People have been trying to bury the real-time strategy (RTS) genre for years now, but it stubbornly refuses to die. Its origins go back to the early days of the gaming industry, with the first proto-RTS appearing back in 1979-82, and many players of all ages still treat it with great respect. Even if the focus of RTS has recently shifted to more accessible and faster games, and something like StarCraft III is still a dream, it doesn’t mean that real-time strategy games are no longer being released. Just recently, on May 13, 2024, Homeworld 3 was released, but it is not the only one. And now we will try to prove it to you.

In this article, we have collected interesting RTS games released over the past five years. Keep in mind that game developers in this genre have had to adapt their projects to modern realities, so some of the latest real-time strategies are mixed with elements of other games. In addition, our list includes a significant number of remasters, as the gaming industry is nowhere without them.

It’s also obvious, but we’re going to mention it anyway, that a significant number of games on our list require a PC. Because RTSs, due to the peculiarities of control, are released mainly on this platform. In fact, it used to be believed that RTS and consoles were incompatible, but it has been proven that this is not the case.

Here we go, the best real-time strategy (RTS) games of recent years.


Age of Darkness: Final Stand

Platforms Windows
Genre strategy
Year 2021

Age of Darkness: Final Stand привертає увагу похмурою візуальною частиною та загальною стилістикою. Вони відповідають не лише за антураж, а й додатково підкреслюють особливості сетингу та геймплею. Адже кожної ігрової ночі ви будете боротися за життя королівства, відбиваючися від натовпу монстрів.

The “crowd” is not an artistic exaggeration, but one of the game’s features. The developers have created a separate SwarmTech system, thanks to which tens of thousands of enemies can be in the game at the same time (our Cossacks have already made such a breakthrough – ed. note). In Age of Darkness: Final Stand you have to constantly defend yourself, the focus of the game is very clear. Additionally, PlaySide stole some of the roguelite genre’s best practices, so you’ll find random improvements and complications every time you play.

The authors even added a pretty decent story campaign to the game. Not bad for a small Australian studio.


Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition

Platforms Windows, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One
Genre strategy
Year 2021

Once upon a time, the Age of Empires series, the first installment of which was released back in 1997, was one of the main pillars of the RTS genre. Of course, the attitude towards strategies has changed significantly since then. However, Age of Empires still warmed the hearts of many players.

This was mentioned by Xbox Game Studios, which in 2021 enjoyed a great deal of support from the gaming community thanks to initiatives aimed primarily at hardcore players. In the end, we got a full-fledged new Age of Empires IV, which also appeared on Xbox consoles in 2023. There are not so many console RTSs, and only a few of this quality. So this game is worth checking out for that alone.

If you’re not familiar with the Age of Empires series, it’s an RTS civilization game that focuses on realistic depiction of the change of historical eras and the overall development of civilization. A variety of factions and methods of victory will not let you get bored.


Aliens: Dark Descent

Platforms Windows, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Genre strategy, tactics
Year 2023

The Aliens franchise is not very popular among developers, but this does not prevent games based on it from being released regularly. And in a wide variety of genres. Therefore, we have, without exaggeration, the brilliant horror Alien: Isolation, the cooperative shooter Aliens: Fireteam Elite, and the tactical strategy game Aliens: Dark Descent.

The phrase “tactical strategy” may seem strange, but Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is considered to be a prime example of games of this genre. In this game, the developers abandoned the management of the base and focused on small groups of fighters.

Aliens: Dark Descent takes this idea to the absolute, so you control only one squad. But every step and every soldier is critical to the success of the mission. The xenomorphs will always be as dangerous as possible for the soldiers, and the number of resources and auxiliary tools is severely limited. This situation creates a tense atmosphere in the spirit of the original Aliens, which the game successfully maintains until the very end.


Beyond All Reason

Platforms Windows, Linux
Genre strategy
Year 2022

Total Annihilation is another classic of the RTS genre, which in 1997 received many awards and the love of players and critics. It spawned a spiritual descendant of Supreme Commander. The game turned out to be good, but some part of the community felt that it was “not the same anymore”.

But Beyond All Reason is exactly what it is. After all, this is a fan-made open source game that is created with the strongest qualities of Total Annihilation in mind. The developers boast of the most truthful simulation of ballistics and the general behavior of units on the battlefield.

But the best part is that the game is absolutely free. However, it is still in alpha, so get ready for bugs and technical problems.


Company of Heroes 3

Platforms Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
Genre strategy
Year 2023

This strategy will appeal to those who like realistic battles in the World War II setting. The developers focused on the Mediterranean theater of operations. You may also have heard of the previous installment of the series, Company of Heroes 2, which made the Russian gaming community very angry with its realistic campaign.

Company of Heroes 3 retained the gameplay fundamentals of the franchise, but also added some large-scale updates that the developers seemed to have spied in the Total War series. Also, the third part has become significantly more loyal to new players. But, unfortunately, the game still has significant optimization issues.



Platforms Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre simulator, strategy, shooter
Year 2020

Disintegration caught the interest of players and critics as early as its announcement. After all, its development was led by Marcus Lento, one of the creators of Halo, without whom the famous shooter series would have been completely different. In Disintegration, he decided to combine shooter mechanics with general RTS gameplay and promised to give players an interesting world with a mysterious story.

However, at release, Disintegration failed to capture the attention of mass players. Due to a somewhat strange mix of genres, the gameplay felt boring, and the plot turned out to be banal. That is why the game became the only one for the V1 Interactive studio, which closed in 2021.

However, Disintegration is worthy of attention precisely because of the unusual key idea. It is very difficult to find any modern analog for it (but we can recall the immortal classic Battlezone from 1998 and its Redux from 2016 – ed. note).


Dune: Spice Wars

Platforms Windows, Xbox Series X/S
Genre strategy
Year 2023

You’re still under the influence of Dune by Denis Villeneuve and want something with a similar atmosphere, and Dune II: Battle for Arrakis seems too old to you? Then Dune: Spice Wars might be a good option to return to Arrakis.

This is a real-time strategy that is tied to resource management and relationships with other factions, which brings the game closer to the 4X subgenre. Therefore, it requires a fairly high level of attention and a desire to understand a large number of mechanics. There is no special storyline campaign here, you just need to capture Arrakis for the chosen faction. But still, the game can captivate you for dozens of hours, because it has enough nuances.

By the way, we had a separate material dedicated to games based on the Dune franchise.


Iron Harvest

Platforms Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 і PlayStation 5
Genre strategy
Year 2020

Polish artist Jakub Różalski is known for his alternative universe “1920+”, in which everything is focused on dieselpunk and altered human history. The source of inspiration for the setting was the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921, but its aesthetics look unusual and attractive even without political ties.

Iron Harvest is set in the 1920+ universe, so you will be able to control armies of diesel robots and other military devices. Each of the mechs turned out to be colorful, and they look especially interesting against the background of ordinary rural locations.

Gameplay-wise, players got a purebred real-time strategy game, without any unnecessary experiments and additions. But all the elements necessary for RTS are present in the game, and they are multiplied by a unique style.


S.W.I.N.E. HD Remaster

Platforms Windows
Genre strategy
Year 2020

Don’t let the stylized rabbits and pigs of this game fool you. It is still an extremely good strategy game that has abandoned the base-building elements to focus entirely on the battles between the two factions.

The emphasis here is on improving equipment and competently managing it on the battlefield. The cartoon-style graphics, which have been significantly improved in the remaster, help you better understand what is happening during the battles. In addition, this is one of the few strategies in which you get personally attached to the units thanks to the scenario and the overall atmosphere.

Also, S.W.I.N.E. HD Remaster also attracts with a plot that satirizes the realities of world wars.


SpellForce 3 Reforced

Platforms Windows, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series X/S
Genre strategy, role-playing game
Year 2021

SpellForce as a series has always been famous for its successful combination of real-time strategy mechanics and role-playing games. It is this mix, which, to be honest, was simply stolen from WarCraft III (this is controversial – ed. note), that has been helping the series to find players since 2003.

SpellForce 3 Reforced is the latest installment in the series. In the Reforced edition, developers from Grimlore Games have significantly improved RTS mechanics, as they were supposedly secondary before. This version was also released on consoles, which will be a plus for many players.

The game is based on a balance between pumping your own character and developing your base and army. With a sufficient level of skill, SpellForce 3 Reforced can be played both as a pure RTS and as a rather unusual RPG.


Stronghold: Definitive Edition

Platforms Windows
Genre strategy
Year 2023

Another remaster of a classic that is also considered a folk game among Ukrainian players. After all, many people have heard the phrase “my lord” many times and spent a lot of time trying to capture the bastions of medieval England.

The updated version has improved graphics and music, as well as added new campaigns for single-player games. However, the developers from FireFly Studios did not change the core gameplay of Stronghold. Therefore, it is still a demanding strategy game where you need to think fast.

Stronghold: Definitive Edition also added support for modifications from the Steam Workshop directly, so the number of game hours in this scenario can easily exceed hundreds or even thousands.


Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance

Platforms Windows
Genre strategy
Year 2024

Another game based on the classic franchise. Terminator games are also not released very often, but Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance was released recently – in 2024. Therefore, game developers are still interested in the series.

Slitherine Ltd. studio, the kings of the wargame genre, has focused on the storyline campaign where you and the rest of the humans have to face off against legions of machines. It is clear that machines are more deadly and dangerous, so you have to use cunning, tactics, and all available resources to win.

Between missions, you need to manage your troops and build alliances that open up access to new opportunities and missions. That’s why the campaign structure is somewhat non-linear. And in multiplayer, you can try to play for all the other factions.

Updated. Please note that the development of Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance was started by the Russian studio Cats Who Play. In March 2022, they were suspended and all the materials were collected by Slitherine Ltd., which allegedly finished the game for the next two years on its own. The Russians still remain in the credits, but it is not known for certain whether they participated in the finalization of the project.


The Great War: Western Front

Platforms Windows
Genre strategy, tactics
Year 2023

Petroglyph Studio was considered one of the strongest when it came to real-time strategy games. It gave players at least Star Wars: Empire at War and Grey Goo. Today, the company continues to do what it does best, namely, create new RTSs.

At the same time, developers do not forget to experiment with the basics of the genre. The Great War: Western Front combines global tactical gameplay with real-time field battles. Therefore, it is necessary not only to competently manage units but also to monitor the overall situation.

Besides, this is one of the few games about the First World War. Game developers use this setting relatively little, so it is always interesting to look at the events of that time in an interactive format. Petroglyph tried to keep the story as true as possible.


The Valiant

Platforms Windows, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series X/S
Genre strategy
Year 2022

The Valiant, like some of the games in the selection before it, abandons base building and large armies for more flexible management of small units. Perhaps this is the future of the RTS genre.

The game’s plot tells the story of a former crusader who has realized the error of his ways. And now he has to stop his former comrade who wants to find a powerful magical artifact and use it to establish control over the whole world.

The game has a fairly standard set of entertainment for an RTS with an emphasis on small clusters of fighters. At the same time, everything works well, almost like a standard.


Toy Soldiers: HD

Platforms Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre strategy, shooter, Tower Defense
Year 2021

This game made the childhood dream of many boys come true. In it, toy soldiers came to life and began to actively fight each other (we send our congratulations to Stephen King, author of the fantastic story “Battlefield” (1972 – ed. note).

You need to fight off enemy attacks with your own units, not forgetting to upgrade them regularly. You can also take control of any unit yourself and shoot back personally. And you can only place soldiers at specific points, which is a characteristic feature of the tower defense genre.

The game doesn’t have any unnecessary meanings or mental stress. Sometimes this is exactly what you need.


Other cool RTS in recent years

9-Bit Armies: A Bit Too Far
Dungeons 4
They Are Billions


What real-time strategy games do you like to play? Share your favorite RTS games that you still return to today in the comments. They don’t have to be modern anymore.

*The artwork of Polish artist Jakub Różalski, creator of the “1920+” universe, which he painted in support of Ukraine at the beginning of the full-scale war.