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Best RTS Games of All Time on Steam

Best RTS Games of All Time on Steam

Best RTS Games of All Time on Steam

I have my personal list of best RTS games of all time from Steam, do you have one? Just like every other game genre, RTS games have a long history and they evolved into something different and branched into multiple sub-genres as the years passed by. From the detailed story generators like Victoria II to action RTS games like Company of Heroes and C&C, we saw a lot of great strategy games.

Though the golden age of the strategy games has passed, which is roughly between the years of 2000 and 2008, new and exciting RTS games still keep coming out. With the recent success of MOBA games like DotA and League of Legends, we especially saw a rise in the action-RTS titles like Company of Heroes and Dawn of War. Also, Paradox Interactive’s more deep and grand-scale strategy titles, like Hearts of Iron and Europa Universalis, saw a huge success with Europa Universalis IV still being one of the most played games on Steam. Then came the strategy titles with rogue-like survival elements such as Rimworld and They Are Billions and they found a huge and fresh fan base. Failing meant a new start, so every run felt permanent and tense.

No matter which one or more of these different styles suit you, though, we are sure you can find one in our today’s list.

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Best RTS Games on Steam

Whether if you are a fan of the genre and are looking for a new game to play or you are new and want to get into RTS games, we compiled a list of the top RTS games of all time on Steam, all of which you can buy and download now.

Hearts of Iron IV

Hearts of Iron IV is basically a real-time World War 2 simulator. Compared to Hearts of Iron III, it is a rather arcade game where mechanics are easier yet not worse. To give short info about the game, even though it depends on the country you pick, as most of them, you will have several years to prepare for the war where you build factories, recruit armies and strengthen your country with unique national focuses.

After that, you will experience a multi-front world war and feel the tension rising as the battle gets harsher. The map is huge and there can be dozens of battles going on at the same time, so be sure to play on a strong PC.

You can also check out Heart of Iron 4 console commands.

Buy it here.

Europa Universalis IV

Europa Universalis IV Europa Universalis IV, yet another Paradox game, takes you from the end of the Middle Ages to the New World, from Americas to Europe, from Asia to Africa where you build up your country throughout the ages, via conquest, colonization, diplomacy, bureaucracy, economics and religion where you face battles, economic crisis, rebellions and technology showing up and fading away on the land you rule as a monarch or as a president, depending on your choices.

You will basically experience almost anything that happened between 1444-1821, getting a chance for a strength showdown to the whole world. It is the most complex and deep RTS game ever created and has literally hundreds of DLC, so chances are it will keep you busy for thousands of hours.

Buy it here.

Rise of Nations: Extended Edition

Rise of Nations Extended Edition Rise of Nations is an Age of Empires-style RTS game where you start the game as a Dark Age nation and develop your country until the modern age where you bomb the enemy cities with bomber planes, even nukes! Just like the Age of Empires, here again, we can play as famous conquerors and play their campaigns, enjoying a historical experience.

Other than that, Rise of Nations has a far better city system where you do researches from your library, capture cities and rename them instead of razing them, rebuild them and set up an enormous trade node, get tons of gold as well as unique materials and become a superpower.

Buy it here.

Shogun 2: Total War

Best RTS Games of All Time Shogun 2 is probably the most beloved game in the series by fans. It reformed the series after Napoleon. Each unit carries a great level of detail, the new season effects are amazing, the music is on-par with of the Medieval 2’s, the battle advisors’ lines are terrific. It is probably the most immersive Total War game in the series. In the quest to claiming the seat of power in Kyoto, you will lose yourself in battles and diplomatic mind-games.

The biggest improvement it made was on the AI (especially in the naval scene); it will push even the veterans of the series on the higher difficulties. It also has one of the best Total War DLCs: Fall of the Samurai.

The multiplayer experience was revised for the better too and there are still more than 2,000 people playing it on Steam. Even though Shogun 2 isn’t as wide historically and geographically as the other games on the series, it sure made us excited about a possible Shogun 3.

Buy it here.

Company of Heroes 2

Company of Heroes 2 Company of Heroes 2 is a MOBA-style WW2 RTS where you are supposed to win the game either by reaching a score or destroying the enemy. You can either play historical battles or go for a campaign, either as the Soviet Union or the USA.

If you prefer a custom battle or multiplayer, you are supposed to start with choosing a faction among 5: The Soviet Union (Allies), The Wehrmacht Ostheer (Axis), The US Forces (Allies), The German Oberkommando West (Axis), The British Forces (Allies). Then you start to build up your base, capturing points and collecting resources, setting up strategic points and win the game by using the unique skills of every single unit.

From the rocket launchers to the tanks, from the paratroopers to the mechanized divisions, you will experience a full WW2 combat.

Buy it here.

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium War As it is the sequel to the legendary Tiberian Sun, people didn’t expect much from Tiberium Wars but oh were they wrong. It built upon everything Tiberia Sun has created with even better visuals. Like always, you can play a story-driven campaign with live-action cutscenes. Or you can play a skirmish/multiplayer mode and choose from different factions. Each game takes about 15-30 minutes and every minute of that is filled with action.

You cannot turtle in this game, because late-game units are really powerful, you need to constantly hit your opponents and slow down their progress while trying to defend your base from them. Plus, each faction is really distinct with different strengths and weaknesses. If you want an action-filled RTS game, Tiberium Wars is still among the best after 11 years.

Buy it here.

Warhammer® 40,000: Dawn of War® – Dark Crusade

Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War - Dark Crusade The second expansion pack to the already great Dawn of War brought 2 new races, a new Total War-style turn-based strategic map and new units to the existing factions. It is standalone, so you do not need the base game to run it. Just like the base game, however, the presentation is awesome. You have to take over other races’ strongholds by winning challenging battles on various maps individually associated with the respective Strongholds.

The Company of Heroes-style, condensed and action-filled RTS formula still works wonders here. The campaign is really immersive and thanks to the many choices you have on the strategic map, the endgame is always different and unique. The units and the map still look great for an RTS title even after 12 years. If you are an RTS and a Warhammer fan, just pick up the best Dawn of War game with its expansions.

Buy it here.

Medieval II: Total War

Total War Medieval II First of all, Medieval 2 has the best soundtrack in any Total War game. The music is really fitting to the era and it completely immerses you in the experience, especially in battles. The new separation between castles and town settlements and improved diplomacy gave the gameplay outside of the real-time battles a fresh air.

The importance of religion was of higher importance (which is the way it should be considering the era). Also, despite running on the same engine as Rome, it made substantial visual improvements. Soldiers in a group were individuals, the light would reflect from their armor, they performed separate combat animations and the battlefields were even larger. It also had an amazing DLC called Kingdoms.

The Kingdoms expansion pack contained 4 campaigns: the Britannia Campaign, the Crusades Campaign, the Teutonic Campaign and the Americas Campaign, each with their own historical scenarios. Even though it is not the most recent title in the series, the game still holds up pretty well even in today’s standards and provides an immersive medieval experience.

Buy it here.

They Are Billions

They Are Billions While it is still in Early Access, They Are Billions still has a lot of content fit for countless hours of gameplay. It combines a rogue-like gameplay with RTS and survival elements. You start in a randomly-generated map with a couple of citizens and a town center. You slowly build up your base with defenses, building and advancing technology all the while literally millions of zombies try to wipe out your city.

Even if one zombie makes it to one of your buildings, the entire population of that building gets infected and it creates a chain reaction that can easily destroy your city. There is no save/load option either, so every run feels permanent and tense. If you’re after a tense and original RTS experience, They Are Billions is your game.

Buy it here.

Age of Empires II HD Edition

Age of Empires II HD Edition The classic RTS series AoE’s arguably best game has returned with a HD Edition. We all know and love the classic AoE gameplay: Build a base, collect resources, attack other nations and advance in the tech tree to move onto the next big age. You can play the usual random map mode against friends or AI or jump into the different campaigns of different historical figures.

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HD Edition also has Steamworks integration, which means mods and player-made campaigns. It also comes with The Conquerors expansion pack which adds more factions and campaigns. Even though some of the gameplay mechanics are a bit dated, it is still a very enjoyable RTS experience and makes for a great nostalgic time.

Buy it here.

Men of War: Assault Squad 2

Men of War Assault Squad 2 As you can understand from its name, MoW focuses on squad management rather than big scale combat but the ways you can control that squad and a handful of vehicles and units is really impressive. You can control each unit individually and command them to throw a grenade or shoot a certain spot. It is quite challenging and you need to call reinforcements and control your units very smartly to achieve victory.

You can choose various countries from Axis or Allies. The game features 40 singleplayer skirmishes and 65 multiplayer maps along with more than 250 vehicles and hundreds of different units. Even though it is highly tactical, it is filled with action thanks to its smaller maps and condensed gameplay.

Buy it here.

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion®

Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion® is a 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit, and Exterminate) space-themed RTS game. It seems extremely complex at first, but it is actually really simple: First, you try to explore the space and find new planets, then you expand by invading those new planets, you tax them and mine asteroids to get resources and with your newfound power, you get even more ships to exterminate other faction and planets.

It is the depth of the game mechanics that build upon this simple idea which makes this game so awesome. You can call pirates to do your dirty work, you can sell your resources on the black market, you can research and upgrade dozens of new features and so on. Despite coming out 6 years ago, it is still one of the best space-themed 4X RTS games of all time.

Buy it here.

Age of Empires® III: Complete Collection

Age of Empires III Complete Collection Age of Empires III, last game of the legend series, despite getting heavily criticized for limited diplomacy options is a game where you taste the colonialism yourself, setting trading outposts all over, rushing in Americas’ plains to become the greatest colonial empire. In addition to all these, there is a campaign which will leave you breathless, where you resist against the villain Imperial forces, cooperating with the natives mostly.

That’s the main scenario. Yet there is more both in terms of the Skirmish and the Campaign, adding Native American and Asian nations, enriching the game even further. If this is truly the last AoE game we’ll get, we can say that the series ended on a high note.

Buy it here.

Victoria II

Victoria II I am sure you are not surprised that Victoria II too is developed by Paradox. It came out 3 years before EU IV, so you can see a lot of similarities here. It doesn’t have any campaign or story, instead, it lets you build your own story. You can take control of any country in the world and run it however you like. It is realistic in a sense that it is way slower than most other RTS games. You mostly control the government and indirectly control your population.

Plus, if people elect a new style of government your options can get wider or narrower. For example, if they elect a free-market style government, you cannot interfere with the economy. The international affairs are really complex as well, you can influence, annex, control or conquer other countries, form alliances etc. If you truly want to write your own history via extremely deep and complex mechanics, Victoria II is your game.

Buy it here.

Crusader Kings II

Crusader Kings II Crusaders Kings 2, distinctly from other Paradox games, focuses on your dynasty rather than your country, where you can start as an emperor or an insignificant lord throughout the Middle Ages, shaping Eurasia’s future. It is a diplomacy game as much as it is an RTS game with complex international affairs and the choices you have on diplomacy.

From the Viking Raids to the Silk Road, from the Muslim Expansion the Holy Crusades, the game takes you out to numerous adventures where you can assassinate your opponents, conquer their land and usurp their thrones via intrigue or diplomacy, as well as they can usurp yours. Let the ”game of thrones” begin and let your dynasty “rule them all!”.

Buy it here.

Here they are, the best Real Time Strategy games of all kinds that you can buy from Steam and play right now. Whether you like extremely detailed and deep RTS games like Europa Universalis IV which requires literally thousands of hours to master or just want a quick, fun and action-filled good RTS game like C&C 3 or something in-between like Shogun 2, there is an RTS game for you and we compiled a list of the best RTS games for PC on Steam just for that purpose. If we missed any great RTS game, let us know!