Top Real Time Strategy Game Series

List of the best RTS Series Available

There are dozens if not hundreds of great real time strategy (RTS) games available for the PC, some of the best can be seen in the Top 20 Real Time Strategy Games list, but what are the great real time strategy video game series? The number of sequels or games can be a good indicator of the quality of a RTS game series, I mean if they are successful and putting on sequels, they must be good right? Well that's not always the case. Many times follow up titles or sequels can try too hard to change things or re-package what made previous titles great. The list that follows contains the top 5 RTS series of all time, those series in which games have been critically and commercially successful release after release.


Starcraft Series
Starcraft Series. © Activision/Blizzard
Number of Games 2 + 4 Expansions
First Release: Starcraft (1998)
Latest Release: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013)
Upcoming Release: StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void (TBD)
The Starcraft series started with the release of Starcraft by Billzard Entertainment back in 1998. The two games of the series and four combined expansions center around three factions fighting a war for dominance of the Milky Way Galaxy. It is well know for the game play balance between the three factions as well as its addictive multiplayer skirmishes. Both games and their expansion include a single player story campaign as well. All titles in the Starcraft series have been a commercial and critical success, with each winning many game of the year awards when the were first released. Currently in development is the third and final expansion to Starcraft II called Starcraft II Legacy of the Void, which centers around the Protoss faction, a confirmed release date is still TBD.

Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes Series
Company of Heroes Series. © SEGA
Number of Games: 2 + 4 Expansions & Numerious DLC/Content Packs
First Release: Company of Heroes (2006)
Latest Release: Company of Heroes Ardennes Assault (2014)
Upcoming Releases: TBD
Like the Starcraft series, the Company of Heroes series of World War II real time strategy games contains just two full releases but they are two of the best RTS games ever. The first game, Company of Heroes, was released in 2006 and focuses on the Western Front of the European Theatre of War. In addition to the main release it contains two expansion packs which add more armies, multiplayer maps and a new single player story campaign. The latest game in the series, Company of Heroes 2, was released in 2013 and so far has seen the release of two main expansions/DLCs one that adds new multiplayer maps and armies, with the second DLC containing a new single player campaign. In addition to these two main titles, there was a third release in 2010, Company of Heroes Online, which was a free MMO RTS, but was cancelled shortly after while the game was still in open beta release.

Age of Empires

Age of Empires Series
Age of Empires Series. © Microsoft
Number of Games: 4 + 6 Expansions
First Release: Age of Empires (1997)
Latest Release: Age of Empires II: The Forgotten (2013)
Upcoming Releases: TBD
The Age of Empires series of historical real time strategy games is arguably the most popular and highly regarded series of RTS games. It contains a total of four main titles for the PC if you include the Age of Mythology sub-series. Starting back in 1997, the original Age of Empires takes players and their chosen civilization from the stone age into the Iron Age. The subsequent releases of Age of Empires II and Age of Empires III moves the historical timeline forward with Age of Empires II beginning in the Dark Age and ending in the Imperial Age, while Age of Empires III starts in the Discovery Age and ends in the Industrial Age. A fourth title to move the series into the 20th century has been rumored for years but has never been announced or confirmed. The series has seen a rebirth of sorts on Steam with the release of HD enhanced editions of Age of Empires II and Age of Mythology. The latest release in the series is an expansion to Age of Empires II called The Forgotten which is compatible with only the HD enhanced edition but it comes 13 years after the release of the main game.

Total War

Total War Series
Total War Series. © SEGA
Number of Games: 9 + 12 Expansions
First Release: Shogun: Total War (2000)
Latest Release: Total War: Rome II (2013)
Upcoming Releases: Total War: Attila (2015)
The Total War series of historical games combine turn based strategy game play with real time strategy for battles, it is also one of the first RTS game series in which battles can contain thousands of units on a battle map. Most of the titles in the series have been very well received critically with each release offering upgrades in graphics and gameplay features. The first title in the series was Shogun: Total War released back in 2000 with the latest game being Total War: Rome II released in 2013. There are a total of eight games that have been released in the series that span many historical time periods that involve major warfare or conflict such as Medieval Total War, Empire Total War and Rome Total War. Upcoming plans for the series include Total War: Attila which starts in the year 395 AD after the fall of the Roman Empire and the start of the Dark Ages. It is schedule for release in 2015.

Command & Conquer

Command & Conquer Series
Command & Conquer Series. © Electronic Arts
Number of Games: 13 + 8 Expansions
First Release: Command & Conquer (1995)
Latest Release: Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances (2012)
Upcoming Releases: TBD
The Command & Conquer series of sci-fi real time strategy games is one of the earliest series of games that fall into the RTS genre. Command & Conquer, which was released back in 1995, introduced many of the same game play elements that are found in newly released RTS games today. It has spawned a franchise that includes 13 main titles across three sub-series; Tiberium, Red Alert, and Generals. The latest release is the free to play MMO RTS game Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances which was released in 2012. While the Command & Conquer series is one of the first and most popular, some of the more recent releases have not been received as well critically as the early titles. Future plans for the series appears to be in a holding pattern with Command & Conquer: Generals 2, which was renamed to simply Command & Conquer, was cancelled in 2013.

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