9 Games Like Command and Conquer

Image credit: Danger Close

The Command and Conquer series has gained a lot of attention from the gaming community over the years because of its simple yet brilliant depiction of war in a real-time strategy setting. The first game appeared in 1995 and has a score of 8.9 from users on Metacritic. More of the followed later and had varying degrees of success.

The Remastered edition of Command and Conquer was released in 2020 and was well received. Petroglyph did an amazing job at improving the game’s graphics and adding a lot of quality content to it. Few games will offer you 250+ multiplayer maps and over 100 single-player campaigns.

However, if you love Command and Conquer, you should know that the elements that make it great aren’t unique to this game. In fact, a lot of other strategy games have borrowed and implemented them even better. If you want to explore the genre, here are 9 games like Command and Conquer.

1. StarCraft 2

Blizzard Entertainment

StarCraft 2 is one of the best competitive games ever created. This RTS was released in 2010 and has 3 parts in total, focusing on the 3 races that you can choose from: Wings of Liberty (Terran), Heart of the Swarm (Zerg), and Legacy of the Void (Protoss).

Each of these parts enriched the story and added new units to the game. As it is today, StarCraft 2 is a highly sophisticated RTS that can be played in a wide variety of ways. The PvP experience feels a lot like chess, in the sense that there are many different openings and the higher you climb in rank, the more knowledgeable you need to be.

StarCraft 2 is one of those rare RTS games that excel both in the single-player campaign as well as the multiplayer mode. For the single-player campaign, Blizzard Entertainment has dedicated a huge team of artists, and the story is absolutely epic.

There are more than 5 hours of cut scenes and cinematics in total, which, gives the story a lot of depth. If you’re familiar with the StarCraft Universe and its lore, you will enjoy each of the three campaigns a lot. In particular, the Protoss campaign will offer you some of the most emotional moments you have lived as a gamer.

StarCraft 2 was meant to be played in multiplayer, as a highly competitive game, and its professional circuit is still thriving. There are millions of people who continue to play this RTS and you will probably enjoy it as well.

2. Age of Empires III Definitive Edition

Ensamble Studios

Age of Empires III may not be as popular as Age of Empires 2 or Age of Empires 4, but it’s an excellent game that often gets overlooked. The Definitive Edition was released in 2020 and has brought 4K graphics and many other quality-of-life improvements to the original title, which was released in 2005.

AoE 3 Definitive Edition features 16 civilizations that you can choose from. Each of them is masterfully designed, utilizing historical architecture and army units. As soon as you start playing the game you can tell that a lot of dedication went into it, and if you’re familiar with the original title you’ll be very impressed with the result.

The soundtrack has been remastered, there are new game modes that you can try (such as co-op historical battles and The Art of War Challenge), and the PvP experience is as good as ever.

Age of Empires III is an RTS game that stays true to the genre. This means that there are plenty of things that need to be done in parallel and time is of the essence. The higher your APM, the better.

You will need to explore the surroundings in search of resources, scout your opponent, build defensive capabilities, raise an army, construct increasingly advanced structures, go from one age to the next, and micro your units during battles. There’s never a moment of rest during a play session and that’s exactly what makes it fun.

3. Total War: Warhammer II

Creative Assembly

Total War: Warhammer II is one of the best titles in the Total War series, which has more than a dozen of them. What differentiates this game from the rest is the universe in which the action takes place.

Most Total War titles and other games like Total War will require you to play during a historic period and thrive with your chosen faction. You play with a human civilization against other human civilizations. But in Warhammer II, it’s a completely different story.

You can pick from a wide range of factions and each of them is completely unique. Their units are well-balanced and fight in many different ways, and this adds both complexity and replayability to the game.

One of the key things that have helped Total War: Warhammer 2 to become such a successful title with Steam approval rate of around 93% is the fact that its foundation had been built by the first Warhammer game created by Creative Assembly.

With most of the engine already working well, the company was able to dedicate a lot of resources to other components and the result is impressive. From the soundtrack to the strategy and tactical depth of each battle, this game will constantly surprise you in a pleasant way.

Just like in the case of Grand Strategy games, it may take you a few hours or even a few days to fully understand how the system works. But once you understand it, Warhammer 2 provides one of the most addictive gaming experiences you can imagine.

4. Northgard

Shiro Games

Northgard is one of the more modern RTS games on the market and it shows in all of its design decisions. The developers from Shiro Games clearly love the genre and have drawn inspiration from a lot of other successful titles.

However, they did not create just another Age of Empires of StarCraft 2 copycat. Instead, they wanted to make something that feels unique. Northgard impresses not only with its brilliant implementation of some of the genre’s common features but also with its novel elements.

Northgard is in part a city builder, which means that you’re required to build a strong base for yourself. But it’s also an RTS, because you’re fighting against various enemies. It even has Warcraft 3 elements, in the form of creatures that you can attack and kill to gain rewards.

In Northgard, you play as one of the several nordic clans: Eikthyrnir, Heidrun, and Fenrir. Each clan has a unique playstyle, much like the Hearthstone classes, and will require you to overcome unique challenges in order to survive and then thrive.

In Northgard, the environment you live in poses a lot of problems and you will need to think ahead if you want to succeed. The game features some survival elements, such as the need to accumulate food and wood for the Winter.

The clans around you are expanding closer and closer to your territory and the battle for resources is fierce. Northgard uses this as its focal point and delivers a brilliant RTS experience.

5. The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth II

Danger Close

This RTS appeared in 2006 and was developed by Electronic Arts Los Angeles. The game is surprisingly good and offers a genuine and lore-friendly experience. Tolkien’s literary universe has been beautifully brought to life in The Battle for Middle Earth II, so it’s understandable why the fans and the critics praised the game for its features.

One of the great aspects of this game is its factions. All of them have been designed with extreme attention to detail and their optimal strategies require you to take advantage of their strengths. Special animations were created by EA to support each faction’s unique units and for the year 2006, this was quite an impressive feat.

For example, if you play as the Goblins, you’ll be able to climb fortress walls with your units. The Elves, Dwarfs, and Men of the West also have traits that make the game’s universe believable and authentic relative to what Tolkien fans will probably expect from a title based on LotR’s lore.

Another great thing about The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth II is the sound effects and the general atmosphere. The music gives you the feeling of despair that’s often encountered throughout the trilogy and the voice of each unit has been carefully crafted for an immersive experience.

Like Warcraft 3 and Disciples 2, this RTS title also features powerful heroes, whom you will certainly recognize from the book and the films.

6. Hearts of Iron IV

Paradox Development Studio

Hearts of Iron IV is one of the most complex strategy games ever created. This title is not for those who are seeking a casual experience but rather, for those who want to be able to control every single detail and play something that’s an order of magnitude harder than everything they’ve tried.

Hearts of Iron IV focuses on WW2 and allows you to pick one of the nations that were involved in it. Each session is an attempt to rewrite history. If you love history and strategy and are not afraid to swim in an ocean of details and complexities, this is the perfect game for you.

The action in this game takes place on the world map and the big events are probably familiar to you. The war breaks out in Europe, Nazi Germany tries to conquer everything in its path and two sides are quickly formed: The Allies and The Axis. Regardless of which country you choose to play as, you will face enormous challenges.

The military threat is constant, but there are many other problems that you’ll need to deal with as well. After all, war does not create a lot of happiness and life is hard. Desperate situations require desperate measures and this game will force you to make unpleasant decisions.

If you play your cards optimally, you may end up achieving spectacular things that your country’s historical leaders couldn’t even dream of.

7. Company of Heroes 2

Relic Entertainment

Company of Heroes 2 is another strategy game that focuses on World War 2. This time, however, the focus is much narrower. The main theme of the game is the conflict between Nazi Germany and Russia. In total, there are 5 factions that you can choose to play as:

  • US Forces
  • British Forces
  • Wehrmacht Ostheer
  • Oberkommando West
  • Soviet Union

The game was released in 2013, so its graphics are quite decent. On top of that, it had the benefit of being able to utilize much of the code that was written for the first game of the series. And as a result, a lot of resources were probably allocated to creating more content.

Like its predecessor, Company of Heroes 2 features destructible environments, which was one of the features that got a lot of people interested in it. On top of that, the historicity of the single-player campaigns is great and the dramatic battles are very well designed.

The actual gameplay revolves around the need to carefully maneuver your units and treat them the same way you would treat real units. If you just move forward and attack, you will likely get your troops killed.

The game incorporates the weather element really well, which means that the cold will affect you and could easily kill your soldiers if you ignore it. Furthermore, if a tank tries to move across a lake covered with ice, it might break it and sink.

8. Heroes of Might and Magic 3

New World Computing

Heroes of Might and Magic 3 is one of the most successful and beloved strategy games of all time. Even though it dates back to 1999, it has stood the test of time and it’s still being played both competitively as well as in single-player campaigns.

In Heroes of Might and Magic 3 you can play as one of the 8 available factions:

  • Castle
  • Necropolis
  • Rampart
  • Conflux
  • Dungeon
  • Stronghold
  • Fortress
  • Tower

Each faction has its unique units that you can recruit. Apart from that, the spells are shared among the factions and the heroes themselves don’t offer much individuality except for their specialty and avatar. However, the game still manages to be very fun to play, thanks in part to its atmosphere and beautifully crafted maps.

The best aspect of HoMM3 is the battles. Heroes can have huge armies and units of the same type stack on top of each other, occupying just one slot. There are 7 slots in total and if you have 1000 angels, they all fight as one.

The heroes themselves are not part of the battle. This is good because it means they can’t get killed directly by the enemy units. However, they can cast spells when their turn comes.

In HoMM3, spells can be extremely powerful and your hero’s expertise in a given school of magic makes them even stronger. Other things, such as Power, further increase their damage or effect.

9. Disciples 2: Dark Prophecy

Strategy First

Disciples 2 is an old-school strategy game that uses the turn-based approach. It’s similar to Heroes 3, but your heroes actually take part in each battle and can get killed during the fight. They also level up and become stronger.

What’s fascinating about this game is that your units go through the same process. This creates a feeling of progression that makes you want to fight as much as you can.

Disciples 2 has a fun single-player campaign that manages to challenge you significantly, even though the game dates back to an era when AI wasn’t yet well-developed. In 2002, most games’ AI systems were underdeveloped.

In Disciples 2, heroes can have one of several classes and each race has its own heroes. You can play as the human Empire, the Legions of the Damned, the Undead Hordes, or the dwarven Mountain Clans. Each race has a captivating playstyle and specific spells that they know how to use.

Another fun aspect of Disciples 2: Gallean’s Return is the way in which spells get used. In this game, you can cast spells out of combat, both on neutral creates and enemy heroes alike. Casting these spells costs resources and the stronger the spell, the greater the quantity and the variety of resources that are necessary.

In this game, the resource system is awesome. There are multiple mana sources located around the map and the goal is to control as many of them as possible while preventing the enemy from using them.


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