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13 Games Like Age of Empires Worth Playing in 2024

Games Like Age Of Empires

Age of Empires is a game as old as gaming itself; we’ve all played or seen it at some point. From the very first game, all the way to the Ottomans and Malians, the classic spirit has never been lost, and each game has been as fun as the last.

But still, having played every single one of those, there remains a feeling of wanting something new. Well, if you’ve found yourself in that boat lately, look no further! We’ve rounded up thirteen games that offer similar gameplay, so you can keep building, battling, and conquering to your heart’s content. For starters, we have my personal favorite:

1. Anno 1800

Anno 1800

I cannot rave enough about this game. Anno 1800 is amazing. Forget the gameplay; just looking at the graphics and scenery in this game is enough to make me wanna abandon everything and time-travel to the 1800s! Okay, maybe not exactly that; I don’t want to deal with ancient medicine that relies mostly on chopping a limb off.

The gameplay in Anno 1800 is as you’d expect, but it’s done in an amazingly refined way. There’s a story mode where you play through the campaign, and this is also where you learn the basics of the game. You start with a small civilization that eventually becomes big enough to go on wars and expand in different areas of the world, even!

Comparing to the Age of Empires, the focus on war isn’t as large here because you’re more concerned with building a civilization. Plus, the wars in this game mostly happen at sea, so there’s that difference. Other than that, this game is pretty much a perfect alternative to Age of Empires, especially for people wanting something new! You can play it on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.

2. Age of Mythology

Age of Mythology

Age of Mythology is like Age of Empires but with a mythological twist! Think of it as taking Age of Empires, putting it in a bowl, and adding spices that include Medusa, Thor, and Ra. And there you have it; Age of Mythology! Okay, there’s more to it than that; let’s get into it:

In the gameplay, you get to build a base, gather resources, and train an army, just like in Age of Empires, but with the added bonus of summoning mythological creatures to fight for you. It’s medieval times; what’s an army without the support of a Goddess?

Instead of just having regular units like archers and knights, in the Age of Mythology, you can summon giants, cyclops, and even Minotaurs. Imagine trying to take down a fortress, but instead of using a battering ram, you send in a Minotaur to knock down the gates. A lot more convenient, isn’t it? That’s just the tip of the iceberg!

There’s also the fantastical Age Advancement system, and no, it’s not like going through puberty all over again. You see, instead of growing hair in strange places, you get to unlock new units and technologies. Progressing further, you become more powerful and get access to even more ridiculous mythological creatures.

A game can scarcely be as similar to Age of Empires as this; I mean, just look at the name! To try it out, you can purchase it on a PC.

3. Stronghold Crusader 2

Stronghold Crusader 2

This has got to send some of you guys on a nostalgia trip! Stronghold Crusader 2 was the game back then, almost a cult classic like Age of Empires itself. Like AoE, Stronghold Crusader 2 is a real-time strategy game that’s all about building castles, managing resources, and defending your turf against invaders.

In Stronghold Crusader 2, you get to do a lot of things. The first of these is choosing between historical factions like the Crusaders and the Saracens, each having their own unique units and buildings. Think of it as playing the FIFA World Cup; you choose a team to represent and then kick ass instead of a ball, slight difference.

Speaking of ass-kicking, you’ll have to be on your toes because the enemy is always lurking. You’ll need to gather resources like wood and stone to build your castle while producing food to feed your army. In many ways, it was also the original Farmville! To play Stronghold Crusader 2, you need only a basic PC. Seriously, if the PC boots up, you’re all set.

4. Northgard

Northgard

Northgard is a Viking-themed strategy game where you get to build your own settlement, explore the vast wilderness, and of course, beat up anyone who gets in your way! We can’t just have an AoE strategy game that doesn’t involve violence, okay?

In Northgard, you play as a clan of Vikings trying to conquer the titular Northgard. Like most games in the genre, you’ll need to gather resources like food, wood, and gold to expand your settlement and train your troops.

For me, one of the coolest things about Northgard is that it’s a lot about survival, not just exploring and expanding. You’ll need to brave the harsh climate and fend off wild animals like wolves and bears while also dealing with rival Viking clans. Sometimes, you’re just begging for the (in-game) world to give you a break!

The gameplay in Northgard is also pretty similar to Age of Empires but with a couple of differences that are to be expected. One of these is that instead of just building an army and attacking your enemies head-on, you’ll need to be strategic and use your surroundings to your advantage. For example, you can use the harsh winter weather to slow down enemy troops or sneak up on them through the fog!

We’re no strangers to strategy as AoE fans, and this game puts us right at home in that regard. To try out Northgard, you can find it on Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

5. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

Picture this: you’re a badass assassin in feudal Japan, working for a mysterious master who sends you on a series of missions that somehow keep getting more and more difficult. What’s your purpose? Take your target out without being noticed, using any abilities that you need. It’s standard stuff, really; all badass assassins should be familiar with it.

The gameplay here is all about strategy, stealth, and combat. You, the head assassin in the clouds, can control a team of up to five characters, each with their own special skills and weapons, and use them to infiltrate enemy strongholds and complete objectives.

Now, when I say that Shadow Tactics is similar to Age of Empires, I’m referring to the fact that they both involve managing a team of units with different abilities, using strategy to outmaneuver enemies, and completing objectives to win. But, of course, they each have their unique takes and aspects. In this case, while Age of Empires is all about gathering resources and building up your army, Shadow Tactics is all about strategizing with ninja skills to get the job done!

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is playable on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

6. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Have you ever wanted to command a massive army of tanks, planes, and boats to beat up bad people with high-tech weapons and gadgets? If so, I have good news for you!

Red Alert 3 is one of the all-time greats. In this epic RTS game, you can be part of one of three factions: the Allies, the Soviets, and the Empire of the Rising Sun. Of course, I chose the last one because the name is too cool to ignore, and definitely not because weeb blood runs through my veins. Also, each faction has its own unique units, structures, and special abilities, so you can play the game your way and dominate the competition.

The gameplay in Red Alert 3 is mostly about gathering resources, building up your base, and outsmarting your opponents. Once that’s done, you’ll be using your strategic skills to deploy your troops, protect your base, and take out your enemies before they take you out first.

Looking at the game overall, it’s easy to see why it’s a similar game to AoE. Apart from the fundamental gameplay mechanics, which are similar, you’ll find the major difference in the fact that outsmarting your opponents and taking them down with your superior technology is the main gameplay in Red Alert 3. To play it, you’ll need a PC, PS3, or Xbox 360.

7. Crusader Kings 3

Crusader Kings 3

Crusader Kings 3 is a grand strategy game where you get to be the big cheese of a medieval kingdom, making all the big-boy decisions that will determine the fate of your dynasty! Will you marry your daughter off to the neighboring lord for a juicy alliance? Or will you choose to betray your allies and conquer their lands with your shiny knights and pikes? Hey, everything is fair in love and war…and crusade.

But don’t get too excited about leading your armies into battle because, unlike Age of Empires, Crusader Kings 3 is not a real-time strategy game. Instead, you’ll spend most of your time managing your court, arranging marriages, and playing politics like a true Machiavellian, which isn’t a bad thing. Allow me to explain – unlike AoE, where the strategy plays a large part mostly in combat, in this game, the strategy is embedded into the decision you make as a whole.

And if you think managing a medieval kingdom is a piece of cake, think again. You’ll have to deal with all sorts of unpredictable events like plagues, rebellions, and the occasional assassination attempt. Oh, and don’t forget to pray to the gods for their favor because you’ll need all the help you can get! You can play this game on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

8. Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds

If you’re a fan of Age of Empires, then Galactic Battlegrounds is right up your alley! It’s about time we had a Star Wars entry on this list, right? The game shares many of the same mechanics as AoE, such as gathering resources, using them to build a base, and leading your armies in war. Plus, with the added bonus of Star Wars characters and units, you’ll feel like a proper Jedi master leading your troops into battle, where they proceed to miss all their shots. You know, because they’re Storm Troopers, and that’s now canon, for some reason.

Also, the game is from 2001, which is pretty old. But does the gameplay hold up today? Well, if you’re looking for a modern RTS experience with cutting-edge graphics and innovative gameplay mechanics, you might be disappointed. And sure, I’ll admit that the gameplay can feel a bit outdated at times, but that’s to be expected – the charm of this game is for a Star Wars fan to enjoy: all the nostalgia and the unique units that’ll distract you from any shortcomings.

In my playthrough, the game felt a bit easy because the AI isn’t the best that it could be, but ramping up the difficulty fixes that up in a jiffy! To play this dose of nostalgia, you’ll be needing a PC.

9. The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II

First off, the gameplay is similar to Age of Empires in many ways. You start off by building your base and gathering resources like wood, food, and gold. You then train your troops, construct buildings, and send them off to do battle against your enemies, and the emphasis on managing your resources while making decisions that’ll either kill all your enemies or help them come out on top never goes away!

Okay, that’s cool and all; we’ve had that in Age of Empires for eons at this point – but what sets Battle for Middle-earth II apart is its Lord of the Rings setting. I mean, if you’ve seen the movies, you know just how amazing a game based on the series should be, and it is every bit as gorgeous as you’d expect!

You’ll be commanding armies of orcs, elves, dwarves, and humans as they fight for control of Middle-earth. The game features iconic locations from the movies and books, such as Helm’s Deep, Minas Tirith, and Isengard. Plus, you’ll get to control legendary heroes like Aragorn, Gandalf, and Legolas, each with their unique abilities and special moves.

There are also unique aspects of the game, like the ability to use powerful spells and abilities to turn the tide of battle in your favor, to name just one. If you’re ready to leave the normal medieval ages for a fantasy world in more or less the same time period, this game is waiting for you on the nearest PC or Xbox 360.

10. StarCraft II

StarCraft II

Moving further in the genre, we have another classic – StarCraft II. Here, you’ll need to gather resources like minerals and gas to build your base and train your troops, all standard stuff. There’s just something about the cute little worker units working their tiny little butts off to make sure your base is running like a well-oiled machine makes me so grateful for their artificial existence.

The gameplay that requires your strategic input is the decision-making – what units to build and which upgrades to research. Do you go with the classic zergling rush, or do you opt for the slow and steady Protoss army? Each fits a certain playstyle, and you can have just as much fun with either of them! I love that part of RTS games.

There’s also a unique faction system in the game; you can choose between the human Terrans, the insectoid Zerg, and the high-tech Protoss. Each faction has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to understand not just your own but your opponent’s playstyle as well. The strategy element goes deep, as you can imagine. To play StarCraft II, you can get it on any Windows PC or Mac.

11. Civilization VI

Civilization VI

Ah yes, Gandhi, the man of peace… or is he? Well, in Civilization VI, Gandhi has earned a reputation as a nuke-happy warmonger! But why? Well, it all comes down to his unique leadership ability, “Nuke Happy.” Okay, not really that; it was actually just a bug in one of the earlier games that made him super aggressive, and the devs decided, “heh, let’s keep him that way.”

But let’s back up a bit and talk about the gameplay of Civilization VI. Like the Age of Empires, Civilization VI is a strategy game where you build and manage your own empire. You’ll need to gather resources, research new technologies, and make strategic decisions about diplomacy and warfare.

So, what’s unique about the game? What sets this game apart from others, for me, is the emphasis on culture and diplomacy. You’ll need to build up your civilization’s culture to unlock powerful bonuses and win the hearts and minds of other civilizations. Also, this depends heavily on which character you choose: Gandhi wants peace and Hinduism, so you’ll be choosing that too.

Taking a break from Age of Empires to see a nuke-happy Gandhi sounded like a fun adventure to me, and it was everything I expected it to be – it’s your turn to try it out too. Civilization VI is available on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Switch.

12. Total War: Warhammer II

Total War: Warhammer II

We all know how freaking amazing the Total War series is, and this strategy game combines the best of that with the fantastical world of Warhammer! It’s like mixing peanut butter and chocolate – two great things that are even better together. Wait, no, should it be PB&J? Let me know which is better or worse!

In Total War: Warhammer 2, you’ll build and manage your empire while leading mega-ultra-large armies into war against other factions that didn’t invite you to their birthdays (not cool). But unlike Age of Empires, you’ll also have to deal with magic, mythical creatures, and powerful heroes with unique abilities! It follows the theme of the Lord of the Rings game from earlier, adding twists to the usual RTS gameplay we’re accustomed to and making things just a tad more interesting.

The fantastical combination of war, diplomacy, and armies of orcs, dwarves, and other creatures I can’t even name makes for an RTS experience that few other games can match, not even Age of Empires. However, that does come down to personal preference, and, personally, I liked both! To see if you’ll like this as well, you can play Warhammer II on Windows PCs and Macs.

13. Warcraft III

Warcraft III

Have you ever played Warcraft III? If not, I’m automatically going to assume you were born after 2002 because this game was pretty much a universal installation on every PC ever! As of now, you’re missing out on one of the greatest games in the Warcraft series and possibly one of the best strategy games of all time.

I’ve hyped it up a lot, but what makes Warcraft III so great, you ask? Well, for starters, it has some obvious similarities with the Age of Empires – gather resources, build and manage your own empire, and command an army to defeat your enemies. But what sets Warcraft III apart is its focus on hero units and RPG-style elements.

In Warcraft III, you’ll not only need to manage your resources and army but also level up and equip your hero units with new abilities and gear. Sound familiar? Whenever I play Dota, it feels oddly familiar to this, and I think the two games are pretty close! Dota has its origins in Starcraft, though, but hey, who knows where the creator got their inspiration?

And that’s not all; Warcraft III even has an engaging story mode! It follows the tales of various factions and characters, where you’ll be treated to cutscenes and voice acting that will suck you into the world of Warcraft like never before. If you don’t mind some dated graphics, this game is an absolute classic that you have to try before anything else – playable on PC.

More from Us

Check out some of our related guides below.

So, there you have it – thirteen games like Age of Empires that will keep you strategizing, building, and fighting for hours on end! Whether you’re a history buff, a sci-fi fanatic, or a fantasy lover, I tried my best to put one of each in there for you. Did I miss something? Feel free to let me know; I’m always eager to hear your feedback! Until next time, have fun, and may the RNG Gods shower their blessings upon you.

Danish Javed

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Danish Javed

Obsessed with everything from Rainbow Six Siege and Valorant to Dota 2 and Rocket League, Danish is a competitive gamer at heart. Committed to creating exciting content about the latest trends in gaming, he is always on the lookout for the next big thing. Learn More

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