The Most Innovative Real-Time Strategy Games

Are you a real-time strategy game enthusiast? Do you love commanding armies, building strongholds and outsmarting your opponents? Well, look no further! We have compiled a list of the most innovative real-time strategy games out there, across a variety of platforms. So, tighten your helmet strap and get ready for the battle of the century!

Starcraft II

Starting off with a true classic, Starcraft II is undoubtedly one of the best real-time strategy games of all time. Developed by Blizzard Entertainment, this game has raised the bar with its unparalleled game mechanics, graphics, and storyline. What sets this game apart is the depth of strategy it requires, and the vast amounts of research that players need to undertake to master it.

Starcraft II has three distinct factions each with their unique strengths and weaknesses. The gameplay consists of acquiring resources, building structures, creating units, and engaging in real-time combat with other players. The game also has an immersive campaign mode and various multiplayer modes that keep players engaged.

Age of Empires II

Age of Empires II is another classic RTS game that has stood the test of time. It was released in 1999 and still manages to be one of the favorite games of fans. Developed by Ensemble Studios, it is centered around building empires and controlling massive armies. The game allows players to choose one of thirteen civilizations, each with their unique technology and combat units.

Players must gather resources, build structures, and grow their empire to become the dominant force on the map. The game features a single-player campaign, multiplayer, and scenario builder. The game features a vast selection of maps, ranging from authentic historical battlegrounds to imaginative new plays.

Supreme Commander

Supreme Commander is a futuristic RTS game that was released in 2007. The game is set in the 37th century, and players take on the role of a Supreme Commander, leading armies in large-scale battles on enormous maps. The game follows a unique concept where players need to build a complex network of resources to fund their army, and locating intelligent ways to counter their opponents.

The game features three factions, each with different units, resulting in unique battles. The maps in the game are vast and can support 8 players at once. The strategic requirements that the game demands are one of the trickiest ones. All decisions taken by players have a significant impact on their army strength and position, making players think strategically several moves ahead.

Total War: Warhammer II

Total War: Warhammer II is a turn-based and real-time strategy game that was released in 2017. The game is the sequel to the successful Total War: Warhammer, and it takes place in a fantasy world known as the Warhammer Universe. The game features four playable factions and two dozen different types of enemy factions, creating a vast gameplay experience.

The game includes a campaign map where players are tasked with conquering provinces, with battles happening in real-time. Players can use a variety of units, including mythical creatures such as dragons and giants. The game features beautiful graphics and audio and, it's one of the most complex and engaging games in the Total War series.

Company of Heroes 2

Company of Heroes 2 is a sequel to the famous Company of Heroes game, and it was released in 2013. It's set in the Eastern front during World War II, and players take on the role of commanders of the Soviet Red Army against the Germans. The game follows a realistic approach, and players have to deal with fatigue, morale, and weather elements that make battles more challenging.

The gameplay consists of capturing and holding strategic points on the map and building up resources to fund their troops. The game features a unique ability called 'Commander abilities' that grant players temporary perks during battle. These abilities range from airstrikes to deploying spies to scout on enemy positions. The game's AI is also a vital point, with excellent tactical and strategic planning.

Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 is a welcome addition to the Halo universe and a unique entry in the RTS genre, released in 2017. The game takes place 28 years after the events of the original Halo Wars game, and players take on the role of the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) to face off the new Atriox's warband. The game features an immersive campaign and challenging multiplayer modes.

The game's unique gameplay mechanics include the Commander system, which allows players to give specific orders to their troops and employing various military tactics. The game also features collectable cards that can be used to upgrade the player's army, adding to their strategic arsenal. This game provides an exciting blend of RTS and Halo universe's action-packed gameplay.


If you are a fan of historical and mythical strategy games, then Northgard is the right pick for you. Released in 2018, Northgard takes inspiration from Norse mythology, where players take on the role of the Viking Clan leader. Players need to gather resources, trade goods, and develop their clan to thrive in challenging environments.

The gameplay mechanics are unique, with seasons changing and players facing threats such as harsh winters or invading armies. Players can employ different strategies, such as peace agreements or outright invasions, to control the map. The game's skill tree mechanic also allows players to research different skills and abilities to enhance their clan's productivity and combat skills.

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is a prequel to the famous Homeworld strategy game and a standout RTS game released in 2016. The game is set in the desert planet of Kharak and follows a narrative story through campaign mode. The gameplay follows traditional RTS mechanics where players need to gather resources, build infrastructure, and explore the map for strategic points.

The game's unique factor is its 3D movement-based unit control, where players need to navigate their units to different heights and directions to win battles. The game also has a unique story-driven narrative that takes players on an epic journey to save humanity.

Total Annihilation

Total Annihilation is a game that defined the RTS genre in the late 90s. The game was released in 1997 and is set in a futuristic world with two factions battling for control. The game has a unique 3D engine and real-time physics that set it apart from its contemporaries.

The gameplay is centered around resource management, base building, and commanding an army of various units. The game's graphics were groundbreaking at the time, featuring intricate details, explosions, and particle physics. The game's sheer size and complex gameplay set it apart, making it one of the best and most innovative real-time strategy games of all time.

Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes of the Singularity is one of the newer entries into the RTS world, but with its innovative mechanics, it quickly became a favorite among fans. Released in 2016, the game features a new concept called the "massive scale." Players can control tens of thousands of units simultaneously, and the game allows them to customize their armies down to unit loadouts, upgrades, and overall strategy.

The game is set in a futuristic world where players take on the role of post-human entities engaged in wars for galactic supremacy. The game's mechanics are unique, with a strong focus on allowing players to change their strategies on the fly without pausing the game. The game's AI is also exceptional, making it one of the most challenging RTS games out there.


There you have it, the most innovative and best real-time strategy games that you can play right now. They may come from various eras, but they all offer fantastic gameplay mechanics, graphics, and replay value. The games listed above are a must-play for any RTS game fan, so strap in and enjoy the thrill of commanding your armies to victory. No matter what platform you choose, the games listed above offer an immersive and rewarding experience, making them among the finest examples of the RTS genre.

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