Real Time Strategy games have had a huge fan following since their inception. The USP of such games is that there is no specific way to complete a mission. The players themselves have to devise strategies and plan out their approach to ensure victory. There are numerous RTS games out there that have received critical acclaim. But, what about the games that are hitting stores in this year? Take a look below at the best RTS games for 2020.
Best RTS Games
Check out the list below for the best Real time strategy games.
1. Total War: Arena
Total War: Arena is the upcoming free-to-play Team-based real time strategy game from The Creative Assembly. The game is in closed alpha and closed beta stage now, and will be released soon. Total War: Arena mixes genres such as multiplayer online battle arena and real-time strategy together and features 10vs10 (PvP) battles. Each player can control up to 3 different units of warriors, each led by a historic commander.
With the redesigned multiplayer mechanics, team-based gameplay, and powerful backstory, Total War: Arena is one of the best RTS games to play this year. So, do you want to discover the authentic stories of world’s most courageous Heroes? Are you ready to take on the Epic Hero battles? Well, you must be, because Total War: Arena is going to release on Steam soon.
2. Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
The prequel to Homeworld is finally here after 17 long years. But it is definitely worth the wait. Set in the dying world of Kharak, players must join Rachel S’jet to uncover the mystery surrounding an anomaly which could be the answer to Kharak’s restoration. Survive the desert by making meaningful choices regarding resources, fleets and technology research. Take part in different combat styles that need to be changed depending on the environment.
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak offers both Single and Multiplayer modes and lets you enjoy an authentic story. With all the massive and ever changing environments, Tactical Combat, improved mechanics and a wit challenging gameplay, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is truly one of the best RTS games to play. Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is available to play on Windows PC and Mac OS X via Steam.
3. Soldiers: Arena
Soldiers: Arena reinvents the gameplay with its innovative approach to the Real-time Tactics and Strategy genres. It offers a gameplay influenced by three of the all-time popular games Soldiers: Heroes of World War 2, Faces of War, and Men of War. Set during the bloodiest periods of history, the World War II, Soldiers: Arena allows players to take control of the different nations each with their own tanks, infantry, vehicles and various types of weapons. It is one of the best real-time strategy games and features a highly interactive environment wherein almost anything can be destroyed or set on fire.
Arena also has an advanced AI in the game which makes for a very realistic battle experience. With a variety of different elements combined, Soldiers: Arena offers Direct Control mode, beautiful atmosphere, and realism, unique Modular damage system, Advanced system AI, and a Conceptual user interface as its most promising features. You can have Early Access to the game’s content on Steam. Relive the most historic and violent period that mankind has ever witnessed on PC.
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4. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is a Single and Multiplayer Real-time Strategy video game by Tindalos Interactive. The game is set in Warhammer 40K universe and allows you to embark on a journey of surreal space exploration. Released in April 2016, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, pits together Chaos, Eldar, Orks and the Imperium against each other in epic space battles. Each of the four factions has their own skills and strengths that need to be explored deeply to become victorious. The main highlight of the game is the plethora of customizations that are available for the ship as well as upgrades for the crew and captain.
The ship’s weaponry, defense systems, and sub-systems must be carefully taken care of so as to be prepared for an attack anytime. With a variety of amazing upgrades, beautifully portrayed events, a powerful backstory, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is one of the best RTS games to play this year. Do try it out for an epic Strategy, Combat, and objective-oriented experience. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is available to play on PC via Steam.
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5. Total War: Warhammer
Total War: Warhammer is Creative Assembly’s brilliant take on the Turn-based Tactics and RTS genre. It offers a combination of Total War Series’ gameplay and Factions from Warhammer Fantasy series games. This innovative amalgamation makes the Total War: Warhammer stands out as one of the most rewarding titles of this particular genre. It also features a huge game world filled with all kinds of monsters, warriors, and heroes. Warhammer is the 10th installment in the Total War series and players can control any of the four factions – the Empire, the Greenskins, the Dwarfs or the Vampire Counts.
Warhammer brings back the tried and tested elements of the previous games like city-building, unit-building and diplomacy settings. However, there are a huge number of animations and over 30 different types of skeletons and body types added to the game as customization options for characters. For all those who’ll love to see TBS and RTS altogether, Total War: Warhammer would really be a massively entertaining. Total War: Warhammer is available to play on Windows PC and Mac OS X.
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6. Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty
Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty is a Militaristic Sci-Fi Real-time Strategy video game by none other than the popular Blizzard Entertainment. It’s a direct sequel to the 1998’s groundbreaking StarCraft video game. The story of Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty revolves around three distinct races of beings. These races include Terrans, Protos, and Zergs. Set four years after the events of StarCraft: Blood War, the game centers around a Terran character named as Jim Raynor. It focuses on the exploits of Raynor against Dominion.
Packed with both new and old features, characters, and a story similar to the previous games, Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty offers variety in game content. From epic battles to colonizing the regions, dethroning the powerful rivals to controlling a whole civilization, Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty is a remarkable RTS game to play. Furthermore, the game offers beautifully crafted visuals, enhanced mechanics and an immersive gameplay to enjoy. Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty is available to play on Mac OS X and Windows PC.
7. Ashes of the Singularity
Ashes of the Singularity is a Multiplayer Real-time Strategy video game by Oxide Games. It’s a Standalone title in the series followed by an expansion pack named as Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation. This expansion pack adds up a bit more detail to the game such as more troop units, maps, skills, structures, and several new upgrades to the game interface. It offers 16 players co-op multiplayer experience with PvP, exploration, and resource generation aesthetic. Boasting to be the first ever native 64-bit RTS game, Ashes of the Singularity features maps of unprecedented size and amazing details.
Players can build huge armies, research on new technology and destroy anyone who stands against them. The most intriguing part of the game is that it requires a minimum of 4 cores from the CPU. It helps develop the most complex strategies by the AI. It is surely going to hit players with a different level of challenge they have never been into in RTS games. With a variety of innovative features, beautiful visual details, and a remarkably addictive gameplay, Ashes of the Singularity is worthy of being part of the best RTS games niche. It’s available for Microsoft Windows only.
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8. Cossacks 3
Cossacks 3 reinvents the classic Cossacks Franchise and offers an incredible RTS experience. The game follows the lead of 2001’s Classic and proves its worth as the best remake of an RTS game ever. With the typical Cossacks games formula, Cossacks 3 takes you back to a historic era between the 17th and 18th centuries. It offers 12 playable nation types, 70 different types of troop units, over a hundred new technologies to discover, hundreds of different types of historic structures, and brings back some old features as well.
Cossacks 3 offers support for up to eight players for PvP combats with revamped core mechanics and a mix-up of old school and new features. Exploration, Customization options, thousands of content mods, vivid graphics, and an immersive gameplay, Cossacks 3 is a whole new package of next-gen RTS gaming. Furthermore, Cossacks 3 offers Randomly Generated game maps, 5 single-player campaigns, DLCs (Downloadable Content), loads of cool upgrades and an addictive gameplay to enjoy. Cossacks 3 is available to play on Windows PC only. Do try it out as one of the best RTS games and enjoy the ultimate fun.
9. Offworld Trading Company
Offworld Trading Company is a Sci-Fi Single and Multiplayer Real-time Strategy (RTS) video game. Set on Planet Mars, Offworld Trading Company offers a versatile content made up with the amalgamation of features such as Building, Management, and exploration. This might be one of the most unique real-time strategy games on the list because it doesn’t have any form of combat. Offworld Trading Company comes from the lead designer of Civilization IV, Soren Johnson. It allows players to dig into the untapped resources of the red planet, Mars.
Players have to manipulate the market and research about new technologies to drive the opponents out of business and become the supreme leader. The market is real-time and is driven by the actions of the players. The game doesn’t have any form of combat and handling money carefully is the key to success. For all those who love Strategy games with Sci-Fi elements, non-violent gameplay, hardcore PvP battles, Offworld Trading Company would definitely prove as a great entertainer. Offworld Trading Company can be played on Windows PC and Mac OS X platforms.
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10. Warcraft 3
Warcraft 3 is a Fantasy Real-time Strategy video game. This remarkable title is the direct sequel to the popular Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. Set in the Fictional Universe of Warcraft 3 offers both Single and Multiplayer play. The game focuses on two major races known as Humans and Orcs. The Single-player campaign is based on the events of the original StarCraft. The Multiplayer play allows you to brawl against the fellow players instead of matches against the game AI. The gameplay of Warcraft 3 follows the standard formula as the previous games in the series.
The inclusion of multiple environments such as Mountains, rivers, cliffs, seas and other great features makes this particular game one of the best RTS games of all times. Exploration and resource collection are the two most important elements of the game. Building settlements, defenses and forging weapons created with the resources such as gold, lumber, Food, etc. lets you enjoy the game in detail. Warcraft 3 offers a variety of different troop units, amazing upgrades for both characters and equipment, and lets you enjoy a well-written story. You can enjoy playing Warcraft 3 on Windows PC and Mac OS X based systems.
11. Supreme Commander
Supreme Commander is an immersive RTS (Real-time Strategy) video game by Gas Powered Games. It’s a spiritual successor to the popular Total Annihilation released back in 1997. The game is focused on using Bipedal giant battle mechs called Armored Command Units or ACUs. The primary objectives of the game are to build bases, upgrading the units to higher tech tiers and conquering the enemies. In addition, Supreme Commander offers three main factions that the players can choose between. The Three factions include Cybran Nation, United Earth Federation, and Aeon Illuminate.
Supreme Commander offers a variety of missions including the Skirmishes that can be set on a variety of victory conditions. Various objectives are assigned to players in the very start of the missions. The game has a limited number of Campaign missions. Once the player is able to finish a mission and completes all the objectives, the map expands. Freedom of exploration, plenty of room for the gameplay and objective-based play, are among the most noticeable elements of the game.
12. Age of Empires 3
Age of Empires 3 is one of the best Real Time Strategy video games available in the market globally. It offers tons of factions for the players to choose between. In addition, 14 different empires are also part of the game and players are free to choose any one of them to build and reign over. Unlike most of the RTS games on this list, Age of Empires 3 features locations based on real life countries and also the historical military units. Players can start the game with one civilization, go through the dark ages, research new technologies and build new trade routes.
Building massive armies, training them, waging wars against the opponents and defending your own settlements are some of the most prominent objectives of Age of Empires 3. If you want a game that’s based on more realism than any other you see circling around over the web, Age of Empires 3 will probably be your best choice. It’s indeed one of the best RTS games to play.
13. Company of Heroes
Company of Heroes will probably strike you as an oldie as compared to the other games on the list of best RTS games. It’s an award-winning RTS game that features a World War 2 era setting. The Relic Entertainment did a really good job by focusing more on the game’s realism. That is why you’ll see a lot of historical references to the game. You’ll see plenty of historical locations and armies from the past as well. In addition, the game offers beautiful graphics, advanced combat mechanics, tons of playable factions, and multiplayer play.
The ragdoll physics makes it even more interesting and probably one of the best RTS games you’ll ever play. It isn’t much of a heavy strategy game unlike others and allows you to easily master and enjoy its gameplay. Company of Heroes is an amazing World War 2 era game that offers way more realism than any other made on this subject. So, do try it out if you haven’t yet. It’ll amaze you with all the stuff it has to offer.
Stronghold or also referred to as Stronghold HD is a historically rich Real-Time Strategy video game by Firefly Studios. The main focus of the game remains on exploration, conquest, and expansion of the world by military means. Economic strategy, development, research, and defense are some of the most prominent elements of the game. It offers both Military and Economic campaigns in order to let you fully enjoy a realistic experience of a Strategy game. It’s set in a medieval era in Britain around the year 1066. As a lord of the kingdom, it is your duty to stabilize the economy in the region, create and train a massive military to defend your kingdom.
Invade, and destroy the enemy strongholds, and complete the missions with all the objectives. Stronghold offers various game modes, and lets you have full control over the kingdom. Developing skills, re-conquer the lost lands and keep on growing until all the neighboring barbarian kingdoms are part of your massive kingdom.
15. Star Wars: Empire at War
For all those who love Real-time Strategy games but they want a more familiar setting, Star Wars: Empire at War will definitely interest them greatly. With a Star Wars theme, the game offers a movie like an experience and uses locations from Star Wars movies as well. This, in turn, makes the game more interesting. It features the main campaign mode in which players can choose from the Rebel Alliance to the Star Wars empire. Players will face scenarios such as protecting the emperor, destroying the mega weapon Death Star.
Players can choose a totally different faction as well and complete the campaign based on the objectives specifically provided for that particular faction. Star Wars: Empire at War also offers the Skirmish mode and it greatly resembles the classic RTS elements with a unique twist. You have the liberty to simply stick to a land or go traveling in the space and be part of the massive battles. As one of the most unique and challenging RTS games, Star Wars: Empire at War will definitely be worth your time. Do try it out.
Hope you liked our list of best real time strategy games. If you think there are better RTS games and we skipped them, drop us a comment below and we will check them out.