Fortunately, there are so many great strategy games to choose from on PC that you won’t even know where to start. The following are the best of the best in terms of time spent playing and enjoyment received.

The “best strategy games 2021” is a list of the best strategy games on PC. The list includes titles such as Civilization VI, Total War: Warhammer II and XCOM 2.

The Best Strategy Games on PC

The Best PC Strategy Games

What are the best strategy games on the PC? For a very long time, strategy and PC have gone hand in hand. We’ve been taking turns and planning strategically since the early days of home computer software, when we were calculating out the trajectory of exploding bananas in Gorillas in QBASIC programming on ancient IBMs.

Real-time and turn-based strategy are only two examples of things that transfer well to the macros and mouse clicks of a computer interface. This genre, in turn, has thrived and grown significantly on the PC platform. Our favorite strategy games, which we’ve included here, have given us some of the most memorable gaming experiences.

The Best PC Strategy Games


The Best PC Strategy Games

We look to The Best PC Strategy Games and draw fond memories of days gone by. We also see modern hits that introduce new ideas and leave promise for the continued evolution of the strategy genre well into the future. More importantly, we see our identity in our form of leadership, treachery, diplomacy, or economics in these games.

There are as many different kinds of strategy games as there are snowflakes, and there are a lot of them. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our top PC strategy games spanning decades of play to share with you.

Nations’ Ascension

The Best PC Strategy Games

To say Brian Reynolds took something away from his time at MicroProse, working on Civilization II and Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri would be a gross understatement epitomized by the existence of this game. In 2003, Nations’ Ascension was a grand amalgam of many things that came before. It hosted city, population, and resource management of games like Civilization and combines it with turn-based strategy of games like Risk and real-time strategy of a Total War game.

Players are invited to take on one of eighteen civilizations across eight ages of history in Nations’ Ascension creating a massive multitude of options for situational and conditional games. Each nation could be played across any of the ages, even in times where they wouldn’t have existed with the game providing lore-friendly units that make sense to what a civilization would have if they had existed at the time. Multiplayer allows players to take on a single-player quest for victory, or challenge their friends or world players in a comprehensive ranking system.

Many games would be bogged down over trying to mix and mesh so many ideas into a single product and there are a ton of games that have failed trying to do it. Nations’ Ascension not only succeeds in cohesively putting these ideas together, but making them work exceptionally well. If you’re looking for a game that will let you play with some of the best concepts in turn-based and real-time strategy, then Nations’ Ascension is well worth your consideration.

Do you want to know more? Take a look at our review and get it on Steam.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos is a role-playing game developed by Blizzard Entertainment

The Best PC Strategy Games

You can’t have a list of the finest PC strategy games without including one of the genre’s all-time classics. Warcraft III was a lot of things, none of which should be underestimated. It was the end of an era and the start of a new one at the same time. It was Blizzard at the pinnacle of their abilities as a real-time strategy developer. But, perhaps most importantly, it is without a doubt one of the most absorbing and enjoyable real-time strategy games ever created.

As the battle between the Orcish Horde and the Human Alliance approached a critical juncture, we were able to travel among several of the franchise’s most significant characters. Leaders rose and fell, bonds were built and broken, and we got to see it all via a brilliant campaign that included one-of-a-kind battlefields and troops for each group.

In the multiplayer arena, Warcraft III has never received the same level of attention as its sci-fi sister title, StarCraft, but that doesn’t negate its existence. When it comes to producing the most ideal movements in an online encounter between invisible foes and close friends, there are a plethora of alternatives, methods, and adaptability. The Warcraft series may have permanently given way to its MMORPG reincarnation, but there’s no disputing that Reign of Chaos and its expansion, The Frozen Throne, gave its RTS iterations the appropriate send-off they deserved.

Do you want to know more? Check out our review and get it as part of Warcraft III: Reforged on Battle.net.

Total War: Warhammer 2 is the sequel to Total War: Warhammer.

The Best PC Strategy Games

Fans of Total War games and fans of Warhammer games have something very much in common. Both have been burned on sub-par offerings in the past, so when Creative Assembly announced the intention to take on the Warhammer franchise, alarms may have been appropriately raised. That said, by all accounts, Creative Assembly went at the Warhammer universe with gusto, harnessing it under the elements of their Total War structure while bringing a multitude of elements to it that make it distinctly different and distinctly Warhammer. Their first foray was lauded as a great success, and a sequel closely followed which improved on the previous title in almost every way. While you’ll have some diehards claiming the first is superior, the community at large agrees that Total War: Warhammer 2 is the sequel to Total War: Warhammer. is the better game.

Warhammer 2 added the Lizardmen, Skaven, Dark Elves, High Elves, and Tomb Kings as playable civilizations to the prior game’s already outstanding roster of factions. The mechanics remained mostly unchanged, with the majority of the improvements being cosmetic in nature, addressing some of the complaints that fans had with the prior iteration and making the game seem nicer. A thriving modding community has sprung up around the game, with incredible fan-made content being created on a regular basis.

Due in no little part to the immensely varied styles of each race, factions play significantly differently than they ever did in a prior Total War game. Whereas Dwarves emphasize defense and Vampire Counts deploy zombies as shock soldiers before unleashing a clean-up team, Greenskins adopt quick and aggressive tactics. The inclusion of flying troops, but more crucially, heroes, who can not only offer unique skills to the battlefield, but can also be leveled up and equipped up in a quasi-RPG way, adds to this. Over the years, Total War and Warhammer have given us a variety of tastes, some of which have been harsh, but Total War: Warhammer has the makings of a really delicious marriage of the two brands.

Do you want to know more? Take a look at our review and get it from Humble Bundle.

Stellaris

The Best PC Strategy Games

As they’ve continued to create complete worlds and systems in the realms of grand strategy and 4X enjoyment, Paradox Interactive has proven very adept at it. The developer has stunned its audience with experiences that have developed brands and fan bases all around the globe, from Europa Universalis to Crusader Kings. Taking use of all of this knowledge, Paradox’s next project, Stellaris, would transport players to a much more massive theater of play than ever before.

Stellaris is a highly configurable combination of real-time and 4X strategy. You may completely create your interstellar country, from its look to its flag to its philosophy and disposition, right from the start. In Stellaris, you receive a lot of opportunities to customize your character. Stellaris evolves from a sluggish start into a huge and complete struggle for control of the cosmos as you explore surrounding planets and systems, discover greater sciences, extend the reach of your species, and engage and interact with other civilizations.

The game has no qualms about remembering where it came from. Stellaris draws socio-political and economic elements from earlier Paradox games, pushing players to juggle internal conflict as well as external pressure. It’s good to play alone, but it’s when you combine it with multiplayer that it really shines. Playing Stellaris online versus friends and foes is a fantastic experience that turns the game into hours and hours of pleasure that you’ll never forget.

Do you want to know more? Check out our review and go to Humble Bundle to get the game.

Armada 2: Battlefleet Gothic

The Best PC Strategy Games

Armada 2: Battlefleet Gothic is the classic example of a sequel, taking the foundation of the original and adding more elements on top of it. Arguably the most noticeable is the inclusion of all 12 races from the tabletop, each with its own ship types, strengths and weaknesses. Where nimble Dark Eldar favor hit and run tactics, Chaos ships prefer to melt armor from a distance, while Tyranids swoop in, attaching tendrils to enemy ships and bleeding their crews dry.

The three campaigns, which may be played as the Imperium, Necrons, or Tyranids, include a significantly larger strategic map that enables players to navigate between sectors while constructing infrastructure and ships to extend their reach and defend their land. While it isn’t the most in-depth example of strategic gaming, it does compliment the game’s dramatic spacecraft combat.

A lot in Armada 2: Battlefleet Gothic will feel familiar, but learning each race takes time and customizable abilities allow for a certain degree of specialization. Moreso, its gorgeous battlefields can be host to debris, and mines that block one’s path, roaming leviathans that crash into everything in their path and other such events. Most importantly, however, blowing massive, painstakingly detailed ships to bits (or crashing an asteroid with an unhealthy amount of boosters attached to it into your enemies) never felt better.

Do you want to know more? Check out our complete review and Humble Bundle to get the game.

Annihilation in its totality

The Best PC Strategy Games

Here’s a well-known fact: Commander in Chief is great, comprehensive, and grand-scale on a level few other games can coherently achieve. That said, we can’t talk about it without talking about its spiritual predecessor: Annihilation in its totality. In fact, we don’t talk about SupCom in this list in even its own entry without bringing up Annihilation in its totality. It’s simple really. Without lead designer Chris Taylor and Annihilation in its totality, you simply don’t get the amazing formula that would eventually lead to Commander in Chief’s creation.

When we look back at Annihilation in its totality, the cogs are already in motion. From the establishment of the Commander unit that runs base construction and is essential to player survival to the grand battles with terrain taken into account, the beginnings of this iconic design are already in motion. Even the story features a somewhat similar war between factions of pure humans and human/technology symbiotes between the rebellious Arm resistance and the hive-minded Core machine.

Even so, Annihilation in its totality did more than just establish the groundwork for Commander in Chief. It was a trend-setter. Annihilation in its totality is the very first known real-time strategy game to feature 3D units and terrain in-game. Where in previous RTS, players could field around 100 units altogether. Annihilation in its totality started at allowing 200 units per player and would eventually increase the cap to 5,000 a piece, practically inventing grand-scale warfare in strategy games. Commander in Chief is certainly a refinement of everything Annihilation in its totality created, but Annihilation in its totality simply cannot go without commendation for its many refinements of the real-time strategy genre as a whole.

Humble Bundle is where you can get the game.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a strategy game developed by XCOM.

The Best PC Strategy Games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a strategy game developed by XCOM. is a pretty darn good game. It was with Enemy Unknown that Firaxis proved that they were more than capable of stepping into the legendary boots that had garnered such a rabid following decades before. We originally had sequel XCOM 2 on this list, but while that game is great in all honesty it’s the first game that sticks in our minds more. It’s the perfect marriage of global alien invasion, starting small and then building, with XCOM as the counter-measure to the invasion with them slowly learning to counter everything the aliens throw at them – or don’t, and perish.

Enemy Unknown strives to resurrect an ancient battle. Aliens attack the Earth, and global leaders form XCOM as a way of retaliating and determining how to reverse the tide against the invaders. Players must manage their soldiers, risk death by capturing aliens for research on countermeasures, weapons, and even Psychic Powers, and even determine which room in their base should be built next. Even the tiniest actions may have far-reaching repercussions, and gaining an advantage in one area may leave you vulnerable in another.

It’s the ideal balance of give and take, as well as the ideal marriage of subject matter and entertaining gameplay. Even more, even when things become serious, it’s simple and easy for even strategy newbies to get into. It’s debatable if they’ll make it to the last fight or keep saving scum all the while. We loved it so much that we named it our Game of the Year for 2012, and we can’t wait to return to the XCOM world again. As long as it isn’t a shooter, that is.

Do you want to know more? Check out our review and go to Humble Bundle to get the game.

Homeworld

The Best PC Strategy Games

It’s often said how one game or another “revitalized the franchise” or “revitalized the genre.” Usually, it only implies that the game didn’t stink as much as others did. Homeworld, on the other hand, had a dynamic and engaging usage of 3D space battle in real-time strategy that had never been seen before in a strategy game.

The original Homeworld created a fantastic setting in which the last survivors of an exiled species known as the Kushan try to return to their rightful home across the galaxy. Meanwhile, the tyrant Taiidan, who banished the Kushan thousands of years ago, are determined to halt the Kushan and maintain their iron grip over the race at any costs. The single-player game is like Oregon Trail if you were up against a dictator who forced you to engage in tremendously flamboyant and stylish space warfare on your route to your goal.

Homeworld included a variety of ships, resource gathering, fuel management, trade and barter, and trade and barter to keep players on their toes and exploring for any extra options between completing major goals. The game also had a serviceable competitive multiplayer mode with a variety of choices. What’s the greatest part? Homeworld and its excellent sequel, Homeworld 2, are available in a single collection that includes both the old editions and their remastered improvements.

Do you want to know more? Take a look at our review and pick up the game from Humble Bundle.

Battlecry of the Warlords

The Best PC Strategy Games

Warlords Battlecry was unlike anything else at the time, coming from the idea of industry veteran Steve Fawkner and his popular turn-based Warlords series. It wasn’t simply a regular strategy game set in a sword-and-sorcery fantasy world. It combined tactical gaming with the creation and evolution of heroes who would lead your armies through combat and acquire experience and talents. As a result, Fawkner coined a new title for it, the “roleplaying strategy” game, which would be adopted by future and prior games like it.

Battlecry, unlike the other Warlords games, used real-time tactics. Although the human species and a few others are the core of single-player, users may play any of the nine races in multiplayer games and battles. Once you’ve begun, you’ll need to create a hero to command your army. Heroes may specialize in a variety of professions, each with its own set of specializations, giving them a wide range of possibilities in terms of race, class, and specialty.

When it comes down to it, Battlecry may not have been the first real-time strategy game to include major RPG aspects, but its use of the roleplaying strategy name it invented would inspire and guide similar systems in future games, such as Warcraft III. Despite its age, the game was crucial in establishing a foundation of innovative and exciting RPG components that blended well with the strategic style.

Gog.com is where you can get the title.

IV Europa Universalis (European Union)

The Best PC Strategy Games

Paradox is a studio that has often prided itself on the sheer complex design of its games. They’re not always revolutionary, but even when they aren’t, Paradox’s games often push familiar mechanics to their prime state and present the apex of their use. A fine example of this is IV Europa Universalis (European Union), which is a 4X game following the development of European civilization from the 1400s to the 1800s.

IV Europa Universalis (European Union) followed Crusader Kings 2 and those who have played both extensively will feel it. The game extensive mechanics based around the legitimacy of your rule, including civil obedience and unrest, coalitions and spying on other nations, and much more. Expanding your technology, religious beliefs, military, and territory of rule comes down to not only your considerate decisions, but also the occasional history event which can either help you greatly or throw a wet blanket on your plans.

A common point of most 4X strategy games is that they follow a common thread of victories in which military, economic, or diplomatic domination are the goals of any given game. The true grit and glamour of a 4X game comes in how it distinguishes itself beyond the standard set up. IV Europa Universalis (European Union) is such a game that relies dominantly on established mechanics, but the use of intrigue, rebellion, and occasional historical events causing giving boon or unrest to a civilization are what make it quite a bit more than a milquetoast strategy game.

Do you want to know more? Check out our review and go to Humble Bundle to get the game.

Earth’s Empire

The Best PC Strategy Games

While, like so many other strategy franchises, the Earth’s Empire series as suffered a loss of face due to the latest entry which was widely considered to be a terrible game, it is still remembered as one of the true classics of the early noughties. Earth’s Empire is an ambitious game even by today’s standards which sought to combine the multi-era spanning nature of Civilization with RTS gameplay. Usually, when dealing with strategy games, it’s either fantasy or sci-fi. Earth’s Empire is both, and everything in between.

In Earth’s Empire, instead of the usual faction selection, there are 14 epochs of history to go through. These epochs include major civilisation changing eras like prehistory, the copper age, industrial revolution, post-World War I reaching all the way to the modern age and even beyond with two speculative futuristic epochs, featuring huge military mechs. The game features several campaigns to play through as well as a highly customizable skirmish mode, allowing you to answer questions such as “who would win – 1000 chickens or a single highly advanced combat mech?”.

The game also had a thriving multiplayer scene, and Earth’s Empire differentiated itself from the masses by providing multiple viable ways to achieve victory. Most RTS games usually evolved a beat-all strategy that almost guarantees victory based on the exploitation of the game’s mechanics and balance, however EE juggled things just right to prevent such an über-tactic from forming. Still, some methods were more effective than others, but being creative wouldn’t be suicide.

Do you want to know more? Check out our review and go to Gog.com to get the game.

Rebellion is one of the Solar Empire’s sins.

The Best PC Strategy Games

Some creators are satisfied with creating a real-time strategy game in which you battle an adversary in skirmishes to your heart’s content and then calling it a day. They may feature a variety of tactics and building methods, but they all begin and conclude on the same battlefield. Not only did Ironclad Games go out of their way to declare it wasn’t enough, but they also went out of their way to prove it. With Sins of a Solar Empire, they stretched the battlefield’s boundaries beyond galaxies.

Players in Sins of a Solar Empire may choose between three races and play against up to seven AI or player-controlled opponents. The battleground is a network of planets that spans the whole galaxy. Players are entrusted with gaining control of several systems and extracting resources from them. Diplomacy, technological advancements, and anomalies, on the other hand, disrupt the typical flow of real-time strategic conquest.

For a real-time strategy game to feature mechanics that ran closer to a 4X strategy game was an interesting move. Each game hosts a depth that players would have a hard time finding anywhere else in the genre. Supplying a vast and far-reaching galaxy map that can scale down to situational instances is something that was awe-inspiring in 2008 and is still enjoyable now. Furthermore, Rebellion is one of the Solar Empire’s sins. is a stand-alone expansion that gathers all the features of the original game while adding its own batch on top.

Do you want to know more? Check out our review and go to Humble Bundle to get the game.

Crusader Kings II is a sequel to Crusader Kings.

The Best PC Strategy Games

In terms of design, goals, and mechanics, Crusader Kings II is a sequel to Crusader Kings. may be the most peculiar strategy game out there. It’s not entirely about conquering your fellow nations, winning diplomatic or economic victory, or amassing the largest army. The only technical way to win is simply to live, preserve the rule of your domain, and continue your chosen dynasty’s bloodline.

In a genre often defined by competition, Crusader Kings II is a sequel to Crusader Kings. isn’t necessarily out of the ordinary. From your position in your kingdom, you occasionally find yourself at odds with other rulers and that sometimes leads to conflict, but Crusader Kings II is a sequel to Crusader Kings. offers so much more. Taxes and Levy laws, marriage between different nobles, and education and passing of knowledge and skills to children are just a few of the comprehensive intricacies that take Crusader Kings II is a sequel to Crusader Kings. beyond the regular strategy game.

Paradox Development Studio has a shown a proclivity over its many years for creating unique and releasing unique and interesting games. Crusader Kings II is a sequel to Crusader Kings. is a perfect example of the studio taking what we know about the standard strategy game and giving it a spin that challenges our intellectual prowess. How do you win? You simply live through generations of fruitful rule, diplomacy, and intrigue.

Do you want to know more? Check out our review, then download the main game for free on Steam and Humble Bundle for DLC.

Shogun 2 is a sequel to Total War: Shogun.

The Best PC Strategy Games

The Total War series is undoubtedly one that has had its share of ups and downs throughout its history. Sometimes you get a good Total War game. Sometimes they end up mediocre. Nonetheless, Shogun 2 is a sequel to Total War: Shogun. is one of the entries that stands out as arguably the best that The Creative Assembly has to offer. In a community that has been regularly hard to please, the level of turn-based strategy and real-time combat in Shogun 2 is an absolute treat.

The player chooses from nine distinct regional clans, each with its own territory and military and economic specialities. While the game does include the game’s well-known sea of troops, it also goes into further detail with commanders and generals, providing a degree of role-playing rarely seen before. Players are urged to become involved in family politics as well as outside politics in order to win the trust and talents of clan heroes.

Realm Divide, a new occurrence in Shogun 2, was also added. When the player grows too powerful, other clans will turn against him in order to prevent him from gaining complete control over Japan. It makes the game more challenging as you go, but it also adds a dimension of complexity as you prepare to confront not just bitter adversaries, but also erstwhile pals. While Total War titles aren’t always at their best, Shogun 2 served as a reminder that The Creative Assembly understands how to put together a fantastic hybrid strategy game.

Do you want to know more? Check out our review and go to Humble Bundle to get the game.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2

The Best PC Strategy Games

“What if there was no Nazi Germany?” Westwood Studios pondered a long time ago, when they were masters of the real-time strategy genre. In the original Red Alert, they depicted a gloomy scenario in which Soviet Russia seizes power and launches a rash attempt to invade all of Europe. The original set the bar high, presenting two very diverse sides, each with their own unique armament, a loud techno/metal soundtrack, and a theatrical plot conveyed in full-motion video between missions. The second game in the series didn’t simply surpass it; it raised it to a level that few other Westwood Studios games would ever achieve.

The premise of Red Alert 2 was that the Allies overthrew Stalin and his Soviet armies and installed a puppet government in their place. Unfortunately, the humiliation does not sit well with the Soviets. They reassemble their troops and launch an all-out assault on American land. The game may seem far-fetched, but it sets the stage for an epic increasing series of missions for both the Soviets and the Allies, replete with a boatload of astounding technology for each.

If that wasn’t enough, you could go online, challenging up to 7 of your buddies to battle in several different modes. The game allowed each player to take up a nation, each with its own special unit adding an additional facet of strategy to each skirmish. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 wasn’t the swan song of Westwood Studios, but it was arguably the studio’s magnum opus. There would be other good games after Red Alert 2 from the studio, but nothing quite captured the spirit of Westwood at the height of its powers like the second Soviet/Allied wargame RTS.

Origin is where you can get the game.

Civilization V by Sid Meier

The Best PC Strategy Games

When it comes to the Sid Meier’s Civilization series, it might be said that Civilization V gave the genre a fresh lease of life, making it accessible to both veterans and newcomers thanks to its unique and fun approach to the turn-based strategy concept. The game brought additional features to the existing extensive system, allowing for new combat, technology, and diplomatic possibilities. This resulted in an almost totally new perspective on global dominance and diplomacy with our favorite leaders and countries.

The revised map was perhaps one of Civilization V’s most significant upgrades. Civ V provided players a number of new tactical possibilities when it came to unit deployment, fighting, unit support, and flanking by ditching the square sectors for a hexagonal grid. Although tiles could only hold one military unit at a time, the addition of the ability to embark on water, launch distant assaults, and exchange nearby soldiers allowed for a more complex strategy. It may be claimed that fighting progressed more than anything else in Civ V.

That’s not to say the game’s other aspects weren’t entertaining. It was still a lot of fun to compete for a technical win in the space race or a political victory via peace. Cultural triumphs were more difficult to achieve, but that would change with the inclusion of Civ V’s great expansions, Gods and Kings and Brave New World, which redesigned religion and added tourism, respectively. Civilization V is one of the most enjoyable and complete turn-based strategy games on the market, because to its randomized map-building, diversity of gameplay, and richness of victory options.

Do you want to know more? Check out our review and go to Humble Bundle to get the game.

StarCraft II is a game developed by Blizzard Entertainment

The Best PC Strategy Games

After Brood Wars, Blizzard was silent on the StarCraft front for a long period, which was a bit strange given the cliffhanger that the final chapter of Brood Wars closes on. For a long time, they basically let the community run wild with the game, with the odd update and balance modification to keep the tournaments fair. When it came to making a sequel, the difficult issue was: how do you make a sequel to one of the most popular strategy games of all time? Blizzard had an answer twelve years later. You take everything that people like about the original and raise it to new heights.

Indeed, StarCraft II is a game developed by Blizzard Entertainment picks up right where the franchise left off. The game came out in three installments, each featuring a full campaign of one of the three major races alongside its iconic multiplayer and a few other interesting additions to the classic formula. Players would join Raynor, Kerrigan, and other amazing characters both old and new in the single player as their tales intertwine to draw the StarCraft storyline to a reasonable close. The multiplayer was just as much of natural evolution and progression, bringing StarCraft into the new generation with streamlined online matchmaking, tier systems, and rankings to go with the revamps strategies the combination of new and familiar units provided.

So where does one go with StarCraft II is a game developed by Blizzard Entertainment? The Wings of Liberty campaign is now part of the StarCraft II is a game developed by Blizzard Entertainment free-to-play version, that also includes the Versus modes and co-op Commander missions. The Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void campaigns, which continue the story can be purchased as part of the StarCraft II is a game developed by Blizzard Entertainment: Campaign Collection.

Do you want to know more? Check out our review and go to Battle.net to get the game.

Commander in Chief

The Best PC Strategy Games

If you were to ask any hardcore real-time strategy fan worth their salt what game has the most comprehensively vast scale when it comes to the strategy genre, it would be weird if Commander in Chief didn’t at least come to mind. The game comes from the legendary mind of game designer Chris Taylor and is widely considered to be a successor to his previous 1997 title, Annihilation in its totality. Legacy aside, Commander in Chief is more than capable of standing on its own as a masterclass in the blending of resource management and grand-scale warfare.

Players are asked to join one of three factions in a conflict: the United Earth Federation, the Cybran Nation, a cybernetic human/AI hybrid group, or the Aeon Illuminate, who revere ancient higher extraterrestrial entities. Each side has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each may adopt a variety of strategies, but everything for each faction revolves on the Commander, a central robotic entity that directs production and building for the player’s soldiers.

Commander in Chief features a cohesive vastness that very few other games are capable of accomplishing coherently. It’s rare to see another game which can carry intercontinental battles between players as a common occurrence. The game’s mechanics allow players to shift seamlessly from a worldwide view of unit movement and activity down to the very ground where units are tearing each other apart. The game also featured ballistics, which actually factor terrain into the success of a unit’s fired volley: an absolute rarity in most real-time strategy. Commander in Chief might sound like it’s trying to pack the world into one game, and in many ways it is, but few other games tackle such vast concepts as successfully.

Do you want to know more? Take a look at our review and get the game on Steam.

Orion’s Master

The Best PC Strategy Games

When Simtex set out to make a new strategy game in 1993, they probably couldn’t have guessed that it would coin a term that would be applied to all games that came before and would come after that were like it. Orion’s Master isn’t just any old solid and enjoyable strategy game. It’s the game from which the title “4X” emerged. It’s not that there weren’t 4X games before Orion’s Master, but it was the first game that was so blatantly such that it could finally be given a name.

Orion’s Master set itself from its contemporaries quickly. Where many other games were exploring turn-based strategy on earth in either historical or fantasy-fiction capacities, Orion’s Master ventured to the stars. Players picked between 10 races, each with their own benefits and drawbacks, and were given a starting planet in a wide galaxy, ripe for colonization, development, and research.

Orion’s Master was masterful in its use of research, expansion, predisposed biases among races, and random events that would happen throughout the galaxy. It suffered from not having a multiplayer because everything just seemed perfectly there for it, but the single player experience still provided a rich and awesome backdrop, fit for launching this then-new idea of the 4X game.

You can grab a bundle of the first two Orion’s Master games on from Humble Bundle.

Definitive Edition of Age of Empires II

The Best PC Strategy Games

The original Age of Empires is deserving of a spot on this list. Ensemble is striving to combine the greatest features of Civilization administration and Warcraft warfare into a single game with it. Many would argue that it fell short of that purpose. Age of Empires, although being a fantastic real-time strategy game, sought to be both of those games at the same time, but fell short of capturing the complete intended experience. That said, it introduced a model that would be developed in Age of Empires II: Age of Kings, and much later in the sequel’s Definitive Edition.

Age of Kings immerses players in the Middle Ages, with thirteen distinct civilizations to choose from and five historical campaigns to complete. It follows a 1,000-year history that takes you through the Dark Ages, Feudal Ages, Castle Ages, and Imperial Ages. The goal of the game is for players to advance their civilisation by invading and destroying competing countries. The game featured a large number of units that were divided into five types, each with its own set of strengths and weaknesses, and everything was supported by careful resource gathering, the construction of new technology and buildings, and the creation of new and more powerful units as players progressed through the ages.

Age of Kings offered not just one of the most challenging and extensive single-player experiences in strategy, but also massive multiplayer combat in a variety of settings. Players may choose to play a pre-made map, have the game’s map generator create one for them, or try their hand at creating a strategic map in one of the game’s most well-equipped map editors. In 4K Ultra HD, the Definitive Edition allows us experience everything that made the classic RTS great while listening to a new and updated soundtrack. We also receive three new campaigns and four new factions.

Humble Bundle is where you can get the game.

Crusader Kings II is a sequel to Crusader Kings.I

The Best PC Strategy Games

There’s a good reason why Crusader Kings II is a sequel to Crusader Kings.I takes a spot on this list alongside its predecessor. The second entry in the series went to great lengths to expand upon the original’s content, giving players a full-fledged medieval sandbox to stumble or rampage across. Years’ worth of DLC further fleshed things out, created a challenging environment for the third game to stand out.

It did, however, stand out. The game’s intricate gameplay was made easier for new and returning players thanks to an outstanding UI overhaul and extended tutorials. Characters become more realistic thanks to in-depth role-playing and the incorporation of authentic 3D images. The religion system has also undergone some tweaks, allowing you to gradually modify existing religions or break away and build your own nudist sect.

You also have more choice in terms of how you build your army, Knights being a force to be reckoned with. Seafaring is also more streamlined which makes for complex engagements that simply flow better. Crusader Kings II is a sequel to Crusader Kings.I successfully evolves the series and, like its predecessor, acts a strong foundation on which Paradox can build with future DLC.

For a more in-depth look at the game, read our review or purchase it from Humble Bundle.

Warhammer III: Total War

The Best PC Strategy Games

Warhammer III: Total War is the final part of Creative Assembly’s popular trilogy that infused a serious dose of fantasy and magic into the series’ tried and tested mixture of large-scale real-time battles and turn-based strategy gameplay. It’s a game that builds on what made its predecessors great while bringing needed changes to sieges and diplomacy.

The former has been reworked to feature more comprehensive maps as well as the ability to defend by erecting towers and barricades. A new set of diplomacy options let you to temporarily manage allied forces, construct outposts that allow for unit recruitment from outside your faction, and gently urge neutral troops to leave your lawn or else.

Add in a great mix of seven factions – eight with the early adopter bonus – each with its own distinct dynamics, and you’ve got a recipe that’ll easily consume tens, if not hundreds, of hours, and that’s before the Mortal Empires offers us a massive map to paint in whatever color we choose. Finally, but certainly not least, are the game’s three multiplayer campaigns, two of which can accommodate up to eight players with simultaneous turn support for all of them.

You can learn more about the game’s mechanics by reading our review, and you can purchase it through Fanatical.

On the PC, there are a slew of other essential strategy games.

  • Heroes’ Company
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
  • Tropico 4 is the fourth installment in the Tropico series.
  • BattleTech
  • Northgard
  • Control of the ground
  • IV: Hearts of Iron
  • UFO Defense is a game developed by X-COM.
  • Battlezone 98 is a video game released in 1998.
  • Dawn of War is a Warhammer 40,000 game.
  • Airland’s Wargame Battle
  • Deadlock on Battlestar Galactica
  • Soul Harvest is the third installment in the SpellForce series.
  • Dungeons and Dragons III
  • Dawn of War is a Warhammer 40,000 game. II
  • Endless Space 2 is the sequel to Endless Space.
  • Universe: Distant Worlds

For the time being, that’s all there is to it, so don’t worry if your favorite wasn’t included. These are just a few of the fantastic options available. While they reflect a diverse range of some of the greatest that the industry has to offer across decades of PC gaming, there have undoubtedly been more excellent gems released, and there will undoubtedly be more on the road.

What is your favorite strategy game, whether it turn-based, real-time, 4X, or otherwise? Please let us know in the comments section below!

TJ Denzer wrote the original piece, with Bogdan Robert Mateș adding to it afterwards.

When you buy games from one of the shops we recommend, we may get a small commission that helps us keep the site operating.

The “strategy games pc” is a category of video game genre that includes turn-based, real-time and grand strategy. Strategy games are typically about building an army and conquering territory.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best turn based strategy game for PC?

A: If you want a turn based strategy game for PC, I would suggest the Total War series. The games are very detailed and have strong lore behind them. They also offer free content updates which keep their fanbase interested in the game.

What is the best free strategy game for PC?

A: The best free strategy game for PC is probably Civ VI.

What strategy game should I play?

A: If you are interested in strategy games with relatively low barriers of entry, I recommend Age of Empires 2 HD. However, if you want something more complex for a challenge and to learn from some history, I would highly recommend the game Risk!

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