10 strategy games like Age of Empires to play today

Age of Empires 4 review
(Image credit: Microsoft)

With Age of Empires 4 set to land on Xbox Series X as a new game for 2023, there's plenty of reasons to get excited right now. But what can you play while you wait for one of the best RTS games to release? How about some of these fantastic games like Age of Empires!

On this list you'll find 10 games like Age of Empires that you can play today, and they represent some of the best strategy games available on PC and console. Whether you're looking to lose hours in resource management, want to flex your military planning skills, or simply love the act of managing your own civilization, these games like Age of Empires will have you covered. 


Games like Age of Empires: Northgard

(Image credit: Shiro Games)

Developer: Shiro Games
PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Vikings are hot right now, unless you've failed to prepare for winter in which case they're all going to freeze to death. This indie game has you controlling your own clan as they build a settlement, finding success and renown through trade, conquest, and lore. Unlike your usual historical sims, Northgard isn't afraid to lean into Norse mythology, with the gods playing an important role and undead warriors wandering the woods. Just keep an eye on the weather report, as a harsh winter is just as likely to end your saga as a band of marauders. 

Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3

Games like Age of Empires: Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3

(Image credit: EA)

Developer: EA Los Angeles
PC, PS3, Xbox 360

A classic series for a reason, the real-time strategy icon combines a touch of history with a flair for the outlandish and FMV performances from Tim Curry and George Takei. The plot is a madness of time travel and there are three factions to play as, the Allies, the Soviet Union, and the Empire of the Rising Sun. Forget historical accuracy, the weapons you get to play with as you build bases and launch attacks include psionic schoolgirls, armored war bears, Vacuum Imploders, Proton Colliders, and nanoparticle shields. If only history lessons had been more like this. 

Dawn of Man

Games like Age of Empires: Dawn of Man

(Image credit: Madruga Works)

Developer: Madruga Works
PC, Xbox One, PS4

If your favorite part of Age of Empires is advancing your civilization through the different periods of humanity, Dawn of Man will give you plenty to do. You need to get your people from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, hunting mammoths, cave lions, and wooly rhinos and fighting off raiders. Keeping an eye on the seasons is key, as your technology tree is still a few years off adding radiators, so you'll need food in your stores and clothes to stop your little people from turning into pink popsicles. Do well and you can construct Stonehenge style structures, do poorly and you'll be singlehandedly dooming humanity. Fun! 

Tooth and Tail

Games like Age of Empires: Tooth and Tail

(Image credit: Pocketwatch Games)

Developer: Pocketwatch Games
Platforms: PC, PS4

It's a civil war, but a much fluffier version than we're used to. Taking the role of a general in one of four factions - the Longcoats, Commonfolk, KSR and Civilized - you direct the action on the battlefield, attacks, and retreats, scouting and building, all at a crazy pace. Despite the illustrations - which will bring back memories of those weird, dark 1980's cartoons - this game has a tough learning curve and will deliver a challenge to even the most battle-hardened RTS player. 


Games like Age of Empires: Frostpunk

(Image credit: 11 Bit Studios)

Developer: 11 bit studios
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X

If you like your strategy games to be bleaker than an episode of HBO's Chernobyl, Frostpunk has you covered. The world is now a frozen, harsh place, and as the ruler of its last surviving city, you must keep your residents alive and happy. That means building facilities and homes, looking after resources, and managing power (ensuring the city stays warm enough to support life is a constant battle) but also dealing with moral dilemmas. How will you deal with lawbreakers? Will you try to encourage people to follow religion to keep them content and docile? None of the choices are easy or obvious, and it's worryingly easy to go from benevolent ruler to child labor tyrant when things get tough. 

Surviving the Aftermath

Surviving the Aftermath

(Image credit: Paradox)

Developer: Iceflake Studios
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

Like in Age of Empires you're building a colony, but the catch here is that you're doing it in a post-apocalyptic world. That means as well as the usual management of food and power and housing for your people, you need to worry about pollution (that can cause radiation sickness), bandits, and what to do with other survivors that come looking for aid. To really thrive, you'll also need to send some of your camp specialists out beyond your colony to scavenge for rare resources and increase your scientific knowledge, which lets you build more back at base. 

Bad North

Games like Age of Empires: Bad North

(Image credit: Plausible Concept)

Developer: Plausible Concept / Oskar Stålberg
Platforms: PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One

If you like the tactical battles of Age of Empires but are less worried about telling people to collect berries or chop down trees, Bad North strips all the survival stuff away to deliver an addictive and brutal bit of real-time strategy. You have to defend your island from Viking invaders, who can land on any coast on your island and cause utter chaos. They come in waves, and success comes from managing your small units of soldiers and using the geography of your island to your defenders. It's a tough game, but it helps that it looks like it fell out of a toybox so at least you'll enjoy looking at it while you fail. 

Cities: Skylines

Games like Age of Empires: Cities Skylines

(Image credit: Colossal Order)

Developer: Colossal Order Ltd
Platforms: PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One

Maybe you couldn't give a monkey's about the people in Age of Empires, you just like building sprawling towns. In that case, Cities: Skylines has you covered. Spend hours building a stunning city and then realize your traffic infrastructure is broken, no one has power, and that you really should have invested more heavily in your fire service. You'll need to consider your economy and people's needs, and you can even zone different districts. The game got rave reviews on release and since then has only expanded with add-ons and mod support, making it a must-play for anyone who likes to balance a lust for power with a healthy respect for how sewage systems work. 

Tropico 6

Games like Age of Empires: Tropico 6

(Image credit: Kalypso Media)

Developer: Limbic Entertainment
PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One

City building with a political edge, Tropico 6 puts you in the role of El Presidente, and leaves it up to you to be a ruthless dictator or a kind and cuddly statesman. As well as the usual building and resource management you can also decide to send your people out on heists to steal trophies like the Statue of Liberty, form alliances with revolutionaries and give inspiring political speeches. It's a very tongue in cheek look at the challenges of ruling a nation, but one that comes with some seriously tricky campaign missions and a sandbox mode that you can lose days in. And if you're playing PS5 or Xbox Series X, you'll be happy to know that an upgrade version is set to release in March 2022. 

StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty

Games like Age of Empires: StarCraft 2

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Platforms: PC

It would be a crime to make this list and not include Starcraft 2, a game so addictive it's still killing it as an esport. Sending real-time strategy into space, there are the humans (Terrans), and the Protoss and Zerg, alien species with suitably otherworldly powers. The game has a cracking single-player campaign, but its longevity is the result of brilliant balancing and map editor options that just keeps delivering tense and enjoyable matches 12 years since the game was originally released. 

If these 10 great games like Age of Empires don't grab your attention, you may want to check out this list of all the new PC games coming in 2022 and beyond. 

Rachel Weber
Managing Editor, US

Rachel Weber is the US Managing Editor of GamesRadar+ and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She joined GamesRadar+ in 2017, revitalizing the news coverage and building new processes and strategies for the US team.

With contributions from