PC gaming is at an all-time high. So much so, that there’s a distinct set of people that scoff at the idea of traditional gaming consoles. The PC gaming community is nothing if not loyal. All that serious hardware, though, doesn’t come cheap, as well we know. That’s why every bit of help you can get is something you should latch onto.
It goes some way to explaining the sheer popularity of Steam’s annual blockbuster sales.
Real-time strategy games and computers seem to be a match made in heaven. The unparalleled control of a PC makes it the perfect platform for strategy. Powerful graphics are enhanced without the limitations of the big two consoles. Best of all? Some of the best real-time strategy games of all time are completely free to play. Here are some of our favourites.
It’s a card game with a difference. With over 25 million monthly players, you should be one of them. The addictive game takes its cues from Magic the Gathering but has become an entity of its own. Trying to get your head around the rules can be a little sobering, but worth it. Once you’ve gotten to grips with the premise, you’ll spend hours wasting time on it.
Best of all? Hearthstone is available for tablets and phones, too, so you can take your gaming on the move.
League of Legends
The game that was born of an unlikely scenario. Its origins story is more like the making of 50 Shades of Grey than World of Warcraft. Its existence stemmed from a user-generated mod for Warcraft 3 and has since made it to the big time as a standalone game. It is, without a doubt, one of the most popular real-time strategy games on the market.
The concept is incredibly simple for such a captivating game. It plays on the tried and tested method of two times facing off on the battlefield. Not a million miles away from the premise of Counterstrike. The game itself, however, is anything but simple. Your task of defeating the opponent is made more difficult when trying to fend off neutral ‘minions.’ The aim being to gather and much gold and experience as possible.
The developer claims that over 110 million people log on to play at least once per month. That’s a staggering figure, isn’t it? It also means you’ll have no trouble finding competition. If you’re looking for an RTS that will make time seem to evaporate, play League of Legends now.
If you’re a fan of classic RTS games such as Age of Empires and Civilization, you’ll love Stronghold Kingdoms. The game has done well to take the mantle of one of the most popular online RTS games, even in the face of stiff competition.
The premise is simple; drawing inspiration from previous similar games. Build your base, defend it, and defeat your enemies. Starting with few resources and fewer villagers, your ultimate goal is to control the map. That’s easier said than done, given other players are attempting the same thing. You can find Stronghold Kingdoms for free on the Steam store.
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