Some of the most popular PC games involve strategy. Whether they involve building empires, conquering outer space or recreating historic battles, they will give many hours of gaming that is both fun and mentally challenging. Here are ten of the best strategy games for the PC.

Civilization

This is one of the most popular and influential strategy games of all time. Players build a global empire from pre-history to the future while making decisions on every aspect of life, including politics, warfare, trade and social interaction.

Company of Heroes

This military strategy game is based in Europe during the Second World War, at the time of the D-Day landings and the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France.

Age of Empires 2

Players can choose from a range of historic eras, including the Dark Ages and the Renaissance. After building a city and an army, they then fight other civilisations while advancing through time.

Total War: Shogun 2

Players assume the role of a warrior in feudal Japan who is fighting to become a Shogun. The game is historically detailed and includes making strategy decisions regarding foreign influences on the previously isolated country.

StarCraft

The game is set in outer space and players take the role of a mercenary who is given a series of missions, including battling aliens called Zerg. It is more than just a combat game, however, and requires many strategy decisions.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

This is another space-based strategy game, set in the future. Players need to defend Earth from an alien invasion by managing the paramilitary XCOM organization.

Total War: Rome II

Players control armies and navies over a period of 300 years in the Roman Empire. Battles and sieges involve thousands of soldiers and involve diplomacy and politics as well as fighting.

World in Conflict

This intriguing game is based in 1989 in an alternative universe in which the Soviet Union does not collapse but instead goes to war with the West and invades Europe and the USA. Players take the role of an officer in the US Army.

Rise of Nations

Another empire building game, Rise of Nations covers thousands of years with a choice of eight different eras and eighteen nations. Players battle to defend and expand their territory in a similar way to the board game, Risk.

Tropico

Tropico is a series of strategy games set on a Caribbean island, which includes more humour than many other games in the genre. Players take the role of the island’s ruler, El Presidente, whose aim is to stay in power.