Halo Wars is the first real-time strategy video game in the Halo series. It came out in 2009, two years after Halo 3. The story in the game takes place 21 years before the events in the original Halo game, and it’s well worth playing if you’re an RTS fan.
For those who have played it, it’s easy to see why it’s such a beloved game for so many people. It has an engaging story and intricate mechanics, and a solid multiplayer mode to go alongside the immersive single player campaign.
There’s even a sequel to the original game, which you should check out if you haven’t already. If you’ve played both Halo Wars games and are looking for something similar, we’ve got the perfect list for you. Here’s 8 games like Halo Wars.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
Red Alert 3 is part of the legendary Command & Conquer video game series that got its start in 1995. The first Red Alert game came out in 1996, and the second came out four years later. Red Alert 3 came out in 2008 and is available for Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
The story is set in an alternate reality and takes place during World War II. The events in the game take place after the Soviet Union goes back in time to kill Albert Einstein. This prevents them from losing the war by disabling Einstein from helping the Western Allies.
What the Soviet Union didn’t expect was that their actions would create a third world power – the Empire of the Rising Sun.
Unlike the first two Red Alert games that featured online the Soviets and the Allies as the only playable factions, the third entry also includes the Empire of the Rising Sun. This has made the gameplay more fun.
The gameplay in Red Alert 3 involves harvesting resources, constructing military bases, and producing armies. The game also introduced naval warfare, which has been praised by critics and fans of the series. Players have the freedom to construct entire bases on water.
There are a lot of different units in the game, each with an interesting ability. Almost all units also have a secondary ability. Apart from units, you’ll also have commanders that have devastating abilities like magnetic satellite beams and air strikes. If you like the combat elements in games like Halo Wars, you’ll fall in love with this game.
Supreme Commander 2
Supreme Commander 2 is a real-time strategy game that came out in 2010 from the team at Gas Powered Games. It serves as a direct sequel to Supreme Commander. You can play the game on Windows, Xbox 360, and macOS.
The events in Supreme Commander 2 take place on a planet called Altair II after the assassination of the newly-elected Coalition President. The game features a heavily-scripted campaign mode with three character-driven storylines. The campaign can be quite challenging, even if you have experience playing real-time strategy games.
There are three different factions you can play in Supreme Commander 2, including the Illuminate, the Cybran Nation, and the United Earth Federation. Each faction has a lot of units. You can upgrade some units by constructing research facilities and gathering research points. Players can also spend research points to unlock advanced buildings and units.
If you spend your research points wisely, you’ll eventually be able to unlock certain experimental units. These units are much stronger than any other you can produce.
There are three main types of units that you can produce in the game. These include land, sea, and air units. You will have to build special factories to produce each of these units. Apart from that, you can also construct add-on structures that will increase the output of your factories.
You’ll get a thrilling experience by playing Supreme Commander 2, mostly due to the battles that involve all three unit types. It’s one of the most interesting real-time strategy games on Steam, and if you want more games similar to Halo Wars, you should check this game and the original Supreme Commander out.
Ashes of the Singularity
Ashes of the Singularity is an underrated real-time strategy game that came out in 2016. It came about as the result of a collaboration between two game studios – Stardock Entertainment and Oxide Games. You can only play Ashes of the Singularity on Windows.
The story follows the human race after they reach the technological singularity. This achievement allowed them to travel the galaxy and start thriving on other worlds. To expand their understanding of the universe, humans build a sentient AI called Haalee. Fans of games like Halo Wars will adore the theming and storyline in this game.
Haalee taught humankind how to achieve everything they wanted. However, humans start losing trust in Haalee at one point and eventually turn on her. In retaliation, she forms a group of sentient AI beings called Substrate and makes it her mission to annihilate the entire human race from existence.
There are two playable factions in Ashes of the Singularity – the Substrate and the Post-Human Coalition.
The game uses the world’s first native 64-bit RTS engine, named Nitrous. Thanks to this engine, battles in Ashes of the Singularity are able to take place on a massive scale. The maps are huge and thousands of units can battle at the same time. This allowed the game to provide something most other real-time strategies can’t.
It can be hard to control so many different units at the same time. That’s why you have the option to combine groups of units into something called meta-units. All meta-units will move and operate cohesively.
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
If you’ve been playing real-time strategy video games for a long time, you most likely remember Homeworld. This game came out in 1999 and was highly praised for its multiplayer system and many unique gameplay elements.
Deserts of Kharak came out in 2016 and serves as a prequel to the original Homeworld game. Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak comes from the team at Blackbird Interactive and is available only for OS X and Windows.
The events in the game take place on a desert planet called Kharak. Water is becoming scarce and the deserts on the planet are becoming larger. One day, a satellite detects a strange object in the Great Banded Desert. An expedition goes to find more information about the object, but they disappear in the process.
The campaign in Deserts of Kharak follows the story of a second expedition that ventures to the Great Banded Desert to figure out what happened. The campaign has a quite interesting story and will be especially entertaining to experience if you already played the original Homeworld video game.
There are four different factions in Deserts of Kharak – Coalition of the Northern Kiithid, Kiith Gaalsien, Kiith Soban, and Khaaneph.
You can produce both land and air vehicles in the game to conquer the desert. Players need to balance skills in fleet composition, resource management, and technology research to come out victorious in Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak.
All of the games we’ve covered so far feature crazy futuristic structures and units. Now it’s time to introduce you to a game with a different setting to most other games like Halo Wars.
Ancestors Legacy is a real-time strategy developed by Destructive Creations. It features both single-player and multiplayer modes. The two multiplayer modes involve battles with either two, four, or six players. There are 15 different maps for multiplayer battles.
The game came out in 2018 and is available for Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
The story is set in medieval Europe and is inspired by historical events. Although there are some notable historical inconsistencies in the game, it’s a very fun real-time strategy game. There are four playable factions in Ancestors Legacy, including the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Slavs, and Teutons.
There is a single-player campaign scenario for each of the four factions. The Vikings campaign has two parts. The AI in single-player campaigns is quite challenging, so don’t expect to beat it easily.
The battlefields in Ancestors Legacy are large, which allows you to involve many units in your battles. You will have to excel at base building and resource management to beat your opponents. An interesting feature in the game is the cinematic battle camera which allows you to experience the fights on a whole new level.
Starship Troopers: Terran Command
If you’re looking for something fresh in the real-time strategy genre, this is the perfect game for you. Originally coming out in June 2022, Starship Troopers: Terran Command features modern graphics and entertaining gameplay. It comes from independent studio The Artistocrats. You can play the game on Windows and macOS.
Terran Command is set in the Starship Troopers movie universe. The gameplay involves battles between the Mobile Infantry and the Arachnids. The Mobile Infantry serves as the primary military arm of the Federation Army. It consists of volunteers from different Federal worlds, including Earth.
On the other hand, the Arachnids are an alien race that consists of large insectoid creatures. Through millions of years in their evolutionary process, the Arachnids were able to conquer many planets. The story in Terran Command takes place on a planet called Kwalasha, where mining industries are being threatened by these scary insectoids.
The Mobile Infantry makes destroying the Arachnids on Kwalasha their mission, and that’s where you come in.
The single-player campaign features an exciting story with beautifully designed environments and a unique cast of characters. You have many different units at your disposal to defeat the insectoid creatures. Each unit will have its own weaknesses, strengths, and special abilities.
Unlike most real-time strategy video games, Starship Troopers: Terran Command doesn’t contain a multiplayer mode. Nevertheless, this isn’t that big of an issue considering how good the single-player campaign is.
This is one of the best indie games on Steam to check out if you’re a fan of RTS games like Halo Wars. The story is impressive, the visuals are wonderful, and the mechanics are intriguing as well.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II represents a video game spin-off of the legendary Warhammer 40,000 miniature wargame made by Games Workshop. Warhammer 40,000 has been the most popular miniature wargame in the world for some time.
Dawn of War II comes from the team at Relic Entertainment and it came out in 2009, with a sequel following in 2017. Dawn of War II features both single-player and multiplayer modes. You can play it on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
There are four playable factions in the game, including Orks, Eldar, Space Marines, and Tyranids. There are two additional factions from the two expansion packs released for the game. These two factions are the Imperial Guard and the Chaos Space Marines.
The single-player campaign in Dawn of War II is playable as the Space Marines faction and features non-linear gameplay.
What’s different about this game compared to many other real-time strategies is that there are no base-building elements. This means that you can’t produce new units during a game. Instead, you choose which units you’ll use prior to a mission. However, you will have some reinforcement options.
With no base-building, players need to focus on cover. The only way to defend your units and take less damage is by taking cover when you’re being attacked. You need to be careful though because some weapons can destroy your cover.
Company of Heroes 2
Company of Heroes 2 is a real-time strategy video game set in World War II. It came out in 2013 and serves as a sequel to Company of Heroes, which came out seven years earlier. You can play Company of Heroes 2 on Windows, OS X, and Linux.
The original Company of Heroes game served as an inspiration for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, particularly for their decision to avoid including base-building elements in their game. The gameplay in Company of Heroes 2 also doesn’t involve building bases. Instead, it lets units occupy buildings and use them as temporary strongpoints.
The events in Company of Heroes 2 take place on the Eastern Front. There are two playable factions in the multiplayer mode – the Soviet Red Army and the German Wehrmacht Ostheer. In the single-player campaign, you can only take control of the Red Army.
Company of Heroes 2 contains some unique gameplay features, like the ColdTech weather-simulation system. It’s one of the most unique games like Halo Wars by a mile.
In World War II, many battles on the Eastern Front happened during the winter. That’s why the weather-simulation system is in the game. As a result, your troops may die of frostbite if they’re outside during harsh weather.