Games Like Rise of Nations

games like rise of nations
Games like Rise of Nations let you take control of various unique factions as you lead tons of units into tactical real-time or turn-based battles. Rise of Nations is a great RTS that still stands firm even after 15 years since the release of the original. It’s regarded as one of the best RTS’s of all time, and after Microsoft bought the rights to the IP following the bankruptcy of 38 Studios in 2012, an Extended Edition released in 2014 which includes the Thrones and Patriots expansion pack alongside the base game, enhanced graphics and multiplayer support.

Looking for more strategic games like Rise of Nations to dominate in? Then check out this list down below.

14 Best Games Like Rise of Nations

Age of Empires Series
The historical Age of Empires games are also regarded as one of the best games in the RTS genre, having sold over 20 million copies as a whole. No matter if you’re a casual or hardcore strategy gamer, you are bound to enjoy playing through the great campaigns as you advance your faction to the next Age which unlocks new units and buildings to use.

Age of Empires

Age of Empires preview

The purpose of Age of Empires is the development of the civilizations of Iron Age Empire. The player needs to work for that and collect the units and resources through the game. The players can choose between twelve civilizations and progress through the period of Stone Age, Tool Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age.

About the game:
Released: 15 Oct, 1997
Genre: Real Time, Strategy
Platforms: PC, Microsoft Mobile, Macintosh
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Publisher: Microsoft
Official Website: ageofempires.com
System Requirements:
  • OS: /
  • Processor: Pentium III or Athlon MP
  • Memory: 64 MB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce 6200 LE or Radeon Xpress 1200 Series
  • Storage: 128 MB

Metacritic Rating: 83

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 21 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 34 Hours
  • Completionist 42 Hours
  • All Styles 29 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Base Building, Building, History, Multiplayer, Real Time, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, War

Age of Empires II

Age of Empires II preview

Enjoy over 20 historical campaigns and choose from over 30 civilisations in this timeless RTS classic. Guaranteed hours of play on and offline. Fight across a thousand years of history and annihilate your opponents.

About the game:
Released: 30 Sep, 1999
Genre: Action, Strategy
Platforms: PS2, PC, MacOS
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Publisher: Microsoft, Konami
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 95/NT/98
  • Processor: Pentium III or Athlon MP
  • Memory: 32 MB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce 6200 LE or Rage 128 Ultra with 16 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 250 MB

Metacritic Rating: 68

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 26 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 72 Hours
  • Completionist 105 Hours
  • All Styles 61 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: 2D, Action, Adventure, Base Building, City Builder, Classic, Co-op, Competitive, Historical, Isometric, Medieval, Multiplayer, RTS, Real Time, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical

Age of Empires III

Age of Empires III preview

This sequel brings forward the action a few centuries to the conquest of the New World. Take charge of mighty European powers as they vie for control of the Americas. Expansions let you play as Native American tribes and the eastern Asian dynasties and fight in their own struggles for power.

About the game:
Released: 15 Sep, 2009
Genre: Simulation, Strategy
Platforms: Windows Mobile, PC, N-Gage, MacOS
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 64 MB VRAM NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or ATI Radeon X1300
  • Storage: 12 GB

Metacritic Rating: 81

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 14 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 20 Hours
  • Completionist 27 Hours
  • All Styles 18 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Adventure, Base Building, City Builder, Classic, Co-op, Historical, Military, Multiplayer, Online Co-op, Open World, RTS, Real Time, Singleplayer, Strategy, War. Simulation

 

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Series
This series of games has a bit of everything for strategy fans. If you’re looking for classic base-building fun, then the first Dawn of War and its expansion pack, Winter Assault, are for you. Want to battle diverse races as you conquer territories with various missions in superb RTS gameplay? Then the two standalone expansions, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm are for you.

Prefer fast-paced squad RTS gameplay with no base building? Dawn of War II and its two expansion packs are the go-to titles to blast through. Or, if you’re looking for a unique take on the genre that mixes MOBA elements, then the recent Dawn of War III is for you.

Warhammer 40 000: Dawn of War

Warhammer 40 000: Dawn of War preview

Lead the Blood Angels to victory on the war-torn world of Tartarus. The 41st millennium is a dark future where untold alien races battle humanity in unending warfare. Customise your armies and lead them to victory across countless battlefields where close combat is as much a decider as firepower.

About the game:
Released: 1 Jan, 2006
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC
Developer: Relic Entertainment
Publisher: SEGA
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 2000/XP
  • Processor: 1.8 Ghz Intel Pentium III or equivalent AMD Athlon XP
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 32 MB VRAM DirectX 9.0c compatible
  • Storage: 4.5 GB

Metacritic Rating: 86

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 13 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 15 Hours
  • Completionist 18 Hours
  • All Styles 13 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Base Building, Classic War, Games Workshop, Multiplayer, RTS, Real Time, Sci-fi, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Warhammer 40K

Warhammer 40 000: Dawn of War II

Warhammer 40 000: Dawn of War II preview

Take charge of your squads in this fast-paced, action-packed sequel to the 2004 hit. Customise and upgrade your strike force as you take them from mission to mission. You decide your next assault in the non-linear campaign. Use the environment to your advantage as you destroy your enemies.

About the game:
Released: 19 Feb, 2009
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: Relic Entertainment, Feral Interactive (Mac/Linux)
Publisher: SEGA, Feral Interactive (Mac/Linux)
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista SP1
  • Processor: P4 3.2 GHz (single core) or any Dual Core processor
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM (XP), 1.5 GB RAM (Vista)
  • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM (Shader Model 3) – Nvidia GeForce 6600 GT / ATI X1600, or equivalent
  • Storage: 6.5 GB

Metacritic Rating: 85

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 16 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 21 Hours
  • Completionist 43 Hours
  • All Styles 19 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Atmospheric, Co-op, Co-op Campaign, Fantasy, Futuristic, Games, Gore, Great Soundtrack, Multiplayer, Online Co-op, RPG, RTS, Real Time, Sci-fi, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Warhammer 40K, Workshop

Warhammer 40 000: Dawn of War III

Warhammer 40 000: Dawn of War III preview

Lead the brutal Orks, powerful Space Marines, or mysterious Eldar to victory as they fight for control of a superweapon on the planet of Acheron. Use war machines, elite squads, and special abilities, to your advantage in this blood-soaked tribute to the Warhammer universe.

About the game:
Released: 27 Apr, 2017
Genre: Action, Simulation, Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: Relic Entertainment, Feral Interactive (Mac & Linux)
Publisher: SEGA, Feral Interactive (Mac & Linux)
System Requirements:
  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7 with latest updates
  • Processor: 3.0 GHz i3 quad logical core or equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 460 or AMD Radeon 6950 or equivalent with 1 GB VRAM
  • Storage: 50 GB

Metacritic Rating: 77

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 19 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 19 Hours
  • Completionist / Hours
  • All Styles 19 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Atmospheric, Base Building, Casual, Classic, Co-op, Games Workshop, Gore, Great Soundtrack, MOBA, Multiplayer, RTS, Sci-fi, Singleplayer, Story Rich, Strategy, Tactical, Violent, War, Warhammer 40K

 

Company of Heroes Series
Made by the same developers of the Dawn of War franchise, these games offer realistic battles as you lead groups of units through historical WW2 events. These games, especially the first one, is also up there among the best RTS’s as it offers fantastic gameplay that uses features such as the cover system seen in Dawn of War. The first title lets you lead US units through important operations during the Battle of Normandy, while the sequel puts you at the Eastern Front in control of the Soviet Red Army.

If you haven’t already played these games, then you definitely should, especially if you’re an RTS fan.

Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes preview

Lead an Allied company through the chaos of Normandy and the Battle for France in this visceral WW2 RTS. Use the completely destructible environment as you will, whether as cover or to deny the same use to your enemy. Watch as the intelligent AI brings your soldiers to life as they use cover and tactics to their best advantage.

About the game:
Released: 11 Sep, 2006
Genre: Action, Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS
Developer: Relic Entertainment
Publisher: SEGA
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP or Vista
  • Processor: 2.0 Ghz Intel Pentium IV or equivalent or AMD Athlon XP or equivalent
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM NVIDIA GeForce 6800
  • Storage: 9 GB

Metacritic Rating: 93

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 19 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 28 Hours
  • Completionist 80 Hours
  • All Styles 24 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Adventure, Base Building, Classic, Co-op, First Person, Historical, Military, Moddable, Multiplayer, RTS, Real-Time with Pause, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Tanks, Team-Based, War, World War II

Company of Heroes 2

Company of Heroes 2 preview

Protect the Motherland and fight for the Soviet Union in this action packed sequel. Fight on the frontlines with the Red Army all the way from the steppes of Russia to the streets of Berlin. Fight in the Ardennes with the Allies or play online with one of several armies; each with their own distinctive look and playstyle.

About the game:
Released: 25 Jun, 2013
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: Relic Entertainment, Feral Interactive (Mac & Linux)
Publisher: SEGA, Feral Interactive (Mac & Linux)
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows Vista
  • Processor: 2.0 Ghz Intel Core2 Duo or equivalent
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM (GeForce 8800 GT or Radeon HD 2900XT)
  • Storage: 30 GB

Metacritic Rating: 80

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 15 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 21 Hours
  • Completionist 35 Hours
  • All Styles 17 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Adventure, Atmospheric, Base Building, Co-op, Great Soundtrack, Historical, Military, Multiplayer, Online Co-op, RTS, Real Time, Real-Time with Pause, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Tanks, War, World War II

 

Command & Conquer Series
You’re bound to have heard of this classic franchise whether you’re an RTS fan or not. While the series may have received an unfortunate closure in a way that could’ve been better, there are plenty of great games in the series to dive into, and no matter their age, they are still superb RTS’s to play today.

Command & Conquer: Generals

Command & Conquer: Generals preview

Lead the Chinese or American armies against the scourge of the terrorist Global Liberation Army in this bloody entry in the C&C franchise. Have your troops gain in experience and become veterans while your general is customisable, meaning your forces grow stronger from battle to battle.

About the game:
Released: 10 Feb, 2003 (PC), 12 Mar, 2015 (Mac)
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS
Developer: EA Pacific
Publisher: EA Games
System Requirements:
  • OS: Win Xp 32
  • Processor: Pentium 4 1.8GHz or Athlon XP 1800+
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce 9200 or Radeon X1300 PRO
  • Storage: 2 GB

Metacritic Rating: 84

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 15 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 18 Hours
  • Completionist 22 Hours
  • All Styles 16 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Atmospheric, Base Building, FMV, Multiplayer, RTS, Sci-fi, Singleplayer, Strategy

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 preview

In a world where the Cold War suddenly goes hot, you take the side of either the allied forces or the communist USSR in order to bring your side to victory. You will encounter time-travel technologies, gun-toting dolphins, and much more in this unique and fun game by Westwood studios.

About the game:
Released: 28 Oct, 2008
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, MacOS
Developer: EA Los Angeles
Publisher: Electronic Arts
System Requirements:
  • OS: Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista (32-bit)
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.2 GHz or better, AMD Athlon XP 2100+ or better/li>
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or better, ATI Radeon X800 or better
  • Storage: 10 GB

Metacritic Rating: 83

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 22 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 28 Hours
  • Completionist 35 Hours
  • All Styles 24 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Base Building, Classic, Co-op, Co-op Campaign, Free to Play, Multiplayer, Online Co-op, RTS, Real Time, Sci-fi, Singleplayer, Strategy, War

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars preview

It is the year 2047. Tiberium infestation has continued to spread across the planet. The launch of a nuclear missile sets off the Third Tiberium War. Kane lives! NOD returns to take on its sworn enemy GDI. Lead either side to victory in this iteration of the timeless RTS series.

About the game:
Released: 28 Mar, 2007
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, MacOS
Developer: EA Los Angeles
Publisher: Electronic Arts
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP/Vista
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz AMD Athlon™ processor or equivalent
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: ATI Radeon 8500 or Nvidia GeForce 4 or higher video card
  • Storage: 8 GB

Metacritic Rating: 85

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 24 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 27 Hours
  • Completionist 34 Hours
  • All Styles 26 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Atmospheric, Base Building, FMV, Multiplayer, RTS, Sci-fi, Singleplayer, Strategy

 

Supreme Commander Series
Charge into massive mech battles using a variety of factions as you upgrade your units through four technology tiers. These games add an interesting feature where you control a large robot that you use to set up your base. It’s also powerful in combat but is crucial to keeping intact, as losing this robot known as the Armored Command Unit leads to losing the game.

If you’re looking for huge, action-packed battles, then these fun RTS’s are for you.

Supreme Commander

Supreme Commander preview

The Infinite War has dragged on for a thousand years. Three rival powers fight for their cause in a conflict with no quarter. Now after centuries of devastation, a turning point has been reached. Your strategic vision and command will be the deciding factor between domination or extinction.

About the game:
Released: 20 Feb, 2007
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC
Developer: Gas Powered Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista
  • Processor: 3.0 GHz Intel or equivalent AMD processor or better
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM, Nvidia 6800 or better
  • Storage: 8 GB

Metacritic Rating: 86

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 20 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 26 Hours
  • Completionist 37 Hours
  • All Styles 23 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Base Building, Classic, Co-op, Multiplayer, RTS, Real Time, Real-Time with Pause, Robots, Sci-fi, Singleplayer, Space, Strategy

Supreme Commander 2

Supreme Commander 2 preview

25 years on from the last game, the enormous armies of the United Earth Federation, Cybran Nation, and Aeon Illuminate continue to battle it out for supremacy. Lead customisable armies on land, air, and sea, in this thrilling sequel to an RTS hit. Unleash experimental and prototype units on the battlefield.

About the game:
Released: 2 Mar, 2010
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, MacOS
Developer: Gas Powered Games
Publisher: Square Enix
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7
  • Processor: 3.0 GHz or better, AMD or Intel CPU
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM (XP) 1.5 GB RAM (Vista / Win 7)
  • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM with Pixel Shader 3.0
  • Storage: 5 GB

Metacritic Rating: 77

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 13 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 21 Hours
  • Completionist 39 Hours
  • All Styles 17 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Base Building, Co-op, Futuristic, Grand Strategy, Military, Multiplayer, RTS, Real Time, Robots, Sci-fi, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical

 

Sid Meier’s Civilization Series
This franchise is known for its complex but fun turn-based gameplay that lets you develop various civilizations from prehistoric times all the way to the near future. What’s so great about these games is that even though you can spend tons of hours tactically dominating the base game, there are also plenty of mods you can use to further enhance your experience.

Sid Meier’s Civilization III

Sid Meier’s Civilization III preview

Lead your civilization from humble tribal beginnings to a superpower in this classic entry in Sid Meier’s franchise. Excel in science, economics, culture, or warfare, in your bid to ensure your dominance on the world stage.

About the game:
Released: 30 Oct, 2001
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS
Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2k Games
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 2000/XP (only)
  • Processor: Pentium II 400 MHz
  • Memory: 128 MB RAM
  • Graphics: Windows 2000/XP compatible video card, DirectX version 9.0b (included) or higher
  • Storage: 1.7 GB

Metacritic Rating: 90

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 25 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 31 Hours
  • Completionist 80 Hours
  • All Styles 30 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Classic, Co-op, Economy, Education, Hex Grid, Historical, Moddable, Multiplayer, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based

Sid Meier’s Civilization IV

Sid Meier’s Civilization IV preview

With over 6 million sales and being one of the top ten games of 2005, Civ IV needs little encouragement to be played. Enjoy streamlined gameplay in beautiful 3d worlds as you lead your civilization to victory along one of many paths.

About the game:
Released: 25 Oct, 2005
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS
Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2k Games
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 2000/XP
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor or equivalent
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 64 MB VRAM w/ Hardware T&L (GeForce 2/Radeon 7500 or better)
  • Storage: 1.7 GB

Metacritic Rating: 94

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 11 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 23 Hours
  • Completionist 57 Hours
  • All Styles 18 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Classic, Co-op, Economy, Education, Hex Grid, Historical, Moddable, Multiplayer, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based

Sid Meier’s Civilization V

Sid Meier’s Civilization V preview

Become the unquestioned ruler of the world as you lead a civilization from humble origins to the space age. Learn to wage war, conduct diplomacy, study economics, research technologies and advancements, all are a part of this, one of the most famed strategy games in history.

About the game:
Released: 23 Sep, 2010
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: Firaxis Games, Aspyr (Mac, Linux)
Publisher: 2k Games, Aspyr (Mac, Linux)
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows Vista SP2/ Windows 7
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM ATI HD2600 XT or better, 256 MB VRAM nVidia 7900 GS or better
  • Storage: 8 GB

Metacritic Rating: 90

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 34 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 95 Hours
  • Completionist 331 Hours
  • All Styles 72 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Classic, Co-op, Economy, Education, Hex Grid, Historical, Moddable, Multiplayer, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI preview

The Civilization series is one that many people remember fondly, since it is one of the oldest computerized game series that is expanded to this day. In the latest iteration, Civilization VI, you choose to play one of many different civilizations, both ancient and long-gone to nations that still live today, and battle across the globe for dominance.

About the game:
Released: 21 Oct, 2016
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: Firaxis, Aspyr (Mac, Linux)
Publisher: 2k Games, Aspyr (Mac, Linux)
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 7×64 / Windows 8.1×64 / Windows 10×64
  • Processor: Intel Core i3 2.5 Ghz or AMD Phenom II 2.6 Ghz or greater
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1 GB VRAM & AMD 5570 or nVidia 450
  • Storage: 12 GB

Metacritic Rating: 88

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 37 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 93 Hours
  • Completionist 342 Hours
  • All Styles 72 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: 4X, Casual, Co-op, Historical, Moddable, Multiplayer, Online Co-op, Open World, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based, War

 

StarCraft II
StarCraft II is one of the most competitive RTS’s out there. It has recently gone free-to-play, letting you play the excellent Wings of Liberty campaign at no cost. If you haven’t already, now’s the time to jump in this superb RTS that also has two standalone expansion packs worth playing if the base game is not enough.

Starcraft II

Starcraft II preview

A legendary game among fans of Real-time strategy, Starcraft 2 was made by heavy-hitting developer Blizzard, who also brought us games like Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, and Warcraft 3. IN this sci-fi RTS, you can play a dramatic campaign or go online to challenge your friends to face you in a base-building battle for dominance!

About the game:
Released: 27 Jul, 2010
Genre: Real Time, Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT or ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or better
  • Storage: 30 GB

Metacritic Rating: 93

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 18 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extras 21 Hours
  • Completionist 48 Hours
  • All Styles 21 Hours
  • Learn More
Tags: Action, Local Multiplayer, Military, Multiplayer, Real Time, Sci-fi, Science, Singleplayer, Strategy

 

Age of Mythology
Just like the name suggests, this is a spin-off of the popular Age of Empires series that strays from historical accuracy and takes inspiration from many myths and legends of the past as you control the Greeks, the Egyptians and the Norse in this fun game. There are Ages you advance through but at the start of each game, you get to choose one major god, with the option of choosing one minor god every time you progress to the next Age, unlocking useful technologies, units and structures. Each of them has their own special ability that could prove important for certain situations.

Age of Mythology

Age of Mythology preview

From the developers of Age of Empires comes a spin-off where myths and legends rule the battlefield. Age of Mythology is an RTS that lets you play as the Greeks, Egyptians or Norse as you choose one of their three major gods that can help dominate the enemy with meteors and more.

About the game:
Released: 30 Oct, 2002
Genre: Simulation, Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS
Developer: SkyBox Labs, Ensemble Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP (NT & 95 not supported)
  • Processor: Pentium II or Athlon equivalent
  • Memory: 128 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 16 MB 3D video card
  • Storage: 1.5 GB

Metacritic Rating: 89

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 16 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 23 Hours
  • Completionist 24 Hours
  • All Styles 19 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Adventure, Atmospheric, Classic, Co-op, Fantasy, Great Soundtrack, Historical, Multiplayer, Mythology, RPG, RTS, Real Time, Sandbox, Simulation, Singleplayer, Story Rich, Strategy, Tactical

 

Empires: Dawn of the Modern World
If you’re looking for a similar game like Age of Empires that lets you progress through the years while strategically attacking in real-time gameplay without the territory conquest from Rise of Nations, then this game is for you. You get to start from the Middle Ages and lead one of nine civilizations all the way to World War II. Civilizations are unique and designed in different ways to tactically play with, so if you’re looking for technological advancement and a mix of real-time strategy like Rise of Nations, then this game is for you.

Empires: Dawn of the Modern World

Empires: Dawn of the Modern World preview

Empires: Dawn of the Modern World is an RTS that lets you control one of many civilizations as you advance from the Middle Ages to World War II. Dominate enemies on land, sea and air as you battle with up to 8 players in two game modes or play 3 historical campaigns.

About the game:
Released: 21 Oct, 2003
Genre: Historical, Strategy
Platforms: PC
Developer: Stainless Steel Studios
Publisher: Stainless Steel Studios
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows (7, 8, 10)
  • Processor: 1.8 GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7
  • Storage: 1 GB

Metacritic Rating: 81

How long to beat?

Tags: Action, Campaign, God Mode, Historical, Real Time, Real-Time Strategy, Singleplayer, Strategy, War, World War II

 

Empire Earth
Made by the same developers as the game above, this series of RTS’s lets you play through 14 epochs, starting from the prehistoric age and going all the way to the ‘nano’ age. It’s a ton of fun to play these games and you are bound to enjoy the first two, while the 3rd entry may not be all that likeable by everyone.

Empire Earth

Empire Earth preview

Step up and take control of a great civilization, guiding them through as many as 500,000 years of human history, competing for dominance militarily, technologically, and culturally as you plan your next move in this grand strategy game. While easy to learn, this game will demand all of your skills in strategy if you wish to truly master it.

About the game:
Released: 12 Nov, 2001
Genre: Real Time, Strategy
Platforms: PC
Developer: Stainless Steel Studios
Publisher: Sierra
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP (NT & 95 not supported)
  • Processor: Pentium IV or Athlon XP
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 64 MB 3D DirectX 9.0c compatible video card with Hardware T & L and Pixel Shader support (NVIDIA GeForce 3+, ATI Radeon 8500+)
  • Storage: 1.5 GB

Metacritic Rating: 81

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 22 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extras 77 Hours
  • Completionist / Hours
  • All Styles 29 Hours
  • Learn More
Tags: Action, Adventure, Historical, Multiplayer, Real Time, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical

 

Total War Series
There are a ton of games in this huge franchise you can jump into and conquer. Featuring turn-based strategy during everything besides real-time massive battles, gamers looking for tactical gameplay and empire management throughout historical periods and even fictional lands with the new Warhammer games are going to have lots of hours of fun claiming territories and engaging in diplomacy in this series of games.

Rome: Total War

Rome: Total War preview

Rome, once a proud and mighty empire, is now falling around you as barbarians threaten to erase what is left of the empire. Assume control of one of the many feuding Roman noble families, unite roman by cunning or by force, and drive away the invaders to save the empire in Rome: Total War!

About the game:
Released: 22 Sep, 2004
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: iOS, PC, MacOS
Developer: The Creative Assembly
Publisher: Sega
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 2000/XP
  • Processor: Pentium III 1.0 GHz or Athlon 1.0 GHz processor or higher
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 64MB Hardware Accelerated Video Card
  • Storage: 3 GB

Metacritic Rating: 92

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 36 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 65 Hours
  • Completionist 134 Hours
  • All Styles 53 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Atmospheric, Classic, Historical, Medieval, Moddable, Multiplayer, RTS, Rome, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, War

Medieval II: Total War

Medieval II: Total War preview

Medieval II: Total War sends you back to huge, visceral real-time battles as you engage in Crusades and conquer territories across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and even America. Conquer the lands with over 40 new features, an improved user interface and better accessibility in the 4th entry of the Total War franchise.

About the game:
Released: 15 Nov, 2006
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: The Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive (Mac & Linux)
Publisher: SEGA, Feral Interactive (Mac & Linux)
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 2000/XP
  • Processor: Pentium 4 1.5 GHz or Athlon XP 1600+
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce 4 Ti 4200 or Radeon 9600 Series with 128 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 11 GB

Metacritic Rating: 88

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 38 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 64 Hours
  • Completionist 146 Hours
  • All Styles 58 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: 4X, Action, Classic, Grand Strategy, Great Soundtrack, Historical, Medieval, Military, Moddable, Multiplayer, RTS, Real-Time Tactics, Sandbox, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based, Turn-Based Strategy, War

Empire: Total War

Empire: Total War preview

Conquer the world as you wage war on sea and land in the 18th century. Empire: Total War delivers stunning 3D naval battles and a new graphics engine that allows detailed landscapes, dynamic weather and more. Improved UI and new systems for diplomacy, trade and espionage help make Empire: Total War a worthy entry in the franchise.

About the game:
Released: 3 Mar, 2009
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: The Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive (Mac & Linux)
Publisher: SEGA, Feral Interactive (Mac & Linux)
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows Windows XP SP 2 or Windows Vista
  • Processor: Pentium IV 2.66 GHz or Athlon XP 2600+
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM (XP), 2 GB RAM (Vista)
  • Graphics: GeForce 7600 GS or Radeon X1600 with 256 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 15 GB

Metacritic Rating: 90

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 24 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 76 Hours
  • Completionist 87 Hours
  • All Styles 44 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Adventure, Atmospheric, Classic, Grand Strategy, Great Soundtrack, Historical, Military, Multiplayer, Naval, RTS, Real-Time Tactics, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based, Turn-Based Strategy, Turn-Based Tactics, War

Napoleon: Total War

Napoleon: Total War preview

Rule the lands as legendary general Napoleon or play as one of his major rivals in the 6th installment of the Total War franchise. Command your army through 3 exciting campaigns or battle it out on sea and land with your friends in multiplayer.

About the game:
Released: 25 Feb, 2010
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS
Developer: The Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive (Mac)
Publisher: SEGA, Feral Interactive (Mac)
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows Vista / XP /Windows 7
  • Processor: 2.3 GHz CPU with SSE2
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM (XP), 2 GB RAM (Vista/Windows 7)
  • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM DirectX 9.0c compatible GPU
  • Storage: 21 GB

Metacritic Rating: 81

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 31 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 39 Hours
  • Completionist / Hours
  • All Styles 32 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Co-op, Grand Strategy, Great Soundtrack, Historical, Military, Moddable, Multiplayer, Naval, RTS, Real-Time Tactics, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based, Turn-Based Strategy, Turn-Based Tactics, War

Total War: SHOGUN 2

Total War: SHOGUN 2 preview

War rages in 16th century Feudal Japan, as ten powerful warlords fight for the throne to become the new Shogun. Use diplomacy and brute force to reunite Japan under your dominant rule in Total War: Shogun 2. Command samurais and control massive warships online or in the main campaign playable together with a friend.

About the game:
Released: 15 Mar, 2011
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: The Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive (Mac & Linux)
Publisher: SEGA, Feral Interactive (Mac & Linux)
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  • Processor: 2 GHz Intel Dual Core processor / 2.6 GHz Intel Single Core processor, or AMD equivalent
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM (XP), 2 GB RAM (Vista / Windows 7)
  • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM DirectX 9.0c compatible card
  • Storage: 32 GB

Metacritic Rating: 90

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 28 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 40 Hours
  • Completionist 144 Hours
  • All Styles 43 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Co-op, Diplomacy, Grand Strategy, Historical, Medieval, Military, Moddable, Multiplayer, RTS, Real-Time Tactics, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based, Turn-Based Strategy, Turn-Based Tactics

Total War: ROME II

Total War: ROME II preview

Take command of Ancient Rome or choose from a large set of different civilizations that feature hundreds of unique units to use to send to vast, detailed battles. Total War: Rome II offers great camera perspectives as you watch major battles unfold with your mastermind tactics on sea and land.

About the game:
Released: 2 Sep, 2013
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: Creative Assembly
Publisher: SEGA
System Requirements:
  • OS: XP / Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Intel Dual Core processor / 2.6 GHz Intel Single Core processor
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM DirectX 9.0c compatible card
  • Storage: 35 GB

Metacritic Rating: 76

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 65 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 84 Hours
  • Completionist 151 Hours
  • All Styles 89 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Atmospheric, Co-op, Education, Grand Strategy, Historical, Moddable, Multiplayer, Online Co-op, RTS, Real-Time Tactics, Rome, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based, Turn-Based Strategy, Turn-Based Tactics, War

Total War: ATTILA

Total War: ATTILA preview

Control the large territories of the prosperous Western Roman Empire as you strive to survive from the dangerous force marching their way to Rome. Total War: Attila introduces better mechanics, great atmospheric battles and the new raze mechanic that allows you to completely erase entire cities from the campaign world.

About the game:
Released: 17 Feb, 2015
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: Creative Assembly
Publisher: SEGA
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows Vista
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0 GHz
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, AMD Radeon HD 2900 XT or Intel HD 4000
  • Storage: 35 GB

Metacritic Rating: 80

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 60 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra / Hours
  • Completionist / Hours
  • All Styles 60 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Adventure, Atmospheric, Co-op, Grand Strategy, Historical, Medieval, Multiplayer, Open World, RTS, Real-Time Tactics, Rome, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy, Survival, Tactical, Turn-Based, Turn-Based Strategy, War

Total War: WARHAMMER

Total War: WARHAMMER preview

Conquer the Old World as one of many diverse races from the Warhammer Fantasy universe in the first fantasy-themed Total War game. Use powerful Legendary Lords as you charge into huge battles filled with fantasy creatures on a stunning landscape. Dominate the sky with Wyverns and a variety of flying units for the first time in the Total War franchise.

About the game:
Released: 24 May, 2016
Genre: Action, Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: The Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive (Mac & Linux)
Publisher: SEGA, Feral Interactive (Mac & Linux)
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 7 (64-Bit)
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0 Ghz
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 5770 1 GB VRAM | NVIDIA GTS 450 1 GB VRAM | Intel HD4000
  • Storage: 35 GB

Metacritic Rating: 86

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 33 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 49 Hours
  • Completionist 86 Hours
  • All Styles 43 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Atmospheric, Co-op, Dark, Fantasy, Games, Grand Strategy, Multiplayer, Open World, RPG, RTS, Singleplayer, Story Rich, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based, Turn-Based Strategy, War, Warhammer 40K, Workshop

Total War: WARHAMMER II

Total War: WARHAMMER II preview

Total War: Warhammer II is the 2nd Total War title set in the brutal, war-ravaged Fantasy universe. Explore the beautiful New World as you lead one of 4 factions to fantastic strategic battles. Expand your empire as you form alliances and level up Legendary Lords and Heroes in a massive fantasy world.

About the game:
Released: 28 Sep, 2017
Genre: Action, Strategy
Platforms: PC
Developer: Creative Assembly
Publisher: SEGA
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 7 (64-bit)
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0 Ghz
  • Memory: 5 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 460 1 GB VRAM | AMD Radeon HD 5770 1 GB VRAM | Intel HD4000
  • Storage: 60 GB

Metacritic Rating: 86

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 25 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 27 Hours
  • Completionist / Hours
  • All Styles 26 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Atmospheric, Co-op, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy, Grand Strategy, Great Soundtrack, Multiplayer, RTS, Real-Time Tactics, Singleplayer, Story Rich, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based, Turn-Based Strategy, War, Workshop

 

Cossacks 3
Set in 17th and 18th century, Cossacks 3 lets you see some truly huge real-time battles, with the number of units going in the thousands. There are 20 playable nations and even five campaigns to play through. With multiplayer support, this beautiful remake of the original version released in 2000 is worth trying out.

Cossacks 3

Cossacks 3 preview

Step into early 18th century Europe and take the reins and competing against various major historical figures to prove your dominance, both in the battlefield and as a shrew negotiator. Sign treaties, siege castles, and do everything it takes to solidify your empire in this RTS game!

About the game:
Released: 20 Sep, 2016
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: GSC Game World
Publisher: GSC Game World
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP/7/8/10
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz / Core i3 1.6GHz / AMD Athlon II X2 280
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 9600 GT / Radeon HD 4830 / Intel HD5000
  • Storage: 6 GB

Metacritic Rating: 63

How long to beat?

Tags: Action, Adventure, Base Building, City Builder, Classic, Co-op, Competitive, Historical, Moddable, Multiplayer, RTS, Real Time, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical

 

Stronghold Crusader
This medieval RTS is a fantastic game that lets you build a fortified castle and lead units with unique abilities in four historical campaigns. If you haven’t already played this classic then you definitely should, no matter if you’re a hardcore or casual RTS gamer.

Stronghold Crusader

Stronghold Crusader preview

The successor to the original Stronghold game, Stronghold Crusader requires all of the players brainpower and strategic cunning in order to overcoming some of its challenging and unique RTS experiences. If you are the kind of person who enjoys command large armies and sieging castles, Stronghold Crusader is your game.

About the game:
Released: 31 Jul, 2002
Genre: Simulation, Strategy
Platforms: PC
Developer: FireFly Studios
Publisher: FireFly Studios
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 with latest service packs
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 1.6Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 64MB DirectX 8.1 Compatible
  • Storage: 850 MB

Metacritic Rating: 78

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 12 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 24 Hours
  • Completionist 101 Hours
  • All Styles 38 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: 2D, Action, Adventure, City Builder, Classic, Co-op, Historical, Medieval, Multiplayer, RTS, Sandbox, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical

 

0 A.D.
This free open-source RTS is still being worked on, but there is a good amount of content to still give it a go. There are currently twelve ancient civilizations, including Spartans, Macedonians, Persians and more. You can play in random maps as you control infantry that can even build and collect resources, while using various realistic formations for battle that were also used in history. It won’t cost you anything to try this out, and it’s only going to get better as more content gets added to this growing RTS.

0 A.D.

0 A.D. preview

0 A.D. is an open-source historical RTS that lets you play as one of 12 ancient civilizations as you raise your unique city and army to take down your rivals in random maps with realistic geography. Use your infantry to not only battle, but also collect resources and build structures.

About the game:
Released: 26 Jul, 2017
Genre: Real Time, Strategy
Platforms: PC, OpenBSD, MacOS, Linux
Developer: Wildfire Games
Publisher: Wildfire Games
Official Website: play0ad.com
System Requirements:
  • OS: XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10
  • Processor: 1 GHz Intel or x86 compatible
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: At least 128 MB VRAM, Radeon 9000, GeForce 3, or similar
  • Storage: /

Metacritic Rating: n/a

How long to beat?

Tags: Action, Ancient, Base Building, Building, Civilizations, Historical, Military, RTS, Real Time, Real-Time Strategy, Singleplayer, Strategy

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