RTS games have never shined in the limelight on console due to their complex controls, which don’t always translate well to a controller. However, since the release of the Xbox Series X|S, and the technological advancements of games with it, the RTS genre has seen a revival on console. There is now a list of games that give you complete strategic control over armies and empires. Allowing you to dictate their smallest moves and actions. If that’s what you’re looking for, then we’ve got it right here in our list of the five best RTS games for Xbox Series X|S in 2023.
5. Crusader Kings III
Crusader Kings III - Release Trailer
The Crusader Kings series is one of the most well-known RTS franchises due to its emphasis on incorporating RPG elements into its real-time strategy. Evidently, they have most well crafted their product in their latest title, Crusader Kings III, where you can form relationships with other empires, such as long-lasting alliances or grudge-fueled battles lasting hundreds of years. Furthermore, each character in the game has distinct characteristics that play into your story. Resulting in an immersive RTS where every decision you make is crucial to the prosperity and longevity of your empire.
What keeps gamers hooked on Crusader Kings 3 is the number of variables constantly at play. The interactive story elements and grand strategy can keep you occupied for hours on end. As every decision you make affects how your story unfolds. As a result, no two playthroughs are ever identical. With so much always going on in the game, It can be a lot to take in right away, but the deeper you delve into its ever-changing narrative, the more you’ll realize why it’s one of the best RTS games on the market.
4. Anno 1800
Anno 1800 Console - Reveal Trailer
Anno 1800 is a city-building RTS in which you are tasked with establishing a prosperous city in the new world as European colonizers. The gameplay has many layers that can be overwhelming at times, such as managing trade routes, manufacturing lines, and city planning. Nonetheless, for those looking for a rewarding challenge, Anno 1800 will deliver.
Once you’ve made enough progress, you’ll be able to explore two new maps, providing continuous progress that never feels stale. Combat and gameplay controls are seamless, and battling pirates attempting to rob your trade routes are just one of the many thrilling exchanges that keep you on your toes. So, if you appreciate challenging RTS games, Anno 1800 will be right up your alley.
3. Company of Heroes 3
Company of Heroes 3 // Official Announce Trailer
In Company of Heroes 3, you lead regiments of troops, tanks, and ariel units through the historic fronts of Italy and Africa. Across two distinct campaigns, your war-planning strategy will be put to the test. Plus, they offer tons of replayability thanks to Dynamic Campaign Maps. Nonetheless, once you’re confident enough you can dive into the multiplayer mode where you square up with another player and both compete to seize control of a battlefield.
Company of Heroes 3 stands out from other RTS games on Xbox Series X|S thanks to its detailed game mechanics. You’ve never had more say over how you want to position, command, and fight with your units. When each unit fights, the battleground truly comes to life, and the fluid animations, along with detailed scenery, are what make Company of Heroes 3 one of the best RTS games on Xbox Series X|S.
2. Sudden Strike 4
Sudden Strike 4 - Release Trailer (US)
Sudden Strike 4 is a World War II RTS in which you command troops from one of three factions, each with its own set of historically accurate units and abilities. Aircraft, tanks, troops, and artillery are the different types of units that make up the battlefield. You must understand how each unit works in terms of its strengths and limitations, as well as certain elements such as cover or high ground that play a role in each fight. Sudden Strike 4 is one of the best RTS games on Xbox Series X|S right thanks to its intricate gameplay.
The controls in this game were built with the controller in mind, providing crisp and responsive controls that blend seamlessly with the action. Visually, Sudden Strike 4 does an excellent job with each mission, utilizing various weather to give each area a unique feel. The animations are top-notch, with machine gun fire, artillery, and devastating air assistance strafing runs. Sudden Strike 4 is ideal for both newcomers to RTS games and seasoned veterans.
1. Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars 2: Official Launch Trailer
Because it was designed specifically for the Xbox Series X|S, Halo Wars 2 reigns supreme among RTS titles. The best controls of any RTS game on this list, commanding series favorite units such as Spartans and Warthogs adds a great degree of excitement in a manner we’ve never seen in the Halo series. A lengthy single-player campaign includes 12 missions that provide a decent challenge as well as a detailed storyline. Multiplayer is the focal point, as it is in other combat-based RTS games, and fast-paced action combined with critical decision-making creates an exciting and addictive environment.
There are two online modes: deathmatch and control point. Each offers a unique game style, deathmatch is simply an all-out war in which you attempt to pummel your opponent in record time. Control point is the best option for a true RTS experience, commanding units across a large map and fighting for control, forcing you to make difficult decisions such as retreating troops or making game-changing advancements. This is what distinguishes Halo Wars 2 as one of the best RTS games on the Xbox Series X|S.