Shadowed at the time of its release by the higher-profile launch of Civilization: Beyond Earth, Legend is easily the best game in the genre since Civ 4. It looks gorgeous, too. The rules are simple: The war unfolds slowly in realtime over the course of a week or so, and may slightly ruin your life during that period. A simple game that orchestrates amazing drama. Red Alert is possibly lighter on strategy than any other game in this list. By simplifying the XCOM formula, Firaxis cut a more direct route to the things that the series has always been about.
This is, fundamentally, a squad action game where you should really care about your squad. Whether you get there by grafting them into towering mechs or by naming them after your friends or both , Enemy Within stands above other strategy games as the one most likely to make you care about the decisions you make. It has smart, creative AI, and a full-size game can take weeks to complete. You have to balance economic, technological, diplomatic, cultural and military power to forge alliances, fight wars and dominate the galaxy.
Reminiscent of the Civilization games, but on a much grander scale, and with a lot more depth in places. It was the first game in the long-running series to use 3D visuals, and features the unmistakable voice of late Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy. Among a vast array of improvements, the much more intelligent, aggressive AI stands out. Civilization fans could debate for hours which is the best in the series, but this is my favourite. 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. In addition to being the preeminent competitive strategy game of the last decade, StarCraft II 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: 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. The original Rome presents a simple, compelling image of ancient warfare and delivers on it phenomenally.
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. Sins captures some of the scope of a 4X strategy game but makes it work within an RTS framework.
This is a game about star-spanning empires that rise, stabilise and fall in the space of an afternoon: Diplomacy is an option too, of course, but also: Play the Rebellion expansion to enlarge said spaceships to ridiculous proportions. Crusader Kings II is a political strategy game.
Every landed character is simulated, and each one has goals and desires. Its simulation corners you into desperate situations and encourages you to do terrible things to retain power. One time I executed a newborn baby so that his older and smarter sister could reign instead. Feudal times were messed up. 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. Some games would try to step away from the emotional aspect of a war that happened in living memory. Not Company of Heroes. The trick of Frozen Synapse is that both sides take their turn at the same time. Before you commit, you get to preview your theoretical turn, and that allows you to attempt some audacious moves.
My best ever play involved deliberately sending a soldier into the line of fire just long enough to distract the enemy, leaving them open to a flanking attack. Exhaustive previews ensured the real thing played out with immaculate casualty-free precision. It felt amazing to pull off. Its deep strategic systems and clean turnbased combat make Xenonauts a triumph of rebooted game design.
The simple interface removes the usual barrier to entry that most wargames have, but there are hidden depths to uncover as you learn the intricacies of its systems. 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. Best of , Top. Seriously no Age of Empires in the list????? How to install, Extract, Crack the game Previous post Next post.
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