious factions that run the gamut from dinosaur-riding Amazons to psychic bugs.
The methodical empire building is a big improvement over its fantastical predecessors, benefiting from big changes to its structure and pace, but just as engaging are the turn-based tactical battles between highly customisable units.
Stick lasers on giant lizards, give everyone jetpacks, and nurture your heroes like they're RPG protagonists—there's so much fiddling to do, and it's all great.
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 's cosmic battles are spectacular. There's a trio of vaguely 4X-y campaigns following the three of the Warhammer 40K factions: The Imperium, Necron Empire and the nasty Tyranid Hives, but you can ignore them if you want and just dive into some messy skirmishes full of spiky space cathedrals colliding with giant, tentacle-covered leviathans.
The real-time tactical combat manages to be thrilling even when you're commanding the most sluggish of armadas. You need to manage a whole fleet while broadside attacks pound your hulls, enemies start boarding and your own crews turn mutinous.
And with all the tabletop factions present, you can experiment with countless fleet configurations and play with all sorts of weird weapons. Viking-themed RTS Northgard pays dues to Settlers and Age of Empires, but challenged us with its smart expansion systems that force you to plan your growth into new territories carefully.
Weather is important, too. You need to prepare for winter carefully, but if you tech up using 'lore' you might have better warm weather gear than your enemies, giving you a strategic advantage.
Skip through the dull story, enjoy the well-designed campaign missions and then start the real fight in the skirmish mode.
Mechanically, Homeworld is a phenomenal three-dimensional strategy game, among the first to successfully detach the RTS from a single plane. If you liked the Battlestar Galactica reboot, you should play this.
The different factions are so distinct, and have more personality than they did in the original game—hence Soviet squids and Allied dolphins.
They found the right tonal balance between self-awareness and sincerity in the cutscenes, as well—they're played for laughs, but still entertain and engage.
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak sounded almost sacrilegious at first. Over a decade since the last Homeworld game, it was going to take a game remembered for its spaceships and 3D movement and turn it into a ground-based RTS with tanks?
And it was a prequel? Yet in spite of all the ways this could have gone horribly wrong, Deserts of Kharak succeeds on almost every count.
It's not only a terrific RTS that sets itself apart from the rest of the genre's recent games, but it's also an excellent Homeworld game that reinvents the series while also recapturing its magic.
Only Total War can compete with the scale of Supreme Commander 's real-time battles. In addition to being the preeminent competitive strategy game of the last decade, StarCraft 2 deserves credit for rethinking how a traditional RTS campaign is structured.
Heart of the Swarm is a good example of this, but the human-centric Wings of Liberty instalment is the place to start: an inventive adventure that mixes up the familiar formula at every stage.
Most notable today for being the point of origin for the entire MOBA genre, Warcraft III is also an inventive, ambitious strategy game in its own right, which took the genre beyond anonymous little sprites and into the realm of cinematic fantasy.
The pioneering inclusion of RPG elements in the form of heroes and neutral monsters adds a degree of unitspecific depth not present in its sci-fi stablemate, and the sprawling campaign delivers a fantasy story that—if not quite novel—is thorough and exciting in its execution.
Shame about Warcraft 3: Reforged , it's not-so-great remake. Some games would try to step away from the emotional aspect of a war that happened in living memory.
Not Company of Heroes. Age of Empires gave us the chance to encompass centuries of military progress in half-hour battles, but Rise of Nations does it better, and smartly introduces elements from turn-based strategy games like Civ.
When borders collide civs race through the ages and try to out-tech each other in a hidden war for influence, all while trying to deliver a knockout military blow with javelins and jets.
It was tempting to put the excellent first Dawn of War on the list, but the box-select, right-click to kill formula is well represented.
In combat you micromanage these empowered special forces, timing the flying attack of your Assault Marines and the sniping power of your Scouts with efficient heavy machine gun cover to undo the Ork hordes.
The co-operative Last Stand mode is also immense. Like an adaptation of the tabletop game crossed with the XCOM design template, BattleTech is a deep and complex turn-based game with an impressive campaign system.
You control a group of mercenaries, trying to keep the books balanced and upgrading your suite of mechwarriors and battlemechs in the game's strategy layer.
In battle, you target specific parts of enemy mechs, taking into account armor, angle, speed and the surrounding environment, then make difficult choices when the fight isn't going your way.
It can initially be overwhelming and it's undeniably a dense game, but if that's what you want from your strategy games or you love this universe, it's a great pick.
A beautifully designed, near-perfect slice of tactical mech action from the creators of FTL. Into the Breach challenges you to fend off waves of Vek monsters on eight-by-eight grids populated by tower blocks and a variety of sub objectives.
Civilian buildings provide power, which serves as a health bar for your campaign. Every time a civilian building takes a hit, you're a step closer to losing the war.
Once your power is depleted your team travels back through time to try and save the world again. It's challenging, bite-sized, and dynamic.
As you unlock new types of mechs and mech upgrades you gain inventive new ways to toy with your enemies.
The game cleverly uses scarcity of opportunity to force you into difficult dilemmas. At any one time you might have only six possible scan sites, while combat encounters are largely meted out by the game, but what you choose to do with this narrow range of options matters enormously.
You need to recruit new rookies; you need an engineer to build a comms facility that will let you contact more territories; you need alien alloys to upgrade your weapons.
You can probably only have one. In Sid Meier described games as "a series of interesting decisions. The War of the Chosen expansion brings even more welcome if frantic changes, like the endlessly chatty titular enemies, memorable nemeses who pop up at different intervals during the campaign with random strengths and weaknesses.
Sneaky tactics doesn't come in a slicker package than Invisible Inc. It's a sexy cyberpunk espionage romp blessed with so much tension that you'll be sweating buckets as you slink through corporate strongholds and try very hard to not get caught.
It's tricky, sometimes dauntingly so, but there's a chance you can fix your terrible mistakes by rewinding time, adding some welcome accessibility to the proceedings.
First, you manage stockpiles, and position missile sites, nuclear submarines and countermeasures in preparation for armageddon.
This organisation phase is an interesting strategic challenge in itself, but DEFCON is at its most effective when the missiles fly.
Blooming blast sites are matched with casualty numbers as city after city experiences obliteration. Once the dust has settled, victory is a mere technicality.
Unity of Command was already the perfect entry point into the complex world of wargames, but Unity of Command 2 manages to maintain this while throwing in a host of new features.
It's a tactical puzzle, but a reactive one where you have the freedom to try lots of different solutions to its military conundrums.
Not just a great place to start, it's simply a brilliant wargame. Hearts of Iron 4 is a grand strategy wargame hybrid, as comfortable with logistics and precise battle plans as it is with diplomacy and sandboxy weirdness.
Want to conquer the world as a communist UK? Go for it. Maybe Germany will be knocked out of the war early, leaving Italy to run things.
You can even keep things going for as long as you want, leading to a WW2 that continues into the '50s or '60s. With expansions, it's fleshed out naval battles, espionage and other features so you have control over nearly every aspect of the war.
Normandy 44 takes the action back to World War 2 and tears France apart with its gargantuan battles. It's got explosive real-time fights, but with mind-boggling scale and additional complexities ranging from suppression mechanics to morale and shock tactics.
The sequel, Steel Division 2 , brings with it some improvements, but unfortunately the singleplayer experience isn't really up to snuff.
In multiplayer, though, it's pretty great. And if the World War 2 setting isn't your cup of tea, the older Wargame series still represents some of the best of both RTS and wargaming, so they're absolutely worth taking for a spin.
We're always updating this list, and below are a few upcoming games that we're hoping we'll eventually be able to include.
These are the strategy games we're most looking forward to, so check out what you should be keeping an eye on. After eight years of updating and expanding Crusader Kings 2, Paradox is finally making a sequel.