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Five engaging RTS games to play after Minecraft Legends

Minecraft Legends launches today and provides a great jumping-on point for the real-time strategy game genre. Although RTS games can be quite intimidating to get into, after playing Minecraft Legends, you should have some familiarity with action-strategy RTS games that have the player command a group of minions, as well as more traditional titles in the genre centered around accruing resources to build up bases and take down your opponents.

Now that you know those core ideas, you should have a much more enjoyable experience exploring the rest of the genre through various other titles across PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox. So, once you’re done with Minecraft Legends, consider checking out one of these five games.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe

Pikmin 3 Deluxe gameplay.

If Minecraft Legends’ action-strategy setup that had you commanding units as an active character within the game’s world was most appealing to you, then you’ll want to check out other games within this RTS subgenre. The most notable series of this type is Pikmin, and the most readily available game in that series is Pikmin 3 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch. This game follows three astronaut captains stranded on an alien planet who must work with the titular carrot-like creatures that inhabit it to find enough food to save their own home planet.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe goes all-in on the unit-commanding aspect of Minecraft Legends, as you’ll be commanding multiple types of different Pikmin to collect things, fight enemies, and help you explore beautifully handcrafted levels. It has the cuteness, charm, and gameplay intuitiveness you’d expect from a Nintendo game and is a must-play for action-strategy RTS fans. Pikmin 3 Deluxe is available now exclusively on Nintendo Switch. You should also be on the lookout for Pikmin 4, which releases for Nintendo Switch on July 21.

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

After playing Minecraft Legends, you still have a ways to go before you’re ready for a hardcore competitive RTS or MOBA like StarCraft II or League of Legends. A better choice for a more involved RTS would be Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, a historical RTS game that blends base-building and village management with world exploration and combat against rival factions. All of those elements should sound quite familiar to Minecraft Legends players, but Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition presents them in a more traditional RTS format.

You’ll be playing as an omniscient overlord who can command everything rather than a player existing in the world. Age of Empires II is often considered the best entry in the series, and that remains true thank to how intuitive it is to learn, play, and have a lot of fun with, whether you’re playing on a PC or console. This Definitive Edition version of the game is the best version, with better visuals, smarter AI, and more factions than its predecessors. Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is available now on PC and Xbox Series X/S via Xbox Game Pass.

Masters of Anima

Combat in Masters of Anima.

Coming out in 2018 during a large gap between Pikmin 3 and any other action strategy games like it, Masters of Anima was a breath of fresh air for RTS games at the time of its release. It’s still quite enjoyable today, emphasizing combat, puzzles, and exploration as players try to accrue enough Anima to spawn Guardians, which are used in fights against the evil Zahr and the mighty golems under their control.

It’s not quite as polished as something like Pikmin 3 Deluxe, but it still hits all the right notes that an action strategy game needs to. Its fantasy world and atmosphere are also the closest to Minecraft Legends of anything on this list, so if you’re looking for another fantasy RTS game, Masters of Anima is a good next step after beating Minecraft Legends. Masters of Anima is available now for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 review

If you want to see what some other Microsoft franchises might look like in VR, then you’ll want to check out Halo Wars 2. It’s a more traditional, combat-focused RTS than Minecraft Legends. Still, it controls intuitively and manages to be approachable and not overwhelming. The game is based on another notable franchise, which might also make it even easier for RTS newcomers who happen to be Halo fans to ease themselves into it.

In fact, Halo Wars 2 even serves as a prequel to Halo Infinite and introduces The Banished, who would go on to be the main antagonists of Halo Infinite’s campaign. If you get some friends into the game as well, you can have a lot of fun playing with them online. Halo Wars 2 is available now for PC and Xbox One and is available through Xbox Game Pass. If you don’t have Xbox Game Pass, it also has a free demo that you can try.

Age of Empires IV

A fleet of ships set sail in Age of Empires IV

While Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition still looks and plays great, those looking for something more modern may prefer Age of Empires IV. It’s a lot of fun for the same reasons as its predecessor. Still, it adds to the experience with more realistic-looking graphics and some historical documentary content that adds to the educational experience that Age of Empires can also provide.

Age of Empires IV is available on PC through Xbox Game Pass right now, but Microsoft also plans to bring the game to Xbox Series X/S sometime later this year. Once you’ve played all of the RTS games we’ve named on this list, you should feel comfortable enough to play pretty much any action strategy or traditional RTS game out there. Have fun!

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Tomas Franzese
Gaming Staff Writer
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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