Best 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.

  • 10

    StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

    Terran it up.

    Reviewed on: 30 July 2010

    Platforms: macOS, PC

  • -

    Plants vs. Zombies

    Reviewed on:

    Platforms: Android, iOS, Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One

  • 9

    Card Hunter

    A free-to-player, browser based card game that isn't rubbish. Whatever next...

    Reviewed on: 07 October 2013

    Platforms: macOS, PC

  • -

    Football Manager 2007

    Reviewed on:

    Platforms: PC, PSP, Xbox 360

  • -

    Viva Piñata

    Reviewed on:

    Platforms: Nintendo DS, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One

  • 9

    Empire: Total War

    The biggest, grandest Total War yet.

    Reviewed on: 12 March 2009

    Platforms: Linux, macOS, PC

  • 9

    Total War: Shogun 2

    Command and conquer.

    Reviewed on: 15 March 2011

    Platforms: PC

  • 9

    Supreme Commander

    Does Supreme Commander live up to its immense hype?

    Reviewed on: 15 February 2007

    Platforms: PC, Xbox 360

  • 9

    Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Colonization

    Conquering America? It's all about the money...

    Reviewed on: 22 September 2008

    Platforms: PC

  • 9

    XCOM: Enemy Unknown

    XCOM works best as a panic management simulator.

    Reviewed on: 08 October 2012

    Platforms: Android, iOS, macOS, PC, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Xbox 360

  • 9

    Might & Magic Clash of Heroes

    Sparks will fly.

    Reviewed on: 15 March 2010

    Platforms: iOS, Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

  • 9

    FTL: Faster Than Light

    Even on easy mode, FTL is another capital-D Difficult game and its random nature means even the most careful of explorers might find themselves unexpectedly asphyxiated.

    Reviewed on: 25 September 2012

    Platforms: iOS, Linux, macOS, PC

  • 9

    Football Manager 2010

    Still the special one?

    Reviewed on: 01 November 2009

    Platforms: PC

  • 9

    Football Manager 2009

    A new season of heartache or joy?

    Reviewed on: 09 November 2008

    Platforms: PC

  • 9

    Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War

    Our rather belated review for the first truly great game based on the Warhammer universe

    Reviewed on: 14 January 2005

    Platforms: PC

  • 9

    Football Manager Live

    The natural evolution of Football Manager.

    Reviewed on: 20 January 2009

    Platforms: PC

  • 9

    Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising

    The corrupting influence of chaos is a powerful thing.

    Reviewed on: 10 March 2010

    Platforms: PC

  • 9

    DEFCON: Global Thermonuclear War

    Nuking your mates in the face has never been so strategic.

    Reviewed on: 15 June 2007

    Platforms: Nintendo DS, PC

  • 9

    Football Manager 2005

    We check out Sports Interactive's latest football management sim. Addiction has a new name...

    Reviewed on: 14 December 2004

    Platforms: macOS, PC

  • 9


    Soon to be infiltrating year-end top ten lists the world over.

    Reviewed on: 03 June 2013

    Platforms: Linux, macOS, PC

  • 9

    World in Conflict

    Level a battlefield and your social life in this intense RTS.

    Reviewed on: 21 September 2007

    Platforms: PC

  • 9

    Football Manager 2011

    Better than ever?

    Reviewed on: 05 November 2010

    Platforms: PC, PSP

  • 9

    Company of Heroes

    Relic cements its place into the pantheon of exceptional RTS developers with this brilliant World War II offering.

    Reviewed on: 31 October 2006

    Platforms: iOS, PC

  • 9

    The Sims 2

    It's the return of the little people in our slightly belated review...

    Reviewed on: 22 December 2004

    Platforms: Classic Macintosh, Game Boy Advance, Gameboy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 2, PSP, Xbox

  • 9

    Rome: Total War

    Has the Creative Assembly given RTS fans a real reason to feel gladius with Rome: Total War?

    Reviewed on: 06 March 2005

    Platforms: PC

  • 9

    Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War – Winter Assault

    Relic has produced a red-hot RTS that betters the original game

    Reviewed on: 11 October 2005

    Platforms: PC

  • 9

    World in Conflict: Complete Edition

    Massive's Director's Cut nukes all.

    Reviewed on: 19 March 2009

    Platforms: PC

  • 9

    StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

    The campaign probably won't reach the audience it deserves, but Heart of the Swarm is Blizzard on top form.

    Reviewed on: 18 March 2013

    Platforms: macOS, PC

  • 9

    Civilization IV

    Sid Meier returns with his latest installment of turn-based heaven

    Reviewed on: 17 November 2005

    Platforms: macOS, PC

  • 9

    Football Manager 2008

    Think you can do better? Prove it.

    Reviewed on: 12 October 2007

    Platforms: PC, PSP, Xbox 360