Free Games Like Halo Archives

Free Games Like Halo Archives

Free Games Like Halo Archives

Free Games Like Halo Archives

Best games like Halo to play while you wait for Master Chief's return

You’ve churned through every campaign, mastered battle rifle headshots and spent more time with Master Chief than you have your own best friend. What next? Bungie’s Halo series is a unique blend of story, inventive solo missions and agile multiplayer fights, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find other games like Halo that give you similar thrills. 

In this list, we’ll present 10 games like Halo that lovers of the series should try next. Some make the cut because they’re rock-solid FPS campaigns, which are sadly few and far between – others are on this list for their intriguing sci-fi setting, while more still are here because of their nimble multiplayer action, reminiscent of our best memories of Reach. If you think we’ve missed any out, make sure you leave your suggestions in the comments below.

Here are the 10 best games like Halo you can play right now.

Destiny 2

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Let’s start with the most obvious touchstone. Destiny 2 is a brilliant MMO looter shooter that’s clearly inspired by Bungie’s work. The expansive planetary vistas, the floaty jumping, the myriad alien enemies: Halo is in its DNA. But this is no simple clone – it’s one of the best shooters ever made in its own right. 

If you loved Halo’s campaigns, then Destiny 2 has several of its own, complete with climactic set pieces and some touching story beats. If it’s Halo’s multiplayer you crave, jump into the Crucible, where you’ll find high-octane, competitive matches across a number of classic game modes. Halo made the actual act of popping headshots feel spectacular, but Destiny 2, somehow, manages to best it. Never before have video game guns felt this good to handle, and targeting weak spots rewards you with a trail of damage numbers and a shower of sci-fi sparks.

The amount of things to do in Destiny 2, between Raids, small-squad Strikes and story missions, is nearly endless. Any Halo fan will find at least one thing they love here, and you can try most of it out in the free to play New Light addition. What have you got to lose? (Hundreds of hours, that’s what!)

Titanfall 2

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

When it came out in 2016, Titanfall 2 had the best shooter campaign since a Halo game, and it still stands up to this day. It has more in common with Halo than just its high-tech sci-fi setting and powerful futuristic weapons: each story mission has its own theme and challenges, which varies the moment-to-moment action. A new enemy will transform your tactics, and make you think differently about the way you control your giant, hulking titan. Sometimes, you’ll be swarmed with foes, other times, you’ll battle intelligent bosses – and regularly, you’ll leap out of the cockpit to battle enemies on foot.

The fluid movement and vertical maps sometimes makes us think of Master Chief, too. Halo’s low-gravity jumping is replaced by ledge grabbing and wall-running here, but the results are just as glorious. The multiplayer community is, sadly, pretty spartan these days, but if you enjoyed Halo’s campaigns – who didn’t? – then Titanfall 2 is a must-play.

Doom Eternal 

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

When we think of Halo, we think of circle strafing through fairly open levels, dodging enemies and picking them off with well-placed shots. Doom Eternal is that formula on steroids. More enemies, more dodging, more bullets, and more alien guts. It is the best FPS you can play right now, and its combination of beefy weapons, expansive, varied maps and engrossing resource management – killing enemies in certain ways showers you in health, ammo or armor – pulls you through the story at breakneck speed.

It’s more hectic than Halo, and more difficult on default settings. As every wave of demons descends on you, you’ll have to quickly come up with a plan of action and position yourself so you don’t get caught out, hopping around the environment as you secure kills. The asymmetric multiplayer doesn’t hold a candle to Halo 3, but the brilliant campaign, with its inventive setting, varied enemies and powerful guns, is up there with the best of Bungie’s offerings.

Half-Life 2

Available on: PC, Xbox One

Half-Life 2 isn’t just on this list for being one of the best shooters of all time. It’s here because its story captures the same feeling of exploration and wonder as the Halo series, albeit in a slightly more grounded setting. You’re not jetting between planets here, or gaping in awe at beautiful skyboxes. The stage is City 17, a gritty place policed by an authoritarian state, but each level still feels distinct and memorable, and gives you new ways to master the mechanics at your disposal.

It, like many of the Halo games, is also perfectly-paced, and it ramps up the challenge as it whisks you through the campaign to a worthy climax. Gordon Freeman is no Master Chief, and lacks the mobility of our Halo hero, but he’s a worthy star man nonetheless. Both, as it happens, are men of few words, and it’s up to you to imagine their personalities, which creates a bond between player and protagonist. Just don’t make us choose between the two.

Mass Effect: Andromeda 

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Hear us out. Mass Effect: Andromeda’s redeeming feature was its combat. Up until that point, Mass Effect combat was largely something you put up with so you could experience a captivating story and hop between planets, and at its worst, was downright tedious. But Andromeda’s flexible ability system made blasting alien foes feel slick, punchy, and responsive. Clearing a room of enemies was, for the first time, genuinely fun. As good as in a Halo game? Definitely not – but when you add in the talent of Bioware’s best writers, it’s certainly a galaxy worth exploring.

While most of the criticisms levelled at it were completely fair, there are some good stories to follow and majestic planets to explore. It’s fundamentally an RPG, which Halo is not, but if you like poking around alien structures, it will scratch a similar itch. Go for a Soldier class, which as its name suggests specialises in shooting stuff with rifles, and you’ll certainly see some similarities. Just don’t expect a masterpiece.

Mad Max

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

We’ll never forget the first time we manned the turret mounted on the back of a Warthog as it skidded across the beach in Halo: Combat Evolved. The way the series blends vehicle and on-foot combat hasn’t been bested since, but 2015’s Mad Max comes close to capturing some of the four-wheeled magic. Your car doesn’t have the shine of Halo’s tanks or sleek alien craft – it’s a rusty old banger built from the scraps of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. But it’s impressively versatile, and handles a bit like all of Halo’s vehicles rolled into one.

At the start of the game, it’s just a rusted shell. But soon, you’ll add wheel spikes, a harpoon gun, a rocket launcher, flamethrowers and armor. You spend most of the game in your car in high-speed battles, and upgrading is the core focus. When you’re on foot, Mad Max isn’t really anything like Halo: it’s a solid third-person brawler, rather than a tightly controlling FPS. But even if that’s not your cup of tea, it's worth pushing through these sequences, and before you know it, you’ll be back behind the steering wheel, causing mayhem.

Rage 2

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

A game that has been forgotten all too quickly, Rage 2 is an addictive, relentless shooter that, like Halo, makes you think carefully about the guns at your disposal and adapt your arsenal to whatever new situation you face. You feel more powerful than Master Chief here thanks to a suite of whacky abilities – one is basically a force push that sends enemies flying, while another makes you punch the ground and sends enemies skywards. Weapons have fun alternate fire modes too, such as one that tethers enemies to a point in space, so you can crunch their bones against solid ceilings and walls. 

The setting, a post-apocalyptic wasteland, is nowhere near as interesting as Halo’s sci-fi world, but the levels have some decent verticality to them, encouraging you to double jump around to find collectibles. Plus, roaming the map in one of Rage 2’s vehicles can’t help but remind us of some of our favourite Halo moments.

Borderlands 3

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Did you ever wish Halo had a bit more weapon variety? Borderlands 3 might be for you. It’s a solid shooter with a gun count that numbers in the billions. No, seriously: every gun you come across will feel completely different, and many will have whacky, bespoke abilities. There’s one called the boomerang that you can throw, and it will keep firing as it spins through the air. The Eridian Fabricator shoots, well, other guns, spawning piles of loot to pick through.

In tone, Borderlands couldn’t be further from Halo. It’s crass and classless, and much of its humor misses the mark. But its shooting is endlessly fun. Grab a couple of friends and you’ll speed through its sci-fi campaign, savouring the set pieces and comparing notes on who can find the most ridiculous shotgun.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus 

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Dual wielding is, sadly, a feature no longer championed by Bungie. It hasn’t been in the series since Halo 3, and if you’re hankering for the feeling of having a plasma rifle in one hand, SMG in the other, then you’ll want to give Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus a go. It’s an old-school shooter that lets you dual wield any two guns, with hilarious results. Our favourite combination? A silenced pistol in our left, so that we can sneak through enemy bases silently, popping headshots from the shadows, and a shotgun in our right for when, inevitably, it all goes wrong, and we need to start blasting.

Once you’re spotted in The New Colossus, your only option is to press forward, being aggressive with your movement, and keeping track of where other enemies are to ensure you don’t get flanked. Granted, killing Nazis is very different to killing aliens, but we find the combat has a similar, fast pace – and the credible acting means you’ll actually care about hero B.J. Blazkowicz’s story.

Quake Champions 

Available on: PC

An underrated multiplayer gem that harks back to some of the best times we’ve had in Halo. Bungie’s series was, at its heart, an attempt to make FPS games feel at home on console, and as such it took inspiration from some of the PC’s best shooters, such as...Quake. Champions, naturally, has the same heritage, and if you enjoy multiplayer in Halo then you’ll feel at home in its mobile, frantic team deathmatches.

Being good at Quake Champions requires the same traits as being good at Halo: namely, knowing the arenas you’re fighting in like the back of your hand – allowing you to predict enemy movements and ambush them – and knowing what weapon to use in any given situation. Mastering Champions’ arsenal isn’t easy, but once you’ve got to grips with the rocket launcher, shotgun, and tri-bolt, you’ll feel prepared for any eventually. Just be ready to keep moving at all times, and mash that jump button to bunny hop. 

Sam's gaming PC is literally held together with masking tape, and he bought his PS4 from a friend of a friend of a (dodgy) friend for a tenner. He wishes that games still had paper manuals, mainly so he could get the satisfaction of ignoring them. He grew up in Essex, and now lives in London.
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Flood (Halo)

Fictional parasitic alien lifeform in the Halo video game series

The Flood is a fictional parasiticalien lifeform and one of the primary antagonists in the Halo multimedia franchise. First introduced in the 2001 video game Halo: Combat Evolved, it returns in later entries in the series such as Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo Wars. The Flood is capable of infecting any sentient life of sufficient size; Flood-infected creatures, also called Flood, in turn can infect other hosts. The parasite is depicted as such a threat that the ancient Forerunners constructed artificial ringworld superweapons known as Halos to contain it and, as a last resort, to kill all sentient life in the galaxy in an effort to stop the Flood's spread by starving it.

The Flood's design and fiction were led by Bungie artist Robert McLees, who used unused concepts from the earlier Bungie game Marathon 2. The setting of the first game, the ringworld Halo, was stripped of many of its large creatures in order to make the Flood's surprise appearance more startling. Bungie environment artist Vic DeLeon spent six months of pre-production time refining the Flood's fleshy aesthetic and designing the organic interiors of Flood-infested spaceships for Halo 3.

The player's discovery of the Flood in Halo: Combat Evolved is a major plot twist, and was one of the surprises reviewers noted positively. The Flood's return in Halo 2 and Halo 3 was less enthusiastically praised. Reaction to the Flood has varied. While some critics have described the Flood as derivative or clichéd, others have ranked it among the greatest video game villains.


Concept art of a Flood combat form. The left hand has been replaced with tentacles, and the infection form's sensory apparatus sprout where the head once was.

The Flood is depicted as a parasitic organism that infects any sentient life of sufficient size. The largest self-contained form that the Flood can produce itself without using other biomass is an "infection form".[1] These forms seeks hosts, living or dead, and attempt to drive sharp spines into the host and thereby tap into the nervous system. The host is incapacitated while the infection form burrows into the host's body and begins the mutation process, bringing the host under Flood control.[2] Depending on the size or condition of the body, the infection form mutates the hapless host into various specialized forms in the continual drive for more food. Larger hosts are turned into forms for combat, growing long whip-like tentacles,[3] while mangled and disused hosts are turned into incubators for more infection forms.[3] The Flood also creates forms known as "key minds" to coordinate the Flood; these include the apex of Flood evolution, known as "Graveminds".[4]

The Flood was added early in Bungie's development of the 2001 video game Halo: Combat Evolved, before the game had made its jump from the Macintosh platform to the Xbox. A design for one Flood form appeared as early as 1997.[5] Commenting upon the inception of the Flood, Bungie staff member Chris Butcher noted that "the idea behind the Flood as the forgotten peril that ended a galaxy-spanning empire is a pretty fundamental tenet of good sci-fi. Yeah, and bad sci-fi too."[6] Another inspiration was Christopher Rowley's The Vang series.[7] Early design for the Flood was done by Bungie artist and writer Robert McLees, who considers himself "the architect" of the Flood;[8] the Flood's roots are reflected in concept art of a "fungal zombie" that McLees did for the earlier Bungie game Marathon 2: Durandal.[9] McLees also did all the early concept art for the Flood.[10]

Based on the behavior of viruses and certain bacteria, the Flood was intended to be "disgusting and nasty";[11] McLees modeled one Flood form off the memory of his cousin's infected thumb.[12] The creatures were constructed from the corpses and bodies of former combatants, so the artists had to make sure the Flood soldiers were recognizable while changing their silhouette enough to differentiate them from the uninfected.[13] Many concepts and ideas were discarded due to time constraints—initially, the Flood was intended to convert any species of the alien Covenant into soldiers. "We didn't have the resources to make it happen," McLees recalled, so they modified the game's fiction to suggest that some Covenant were too small or too frail to serve as combat troops.[14] The technical inability to create different Flood forms procedurally informed the game's fiction that the Flood had optimized their host forms over years of trial and error, creating standardized templates that the developers used to obfuscate the repeated use of similar models.[15] Likewise, the Flood enemy intelligence was intended to be as complicated as that of the other enemy faction in the game, but full implementation was cut for time. The dinosaur-like terrestrial wildlife that originally dwelled in Halo's environments were dropped due to gameplay constraints and fear that their presence would reduce the surprise and impact of the Flood.[16]

Bungie decided a new visual language for the Flood was needed for Halo 3. The task of developing the new Flood forms, organic Flood terrain, and other miscellaneous changes fell to Vic DeLeon, then Bungie's Senior Environment Artist.[11] Early concepts of what became new morphing Flood types in the game called "pure forms" featured the creatures wielding an array of weapons via tendrils, while forms like the Flood infector and Flood transport concepts never made it into the final game.[13] The pure forms had to morph between three radically different looks, and it proved challenging to make plausible transformations that also looked good once it was developed and animated in 3D. Artist Shi Kai Wang suggested that in the end, they had simply tried to do too much and the results were less than they wanted.[17]

Flood-infested structures were designed as angular to counterbalance Flood biomass, as well as provide surfaces for the game's artificial intelligence to exploit and move on. New additions were designed to be multi-purpose; exploding "growth pods" that spew Flood forms were added to the game to adjust pacing, provide instant action, and add to the visuals. Endoscopic pictures provided further inspiration.[11]Halo 3 added new capabilities to the Flood, including the ability for the parasite to infect enemies in real time.[11] Bungie used Halo 3's improved capacity for graphics to make a host's sudden transformation into Flood form more dramatic; two different character models and skeletons were fused and swapped in real-time.[18]



The Flood makes its first appearance more than halfway through Halo: Combat Evolved, during the story mission "343 Guilty Spark". A group of humans fleeing the enemy alien Covenant land on "Halo", a ringworld built by the alien Forerunners. The artificial intelligence Cortana sends the supersoldier Master Chief to find their commander, Jacob Keyes, who disappeared in a swamp while searching for a weapons cache. The Master Chief discovers that the Covenant have accidentally released the Flood. Keyes' squad is turned into soldiers for the parasite, while Keyes is interrogated by the Flood in an attempt to learn the location of Earth and ultimately assimilated. The emergence of the Flood prompts Halo's caretaker artificial intelligence 343 Guilty Spark to enlist the help of the Master Chief in activating Halo's defenses and preventing a Flood outbreak. When Master Chief learns that activating Halo would instead wipe the galaxy of sentient life to prevent the Flood's spread, he and Cortana detonate the human ship Pillar of Autumn's engines, destroying the ring and preventing the Flood from escaping.

The Flood returns in Halo 2 (2004), appearing on another Halo ring called "Delta Halo". The Flood on Delta Halo is led by the Gravemind, a massive Flood intelligence that dwells in the bowels of the ring. Gravemind brings together the Master Chief and the Covenant holy warrior known as the Arbiter and tasks them with stopping the Covenant leadership from activating the ring. In the meantime, Gravemind infests the human ship In Amber Clad and crashes it into the Covenant space station of High Charity. Once there, the Flood sweeps through the city, and the Gravemind captures Cortana. As the Flood spreads, the Covenant form a blockade in an effort to prevent the parasite from leaving its prison.[19]

The Flood reappears in the Halo 3 mission "Floodgate", on board a damaged ship that escapes the quarantine around Delta Halo. While the infestation of Earth is prevented, Master Chief and Arbiter form a tenuous alliance with the Flood to stop the activation of all the Halo rings at the Forerunner installation known as the Ark. Once the threat is stopped, the Gravemind turns on them. The Master Chief fights his way to the center of High Charity, freeing Cortana and destroying the city, but Gravemind attempts to rebuild itself on a Halo under construction at the Ark. Realizing that activating the ring will destroy only the local Flood infestation due to the Ark's location outside of the Milky Way, the Master Chief, Arbiter, and Cortana proceed to Halo's control room, activate the ring, and escape. The Gravemind warns them that his defeat will only delay the Flood, not stop it.

The Flood also makes an appearance in the video game spinoffs Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2. In Halo Wars, they are encountered infesting a Forerunner installation and ultimately annihilated by the actions of the humans ship Spirit of Fire's crew. In the Halo Wars 2 expansion "Awakening the Nightmare", the surviving Flood were accidentally released by the Banished while salvaging the wreck of High Charity. The Flood also serves as an enemy in the game's cooperative "Firefight" mode.[20] The Flood also appear in cooperative play in Halo: Spartan Assault.[21]

With Halo 3, the developers added a multiplayer gametype called "Infection", a last man standing mode based on a fan-created scenario where human players defend against Flood-infected players, with each slain human adding to the infected's ranks.[22][23] The game mode returned in Halo: Reach (2010),[24]Halo 4 (2012), renamed "Flood",[25]The Master Chief Collection (2014), and Halo 5.[24][26]

Other appearances[edit]

The 2006 anthology The Halo Graphic Novel expands upon the Flood's release during the events of Halo: Combat Evolved in two stories, Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor and "Breaking Quarantine". Whereas the Flood is only hinted at being intelligent in the game, the Halo Graphic Novel shows the Flood has a hive mind, assimilating the knowledge of their hosts rapidly. Lee Hammock, writer of The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor, described the basis of the story as a way to showcase the true danger of the Flood as an intelligent menace, rather than something the player encounters and shoots. Hammock also stated that the story would prove the intelligent nature of the Flood, and "hopefully euthanize the idea that they are just space zombies".[27] The threat of the Flood is also highlighted in a short story from the Halo Evolutions anthology, "The Mona Lisa," which was later adapted into a motion comic.[28]

The Flood also features heavily in Greg Bear's trilogy of novels, the Forerunner Saga, which takes place thousands of years before the events of the main games. The novel Halo: Silentium reveals that the Flood is what remains of the Precursors, an ancient race that was said to accelerate the evolution of a species and shape galaxies. The Forerunners overthrew the Precursors; on the verge of extinction, some Precursors reduced themselves to a biological powder that would regenerate into their past selves. Time rendered the powder defective, and it became mutagenic, reacting with other living organisms to produce what would eventually mutate into the Flood. The Flood would threaten ancient humanity and then the Forerunners, who ultimately build and activate the Halo Array to stop the parasite's spread.[29]


This frog infected by Ribeiroia demonstrates limb mutations similar to Flood combat forms.

The name of the Flood is one of many names taken from religious stories in the Halo franchise. The Flood and especially the Gravemind serve as demonic or satanic figures,[30] and the Master Chief's descent into the bowels of Halo to encounter the Flood can be likened to a journey to hell.[31] Academic P.C. Paulissen notes that the name 'Flood' suggests a reference to the biblical deluge, with the Forerunner Ark being shelter from the Flood's destructive and cleansing power akin to the Bible.[30]

The lifecycle and parasitic nature of the Flood has similarities to the behaviors of real-world parasites. The Flood's induced physiological changes recall the modified eyestalks of hosts infected by Leucochloridium paradoxum, or malformed limbs of Ribeiroia-infected amphibians. The Flood's habit of altering its surroundings has parallels to the parasitoid wasp Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga's use of spider's webs for protection.[32]

Cultural impact[edit]


The Flood have been featured in four series of Haloaction figures, produced by Joyride Studios. For Halo: Combat Evolved, Joyride produced a Carrier Form and Infection form bundle.[33]Halo 2's series contains both a human combat form and infection form (bundled with the Master Chief), which were released after the video game.[34] Armchair Empire's review of the figure expressed the sentiment that Joyride's models could not totally capture the ghoulishness texture and detail of the Flood.[34]McFarlane Toys produced action figures for Halo 3, and the third released series featured a human combat form.[35] Other merchandise includes an Xbox 360 Avatar prop,[28] and a limited edition silver-plated statue of Master Chief fighting a Flood form.[36]

Critical reception[edit]

The surprise appearance of the Flood during Halo: Combat Evolved was seen as an important plot twist[37] and a scary moment even after repeat playthroughs of the game.[38]Gamasutra, writing about video game plots, gives the example of the Flood not only as an important reversal to the story of Halo, but an example of how games are made more interesting by twists in the plot.[39]Rolling Stone and Kotaku credited the appearance of the Flood as an excellent way the game kept players on their toes, forcing them to adjust their strategies; Rolling Stone called the twist as shocking "as if, several levels into a game of Pac-Man, the dots suddenly began to attack you".[40][41]

Despite the positive acclaim in Halo, the response to the presence of the Flood in Halo 2 and Halo 3 was mixed. A panel of online reviewers noted that the Flood appeared in Halo 2 for no obvious reasons, and was simply described as "aggravating" to play against.[42] Similarly, reviewers including Victor Godinez of The Dallas Morning News felt that the Flood was too derivative of other sci-fi stereotypes, and functioned as "space zombies".[42][43] Daniel Weissenberger of noted in his review of Halo 3 that even though the Flood looked better than ever, its single strategy of rushing the player proved tedious over time.[44]GamesRadar's Charlie Barratt listed the Flood as the worst part of Halo, contrasting what he considered fun, vibrant and open levels before the Flood's appearance with confined spaces and predictable enemies.[45]

The Flood has been recognized as one of the greatest game villains, making lists of greatest villains and enemies from Wizard Magazine,[46] Game Daily,[47]PC World,[48] and Electronic Gaming Monthly.[49]MTV considered Flood possession in Halo 3 as a "great gaming moment" of 2007,[50] stating that "with the power of the Xbox 360's graphics, this reanimation comes to vivid, distressing life, more memorably than it had in the earlier games. Here are the zombies of gaming doing what they do worst. [...] It's grisly and unforgettable."[50]IGN listed the Flood as the 45th best video game villain, describing it as one of the most hated video game villains.[51]


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Free Games Like Halo Archives

Love Playing ‘Halo Wars 2’? Try These 5 Games Out for Size

The world of real-time strategy in video games can be an intimidating and challenging one to step into for the first time, often built with endless layers of strategic depth revolving around commanding the units at your disposal. Learning how to properly maneuver your available troops across the battlefield can prove difficult since each move can mean their doom, while expanding your own structures to create more advanced units requires a hefty amount of resource management to pull off without casualties. Back in 2009, Halo Wars successfully managed to bring real-time strategy to consoles with a simple interface and user-friendly control system, and with Halo Wars 2 the same level of accessibility has remained, creating a more comfortable starting point for players interested in the genre. But once you’ve spent enough time mastering the UNSC and Banished and are looking for a few more RTS experiences to jump into, here are some of our favorites.

Star Wars: Empire at War

Released back in 2006, Star Wars: Empire at War is one of the most accessible real-time strategy titles available for gamers on the PC. Even though it doesn’t directly follow the events of the films, Empire at War places you in the middle of the galactic conflict between the Empire and Rebels, allowing you to control heroes like Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi as well as gigantic fleets of Imperial Star Destroyers. Although online multiplayer has since been removed from the game following the shutdown of GameSpy’s servers, you’ll have access to a story-based single player campaign, the infamous Galactic Conquest mode, and the traditional Skirmish engagements with a host of different maps and locations known throughout the Star Wars universe which will keep you locked in battle for days on end.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Originally available on the PC before being ported over to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 is almost identical to Halo Wars 2 in terms of gameplay with a few added levels of depth for more experienced players to work through. Complete with a fully cooperative campaign and three main factions to choose from, Red Alert 3 is filled with unique units heavily influenced by the alternate reality from World War II where the Allies ended up fighting the Soviet Union, sparking a global conflict between the major factions at the heart of the game’s campaign. While it may seem a bit simple to learn for players looking for a challenging experience with more depth, it’s well-respected stepping stone for players hoping to move into something following their time with Halo Wars 2.

Wargame: Red Dragon

Unlike both Command & Conquer and Empire at War, Wargame: Red Dragon is a title built for players looking for a more realistic experience centered on modern military forces from over 21 countries around the world. Viewed entirely from a top-down perspective akin to something like Risk, Wargame: Red Dragon puts you in command of a set of units which you can deploy on the battlefield throughout each match. Much like Blitz in Halo Wars 2, a deck of unit cards you build before every match determines the units you carry into battle, meaning that taking the time to properly assemble a set of troops who support a specific strategy is key to victory. While base building and territory control aren’t a part of Red Dragon, keeping your units well-stocked with ammunition and fuel is a necessary to success, adding a detailed layer of strategic management to an otherwise action-oriented RTS experience.

Dawn of War II

If you’re looking for a streamlined RTS experience which revolves entirely around controlling your forces on the battlefield, Dawn of War II is one of the best titles available for PC to dive straight into. To make the game more action-oriented like Company of Heroes, Relic Entertainment completely removed the need to build your own bases and manage your control over the map with passive structures in favor of an active, unit-focused system which instills a greater emphasis on strategic positioning. Using cover and maintaining your units throughout a difficult battle may prove more challenging, but with every challenge you overcome your units will become more effective in combat the next time around. Unlike most titles which instill the strategy of throwing units at your opponents, Dawn of War II inspires you to keep them alive, which makes for a much more engaging experience filled with personality and loyalty when compared to Halo Wars 2.

StarCraft II

Developed and released by Blizzard Entertainment back in July of 2010, StarCraft II has become the quintessential real-time strategy experience of this generation for gamers interested in commanding legions of military units across dozens of battlefields. Set four years after the original StarCraft, StarCraft II follows the story of Jim Raynor as he leads a sect of forces against the Terran Dominion with a cast of familiar characters seen across the entire Blizzard universe. Since the game launched, it has received two major expansion packs — Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void — which have continued the game’s stellar single player campaign and introduced hordes of new units while balancing out those available in the base game. While it may be intimidating to first step foot into due to the massive community behind it, StarCraft II is one of the most respected real-time strategy games of all time and one which doesn’t disappoint regardless of the gameplay mode you are most interested in.

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