Strategy games are usually a PC mainstay and end up being killer apps on that platform. As technology improved strategy games, both real time and turn based, leaked out onto consoles more with some memorable games and even some of the best in the genre’s history.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem’s continuous streak of top-quality games is refreshing. In a genre that has been mainly dominated by PC games, it’s nice to see a console game make a break. Fire Emblem has a fantastic story along with some incredibly deep turn based strategy that isn’t topped by many others.
PC has been stronger than ever. Never before have their been as many PC releases alongside consoles. However, the PC is still unique with its own controls and power that consoles just can’t provide. It was a tough year spanning across many genres.
Disco Elysium is a rare gem that only gets released maybe once a decade. This is what makes PC gaming so unique. A point and click RPG with a gorgeous art style, story, characters, and so many possibilities to choose from. It’s what made the PC so appealing as a gaming device decades ago, and Disco Elysium nails that need.
What a weak year for strategy games. The usual big names like StarCraft, Civilization, and others are missing this year. There were a few great games, but they were so spread out I started to wonder if the genre died.
Total War: Warhammer II
Warhammer II was a no-brainer this year. Being even better than the already fantastic original, it’s massive in scale and delivers all the Warhammer essentials for fans of the series. It’s deep, beautiful, fun, and challenging.
PC exclusives have slowed down quite a bit. All we really get now are some indie games or strategy games, as well as MMOs. This year was strange as the second Total War: Warhammer game was released as well as Starcraft Remastered. Nothing else really stood out this year which is sad for PC gamers.
Total War: Warhammer II
I know Total War: Warhammer won as last year’s best PC game, but the series has seriously been a behemoth on PC. For the past two years, PC exclusives have fallen short or have been pumping out expansion to older games. Starcraft Remastered came in as a close second, but Warhammer II picked up where the first left off and hit the ground running.
Strategy games tend to be the best on PC, but with today’s technology they game be tailored to the controller with ease. This year saw some great strategy games, but only a few really stood out from the rest. A great strategy game doesn’t so much as need a good story, but easy to use menus, lots of useful units, and a way to use them in a tactical and useful way. Upgrading and acquiring new units is key and also needs to flow and tie into the game.
Shogun 2: Total War
This was an easy pick mainly because it completely changes the way people thought about the last game, being this is a new game all on its own. With great units to use, tons of excellent DLC, and great visuals to boot Shogun 2 is a heavy hitter that stays true to the genre and that’s what put it on top.
A good strategy game consists of balanced game play, lots of units to use, a good story, and great ways to execute strategy on the enemy. A lot of strategy games fail on this part, and tend to be overly complicated, and is mostly stuck on the PC due to complicated control schemes.
What sets StarCraft apart? It’s epic story? Perfectly balanced units? Competitive Multiaplayer? It’s everything about the game from the well crafted missions, excellent and diverse factions, and the fact that it keeps strategy simple. It may not be fair to pit other strategy games against an icon like StarCraft, but it happens every few years. StarCraft II is an instant classic, and should be loved by strategy goers everywhere.