What are the best games like Age of Empires?
Age of Empires was first released in 1997 as a historical real-time strategy game, and it has only increased in popularity since.
While there’s plenty of content to enjoy in Age of Empires, if you’re in the mood for something new, you’ve got options!
Today, we’re looking at 10 titles with similar gameplay that make great alternatives to Age of Empires.
The 10 Best Games Like Age Of Empires
To make this list, we considered many games and how their gameplay compared to the Age of Empires series.
This has allowed us to find games that, while different, are familiar enough that Age of Empires fans will love them.
With that being said, here’s our list of the 10 best games like Age of Empires:
10. Bad North
Kicking off our list is Bad North, a brutal real-time strategy game like Age of Empires that will really keep you on your toes.
In this game, players have to defend their own island kingdoms from hordes of relentless Viking invaders.
To protect your home, you will have to command your troops using a variety of tactics to try and gain the upper hand during battles.
The stakes are extremely high, and failure means the loss of your entire kingdom, so you’ll need to play your cards right.
Bad North also doesn’t believe in handholding, so you can expect the beginning of the game to be extremely challenging as you try and find out what works.
However, once you get into the swing of things, this game is incredibly addictive, and you can easily lose hours playing it.
While it is one of the best Nintendo Switch games, you can also play Bad North on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
It has all of the combat and strategy that Age of Empires fans have come to love but a different premise and unique style that makes it a great alternative!
9. The Lord Of The Rings: The Battle For Middle-Earth II
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II delves into depths that the few other games in the franchise have.
This game allows players to take part in a variety of large-scale grand battles that go further than even what the films have shown.
In this game, players can assume command of some of the most well-known races in the series to try and protect the realm of Middle-Earth.
Of course, while you can command mighty Dwarven armies or swift Elven legions, you can also turn to the darkside.
Yes, this game gives players the ability to fight the side of evil, commanding hordes of creatures that have never been seen before.
Players can choose to defend or attack iconic locations such as Mirkwood and the Misty Mountains while using a variety of unique weapons.
There are even incredibly strong abilities that give players the option of summoning dragons, erupting volcanoes, or calling down lightning.
The Battle for Middle-Earth II is a vast game with a ton of battles to engage in, and we highly recommend it for fans of Age of Empires!
8. Tropico 6
Released in 2019, Tropico 6 is an addictive city and government simulator that allows players to create their own countries.
One of the best PS5 simulation games, players have a ton of freedom to really do whatever they want!
Players can easily spend hours building across the various maps, and there is even a randomized map generator that mixes things up even more!
In this game, players take on the role of El Presidente, the leader of a tropical island throughout four eras, starting in the Colonial Era.
However, everything that players do will have an effect on the fully simulated citizens; for better or worse.
While there are no large-scale battles, trying to keep a growing nation together is a tough fight in and of itself!
With Tropico 7 now confirmed, now is the perfect time to start playing this game, especially if you’re looking for a great Age of Empires alternative.
7. Dawn Of Man
Dawn of Man is one of the most engaging and challenging real-time strategy games, and it is perfect for fans of Age of Empires.
This game takes players through numerous ages, with the main goal being to survive as long as possible.
Players must gather resources, hunt, fight, and research new technologies to stay alive and make it to the Iron Age.
While the gameplay will feel very familiar to fans of the Civilization series, the combat and strategizing are similar to Age of Empires.
Dawn of Man is incredibly fun, but having to look after a growing civilization for millennia is no easy feat.
This is especially true since players will be starting in the Paleolithic era with no basis for almost any technology.
Oh, and there are also natural disasters, such as blizzards and devastating thunderstorms you will need to survive.
That’s on top of the attacks from wild animals and raiders that will be frequently plaguing your settlements!
Although it is difficult, it is wholly addicting once you start playing, and you can easily spend hours trying to keep your settlers alive!
6. Age Of Mythology: Extended Edition
Age of Mythology: Extended Edition was released in 2014, and it has remained one of the most popular strategy games.
In this game, players are transported to a time when humans existed alongside gods and monsters.
A spin-off from the Age of Empires series, this game contains a lot of the same gameplay elements that fans know and love.
Starting off, players will find themselves in the Archaic Age with the goal of reaching the Mythic Age.
Players have three major cultures to play as. These are the Norse, Greeks, and Egyptians, each backed by their own powerful pantheons.
The cultures and their gods are very much intertwined, as in this game, the gods aren’t just a vague concept.
No, they can literally get involved in battles and can be called upon to rain down terror in the form of meteors and lightning storms!
Now your opponents can feel like they’ve been transported to one of the best God of War games on the wrong side of Kratos’s anger!
While it is an older game than some of the others on our list, Age of Mythology delivers where it counts and remains one of the best strategy games of all time.
5. Empire Earth
Empire Earth was developed by the lead designer of Age of Empires, so you know it’s a great game already.
In this strategy game, players have the goal of controlling and growing a civilization throughout 500,000 years of human history.
You can choose any point in history to start your civilization and then work to build it up and hopefully dominate the globe!
As the name suggests, the ultimate end goal is to eventually control the whole world, but first, you’ll have to actually survive long enough to do that!
First released in 2001, this game has remained a huge success, and the sheer size of it is impressive given its age.
Every culture is remarkably fleshed out, and each era that you enter has its own unique nuances and flair.
While it can be a bit much for those new to strategy games, for fans of Age of Empires, it has many familiar elements that make it a great alternative!
4. Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
Galactic Battlegrounds is another great strategy game that was released in 2001, and it has held up remarkably well since then!
While it may not have the mind-blowing graphics of the best third-person PS5 games, it boasts a ton of content and hours of intense battles.
In this game, players can control the Galactic Empire, the Trade Federation, the Rebel Alliance, the Wookies, or a number of other iconic civilizations.
In the beginning, players will start out with a scout and three workers with the goal of gathering resources and building up their forces.
Suffice it to say the battles that take place in this game are on a galactic scale, and it is very easy to lose ground.
Players will need to think very carefully in order to gain a strategic advantage over their opponents.
However, victory will take a lot of time, and there are three main ways to win, each of which poses its own difficulties.
It may be a far cry from Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, but Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds is the perfect game for fans of Age of Empires.
3. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
Command & Conquer: Red Alert takes a new approach to RTS gameplay, boasting a full co-op campaign that many other games lack.
This game sees the leadership of the doomed Soviet Union travel back in time to try and restore the glory of the Motherland.
However, time travel is a fickle thing, and their mission quickly goes away, creating an alternate timeline where technology is completely different.
Now, World War III is raging, and players will have to utilize weird and wacky technologies to try and stay alive.
Some of the things players can use include War Zeplins, armored bears, and super-intelligent dolphins!
It is a totally crazy take on world history, and every second spent playing it will have you laughing and wondering, “What If?”.
Red Alert 3 is definitely one of the funniest games to play with friends online and one of the best games like Age of Empires.
We definitely recommend giving it a try if you haven’t already because it is certainly one of the most creative games in the RTS genre.
2. 0 A.D.
0 A.D. is a free, open-source RTS game that is under development by Wildfire Games but is able to be played right now.
Originally developed as a conversion mod for Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, it was eventually turned into its own game.
This game focuses on historical events, particularly wars, and the economy, between the years 500 BC and 1 BC.
In 0 A.D., players have to build towns, an economy, and an army, while also researching new technologies to advance.
One thing that makes this game stand out is that it prioritizes historical accuracy, with unit and building names being shown in the language of each civilization.
There is also an emphasis on providing visual accuracy to buildings, armor, and weapons so that they look realistic to the cultures they’re from.
While it is a work in progress, 0 A.D. is incredibly fun, and it is frequently being updated with new content and things to do!
Taking our number one spot is Northgard, a turn-based strategy game that is all about the Vikings.
In this game, players take control of a Viking clan that has an eye on taking control of a mysterious new land.
However, ravenous wildlife and the undead pose a threat to this goal, as do the giants you can choose to war with or befriend.
Players can assign the Vikings in their clan to various jobs in order to shore up their settlement and make surviving easier.
The goal is to build a thriving society and expand throughout the new land while keeping as many settlers alive as possible.
You can even play against your friends or against an AI with varying levels of difficulty!
Not only is this game similar to Age of Empires, but it has a gorgeous art style that really helps it come to life.
Now available for the PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and iOS, this is the best alternative to Age of Empires that you can play right now!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the 10 best games like Age of Empires, and found some new alternatives to play!
Although Age of Empires is a fantastic game series, if you’re in the mood for something a bit different, you can’t go wrong with any of these titles.
Of course, we highly recommend Northgard, as its similarities and amazing gameplay make it the best of the best!
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best games like Age of Empires:
- 0 A.D.
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
- Empire Earth
- Age Of Mythology: Extended Edition
- Dawn Of Man
- Tropico 6
- The Lord Of The Rings: The Battle For Middle-Earth II
- Bad North
Which of these games will you play first? Leave a comment below.
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