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Greatest RTS game/series of all time?


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For me I'd say that the greatest RTS out of the box would be Total Annihilation (1997) with both of it's expansion packs. The game has literally hundreds of units that are unique to each faction, there are dozens of multiplayer maps, the campaigns are enjoyable, and it has a stellar soundtrack. Unfortunately Total Annihilation lacks in customization. There are lots of user made maps, mods, and custom units, but there is no built-in map editor like in most other RTS games, and there are no custom games like in StarCraft or other RTS games, there is only melee in Total Annihilation (destroy your enemies base and kill his/her commander). Another shortcoming of Total Annihilation is that when you head online, unlike StarCraft: Brood War, it can be relatively hard to find people to play with. You can however find a few people on PhoeniX WorX, WarZone, and GameSpy Arcade however.


However, for a game that has been perfected, I'd say the original StarCraft (1998), with Brood War. StarCraft has a great storyline, unique units for each faction, a built in map editor, an average soundtrack, and the greatest online service of all time, the original (not 2.0) Battle.net. One thing that separates StarCraft: Brood War from the hundreds of other RTS games out there is not only Battle.net, but the ability to play custom games on Battle.net. The original map editor was pretty weak, but the community created several custom map editors (I recommend X-tra Editor in special mode for units and triggers, and StarForge for terrain) to create maps with. Custom maps range from defense maps to RPGs to bounds to movie maps to zombie survival maps, and everything in between. StarCraft also has millions of players from all around the world and is still the most popular RTS game of all time, despite being over 10 years old.

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Supreme commander?

Sun Age?



CnC is to diverse, the tib, ra and gen universes are all there own game in their own right, generals was great but not really a CnC, The Tiberian games as a universe got progressivly worse the closer to the over all ending you got and imo when it comes to RA, RA3 is more of a RA game than that horrid thing called RA2


Starcraft and warcraft, I could fill a whole page with in depth reason for not liking the games

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It's real-time, and it involves strategy.

May I remind you that "real-time strategy", as a composite term, possesses of the quality of idiomaticity, and its meaning is thus irreducible to the meanings of its components. Idiomaticity, by the way, is a pretty common linguistic phenomenon, pertaining not only to the realm of technical terms, but to ordinary speech as well, and can be observed on different levels of language.

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Well, I may hold a "nominalist" view on the problem, but in my opinion, the term "real-time strategy" refers to Dune II (since the term was coined specifically for this game) or any succeeding game that follows the standards set by it. Being just a game that involves strategy and is set in real time is not enough: playing a typical FPS also includes strategic elements (you have to conserve ammo, trick your enemies, solve puzzles, choose your path through the levels, find out which weapons are more effective in which situations and against what enemies etc. etc.) and is set in real time, but no one would call a FPS a "real-time strategy", even metaphorically.


Even disregarding the absence of some of the crucial RTS elements in Herzog Zwei (base construction, resource gathering, direct unit control among other things), some of which may be absent from more modern RTS incarnations as well, the very fact that the term "real-time strategy" appeared 3 years after its release makes the use of the term in reference to Herzog Zwei problematic IMO. To draw an analogy, one certainly can call an abacus or a counting frame a "calculator", but only in a metaphorical sense. Similarly, Herzog Zwei can be called a "real-time strategy" in a figurative sense, noting its similarities with the latter (and possibly its being a source of inspiration for Dune II), but from the technical standpoint that would be incorrect.


BTW, I totally love the music in Herzog Zwei. It makes me feel nostalgic for some reason, even though I've never played it on a real console, and to be honest only learned of it when I got interested in the history of the RTS genre. The music is great anyway :)

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TBH, I know very little of many game genres that were not of immediate interest to me; besides, I've always been under the impression that Herzog Zwei belongs to the era when the standards of many mainstream genres were not yet established (with some interesting, unique games that are hard to classify cropping up every now and then).


Real-time tactics is defined in Wikipedia as typically lacking the unit production aspect (which is removed as a step towards greater realism I suppose), which is present in Herzog Zwei. In any case, my basic argument is not that Herzog Zwei is too much different from typical RTSs to be classified as such, but rather that it belongs to a different era to which modern-time classifications do not apply.

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Do you know if RTT preceded RTS as a genre, or vice versa? Also, are there any other games that would be close in mechanics to Herzog Zwei (except, presumably, the first Herzog instalment). Battlezone came to my mind, but I never played the game and I don't know if units there can be directly controlled by the player like in the more classic RTS games or not.

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Don't want to get into the discussion, since I didn't play all these games and don't have enough info.

I'm here to suggest that RTS was just a simple evolution of turn based strategy games (TBS?).

Before computer they were board games, that would prevent RTS. That would be supplied with... soccer heehheheh.


I want to say also that one interesting RTS game is "The Ancient Art of the War" of 1984, refering to Sun Tzu's book and philosophy.

It's a huge game - 200Kb hehehhheh. But it is miracullously a rich universe. Might find it in abandonia.com

This website claimed that RTS is usually related to Dune2 but that (in their point of view) would be improper.

After this point I have no opinion.


For me RTS games must have a system of tactics that encircles into a higher growth rate than your rival(s) and also "antecipative" thinking.

Some missions of CnC are not strategical, but tactical.

And that's ok. But, the "Drill" is the Strategy making.

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