10 Classic Real-Time Strategy Games Like Age of Empires
Manage resources, expand armies, and destroy your enemies in these Age of Empires-like classics!
Real-time strategy games like Age of Empires ask you to spin many plates at once. You’ll often need to crush enemies while also managing resources on the fly. In addition, you’ll explore fairly large maps, scouting for new locations for your epic civilization to expand to.
The Age of Empires series’ most distinctive qualities are:
- Resource gathering and management
- Aspects of exploration
- Grand scale economic and diplomatic systems
- Historical setting and content
- Medium to large scale tactical conflicts
- Technological advancement systems
In recent years, this once popular strategy formula has fallen a bit out of fashion. However, there’s thankfully still a lot of real-time strategy games like Age of Empires out there to appease fans like yourself. Here are 10 of them!
Note: Keep in mind that none of these suggested games are exactly like Age of Empires. However, each game mentioned is guaranteed to contain one or more Age of Empires-like qualities for you to enjoy!
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1. Age of Mythology
It comes as no surprise that Age of Mythology makes our list of games like Age of Empires. A direct spin-off, Age of Mythology tweaks the historical leanings of Age of Empires by diving into the realm of mythology. The addition of Gods, monsters, and magic to the classic real-time strategy formula will feel both familiar and fresh to you at the same time. So, if you want PC games like Age of Empires that don’t deviate too far from the beaten path, Age of Mythology is most definitely your first go-to option.ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode
Read more honest player reviews of Age of Mythology.
2. Empire Earth
Made by Rick Goodman (who designed Age of Empires) for PC, Empire Earth shares a number of similar qualities with Age of Empires. For starters, it offers real-time strategic gameplay set against a historical backdrop that stretches half-a-million years. Empire Earth’s graphics also look somewhat alike to Age of Empires in style – albeit rendered in full 3D. There’s also a huge variety of unit types for you to choose from. These include stone-age rock throwers, Roman warriors, medieval knights, World War 2 vehicles, enormous robots, and more.
Hardcore Age of Empires fans have criticized the game for having almost too much content to the point of sacrificing strategic depth and pacing. However, Empire Earth is still highly praised for its ambitious design and nuanced historical settings.
Overall, if you’re keen on for more games like Age of Empires, you owe it to yourself to give the original Empire Earth a try, along with its (sequels).ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode
Read more honest player reviews of Empire Earth.
3. The Settlers Online
Like most games like Age of Empires, The Settlers Online gives you the chance to build empires, expanding them as you battle competiting foes. Granted, there aren’t as many unit types available compared to Age of Empires. However, most individual units balance themselves out nicely in stats, abilities, and upgrades.
As a newer game, The Settlers Online also features decent building and unit modelling – especially for an online game. The game’s social aspects are also well-implemented. In addition, the online fan community is mostly supportive and welcoming.
Best of all? The Settlers Online is completely free-to-play! Perfect if you’re in need of more strategy games like Age of Empires but aren’t keen to fork out money.ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode
Read more honest player reviews of The Settlers Online.
4. Empires: Dawn of the Modern World
Another creation by Goodman, Empires: Dawn of the Modern World is a real-time strategy game that tasks you with guiding a civilization through five distinct historical epochs (i.e. the Middle Ages all the way up to World War II). Similar to other games like Age of Empires, you’ll carry out lots of resource gathering, military training, and building construction. Battles are also deeply strategic. In addition, you’ll get a whooping nine civilizations to choose from, including the French, English, and Chinese.
Gamespot’s Sam Parker actually applauds Empires: Dawn of the Modern World as a significant step-up from Age of Empires’s basic gameplay. Of course, this is somewhat debatable, given Age of Empire’s longer-lasting appeal. However, there is little doubt that Empires: Dawn of the Modern World stands strong alongside other games like Age of Empires for the similar gameplay it offers.ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode
Read more honest player reviews of Empires: Dawn of the Modern World.
5. Cossacks: European Wars
Cossacks: European Wars has a bunch of features similar to other games like Age of Empires. For one, there’s the usual resource gathering, building construction, and army growing processes. However, the game doesn’t have the same historical expansiveness as Age of Empires. Instead, European Wars doubles down on letting you relive some of the most famous battles of 17th and 18th century Europe with rich historical detail.
What sets Cossacks apart from other games like Age of Empires is the absolutely huge armies you get to control. You’ll be able to define unique formations for thousands of soldiers. The formation you choose will play on each unit’s various strengths and weaknesses.
The game also has two popular followups – Battle for Europe and Napoleonic Wars. You might want to try both of these before Cossacks 3 gets released.ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode
Read more honest player reviews of Cossacks: European Wars.
6. Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
Fun fact: Galactic Battlegrounds was actually built using the Age of Empires II engine. No surprise then that the graphics-style closely mirrors a few other mentioned games like Age of Empires. You’ll also get to do your usual exploration, research, and conquering – with a number of major sci-fi tweaks of course.
A few Reddit users have referred to the game as “Age of Empires 2 with Star Wars“. Of course, the diversity of historical setting is sacrificed – but, hey, you also gain John Williams’ famous score and all the Star Wars trappings you’ll ever want! Overall, Galactic Battlegrounds is a must-try if you’re even remotely turned onto games like Age of Empires.ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode
Read more honest player reviews of Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds.
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You forgot comand & conquer – red alert !! Classic
Alfie Lee Atton
Good mention, thank yoU! We did include it in our Honourable Mentions with the AWESOME 17-C&C games in one compilation recently released. It includes all the Red Alerts too! One of the greatest RTSs…. ever! Thank you for your contribution!
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