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If you can look past the foibles, you’ll find R.U.S.E. to be a free movie maker fun and occasionally intense real-time strategy game that’s just unusual enough to catch your imagination. Offworld Trading Company is a Sci-Fi Single and Multiplayer Real-time Strategy video game. Set on Planet Mars, Offworld Trading Company offers a versatile content made up with the amalgamation of features such as Building, Management, and exploration. This might be one of the most unique real-time strategy games on the list because it doesn’t have any form of combat. Offworld Trading Company comes from the lead designer of Civilization IV, Soren Johnson. It allows players to dig into the untapped resources of the red planet, Mars. From 2010, real-time strategy games more commonly incorporated physics engines, such as Havok, in order to increase realism experienced in gameplay.

While real-time strategy games have been a little thin on the ground lately, the console revolution has given them new life in many cases. Halo Wars is one of the older RTS which has seen considerably more discussion and play since it has been available on Xbox. Upgradeable units, a relaxed pace, and a great setting definitely make it of interest for those in the know. The game performs well, letting you zoom in and out with ease without any noticeable slowdown, though it would seem that some compromises have been made to accommodate the overall scope. Neither the terrain nor the units are all that detailed when viewed at relatively close distances. The art design also doesn’t make any statement beyond "generic World War II," and overall, this version looks decidedly less crisp than the others.

TechnoSoft’s Herzog is regarded as a precursor to the real-time strategy genre, being the predecessor to Herzog Zwei and somewhat similar in nature, though primitive in comparison. You can’t talk about a list of the best PC strategy games without talking about one of the benchmarks in the genre’s history. Warcraft III was many things, none of which to be taken lightly. It was simultaneously the end of an era and the beginning of the new one.

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It was Blizzard at one of the absolute heights of its powers as a real-time strategy developer. Perhaps most important though, it is easily one of the most engrossing and fun real-time strategy games ever made. Iron Harvest is a solid real-time strategy game, with the developer’s passion for the genre seeping into the story and design. However, there are some unfortunate missteps when it comes to the difficulty that will turn off more casual RTS fans, and a lack of content that might turn off more seasoned players. It’s just not a real roundup of strategy games on platforms if there is no XCOM. Luckily for us, here it is, available for console players to really sink their teeth into it and have one of the best TBS/TBT experiences available in the genre right now. Once upon a time, it was almost impossible to play good strategy games on consoles.

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A modern real-time strategy game that uses a physics engine is Ensemble Studios’ Age of Empires III, released on October 18, 2005, which used the Havok Game Dynamics SDK to power its real-time physics. Company of Heroes is another real-time strategy game that uses realistically modeled physics as a part of gameplay, including fully destructible environments. The player is usually given an isometric perspective of the world, or a free-roaming camera from an aerial viewpoint for modern 3D games. Players mainly scroll the screen and issue commands with the mouse, and may also use keyboard shortcuts. Another early title with real-time strategy elements is Sega’s Gain Ground , a strategy-action game that involved directing a set of troops across various enemy-filled levels.

Yet, it’s still a fine-looking game that displays a lot of units doing a lot of things at once without a struggle, though you will notice some geometric and texture pop-in. In the same way, the boilerplate wartime soundtrack sets the right tone, if not exactly excelling. But it isn’t the presentation’s strengths and weaknesses that will strike you as much as R.U.S.E.’s fascinating twist on a standard genre. It’s unfortunate that the spiritless campaign fails to elevate R.U.S.E. to the head of its class. And yet, when it’s allowed to breathe–both online and in one-off skirmishes–it’s a flexible strategy game that requires you to think differently. Every game follows a unique path, requiring lots of smart recon and using ruses to fool your enemy.