Strategy games are the ones you can play for a long time without ever getting bored. From intricate war-games to peaceful city-building and turn-based tactical decision making, this genre offers something for everyone. Historical grand strategies will mesmerize you with their depth, immersion and strategic aspects of building a nation, while real-time strategies will challenge your military tactics.
Since strategy games can often be complex and take much of your time, it is important to make the right call when choosing the one to play. We decided to check out Steam’s library and handpick the best titles that can be a great choice for both newcomers and experienced strategy enthusiasts. Some of the games on the list are timeless classics which have been remastered with better graphics and AI. Others are new-gen strategy games which are smooth and an enjoyment to play. So without further ado, here are the best strategy games .
30. Total War: ATTILA (2015)
This is the ninth game of Total War series and is set in Late Antiquity. It is 395 AD and Barbarians are knocking at Rome’s door. Among them is one of the most famous leaders known to mankind, Attila the Hun. Choose Rome to save it from doom, or opt for Huns and other Barbarians and bring destruction to once mighty civilization.
29. Company Of Heroes 2 (2013)
The game is a sequel to the original Company of Heroes, one of the best critically acclaimed strategies in the world. The story is still set during World War II, but focuses more on the Eastern Front and the Soviet campaign during Operation Barbarossa and later on, Battle for Berlin. It still remains one of the best WWII strategy games.
28. Total War: ROME II – Emperor Edition (2013)
Rome II Total War was one of the most awaited strategy games ever. While the game had a significant upgrade in graphics, the technical problems were numerous. The game was released with bugs and almost unplayable at the beginning. But the Emperor Edition available on Steam addresses most of the problems in the game including overhauled AI and upgraded visuals. Whether it is better than the original Rome Total War is debatable, but if you enjoy Total War series, don’t forget to include this one as well.
27. Stellaris (2016)
Published and released by Paradox Interactive, this grand strategy game allows you to explore deep and vast space, manage an empire and get involved in diplomacy. For those craving for action, it offers a lot of space warfare with plenty of space faring civilizations. A must play game if you are a fan of the genre.
26. Europa Universalis IV (2013)
Another grand strategy game by Paradox Interactive, Europa Universalis IV offers unparalleled diplomacy, warfare, strategy, and fun. Choose one of the greatest medieval kingdoms, or opt for a small republic and start from 1444 all the way up to 1821. Lead your nation to glory, conquest, wealth and prosperity. The game also offers a variety of DLC’s, which will keep you occupied for a while.
25. Hearts Of Iron IV (2016)
Hearts of Iron IV is part of Hearts of Iron series, one of the most iconic World War II grand strategy games. It allows you to follow footsteps of some of the most famous generals of the time. Pick a nation of your choosing and start in either 1936 or 1939. Will you lead it to victory against the major powers at the time?
24. Men Of War: Assault Squad 2 (2014)
Men of War: Assault Squad 2 brings increased realism and accessibility to the table, as well as action-packed skirmishes. Whether you are a fan of huge tank battles or stealthy sniper missions, this game has it all. Choose from Russia, Germany, USA, Commonwealth, and Japan and enjoy this excellent World War II game.
23. Frostpunk (2018)
Frostpunk is a survival city-building game set in alternate 1886. After volcanic eruptions and the dimming of the Sun, the world fell into a volcanic winter. There are three scenarios to choose from, A New Home, The Arks and The Refugees, all offering different storylines and backgrounds.
22. Ultimate General: Civil War (2017)
Ultimate General is series of strategy games developed and designed by the creator of DarthMod, a series of mods that improve the AI and gameplay of Total War games. Ultimate General: Civil War covers the whole American Civil War period and offers numerous historical battles and events. If you like tactics and military history, be sure to check this truly amazing game and support the developer.
21. Homeworld Remastered Collection (2015)
Homeworld is an epic space strategy game that set precedents for future games alike. Take control of a vast space fleet containing numerous different battleships, fighters, and carriers and compete for dominance in space across more than 30 single-player missions. The Remastered Collection introduces to players Homeworld and Homeworld 2 with newest sophisticated graphics and rendering technology. Be sure to check it out if you are a fan.
20. Dota 2 (2013)
Dota 2 is a standalone sequel to a fan-made mod for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, called Defense of the Ancients. The game is played in matches between two teams where the goal is to destroy and occupy enemy towers and base, while at the same time protecting your own. Each player takes control of a character hero and works his way up through equipment, skills, and levels in order to become more powerful and dominate the map. Dota 2 is a massive success and should be played at least once in a lifetime.
19. Total War: WARHAMMER II (2017)
A sequel to award-winning Total War: Warhammer, this game follows the same storyline set in Warhammer universe but offers an improvement on gameplay, graphics, and playable races. The campaign includes races such as Lizardmen, High Elves, Dark Elves, Skaven and Tomb Kings. The game offers a good multiplayer community, so your money will be well spent.
18. They Are Billions (2017)
This is a Steampunk strategy game set in the post-apocalyptic world. Your task is to build and defend your colony from the millions, if not billions of infected that threaten to annihilate whatever human population remains. Can you help humanity survive and eventually thrive and prosper again?
17. Northgard (2018)
Northgard focuses on Viking clans who compete for domination on a newfound continent. Build, trade, explore and wage war to bring fame to your Clan and write history as the boldest Northmen to set sails to new shores. The New World filled with mystery, danger, and riches awaits.
16. Victoria II (2010)
Victoria II is set in a 19th-century absolute monarchy world. Players can choose from a variety of different nations and carefully control and manage all aspects of state building. Get involved in politics, diplomacy, economy, military, and technology, as well as colonization of places to secure your nation’s place under the Sun. The time frame of the game is 1836 until 1936 and offers a century of endless possibilities and fun.
15. Syrian Warfare (2017)
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14. Crusader Kings II (2012)
There are numerous strategy games that offer you to lead a nation to glory. But what about establishing a dynasty and leaving a legacy? Crusader Kings II offers just that. Assume control of one of the famous royal families in Middle Ages, or create your own and lead it to glory. Start as a Duke of a small province and work your way up through plotting, scheming, marriages, and conquest. A game that will offer you a countless variety of playstyle and fun.
13. Empire: Total War (2009)
The fifth installment in Total War series, the game is set in the early modern period of the 18th century. Choose from numerous factions and lead them to glory by conquest, colonization, trade or diplomacy. The play is similar to earlier Total War titles, but Empire is the first one that offers naval battles in real time. There is also a special campaign that follows the rise of United States, from its humble beginning of Thirteen Colonies to the American War of Independence.
12. Napoleon: Total War (2010)
Napoleon: Total War is a standalone expansion of Empire: Total War. It offers enhanced graphics, gameplay and fixed the technical issues Empire faced in its early release. The main difference is shifting the focus from global warfare to more Napoleon oriented European battlefields. The game still has parts of the world map in the campaign, but recreating Napoleon’s conquest of Europe is way more fun.
11. Cities: Skylines (2015)
This game is a modern take on the city-building experience. Players will have to engage and tackle all problems facing urban planning. Control zoning, road placement, taxation, public transportation, and services. Maintain various elements of having a city, from budget to health, employment, and even pollution levels. If you are a fan of city-building adventures, then this game is for you.
10. Rise Of Nations: Extended Edition (2014)
This one is a timeless classic. Start with a single city in Ancient Age and by gathering resources, building infrastructure, making alliances and building an invincible army, advance through ages and conquer your foes. Build Wonders of the World and become the ultimate superpower. Extended Edition includes Rise of Nations and Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots as well as improved visuals and full Steamworks integration.
9. Knights Of Honor (2004)
To all RTS fans out there, this is a well-known strategy game. To casual players, it will always be in the shadow of Total War franchise or Age of Empires. Knights of Honor is a game that offers the possibility to play over 100 kingdoms in Medieval Europe and offers three historical time periods. In addition to a capital city, each province has series of smaller fiefs such as monasteries, farms, and ports. All of these can be raided for extra resources and extra anger to start that sweet war in order to create an empire.
8. Age Of Empires II HD (2013)
Another timeless classic on our list is available on Steam, Age of Empire II HD offers better visuals, enhanced gameplay, improved AI, workshop support, multiplayer and Steamworks integration. Choose between 18 playable civilizations and build your army in order to conquer your enemies. You will simply fall in love with the classic elements of Age of Empires with new HD features.
7. Medieval II: Total War (2006)
Medieval II: Total War is one of the most appreciated entries in Total War series and lets you enjoy the blood and gore of the Middle Ages. It offers a variety of troops, strategy and tactics, battlefields, city-building and nation-building options. The modding community is still strong and when the vanilla game becomes boring, you can choose one of the numerous mods to enhance your experience or have a completely new game. This is why people still prefer Medieval II over other games. Choose your faction and start conquering Europe!
6. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War (2006)
Having sold over 7 million copies worldwide, it is easy to see why Warhammer franchise is still one of the most dominant strategy games available. This science fiction oriented game is focused on capturing and holding strategic locations on the battlefield. Construct your base, build your army and research your technology in order to have an upper hand over others. Three expansion packs have been released, Winter Assault, Dark Crusade, and Soulstorm. They offer new content as well as upgraded AI, visuals and overall gameplay enhancement.
5. Sid Meier’s Civilization V (2010)
Sid Meier’s Civilization series is one of the most famous strategy games on the planet. Civilization V offers a variety of new content and is based on an entirely new game engine than earlier games in the series. Lead a civilization from prehistoric times into the future and get involved in research, exploration, diplomacy, expansion, economy, government and military conquest. Easily one of the best strategy games to this day.
4. Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal (2014)
Bending the original strategy game concept, Creeper World 3 has a variety of options suitable for just about anyone. From building fortifications and holding your base indefinitely, to domination, quick strategy kills and amassing huge amounts of stockpiles of resources. The game offers all of these scenarios and many more, so be sure to check it out as it is a highly addictive game.
3. Mount & Blade: Warband (2010)
What happens when you mix strategy elements with first-person sword-slashing, horse-riding, bow-whipping experience? Mount & Blade of course. This game offers a unique set of strategy in world map where you can join one of six kingdoms and become a general in their army or a lord of a city. If your ambitions are higher, you can even challenge the existing regimes and build your own kingdom to rule them all.
2. RimWorld (2016)
RimWorld is an interesting mixture of Dwarf Fortress, Firefly, and Dune. It is a science fiction colony simulator where you have to manage the moods, needs, wounds, and illnesses of your colonists. Watch your colonists fall in love, work the crop fields, farm animals, have pets and fight deadly beasts and awful pirate raiders. Involve in trade and capture other colonists which can be sold into slavery. Enjoy this story generator strategy game and the narration by one of three AI Storytellers.
1. Factorio (2016)
Factorio is not your average city-building strategy game. Instead, you build factories to produce items which gradually increase in complexity. You start humble, from simple ore-mining and tree-chopping, to gradually becoming a true industrial powerhouse. Combine simple elements into more complex and ingenious structures such as solar fields, logistic robots, oil refineries and others to suit your resource needs. The only limit you have is your imagination. And for all of those preferring a little action on the side, the game also has nasty aliens whose only purpose is the destruction of your perfect little factory base. But do not worry, conveyer belt will protect you!
Final thoughts on Best Strategy Games of All Times
No matter which title you choose from our list, you will be satisfied. You can also start from the beginning of the list, and play them all. But one thing is for sure; you are in for lots of fun. Of course, if you think we skipped some gems or strategy games you like; please let us know in the comments below. You can also comment if you liked our list, we won’t mind.