The 21 Best Strategy War Games of All Time

Best Strategy War Games
Get ready for War.

There are a plethora of strategy games out there. Some fall outside the realm of war, but for the most past, they are by far and large aimed in the direction of battle.

So let’s take a look at arguably the best twenty one titles in the genre of all time. From fantasy to reality, these are the most engaging, balanced and entertaining strategy war games on the open market.

Of course I cannot speak to the black market; the shady underworld of illicit strategy gaming we were all told to stay away from as children. So let’s get on with it:

21. Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Real history goes out of the window for this one. With a physics engine like no other, TABS allows you to see first-hand what happens to the human body when it is pelted with arrows, stabbed with pitchforks, crushed by a trebuchets boulders and many more of the interesting ways we have thought up to kill each other.

Exciting things you can do in Totally Accurate Battle Simulator:

  • Send fools flying in spectacular detail with your massive battle Woolly Mammoth
  • Create custom maps from the ground up in sandbox mode.
  • Embark on the campaign, or create your own dang campaign!
  • Have a battle royal to settle things, King vs King…

Official site: https://landfall.se/

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/user/Mrwilnyl

20. Running With Rifles

Running With Rifles

Okay, technically this is more of a shooter, but there is a delicious splash of RPG elements that make this game properly awesome. You, little warrior, will join the ranks of the army as a common soldier. Use strategy and tactics to survive battle and get promoted! This is a style you haven’t tried yet.

Exciting things you can do in Running With Rifles:

  • Run! There are hundreds of vast locations to explore, from trenches to ‘quiet’ snowy towns
  • Get promoted and command a squad, become the biggest badass the army has ever seen
  • Side missions; there’s a lot of them, from stealing supply trucks to rescuing hostages
  • Battle an emergent AI that will have you question your intelligence

Official site: http://www.runningwithrifles.com/wp/

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/user/runningwithrifles

19. Wargame: RED DRAGON

WarGame: Red Dragon

The latest, greatest and possibly final instalment in the Wargame series is a modern warfare RTS extravaganza! Get behind the power of the West and put a stop to the communist threat, or visa versa, just don’t get all pouty when the FBI comes a knockin’ for being a sympathizer.

Exciting things you can do in Wargame: Red Dragon:

  • Go into battle with nations you never thought you would; New Zealand, Australia and seventeen more, hello there.
  • Seventeen nations means a lot of different units, and these guys and girls have delivered in fine form. Build over 1 450 units all meticulously reproduced from their source.
  • We’ve had some high PvP multiplayer counts on this list, but this one tops the cake. Up to twenty players can compete simultaneously!

Official website: http://www.wargame-rd.com/

18. Graviteam Tactics: Mius-Front

Graviteam Tactics: Mius Front

In the summer of 1943, a battle takes place over a 140 square kilometre area that the Mius river slices through. You and your battalion will play an integral role in the outcome of that battle. Go on, make history.

Exciting thing you can do in Graviteam Tactics: Mius-Front

  • Switch between operational, a turn based mode and tactical, a real time mode
  • Look up interesting, fully detailed information on each vehicle in the game
  • Outmatch your enemy and blow through their armour like a bowling ball through a sheet of paper.
  • Dig a trench!

Official website: http://graviteam.com/

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSupLxIuiiJ4Yq4oWq4Fsaw

17. Dawn of War 2

WarHammer: Dawn of War 2

From the epic Warhammer 40,000 series comes the fourth instalment, the action is now tenfold from its legendary starting point. Choose your race and take to the brutal frontlines of battle in this fast paced RTS game. Keep your squads alive and form an intimate bond as you watch them go from green recruits to ruthless battle hardened veterans who never say die.

Exciting things you can do in Dawn of War 2:

  • Jump through time non-linear single player campaign that turns the traditional story mode on its head
  • Play through the campaign co-op with a friend, a feature not usually seen in RTS games
  • Cast spells, hack enemies up and bring down monsters.

Official website: https://warhammer40000.com/#

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/user/RelicCM

16. Steel Division 2

Steel Division 2

Some of us are a bit pedantic when it comes to historical accuracy, which is a category Steel Division 2 does not fall short in. Take to the Eastern front in command of the Soviets in another epic WWII turn-based strategy and command thousands to victory in real time strategy. These mix bowls are just too delicious to pass up, just like the free DLC that is also available.

Exciting things you can do in Steel Division 2:

  • Command over six hundred historically accurate units across eighteen divisions
  • Kick ass across twenty five maps recreated from actual locations
  • Step into the generals shoes, with the turn based system, your choices go beyond the battlefield
  • Co-op with friends to put a stop to the German threat, for the motherland!

Official website: https://www.steeldivision2.com/

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCAWeeHmt8hbLrYUX3wlOZA

15. Hearts of Iron IV

Hearts of Iron IV

There are many factors to consider in war, and this title makes you consider every single one. Nurture relationships with allies, strike against enemies only when the time is absolutely right, or you will have a mess to clean up. Invade countries and correct the course of history, or create a new one. The options are limitless

Exciting things you can do in Hearts of Iron IV:

  • Real time war simulation means preparation is key, don’t go in unprepared lest you want to walk out carrying your soiled undergarments.
  • Negotiation or conquest, consider who you engage with carefully as you could get what you want through trade without costing your country lives.
  • Play as Poland, a nation that deserves retribution!

Official website: https://www.paradoxplaza.com/hearts-of-iron-iv/HIHI04GSK-MASTER.html

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1JOnWZrVWKzX3UMdpnvuMg

14. Total War: Three Kingdoms

Total War: Three Kingdoms

The first brilliant game in an award winning series takes Total War to ancient China. Doing the mix of turn based empire building and bloody real time battle in emphatic style. China is in dire need of a new emperor, that’s where you come in. Unite the people under your banner, forge a dynasty that will last thousands of years and bring prosperity that will make you a legend.

Exciting things you can do in Total War: Three Kingdoms

  • Build powerful friendships, or commit treachery and betrayal, your sauce
  • Battle on the Great Wall and in the Tangtze river!
  • Play the man, different characters have different personalities. You may like one fellas outlook and despise another, but how will you play him
  • Nurture relationships, allies are fundamental in achieving victory in this title

Official website: https://www.totalwar.com/games/three-kingdoms/

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/user/thecreativeassembly

13. Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

Something about this has a Star Wars feel, perhaps it’s the words Empire in contrast with Rebellion, yeah it’s all that! Take command and head up the greatest space faring solar empire the galaxy has ever seen. Will you choose the rebels or remain a loyalist as you explore, expand, exploit and exterminate.

Exciting things you can do in Sins of Solar Empire: Rebellion:

  • Command new classes of space ships, including Titan Class Warships, Capital ships and Corvette Class ships.
  • Seek revenge against the Traders, but beware of rats.
  • There are a lot of ways to skin a cat – Military, Diplomatic, Research, Last Flagship Standing, Last Capital Standing and Occupation are all ways to win a battle.
  • Be a rebel, make alliances and stand up to the mighty Empire. It’s how the good guys have always won in the end.

Official website: https://www.sinsofasolarempire.com/

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/user/stardockgames/

12. Total War: Warhammer 2

Total War: WarHammer 2

Total War returns to the fantasy genre in our next TW instalment on this list. Command troops and monsters in this strategy of Olympic proportions. Choose your faction and mount a campaign to save or destroy a sprawling fantasy world. Sometimes it’s fun when you can be bad, not to mention the bad guys units are usually way cooler

Exciting things you can do in Total War: WARHAMMER 2:

  • Like a few of the titles already on this list, this is a game of two halves, one a turn based open world campaign, the other a real time tactical open field battle, both are equally important to achieving victory in war.
  • Each race has two lords which you can level up, armour up and weapon up!
  • You and a friend can co-op the campaigns as the same race.
  • Command dragons, aerial dragon combat!

Official website: https://www.totalwar.com/games/warhammer-ii/

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/user/thecreativeassembly

11. Field of Glory 2

Field of Glory 2

Not to be confused with the popular film Field of dreams, but the idea is pretty much not at all the same. Set around the time when time began, from 280 BCE to 25 BCE. This is a tactical turn based strategy wargame that will test your wits and provide many a gripping battle.

Exciting things you can do in Field of Glory 2:

  • Fight large or small scale battles against Rome, and those who aren’t yet aware of the Roman threat
  • Fight what-if battles against countries than never actually came into conflict, but it’s cool to test out what if they had
  • Play through some of history’s greatest ancient generals
  • Play a multitude of scenarios such as pursuit and awaiting re-enforcements

Official website: https://www.slitherine.com/game/field-of-glory-ii

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-ersowRelLzi6fSRfXodyQ

10. Ultimate General: Civil War

Ultimate General: Civil War

Take the reins as one of the bloodiest periods in U.S. history comes to your fingertips as you navigate the historic battles of the American Civil War. Introducing an intelligent AI and a system that ensures accountability for your men, each battle will determine your responsibilities in the next one. So be smart, General, and get your men to the end of 1865.

Exciting things you can do in Ultimate General: Civil War:

  • Be a part of a bevy of massive battles that really took place and over forty seven smaller scale battles.
  • If you lose your men, you could end up being forced to resign. On the other hand, keep your officers alive and become a legend respected by soldiers and officers alike.
  • Get your mitts on rare weapons that can only be gained from raiding and looting the enemy.
  • It can get difficult at times, frustrating, but that makes it all the more smugly satisfying when you attain victory.

Official website: https://www.ultimategeneral.com/ultimate-general-civil-war

9. Age of Civilizations 2

Age of Civilizations 2

Not to be confused with the popular Sid Miers titles, which I may have done initially, this grand strategy war-game is simple to learn and nearly impossible to master. That is a challenge, do you accept it? Employ a complex mixture of military tactics and diplomacy to conquer the world, or you know, unify it if you’re feeling particularly benevolent.

Exciting things you can do in Age of Civilizations 2:

  • Like in Sid Miers, forge a path through all of history; from the dawn of man into the distant future. Humanity is in your hands
  • Play as massive civilizations and budding tribes
  • Create your own world, and then play in it

Official website: http://ageofcivilizationsgame.com/aoc2.html

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/user/jakowskiuki

8. Call to Arms

Call to Arms

It’s not every day you come across a RTS like Call to Arms. In this game you will switch between an innovative mix of traditional RTS, third person and first person modern warfare combat scenarios. This game has a free to play version on Steam because the developers are nothing short of awesome. If you enjoy the style of the game, you can upgrade to the version of your choosing.

Exciting things you can do in Call to Arms:

  • You can create your own custom content as you mod your game from the ground up
  • The single player allied campaign available with the deluxe edition is fantastic
  • The German Army DLC, the Russian Army DLC and new single player campaigns to go with each are available in the deluxe edition.
  • You can take the reins in battle! Tommy running around like a cake, mind control and drop the enemy with your superior brain power

Official website: http://digitalmindsoft.eu/products/call-to-arms

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx0zwHC0t2ZhzoEpjvVj6aw

7. Call of War

Call of War: 1942

The PC version of popular board games like ‘Risk’ and ‘Axis and Allies’. It will take wits, cunning and as always a little firepower to rewrite the course of history. Take Europe province by province, forge alliances and create a thriving economy to sustain your war effort.

Exciting things you can do in Call of War:

  • Research the secret weapons of WWII to become the true superpower.
  • Follow a massive tech tree with over 120 different units.
  • Players can play multiple rounds simultaneously to test different strategies
  • Drop a freaking atomic bomb. Maybe just one though.

Official website: https://www.callofwar.com/index.php?id=304&lpv=1&lp=48&r=8106&noMobileRe...

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClvZDUAwbTDYAiw0ba9USAQ/videos

6. Egypt Old Kingdom

Egypt Old Kingdom

Developed with the assistance of an actual Egyptologist, Old Kingdom is a well-crafted strategy simulator of the Great Pyramids period. As an incarnation of Horus, it’s up to you to unify the first tribes against Seth and take the civilization to the incredible heights we are still in awe of to this day.

Exciting things you can do in Egypt: Old Kingdom

  • Discover new technologies within a historically accurate context
  • Worship the right Gods to help conquer neighbouring tribes
  • Construct the Great Pyramids; from the design to the mining of materials.
  • Dabble in ancient Egyptian politics

Official website: http://oldkingdom.clarusvictoria.com/?lang=en

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIw3dBrxmw-iP1-knDCKGeg

5. Endless Legend

Endless Legend

Your home world of Auriga is in turmoil and you must step up in order to prevent total annihilation. Wealth must be amassed, science and magic promoted, food created and industries built. The winters are growing worse and worse, no one knows why, combat the apocalypse and become the legend the planet is waiting for.

Exciting things you can do in Endless Legend:

  • Unravel the mysteries that shroud the planet through ruins and rumours
  • Discover other peoples, treat them how you see fit
  • Assimilate smaller factions to gains special traits and units
  • Discover artefacts and lost technologies to give your civilization the edge
  • Pit your custom civilization against your friends

Official Website: https://www.amplitude-studios.com/

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/user/endlesspacegame/

4. Endless Space 2

Endless Space 2

From the same great people that brought us Endless Legend, comes a space opera that would put the Fifth Element to shame. Set in the Endless Universe and introducing the compelling “just one more turn” gameplay comes a game with cinematics so beautiful they will rock your socks. You are leader, will you be legend?

Exciting things you can do in Endless Space 2:

  • Discover the story of the Endless, god-like beings from eons passed
  • Build colonies on distant planets and set up trade routes. Exploit them too
  • Discover new life forms. Deal with them as you see fit too
  • Manage your populations who will try their luck with political parties, attempting to dictate laws. Will you be benevolent or manipulative?
  • Develop battle strategies from after action reports

Official website: https://www.endless-space.com/

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/user/endlesspacegame/channels

3. Art of War: Red Tides

Art of War: Red Tides

You need to be ready; choose a race, choose twelve units and enter the battle. You have 12 seconds to prepare for the next wave. Observe and speculate what the enemy’s next move will be. It’s like a more violent game of chess, one move at a time, but in real time.

Exciting things you can do in Art of War: Red Tides:

  • Get your synergy on; teamwork is crucial to attaining victory
  • Observe the battle and speculate what the enemy will do, then counter with the right units.
  • Outsmart and outplay other online players for the greatest satisfaction, besting someone you’ve never met and probably never will.

Official website: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/game/art-of-war-red-tides/

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/user/rockpapershot/

2. Planetary Annihilation: Titans

Planetary Annihilation: Titans

Titans is a standalone expansion from the already colossal Planetary Annihilation. This insane game comes with five new massive Titan-class units that will obliterate anything that gets in their way. If the titan isn’t your thing, well hey, just demolish the entire planet with a super laser that pretty much turns the planet into a Death Star!

Exciting things you can do in Planetary Annihilation: TITANS:

  • Create sixteen new classes of unit from the DLC package, including a killer nano-robot swarm!
  • Multiplayer on a Titan scale; play with up to ten friends in a free for all skirmish.
  • Build the planet splitting Ragnarok Titan, enough said.
  • Command robots in the thousands across multiple planets on land, air and even space!

Official website: https://planetaryannihilation.com/

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHsHFO8NRdhdr69r5v_ubvw (topic)

1. Foxhole

Foxhole

War is eternal, Foxhole is a representation of that expression. Join the massive online effort and work with hundreds of players to shape a battle that never ends. Even when you have logged off, the shadow of your efforts will linger over the battlefield. You will win some, you will lose some. Tomorrow is another day.

Exciting things you can do in Foxhole:

  • Execute long term strategies that take days of planning for minimal casualties. Ok so it’s not crazy exciting, but who doesn’t love it when a good plan comes together?
  • Travel into another universe where the great wars rage on to this day and you need to do your part
  • Your character will be your character, gain notoriety and influence among your faction
  • Institute effective tactics to shape the battles in your favour; supply lines, time of day and information are all vital components for you to take into account

Official website: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/game/foxhole/

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/user/rockpapershot/

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A vagabond hailing from faraway South Africa, my playstation and a bag of salt & vinegar chips are always calling. When not procrastinating on the playstation, I'm writing, or working off the chips
Gamer Since: 1999
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Red Dead Redemption 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:Fallout 3: Broken Steel, Fallout: New Vegas, Grand Theft Auto V
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