10 PC Real Time Strategy Games You Should Play Before You Die

Posted By | On 07th, Jul. 2011 Under Feature, Website | Follow This Author @GNReith

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Everyone has regrets, and it is the fear of regret that makes people come up with lists of things they want to do before they die. Some people want to ride a hot air balloon, others want to get punched in the face by Mike Tyson, but some are fresh out of ideas of things they need to do before their time is up. If you need some fulfilling gaming experiences to ensure you can leave this world with no regrets, then look no further than this list of ten awesome real time strategy games for PC that every self-respecting gamer should play before they die. This list is in no particular order.

Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos

Equipment, experience points, orcs; what doesn't this game have?

Warcraft 2 is often seen as one of the games that put the real time strategy genre on the map, and it is also credited as one of the first titles to popularize online multiplayer. Despite these rather impressive accolades, it is Warcraft 3 that is the superior title. Reign of Chaos was able to elevate itself above other titles with its gripping story, impressive visuals and unique and engaging RPG elements. Multiplayer games over battle.net are still an explosive and intricate affair, even today. A true titan of the RTS world.


Memories anyone?

Nearly all RTS games are about war or conflict of some kind. Sim City is one of the few games that challenged players merely against themselves, making for a more creative gaming experience. Sim City is a system defining PC game and one that, if only for histories sake, every gamer out there should play at least once. Granted it isn’t a PC exclusive any more, but it’s a PC game at heart.

Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War

Classic LAN party material

Warhammer related games have always been a mixed bag but, even without the Warhammer 40K license, Dawn of War would still be a brilliant RTS title. With all the expansion packs, the different armies players could choose from were numerous, and yet the game still remained well balanced in spite of all this choice. Dawn of War 2 changed the formula by focusing less on base building, so if you want a strategy game that focuses on both resources and combat, then you can’t go wrong with the original Dawn of War.

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  • sim city isnt an RTS, nor was total war.
    you should replace those with rise of nations and age of mythology

  • bob

    Homeworld…how can you forget homeworld… lets see what else comes to mind Rise of Nations, Supreme Commander – get off Blizzards nuts, warcraft 2 was their best title imho.

  • Hi,

    It comes down to opinions, but If you are talking about classic Realtime Strategy Games….

    Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri
    Black & White
    Freedom Force
    Stronghold: The Crusaders
    Command & Conquer: Generals
    Starcraft (First)

    I think some of these could have made the list. Again, when it comes to Journalistic opinion, It’s an opinion, so I would respect that.

  • Total Annihilation should really be on here. One of the first games to be played professionally and revolutionized the genre in the mid-late 90’s. Best supported game I’ve ever played. Weekly extra unit releases for the first year or so… and all for free.

  • how could you leave off Total Annihilation?

  • Jon

    I’m with bob, homeworld deserves a place.

  • Total Annihilation – first with dynamic music, epic sized battles and true 3d terrain that effected weapons and units

    Warzone 2100 – 8 Hours playtime in mp to achieve the whole tech tree? fuck yeah

    CnC Generals – Far superior then RA2 bonbon gfx and with Zero Hours amuses me up today

    Dune 2 – The INVENTION OF RTS!

  • Don’t forget “Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II”

  • No one list of strategy games is ok without X-COM UFO Defense or/and X-COM Terror from the Deep

    classical and revolucionary

    (sorry about my english skil)

  • This could’ve been such a comprehensive list… instead, you’ve listed 3 Blizzard games, 5 cookie cutter C&C clones (including one that is a sequel of another… really?), and 2 games that aren’t even RTS’.

    There are so many RTS’ more significant for the genre than those listed. Homeworld, the 3D environment. Total Annihilation, the scale, economy, base building, music, everything! Dungeon Keeper, oh my god… Like. This could’ve been the checklist for the passage for the RTS gamer…

  • Hello, MYTH??? It did tactical WAY better than Dawn of War, and much earlier. Oh, and it’s still Bungie’s best series.

  • Sins of a Solar Empire.

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  • Seven Kingdoms 2 would be high up on my list. Sure the graphics weren’t as nice as Age of Kings, the campaign was flawed but the gameplay mechanics were superb and unlike any RTS I’ve played since.

    An intricately detailed diplomacy & trade system, the ability to win over multiple neutral races and use their technology, using spies to sabotage/assassinate generals/cause civillian uprisings and generally just cause havoc in other kingdoms are just a few of the reasons why it’s still my favourite RTS. And I brought it for $10 in 2001 IIRC

    Some would say 7k1 was better because it had ships and ability to have multi-race towns but I still prefer the sequel

  • XCom Annihilation (XCom 3) was the only RTS XCom the others were turn based, however Xcom still rules(d:), and where is Total Annihilation?

  • Total Annihilation
    Outpost 2
    Warzone 2100

  • Please. No Age of Empires? How the hell did AOE2 make the cut?

  • What?!?
    No Warzone 2100 (Which I argue that all modern RTS have borrowed from) Homeworld or “Z” (pronounced Zed)

  • Funny how you have space for BOTH Starcraft 1 & 2, after you admit yourselves that the second one is just the first with updated graphics, but not for Homeworld, which is one of the most unique RTSs of all time. I mean, half this list is made of isometric view, 2D (gameplay-wise) RTSs!


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