The best strategy games are usually at home on the PC – though many of them are making their way into the console as well – and right now, many long-time classic games like Final Fantasy and XCOM, which were among the most popular ones years ago, are feeling a bit of resurgence. You’ll find that classic strategy games like these have a number of things in common. For one, they’re all turn-based strategy games, which means you’ll spend your time doing tasks rather than doing things randomly through the environment. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing, depending on how you like to play.
Some fans of turn-based strategy games enjoy the slow pace and strategic planning that’s required to defeat your opponent. If you’re one of those folks, then you’ll certainly appreciate the variety of games available on the PC today that offer turn-based gameplay in addition to strategy elements. You’ll have to determine which ones you find to be the best strategy games on PC, though, since there are literally thousands upon thousands of options available, and many of them will certainly leave you scratching your head in confusion.
A good place to start is, of course, with the grand strategy game titles. Remember when you played the original Civilization on the computer? It was actually quite addictive, and it’s still a great title to play today. Of course, Civilization V has upgraded to the Next Generation, and you can bet that you’ll be enthralled with the new versions, such as Age of Wonders of the World. These are truly huge games, offering countless choices as you work to dominate all of mankind.
A lot of people probably remember playing Space Invaders, as it was one of the earliest games that came along when computers were just beginning to become common. Although it has aged somewhat, it is still a very entertaining title. There are two ways to play Space Invaders, and you can basically play against a computer or a player with a spaceship. Obviously, the Space invaders who succeed are the ones with the most units, and you’ll need to gather those units before you can successfully fend off waves of advancing aliens. The best strategy games on PC involve a little bit of both thinking and warfare, so you might want to try the latter first if you’re a fan of playing offworld trading company in some fashion.
If you enjoy the tactical and military aspects of ancient civilization, then Age of Wonders III might be an enjoyable game for you. Instead of conquering the land and establishing an empire as in traditional civil wars, this version lets you choose between several unique civilizations, each with its own weapons, buildings, and goals. You also get to do some building and researching and even recruit some of your neighbors to work alongside you.
If you prefer your strategy gaming to have a bit more combat, then you’ll love battleships. Age of Sails is a bit of a sequel to the classic battle simulator series, Sailormavan, and the controls mimic that of that series. You can attack enemy ships with boarding actions, firing cannonballs, and using other special abilities to turn the tide of battle in your favor. These games generally require the use of ships only, so you can’t send an army from the main control center to attack your opponent’s islands. However, if you use a submarine, you can harass your opponent and turn the tide of the battle in your favor.
When it comes to real-time strategy games, few offer as many choices as Sidame, a city-building simulation where you choose between different civilization paths. You start out by selecting which culture group you belong to, and your overall goal is to spread your civilization to all corners of the globe. Each path has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you must carefully select the path that will provide you with the greatest overall results. For example, choosing to become the great power of Africa opens up a lot of options for expansion, while the slow but strong cultures of Asia offer a more stable route toward furthering your goals. You can trade with other civilizations, send ambassadors, and gain territories, just like in a real-time strategy game.
Of course, the best games aren’t always turn-based strategy games. There are a lot of free browser games that let you play against a single opponent, with the focus being on strategy rather than real-time action. Some of these are decidedly simpler than their real-time counterparts, so you might not have to master complex strategies to enjoy them, but you should be able to spend a lot of fun time trying to figure out how to conquer all of the challenges thrown your way. These browser games also offer some of the best examples of how a turn-based strategy can be adapted to other formats. Check out our picks of the best strategy games here!