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Game Features: Our All-Time Top Picks for Military Games

Military Games

Game Features: Our All-Time Top Picks for Military Games

Nobody truly knows what the battlefield of the future will look like, but COD: Advanced Warfare will aim to provide gamers with one possibility.

Below is our list of current list of favorite Military Games. Have any you'd want to add? Let us know in the comments below!

Company of Heroes

by Patrick Feng

Although military real-time strategy games have been in existence for more than two decades with several solid titles, Relic Entertainment’s game Company of Heroes sticks out as one that balances the basic elements of real-time strategy with those of an action game. Taking place during the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944 and the months after, Company of Heroes features an extensive single player campaign told from the perspective of the American soldiers of the 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division and the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, which allows you to utilize an array of units including paratroopers, rangers, infantrymen, engineers, and iconic armored vehicles such as the M4 Sherman and M26 Pershing. Additionally, the game also allows players to utilize off-map support such as artillery support, aerial recon and airstrikes, and supply drops.

What makes the gameplay unique to previous real-time strategy games is the level of destructiveness that occurs in the game. The environments throughout the game are not impervious to damage from bombs and bullets. Company of Heroes is also notable for its innovative combat mechanics, which features realistic elements of tactical combat such as taking cover, suppressing enemy soldiers, as well as weapons accuracy and morale of units. It is without a doubt, Company of Heroes has changed the face of the real-time strategy genre.

The TrueSight system in Company of Heroes 2 provides a more realistic representation of battle space awareness and a soldier’s perception on the battlefield.

Rome: Total War

by Patrick Feng

Probably one of the most memorable real-time strategy games in recent memory, Rome: Total War has changed the way we look and play military strategy centric games. Starting from the early days of the Roman Republic to the year 14 AD and the dawn of the Pax Romana, players are able to choose from three Roman factions: the Julii, Brutii, and Scipii. The overall objective is to outlast and overcome the other two families and ultimately becoming master of Rome. Other factions are also available once unlocked from completing a campaign. Although the third title of the Total War series, Rome was able to provide a nice balance between managing economics, diplomacy, and subterfuge, and military conquest.

The most notable feature of the game is the large scale 3D battle simulation. After triggering a battle on the grand campaign strategic map, the game takes players to a detailed 3D tactical battlefield map, complete with the local topography and comprised of unit formations from your army composition, featuring hundreds to thousands of soldiers. If players are laying siege to a city, players are able to assault enemy defenses on the 3D battlefield. Coincidentally, with the release of the epic movie Gladiator (especially, the opening battle scene), Rome gives you the opportunity to reenact some of the most epic battles in the ancient world as well as letting players play in some of the most iconic battles in Greco-Roman military history.

The Creative Assembly has enjoyed plenty of acclaim over the years for its Rome: Total War strategy series, and the Alexander expansion finally made its way to Mac courtesy of developer Feral Interactive’s port

Call of Duty

by Patrick Feng

World War II first-person shooters have been around for many years, but in 2003 developer Infinity Ward took the lead and set a new standard for future games in the genre with the release of Call of Duty. Call of Duty was revolutionary in that it featured three single-player campaign storylines told from the perspectives of American, British, and Soviet soldiers.

The game features several crucial battles in World War II. As the Americans, players step into the role of a soldier of the 101st Airborne Division during the invasion of Normandy and ending with the Battle of the Bulge. As the British, players take part in the invasion of Normandy as a British paratrooper during the battle of Pegasus Bridge, and then as an SAS commando. The Soviet mission takes players to the brutal Eastern Front during the battle of Stalingrad. Taking some of its influence from the movie Enemy at the Gates, players play as a Soviet rifleman turned sniper during the first few missions, but later puts players at the forefront of the Soviet offensive to Berlin, ending at the rooftop of the Reichstag. Call of Duty was unusual in that throughout the single-player campaign, the player is joined by AI allies from mission to mission, emphasizing the importance of the unit and the notion that the war was won by groups of men rather than an individual hero, a formula that continues to be emulated by other games since.

Call of Duty: Ghosts does not scream realism, but simulated real world tactics can be found in both the campaign and multiplayer modes.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

by Brian Belko

This is far and away my favorite military game. Released in 2010 by Dice Games, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (BFBC2) is a first-person shooter that is a direct sequel to the original Bad Company. Although the single-player campaign is an absolute can’t-miss, the multiplayer is what made me become so enamored. With over 400 hours of play time put into the various multiplayer types, I have experienced just about everything this game has to offer.

Instead of your typical lone wolf, run-and-gun type of online shooter, BFBC2 is a squad-based game. Working together with your squad and with your team as a whole is the only real way to find victory in an online match. Points are awarded for tasks that are successfully completed and not simply for enemy kills. Squad leaders can issue orders to their squad-mates, which offer additional points for those who want to follow orders.

Squad-mates can also heal each other, revive each other, supply others with more ammo, and spot enemy units for one another. It is this close-knit type of teamwork that made me initially fall in love with the online multiplayer that BFBC2 offers. It is truly unlike any other multiplayer experience that I have had.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is also known for its impressive destructible environments and these only add to the realism of battles. No piece of cover is truly safe, adding to the intensity of every battle. There is nothing quite like leaping from the second floor of a building as it comes crashing down around you only to be thrust right back into battle before even hitting the ground.

Despite the fact that several newer versions of Battlefield have since been released after this game, I still find myself firing up Bad Company 2, jumping into a random squad, and thoroughly enjoying myself in the game. It will be a sad day when there are no servers left supporting this wonderful game.

Battlefield Bad Company 2

Age of Empires II

by Brian Belko

I am not a big fan of RTS games. However, one still manages to find its way into my top three military games of all time. Age of Empires II is widely considered to be one of the best RTS games ever released and I couldn’t agree more.

The game allows you to play as the Byzantine Empire, Vikings, Mongols, Turks, and many others. The objective varies in each game mode, but the basic idea is to build a strong and well-rounded empire from the Dark Ages all the way up to the Imperial Age. A strong military is necessary, but attention must also be paid to other things, like economy. Each empire has strengths and weaknesses that must be taken into consideration during any campaign.

The military battling system is very well-done, and is generally a pleasure to use. The game allows for the ability to organize different troops and units into a variety of formations, each of which having their ups and downs. It is an incredibly fun experience to learn which formations work best and how to employ a successful military campaign.

There is nothing more satisfying than using superior strategic ideas to reign victorious over your enemies. With a recent HD remake of the game recently released, I know that I will be enjoying this game for many years to come.

Age of Empires 2

Medal of Honor: Rising Sun

by Brian Belko

To the chagrin of many gamers, local multiplayer is beginning to go the way of the dinosaur. Whereas once you had endless options of games to play and enjoy with your friends while sitting on the same couch, it is now getting harder and harder to find games supporting this feature. That truly is a shame as some of my best gaming memories, and I’m sure many of yours, occurred during local multiplayer gaming sessions with my friends.

When I think back, one game continually jumps to the forefront of my mind: Medal of Honor: Rising Sun. The game, the fifth to be released in the Medal of Honor series, was released by EA Games in November 2003. By and large, I can hardly even remember the game’s campaign, because it was the local multiplayer where it truly shined for me.

Although it also had an online multiplayer, this was back in the days where many people did not have the equipment or internet connection necessary for online gaming. Although it did gain a very loyal following, I spent all of my time in the local multiplayer with friends. The game allowed for the addition of AI bots to local multiplayer games, which gave you the freedom to be on the same team as your friends.

There were a variety of maps and each had their own flavor, but all gave a great look into a variety of WWII locales. It also allowed for heavy weapons customization, so you could use a wide range of the weapons used in WWII by various countries. Whether you wanted to run and gun with a Thompson submachine gun or crouch in the shadows with a WWII-era sniper rifle, Medal of Honor: Rising Sun gave you that opportunity. The battles were intense and the fun was non-stop.

I really hope that new game developers start to remember just how important local multiplayer is to a large portion of the gaming community, but even if they don’t, I will always have the intense battles my friends and I undertook in Medal of Honor: Rising Sun.

Medal of Honor: Rising Sun

Add Your Comments

3 Comments

  1. Charles Shannon
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    None of those “kiddie” computer shoot ’em ups hold a candle to the old Avalon Hill, SPI, WWW and XTR strategy games that actually make the players THINK instead of who has the quickest trigger finger.

  2. Mark
    Posted December 16, 2014 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I think Battlefront’s Combat Mission games both the older game engine and the new one pick up the Avalon Hill and SPI game mantle extremely well. In fact you can play Avalon Hill and SPI scenarios in any of them. They are the best tacticle WWII games out there.

  3. Jason R.
    Posted October 29, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Charles on this one, I was surprised not to see Panzer General 2 on here, or the Hearts of Iron series, Commander Europe at War, or even classics from the C-64 days like Sid Meier’s Crusade in Europe or Decision in the Desert. I still play even the old ones regularly and still enjoy them a lot, especially playing online opponents. I expected at least one game from Slitherine/Matrix Games I guess, they publish so much really engrossing stuff for military history buffs to really sink their teeth into.

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