Strategy games have held a special place in the heart of gamers for decades, celebrated as some of the most creative and thought-provoking games of any genre. But while many other game types see constant releases, fans of strategy games are sometimes left waiting years for another solid entry in their favorite genre, creating a small pool of strategy games truly worth playing.
All the same, below are five of the absolute best strategy games around – both new and old.
- StarCraft. Blizzard’s epic strategy masterpiece, along with its sequel “Wings of Liberty” released in 2010, has spawned competitive clubs on college campuses, tournaments held all around the world, and a massive fan-base for the esteemed game developer that is arguably unmatched. Pitting three species against one another, StarCraft is a real-time strategy game that has gamers building bases, armies, and economic resources with the intention of dominating foreign game maps of varying terrains and climates… in addition to completely obliterating their opponents.
- Age of Empires. Microsoft Game Studios made something completely medieval refreshingly new with its real-time strategy cult classic, which took a seventh-grade history lessons on world cultures and transformed it into a massive, action-packed battlefield of warring countries like Great Britain, France, and Spain, perhaps providing a strategy experience even more expansive than Blizzard’s StarCraft series.
- Shogun: Total War. A turn-based strategy game set in Japan, Shogun can be considered akin to Risk in its presentation, with in-game action being more comparable to that of Age of Empires. Largely considered to be unmatched in its great presentation and unique take on strategy, Shogun is a cherished franchise that remains one of the best games in the genre’s history.
- Final Fantasy Tactics. Originally released on the PlayStation, “Tactics” is Square-Enix’s landmark moment in Final Fantasy spin-offs, cultivating an engrossing storyline and turn-based strategy gameplay that mimics – if not exceeds – the level of depth its main Final Fantasy titles proudly boast. The series has since seen well-received sequels on the PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, and iPhone.
- Advance Wars. Though based on Nintendo’s other strategy series “Fire Emblem,” Advance Wars takes the grid-based elements of Fire Emblem that made the series so fantastic and puts them on steroids. With loads of upgrades, “CO powers,” and a base-building concept not unlike that of Age of Empires and StarCraft, Advance Wars stands tall as one of the leading portable strategy games.
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