Top RTS (strategy) games of all time
If I were to choose a favorite type of game out of all the types of games that have ever existed it would be an easy choice for me. I am a huge fan of Real Time Strategy games and have been ever since I first played DUNE years and years ago.
I don’t know how exactly they came into being but I like to think someone was playing Sim City and was like “you know what would be awesome here? War!” and then they promptly got started on making exactly that.
When Dune was released it didn’t see much of an audience because not many people actually had computers back in the late 80’s and even fewer people had them for the purpose of playing video games. They were simply too expensive. As time went by computers became more commonplace and by the time I was in college it seemed almost everyone either had one, or had easy access to one by way of massive computer labs in places like high school and college.
The day I was introduced to Warcraft and later Command and Conquer I was hooked. There were plenty of shooters at the time and lord knows we had plenty of platformers via the NES, then Genesis, and SNES, but those machines were ill-equipped to handle something that required a keyboard in order to truly master them.
There have been many lists that have been made over the years as to which games are the “best of all time” but I figured I would go ahead and make my own and I think it is important to keep in mind that I have not played every RTS game that has ever existed, but I have played enough of them to have a rather informed opinion.
#4 Company of Heroes
This game was a great deal different than a lot of RTS games that had come before in that it didn’t actually have any sort of resource gathering as part of the game. This was something that I kind of missed but to be fair, since this game was meant to be a representation of World War 2, the idea that you would have laborers running off into the woods to gather lumber would be a bit stupid since we were dealing with machine guns and tanks.
Instead, the game had certain areas that could be captured and it was necessary to maintain these areas in order to have influence points which affected your ability to create more units.
Something that Company of Heroes did a bit differently was to make you actually care about individual units since the longer you were able to keep them alive, the more effective they were in battle. A unit with a higher amount of “valor points” was far more effective than a fresh unit was. Therefore it became rather important to try to use your units wisely and not just assign massive amounts of units to a group number and send them out into the void to be slaughtered in an exploration suicide mission.
Company of Heroes is rated number one of all time by most lists but it doesn’t get that high on my list because of the fact that unlike the other two, I didn’t find it to have near as much replay value since the campaigns only had one real path to victory. Speaking of replay value lets move on to the next on our list.
Number 3: Age of Empires 2
I don’t understand why this franchise ever dropped off because if you speak to people who don’t have what it takes to “master” RTS games and join in on the elite level that normally is only achieved by the entire population of Korea, they tend to enjoy this game because it is a bit more casual than some of the others.
Gathering resources and expanding your empire is important in this game just like many others, but the ability to choose to be any possible empire that may or may not have actually existed throughout time is a pretty fun angle to take. Also, the fact that you gradually become more and more modern as virtual time advances is a pretty awesome aspect to the game. You start out chucking spears and end up with advanced armor technology by the end.
Your research and development is an absolutely critical element of the game and if you don’t manage this properly you will quickly find yourself slipping behind your opponents. Also, it isn’t necessarily about simply crushing your enemies, in many instances maintaining a friendly relationship with nearby competing empires lest you end up having too many enemies to manage all at once.
There was a revamped version of this game with improved graphics that was a big hit called Age of Empires: Definitive Edition that was released from 2018 to 2020 and Age of Empires 4 is in the works and some footage has been showcased at various events. It is still in development and is meant to be released some time in 2021. Let’s hope they did it well because a new game with modern graphics and sound would be the balls..
So that is 4 and 3 - this was originally going to be a complete list but it ended up being too long because I had so much to say about each of my top contenders. Stay tuned for 2 and 1, even though I think that most people who are familiar with these type of games will probably already know at least one of the top 2.