Our collection of the best space strategy games is for you if you long for colossal settings, planetary travels, inter-galactic wars and more, all punctuated with a sweet dose of tactical gameplay. This list we’ve compiled here will come as a pleasant surprise for you, for it contains some of the finest such titles available right now.
Built with vast outlooks, these are filled with fascinating elements like alien warfare, inter-planetary travel, futuristic equipment and weapons as well as peculiar environments on distant planets. And add to that, the brilliance of the genre in question, which continuously keeps you worked up to think skillfully in order to achieve your objectives. All these tactics-based titles are sure to appeal to fans, and hence, without wasting any more time on introductions, let us straight away jump into what matters. Here’s the list:
1. Sins of a Solar Empire
Sins of a Solar Empire is essentially an RTS title which takes some inspiration from 4X titles like Sid Meier’s Civilization. Although it was first released in 2008 only for PC, its developer Ironclad continued supporting it June last year, blessing it with its third expansion pack titled Rebellion. It transpires in a 3D web of planets and other celestial objects, and has a number of different civilizations fighting for dominance. Apart from other innovative gameplay elements, its seamless zoom function adds another dimension to the whole affair. Sins of a Solar Empire doesn’t contain a single-player campaign, but it’s apt for multiplayer gaming, either online or offline.
2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Released just last year, XCOM: Enemy Unknown marked the revival of the XCOM franchise, and it did so with style. It is set in the near future, and focuses on an alien invasion of Earth. Players are of course tasked with saving our planet from these species, by commanding troops in truly tactics-based missions. And even while out of the action, the title continues with players needing to manage crucial tasks such as directing research, developing new technologies, handling finances and more. This way, you’re never out of the loop, and that’s what makes it such an addictive offering. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is available not only for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, but also for Mac.
3. Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords
Another 4X title in this list, Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords takes place in the 21st century, and revolves around multiple alien factions trying to do whatever it takes in order to conquer the galaxy, planet by planet. Campaign as well as sandbox gameplay is available for you to dig into, but no multiplayer support has been granted to it. Expect to indulge in some stylish designs which is given great company by the title’s refined AI. It can be bought now exclusively for PC.
4. Star Wars: Empire at War
Pure RTS action coupled with the masterful universe of Star Wars is what’s on offer to you within this wonderful offering from Petroglyph and Lucasarts. One of its unique aspects is that it features land as well as in-air battles. Its story is set during the Galactic Civil War and the construction of the Death Star, and hence it occurs during the events prior to the movie, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The addictive gameplay of this title makes it hard to let go of it. If you happen to be a die-hard Star Wars fan, we can just imagine to blissful look on your face right now.
5. Starcraft 2
Blizzard’s follow-up to its immensely successful 1998 offering, Starcraft, retains the same brilliance of its predecessor, yet delivers so much more in terms of every other aspect. Equipped with single-player as well as multiplayer gameplay, Starcraft 2 takes the series’ story forward and pushes you into the shoes of Terran hero Jim Raynor, who’s fighting the battle of liberating his fellow humans from the clutches of the autocratic Terran Dominion. It was released in 2010 first, while in 2013, we saw a new expansion being launched for it, with equally awesome offerings. This PC and Mac title deserves to be played by everyone no matter where their tastes lie.
6. Endless Space
Released in July last year for PC and Mac, this title allows you to either choose one of the nine unique civilizations it has on offer or create your own, with the aim of conquering the galaxy. It transpires on a randomly generated galaxy map which can accommodate up to eight players/AI per title. Thus, single as well as multiplayer gameplay is made possible. The amount of challenges it throws at you just increases its addictive appeal.
7. Homeworld 2
Another RTS title in this list, Homeworld 2 has been developed by Relic Entertainment, the same studio which had given us its classic predecessor. And the refinements over its precursor mean that we now have a much better-looking, better-sounding and indeed better-playing title than we had before. A new story forms the background of its single-player campaign, while there’s even multiplayer gameplay for players revel in. Released in 2003, it can be purchased now for PC as well as Mac.
Those are all our humble submissions to this compilation of best space strategy games. Make sure to check them all out one by one, and come back to us with your thoughts on them.