Ashes Of The Singularity
It may not be the best of the bunch, but Ashes of the Singularity does its best to take a page out of Starcraft’s strategy game playbook. Its claim to fame lies in the scope of its space battles which allow players to oversee thousands of troops at any given time, as opposed to dozens on a battlefield.
This means less individual micro-managing of units as they pertain to a smaller-scale battle, and more emphasis on overall direction. Some prefer this style, others do not. The fact that the game required an entirely customized engine to leverage multicore processors is a testament to its ambition, and Ashes of the Singularity definitely deserves praise for that.
The 15 Best Strategy Games On Xbox Game Pass
Theres nothing quite like pulling off the perfect strategy in a video game and sitting back, immensely pleased with yourself, as you watch what youve done play out. The template for the strategy genre is Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty, which codified many of the tropes we now see as endemic to real-time strategy games, including base-building, a range of different unit types, and factions with special units. Now, of course, strategy games are far more advanced, but the essence remains the same: outfox your opponent, be they CPU or player. Here, in no particular order, are the 15 best strategy games on Xbox Game Pass.
Best Strategy Games On Xbox Game Pass For Pc
Unsurprisingly, Xbox Game Pass for PC has a far more robust selection of strategy games. The genre has historically flourished on computers, with the mouse + keyboard set up complementing the pinpoint controls required by these titles. While console owners only have a small selection of games to pick from, the PC scene is considerably more impressive.
For those with Xbox Game Pass for PC, here are a handful of the best games on the subscription service.
Don’t Miss: Age Of Empires Game Pass Xbox
Best Games Like Age Of Empires
Age of Empires is one of the best real-time strategy games to be ever released. After not receiving any love from the developers for quite a while, a new version of Age of Empires was finally unveiled in 2017. After releasing some gameplay footage in 2019, Microsoft announced that the game will release in 2021. The latest Age of Empire game will cover four different historical ages:
- Dark Age
- Medieval Age
- Imperial Age
While the age classification is the same as previous version of the games, the developers have ensured that the new game will start earlier and finish later than Age of Empires 2. To pass the time till this new game hits the market, check out the following excellent Age of Empires alternatives:
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
This is technically a Game Preview game as its still technically in a pre-release state, but this wonderfully bonkers title is now available to Games Pass subscribers on both Xbox One and PC.
Its more simulation than strategy, but offers a uniquely fascinating combat simulation that allows you to pit vastly different types and numbers of troopers against each other. Its not grounded in reality at all, but its still fun to play around with.
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Warcraft Iii: Reign Of Chaos
If any RTS game besides Age of Empires 2 could rightfully take the mantle star of the genre, it would be Warcraft III. Spawning a fervent multiplayer community that set the foundations for all strategy games after its release, and a modding scene that gave birth to the original DOTA, the games surviving legacy is unquestionable, but even its single-player experience remains a joy.
Its legacy is certain, and its single-player experience remains a joy
The four playable factions Humans, Orcs, Undead, and Night Elves are distinct in traits and playstyles, and small bands of warriors make up the bulk of your forces, rather than grand armies. Despite its fantasy setting, Warcraft III is one of the more grounded RTS games out there, sticking to small unit micro-management. But its most noteworthy for its narrative commitment. Campaigns arent played across sequential skirmishes, but connected scenarios, weaving questlines and sub-objectives into a coherent, character-driven plot. Hero units take centre stage, levelling up, gaining new attributes and spells, and equipping magical items for a hint of RPG flair.
Halo Wars: Definitive Edition
Halo Wars screenshot
Image Credit: Xbox Game Studios
Halo Wars was the final game Age of Empires developers Ensemble Studios developed before they were closed by Microsoft. Despite its departure from history-inspired settings into the science fiction of another franchise, its a straightforward real-time strategy that delivers dependable fun.
It lacks the depth of Age of Empires, sticking much more closely to the narrative structure and technology of the Halo games. This makes its real-time strategy accessible and more suitable for newcomers. Originally released on Xbox 360, Halo Wars was repackaged for PC in 2017.
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Command And Conquer: Red Alert 2
Developer: Westwood Studios, EA PacificPublisher: Electronic ArtsPlatform: PC
Though the sun may have currently set on this once crucial pillar of classic RTS strategy gaming, the legacy of the Command and Conquer series has made an everlasting mark on the strategy genre as a whole. Though there are a huge number of titles in this series, its Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 that best encapsulates the core spirit of the franchise, with Red Alert 3 following close behind.
If Age of Empires goes for a more serious tone of historical wonder and discovery in its presentation, then Command and Conquer is precisely the opposite, leaning fully into the wacky fun of pulpy and silly science-fiction. In Red Alert 2 players will play as either the Soviets or the US in an over-the-top alternative history version of a Cold War gone hot with all the crazy Tesla and chronomancy technology to boot.
If anything, the sheer creativity in faction design and a rock solid gameplay loop foundation makes Red Alert 2 fun to return to over and over again, even despite its age. The absolutely bonkers cheesy live-action cutscenes of the campaign alone make playing through the game worth it.
Xbox One Strategy Games
|Platform: Xbox OneOctober 8, 2020 Did you know that Schadenfreude is a German word defined as the concept of finding joy in someone elses misfortune? It is also the main idea on which Neighbours back From Hell is built. A whole TV show based on playing increasingly outrageous pranks on your grumpy neighbor to keep the audience entertained, and viewership numbers high. Its good to be bad in this early 2000s trash TV-inspired slapstick extravaganza! As Woody, the vengeful star protagonist of Neighbours back From Hell, you will prank your way through Seasons 1 and 2 of the fictitious, but aptly named TV show. Take the mischief from your nasty neighbors flat all the way to China, India, and Mexico where you will make sure his holiday is a living hell. While youre at it, why limit targeting your antics at your neighbor, when you can involve his mother and fellow travelers? Whatever you decide to do, your trusty camera crew will be right there and keep a keen eye on all the action. You can let your crooked creativity flow freely and watch the neighbor rage in desperation. Just be mindful not to get caught by him or his companions, or they will whoop you good and your TV show will be taken off the air. If you perform well on the other hand, by creating more and more disarray and chaos in the neighbors life, ratings will increase, and you could win prestigious awards. Metascore:|
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Cossacks : Napoleonic Wars
Publisher: GSC Game World, CDV SoftwarePlatform: PC
In terms of popularity, the Cossacks series never really took off the same way Age of Empires did, despite following a similar formula and going for a unique Early Modern historical setting. Cossacks diverged even further from Age of Empires with Cossacks 2: Napoloenic Wars by doubling down on large-scale battles and formation-based combat.
In Cossacks combat system, single entities matter less than the integrity and performance of an entire formations of line infantry or cavalry, which makes any single engagement or skirmish in Cossacks 2 feel more grandiose, especially in the historical scenarios or the simple yet fun campaign system. Though in the skirmish battle mode, base building plays a greater role, the core of Cossacks gameplay centers on the creation of squads of units to overwhelm the opponent, which makes it a kind of precursor to Company of Heroes.
The Napoleonic Wars setting gives Cossacks plenty of vibrant color and factional distinction in unit composition, strengths, and weaknesses, which adds replayability to the games various modes. In many ways, the Cossacks franchise is a great companion series to Age of Empires as it follows similar principles with enough nuances, such as a greater focus on gunpowder and large battles, to make it stand on its own two feet from Age of Empires, while also paying homage to it.
Publisher: Firefly Studios, Gathering of Developers, Take-Two InteractivePlatform: PC
Games Like Age Of Empires Starcraft 2
If you are interested in playing RTS games that are based on space-related environments, Starcraft 2 would be ideal. In fact, this game is the second edition of the Starcraft series, which is developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The game revolves around a story that is supposed to take place in the 26th century. It is more of a science fiction story. The player of the game should focus on a galactic struggle. Four different types of species are involved in this battle, expecting to dominate the games university. The entire game is there to be played in three different phases.
The players are supposed to play as Protoss, Terran, or Zergoffers in the game. Those are the names of the species. Basically, it is nonlinear gameplay. The name of the main game is Wings of Liberty. It revolves around the story about Terran. There are two expansion packs as well, and Protoss and Zerg are the respective species.
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European War : Napoleon
European War 4: Napoleon is the only game in this list that not only stays true to the genre and overall play of Ages of Empire but also gets events inspired by history as opposed to mythology and fantasy as with most of the other games.
The game is developed by EasyTech and published by the same company and promises quite the action. It is particularly ideal for avid gamers who prefer offline strategy games. The graphics of the game are not really console-quality, but they are decent enough to keep you playing for hours.
Like Napoleon, the focus of the game is to transform you into the greatest commander of the Napoleonic Wars. As mentioned earlier, battles in the game are based on historical events, and to deliver that feeling, you get to use legendary generals.
Newbies shouldn’t have any problems getting around the game because it has a simple interface that gets the job done. It is not as deep in terms of strategy and exploration as some of the other options, but it’s still an excellent option for any gamer that gives it a chance.
Rome: Total War Remastered
Few strategy games are as popular as Rome: Total War. For years, the game has acted as a trumpet for how to create a great strategy title, and critics took notice, heaping near-universal praise on it. It recently received a major bump on April 29th, 2021 with a remastered edition of the game, opening it up to a new player base.
Rome: Total War has been lauded for having a practically perfect level of balance. The use of particular units in relation to environmental terrain is one such mechanic that forces players to stay on their toes in order to gain a strategic advantage. Other mechanics such as a troop morale system, multiple battle formations and advanced-level war tactics help set the game apart from its peers.
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Pandemic: The Board Game
If youve played board games in the last several years, odds are that you have played Pandemic, and know its not about opposing the other people at the table but about figuring out how best to cooperate with them to take out the plague which is destroying humanity. Balancing your limited resources and your limited area of effect is the real meat of the game. Its tense, its challenging, and its on the Xbox.
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection
- Developers: Petroglyph Games, Lemon Sky Studios
- File Size: 32 GB
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
Containing remasters of 1995s Command & Conquer and 1996s Red Alert, this collection supplies great value for money with quality of life improvements, updated visuals, and neat behind-the-scenes Easter eggs. The first two Command & Conquer games are important entries in the real-time strategy genre, but they are not all that easy to revisit in this day and age. The remastered collection doesnt remove all of the original games frustrations, but they deliver more than enough improvements to make the failures simpler to swallow.
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Age Of Empires : Definitive Edition
- Release Date: 14 November 2019
- Available Platforms: PC
- Main Story Completion Time: 35.5 Hours
- Best Feature: The Definitive Edition provides stunning new visuals to the classic game
TheAge of Empires series may be set in a completely different time period to the StarCraft games, but it deserves a spot on this list nonetheless for being among the best RTS games ever made. Age of Empires 2 perfected the formula that Age of Empires created and revolutionized the RTS genre.
Age of Empires 2 is set in the Middle Ages and focuses on resource management, base building, and unit deployment. In late 2019 a definitive edition was released. It includes all of the game’s expansion packs and is the best way to play the classic strategy game.
Warhammer 4000: Dawn Of War
Developer: Relic EntertainmentPublisher: THQPlatform: PC
Aside from Command and Conquer, perhaps the only game to come closest to Age of Empires timelessness is once again a Relic Entertainment production in Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War. This game brilliantly marries the stunning grimdark universe of Games Workshops Warhammer 40000 with classic RTS principles to simply make a well-balanced, fun, and deep strategy game.
Though Dawn of War does share a bit more with Company of Heroes than Age of Empires in its somewhat simpler base building system and greater emphasis on unit command, it still plays very much like any good classic RTS. A particular standout for Dawn of War is its incredible faction design, both visually and in terms of gameplay mechanics, which can be seen most of all in the unit customization system where commanders can customize squads, vehicles, and units with a variety of weapons and gear to best tackle relevant tactical challenges.
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Games Like Age Of Empires Age Of Mythology
This is a classic game based on RTS . In fact, this game is developed by the same company that developed the Age of Empires. Namely, they are Ensemble Studios. They made Age of Mythology based on the mythological beliefs that existed long ago where Atlantis existed. The story of the game revolves around world-famous Egyptian, Norse, and Greek mythological stories and legends. Nevertheless, on the other hand, the Age of Empires is solely based on historical events that took place.
As per the games concept, it requires you to build an entire army. You should also manage resources like in Age of Empires and conquer the opposing civilizations. Being the player, you are supposed to choose Greek, Norse, or Egyptian civilization to start the game. All those three civilizations come with unique cultures and religions. As per the game, it allows players to choose a major God. That will depend on the type of empire they choose. You can unlock minor Gods as well, and as a result, the players will gain special powers.
What Games Are Like Age Of Empires On Xbox
Xbox One and Xbox Series X boast some excellent strategy games, some more like Age of Empires than others. Gears Tactics is a reliable turn-based tactics game, while Age of Wonders: Planetfall is a worthy turn-based strategy.
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Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2
The sequel to the original 2017 space strategy game is finally being made available via Games Pass for PC. Its a new and improved version of the game, although some things were still a bit better in the original. Still, its very pretty, and gives you a healthy does of space-based Warhammer 40K action. Well worth trying if youre a Game Pass subscriber.
The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics
- Approximate Game Length: 20 Hours
- Genre: Tactical RPG
- X|S Enhanced: No
- File Size: 5 GB
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Netflix series brought Jim Hensons darkly fantastical film back to life. Age of Resistance Tactics seeks to capitalize on this nostalgia by treading the same ground covered in the show. However, the story beats are spread out over tactical combat encounters. So while there is less time spent on character development, there is more time spent immersing yourself in measured gameplay. Seeing Gelfling and Skeksis duel it out on a limited battlefield is especially enjoyable if you hold any degree of fondness for either the original movie or the new show.
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