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10 Best RTS Games on Xbox Series X|S (2024)

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halo wars 2 cover Best RTS Games on Xbox Series X|S

Real-time strategy (RTS) games are literal communities fledging, with players simultaneously working toward one common goal. It's the perfect game for a long-winded gaming session that'll carry through a season. You can always take a break and return hours or days later, picking up from where other players have left off. While it’s easier to gravitate toward more iconic titles like Age of Empires, today, many more RTS of varying themes have popped up. Check out the best RTS games on Xbox Series X/S in 2024 below.

10. Dune: Spice Wars

Dune Spice Wars - PC Game Pass Announcement Trailer

Set on the planet of Arrakis and inspired by Frank Herbert’s legendary Dune universe, Dune: Spice Wars tasks you with establishing dominance however you please. You can use diplomacy to strengthen your borders or use military force; it's all up to you. Despite a few hiccups in gameplay, Dune: Spice Wars hits a home run. It’s easy to jump back in for multiple playthroughs, thanks to exciting factions and an excellently paced battle system. At the start, like most RTS games, it can take a while to catch on. With time, though, battle systems and overall gameplay become second nature.

9. Aliens: Dark Descent

Aliens: Dark Descent - Launch Trailer

Fans of the iconic Aliens universe should take a deep dive into Aliens: Dark Descent. Here, you forge your hardened Colonial Marine army to battle in real-time. On the other side of the battle are the terrifying Xenomorphs, rogue operatives from the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. Mixing survival horror elements and turn-based tactics, Aliens: Dark Descent’s terrifying creatures, new to the Alien franchise, send chills down the spine. As the commander and an army at your beck and call, what’s to fear?

8. Age of Empires II

Age of Empires II DE - E3 2019 - Gameplay Trailer

It would be an injustice to skip out on Age of Empires, one of the most popular strategy games of all time. Check out Age of Empires II, which packs hundreds of hours of gameplay and a century’s worth of human history. Age of Empires II has the advantage of learning from its predecessors. It fine-tunes its mechanics and overall experience. From new maps, challenges, taunts, and cheats, you’ll be spoilt for choice with immense content. That’s if the 18 civilizations available to dominate aren’t chock full content already.

7. Evil Genius 2: World Domination

Evil Genius 2: World Domination - Reveal Trailer

Put on your evil cape, world dominance awaits. As an evil genius, you’ll be dropped into a satirical spy-fi lair, free to build and assert control however you want. As such, Evil Genius 2: World Domination is the perfect game to become a criminal mastermind. You’ll have everything you need, from minions to train and command, a base to devise diabolical plans, and, of course, a strong defense against the heroic Forces of Justice looking to put you down. Here’s to world dominance at all costs.

6. Stellaris

Stellaris: Console Edition - Launch Trailer

Stellaris kicks it off to space, where diverse alien races and planets reside. Explore all the galaxy has to offer, discovering strange worlds and uncovering unexpected events. Conquer unexplored planets for your empire’s benefit. The adventure never ends, with an ever-changing universe at your feet. You’ll unearth minerals and transform them into valuable resources. If there’s another empire out there stronger than you, then your work conquering the galaxy isn’t nearly done.

5. Crusader Kings III

Crusader Kings III - Xbox Announcement Trailer

Alternatively, take a trip down memory lane to the Middle Ages, set from the year 1066 to 1453. You’ll control a medieval dynasty, charging them through the ages to renowned success. History lovers will enjoy their time here, controlling one of the most tremendous Christian dynasties. Moreover, it digs deeper from traditional RTS into more intriguing notions of family and relationships. Each time you log in, a new story and experience await.

4. Anno 1800

Anno 1800 Console - Launch Trailer

Still on historical adaptations, Anno 1800 takes you to the 19th-century Industrial Age. It dares you to make your mark in one of the most defining periods of world economics. You’re constantly faced with moral and political choices about whether to take the diplomatic or exploitative route. Further, you don’t face geographical limits, with the possibility of forging an empire so powerful it sprouts from Europe to South America.

3. Company of Heroes 3

Company of Heroes 3 Console Edition | Gameplay Trailer

Company of Heroes 3 takes you to the Italian and North African theaters of World War II. It simulates military combat, putting you in control of army units as they march through hostile territories. With two epic campaigns across both continents, you’ll gradually seize control of enemy camps through to the grand finale. Feel free to team up with friends, with up to four friends; no one should ever have to stand on the frontlines of war alone.

2. Sudden Strike 4

Sudden Strike 4: The Pacific War | Gameplay Trailer

Also set in World War II, Sudden Strike 4 takes you back to the battlefield, featuring diverse units and new scenarios with over 20 missions across three campaigns. Choosing between the Allied, German, or Soviet troops, you’ll control over 100 units in battle. You can also choose between legendary commanders, each offering unique abilities and different ways to approach battle. Overall, it’s an easy hundreds of hours’ worth of playing time with no regrets whatsoever.

1. Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 Official E3 Trailer

Take on the Halo universe one more time, but in real-time strategy. You’ll command armies in Halo Wars 2 from a top-down perspective. The lack of a zooming-in feature is a bummer. Still, all the classic Halo armies you can think of are represented here, from Warthogs to Spartans and more. Furthermore, battles are massive, fast-paced, and brutal, with vehicles to take on enemy hordes. Plus, Halo Wars 2 coins down an all-new Halo story, so you find meaning and satisfaction in all you do. While Halo games are usually vast, Halo Wars 2’s massive battlefield compares to few. You enjoy genuinely explosive battlefield moments that keep you returning for more. 

So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there other RTS games on Xbox Series X|S you think deserve a spot on our list? Let us know in the comments below 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.