Strategy games have been a part of our lives for gamers since personal computers entered the house. The rush of strategy games, which started in the 90s, reached wider audiences every year with the development of computer technologies. It is also very important that it appeals to players of almost all ages, in terms of developing tactical thinking, instant reaction, strategy determination, planning and many more skills.
While some games have continued their series since the 90’s, some games are just entering our lives. When it comes to strategy games, of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the legends such as Age of Empires and Civilization, which have reached the cult level and brought together several generations. However, there are strategy games that set today’s level by blending their inspiration with new generation technologies.
Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for a historical experience from the first ages to the space age? Here are the best strategy games!
1) Age of Empires II
Age of Empires, first published in 1997, is a series that extends to the present day. The series, which had a great impact around the world, especially with its second game, is considered by many to be the best strategy game even today. The legendary series has reached more than 20 games with the main games and additional games released in addition to these games so far.
Of course, each game has its own pros and cons. So much so that Age of Empires IV, the newest game of the series, which has been released recently, continues to occupy the agenda of the players within the framework of these pluses and minuses. However, if there is one thing that Age of Empires fans have in common, it is undoubtedly Age of Empires II and the absence of a game that gives the experience of it over the years.
2) Civilization VI
Another iconic game of the list, Civilization is a series that defies years just like Age of Empires. The game, which was first published in 1991, is one of the first productions that come to mind when strategy games are mentioned. The series, which has more than 10 games, including the main games and additional packages, finally appeared with its sixth game published in 2016.
The game allows you to build a civilization from scratch and carry it to the space age. One of the most important features of the game is that it reflects the historical process and the players can experience almost every period of history. Therefore, there is a very wide-ranging gameplay. Civilization VI , the last game of the series, also offers a much deeper strategy and diplomacy experience compared to the previous games in the series.
3) Rise of Nations
The game managed to create as much excitement as Age of Empires and Civilization after its release in 2003. The similarity to Age of Empires, especially in terms of gameplay mechanics, was one of the biggest factors in the game’s love. The game, which started a civilization process from primitive ages to nuclear wars, unfortunately did not release any new games except for a few additional packages.
Although Rise of Nations is not a series that extends to the present day like its counterparts, it is still one of the first productions that come to mind when strategy games are mentioned. On the other hand, the main aim is not to fight, but to bring civilization to the last age with the best strategy and economy management. This naturally makes the game different from the others and makes it interesting.
4) Total War: Shogun 2
We came to another of the first games that come to mind when it comes to strategy games: Total War! The first game of the series was published in 2000 as Shogun: Total War. The series has reached 14 games in total, with the last game released in 2020. Total War: Shogun 2 , which is considered the best game of the series by both players and authorities, continues to be played even though it has been 10 years since its release.
Starring the samurai, the production offers a turn-based strategy experience like all the other games in the series. However, unlike the other games in the series, it has much more advanced features.
5) Total War: Rome II
Total War: Rome II , the third game in the Total War series and the second game in the Rome series, was released about 10 years after the first game. The play, which is about one of the greatest empires of history such as Rome, draws attention especially with its success in telling and reflecting the historical process of that period. We witness the events between 272 BC and 14 BC and experience the forms of government of the states of the period with all their historical reality.
In addition to the historical realism and the success in the narrative, another element that draws attention is the army management mechanics. Players can really manage their army during the war as a commander. This naturally makes such a comprehensive and realistic strategy game a few shirts superior to its counterparts.
6) Total War: Warhammer II
Unlike the Shogun and Rome series, Warhammer II , the last Total War game of our strategy games list, is fed from fantasy elements, not historical reality. The first game of the series was released in 2016, and it is the first non-historical game of the Total War legend. Warhammer II, which found its place on the list, met with game lovers a year later in 2017.
Since a fantastic universe is presented, the diversity of characters, creatures, places and events is just as much. In addition, let’s say that it has very advanced graphics and gameplay mechanics. The races offered by the fantastic universe created are the key point of the game. Each race has its own characteristics. Of course, it is in your hands to strategically manage the race you manage in the best way and lead it to victory. Let’s warn; Get ready for bloody battles!
7) Company of Heroes
II. When it comes to World War II themed games, FPS genre productions come to mind in general. However, Company of Heroes is known as a legend even today with its success in the strategy genre. The game, which was published in 2006, attracted all the attention with its graphic quality and gameplay mechanics compared to the period it was published. The series, which has kept itself alive with the sequels that have survived until today, still holds a special place in the hearts with its first game.
It is about the allied powers trying to save France from the German occupation. Moreover, with the additional packages released later, German and English scenarios became experienceable. Players try to complete the missions by choosing the infantry or airborne company.
8) Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
Another series that has been in our lives for many years is Warcraft. The series, which has been transferred to the big screen as well as the games that have continued until today, has a unique cast of players. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos , the third game in the series, was released in 2002. The game, which features races such as orcs, humans, undead and night elves, has been awarded the game of the year many times by different authorities.
Although the series reaches much more advanced graphics and gameplay mechanics with today’s technologies, the place of the third game is kept separately. In particular, the fact that it entered the list of best-selling games and laid the groundwork for the currently very popular MOBA games, in a sense, places the game in a special place in the list of strategy games.
9) XCOM 2
One of the oldest series of our strategy games list, the XCOM series is about human and alien warfare. XCOM 2 is the most striking and popular game of the series, which has published over 10 games to date. The game tells about the resistance struggle of people captured by aliens. We are in the role of the protagonist of this struggle.
With both storytelling and gameplay mechanics, it provides the strategy experience to the finest detail. In addition, the graphics quality is also quite high and offers a realistic experience in this context.
10) StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty
The first game of the series, published in 1998, was actually a harbinger of how legendary a game was coming. After the first game, additional and expansion packs were released periodically; but the expected second game never came. StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty , which was released at the end of the 12 years that passed, was almost like a pain for years.
The game, which tells 4 years after Brood War, one of the expansion packs, is 26. It takes place in a distant part of the Milky Way Galaxy in the 19th century. The iconic Terran, Zerg and Protoss races of the series are also present in the game. The main quests, of course, form the basis of the game, but the side quests that appear in the story flow make the game much more enjoyable.
Stellaris is a game where you will feel the endless emptiness and mystery of space. Although it does not offer a high-level experience in terms of graphics, it is more than satisfying in terms of gameplay and atmosphere created. If you wish, you can choose one of the existing states, or if you wish, you can establish a state from scratch and try to take over the entire galaxy.
The production, which draws attention especially with its huge space wars, manages to be one of the first games that come to mind in recent years when space strategy is mentioned. At the same time, it is possible to choose the map you want among more than one planet with its multi-map structure.
12) Endless Legend
Endless Legend , another game that marked the 2010s in our list of strategy games, is a fantastic turn-based strategy game. In a world called Auriga, you try to dominate the world by choosing one of 14 different races. The main tasks are to discover new lands, build new cities and develop new technologies. Besides, of course, diplomacy and war are the main elements of the game.
An immersive strategy experience is offered when you try to explore the mystery of various legends and ruins, survive, develop and conquer. By the way, let’s not go without saying that the storytelling is quite successful.
13) Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
The game, which was first released in 1999 as Homeworld , offered a space-themed strategy experience. Although it did not attract much attention at the time, it occupied the agenda of the game world with the second game published after more than 15 years. The production, which takes place 100 years before the first game, invites us to deserts instead of space this time.
We have a tool called Kapisi and we collect resources and produce in the deserts with this tool. As a result of the productions, we are trying to both take back our attacked home bases and come out victorious from the tough war we are in, by forming an army.
14) Supreme Commander
Supreme Commander , another serial game in our list of strategy games, is popular with its first game, as in many serial games. The game, which was first published in 2007 and followed by sequels at short intervals, is remembered by both authorities and game lovers with its first game.
The game is about teleporting an alien robot to another planet. Of course, the robot trying to survive on this planet is not alone. There are other groups that have colonized the planet and there are intense wars between these groups. We are trying to make progress in all this chaos by using our tactics, foresight and some strategy skills.
Battletech , one of the newest members of our strategy games list, was released in 2018. The game, which takes place in a universe in which robots are the leading roles, is an invaluable boon, especially for those who like science fiction-themed strategy games. Players can design and customize their own robots and participate in battles with these robots.
It has a turn-based gameplay mechanic. In addition, it is worth mentioning that the story progresses very slowly and it is a very difficult game. Therefore, if you like strategy games that are short in terms of story and lead directly to war, Battletech will not be the right choice for you.
This time we turn our route north and head to Viking land. Another recent game in our list of strategy games, Northgard is one of the most remarkable productions of recent years. Released in 2017, the game is about a Viking clan trying to take control of a newly discovered and mysterious continent.
Northgard is a strategy game based entirely on Norse mythology. Therefore, it offers an unforgettable experience especially for game lovers who are interested in Scandinavian mythology. Gathering resources, raising warriors, exploring land appear as basic dynamics.
Finally, let’s say this; Environments reflecting the atmosphere of Scandinavian mythology, especially realistic graphics with detailed models, take the game to another level.
17) Command & Conquer
We’re going back to the 90s on our list of strategy games. Command and Conquer , which marked the period just like Age of Empires and Civilization, was first published in 1995. The production, which has continued its series with various additional packages and new games since then, is a legend for most game lovers.
Let’s not go without saying that it is a very revolutionary game according to the possibilities of the period. Among the tasks given, the video images that are displayed on the screen are animated both in TV quality and by real people. These images are very valuable in terms of both developing the story of the game and giving information about the next mission.
18) Dota 2
Dota, the game that has taken the world by storm in recent years, is undoubtedly one of the first games that comes to mind when strategy games are mentioned. It was first developed by players in 2003 as a kind of expansion mode of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. It has become one of the iconic games of the MOBA (Online multiplayer battle arena) genre and was first released independently as Dota 2 in 2013.
Since 2013, it has become one of the most popular productions in the gaming world, with the world by storm and the number of players increasing day by day. The game, which is especially in demand in the field of e-sports today, inspired many strategy and MOBA games after it.
19) Crusader Kings III
The first game of the series was released in 2005, the second game in 2012, and the third and last game in our list was released in 2020. The medieval theme of the first two games continues in this game as well. The historical process from the Viking Age to the fall of Byzantium is discussed. With Crusader Kings III , especially the characters designed in 3D draw attention. We can already say that the game has a character-oriented structure to a large extent.
Each character has their own special abilities. If you force your characters to do things other than their abilities, you can stress your character and cause him to fail. Besides, there is a genetic system in the game. That is, some characteristics of the characters are passed on to their children and grandchildren.
20) World in Conflict
It’s time for the last game of our strategy games list: World in Conflict. The game released in 2007, 3. It presents a story depicting World War II. In the war between the Soviets and America, you can choose either the Soviet side or the American side.
The game, which has both single-player and multiplayer modes, stands out as one of the most successful games of the last 15 years when it comes to real-time strategy. Especially if you like world war-themed games, World in Conflict is a game you should definitely try with its scenario and skill and strategy-oriented gameplay.