15 Best Strategy Games That You Need To Try

We invite you on a journey into the realms of strategy games, where you make thousands of decisions that shape the universe your characters live in. From military simulations to empire-building sagas, the world of strategy-based video games is vast and diverse, offering something for every taste. We’ve made a list of the best strategy games for PC users. Read our review and pick the game that has captivated your gaming soul!

Top Strategy Games That Will Sharpen Your Mind

Strategy video games are a popular genre where you need to plan, make decisions, and employ different tactics to achieve set objectives. These games often involve resource management, building structures, commanding armies, and outsmarting competitors. There are many types of such games, depending on the theme, the actions required of the players, and the overall mechanics. For example:

  • Real-Time Strategy (RTS): You make decisions in real-time and must control units;
  • Turn-Based Strategy (TBS): The gameplay is divided into turns, and you have time to plan and make your move;
  • 4X Games: The abbreviation stands for "Explore, Expand, Exploit, and Exterminate." Some popular economic strategies fall under this category;
  • Grand Strategy: You rule an entire nation for a long period of time, literally raising a civilization;
  • City-Building: You create and manage a city, mostly focusing on resources, infrastructure, and the level of happiness under your governing;
  • Tower Defense: You must create a well-thought-out defending system to fight waves of enemies off;
  • Real-Time Tactics (RTT): This type is similar to RTS, but here, the game focuses more on tactical decisions;
  • Simulation and God Games: This type of game is preferred by those who don't like managing wars and armies. Here, you manage particular persons and make decisions on a smaller scale.

Whatever type you prefer, the gaming industry has something to offer to any taste. Below, you can find 15 excellent games that will be fun both for newbies and experienced players.

1100AD: Domination

Platform Browser
Release Date 2014
Developer Ambergames

1100AD: Domination is an exciting multiplayer historical strategy game for all fans of the Middle Ages. The game's main feature is that you can play it directly in the browser. This online game will not require extensive resources from your PC; therefore, it is accessible to everyone. In addition, it is a free strategy game meaning you don’t need to pay to play it. Yet, there are some in-game purchases for quick play, but you can do without them as well.

You start the game as the owner of a certain territory and must develop and equip your state, strengthen the economy, and enter into profitable alliances. One of the highlights of this game is the fact that you play together with other gamers around the world on different servers. In the built-in chat, you can form alliances and weave intrigues – just like in the real Middle Ages! We also note the original game design, different difficulty levels, and impressive battles on water and land.

The game features a crafting and mining system. And, of course, over time, you will be able to upgrade buildings and hire more experienced workers (for example, a commander for more successful raids). Don't forget that you manage properties where people live, and this is your most important resource. You need to provide them with food and shelter and maintain a good standard of living. In general, almost everything is like in real life. The only difference is that the events occur in the Middle Ages' wonderful setting.

This game impresses with its excellent gameplay, stylish design, and a huge number of in-game features. If you're looking to get into a strategy game, 1100AD: Domination won't disappoint you. We consider it to be one of the best strategy games on PC.

Crusader Kings 3

Platform PC, PS 5, Xbox
Release Date 2019
Developer Paradox

This is a real-time strategy game. You take control of a dynasty of medieval aristocrats and strengthen its global position and reputation with each generation, find allies, and make connections. After the death of a ruler, they are replaced by an heir, whose abilities and interests may turn out to be completely different. In this case, you will have to adjust your strategy and tactics.

Alpha Centauri

Platform PC
Release Date 1999
Developer Firaxis Games

This is a turn-based strategy computer game set in a science fiction depiction of the 22nd century. The player will manage one of seven factions of the human colonists. Your task is to expand the borders of your faction until the final victory. This is definitely one of the best strategy games on PC in the Civilization style.

Northgard

Platform PC
Release Date 2018
Developer Shiro Games

Northgard is based on Norse mythology in which you manage a Viking clan vying for control of a mysterious new continent. You establish a settlement and must expand it to a dominant size. At the beginning of each round, you distribute your people across the map, sending them to mine resources, cook food, construct buildings, etc. When your settlement has accumulated enough strength, you can send a group of Vikings to explore and capture new land, which will entail additional resource costs for security, food, protection, etc.

Age Of Empires 4

Platform PC, Xbox
Release Date 2017
Developer Relic

This is another title on our strategic games list allowing you to Immerse yourself in the thick of history. You rule one of 10 civilizations from around the world, from the ancient Romans to the Chinese dynasties. Build cities, get resources, and fight on land and sea in 4 different campaigns, each consisting of 35 missions. The game’s plot spans a period of 500 years – from the Dark Ages to the Renaissance.

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Platform PC
Release Date 2018
Developer Creative Assembly

This game combines elements of the turn-based strategy and RTS genre. This title from the most popular strategy game series is dedicated to the legendary military conflict in ancient China. The era of legendary heroes and epic real-time battles, together with a deeply developed turn-based campaign, are waiting for you.

Command & Conquer: Remastered

Platform PC
Release Date 2020
Developer EA

Here you will find a remaster of the first two games in the real-time series Command & Conquer: Command & Conquer (1995) and Red Alert (1996) with updated graphics and sound, as well as additional content. Epic battles are now available in 4K! You will once again experience large-scale battles, tactical interaction, and the legendary soundtrack that delighted RTS fans more than 20 years ago.

Dune Spice Wars

Platform PC
Release Date 2023
Developer Shiro Games

If you've already seen Denis Villeneuve's Dune and are eager to immerse yourself even further in this wondrous world of sand, spice, and battles, this game is for you. The title is a real-time strategy game set on the desert planet Arrakis. The planet is divided into regions, each of which has settlements and various resources, such as the well-known spice and minerals.

Supreme Commander

Platform PC, Xbox
Release Date 2007
Developer Gas Powered Games

This groundbreaking real-time strategy (RTS) game puts players in the midst of futuristic warfare. The game is renowned for its breathtaking battles, strategic depth, and interesting mechanics. The plot tells about three factions: the United Earth Federation, Cybran Nation, and Aeon Illuminate. They are all fighting for supremacy in a galaxy, and your goal is to outsmart and defeat the enemies.

Endless Legend

Platform PC
Release Date 2014
Developer Amplitude Studios

Welcome to the fantastical world of Auriga! This TBS game is a great fusion of fantasy and strategy with its rich lore, engaging world-building, and easy gameplay. Here, you lead one of several factions, from the enigmatic Vaulters to the insectoid Necrophages. As for the technical side, this strategy-based game combines empire management and turn-based combat on the hexagonal map.

Starcraft 2

Platform PC, Xbox
Release Date 2010
Developer Blizzard

This is one of the most controversial and yet the best strategy games. Just as in the first version of StarCraft, the main focus of the game is on numerous battles and resource extraction. It gives the player the means to construct buildings that can produce and improve combat units to attack the enemy. The player's goal is to destroy all enemy buildings.

Old World

Platform PC
Release Date 2021
Developer Mohawk Games

Old World is a historical 4X strategy game where you control an empire over multiple generations. The game is similar in style and spirit to Crusader Kings, but Old World focuses on a specific time and place and tells a more cohesive and complete story. You control a ruler of a specific country, create connections, give orders, and manage your people. As you have a limited number of turns, you should think strategically and plan your moves in advance.

Invisible, Inc.

Platform PC, PS 5, Xbox
Release Date 2015
Developer Klei Entertainment

No wonder this title is considered one of the best strategy games, as it redefines the stealth and espionage genre in the cyberpunk theme. In this turn-based tactics game, you lead a team of elite agents through corporate espionage in the future. You navigate procedurally generated levels, go through guarded facilities, and perform brilliant operations to find corporate secrets. To succeed, you must assemble a team of skilled characters, each with unique abilities and talents.

Civilization 6

Platform PC, PS 5, Xbox
Release Date 2016
Developer Firaxis Games

If you've never heard of the Civilization game, you're probably new to the genre. Everyone knows and loves Civilization, and new versions of this game are released regularly. Here, you start by managing a small tribe and gradually develop it into an empire. You can choose the path of development to your liking: for example, you can follow the path of religion, culture, diplomacy, science, or army. You will have to develop cities, establish diplomatic connections with other states, and wage wars.

Into The Breach

Platform PC, PS 5, Xbox
Release Date 2018
Developer Subset Games

This game offers a refreshing take on turn-based tactics with captivating battles and interesting gameplay. It’s among top strategy games from indie developers. Here, gamers pilot mechs and defend humanity against gigantic aliens known as the Vek. You defend your civilization by strategically fighting aliens on procedurally generated grids. The game is focused on minimizing collateral damage and the need to protect cities as crucially as defeating the aliens.

Tips For Playing Strategy Games

Strategy games are an exciting adventure where you must carefully follow the plot, plan your moves in advance, and think through all decisions, predicting the consequences. We have prepared some tips to make your game experience even more fun.

  • Take time to learn the game. Before you start playing, make sure you fully understand the game mechanics, have studied the features, and are familiar with the characteristics of each faction. It is in the various details that the unique features of each strategy video game lie.
  • Plan ahead. This is where strategic thinking comes in handy. You must anticipate your opponent's actions and consider the long-term consequences of your decisions. Decide on a strategy and remember to adapt it to the changing environment.
  • Use resources efficiently. This is the basis of any strategy. Your resources are not only minerals but also troops, technology, and money. Create a robust and sustainable economy!
  • Be flexible. There are often random events that can change the current state of affairs. For example, your ruler may die suddenly and leave a bastard as their heir. You must be prepared for anything and change your strategy and tactics accordingly.
  • Learn from mistakes. Any loss is an opportunity to learn from your own mistakes. Analyze what is happening and look for your weak points to avoid mistakes next time. This is how great strategists are born!
  • Play at your own pace. Take your time to make a decision; there is no need to rush in strategy games. Assess the situation and consider different options and further developments.
  • Study the enemy's weak points. Every strategist has weaknesses, be it a weak army, economic vulnerability, excessive predictability of actions, etc.
  • Make alliances. In strategy video games, you shouldn't stand alone. On the contrary, active communication, cooperation, and synchronizing efforts to achieve goals are encouraged here. This, of course, does not mean that you cannot deceive your yesterday's allies then.

Final Words

Strategy games may seem boring to some at first, but if you get the vibe, you will appreciate all their advantages. They develop critical thinking, teach you to plan ahead, manage resources correctly, and be more flexible. In addition, these are simply exciting games with interesting plots and beautiful graphics. If you want to spend 20+ hours building your own civilization or conquering new territories, strategy-based games are what you need.

Modern games are built around various plots. For example, events may take place in ancient times, in fantasy worlds, in deep space and distant colonies, etc. You can choose a theme of your choice and immerse yourself in a carefully designed world. We hope our list of the 15 best PC strategy games will help you choose a title and become a great strategist in the game and real life!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Strategy Game Right Now?

From our personal standpoint, 1100AD: Domination is the best strategy game today as it is browser-based. It means it is literally accessible to anyone. In addition, it is free to play, has a stunning design, and has some extra features described above.

What Are The Most Popular Strategy Games?

Some of the best PC strategy games include Starcraft 2, 1100AD: Domination, Crusader Kings 3, Civilization 6, Age of Empires 4, and others.

What Types Of Strategy Games Are There?

There are quite a bunch of different game types, including RTS (real-time strategies), TBS (turn-based games), 4X games (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate), grand strategies (managing entire nations), city building, tower defense, RTT (real-time tactics), etc.