Top PC Strategy Games of All Time

Children often can't grasp strategic thinking, which is why you're unlikely to hear a bunch of school kids on the bus chatting about tactics in Europa Universalis 4 or Crusader Kings 2. For them it's all about the latest FIFA or Call of Duty.

Whilst you could argue that both FIFA and COD require a level of strategy, the list of the PC's Top Strategy Games of All Time doesn't dabble which such simplicities. In addition to the aforementioned hardcore titles, PC strategy games are dominated by long-term franchises such as Total War, StarCraft, XCOM, Command & Conquer and Civilization. These are games so in-depth that you'll be weeks into the experience and likely yet to have scratched the surface.

So if you want to feel more cleverer than the average Joe you should stop signing into Xbox LIVE to play Call of Duty against a bunch of teenagers, and instead load up Steam and download any of the games from our list of the Best PC Strategy Games of All Time. By the time you're done you'll have bumped your IQ up a few notches.

  • 23.

    Dungeon Keeper Review

    Dungeon Keeper

    A greedy mess that sullies the name of the series. Dungeon Keeper's waiting times will make you gasp like someone's jammed an... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 22.

    Heroes of Might and Magic IV

    It's worth a go, and at the price you should certainly try it if you're a fan of the genre; but overall it feels too dated and isn't compelling enough to recommend it to a wider audience. Strategy and FPS games seem to almost define PC gaming sometimes. They are... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 21.

    Loco Mania

    Loco Mania's basic premise is absurdly simple but good design means there is plenty of complexity and depth to be found. As a resident and citizen of Great Britain it is perhaps far too easy to... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 20.

    Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers

    While the tactical combat is still the best around, more casual gamers hoping for a military action fix may find it too frustrating, too inconsistent and too cold for their liking. As a series, Full Spectrum Warrior (FSW) holds a privileged position.... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

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  • 19.

    CivCity: Rome

    As a friendly introduction to city building CivCity: Rome is a satisfying enough way to while away the summer. For everyone else, keep moving forward to bigger and more exciting worlds. On holiday in Europe last year I took part in a guided tour of a once highly... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 18.

    Sword of the Stars

    If you are looking for some light-weight strategy action then you could do a lot worse than Sword of the Stars. Imagine for a moment that you're an emperor or military commander in charge... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 17.

    Maelstrom

    If you are looking for something a little different Maelstrom might be worth a look. Just know that you won't be getting greatness. In terms of structure Maelstrom is comfortably familiar. Build a base, build... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 16.

    Tom Clancy's EndWar Review

    Tom Clancy's EndWar

    most PC gamers will find the experience too dumbed down to warrant investigation. On console EndWar is good. On PC it's in over its head. We love Advance Wars on DS. It's addictive, well presented and brilliant... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC,PC,PC

  • 15.

    From Dust Review

    From Dust

    It's easy to appreciate From Dust, but harder to enjoy it. Regardless of this fact, it's an important game - bold, innovative and different - and well worth checking out during the summer drought. Mother Nature is a cruel mistress. She cooks up storms, gives birth to... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

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  • 14.

    Nexus - The Jupiter Incident

    It's not Homeworld 2 and it never tries to be; judged on its' own merits, Nexus is a well-rounded and polished product. If space strategy is your 'thing', you should get this game. The space genre as a whole has suffered a rather large decline in popularity... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 13.

    Heroes of Might and Magic V

    The future of turn-based fantasy gaming: Atmosphere, depth and stunning presentation. Who said turn-based strategies couldn't be sexy? Fantasy videogame developers must want to shoot Peter Jackson. Until the... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 12.

    UNO

    Whether you want something to relax with or you want to play competitively for the best part of a day, you can't go wrong with UNO. I'm not sure if it's just my age, but lately I've been playing a lot of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 11.

    Top Trumps: Doctor Who Review

    Top Trumps: Doctor Who

    Time Lords and Top Trumps. You might have noticed that this review looks slightly different to other... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 10.

    Spore Review

    Spore

    While each individual stage may remind you of other games, we assure you that the overreaching feel and play is like nothing you've ever come across. As far as video games go, ambition doesn't get much bigger than attempting... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 9.

    Toy Soldiers Review

    Toy Soldiers

    The tower defense game is a rare breed on XBLA, but Toy Soldiers waves the flag for its genre valiantly. The strategy is in depth and the shooting is solid. There's an endearing irony to Signal Studio's Toy Soldiers; a game that... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 8.

    The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom Review

    The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom

    Settlers 7 is a fabulous game. It's unique, challenging, refreshing, and all sorts of beautiful. If all-conquering internet phenomenon FarmVille is the natural evolution of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 7.

    Awesomenauts Review

    Awesomenauts

    Awesomenauts is a fascinating first step in bringing the MOBA genre to console. At Gamescom 2011, Valve hosted a DOTA 2 tournament that boasted one million... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 6.

    Antihero review

    Antihero

    A tabletop-esque strategy game with surprisingly variable routes to success, Antihero is stylish, fresh, and beautifully designed. Antihero is a small, elegantly formed strategy game, played like a board... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 5.

    Spiritfarer review

    Spiritfarer

    Blending both adventure and management sim, the player cares for these characters and wanders into the wonder of this world, which lights up with each new island discovered. It explores the role of both parties in death; is it the responsibility of the spirit or the Spiritfarer to sew together the uncomfortable threads of loss? Thunder Lotus Games describes Spiritfarer as a “cozy management game... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 4.

    The Sims 2

    The Sims 2 is worth getting ahold of under any circumstances - though it's far more likely to get ahold of you somehow. And I warn you: it won't let go. People insist on telling me that The Sims was the most unpredictable... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 3.

    Civilization IV

    An exceptional game that will keep megalomaniacs off the streets for months to come. Civilization IV showcases the very best that the turn-based strategy genre has to offer. War, huh? What is it good for? Well, winning games of Civilization IV,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 2.

    DEFCON: Global Thermonuclear War

    If you love strategy games or simply like interesting gaming experiences, this is for you. So, here's to Global Thermonuclear war. Who knew it would be so much fun? DEFCON was always going to be an easy sell for Introversion. You just can't... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 1.

    Card Hunter Review

    Card Hunter

    Card Hunter is excellent. Card Hunter is a browser-based free-to-play game which surprisingly isn't... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC