This is the ultimate list of 32 games similar to Age of Empires.
You know, when you want a tasty hot pizza, but all you have is a frozen one in the fridge? Bannermen is like that – not exactly the thing you want, but it can still satisfy your hunger. Have you ever played Warcraft 3 or Starcraft 2? If yes, then you can remember how easily in those games troops are responding to your commands – the same goodness is implemented here – the control part feels flawless, and basically this is the reason I played this game from start to the very end. The sad part is, that Bannermen has only one faction – humans, and they fight with each other. That’s boring, I almost fell asleep just listening to that. I know, right? Here you will also find no orcs, elves or dragons. And the game isn’t even realistic, you can have a magic sword, fight giant scorpions and in one place speak with talking frog. And you’re not on drugs or something. Nevertheless, the campaign feels nice. If you’re an experienced RTS player – pick the hard difficulty, you will be challenged.
Armies of Exigo
The game has three factions: The Empire with humans, elves and dwarves, The Beasts with lizardmen and other barbaric humanoid creatures, and the Fallen consisting of undead and eldritch monsters. Here, as in many strategy games, you will gather resources, such as gold and wood, and then wonder, how a stack of wood can tame a giant? Or how a few stones can train paladin? How is that even a legit business in many strategy games? “I would want to 4 Paladins and 1 siege machine, please” “That would be 2 stones and 5 sticks” I wish they implemented vodka as a resource, that would make sense, right? So, anyway, here your troops can gain levels by killing enemy units and gathering experience points, and by this, another level of strategy is added to the game – you don’t want to lose your high-level troops and will always try to keep them safe.
A Year of Rain
The game has very good multiplayer core design, it is easy and fun to play, because of the great balance between macro and micromanagement. Also, it is easy to learn, but hard to master – in my opinion, this is the main ingredient of any RTS game. It also has a rich story, few factions to choose from, heroes and so on. Sadly low player count makes it hard to get into multiplayer, but if you have a friend or two – you’re in a safe zone. Game is still in early access, so buying it is the same as buying Schrodinger’s cat now. I do recommend putting it into your wishlist and wait a while for it to leave early access. All good things to those who wait.
Empire Earth franchise
The first part is the most loved by the old school players, but let’s be fair – graphics here are just like your hairstyle – outdated. So, if you’re new in this franchise, you’re probably thinking – oh my, I will try the third part, it has amazing graphics! No. You do not want to play the game which has a Metacritic user score of 3 – out of 10. I never heard of anything so low. Even your mom can score better. So, I’m recommending you to try Empire Earth 2 Gold Edition, which includes expansion The Art of Supremacy. Here you will take part in the greatest battles in the history of mankind. Civil War, World War and war between Coke and Pepsi… ah, the latter might not be in the game, but there you will feel no lack of wars, I promise you that.
Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
Wait, what? Star Wars is like Age of Empires? I will dislike this video so fast. Wait. Wait! Don’t judge me this quick. The game is built on the Genie engine, the same one used in the Age of Empires and Age of Empires II, making Galactic Battlegrounds the Age of Empires in space. Well, not exactly in space, but you know what I mean. The greatest thing with the engine is, that all the units are hand-drawn, pixel by pixel, so the graphics aged very well. Not like you and me, my friend. No, this game still looks good after all those years because someone made a great plastic surgery on it. Just download Expanding Fronts mod and you can play the game in HD mode. Also, hundreds of units, buildings, effects, and triggers have been also added to the game. That is absolute extravaganzic wowza! You will find a link in the description below.
Age of Mythology: Extended Edition
Ensemble Studios, who created the Age of Empires made a spin-off series based on mythological beliefs. The game takes place in the lost land of Atlantis and focuses on famous Nordic, Egyptian and Greek legends. Age of Mythology was commercially successful, selling over one million copies. In 2003, it was followed by an expansion pack named The Titans. Now you can get the full package by obtaining Age of Mythology Extended Edition, which includes the expansion and the additional Golden Gift campaign. In the game, you will use mythological creatures like Minotaurs, Cyclops, and other well-known cliche creatures. Also, you can call upon the gods for assistance in flattening enemy towns with meteors, scatter opposing troops with lightning storms or drown them in the ocean… of vodka… or your own tears if you’re a sensitive person.
Rise of Nations: Extended Edition
Among the creators of this game was famous videogame designer Brian Reynolds, who took a huge part in creating Civilization II, Alpha Centauri, and lately Age of Empires 3: The Asian Dynasties, so the game must be good right? Yes, it is! Here you can choose from 18 different civilizations and guide them through 8 different stages of the world’s history. All you do here is raping and pillaging all other civilizations while you rise your nation to power. Game has some unique implemented RTS game elements, including automatic spawning of workers who automatically look for a task to perform. I think this is a terrible idea, because it is neglecting the micro-management part of the game. What’s next? Automatic spawning of warriors, automatic building production, automatic war? Why do they even want the player to participate? Oh, of course, I’m kidding, this is a great game. I’m totally recommending it
This is a RTS game based on Norse mythology in which you play as a clan of Vikings vying for the control of the mysterious newfound continent. In this simple strategy game, you will find lots of victory conditions, atmospheric music, changing seasons, and, as you can see, pretty nice art design. Also, the game has a decent campaign with a pretty good story. Sadly Northgard’s AI is cheating with infinite resources and manpower, meaning that developers couldn’t create really good Intelligence, that could win against humans on its own. I know that many strategy games do not have strong AI’s, but they at least try. And I’m not even talking about Elite AI in Starcraft 2 – it will shred you to pieces without any cheating if you’re not at least gold league player or something. But nevertheless, Northgard is a good RTS game for a few days. Or maybe more, maybe you’ll fall in love with it as tapeworm falls in love with your guts… I’m not the most romantic man, I know.
Though the original game is old, soon the HD Remaster version will be released. Here you will find three different armies, each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses: Gauls, Egyptians and the Roman Legions. Over 20 campaign missions, unique sets of abilities and formations for different unit types and characters, also different terrains and landscapes that makes a big difference while planning your battles. The main goal here is to become an Emperor and only way to become an Emperor is to… kill an Emperor. There can be only one! Well, I’m waiting for the HD Remaster, I will definitely try the game and maybe make a short review. Stay in touch.
Game is in Early Access, but it’s also free to play. So you’ll lose nothing by trying it. Although the game is eating your computer’s resources like a black hole and is full of various glitches, it is really fun to play. At least, I think that War Selection has the potential to become something really nice in the future. Here you will find 100 buildings and more than 200 unit types, land, and naval ones. But the greatest and actually very unusual thing is that up to 62 players can fight in one match on a procedurally generated random map. Actually I don’t understand how can any computer not standing in NASA run that and not lag? I have heard of the magic of Elves, but… I know, I know, some magic has to be involved. So, here each player starts from the Stone Age, and throughout the match, you develop your culture ultimately morphing into a modern-day country. So it’s pretty much the same as in Age of Empires.
This is a remake of the classic game, that originally launched in the year 2000. Here you will find 20 nations, 120 different unit types, and over 220 different historical buildings. Sadly game itself really lacks historic truth. For example, there was no Turkey in the time period of the game, what existed was the Ottoman Empire, also Poland at the time was Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, England wasn’t just England and so on. Those little details shatter the trust of Cossacs as a realistic game, but if you don’t care about history, it’s all good. Besides the battles ashore, you can build an armada and attack your enemies at sea. The game offers five single player-campaigns. Leaning on the history of the 17th and 18th centuries, the game lets you fight massive battles with up to 32,000 soldiers simultaneously on the battlefield. Big Number! Yeah! Be sure you have that NASA supercomputer for that.
The original castle simulator, Stronghold HD allows you to design, build and destroy historical castles and engage in medieval warfare against the AI in 21 campaign missions or online with up to 8 players. With four renegade lords to defeat, it is up to you to reunite medieval England and take back your lands. Missions range from breaking sieges and capturing enemy castles to raising gold and holding off enemy attacks. Also featured is a full economic campaign, tasking players to gather resources and build weapons within the time limit. So, to be short – here you will build your dream castle and feel important for a short period of time. Until your dream castle crumbles down and burns to the ground. Like your hopes that boss will raise your salary one day.
This is a free open source cross-platform strategy game. Works on 0. AD began in the year 2001 as a mod for Age of Empires 2 and later evolved to stand alone game. So, basically this is the same vodka, but with different bottles. As you can see from the footage, the biggest difference from the Age of Empires is the proportions of buildings – they are real size comparing to your units. Some players hate this setting, saying that it is impossible to command your army with great precision when the fight happens behind those buildings. We in Lithuania have a nice proverb for people like that: Blogam šokėjui ir kiaušai trukdo. Meaning that the bad dancer is bothered to even by its own testicles. Don’t be that dancer or player in this instance. Anyway, the game is free, you have nothing to lose except your time. And if you have lower end PC, don’t worry, the requirements of the game are really low. Actually they were low even 10 years ago. To say short – you have to have at least 512 Megabytes of RAM and 1 GHz 1 core processor to play the game. I think you have to have a more powerful PC to even watch this video without lag. And of course, I’m just kidding.
Warcraft 3 Reforged
Badum Tsss! One of the greatest RTS games ever created Warcraft 3 is being reborn again. Completely rehauled graphics and new cutscenes in more than 60 single-player campaign missions with updated voice-overs. I probably don’t have to tell you what Warcraft is, because it’s one of the most famous games in the world anyway, but just in case you somehow missed the original version, I just envy you now. Warcraft 3 has one of the best campaigns I have ever played and after those amazing missions, you can dive into the world of multiplayer, where you’ll be crushed to dust by gamers who play this game for 17 years. Yeah. Multiplayer will not be that fun for you if you’re new here. Of course, the Reforged version has a modern matchmaking system with leagues and stuff, where you suppose to fight other new players, but we all know that those leagues will be full of smurfs, and they will squeeze your dignity through all the holes of your weak body.
Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth 2
You can’t buy this game. Well, at least not the digital version. Though you can still get your hands on the CD version in Amazon. If you want a new version, unused, it will cost you about 300 dollars. Used ones are cheaper, but most of them are more expensive than a new triple-A kind of a game anyway. And if you have a copy already, you can make a nice amount of money by selling it. Middle Earth 2 was released not only for Windows but also for Xbox 360, and that is a really rare thing because you can probably count good RTS games for Xbox on your fingers. The gameplay is pretty standard but still very cool. Here you can choose from the six factions: Men, Elves, Dwarves, Isengard, Mordor, and Goblins. If you have an expansion called Rise of the Witch-King, whose used CD costs about 80 dollars, then also a faction of Angmar is added. Here you can control various heroes from books and movies, such as Aragorn, Legolas, Gollum, Mouth of Sauron, and others. This is a truly great game for every Lord of The Rings fan.
Empires: Dawn of the Modern World
From the Middle Ages to World War 1 and 2. Here you will find an array of historic troops and abilities over land, sea, and air. Also here you will find 7 civilizations and 3 historical campaigns. Though the game is quite old, graphics are clear and easy to read, meaning that you will not feel lost or disgusted by the oldness. As each chapter of history unfolds, you find yourself dealing with new technologies and unlocking more complex examples of advanced warfare. In the final campaign, airplanes and tanks roll into gameplay, as well as flamethrowers, rocket launchers, and nuclear weapons. All that sounds good and fun, but the game has big, confirmed problems with Windows 7 – people are saying that their mouse does not work. I have no idea how it’s working on Windows 10 now, but hey, you can buy the game on gog.com and try it, because you can get a refund if something goes wrong, they are offering 30 days of a money-back guarantee.
A great series where you can sink many hours of playtime. But there are so many of them, seven actually, how to choose the best one? For a new player, who never played any Settlers game I do recommend waiting for Settlers 8, who will be released in the year 2020. It looks really good, but we can only hope that it will play as good as it looks. You know, like all water looks like vodka, and you can’t tell the difference between those two, the same is with Settlers 8 – it looks like a good game, but you have to try it to really understand. But if you don’t want to wait and want to try an older version of Settlers I do recommend trying Settlers 2: Anniversary Edition. It is remade with 3D graphics, but all the original goodness is still in there. If you like that one, no one, NOBODY can stop you from exploring the rest of the franchise. You can do it. You are strong and independent, if you want to play any Settlers part, just do it.
Knights & Merchants
This is an old game, made in 1998, but re-released on Steam in 2013. Here you will find 2 campaigns with a 34 missions total, about 25 different types of buildings and everything else an RTS game should have. All the expansions are also included. Everything is good except one thing. This game is so damn old. Ancient history, for some. So, I can’t recommend it to a casual player, only for those who really love old school strategizing, for people who bought Warcraft 1 & 2 bundle on gog.com – this is your game. I wish they made a remake of this game with modern graphics and pathfinding. Though, speaking about modern pathfinding, even the Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition doesn’t have such a thing. So, maybe I want too much.
This is a city-building and economic strategy game released in the year 2009. Though the game centers on a series of fictional events, the overall concept of the storyline is based upon real-life aspects of medieval and renaissance history such as the Crusades, advancements in gothic architecture, and construction of cathedrals. Despite the game’s age graphics are great, music is also really nice, and on a sale, you can get it for less than 3 euros. In my city, Vilnius, one beer in the bar costs more than that, so it might be a great idea to put this game in your wishlist. Of course, the game has some flaws. The one thing I just hated here was that everything is built instantly. There are zero construction animations. Disappointed! Also, combat is pretty simplistic and the game is full of cartoonish characters. Anyway, this is a nice game, and if you like this one, you can explore the whole franchise, it’s full of great titles.
Medieval Kingdom Wars
When I finally found this game I was thinking – what is wrong with people? Why this wonderful game is not famous at all, and why nobody ever recommended it to me? I get zillions of comments about the games I have allegedly missed in my top videos, but nobody has ever said “Hey, where is Medieval Kingdom Wars dude? Your video sucks”. And that is sad because I couldn’t recommend it to you sooner. Here you start the game as a minor noble, in service to your King. With over a dozen nations and over 50 lords to choose from, each playthrough is truly unique and tells it’s own story. There are many ways to approach the game. You can play a classic RTS skirmish with solo, coop, and multiplayer options. And a story-driven campaign that offers 9 crafted scenarios. Everything takes place in a real-time, with roguelike game progression – everything you do is constantly saved, even during the battle. There are no second chances, no turns, or multiple reloads.
Stronghold Crusader HD
Here, like in the old good Stronghold HD you have to build your dream castles, but the game itself is more action-oriented, as it has skirmish maps where you can test your strength versus AI. Game is more combat-focused in general if you compare it with Stronghold HD which has slightly better story. Anyway – here you will find about 100 missions and skirmishes, 8 player multiplayer, map editor, and great music. In short, the game is great and to prove that I can present you Overwhelmingly positive reviews on steam. I don’t believe that even vodka in the land of alcoholics has such a great rating.
Game is a squad-based real-time strategy with a strong focus on tactics. Inspired by medieval European history, it brings to life four different nations and their conflicts, usually solved by war. Yep, back then everything in Europe was solved by war. You don’t have money? Go to war. Do you have too much money? War. You are not in a mood today? Start a war. Your sandwich is too salty? War. Yes, always war. The one thing that distinguishes this game from others it is its camera. You can zoom in and watch the battle from the first-person perspective, and take a look at all that bloodshed in close up. That is a majestic experience and really helps with the immersion part.
Knights of Honor
As I have told many times before – this is a very underrated game. Here as King, it is your duty to lead your people in their struggle to raise your kingdom from its humble beginnings to a position of power and prestige. War, diplomacy, and a booming economy are the means by which you increase your power and expand your influence. See, every king was an influencer back then. If you bow to the king – you become his follower, if not – War. The Game is old, so it has a lot of flaws unacceptable for modern games. There is no zoom-in or zoom-out, and because of that sometimes decision making is tough, also it has some of the outdated software-hardware problems, so the game can crash randomly from time to time without any visible reason, and of course, like in many old games, AI just cheats. How does the computer opponent can get thousands of coins after you pillaged almost everything it had? Well… from the air? I know, right? But in spite of that, this is a great game.
Tzar: The Burden of the Crown
A sinister evil has come to the peaceful kingdom of Keanor, a land of beauty, mystery, and vodka… I mean magic. The Palace lies in ruins as armies of malevolent warriors sweep through the countryside while the once-proud Imperial Guard cowers in fear. The citizens of Keanor flee their homes in terror, praying for the rise of the one true leader who, it was foretold, would lead them against the armies of darkness. Are you the hero they seek? Are you? Answer me goddammit! Though the game’s name may suggest that it is set in imperial Russia, it is completely false. Here you will encounter Dragons, wizards, and much other fantasy stuff. Sadly the game has no HD version and multiplayer is not available without using third-party applications, like Hamachi or GameRanger. Anyway, this is a great old school game and if you somehow missed it you can buy it very cheap, it costs around 5 euros on Steam or gog.com. So, about 5 beer cans, at least in my country.
Dawn of Man
This is a nice city building game where you control some ancient people, hunt mighty mammoths, gather various herbs, and build Stonehenge. Immediately after the release game received many negative reviews: people were talking that the game is limited and its content is scarce. But developers were quick to react and after a few updates, the situation was totally different. They added more buildings, more mechanics, and even made a 300 people population possible. Dawn of Man also has great AI. Like Skynet? Do you think this is Skynet? No, geez, definitely not that great. So, what are the flaws? For example, I don’t like the game’s color palette – the same kinda greenish-brownish tones everywhere can be really hard to the eye. And the game itself is focused on survival and not war, so it can be a bit boring for people who like to wage battles. Of course, there are war elements, you have to defend your settlements from various raider scum, but that’s almost it.
Celtic Kings: Rage of War
Old and simple RTS. It’s very good for people who are new in the RTS genre because game spares you the need to learn how to build a city, it is already built for you. Villages, strongholds, everything is just premade and all you have to do is to wage war. So, basically this game tests your skills as a commander because tactics and strategy you’ll use here are very important. Basically just like in a real-life, where you’ll probably not construct a farm in the middle of the road to stop enemy tanks for a small amount of time. That is silly, but we do such things in many strategy games. Nothing like that in Celtic Kings. This is a really cool game, and despite the resolution not being in HD, graphics still look pretty good.
Total War: Three Kingdoms
This is the first Total War game to recreate epic conflict across ancient China and it is made very well. The game has the potential to become the best Total War game if they manage to support it for a long time. But I should say, that this game may be difficult to get into for Total War fans because we are spoiled by the mass variety that Warhammer games offer. Nevertheless, the game in some aspects overshines even Warhammer. For totally new gamers, it also can be a bit challenging, because the learning curve is really steep. Otherwise it’s a great game with epic campaigns and battles. Here you will discover Three Kingdoms China, a land of breathtaking natural beauty. Battle across lush subtropics, arid deserts and snow-capped mountains. Marvel at legendary landmarks like the Great Wall of China and the Yangtze River. The game has very positive reviews on Steam, but it’s not the only high thing this game has. Another one is it’s price – something about 60 Euros by the time of creation of this video.
Ah, at last candy for the eyes. Spellforce 3 is a gorgeous game, the graphic details are stunning, definitely one of the best-looking strategy games out there. OK, Spellforce 3 might not be an entirely strategy game, because it has a lot of RPG elements in it, so it might resemble Divinity Original Sin or Baldur’s Gate more than Age of Empires. But the RTS part of the game is great and I dare to say, it’s very classic. Also, the game is really hard: while playing I had to reload several times, but that is OK because a lot of strategy games nowadays are dumbed down to attract a bigger player base. Nothing like that in Spellforce 3. It is a great title with a great story and gameplay. So, what are the flaws? The game has several annoying bugs, like dialogs not starting, mission triggers not working and so on, but nothing really game-breaking. Also, if you’re looking to play it with friends, because the game offers 3 player co-op mode, it might be a bad idea, because of the huge latency problems. Not everyone is experiencing them, read comments carefully if you want to play it this way. And load times… they might be endless on weaker PC’s and even on fast ones loading screens are annoying.. And one more thing – the game is expensive. Spellforce 3 was released in 2017 December, but it still costs something around 50 Euros at Steam.
Majesty: Gold HD Edition
Despite the game being around 20 years old, it still looks well… OK. It’s not the biggest game ever but it has some good quests and all the sounds are also made very well. Of course, I’m not recommending this game for anyone who can’t stand old school games, but everyone else will find a deep and witty game. Also, this is not a very typical setup: Majesty is a Real-time strategy game with indirect control – your heroes have a will of their own! Your rule here is not absolute, as you face subjects that are independent, stubborn – and greedy. They will need a great deal of persuasion before they carry out your wishes. So, a really interesting take on a classic genre. And if you want a more modern look at this game, you can find Majesty for Android and play it on your phone.
After a few hours of playtime, I am quite impressed with this free RTS. Well, to be fair, it’s not entirely free: you can play for free as Byzantines, but if you want to play with other nations, you have to buy them 5 dollars each. But hey, it costs zero to try it in almost full glory and nobody is forcing your hand to buy anything you don’t want. In fact, this game is like a sequel Age of Empires 2 never had. Though I was never a fan of graphics like that, here I can’t say a bad word about the looks of this game.
It definitely looks better than I do, so who am I to judge? So, here you will lead uniquely designed factions in procedurally generated maps and play against the AI in Skirmish, Survival, and Challenge mode or online in Ranked and Custom matches. The developers are saying this: If you are a fan of RTS games, you will relive memories of classic games of the past while enjoying a modern interface and a brand new approach to fast-paced real-time gameplay. So, basically this is a classic game with all the benefits of our modern gaming culture. For example, here you will find a ladder system similar to the one we saw in Blizzard games. Well now, the main list is over, but I can’t just end it like that without talking about a few more games.
There are many great RTS’s that has more futuristic setting compared to the Age of Empires, but if you have nothing against some nice nuclear launches or some alien invasions, check Starcraft 1 and Starcraft 2, also Grey Goo is a great original game and of course Command & Conquer Franchise. This is a crown jewel in the RTS universe. Did I mention the Company of Heroes? Please, also check on that. These are all great games: for example, Starcraft 2 is one of my all-time favorites. And you know what? It’s free. You can download and play it right away.