With the Steam Summer Sale in full swing, it can be hard to know which games you want to buy because they are good and which you want to buy because they're on sale. And when you're looking at a genre as over-saturated as the strategy genre, the distinction can become even more unclear.
There's a wide variety of strategy games on the market, from turn-based to real-time, historical to futuristic. Strategy games can go as far as the mind can imagine -- and there are some crazy games out there. That's why a lot of games in the genre are either amazing or absolutely horrible.
To help you avoid the horrible ones, here is a guide to the top five strategy games you should own by the end of this year's Steam Summer Sale.
Age of Empires II HD is a classic RTS game brought to modern times. The HD edition has upgraded graphics and comes with a multiplayer mode attached to a really good, loyal community.
If you have never played AoE, you truly are missing out and should pick it up. If you have, it's time you get back into it. The DLCs add more civilizations, new maps, and new campaigns. The HD version also features a better AI and mod support. At 75% off during the sale, it's a necessary buy.
Medieval II: Total War is another classic. It is arguably the best Total War game due to its modding capabilities and quirky bugs. This is a game you can play hundreds of times and never have the same experience.
If you're really into modding, this is a must-buy title. It also contains a really nice campaign for those who prefer story-based strategy games.
Speaking of story-based strategy games, the XCOM series is a turn-based RTS where you navigate your units through a campaign. Both the original XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2 are incredible. Earth has been taken over by an alien species and it us up to you to save it.
These games are known as some of the most unforgiving strategy games around -- but if you're looking for a challenge or just a relaxing turn by turn game, this is the series for you.
Stellaris is a grand strategy game and slow RTS with a system similar to Civilization 5. It takes place in space, and you send your fleets to conquer enemy galaxies and planets. You must also develop planets within the galaxies through settlements and space-based improvements. It has a slight learning curve, but it is definitely worth your time.
The Civilization series is known for being the quintessential turn-based strategy game. With the release of Civilization 6 earlier this year, predecessor Civilization 5 is a cheap buy. My friends and I have dumped hours into this game. It's really easy to pick up and play for hours on end.
That wraps up our list! What are your favorite strategy games on Steam? Any others that you think should be included in the Summer Sale this year? Let me know down in the comments!