Today we bring you a list with the best PC strategy games online and to download. We have everything from open source versions of popular games, through classic games, to original titles of various types related to strategy.
Some of them are also available on phones, but the common denominator of the entire selection is that they must be able to be played from a PC, via installation or online. For lovers of this genre, and there are many of them, we review the best free and paid PC strategy games, so you can enjoy the best titles of this genre on your computer.
The strategy has always gotten along well with Windows. The PC has long been and still is the place where lovers of the genre can find the best free strategy games, often exclusively.
The arrival of smartphones and tablets did not drop the balance in the opposite direction, although the touch also meant new game modes, beyond the mouse + keyboard which have always been the winning combination for this genre of games.
Best PC strategy games
List of strategy games for PC
1. Starcraft II (Arcade)
We got off to a great start with “Starcraft II“, one of the best and most popular online strategy games in history. In fact, it has a place on the list of the best strategy games of all time.
A few months ago the game became Free-to-Play, making it a must for those who want to spend hours and hours playing without spending a single euro. Use highly intelligent AI, control Grounders, invade with nasty zerg or learn from skilled protoss left behind. Don’t forget to try it.
2. Battle for Wesnoth
“Battle for Wesnoth” is one of the online strategy games in the open source world. In fact, it has been important to GNU / Linux gamers since 2007, although it also has versions for macOS and Windows.
The game itself falls into the free turn-based strategy game genre and is set in a fantasy world, and has a total of 17 single-player campaigns and dozens of maps for its multiplayer mode. You will like it if you are looking for a mix of titles like “Advance Wars” or “Fire Emblem”, with not very demanding graphics to run smoothly on almost any computer.
And if we talk about open source PC strategy games we must also mention “Freeciv“. It’s a title inspired by the ‘Civilization’ saga, with the same game system but with much older graphics… which on the other hand helps it to run well even on older computers.
Game development is still fully active. In fact, after three years of work this summer they released their version 2.6.0 of Freeciv. In this case the game is available for both GNU / Linux and Windows.
4. 0 AD
And if “Freeciv” is a free alternative to “Civilization”, in “0 AD” we also have a good alternative to “Age of Empires”. It’s a free, open source, real-time PC strategy game about historical wars and ancient economics. It is cross-platform and is available for Windows, macOS, GNU / Linux and OpenBSD.
5. Open Transport Tycoon
And continuing with the free and open source alternatives we have “Open Transport Tycoon” or “Open TTD”, part of the strategy and simulation PC game genre based on the legendary “Transport Tycoon Deluxe”. The game tries to mimic the original title as closely as possible, extending it with new features.
What you need to do with the game is basically to create a city by paying attention to its means of transport, organizing everything as efficiently as possible. “Open Transport Tycoon” is cross-platform and is available for Windows, macOS, GNU / Linux and OpenBSD.
6. Stronghold Kingdoms
“Stronghold Kingdoms” is part of the free strategy games in Italian and is like a cross between “Civilization” and “Clash of Clans”. You’ll start with a small castle and a handful of workers, and you’ll need to use them to grow your empire as you explore the world searching, meanwhile you don’t have to get attacked by other players.
Being multiplayer, you have the incentive to be able to try to forge alliances with other people, as well as betray or be betrayed. It has a lot of content, although as a negative counterpoint we can say that its graphics are rather poor. The game is available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.
7. Epic Arena
“Epic Arena” is an online strategy game, a mix of games and boards, as if we were combining the battles of the “Heroes of Might and Magic” saga with the card mechanics of “Magic the Gathering”. The game is pure combat strategy and you will have to carefully place and move your characters on a board to take on each of the fights.
It has an unsynchronized game system that allows you to be in multiple games at once and from any device. In fact, it has versions available for Android, iOS, and Windows with Steam. Of course, even if it’s free, as usually happens in these cases, there are always micropayments with which to move a little faster.
8. Dwarf Fortress
If you like really complicated online strategy games, ‘Dwarf Fortress‘ is one you should definitely try. Its learning curve is very intense and it is an open source title that challenges your strategy by combining genres such as roguelike and city building games. Your mission is to take command of a group of dwarves and build an underground fortress.
Without a doubt, the most amazing thing about the game is its graphics. It’s not that they’re pixelated, it’s that they’re basically based on colored ASCII symbols. It is available for both Windows and macOS or GNU / Linux.
9. Open Panzer
Open Panzer, is part of the turn-based PC strategy game genre in which you have to take command of the armies of either side of World War II. Your mission will be to move around the map by capturing key locations and supply points to take control of the scene, all while destroying the rival army. Although it is also available for mobile phones, you can also play it on your computer.
10. Neptune’s Pride 2
‘Neptune’s Pride 2‘ from the online strategy game series, is a real-time, strategic and open source multiplayer with which you will have to take command of your space fleet and conquer the galaxy. Its graphics are simple so that the power of your computer is no excuse not to play.
In principle, the actions you can take are relatively simple, such as researching technologies, building new ships, trading and exploring the galaxy. However, the fact that it is multiplayer and real-time adds the extra factor that if you go too slow the rest of the players will finish you mercilessly.
11. Command & Conquer: Red Alert Online
Another of the classic and historical free strategy games that has been made totally free is “Command & Conquer: Red Alert”, which has its own open source version called “OpenRA“. Thanks to this game it is possible to relive one of the great classics of the genre without requiring the original, and it is available for Windows, macOS and various GNU / Linux distributions.
12. Fallout Shelter
It’s another one of the free online strategy games, simple free mobile game, but ‘Fallout Shelter‘ is such a comprehensive strategy and resource management title that it ended up reaching all platforms. In it you have to manage your post-apocalyptic bunker and manage its resources to improve its inhabitants so that they can go out to explore the wasteland without any problems.
It is a free game supported by micropayments, but not a pay-per-win, so if you have patience you can enjoy long hours without spending a single dollar. You have the game as we say on various platforms, including PC directly from the Windows 10 app store.
And since we have opened up the range of strategies to resource managers, another of its subgenres is that of strategic combat card games. And in this genre, one of the top representatives is “Hearthstone“. It’s a very similar game to “Magic the Gathering”, where you manage a deck of thirty cards using one of nine different classes (Mage, Shaman, Druid and others) that you think have the best chance of beating your opponent.
The game was launched in March 2014 and in the four years it has been active it has already become the benchmark for card games. While it’s free, it has micropayments for buying extra card packs, so there are people who are spending large sums of money to get the best possible decks.