Best Real Time Strategy Game You’ve Ever Played?

I think I have said this earlier: Lord of The Rings: Battle for Middle Earth (BME – the first product, not the sequel) is the best RTS game I’ve ever played. I like it more than old games like Dune 2, Warcraft 3. I like it more than old and new Command & Conquer games. There are several reasons why I like BME so much:

  • Unequal forces: I’m fan of unequal forces in all games. In Battle for Middle Earth there’s multiple factions that are all very different (yet, well enough balanced). Playing Mordor is totally different from playing Gondor.
  • Placement of buildings: In BME, there’s only a limited number of places where you can build something. This means you cannot get all the buildings you’d like. You have to choose whether to get stables… or perhaps something else. Limited options is a very fine game design in this game.
  • Lord of The Rings: Okay, I admit that Tolkien’s world is giving an extra bonus here (I buy all kinds of Tolkien stuff: DVDs, board games, video games, card games… no, I don’t wear hobbit clothes or anything like that).
  • Walls, and an opening gate!: You can open the castle/fortification gate. That might seem like a trivial thing, but I really like how it’s done. Now as I really think about this, it sounds pretty stupid… but I dunno, there’s something fun about having walls and opening the gate (hmm, I enjoyed opening a lego castle gate when I was a kid. I wonder if that has something to do with this gate issue). Maybe this is one of those “tiny details” that make a great game.
  • Massive (enough) battles: I’ve really enjoyed seeing a massive number of orc hordes rushing to the walls, and battling against each other. Sure, there are games with even more troops but BME has enough of them. And that’s a good thing.
  • Visuals and sounds: They’ve done a great job with the graphics, music and sounds. I really enjoy them in the game.
  • Multiplayer: I’m a multiplayer, I admit it. I’ve never played BME in single player mode, and will keep it that way. I just like the multiplayer experience.

What about you – what’s the best real time strategy game you’ve ever played? Care to share reasons why?

14 thoughts on “Best Real Time Strategy Game You’ve Ever Played?

  1. Age of Empires II is my favourite!

  2. my good ones are starcraft, red alert 2, and aoe2, but my best ones would be aom and ee!!

  3. Dude Who smells nice

    Oh i forgot the most important thing. Its not all close combat or long range combat based. Since it is warhammer 40k you’ll be versing super human solders, super tanks with 11 guns on em, huge demons, orks, and a mix of completley different races. But i found the best part to be the kill syncs that happen in close combat. I cant realy explain them but you can see them on youtube.

  4. Dude Who smells nice

    Dawn of war I say is the best also. 9 races which are very different from each other with different forms of resource collection and gameplay. Also its very strategic because of the cap system instead of just rushing your enemy. The only problem would be that after the Dark crusade and Soulstorm expantion packs had bad campaigns. However there making Dawn of War 2 which should be very good be sure to check that out.

  5. Mine was C&C Red Alert, until Red Alert 2 came out, but the position was recently usurped by Company of Heroes. Regardless, the Red Alert and Age of Empires series will always be memorable to me.

  6. Best RTS game ever — I still have fond memories of the original command and conquer, it was like God compared to Warcraft II.

    Total Annilation is the best LAN RTS though

  7. Dawn of War, easily. If you are looking at a game having very different races that are all in balance I don’t think anyone does it better than DoW. The other thing I really like is: no resource collection. The game is about taking ground instead of “turtling” and micro-managing your economy. In addition, the unit “caps” mean that must balance your force with combined arms principles instead of just building a “big” army.

  8. AoE series was pretty nice. I liked building stuff :) Somehow it’s sort of a mix of Civ & RTS games.

    Homeworld… friend of mine likes it a lot. I never got hang of it though…

  9. *longthink* Homeworld. Now this is what I call “pushing the genre”. A pity there are not mroe 3D space RTS, but I guess it’s the stuff that drives every enemy AI programmer insane in not time.

  10. I would have to say Age of Empires II. Yes, I know that it’s really old for a computer game, but it set the bar high for RTS games when it came out.

    In line with what you mentioned, it had some unequal, yet balanced factions/civilizations, and an excellent multiplayer.

  11. C&C Red Alert. Hands down.

  12. Starcraft did okay job with having different factions… and WC3 was ok too..

  13. I enjoyed several games, the latest being: Dawn of War, Armies of Exigo and Warlords Battlecry III.

    Battlecry is really outdated, but it has an interesting concept: heroes with experience that grow from battle to battle. Meaning:you play a map, earn xp, learn magic or improve skills, and on the next map you start on your previous level.

  14. Frantic-Sheep

    Well, my standard answer would be Starcraft ;) … pretty obvious perhaps. And I really enjoyed Warcraft 3 and Dawn of War :).