Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos – released 2002
Warcraft III allows you to control one of four races: the Orcs, Human, Night Elves, and the Undead. Like most strategy games, Warcraft III, has a campaign mode and a standard single-player mode, where you go head-to-head with the computer. Warcraft III’s campaign mode has five stories, one for each race and an optional prologue. In essence, all the stories are just about the same for each race, with the player starting with very basic game mechanics, where you slowly learn and develop all the interesting skills needed to master a specific race as you ultimately complete each quest and the game. Warcraft III guarantees you hours and days’ worth of enjoyable gameplay and with great multiplayer functionality; it’s also great for the old school computer gamers’ nights.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty – released 2010
Strategy games are ageless, and finding a classic hidden in a drawer at home fills you with nostalgia. With the impending launch of Civilizations VI, we thought we would look back at some of the best and greatest strategy games…
StarCraft II was one of the most anticipated games of its time. Unlike other popular strategy games, StarCraft II followed 12 years after its first instalment. The first StarCraft earned somewhat of a cult status, so when StarCraft II launched in 2010, the franchise saw record sales, with all of us old school gamers rushing to get a copy, as well as all the newer players who had only heard about StarCraft from legend. The campaign for StarCraft II revolves around three races: the Terrans (humans who were exiled from Earth), the Zerg (a super-species combining a variety of different life forms), and the Protoss (a race with great mental power and technology). Wings of Liberty focuses on the Terrans, but there are expansion packs for the Zerg and Protoss campaigns that can be purchased separately. Wings of Liberty follows on from the first StarCraft game and centres around Jim Raynor as he leads an insurgent group rising up against the Terran Dominion.
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings – released 1999
Age of Empires II is set in the middle ages. Players are able to choose from any one of 13 different playable civilizations. The point of the game is to gather resources, use those resources to build towns, then create armies and defeat your enemies. Age of Empires II can be played in three different single-player modes, or even multiplayer modes, but the best part about The Age of Kings is the five campaigns. There are five historically based campaigns, which allow the gamer to follow five different stories in a quest for the ultimate reign. In 2013, an HD version of Age of Empires II was released, so there is an update and graphically superior version out there for gamers with the best systems available.
Sid Meier's Civilization V – released 2010
Civilization V was released in 2010 following the huge success of Civilization IV. In this version, players need to lead their created civilization from prehistoric times into the future. The only way to make it through the various ages is to achieve one of a number of different victory conditions through either research, exploration, diplomacy, expansion and/or military conquest, to name but a few. The game is almost entirely different to Civilization IV regarding gameplay and dynamics; it could easily stand alone against all four of the previous versions. Unlike the previous games, Civilization V is a turn-based strategy game. Each player is the leader of a certain nation, ethnic group, or civilization, and you must guide your civilization’s growth over the course of thousands of years. It begins with the building of a small village or settlement and ends after achieving one of the victory conditions, or surviving until a certain number of game turns has ended. You will need to achieve any one of several objectives, such as the biggest population, the most land developed or the greatest technological advancement, in order to be declared the winner.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert – released 1996
Command & Conquer: Red Alert is the prequel to the original Command & Conquer. It takes place in an alternate pre-history of the original Command & Conquer when Allied Forces battle an aggressive Soviet Union for control of the European mainland. Anyone who grew up with PC strategy games will certainly have played Command & Conquer (C&C), both the original and Red Alert. Originally released on PC, C&C became a cult classic. It was then ported to the original PlayStation, later moving to PlayStation 3, and even the PSP. C&C was praised for its unique gameplay at the time, and the plot was both unbelievable and unforgettable. C&C: Red Alert set the benchmark for many future games and remains a must-have even today.