Age of Empires was first released in 1997. It rose to become a fan-favourite among real-time strategy game lovers with its bold depiction of history. Since then, the game has released four series all embedded in significant historical timelines.
In the game, you can choose your own army, run a kingdom how you please and tactfully fight enemies who attack your kingdom. As rumours of the release of the fourth sequel of Age of Empires gain steam, it might help to look at other similar games that you can try out to keep your skills sharp in anticipation of the new game instead of going back to the old Age of Empire games.
Age of Mythology
There are a lot of similarities between the Age of Mythology and Age of Empires. More than you would imagine. To begin with, the game was designed by Ensemble Studios, the same developer who worked on Age of Empires. The game is a spin-off to the original but focuses more on mythological beliefs than historical beliefs. That’s pretty close!
Age of Mythology takes place in Atlantis, emphasising the famous Greek, Egyptian and Norse myth and legends. Being a spin-off, the game follows closely in the footsteps of Age of Empires approach to building an army, conquering competing civilisations, and resource management.
You can choose from either of the three civilisations: Greek, Egyptian or Nose. Each civilisation has a unique culture and religion.
Based on the empire you choose, the game lets you choose the major god, and as you progress, you can unlock other minor gods who give players special abilities.
Age of Mythology is a refreshing but subtle change from the age of Empires, offering you exceptional gameplay inspired by the Age of Empires blueprint while still standing as a game on its own. It's perfect for Empires fanatics looking for a break but one that doesn't deviate from the core principles of the original.
Sid Meier’s: Civilisation VI
Your goal in this turn-based game is to build an empire that can stand the test of time. With as little as being part of a nomadic tribe, you’re tasked with building your resources and evolving into a world-dominating superpower.
The Civilisation franchise has always proven to be a worthy challenge for gamers that appreciate a challenge. It has excellent graphics and music selection that will keep you entertained as you ransack your brain to figure out the next move. Even better, these aspects push the game into the next dimension.
Strategy-wise, the game dives deep. It has a gloves approach to its elements, including everything from religion to espionage, diplomacy and nation-building. It's perfect when you're looking for a game that doesn't hold back.
You can make hundreds of choices on the road to building the kind of country you want. Beginners will most likely find the game somewhat overwhelming, given the sheer range of choices. But for experienced lovers of strategy and die-hard fans of Ages of Empires, it's just what the doctor ordered.
The fate of the franchise Starcraft franchise is up in the air. But you could bask in its glory before all the support for Starcraft 2 is pulled.
The space-focused RTS game was developed by Blizzard Entertainment and is themed around a 26th-century universe where four species are in a galactic struggle for domination. To bring the story alive, the game was split into three parts during its development.
In of the parts, the game features non-linear gameplay. Here you play as either the Protoss, Terran or Zerg. The other part, which is the main game called "Wings of Liberty" details the story of Terran. Finally, there are two expansion packs that offer the stories of Protoss and Zerg.
Your role in this game is to assume control of your units and develop the best strategies with the resources provided. The mission is to survive this intergalactic war.
Warcraft III: Reforged
The Warcraft franchise has several games out. But Reforged is easily the best in this popular series. A creation of Blizzard, the game, takes you on a fantasy journey where you can be the commander of a group of unique creatures like Orcs, Undead, Night Elves, and Humans. Your job is to build a strong group that will take down enemies in the race for dominance.
In the epic journey, players can choose a faction in the game, build a base, assemble an army and recruit powerful heroes who will lead the charge. Unlike some of the games in this list that might feel a little dated, Reforged is a recent game. The developer has completely overhauled the visuals and introduced a range of matchmaking and contemporary social features that guarantee a fantastic playing experience.
Stronghold Crusader II
If you’ve tried your hand at the first Stronghold game, then this one isn’t that different save for the theme and setting of the game. The game is the creation of Creative assembly and was published by SEGA. Stronghold II is set in the Middle East during the crusades and comes complete with new Arabian units.
The decision to use the Middle East poses extra challenges to the players primarily regarding the setting of farms that can only be built on limited oasis grass. Even that isn't simple because it triggers rivalry among players because of the limited farmland.
You also have to figure out how you’re going to gather other resources like quarry, iron ore and marshes. Once collected, these reserves are deposited in the player reserves and can be sold or used for better defence against attacks.
As per the game’s plot, you will need to pick one of several races to lead. These include the Lizardmen, High Elves, Tomb Kings, and Skavens. Like most of the other Age of Empire alternatives on this list, Stronghold Crusader II boasts vivid, breath-taking graphics.
Total War: Warhammer II
Players that love destruction as much as RTS gameplay will love what Total Warhammer and particularly Warhammer II has to offer. The game is set in the vast continents of Southlands, Naggaroth, Lustria and Ulthuan and features an exceptional and breath-taking narrative campaign.
To gain a little history about the game and get some traction, you should consider playing the first game because Warhammer II is the second release. This will give you a chance to enjoy the game even more.
In the game, you take the role of one of the eight legendary lords from the four races. The goal is to build and command an army that will stifle the progress of other races while at the same time disturbing the giant vortex.
When choosing the race, keep in mind that each of them has its own benefits and drawbacks. You have to deal with them after making a choice.
The most attractive thing about Warhammer II is the size of the map. It's considered one of the biggest among RTS games. Paired with the excellent aesthetics, there's no reason why you shouldn't give this game a try.
Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
On Play Store, Rise of Kingdoms has over 10 million downloads and has an Editor Choice label. This speaks to the popularity of the game and its connection with gamers. The game has a similar feel and features as the Age of Empires including the classifications.
In the Rise of Kingdoms, you can choose one of the 11 civilisations to rule and use to take part in battles. There are historical heroes offered by the game that you can use to guarantee victory in your battles.
There’s an alternative to explore new territories and take care of your citizens for those times when you want to take a break from fighting. The game promises incredible gameplay, and it's an online game, so you don't have to worry about overheating. All you need is a stable internet connection. And you don't have to worry about any annoying ads either.
Dawn of Titans: War Strategy
The Dawn of Titans is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a hefty game designed for the best gaming rigs. It also high priced upgrades that you need to guarantee success in the game. But before you frown on the game, it has excellent and among the most realistic graphics. The graphics are such a phenomenon that the game has even received an Industry award making the disk space it occupies worth it.
NaturalMotion is behind the development and publishing of this action, strategy game. It’s an online game with in-app purchases and is available on iOS and Android.
In the game, you assume the role of an ancient god. Your task is to lead your army in battle. Much like is the case with the Age of Empires. You will also need to gather resources, strategise and build your empire along the way.
European War 4: Napoleon
European War 4: Napoleon is the only game in this list that not only stays true to the genre and overall play of Ages of Empire but also gets events inspired by history as opposed to mythology and fantasy as with most of the other games.
The game is developed by EasyTech and published by the same company and promises quite the action. It is particularly ideal for avid gamers who prefer offline strategy games. The graphics of the game are not really console-quality, but they are decent enough to keep you playing for hours.
Like Napoleon, the focus of the game is to transform you into the greatest commander of the Napoleonic Wars. As mentioned earlier, battles in the game are based on historical events, and to deliver that feeling, you get to use legendary generals.
Newbies shouldn't have any problems getting around the game because it has a simple interface that gets the job done. It is not as deep in terms of strategy and exploration as some of the other options, but it's still an excellent option for any gamer that gives it a chance.
God of Olympus
Closing down the list of great Age of Empires alternatives is Gods of Olympus. It's a lighter-hearted game with colourful graphics and published by Aegis Interactive.
The game is based on the famous gods of Olympus who include Athena, Hera, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Ares, Apollo, Hades, Hermes and Zeus.
The game allows you to control one of these powerful and ancient Greek gods in real-time combat. With cooperative play, you can invite your friends to join in the fun as you defend from attacks using the gigantic towers and massive armies.
The game has an innovative combat system, and you can employ strategy and brutality as you see fit with the powers of the gods in your hands. One thing that some gamers might find helpful is that the game doesn’t have any build times. The building and upgrades in the game are completed instantly. This is particularly handy for gamers that are just getting into action-strategy games.
The game’s reward system is also noteworthy. Again, this is quite appealing to novices because you never lose your wealth. You get rewarded for your tactful and effective defences, for which you can claim your fortune in the battlefield. The game's economy is designed to reward boldness and combat for that heightened and continuous adrenalin rush.
Although this game doesn’t feel as dark or mystical as the others, it’s a great option when you’re looking for a game that is somewhat lighter with a different feel without deviating too much from Age of Empire’s genre and overall feel.
There are not many games in the market that can compare to the Age of Empires. The only way you can appreciate the mastery and greatness of this game is by going out there and seeing what other games have to offer.
To save you from the learning curve and frustration of learning a new genre all over, we put together these great alternatives. They are not only great alternatives to Age of Empires but also make great comparisons helping you appreciate the work that goes into your favourite strategy game while delivering hours of immersive and interactive gameplay.