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5 Best RTS Games on Steam

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Best RTS Games on Steam

Fighting enemies on a whim isn’t a particularly foreign idea, as there's quite a number of games that you can get away with random, go with your gut sort of gameplay. Others are pretty easy to deal with, so long as you go with your first instinct and stay on top of your game. But for gamers who like to plan, manage, and execute, regardless of whether they’re at the frontlines or in command of swarms of armies going into battle, RTS, or real-time strategy games, can be more your style.

RTS games allow you to plan, manage, and execute an attack in real-time. They rely on swift planning. Hesitate too long, and you lose. Thinking ahead is welcome too. If you’re a person who likes to call the shots, or if you like to take the time to think rather than rely on instinct, RTS games are for you. With a series of maps, armies, guilds, and more, these best RTS games on Steam (March 2023) offer the sufficient tools you’ll need to lead your team to victory.

5. Total War: WARHAMMER 3

Total War: WARHAMMER III - Immortal Empires Launch Trailer

Total War: Warhammer 3 wraps up a trilogy that took the gaming world by storm. It’s a sea of chaos, with battles on every front, and a variety of races fighting against one another for dominance and peace. While the gameplay may take a little getting used to, it becomes pretty fun to play once you get the hang of it.

Unlike previous entries, Total War: Warhammer 3 allows players to break free of the traditional Total War sandbox and explore the Realm of Chaos. Here, players run into all kinds of survival treats for daring to enter the domains of the Chaos gods. This adds a nice touch, otherwise found in tower defense games. 

4. Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes 3 // Official Announce Trailer

A World War II setting could be more to your liking, at which point Company of Heroes would be the best way to go. Precisely, Company of Heroes games are about taking charge over allied soldiers, and going into battle with the Germans. It’s a quite unique franchise in the genre, placing you into a war general’s shoes in events adopted from real-life. The level of detail and polish speaks for itself, even as you engage in gameplay that feels as real as they come.

Now, Company of Heroes 2 is great for players who’d like the option of single or multiplayer gameplay. It features the events of World War II on the Eastern Front, where players take charge of the Russian army against Nazi Germany. Company of Heroes 3, on the other hand, is packed with lots of content. Two campaigns, four factions, and 14 multiplayer maps, to be precise. Regardless of which game you choose, though, all provide a level of challenge and history that’s hard to find in most other RTS games. 

3. Northgard

Northgard - Steam Game Trailer

Alternatively, you may choose to take charge of a clan of Vikings seeking to conquer a new continent. Yes, Northgard is a Norse mythology-based medieval game that’s sure to get the hearts of its fans dancing. 

Something that’s often ignored in most RTS games, is that every person in your Nordic Viking clan counts, whether it’s feeding each one or looking out for them in battle. On the flip side, the game gives you training wheels to learn the ropes before throwing you to the sharks.

2. Age of Empires IV

Age of Empires 4 - Official Gameplay Trailer

Age of Empires is a genre-defining masterpiece of RTS games, with each consecutive installment raising the bar even higher. These games are set in medieval times, providing a front row seat to what war would look like if you were in it as well. Considering the vitality of preparation and planning before a battle, and then the suspense of whether your efforts are enough to win, Age of Empires makes it so each battle is consolidated and wonderfully engaging to be a part of.

As much as Age of Empires III and Age of Empires II HD elevated the gameplay and visuals, respectively, Age of Empires IV is, by far and large, the best of the bunch. For starters, it doesn’t try to meddle with the affairs of its predecessors, paying tribute and showing respect to the innovations older entries bring to the genre. From there, Age of Empires IV spearheaded the series into modern day, adding technical updates and new features that helped create an even more enjoyable experience in the series so far.

The game brings together the broad and fine strokes of a painter’s brush, from building a new civilization from scratch to managing your kingdom’s reign, all of which culminate into a wholesome experience. You’re also free to bring friends along in multiplayer mode, exploring the lives of historical real-world characters like Genghis Khan, and just reveling in the game’s beautiful art. It’s become such a massive RTS game with multiple expansions and campaigns that there’s almost always something to keep you busy running an empire like a champ.

1. Europa Universalis IV

Europa Universalis IV - 8th Anniversary Trailer

Europa Universalis IV is the complete opposite of Northgard, in that it has no problem throwing you to the wolves. Right off the bat, you’re tasked with managing a whole nation from the Middle Ages up to the 1800s. It’s a pretty thought-provoking venture, seeing as you make critical decisions that affect your nation's politics and economy.

You’re also in charge of defense, where you take charge of your nation’s armies and build your empire from scratch. The fun begins when you start to see how certain actions change not just your nation’s history, but that of the world.

Europa Universalis IV is a game that masters a level of complexity, with the years it’s been on the market certainly impacting its growth. For some, it could pose a challenge to grasp all that’s needed to prosper. But, in time, every piece of the puzzle begins to fit together, with the alternate histories that come up motivating you to keep going.

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our best RTS games games on Steam (March 2023)? Are there more RTS games on Steam we should know about? Let us know down in the comments or over on our socials here.

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.