Plenty of gamers still look with rose-colored glasses at Age Of Empires 2 as the pinnacle of the series. And yeah, it had a lot going for it back in the day. Hell, the game's been re-released twice, with the latest Definitive Edition bringing brand-new campaigns and civs to the game.
For something a little different, though, I recommend hitting up the sequel if you haven't played it yet or just want a historical game in the RTS genre.
The time periods and locations on display here aren't often explored in the real-time strategy genre, skipping around from Spanish knights in the 16th Century to various First Nations conflicts, the American Revolution, and even the Indian Rebellion in the 1850s.
That's not to mention several new series' mechanics make AoE 3 well-worth checking out.