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The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time 

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Updated April 29, 2020 14k votes 1.7k voters 103.5k views 71 items

This is a list of the best real-time strategy games of all time for any console or system, including cover art pictures when available. These highly rated real-time strategy games are ordered by popularity, so only the greatest real-time strategy games are at the top of the list. Spanning the entire history of the genre, these real-time strategy games are considered the best in the genre. This list includes all challenging real-time strategy games that have ever hit the shelves, so it doesn't necessarily have all the more obscure or new real-time strategy games.

StarCraft and Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings are included on this list along with many more, including several WW2 real-time strategy games.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best real-time strategy games?" and "What is the greatest real-time strategy game of all time?"

list ordered by
1
Command & Conquer se... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 1995 (Electronic Arts)
Command & Conquer is a real-time strategy video game franchise, first developed by Westwood Studios. The first game was one of the earliest of the RTS genre, itself based on Westwood ...more
2
Age of Empires II: The A... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 1999 (Ensemble Studios)
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is a real-time strategy video game developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft. Released in 1999 for the Microsoft Windows and Macintosh ...more

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#67 of 1,588 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #3 of 174 The Best Strategy Games of All Time, Rankedlisted on Sony PlayStation 2 Games: List of PS2 Console Games

3
StarCraft is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 1998 (THQ)
StarCraft is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment and released for Microsoft Windows on March 31, 1998. The game later ...more

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#76 of 1,588 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #99 of 275 The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Everlisted on Nintendo 64 Games List

4
Warcraft III: Reign of C... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2002 (Blizzard Entertainment)
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos is a high fantasy real-time strategy video game released by Blizzard Entertainment on July 3, 2002 in the U.S. It is the second sequel to Warcraft: Orcs & ...more

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#150 of 1,588 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #153 of 275 The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever #10 of 174 The Best Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

5
StarCraft II: Wings of L... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Lepticidio added Released: 2010 (Blizzard Entertainment)
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and released by Blizzard Entertainment for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. A sequel to the ...more

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The Best StarCraft 2 YouTubers #129 of 147 The Most Popular Video Games Right Nowlisted on List of Space Marine Games

6
Command & Conquer: R... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2000 (Westwood Studios)
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is a 2.5D real-time strategy computer game by Westwood Pacific, which was released for Microsoft Windows on October 23, 2000 as the follow-up to Command & ...more
7
Command & Conquer: G... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2003 (EA Los Angeles)
Command & Conquer: Generals is a real-time strategy video game and the seventh installment in the Command & Conquer series. It was released for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS operating ...more

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#34 of 174 The Best Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked #15 of 17 17 Video Games Where You Actually Get To Play As The Villain #5 of 14 The Best Command & Conquer Games

8
StarCraft: Brood War is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Lepticidio added Released: 1998 (Saffire)
StarCraft: Brood War is the expansion pack for the award winning military science fiction, real-time strategy video game StarCraft. Released in 1998 for Windows and Mac OS, it was co-developed ...more

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#228 of 1,588 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #164 of 523 The Most Addictive Video Games of All Timelisted on List of Space Marine Games

9
Command & Conquer: R... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 1996 (Westwood Studios)
Command & Conquer: Red Alert is a real-time strategy computer game of the Command & Conquer franchise, produced by Westwood Studios and released by Virgin Interactive in 1996. The second ...more

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#181 of 1,588 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #14 of 174 The Best Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked #161 of 523 The Most Addictive Video Games of All Time

10
Age of Empires is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 1997 (Ensemble Studios)
Age of Empires is a history-based real-time strategy video game released in 1997. Developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft. Ensemble was still an independent company, later ...more

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#8 of 174 The Best Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked #80 of 1,588 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #49 of 182 The Best Video Game Franchises of All Time

11
Rome: Total War is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2004 (Feral Interactive)
Rome: Total War is a PC strategy game developed by The Creative Assembly and released on 12 April 2004 by Activision. The Mac OS X version of the game was released on 5 February 2010 by Feral ...more
12
Command & Conquer: Y... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2001 (Westwood Studios)
Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge is an expansion pack to Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 developed by Westwood Studios. The game was released in North America on October 10, 2001 by EA ...more
13
Age of Mythology: The Ti... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
LucianSiAlinaPreda added Released: 2003 (Ensemble Studios)
Age of Mythology: The Titans is a real-time strategy computer game expansion pack of Age of Mythology. It was developed by Ensemble Studios and released on September 30, 2003. The Titans adds a ...more
14
Medieval II: Total War ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2006 (The Creative Assembly)
Medieval II: Total War, the indirect sequel to 2002's Medieval: Total War and the fourth game in the Total War series from The Creative Assembly, is a game of turn-based strategic rounds and ...more
15
StarCraft II: Heart of t... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2013 (Blizzard Entertainment)
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is an expansion pack to the military science fiction real-time strategy game StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty by Blizzard Entertainment. Heart of the Swarm is the ...more
16
Rise of Nations: Thrones... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2004 (Big Huge Games)
Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots is the official expansion pack to the real-time strategy video game Rise of Nations. The game is the second in a series of Rise of Nations games by Big Huge ...more
17
Company of Heroes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2006 (Relic Entertainment)
Company of Heroes is a 2006 real-time strategy video game developed by Relic Entertainment. It was the first title to make use of the Games for Windows label. A standalone expansion, Opposing ...more
18
Warcraft III: The Frozen... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2003 (Blizzard Entertainment)
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is a real-time strategy computer game by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the official expansion pack to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, requiring Reign of Chaos to ...more

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#199 of 1,588 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #20 of 52 Video Games You Wish Had an HD Remake #13 of 151 The Best Fantasy Games of All Time

19
Age of Empires II: The C... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
lelos22 added Released: 2000 (Ensemble Studios)
Age of Empires II: The Conquerors is the first expansion pack to the 1999 real-time strategy game Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. The Conquerors is the fourth installment in the Age of ...more

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#175 of 1,588 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #158 of 523 The Most Addictive Video Games of All Time #17 of 129 The Best Isometric Projection Games of All Time

20
Age of Mythology is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Lepticidio added Released: 2002 (Ensemble Studios)
Age of Mythology is a mythology-based real-time strategy video game developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was released on October 30, 2002 in North America ...more

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#13 of 174 The Best Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked #626 of 1,588 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #95 of 182 The Best Video Game Franchises of All Time

21
Age of Empires III is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Thanatus added Released: 2005 (Robot Entertainment)
Age of Empires III is a real-time strategy video game developed by Microsoft Corporation's Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The Mac version was ported over and developed ...more
22
Stronghold is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2001 (Firefly Studios)
Stronghold is a historic real-time strategy game developed by Firefly Studios in 2001. The game focuses primarily on conquest and expansion through military pursuits, but also provides space for ...more
23
Empire Earth is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2001 (Stainless Steel Studios)
Empire Earth, also known as EE, is a 2001 real-time strategy computer game developed by Stainless Steel Studios and released on November 23, 2001. It is the first game in the Empire Earth ...more
24
Stronghold: Crusader is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2002 (Firefly Studios)
Stronghold: Crusader is the successor to Firefly Studios's 2001 game Stronghold. Crusader has much in common with the original Stronghold, but differs from its predecessor in the fact that the ...more
25
Total War: Shogun 2 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Real-Time Strategy Games of All Time
Released: 2011 (The Creative Assembly)
Total War: Shogun 2 is a strategy video game developed by The Creative Assembly and published by Sega. It is part of the Total War series and returns to the 16th-century Japan setting of the ...more