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 Similar To 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 likable by everyone.
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.
Set in the 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.
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.
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 a 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.