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Best Strategy Games For PC

Updated on December 28, 2016
Best Strategy Games For PC
Best Strategy Games For PC

Best Strategy Games For PC

The Strategy games genre is one of the most interesting game genres and is perfect for all that love a lot of thinking. It mostly focuses on skillful thinking and a lot of planning to achieve the desired victory. It emphasizes tactical, strategic, explorational, logistical or sometimes also economic challenges.

Strategy games are categorized into four sub-types, depending if the game focuses on tactics or strategy and if the game is a real-time strategy or turn-based strategy. As a player in a strategy game, you will mostly move and operate with workers, soldiers, vehicles and buildings, villages, cities, countries etc. And to win most of strategy games, you will need to be better then your opponent. But to achieve this, you will need to be a great builder, soldier, researcher and mostly an excellent tactician and strategist.

It's true that strategy games are not as attractive as some RPG or Action games, but if you try some of these 15 games described on the list below, you will for sure change your mind. So if you didn't get the chance to play a strategy game until now, I would strongly recommend you to try it out.

In most strategy games, players are forced to make quick and important decisions that affect the end result. When playing, every little detail decides if you win or lose, which is the result of high situational awareness and playing style.

The first known strategy games were played over 5000 years ago in China and were named Go (Chinese: pinyin). In 3rd century, for us better known, the game of chess was invented. And in 1972, the digital era began with the first console game named Invasion. The computer era started in 1980 with the first historical war game for PC named Computer Bismark. The first real-time strategy game was Herzog Zwei and was released in 1989. In 1992, Dune II popularized the strategy game genre and was also one of my favorite games of my childhood.

In 2000, the Creative Assembly released the Total War strategy game which has become over the years the most successful strategy game series of all time. For sure all Total War games are awesome, but for now the Best Strategy Games For PC is Sid Meier’s Civilization V.

Sid Meiers Civilization V
Sid Meiers Civilization V

Sid Meier’s Civilization V

Release Date: Sep 21, 2010

1. Sid Meier’s Civilization V is a turn-based strategy game which was developed by Firaxis Games and published 2K Games. Sid Meier’s Civilization V is the fifth game from the Sid Meier’s Civilization series.

In Civilization V, first the player chooses one of many civilizations he wants to play with. Then the real fun begins with discovering the world, developing (from prehistoric to present) and expanding your civilization. The objective is to reach all goals necessary to win the game (building wonders, creating culture, destroying all other civilizations, etc.). You will really enjoy playing this game because it's one of the Best Strategy Games for PC of all time.

My Opinion: Sid Meier's Civilization V is an awesome Strategy game. It's not as exciting as Total War (real time) but although I think that Sid Meier's Civilization V is a amazing turn-based strategy game. When playing it, you will not be able to stop playing it. The gameplay and reality is just awesome. I played this game many times and I strongly recommend it to you! Surely this game is one of the Best Strategy Games for PC!

You can read Sid Meier’s Civilization V review here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 9.0
  • IGN 9.0
  • Metacritic 9.0
  • Average score: 9.00

THE GOOD: Hours of addictive turn-based glee - Great automation features allow you to focus on the big picture - Fantastic new tactical combat system - Excellent interface makes it easy to keep track of every aspect of the game

THE BAD: Scattered annoyances, particularly in multiplayer - Inconsistent, overly aggressive AI

Sid Meier’s Civilization V Trailer

Total War: Shogun 2
Total War: Shogun 2

Total War: Shogun 2

Release Date: Mar 15, 2011

2. Total War: Shogun 2 is a strategy game which was developed by The Creative Assembly and published by Sega. Total War: Shogun 2 is the seventh game from the Total War series.

The campaign for this games is played in the far east in Japan in 16th century after the Onin War. In this era Japan was divided into nine different clans which were led by hungry for power and control warlords. The main objective of the game is to conquer and rule the whole Japan. At the beginning you can choose between nine different clans which have a variety of advantages in certain areas. The Total War series is known for the Best Strategy Games and is worthy of playing.

My Opinion: Of course Total War: Shogun 2 is my favourite strategy game in last few years. I really like the campaign of the game as I also liked the first Shogun which was released in 2000. Especially I found interesting the ninjas or geishas and their stealth attacks. Graphics are awesome but there is also one down-side: You need to have a powerful graphic card and computer to play the game on medium or high graphic quality.

You can read Total War: Shogun 2 review here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 9.0
  • IGN 9.0
  • Metacritic 9.0
  • Average score: 9.0

THE GOOD: Japanese castles spawn novel siege battles - Avatar Conquest mode encourages repeat play - Stylistically gorgeous and brimming with character - Improves upon previous Total War games in every way, including campaign AI - Great cooperative campaigns

THE BAD: Occasional AI issues in real-time battles - Rare crashes haunt multiplayer campaigns

Total War: Shogun 2 Trailer

Buy Total War: Shogun 2 on Amazon!

Europa Universalis IV
Europa Universalis IV

Europa Universalis IV

Release Date: Aug 13, 2013

3. Europa Universalis IV is a grand strategy game which was published by Paradox Interactive and developed by Paradox Development Studio. Europa Universalis IV is the fourth game from the Europa Universalis series.

This game is set in the historic era between 1444 and 1821, when the major European nations explored and colonized the New Worlds (North America, South America, Asia and Australia). When playing, you can select one of the big nations like England, Spain, Italy and France or simply chose a smaller nation like Persia or even Bali. The game is played on a world map so you can conquer and discover all places on the Earth. The main objective of the game is to be the strongest nation in the world in all categories (religion, diplomacy and military)

My Opinion:

You can read Europa Universalis IV review here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 9.0
  • IGN 8.9
  • Metacritic 9.0
  • Average score: 8.95

THE GOOD: Hundreds of playable countries - Revised ideas system allows for customized countries - Countless hours of 'what if' entertainment - Changes from Europa Universalis III reduce tedium and improve gameplay

THE BAD: Laggy performance - Bugs can ruin your fun

Europa Universalis IV Trailer

Buy Europa Universalis IV on Amazon!

XCOM 2
XCOM 2

XCOM 2

Release Date: Feb 5, 2016

4. XCOM 2 is a tactical turn-based role-playing strategy game which was developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K Games. XCOM 2 is the eighth game from the XCOM series.

The XCOM 2 campaign is set 20 years after the events of XCOM Enemy Unknown, when the earth was attacked and conquered by aliens. Now the élite military organization (resistance force) has the mission to fight back the aliens and to prevent the occupation of Earth. When taking control over XCOM, you become commander of all troops, technologies and other stuff. Your mission is to develop new technologies, manage all resources, expand your base and in the end destroy all Aliens.

My Opinion:

You can read XCOM 2 review here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 9.0
  • IGN /
  • Metacritic 8.8
  • Average score: 8.80

THE GOOD: Individual soldiers foster personal connections - Plethora of command decisions makes each playthrough different - Failure is essential and meaningful - Nuanced strategy and tactical layers

THE BAD: Some performance issues during cinematic moments - Enemies sometimes ignore tactical rules

XCOM 2 Trailer

Buy XCOM 2 on Amazon!

Total War: Warhammer
Total War: Warhammer

Total War: Warhammer

Release Date: May 24, 2016

5. Total War: Warhammer is a turn-based strategy real-time tactics game which was developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega. Total War: Warhammer is the tenth game from the Total War series.

My Opinion:

You can read Total War: Warhammer review here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 9.0
  • IGN 8.6
  • Metacritic 8.6
  • Average score: 8.75

THE GOOD: Massive AI improvements - Stellar audio design - The Warhammer Universe meshes naturally with Total War's gameplay - New races and creatures provide radically different strategic and tactical options

THE BAD: Occasionally uncooperative camera

Total War: Warhammer Trailer

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Release Date: Jan 20, 2016

6. Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is a real-time strategy game which was developed by Blackbird Interactive and published also by Blackbird Interactive. Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is the second game from the Homeworld series.

My Opinion:

You can read Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak review here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 9.0
  • IGN 8.8
  • Metacritic 7.9
  • Average score: 8.60

THE GOOD: Focused play drops all but the bare essentials - Masterfully executed design - Gripping, pervasive atmosphere - Exceptional writing and acting sells a tight military drama

THE BAD: Too few skirmishes and multiplayer maps

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak Trailer

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak on Amazon!

Anno 2070
Anno 2070

Anno 2070

Release Date: Nov 17, 2011

7. Anno 2070 is a real-time strategy game which was developed by Related Designs and published by Ubisoft. Anno 2070 is the newest game from the Anno series.

Anno 2070 is played in the far future, more exactly in year 2070. Because of the global warming all ice on the Earth melted and the ocean level raised, therefore the water flooded the majority of the big cities. Your task is to make a new city and you can choose between two options: 1. Green city but slow in development or 2. industrial city, rapid development but harmful to the environment. Of course you need to keep people and animals satisfied because they can be effected by pollution.

My opinion: I like Anno 2070 because it contains and takes into account the real situation that are on earth. You can choose to play a more green or more industrial option. I like also that the impact on the environment and people is realistic. But I didn't liked that there is no tutorial, but only assistant which helps you when you play. In addition, there are some problems in trading, which has proved to be complicated. But I was really satisfied with this strategy game.

You can read Anno 2070 review here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 8.5
  • IGN 8.5
  • Metacritic 8.3
  • Average score: 8.45

THE GOOD: Great visuals and soundtrack give the game a cool sci-fi style - Pollution control and underwater islands invigorate the formula - Involving mix of city building, resource management, and mission completion - Metagame adds persistence in clever ways

THE BAD: Some interface quirks and other foibles can lead to confusion for beginners - Online copy protection makes for occasional technical trouble

Anno 2070 Trailer

Buy Anno 2070 on Amazon!

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm

Release Date: Mar 12, 2013

8. StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is a military Sci-Fi real-time strategy game which was published and developed by Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is the fourth game from the StarCraft series.

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarn is an expansion pack to StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty and offers some new units, continuing campaign and multiplayer options. The campaign has 20 missions in which you are playing as Sarah Kerrigan. Sarah has returned back to the human form and is on her mission to regain control over the Swarm. She is also planning her revenge on Arcturus Mengsk who is the emperor of the evil Terran Dominion.

My Opinion:

You can read StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm review here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 8.0
  • IGN 8.6
  • Metacritic 8.6
  • Average score: 8.40

THE GOOD: Great, varied online play with strategic depth - Kerrigan and her army can be upgraded in powerful, satisfying ways - Slick production values in all respects - Fun and diverse campaign with plenty of places to visit and cover in creep

THE BAD: Some multiplayer balancing issues - Absurd story makes the original Starcraft seem like Shakespeare

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Trailer

Hearts of Iron IV
Hearts of Iron IV

Hearts of Iron IV

Release Date: Jun 6, 2016

9. Hearts of Iron IV is a real-time war strategy game which was developed by Paradox Development Studio and published by Paradox Interactive. Hearts of Iron IV is the fourth game from the Hearts of Iron series.

My Opinion:

You can read Hearts of Iron IV review here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 8.0
  • IGN 9.0
  • Metacritic 8.2
  • Average score: 8.40

THE GOOD: Your decisions have long-lasting effects - Focus on big-picture keeps pace up - Alternative history bugs will get a kick out of playing with all the possible outcomes - Grand strategy with unparalleled complexity and nuance

THE BAD: Tutorial is weak and doesn't prepare players for game's complexity

Hearts of Iron IV Trailer

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution

Release Date: Mar 1, 2011

10. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution is a real-time strategy game which was developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution is the newest expansion to the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II series.

The game is set in Warhammer 40,000 fictional universe which is divided into six sub-sectors. You can choose between six different races (Imperial Guard, The Eldar, Chaos, the Orks, the Space Marines and the Tyranids). When arriving on Typhon Primaris you will need to engage and battle an opposing faction and then defeat their leader.

My opinion: I'm not really the biggest fan of this type strategy games but what I saw, looked really interesting. I particularly liked the online play, but I did't like that the campaign of the game didn't feature much strategy. Because of that, I played this game only for a few days.

You can read Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution review here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 8.5
  • IGN 8.5
  • Metacritic 8.0
  • Average score: 8.35

THE GOOD: More diverse gameplay than its predecessors - The Imperial Guard faction is a great addition - Orks, Tyranids, Chaos, and Eldar finally playable in a campaign

THE BAD: Bugs mar the Imperial Guard campaign - Some factions' stories are poorly fleshed out

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution Trailer

Endless Legend
Endless Legend

Endless Legend

Release Date: Sep 18, 2014

11. Endless Legend is a turn based 4X fantasy-strategy game which was published by Iceberg Interactive and developed by Amplitude Studios. Endless Legend is the third game from the Endless series.

Endless Legend takes place in a fiction world of Auriga where up to 8 players can build their own empires. When plaing, you can choose between eleven races/factions, each with different abilities and units. The purpose of the games is to dominate the world through either war or diplomacy. In meantime you need to develop new technologies, explore new lands and found new cities.

My Opinion:

You can watch Endless Legend Trailer here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 8.0
  • IGN 8.3
  • Metacritic 8.2
  • Average score: 8.15

THE GOOD: Full customization across civilizations, units, and heroes carries meaning - Narrative quests add compelling story and welcome side activities - A beautifully haunting, somber, and enthralling soundtrack - Eight unique factions embody individual style and substance - Vivid, eye-catching landscapes house wonder and adventure

THE BAD: Accessible yet oversimplified combat that's more about preparation than tactics - Artificial intelligence is passive and easily pushed over

Wargame: European Escalation
Wargame: European Escalation

Wargame: European Escalation

Release Date: Feb 22, 2012

12. Wargame: European Escalation is a real-time strategy which was developed by Eugen Systems and published by Focus Home Interactive.

Wargame: European Escalation campaign played in Europe after the World War II between years 1965 and 1975 when the Cold War started. In cold war tension started to grow between NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization with United Kingdom, United States of America, France, West Germany) and the Warsaw Pact (Soviet Union, Communist Poland, Czechoslovakia and East Germany). And because the tensions is so high the world is about to fall in a new war between two super powers. The campaign puts you in the middle of this conflict with a lot of explosive and military action.

My Opinion:

You can watch Wargame: European Escalation Trailer here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 8.5
  • IGN 8.0
  • Metacritic 8.1
  • Average score: 8.20

THE GOOD: Attractive killing fields - Hundreds of unique units - Definitively answers 'How many Leopard 1A5s are needed to kill 24 T-62s?' - Impressive mixture of wargame and RTS - Intuitive interface and strategic view make for happy armchair generals

THE BAD: Insufficient map diversity - Uninspired unit chatter - Lacks opportunities for friendly 'comp stomps'

Crusader Kings II
Crusader Kings II

Crusader Kings II

Release Date: Feb 14, 2012

13. Crusader Kings II is a grand strategy game which was developed by Paradox Interactive and published also by Paradox Interactive. Crusader Kings II is the second game from the Crusader Kings series.

Crusader Kings II takes place in the medieval era between year 1066 and 1453. Game is mainly played in Europe with real civilizations. The main objective of the game is to defeat all enemy dynasties and to provide victory to your dynasty. Game offers an interesting story with many different events like weddings or assassinations.

My opinion: I was very excited when this game came out because I like that the story of Crusader Kings II I is happening in medieval Europe which is one of my favorite times. But for the start I didnt like the tutorial. Then playing this game became a real fun, so I would recommend that you try it.

You can watch Crusader Kings II Trailer here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 8.0
  • IGN 8.0
  • Metacritic 8.2
  • Average score: 8,05

THE GOOD: Open-ended structure lets you pursue your own goals - Well-designed and easily navigable menus - A complex and deeply rewarding system of international diplomacy - Building personal relationships is an engrossing endeavor

THE BAD: Lackluster tutorials - Maneuvering large armies can get awkward

Company Of Heroes 2
Company Of Heroes 2

Company Of Heroes 2

Release Date: Jun 25, 2013

14. Company Of Heroes 2 is a real-time strategy game which was developed by Relic Entertainment and published by SEGA. Company of Heroes 2 is the second game from the Company of Heroes series.

The Company of Heroes 2 campaign is happening during the the World War II. More specifically between 1941 and 1942 or from the Operation Barbarossa to the battle of Berlin. The campaign is focused on the eastern front where you can choose between two super powers: the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The main objective of the game is to defeat all enemy units.

My opinion: I'm a huge fan of WWII games and because of that, I'm also a huge fan of Company Of Heroes games. The reallity of the mission and units it's just awesome. The different seasons with different conditions make this game even more special. If you are like me a huge WWII games fan, then you must try this awesome real time war strategy game.

You can watch Company Of Heroes 2 Trailer here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 7.8
  • IGN 8.4
  • Metacritic 8.1
  • Average score: 8.10

THE GOOD: Winter maps demand different tactics - Fantastic production values get the adrenaline pumping - The best missions emphasize the despair of war - Many matches are a test of skill and resolve - Theater of War missions offer a variety of great challenges

THE BAD: Balance issues and grind to contend with - Some tedious missions showcase inconsistent enemy behavior - It's too easy to exploit the campaign's endless conscripts

Might & Magic Heroes VI
Might & Magic Heroes VI

Might & Magic Heroes VI

Release Date: Oct 13, 2011

15. Might & Magic Heroes VI is a turn-based strategy game which was developed by Black Hole Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. Might & Magic Heroes VI is the sixth game from the Heroes of Might and Magic series.

Might & Magic Heroes VI is a prequel to Heroes of Might and Magic V and is happening almost five centuries earlier and is played in a fictitious world called Ashan. The story of the game follows the five heirs of the Griffin dynasty and their mission to repel a demon attack and to impede Michael who is a legendary Arcangel and is plotting to awake an ancient war.

My opinion: Might & Magic Heroes VI has an interesting campaign that includes a new race, new units for each race and a new game mode where you can choose between good or evil. As a bad feature I would point out the movement of the units and bad display of the city compared to previous Heroes of Might and Magic game. But I had some real fun playing this great strategy game.

You can watch Might & Magic Heroes VI Trailer here.

Best Strategy Games For PC Game Ratings:

  • GameSpot 8.0
  • IGN 8.0
  • Metacritic 7.7
  • Average score: 7.90

THE GOOD: Vibrant, creative visuals - Quick combat can bypass drudgery - Some welcome restructuring and streamlining - Tons of campaign content - Classic formula remains as addictive as ever

THE BAD: Some helpful information is hard to find - Online competitors frequently quit - Quick combat can engender drudgery

Best Strategy Games For PC Release Dates

Best Strategy games for PC to be released in 2017:

  • March - The Guild 3
  • March - Blitzkrieg 3
  • April - Sudden Strike 4
  • TBA - Total War: Arena
  • TBA - SpellForce 3
  • TBA - Endless Space 2
  • TBA - Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III
  • TBA - The Elder Scrolls: Legends
  • TBA - Warcraft: Armies of Azeroth


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