Best RTS Games – We List The 25 Best Real-Time Strategy Games

Steel Division 2 tanks
Image Credit: Eugen Systems.

If you’re looking for that perfect RTS where you can sink hours into it, this guide compiles some of the best RTS games out there.

There are truly some amazing ones and some that aren’t as well known. Make sure to check out this list for the best RTS games you can play right now.

25. Bloons TD 6

Bloons TD 6 beginner map
Image Credit: Ninja Kiwi.

Bloons has been a fantastic franchise that has been around for quite a while. It’s been a franchise I’ve been playing since I was a kid, and I’ve loved every second of it. Utilizing the usual tower defense strategies, you have to employ a team of monkeys to pop all of the Bloons before they reach your base. You get different monkeys with different skills and must spread them carefully across the map to succeed.

It’s such a fun, family-friendly game where you can easily play for hours at a time.

Platforms: Android, iOS, Xbox Series X/S, PC

24. Stronghold Crusader HD

stronghold crusader HD
Image credit: FireFly Studios

Stronghold Crusader HD is an absolute classic RTS game. With a historic backdrop, you can participate in battles across the map to siege castles, expand your territory, and protect your kingdom from Crusaders. The AI in this game can be absolutely brutal and can easily overthrow you if you don’t plan your strategies carefully.

Platforms: Windows

23. Age of Empires IV

Age of Empires IV
Image credit: Relic Entertainment

Age of Empires IV is a brilliant game, with its predecessors being incredible, too. The game is only three years old, but it still receives updates and new content in DLCs. This game is the perfect game to get stuck into if you’re a fan of historical battles, claiming your territory and base building.

If you want to try and take over the world with or against your friends, Age of Empires IV offers that option. If you find the base game just isn’t enough for you, there are also some brilliant DLCs on offer.

Platforms: Windows, Xbox Series X/S

22. Northgard

Viking Games
Image Credit: Shiro Unlimited.

With a stunning art style, Northgard is a great RTS to get stuck into. If you’re a fan of Norse Mythology, you’re definitely going to want to give this one a go. There is a lot to love about this game, from discovering the continent you’re on to expanding your territory and fighting for your life against difficult enemies! 

After you’ve spent a lot of time with the base game, you can even pick up some of the DLCs to add a little extra to your game. 

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

21. Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Ashes of the Singularity lasers
Image Credit: Stardock Entertainment.

Want to control a battlefield set across multiple planets? Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is the perfect game for that. Traveling across multiple worlds, you have to command your army successfully and conquer the grounds beneath. 

The combat can get really intense and chaotic. From fighting off alien bugs to other armies, this game is a lot of fun. If you want to get stuck into co-op action, you can get stuck in with your pals. 

Platforms: Windows

20. Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Homeworld Deserts of Kharak combat
Image Credit: Gearbox Publishing.

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak comes as a prequel to the other Homeworld games. Taking place in a sand-filled desert, you have to lead your army to victory across the shifting sands. While most RTS games don’t exactly contain a story, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is story-rich and revolves around the protagonist, Rachel S’Jet. 

Whether you want to compete against others in a solo game or you want to bring your friends in for the fun, the game has many options for you.

Platforms: PC

19. Starcraft 2

Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void
Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Starcraft is an iconic franchise with some lovable (and hateable) characters. If you’ve wanted to explore the RTS genre but don’t have money to sink into it, Starcraft 2 is a great option, as the game is completely free to play.

Whether you want to play as a villain or you want to be the hero, Starcraft 2 offers multiple options for you. This game has a fantastic campaign where you get to know some of the horrifying characters and understand the heroes and how they came to be.

If you find the game challenging, you can complete the missions in co-op with a friend. What’s not to love?

Platforms: Windows, Mac

18. Dune: Spice Wars

Dune Spice Wars Arrakis Desert
Image Credit: Funcom, Shiro Games.

Dune has become a box office hit, with the books also gaining a resurgence of fans. If you want to jump into the Dune universe in game form, Dune: Spice Wars is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

You have to lead your faction through the deserts of Arrakis and conquer them as you go. Will you be able to fight off the hordes of enemies you find in the harsh sands, or will you succumb to the desert?

Platforms: Windows, Xbox Series X/S

17. Dota 2

DOTA 2 gameplay
Image Credit: Valve.

Dota 2 is a classic MOBA, but more than that, it’s an RTS. You have to defend your base against the enemy team. It can get pretty intense quickly, but it’s a lot of fun. There are plenty of heroes you can play as, plus different builds you can deploy depending on what stat you want to focus on. Dota 2 is completely free to play, with optional microtransactions if you want to bling out your character.

Despite coming out in 2013, there are still regular updates, and it remains one of the most popular games on Steam today.

Platforms: PC

16. Hearts of Iron IV

Hearts of Iron IV
Image Credit: Paradox Interactive.

Taking place in World War II, Hearts of Iron IV lets you take control of any of the nations that participated in World War II and attempt to lead them to victory. Similar to Civilization, Hearts of Iron IV is a Grand Strategy, and there are a lot of different elements at play. What weapons and machinery will you take into war with you? 

Platforms: PC

15. Total War: Warhammer

total war fantasy games
Image Credit: Creative Assembly

There have been many Total War: Warhammer iterations, but this one is a true classic RTS game. With turn-based battles, gigantic monsters, and mythical creatures to fight, it can get intense quite quickly. Will your army be able to fight back against the monsters, or will they succumb to their strength?

Total War: Warhammer has plenty of DLC available, with some of them being free, too. There’s plenty to explore in this game, and you can easily rack up a couple hundred hours (or more). 

Platforms: PC

14. Anno 180

city building games
Image Credit: Ubisoft Blue Byte

If you’re a history buff and know about the Industrial Revolution, this is the perfect game for you. The dawn of the Industrial Age has just arrived, and it’s up to you to define the world you live in. How will you run the Industrial Revolution? You can be the hero or the villain in this situation, depending on whether you want to be an innovative creator or you want to exploit the market.

Anno 1800 offers a unique playstyle for everyone, depending on how you like to play your RTS games.

Platforms: Windows, Xbox Series X/S, PS5

13. Godsworn

Godsworn camp
Image Credit: Thunderoak Interactive.

Godsworn is a beautiful mythological RTS. This game revolves around the Pagan Gods and northern territories. You have to choose a God and fight for them while fighting off other Pagan Gods and their tribes. You won’t just be fighting alongside humans, though; there are mythical creatures that can accompany you on your journey and help you become stronger as you go.

Platforms: Windows

12. Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion
Image Credit: Stardock Entertainment.

You have to command a Space Empire in Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, which is a stand-alone expansion to the other game. If you’re a fan of space, Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is the perfect game that you can get into. Between managing your crew and warships, you have to fight against other warships and aliens lurking in the excess of space.

Platforms: PC

11. The Wandering Village

The Wandering Village - Onbu
Image Credit: Stray Fawn Studio.

The Wandering Village is an absolutely stunning game where you can build your own city on the back of a giant, wandering creature. From creating a city from the ground up to forging a relationship with the creature on which you have built a home.

Will you be able to survive the post-apocalyptic world you are traversing through, thick with poisonous plants, or will you succumb to the elements around you?

Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, PC

10. Halo Wars: Definitive Edition

Halo Wars combat in action
Image Credit: Xbox Game Studios.

Halo Wars is an absolute classic RTS game, and it now has a definitive edition with improved graphics, new achievements to unlock, and DLC to boost the game. This RTS game occurs in the early stages of the war between the Covenant and UNSC. The story in this game showcases the war and provides a unique angle that Halo didn’t offer. 

If you find the campaign is not for you or manage to complete it, you can participate in online battles.

Platforms: Xbox One, Windows

9. Diplomacy Is Not an Option

city building game
Image Credit: Door 407

Playing as a minor Lord, you somehow end up forced to fight in war. However, you find yourself pretty unlucky, so you have to work tirelessly to turn the tides in your favor, building relentless armies, defensive walls, and more to fend off the 25 thousand enemies you’ll have invading your kingdom.

This game can get intense and requires a lot of complicated strategies to succeed. However, it’s a lot of fun and has a lot of replayability if you don’t succeed the first time.

Platforms: Windows

8. Command and Conquer Remastered

Command and Conquer gameplay
Image Credit: Electronic Arts.

Command and Conquer is one of the original, most iconic RTS games ever. Luckily, there is now a Command and Conquer Remastered, alongside the many other iterations in the franchise. The remastered collection contains Command and Conquer and Red Alert, alongside all of the DLC compiled into one neat little package.

Platforms: Windows

7. Shadow Tactics: Blade of the Shogun

Shadow Tactics: Blades of The Shogun
Photo Credits: Mimimi Games

If you like Stealth, strategy, and games set in historical Japan, this is the perfect RTS for you. Set in the Edo period, you have to take control of a team of assassins and specialists to take out enemies by sneaking in and out of the shadows. You can take out your opponent in many ways, or you can leave them to their own devices. The choice is yours.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

6. Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes gameplay
Photo Credit: SEGA

Company of Heroes is a WWII-based RTS with a cinematic single-player campaign. You have to lead your squad through Normandy and battle against the terror that is the German army. This game offers a look into what soldiers would have experienced during World War 2 and the unpredictable situations that they found themselves thrust into.

There have been multiple new Company of Heroes games released, but this is the one that kickstarted the franchise.

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, iOS, Android

5. Brutal Legend

Ten of the Best Licensed Soundtracks in Video Games
Photo Credit: Electronic Arts

Brutal Legend is probably the outlier on this list and is one of the more bizarre RTS games out there. Featuring Jack Black, that’s all you need to know if you want to play this game. When he stars in something, you know it’s going to be good.

In an open-world game with plenty of juicy combat, you get to use an awesome battle axe as well as a pyrotechnical guitar to slay enemies. What’s not to love?

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

4. Rebel Inc: Escalation

Rebel Inc. Escalation map
Image Credit: Ndemic Creations.

Somewhat similar to Plague Inc., this game is a political-military strategy game. You have to balance out your war-torn country while maintaining relationships with other fragile militaries across the globe while trying to make sure that you don’t step on toes and cause another war. 

However, while you’re working towards that, you also need to build up your resources to prepare for world domination and take the world by surprise!

Platforms: PC

3. They Are Billions

They Are Billions combat
Image Credit: Numantian Games.

They Are Billions is a great Steampunk RTS game that takes place on a post-apocalyptic planet. You have to build up your colonies and defend them from the hordes of zombies threatening to wipe out the human race. 

This game can get quite intense, especially if you’re down to the last few humans. Will you be able to survive against the zombie apocalypse?

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows

2. Infection Free Zone

Infection Free Zone zombie hordes
Image Credit: Games Operators.

Infection Free Zone is a pretty unique RTS game as you can choose any real-life region from the world, pick a base of operations, and then rebuild everything that surrounds you. From here, you have to make a self-sustaining colony while protecting them from the Infected in the nighttime.

If you’ve always wondered what it’d be like to see a zombie apocalypse happen in your area, Infection Free Zone is the game for that!

Platforms: Windows

1. Steel Division 2

Steel Division 2 war planes
Image Credit: Eugen Systems.

Steel Division 2 is another World War 2 game, with this one being historically accurate. This game takes place on the Eastern Front and has a 1:1 turn-based army management system. The graphics in this game help aid the game’s overall mood and aesthetic. You get to choose how you build your army, with over 600 different units available and multiple different game modes for you to explore.

Platforms: Windows

That concludes our list of the best RTS games out there. There’s something for everyone, whether you want fast-paced combat or slow, carefully planned diplomacy. RTS doesn’t have to be overwhelming!

What’s your favorite RTS game?

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Written by Amy Eastland

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