Top Real Time Strategy Game Series

List of the best RTS series available

Shuttlestar in Earth Orbit

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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? Is the number of sequels or games can be a good indicator of the quality of an RTS game series? 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.

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Starcraft Series
Starcraft Series.


Number of Games 2 + 4 Expansions
First Release: Starcraft (1998)
Latest Release: StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops (2016)

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 known for the gameplay 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 games of the year awards when they were first released. Currently in development is the third and expansion to Starcraft II called Starcraft II Legacy of the Void, which centers around the Protoss faction, was released in 2015. StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops was release in 2016 followed by Starcraft Remastered in 2017.

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Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes Series


Number of Games: 2 + 4 Expansions & Numerous 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 the third release in 2010, Company of Heroes Online, which was a free MMO RTS but was canceled shortly after while the game was still in open beta release.

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Age of Empires

Age of Empires Series


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 move 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 came 13 years after the release of the main game.

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Total War

Total War Series


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 combines turn-based strategy gameplay with a 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 is 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. The most recent title in the series is 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 was released in 2015.

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Command & Conquer

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 gameplay 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 canceled in 2013.

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Warhammer 40,000

Warhammer 40,000

Games Workshop

Warhammer 40,000 is a series of sci-fi real-time strategy games set in Games Workshop's tabletop miniature wargame of the same name. The first release, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War was released in 2004 and contains four playable factions from the Warhammer universe; Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Eldar and Ork factions. This first title was very well received by both gamers and critics alike as were the three expansions released titled Winter Assault, Dark Crusade, and Soulstorm.

In addition to Dawn of War and it's three expansions three sequels have been released, starting with Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II in 2009. There were two expansion packs released Dawn of War II, Chaos Rising, and Retribution bringing the total of titles released to seven games, 2 full releases and 5 expansions (3 of which are stand-alone expansions). A third title in the series was released in 2017 entitled Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III. The game is in development by Relic Entertainment, the same company who developed the previous Warhammer games and Company of Heroes series.