When we think of realtime strategy games we almost automatically think of the PC. Starcraft II, Age of Empires, Total War, Civilization V - these are the champions associated with the genre. But the idea of playing these games (even this genre) on consoles is an odd one. Controllers don't lend the same degree of 'control' as keyboards and there are often far too many commands to even map to them!
The history of console RTS' is a strange one, and there actually have been some decent attempts at making it work. Halo Wars is by far one of the best examples of the genre on consoles, but what other games have amazed us over the years? And can Halo Wars 2 actually join this list?
Can Halo Wars 2 Join This Console RTS List On Its Release Date?
These are just 3 of the few RTS games that have arrived on consoles. Without including handheld devices, there have been little over 50 of these games since the late 80s. That's remarkably low. But even still, there are a few gems hidden in this bunch and we sincerely hope the gameplay of Halo Wars 2 can allow it to join the top 3.
I honestly don't know which one of these games to pick. Pikmin 3 is by far the most beautiful and advanced release, having been made available on the Wii U in 2013. But then there's Pikmin 2 on the GameCube which was one of my favorites on the console.
Like its predecessor, Pikmin 2 focuses on exploring the surface of an unknown planet from a microscopic perspective, where the player directs and delegates tasks to a horde of tiny plant-like creatures called Pikmin. It's a very Nintendo game. But the strategic and puzzle-oriented gameplay is exceptional and still engaging to this day. Play it.
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II
Perhaps it's just my love for The Lord of the Rings Franchise that has brought The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II onto this list, or it's the fact that this game is actually excellent. I'm going with the latter.
Myself and a friend played this game together for years. It was sensationally satisfying, wonderfully challenging and a continuous source of elation. It had great DLC expansions, tons of variety with its factions, and an appealing visual style that makes its Xbox 360 counterpart a great console RTS.
Age of Empires II
My girlfriend would kill me if I didn't include this on my list. But external pressure isn't the only factor that has Age of Empires II feature here. This is one of the best RTS games of all time in my opinion and engaging with it is consistently a nostalgic delight.
Age of Empires II was released for the Playstation 2 and it remains one of the best console RTS' of all time. It's thrilling, expansive, challenging and works surprisingly well on home consoles. But can Halo Wars 2 take on one of the best realtime strategy games ever on its release date? Can its gameplay actually feel at home on the XBOX One? Let's hope so!