RTS and strategy games | Strategy genre
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If you are looking for video games that test your strategic thinking and planning, then the strategy genre is for you! There is no mindless action in these games, only careful strategy and sharp thinking. Get ready to make tactical decisions and achieve victory with the best strategy games!
What is a strategy video game?
At its core, this kind of game offers battles against AI or other players in multiplayer mode, where the player has to make important, strategic decisions to achieve victory against the opponent. For example, the player has to build his base, defend it, and destroy the base of the enemy. Strategy games include gameplay types such as high-level strategy, logistics, and resource management.
What are the kinds of strategy video games?
There are several kinds of such games, and we present you the most important sub-genres:
- 4X. In this kind of strategy, the player has to control an empire. 4X means “explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate”, which are the main things that the player has to do while playing 4X games. They are known for deep, complex gameplay, taking emphasis on economic and technological development. These games take a lot of time to complete, because of a huge amount of micromanagement while sustaining your empire. The most notable 4X games are Sid Meier's Civilization and the Total War series;
- MOBA. Also known as multiplayer online battle arena, MOBA is a kind of PC strategy game, which is exclusively played in online mode. Each player controls a single character with unique abilities that are improved over the course of a game. In MOBA games, players have to work together to destroy the enemy’s base. MOBA games are a fusion of real-time strategy, RPG, and action games. The most notable MOBA games are Heroes of the Storm, Dota 2, and League of Legends;
- RTS. Exclusive to PC, RTS, or real-time strategy games, offer battles in real-time, where the player has to make important decisions and actions in the state of always changing battle conditions and game state. In RTS games, you have to obtain resources, build bases, research technologies, and produce units. The most notable one some of the best games include Warcraft, StarCraft, Company of Heroes, and Age of Empires;
- TBS. Turn-based strategy games, or TBS, as a genre was discovered with a need to distinguish their games from other titles. In TBS games, the player is allowed to analyze the state of battle before committing to game action. The most notable TBS games are Civilization, Heroes of Might and Magic, and Advance Wars. They are often called war strategy games;
- TBT. Turn-based tactics, also known as tactical turn-based games are a kind of strategy video game where a player has an option to stop the action in order to consider the circumstances of operational warfare and military tactics. They are usually of a smaller scale than strategic considerations of turn-based games. The most notable TBT games are XCOM, Jagged Alliance, Silent Storm, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Fire Emblem;
- Management simulation. Also known as construction simulation games, this kind of strategy game offers players to build and maintain various objects: cities, theme parks, restaurants, zoos, and many more. Management simulation games are about economic planning, and not about warfare. The most notable management simulation games are Cities: Skylines, Transport Fever, and others.
Why are strategy games so popular?
This kind of video game is popular among players due to its nature that forces sharp thinking and important decision making. Especially well-liked are grand strategy video games because they let players immerse themselves into the shoes of a war general, which is an opportunity that, for many people, is very appealing. Turn-based tactics games, such as the XCOM series are very admired because they let players control a team of fighters in turn-based battles against an alien threat. Every movement of every team member is strategized by the player, which lets them experience total control of a battlefield. That’s just another reason why this kind of game is very popular.
What strategy games should I play?
There are a lot of good and attention-worthy games that were released throughout history, but we present you the most significant series:
- Warcraft. Made in 1994, this series by Blizzard is known as one of the most important franchises in the history of best strategy games. Warcraft games are set in a fantasy world, with fantasy races, magic, and endless conflicts. The third installment Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002) is considered one of the best games of its kind on the market, it even was remade as Warcraft III: Reforged. Furthermore, the biggest MMORPG series of all time World of Warcraft is set in Warcraft’s universe;
- StarCraft. Another popular RTS series by Blizzard, StarCraft is like Warcraft set in space. Since 1998, this series is one of the best RTS games, which takes place in a sci-fi setting;
- Civilization. Since 1991, Civilization is considered as the biggest series of turn-based strategies and 4X sub-genres. Made by MicroProse, Activision, and Firaxis, this series is known and praised not only by hardcore players but by the older generation as well;
- XCOM. Probably the most important series of turn-based tactics, XCOM was started in 1994, by MicroProse. Much later, in 2012, the series was resurrected by Firaxis Games, and it’s still praised as the best one of its kind;
- Total War. A grand-strategy type of series by Creative Assembly, with the first installment released in 2000. To this day, the Total War series is known for its redefined approach towards the management of grand battles. There are a lot of different kinds of Total War games, including Total War Warhammer, Total War Rome, Shogun Total War, and a lot of spin-offs;
- League of Legends. Released in 2009 by Riot Games, LoL is known as the most popular MOBA type of game. With League of Legends, get ready for breath-taking battles in huge arenas. Rise against your opponents and achieve victory!
History of strategy games
The origin of these games is rooted in traditional tabletop games like Chess, Go, and miniature wargaming. Take a look at the most important events of this genre:
- The 1970s and 1980s. The very first strategy game for consoles was called Invasion (1972), released for the Magnavox Odyssey system. Reach for the Stars (1983) was one of the first 4X games, which emphasized economic growth, technological progress, and conquest. Herzog Zwei (1989) is often considered the first real-time strategy game;
- The 1990s. The genre of games was popularized by Dune II (1992). The creator of the game, Brett Sperry, came up with the name "real-time strategy". From this point, RTS games started to emphasize more the importance of time management. StarCraft (1998) by Blizzard had more than 11 million copies sold worldwide by February 2009 and is known as one of the best-selling games for PC.
- The 2000s. Another huge influence, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002) added RPG elements and hero units. Not only the biggest MMORPG franchise is set in Warcraft’s universe, but also its mod, Defense of the Ancients, is known for creating one of the most popular MOBAs of all time, Dota 2. Another important series of the genre, Total War, started in 2000 and has sold over 20 million copies, becoming one of the most successful series of strategy games of all time.