Your favorite RTS's of all time (in honor of Soren Johnson's new studio)

I didn’t want to muck up his thread, but since they’re working on an RTS I thought it’d be fun for us all to post our favorite RTS’s of all time (in order of preference).

  1. Dune 2 - still my favorite. The music, the atmosphere, the factions, the speech, the design, the campaign were all perfect. I replayed the entire game (each faction campaign) 10 years later and still enjoyed it.
  2. Supreme Commander 1 - Great dynamics, tough resource system, fantastic music. SC2 had more bigger units, but it just wasn’t as good and was missing the heart of the original.
  3. Starcraft 2 - not because of the actual RTS, which I found “meh”. What made it great to me was the story and campaign features, especially your “home” screen where you had lots of little things you could do, and people you could talk to which really gave it life.
  4. Age of Empires 3 with expansions (without all expsns would not be on list)
  5. Age of Empires 2 with expansions (without all expns would not be on list)
  6. Command & Conquer - Awesome music. nothing in that series ever hit this level of awesomeness out of box.
  7. Warcraft 2 - just plain fun with fantastic music. Warcraft 3 was too fiddly.
  8. Rise of Nations
  9. Red Alert (1st one) - great campaign

Did not play Company of Heroes or Warhammer 40K and I also didn’t consider spacey games EU/CK2 nor the Total War series as theyr’e more a hybrid than flat out rts.

My favorites

Command & Conquer Tiberian Dawn (1995)
C&C Red Alert 1
Company of Heroes

As I listed all of these it occurred to me just how important music is. Music should be just as important as graphics in maintaining player attention.

Dawn of War 2, Dawn of War, Age of Mythology, Age of Empires 2, Warcraft 3. But then I tend to be really bad at real time unit management, so the move in DoW2 to just a few units was a godsend.

Oh god, so many:

Total Annihilation
C&C: Red Alert 2
War Wind 1 and 2
Dark Reign
Rise of Nations
Age of Empires II
Seven Kingdoms 1 and 2
Warlords: Battlecry 2
Lord of the Rings: War for Middle Earth 2
Conquest: Frontier Wars

I dunno if it counts, but I’d also throw Uprising on that list.

In order of when I encountered them (somewhat chronologically):

Dune 2
Rise of Nations
C&C: Generals
Company of Heroes
Sins of a Solar Empire
Wargame:Airland Battle

Magic and Mayhem I

  1. Rise of Nations - The ultimate. A perfect blend of solid RTS gameplay with some of my favorite aspects of the Civ series. The day this finally appears on Steam will be a truly glorious day.
  2. C&C Red Alert - The game that made me into the RTS player I am today. The first game was good, but this one had skirmish, which was key as I didn’t have access to reliable internet at that point in time.
  3. Wargame: AirLand Battle - More or less the evolution of the genre into what I’ve always wanted. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there with each iteration.

Honorable mentions go to:

Total Annihilation (which I never played at the time for some inexplicable reason)
Supreme Commander (for being so closely related to the aforementioned and an excellent game in its own right)
Dawn of War (the first one, which remains one of the only RTS games I can get non-RTS gamers to play)
Age of Empires 2 (an absolute classic)

Rise of Nations. Some people claim other RTSs exist but I think they just make that up.

I used to play a lot of Age of Empires 1 and 2, so those are my favorites by default. I also played some Command and Conquer, Warcraft and others. I probably started falling out of love with RTSs when Age of Empires 3 came out and never really got back into them. I dabbled in some others - European Escalation, RUSE, Sins of a Solar Empire, Company of Heroes, but never really stuck with any of them.

Sins was pretty dope, though I didn’t play it a lot. I always wanted to return some day.

TA was interesting, I liked it, even if I played it for the first time around 10 years after release and the 640x480 graphics were hard on me.

I liked Rise of Legends. Am I the only one? :)

Wargame: AirLand Battle
Dawn of War
Company of Heroes

  1. Age of Empires: Rise of Rome
  2. Warcraft II
  3. Age of Kings
  4. Starcraft
  5. Warcraft III
  6. Empire Earth
  7. Command & Conquer


  1. Company of Heroes
  2. Dune 2000
  3. StarCraft
  4. Myth: The Fallen Lords

Honorable mentions to:
Total Annihilation
Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns
Rise of Nations
Age of Empires 2

Battle Bugs

I have never been a huge RTS fan, but of those I have played over the years:

Rise of Nations - Lots of improvements in the genre and really enjoyed playing it with my son.
Warcraft 2 - Lots of epic games with my brother in law when it was released.
Age of Empires - I believe it was the 1st one that I played the most, but could have been II also.

All of the above. Also enjoyed Liquid Entertainment’s Battle Realms. Shame it didn’t get more recognition.

Warlords Battlecry II.

Rise of Nations

Starcraft 2 for the non-game elements they brought