Let’s talk about games like Age of Empires. Ensemble’s classic set a gold standard in RTS game design that has had few competitors, most of which hail from contemporary challengers such as Command and Conquer or Starcraft. Since these halcyon days, no newcomer has really managed to topple these titans from their gilded thrones.
Even the creators of Age of Empires were reluctant to challenge the series’ own legacy, with a fourth game finally coming later this year in October, 16 years after the release of Age of Empires III. If you can’t wait for Age of Empires IV and are looking for something similar, we’ve thrown together a quick guide on five strategy games that we think are pretty neat, and follow the same formula.
We’ve not included titles such as Command and Conquer or Starcraft II, because while these games are RTS titles they are also very informed by their respective settings and differ in key ways. Age of Empires is first and foremost an historical strategy game, so with only a couple of exceptions we’re looking at RTS games that also use this as a starting point.