Whether turn-based or real-time, grand strategic or tactical, this genre is as diverse as they come. But which strategy games are the absolute best? Shooters, battle royale, and MOBA games have dominated the spotlight with their concentration on large-scale competitive modes. Therefore strategy games aren’t often connected with multiplayer in current gaming. There are many examples of this in other areas. Take playing bingo, for instance. To play bingo is a solo game, but the event can be sociable in itself.
However, unlike the most popular action-heavy genres, which have had time to develop and specialize in online gaming, the strategy genre’s massive reservoir of innovative design possibilities for multiplayer strategy games has yet to be fully explored.
Multiplayer strategy games have an attractiveness that stems not only from the prospect of leading squads, armies, or empires to success but also from throwing individuals or teams of players against one another or the AI in epic battles of wits, analytical thinking, and problem-solving. In addition, Multiplayer strategy games are much less physically taxing than single-player equivalents, making them an appealing starting point for social gaming. As a result, strategy games can be among the most rewarding experiences available in any genre. Let’s now look at seven of the best strategy games ever.
1. Offworld Trading Company – Though its designer, Soren Johnson, also worked on Civilization IV, Offworld Trading Company is on the opposite end of the strategy game spectrum from Civilization. While Civ chronicles humanity’s journey across history and into the future, Offworld Trading Company is all about making a fortune by exploiting our red neighbor, Mars. It’s an RTS with the complexities of the best management games. Success isn’t won by hurling tanks at opponents or destroying their bases.
Instead, your weapons are money and resources, which you employ to manipulate the market not merely to make money but to destroy your competition. Offworld Trading Company encourages you to be just as antagonistic as a warmonger, which you may not anticipate from an economic strategy game.
2. Age of Empires IV – Age of Empires is still regarded as a good RTS game because it has withstood the test of time and continues to receive attention, but its younger sibling is no slouch. Age of Empires IV is a modern Age of Empires game for the contemporary strategy gamer, with an improved engine, fresh graphics, and a new approach to civilization design. It’s even taken history to a new level, with hours of real-life documentary material detailing the campaigns’ historical context as well as specific facets of medieval life. The campaigns are also enjoyable. However, the RTS community’s reaction to the multiplayer and faction balance remains to be seen.
3. Steel Division 2 – Steel Division 2 falls short of Red Dragon in terms of setting and unit variety but more than makes up for it with considerable improvements in quality-of-life and mode availability. Steel Division is a spiritual sequel, set in World War II, created by the same developers as Red Dragon. Unfortunately, only competitive and cooperative modes are available in Steel Division 2. The tactical gameplay in Steel Division is pretty similar to Red Dragon. Still, the historical situations and competitive and cooperative Army General campaigns make the game stand out.
Steel Division 2 is the only venue to experience the historical battles and engagements of WWII in both small-scale competitive and large-scale collaboration modes, aside from its Cold War-set cousin. The variety of modes allows users to discover their perfect niche while also trying out multiplayer options they may not be familiar with.
4. Into The Breach – In Into The Breach, every action counts. It nearly always means disaster if you fail to perform something valuable with one of your three units. ‘Elegant’ is the adjective to beat for Into The Breach, although it may make it sound cold and remote. Only the reverse is true: every movement rings with tremendous drama, and it does so while trusting your imagination to fill in the gaps left by its 2D, sparsely animated presentation. An immediate classic masterwork that does not attempt to convince us that it is one. It simply goes about its business.
5. Raid: Shadow Legends – Before you claim that Raid: Shadow Legends isn’t a strategy game, try assembling a solid squad capable of completing all of the content. Isn’t it difficult? As you seek to amass the greatest heroes and take on the most challenging adversaries, Raid’s unique blend of RPG is highly strategic.
6. Crusader Kings 3 – It’s a massive grand strategic RPG that’s more polished and unified than the venerable CK2, and it’s also a lot more visually appealing. It may appear a little too similar at first glance. Still, an increased focus on roleplaying and imitating the lifestyles of medieval lords, as well as a slew of new and revised features, make it well worth upgrading to the current version.
7. XCOM 2 – It takes the most significant parts of the series so far — the ferocious struggle, the motley gang of heroes, the crafty aliens, the tight tactical skirmishes – and builds on them. It’s a toss-up whether the War of the Chosen expansion is objectively superior. Still, there are plenty of excellent XCOM 2 mods that can improve the base game. Both provide unique yet equally satisfying experiences. There’s also a lot of XCOM 2 DLC to choose from.
The combat is challenging and varied, full of terrifying foes with mysterious, surprising powers. Still, the strategic layer is where the most changes occur. You’ll travel all over the world, building up cells, infiltrating dark sites, and seeking additional resources so you can field more powerful weapons and gadgets — it’s more than just a sideline.