The release of Starcraft 2 reinvigorated the real-time strategy genre. The first chapter of Blizzard’s epic sequel was a commercial and technical achievement, selling 1 million copies on the day of release and featuring impressive graphics as well as a host of gameplay improvements and new mechanics. In the 12 years between Starcraft 1 and Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty, the gaming landscape had undergone multiple advancements in technology, and a new Starcraft game meant that one of the world’s favorite strategy games was now a modern experience, instead of being stuck in the pre-2000s.
It has now been 12 years since Starcraft 2 was first released, so what else come out that gives the king of the strategy genre a run for its money? If you’re searching for something to play that comes close to the highs of Starcraft 2, then you’ll likely find it on this list of the Top 5 Best Strategy Games for Fans of Starcraft 2. When you’re ready, put down your base, assemble your troops, and let’s get started!
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 2
Relic Entertainment’s Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 2 takes the gameplay from its predecessor and dials it all the way up. The sci-fi part of the Warhammer universe is brought to life in epic RTS battles that test your strategy and wits against the multiple races of the 40K universe. An epic war is about to break out in the cluster of worlds called Aurelia at the edge of the known galaxy, and it is up to you to choose a race and lead an army to victory. The non-linear campaign will grow the skills and abilities of your squads as your own skills improve over the course of the game. Also, with the Essence Engine 2.0, Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 2 is one of the best-looking strategy games out there.
Experience the epic clash of the Covenant, humans, and The Flood from a new perspective in Halo Wars. This RTS set in the Halo universe has you taking control of either the UNSC or the Covenant in streamlined battles with lighter management mechanics than other strategy games. There is a story campaign and a multiplayer skirmish mode in which you will produce units, study the battlefield, and enact a careful strategy to overcome your opponents. This game doesn’t feature the series’ hero Master Chief, but it does have Spartans as powerful units you can call into battle.
Build an armada of starships and explore the galaxy in Homeworld Remastered by Gearbox Software. With more than 30 single-player missions, over 100 starships, and new high resolutions textures and graphics, Homeworld Remastered is the definitive experience of a classic, genre-defining RTS. The game also supports 4K resolution output and mods with comprehensive modding tools. As a bonus, Homeworld Remastered also contains the original versions of the first two Homeworld games for nostalgic fans.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall
Triumph Studio’s Age of Wonders series, which typically takes place in a fantasy setting, takes its place among the stars in Age of Wonders: Planetfall. This sci-fi strategy spinoff of the series has you rebuilding a fallen galactic empire after an age of cosmic darkness. Choose from 6 interesting factions, including the dinosaur-wrangling Amazons, the Robo-zombies of the Assembly, and the militant human Vanguard. Each faction has its own set of challenging missions that will require careful strategy and thoughtful use of its unique abilities. You’ll use both military might and diplomatic prowess to progress through their stories, explore the ruins of the fallen empire, and interact with other survivors of the calamity as you work towards rebuilding a utopia and uncovering the secrets of a failed civilization. Prevent the mistakes of those who came before you in Age of Wonders: Planetfall.
If you’re hankering for more Starcraft action and you never went back to experience the series’ origins, then there is really no better option than Starcraft Remastered. This recreation of the classic Starcraft experience was released in 2017 and features a host of both graphical improvements and feature additions. All of the game’s graphics have been updated to support 4K quality, making each unit appear sharper than ever before. The game’s original soundtrack and audio were also re-recorded to bring them into the modern age and give the game a crisp soundscape. The multiplayer features of the classic release have been replaced with Blizzard’s modern suite of matchmaking and social integration tools for the best online experience. There is also a free version of Starcraft Remastered that is fully playable without certain features.
Mike has been playing video games since he was able to hold a controller, having been fascinated by Sonic 2 on his mom’s Sega Genesis. That fascination and passion for the art form has grown exponentially nearly 30 years later, and he doesn’t see that fading away anytime soon.