What if you loved the Command & Conquer series and want to grab more RTS games in this vein?

Well, you’re in for a real treat. We’ve picked a bunch of titles which are perfect for scratching that itch.

The Command & Conquer series, created by Westwood Studios, was one of the flagship titles in the real-time strategy genre. This hugely influential franchise shaped the RTS landscape for the years to come alongside Warcraft, StarCraft, and Age of Empires.

Gameplay-wise, C&C feature an interesting take on base building. To establish a base, you need to deploy a Mobile Construction Vehicle on flat land.

More structures can only be built near the main one. If you want access to the mini-map, you need to construct radar first. This stands in stark contrast to Blizzard Entertainment’s games where the mini-map is always available and you can construct buildings anywhere on the map where it’s possible.

The Command & Conquer series offers a nice mix of all sorts of themes: modern conflicts (Generals), science fiction (the Tiberian series), alternate history (Red Alert and the first C&C game)… This is why our list features recommendations which also belong to these broad categories. Fantasy-themed RTS stuff is something for another time.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

Release date:2010-07-27
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment

We’ll start with a massive sequel to one of C&C’s biggest competitors back in the day.

StarCraft II now spans the base game, Wings of Liberty, and two expansions: Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void. And since WoL is free-to-play, it’s one of the greatest alternatives to Westwood’s classics.

StarCraft II is essentially a complete RTS experience. You get three excellent campaigns, each with dozens of creative missions and lots of fun ideas you won’t find in any other modes. You can duke it out with other players in the highly competitive multiplayer component. But there are other options in here as well.

Co-operative scenarios where you can play as one of the available commanders, each with special units and abilities, as well as modify the gameplay using various mutators are one example. There’s also the Arcade mode, full of amazing maps made by incredibly talented folks. These creations are in fact separate games: DotA-like stuff, tug of war, racing, and so on. The creativity here is astounding!

StarCraft II Starter Edition comes with the Wings of Liberty campaign, several co-op commanders, and access to the online component. Zerg and Protoss campaigns are to be purchased separately. If you need more SC2 in your life, go ahead and grab the Nova Covert Ops DLC with nine fun missions to complete. All in all, it’s an excellent package and one of the greatest games of all time. You can also grab the original version of the predecessor – StarCraft: Brood War – for free, if you’re looking for something even more classic.

Base StarCraft 2 game is free to play.

Key features
  • Three different races to choose from: Terran, Protoss, and Zerg
  • Three huge campaigns
  • Excellent multiplayer
  • Another fun campaign, Nova Covert Ops, available as DLC

World in Conflict: Complete Edition

Release date:2007-09-18
Developer:Massive Entertainment

If you’re looking for some fun alternate history games, World in Conflict might be one of your best bets. Set during the Cold War, it deals with the Russian invasion of America.

That’s right: it’s sort of like Red Alert 2, but serious and somewhat well-grounded in reality. Aside from that, it’s a real-time tactics game, but one that is easy to learn and plays more like a first-person shooter due to its control scheme and frantic action.

To achieve success, you need various types of units – infantry, support vehicles, tanks, anti-aircraft, attack helicopters – to cooperate. You can also employ various call-downs, ranging from good old-fashioned artillery strikes and carpet bombing to tactical nukes. And while there isn’t any base building or unit production per se, you can construct defensive structures and drop new forces once you get enough points. It’s definitely not your standard RTT game.

Key features
  • Fast-paced real-time tactics game
  • Riveting single-player campaign set for the most part in the US
  • Six new missions introduced in the Soviet Assault expansion
  • Team-based multiplayer

Halo Wars 2

Release date:2017-02-21
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Creative Assembly

Yeah, Halo might be one of the most revered first-person shooter franchises of all time, but among its spin-offs is a duo of fun real-time strategies, aimed especially at the newcomers to the genre.

And both Halo Wars games are very good, for sure, even if perhaps not as nuanced and complex as strategy aficionados would like them to be. Set in 2559, Halo Wars 2 takes you to the Ark, an installation Forerunners used to construct and remote control the titular Halos. A United Nations Space Command crew arrives there and comes into conflict with the Banished, an alien faction. Who will win this war?

The game is based on a rock-paper-scissors model: ground vehicles are great at steamrolling infantry, infantry is more than adept at shooting down enemy aircraft, and air units are used to decimate ground vehicles. You fight for control over different territories. Base building is present in here as well, but you can’t construct stuff anywhere you want; you can only do that at preset locations (expanding your territories gives you access to more such slots).

Like we said, it’s a simple, elegant game with excellent controller support. Grab it if you’re looking for an RTS game that’s easy to get into.

Key features
  • Gameplay based on rock-paper-scissors-style mechanics
  • Fight for control over territories
  • Various single and multiplayer options available
  • Controller support

Company of Heroes 3

Release date:2023-02-23
Developer:Relic Entertainment

The first Company of Heroes game was a wonderful translation of the rules from Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War to a World War II setting. Company of Heroes 3 continues that trend and takes the player to Italy and North Africa.

As usual, the game is primarily based on building up your base, training your army, capturing and holding resource points, and defeating the enemy. But there is a wide array of new features. One of them is the Full Tactical Pause, which lets you issue orders and plan ahead at your own pace. You can receive help from the Italian Partisans. The environments are even more destructible.

But one of the biggest stars of the game is the dynamic campaign mode. No two playthroughs are alike! You get to make important strategic decisions and then fight exciting battles. The ending depends on your interaction with various commanders featured in the game. So, if you’re looking for a great WW2-themed game, Company of Heroes 3 is the one you should totally get.

Key features
  • Dynamic campaigns with varied outcomes
  • Tactical Pause
  • Destructible environments
  • Plenty of tactical possibilities

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Release date:2016-01-20
Developer:Blackbird Interactive

The Homeworld series is known for its full 3D space battles. The prequel, however, trades them for some exciting ground-based combat instead.

Set 106 years before the first Homeworld game, Deserts of Kharak is set on the titular dying planet. But there’s hope! An anomaly known as the Jaraci Object is detected somewhere in the Great Banded Desert and an expedition is sent to investigate it. Unfortunately, all contact is lost. Four years later, a second expedition, headed by your character, Rachel S’jet, embarks on a mission to find out what happened and how Kharak can be saved…

The game features four playable factions (two in the base title, two more available through DLCs), each with distinct units and tactics. Despite being ground-based, it will instantly feel familiar to those who played Homeworld 1 and 2. The battles are frantic, the missions fun, and Kharak – even if a bit stale due to it being just a desert planet – enchantingly beautiful.

Key features
  • A ground-based prequel to the Homeworld series
  • Two factions in the base game, two more available via DLCs
  • Both single and multiplayer modes are available
  • Good single-player campaign with interesting and challenging missions

Iron Harvest

Release date:2020-09-01
Developer:KING Art Games

What if you mix Dawn of War/Company of Heroes-style RTS and alternate history featuring Dieselpunk mecha?

Well, you’ll get Iron Harvest, one of the most interesting real-time strategies released in the last couple of years.

Set in the 1920s, sometime after the first World War, Iron Harvest pits three nations – Polania, Rusviet, and Saxony – against each other in another deadly conflict. The campaigns feature over 20 missions in total. But there are also cooperative and skirmish modes, as well as the multiplayer component.

Gameplay-wise, Iron Harvest is based on a somewhat similar premise to Company of Heroes. It’s about securing resource points to fuel your army. There are dozens of available units, ranging from infantry and artillery to the aforementioned dieselpunk mecha of all kinds, towering machines of destruction. Combat is very satisfactory here thanks to not just excellent visuals, but first and foremost excellent gameplay mechanics. Definitely grab this one if you’re looking for something a bit far out of the left field.

Key features
  • Dieselpunk mecha
  • Destructible environments and lots of tactical possibilities
  • Inspired by the art of Jakub Różalski
  • Three different playable nations available

Supreme Commander 2

Release date:2010-03-01
Developer:Gas Powered Games

Total Annihilation might be one of the best games ever created, but this legendary RTS didn’t spawn that many spiritual successors.

Still, the Supreme Commander series, also created by Chris Taylor, proudly carries the torch.

Just like in Total Annihilation, your avatar in Supreme Commander 2 is an Armored Command Unit (ACU), a large unit which not only packs quite a punch, but also constructs buildings, including factories and resource-generating structures. The economic system here is based on producing more than you spend, the resources per se are unlimited. Once you spend enough research points you gain access to experimental gantries, which are factories that can be used to build powerful new units.

Supreme Commander 2 features a robust campaign, skirmish mode, and multiplayer. One thing that reviewers noted is the fact that it’s in general simpler and more accessible than its revered predecessor, which disappointed many fans. Still, if you’re looking for a great RTS game with large-scale battles featuring land, air, and naval units, Supreme Commander 2 (or the first game in the series, if you’re so inclined) is going to be a great pick.

Key features
  • Total Annihilation’s spiritual successor
  • You can build powerful experimental units to turn the tides of the battle
  • Different types of units that you can employ: air, land, and naval ones
  • Excellent in the multiplayer mode

Starship Troopers: Terran Command

Release date:2022-06-16
Developer:The Artistocrats

The miners of Kwalasha are under attack by the Arachnids and they need your help.

Starship Troopers: Terran Command puts you in charge of the Mobile Infantry and sends you to this desert planet crawling with alien bugs. Are you ready to do your part?

Starship Troopers: Terran Command is a strictly single-player RTS experience where you command your troops and hold out against bug attacks. Your advantage? Powerful ranged attacks and a wide variety of weapons available. Arachnids’ advantages? Sheer numbers and the fact that they’re extremely deadly when they come close.

As you progress in the campaign you unlock new, more powerful units and the ones that survived previous missions gain experience and thus become tougher. In fact, the way things play make this more of a real-time tactics (RTT) game than anything else. It’s a fun, intense title for those who don’t care about online competition and prefer solo challenges.

Key features
  • You get to do your part and squash some bugs
  • A nice variety of weapons and units available to deal with them Arachnids
  • Your mission: save the miners of Kwalasha
  • This game’s strictly a single-player affair

Naturally, these are just some of the greatest titles that you might want to check out once you’re done with C&C.

There are many more options out there, including 8-Bit Armies and 8-Bit Hordes, accessible and fun RTS games made by Petroglyph Games, a studio featuring many of the folks from Westwood.