What could be a harder strategic decision than picking the best strategy game on PC? We’ve considered everything from the ultra-detailed Europa Universalis 4 to the stylized combat of Into the Breach and came back with the definitive list of PC strategy games.
Join us as we make our move and conquer the five greatest strategy games on PC!
Sid Meier’s Civilization has been the peak of strategy gaming since the first edition came out in the 90’s. Civ VI and it’s two expansion packs, Rise and Fall and Gathering Storm, are the latest entries into the franchise. Rather than shaking up the core game, Civ VI perfects an already solid experience.
Civ 6 comes packed with enough features and reply value to last until the rise of the next great civilization. The game features over 20 playable factions, long awaited changes to the UI, and a mod friendly engine that puts design power into the hands of the strategy gaming community.
Fans of the franchise have always wanted more ways to win with Cultural Victory rather than just military might or science. Civ VI adds an entire new progression tree to the Culture Victory option as well as a new set of perks for players working toward a Cultural Victory. This gives players some new options while still letting fans of more classic modes fight their way to the top.
Into the Breach
Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy game that has you commanding mechs to fight off wave after wave of kaiju-style monsters.
The game features stunning pixel art from the same team that was behind FTL, but don’t get distracted by the artwork—you have monsters to fight! Into the Breach challenges you to not only use your mech attacks and missile batteries to destroy invading monsters, but to strategically use those offensive weapons to push kaiju away from valuable resources.
You need to defend your cities and, just like Missile Command, once you’re out of towns to save you’re done. If defeated, your team of elite mech techs travel back in time to try once more to save humanity. As you progress through the game, you unlock new units and upgrades to give you the edge against the monsters.
While Civilization might be the gold standard for Earthly strategy, Starcraft rules everything beyond.
The hyped sequel to the original Starcraft, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty comes out after two decades of the previous Starcraft enjoying the spotlight. The new version of the game takes advantage of that intervening twenty years to polish up not only the graphics, but also the core experience.
Starcraft II sticks to the classic Starcraft factions, or races, with the Zerg, Protoss, and Terran. While three factions doesn’t sound like a lot, especially when compared to the 20+ factions in Civ 6, these three are perfectly balanced. No matter what your play style, you’ll find a home in one of Starcraft II’s factions.
Command and Conquer: Red Alert II
You’ve probably seen the memes, but have you played the game?
Command and Conquer: Red Alert II is an absolute icon in strategy gaming. Set in an alternate history where the Cold War has heated up, this game pits American and Soviet forces against each other and against a warlord with mind control powers. Units have snappy quips, killer artwork, and balanced play for every style.
From warping enemy units out of time to building an impervious nuclear tank, Red Alert II masterfully layers absurdist fun with strategy. The game and its expansion packs come complete with multiple factions as well as an extensive modding community which keeps this game feeling fresh after being out for years.
And if all this wasn’t enough, Tim Curry stars in the game’s famous FMV scenes as the hilariously campy Premier Anatoly Cherdenko. What more could you want?
Europa Universalis 4
Have all of these games sounded too easy so far? Do you wish you had near total control over every aspect of a society, from culture, to economy, to war, over the course of a few hundred years? Then Europa Universalis 4 is the game for you.
No list of strategy games for PC would be complete without Europa Universalis 4. This game is notoriously complicated. Players take control of a single civilization or country and guide it through the entire Early Modern period. That’s about 400 years of strategic planning. Players can try to conquer, and hold onto, the world through military campaigns, but the game really shines when you try to manage all of your foreign relations with complicated diplomacy and trade.
Europa Universalis 4 may have come out in 2013, but thanks to a thriving mod community new content is still coming out today.