Looking for a substitute to Age of Empires? Look no further! In this article we have listed some of the best games that are very similar to Age of Empires. Games that include many or all of the features that have made Age of Empires such a beloved franchise. So, what defines an Age of Empires game? Four things:
- Advancing through ages that make you unlock new things (stone age, bronze age, iron age, etc.).
- Gathering of various resources required to progress (wood chopping, gold mining, fishing, etc.).
- Competing against one or several opponents and managing units in a live environment.
- Quality, bug-free and balanced gameplay.
The above is what we have taken into consideration when creating our top list of games that play like Age of Empires.
Top List of Age of Empires Like Games
Age of Mythology
|Release date:||2002 / 2014|
|Steam ranking:||9/10 (19,000+ reviews)|
|Steam price:||€27.99 (buy here)|
|Players online:||1300 / month (check current steam chart)|
|Campaign length:||16 hours (20 with extras)|
Created by the same studio who developed the original Age of Empires (Ensemble Studios), Age of Mythology is as close as you get to an Age of Empires game. It may be old, but if you haven’t played it, it’s definitely worth the money. Don’t worry about graphics. An extended edition was released in 2014 which improved its visuals.
When it comes to gameplay, Age of Mythology is basically Age of Empires with a new look. It revolves around mythology where you get to play as the Greek, Egyptian or Norse civilization. You advance through four ages, gather resources and create an army to destroy your opponent. Each civilization comes with a powerful god and as you reach new ages, you also unlock minor ones that come with additional abilities.
Empire Earth II
|GOG price:||€2.79 (buy here)|
|Players online:||30 / month|
|Campaign length:||16 hours (40 with extras)|
If you’re looking for a fantastic single player campaign and don’t mind graphics that are out of date, Empire Earth 2 is a bargain for any fan of Age of Empires. The two games are very similar to each other, both being historical RTS games.
In Empire Earth 2 you advance through 15 different epochs where you start at the stone stage of humanity and evolve past modern age into the future. You can watch your civilization grow from fighting with sticks to using advanced laser weapons.
There are 14 different civilizations to play as and military, economic and imperial technologies to explore that benefit your fighters, increase gathering rate of resources and much more. While it may be hard finding multiplayer games, you can enjoy three great campaigns that involve a total of 24 missions.
You must know that the game is more complex than Age of Empires with a ton of different hotkeys to keep track of. It also comes with a picture in picture feature that basically allows you to control two parts of the screen at the same time, further increasing the skill cap.
Rise of Nations
|Release date:||2003 / 2014|
|Steam ranking:||9/10 (8,000+ reviews)|
|Steam price:||€19.99 (buy here)|
|Players online:||600 / month (check current steam chart)|
|Campaign length:||18 hours (40 with extras)|
Yet another game that has all of the core concepts of Age of Empires is Rise of Nations. It’s an old game that got itself a make-over in an updated 2014 release. The game features eight different ages where you start at the ancient age of 800 Before Christ and finally end up at the information age at modern times.
There are 6 types of resources to gather and more than 200 different units spread across 18 different nations which you can play as. Additionally, 14 wonders of the world can be built, each giving you special benefits, such as cheaper units and faster resource gathering.
Like Age of Empires, the goal is to manage your resources, train units and grow stronger to defeat your opponent. However, what makes Rise of Nations unique is its territory system. This only allows you to construct buildings within your national borders. These borders can in turn be expanded by building cities and researching, or by overtaking enemy territories.
While the game can be played as a full RTS, you must know that the single player campaign itself is a combination of turn based and real time strategy. It is similar to the board game Rizk, but with battles taking place in real time.
Dawn of Man
|Steam ranking:||9/10 (11,000+ reviews)|
|Steam price:||€20.99 (buy here)|
|Players online:||500 / month (check current steam chart)|
|Campaign length:||15 hours (23 with extras)|
Dawn of Man isn’t your typical Age of Empires game as it is missing the destroy your enemy component. However, if you’re a fan of the age advancement in the franchise, you may want to check it out. Dawn of Man kind of plays like a combination of a city builder, Sims and Age of Empires.
You take on challenges where you have to fight for survival. It is not easy. People can die from starvation, diseases and cold. If you don’t manage the feelings of your workers, failure is also inevitable. It’s quite a deep game where you have to adapt to seasons and weather conditions.
In terms of age progression, you start with nothing and have to rely on hunting and gathering. You then progress to a period of farming and eventually end up in the metal ages where mining of minerals and smithing is an option.
The game comes with three modes: freeplay, challenges and community scenarios. The latter keeps the game alive as people create and share their own unique challenges for players to engage in.
|Price:||free to play (download here)|
0 A.D is a project started by hardcore Age of Empire fans and plays very similar to this franchise. It’s quite a unique game as it is open-source, meaning that anyone can modify it. While it has been in Alpha phase for more than a decade, it’s completely free to play and may very well be worth checking out. Many fans of Age of Empires love the game and the community is quite stable.
Developed by Wildfire Games, 0 A.D is a historical RTS taking place from 500 Before Christ to 500 after. It comes with 12 different civilizations to play as. Progression is not the same as in Age of Empires as the game is not based on ages. Instead, you start at a village phase and then progress to a town phase and lastly a city phase. Advancing does of course come with new units to train and buildings to construct.
Other Age of Empires Like Games
While the games that we have listed above are the most similar ones to Age of Empires, there are many great and competitive RTS games that you may want to check out as well. Some of these include: