The Top 5 Best Strategy Video Games (I have played)
In a time when the most popular video games are populated by spastic shooters, yearly sports games with nothing more than a fresh coat of paint and lazy crash grab mobile games, my favorite genre of video games needs to be spotlighted. Strategy games have always been the outsider geek in the world of video games. Why be the general when you can get down and dirty to fight on the front lines? What is so fun about managing resources, when you can go on an adventure? What on earth is so entertaining about watching a city grow and expand?
There is a simple answer to all of these questions. I and other strategy fans like a video game that engages and sharpens the mind rather than the reflexes. Strategy games require an agile and clever mind to play them. Who doesn’t like to beat an opponent (either AI or human) in a game situation by outsmarting them? Is it not gratifying when your planned strategy works to perfection and produces the winning play? It is a joy to watch your creation grow as you plan out a good strategy and make the right intelligent decisions that lead to success. In my opinion, strategy games help humankind by allowing competition and the resolution of a conflict in an environment that does not end in tragedy, or it can just be a simple joy of watching your artistic creation come together on your digital canvas. So without any further pontification, I give you my top five best strategy video games (That I have played)
5) Take Command: Second Manassas (2006)
Created by small indie developer MadMinute Games and published by Paradox Interactive, this is the game any enthusiast of 19th century warfare needs to play. There is none of the elements of resource gathering or management, and no large map campaign. This game throws you right into the American Civil War battlefield on your generals horse.
The graphics are not the most impressive, but the battlefield simulation is unmatched in any game I have ever played before. The learning curve can be steep as you need an understanding of 19th century warfare tactics before even attempting to win a battle. Control the entire battlefield as General Robert E. Lee himself, or just control one small division that is one small part of a much larger battle. Your wits and battlefield intelligence will be tested like no other game you have ever played before.
4) Victoria II (2010)
A grand strategy game developed by Paradox Development Studio and published by Paradox Interactive, Victora II could have an entire encyclopedia written on all of the different things that are possible and that happen in this game. Victoria II spans the globe from 1836 to the start of 1936 with over 200 playable nations! Choose which nation you want to be at the start of 1836 and see where you end up at the start of 1936.
The game follows the real world historical timeline, but can be changed and altered depending on how you play. For example, I played a game as Sweeden and ended up converting to Communism, changed the national flag and overtook Norway and Finland to make one large Swedish Communist nation. Control your government, your resources, your diplomacy, your military, social causes, it’s limitless. Perhaps you do not want to be Communist and go the way of Capitalism? Well, then forget about managing your factories and resources because the capitalist of your country do that. Spent too much manpower and resources trying to defeat Germany in a war? Then get ready to now fight a civil war in your own nation. All I can say is don’t make any plans if you get sucked into this game.
3) Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum (2005)
Developed by Frontier Development and published by none other than Atari, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 places you in charge of managing an amusement park. Rides can be built or demolished, terrain and scenery can be adjusted, and prices can be controlled to keep visitors happy. The Platinum edition added zoo and water park elements to really round out this game.
Granted, this game is not for everyone or even every strategy video game fan. However, if you love amusement parks, roller coasters, and elements of city building, this is the game for you. It’s like starting out with a blank digital canvass and working your artistic magic to see your vision of the ultimate amusement park come to life. It was hard to pick which of the three games in this series as the best, but this one gets the nod from me for the simple fact you are able to “ride” the rides that you create, something you could not do in the first two installments.
2) SimCity 4: Deluxe (2003)
Developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts (before they became Fascists,) Simcity 4 is the benchmark all city building games strive for. If you are not aware of the Simcity franchise yet, I have to wonder what rock you have been living under. Sim City is the granddaddy of all building and simulation games. However, in 2003-04 Maxis created the penultimate of all city building games.
This version has it all. Not only do you build a city on a single map, but you have an entire region to control that consists of farmland and small towns (that you build) which all have a bearing on how your metropolis grows. Not happy with just having one metropolis? Then build three of them in a huge region and connect them all with freeways, trains, airports and seaports. Getting bored just scrolling around admiring your city, hop into a news chopper and fly around your city, or get into a police car and drive around your sprawling metropolis! I could go on forever about this game, but do yourself a favor and play it and forget that 2013 Simcity game ever existed.
- Civilization 5: Brave New World (2013)
Developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K Games, you lead a civilization from prehistoric times into the future on a procedurally generated map, achieving one of a number of different victory conditions through research, exploration, diplomacy, expansion, economic development, government and military conquest. This is not only my favorite strategy game, but my favorite video game ever.
I do not even know where to begin telling you about this game. I have spent many hours of my life playing this game, to embarrassing levels. You feel like some kind of drug addict junkie playing this game as all of a sudden you realize it is 4am and you just keep telling yourself; “one more turn, one more turn, one more turn.” You will find yourself just as excited that Mozart has been born in your civilization as you are rolling tanks in to take over another civilizations city. Playing this game with your friends adds a whole other layer of fun as the memory of dropping a nuclear bomb on your friends captial city will last in friend lore forever. If you have any interest in strategy gaming, do yourself a favor and play this game, just dont say I didnt warn you.
So what do you think?? Let me know!