The 5 Best RTS Games on PS5
Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games are not so common on consoles, they are more popular on PCs. This is mostly because the keyboard and mouse mechanics work better for the genre’s playstyle.
However, a number of interesting RTS games are now accessible on consoles. Some of these games have other things going for them apart from the strategy bits, but all of them have a wide range of offers available in terms of gameplay mechanics.
From building your own nation to managing your enterprise and building an army, there are several world settings you can immerse yourself in.
Due to the dearth of options in this category on the PlayStation, especially on the PS5, I’ve only managed to come up with a short list of the best RTS games on PS5. Read on to see which ones they are.
Iron Harvest is a real-time strategy game developed by German studio King Art Games. It was released in 2020 for Windows PCs before Deep Silver published it in 2021 for other platforms including the PlayStation.
Iron Harvest is set in an alternate 1920 diesel-punk universe in Europe where mech machines of all shapes and sizes engage in warfare. In the game, you explore three countries – Rusviet, Polanian Republic, and Saxony Empire – modeled after Russia, Poland, and Germany, respectively.
The game’s story focuses on the conflict between these three nations in the aftermath of World War I.
Each country has its own campaign story with a different protagonist and animal associate. There’s Gunter and his wolves, Tag and Nacht, Olga and his pet tiger, Changa, and then Anna with her bear, Wojtek.
Iron Harvest focuses on military operations on a vast map where you lead and control units, and select appropriate targets.
It is similar to other real-time strategy games in terms of unit management and the mission structure. It features the Rock, Paper, Scissors design system, and if you want to win, you must be pretty good at planning.
The game consists of 20 missions which you can play in single mode or with other players. The graphics are neat, the mechs are awesome, and the unit design is excellent.
This game is solid, and undoubtedly one of the best RTS games on PS5.
Lornsword Winter Chronicle
Lornsword Winter Chronicle was developed by Tower Five and was released sometime in the middle of 2019.
It is a real-time strategy game, but a very story-driven type with a good amount of action too. In many RTS games, your job is mostly to control affairs behind the scenes, but Lornsword Winter Chronicle allows you to engage in the battles as well.
The story in the game follows the main character, Corun Lan Ka, who is a warrior charged with guarding a blockade. In the first part of the story, Corun is promoted to the role of Captain, and his job description subsequently changes.
Now, he has to lead mercenaries into battle – by example, of course. The further you progress and the more battles you win, the higher Corun’s rank goes.
However, with great power comes great responsibility, and Corun soon succumbs to the human nature of insatiability by getting involved in a ritual that makes him almost immortal.
The plot opens up from there, giving up a wide variety of missions that you can dig into to stay entertained for as long as the story lasts.
Again, like many RTS games, this one features a top-down perspective which makes it look pretty basic from a distance, but there are actually some nice little details if you look closely enough.
You also get to battle in different environments so the scenes don’t get same-ish and boring too quickly, and the developers added a nice touch with wildlife roaming around the various regions.
The story is fully voiced, and the voice acting deserves some credit. The sound selection for music, war tunes, and other effects such as war cries and buildings blowing up are equally nicely done.
If you want a good backstory that gives an extra sense of purpose to your game, then Lornsword Winter Chronicle is one of the best RTS games on PS5 to offer that.
Spellforce 3: Reforced
What do you get when you combine real-time strategy and RPG elements with a hint of fictional fantasy components? Spellforce, that’s what.
This third iteration of the Spellforce series was published by THQ Nordic and developed by Grimlore Games as a prequel to Spellforce: The Order of Dawn.
In a magical realm known as Eo, you control Tahar, a mage and son of a powerful mage, Isamo Tahar. You embark on quests that involve exploring underground structures and dungeons, accompanied by a group of mages known as The Circle.
During your quests, you conquer outposts, after which you manage these places with their men and resources. You also set up structures and collect resources for additional units that make room for special mage abilities.
After the initial release of Spellforce 3 in 2017, three standalone expansions were released – Soul Harvest in 2018, Fallen God in 2020, and the PS5 version of the game, Reforced in 2022.
There are two new game modes in Reforced – Journey Mode and Arena Mode.
In the former, you choose between single-player or co-op mode, where you can control the same character on all maps and level up your hero by playing different quests. In Arena Mode, you battle an augmenting multitude of enemy units.
Spellforce 3 takes place in a detailed open world with visually spectacular graphics. This blend of two great genres delivers a unique and enjoyable experience, making it one of the best PS5 RTS games.
Crusader Kings III
Crusader Kings 3 is a strategy RPG developed by Paradox Development Studio and published by Paradox Interactive in 2020. It is the third installment in the Crusader Kings games series and one of the best simulation games for PS5.
The gameplay here revolves around a vast world map consisting of various middle age kingdoms, each having its own beliefs, goals, and laws. The game’s map is far more detailed and extensive than its predecessor’s, covering Europe and parts of Asia and Africa.
You are tasked with ruling over and growing your own kingdom. To do this, you must engage in battles against other dynasties and achieve victory in these fights.
A subtler and more effective approach would be to arrange marriages with other kingdoms and establish beneficial alliances.
The gameplay expresses itself through characters like kings, queens, chiefs, religious heads, etc. Each character has its own unique trait, and a genetics system in the game allows the characters to transfer these traits to their descendants.
The game features impressively developed worlds that present epic and dynamic storytelling. Paradox Development Studio has successfully transformed a PC-only game into a console-compatible one in the most charming way possible.
It’s safe to say that Crusader Kings 3 is a beautifully designed game that presents its players with a truly fascinating experience.
Evil Genius 2: World Domination
From developer and publisher Rebellion Developments comes the real-time strategy simulator Evil Genius 2: World Domination.
It is the sequel to the 2004 RTS game Evil Genius and the second entry in the Evil Genius series. The game was released in 2021.
The ultimate goal here is to take over the world using a doomsday device. To accomplish this goal, you need to be technologically and financially potent.
The protagonist is, well, an “evil genius” that has set out to create a weapon of mass destruction on a tropical island.
You control this criminal mastermind as they build a secret lair for the doomsday device, an underground location consisting of various rooms and fancy traps that will defend it from intruders.
Minions are at your beck and call, carrying out sinister deeds like killing intruders and performing criminal activities to obtain gold.
Other than minions, you can recruit henchmen to join your criminal network. However, be wary of the Forces of Justice as they have their agents watching your every move.
Unlike games where you play the hero, World Domination allows you to view things from the villain’s perspective.
From maneuvering super-agents to committing dastardly crimes and building sinister equipment, this game delivers the hand-rubbing, evil-laughing, awkward-smiling, cat-stroking fun of being a sick albeit genius supervillain. Who knew being bad could feel so good?