Here's our list of the 10 best real time strategy (RTS) games to make your brain bleed and index finger itchy.

Real time strategy used to be the lord of all PC gaming. It spat on lesser games from its position on high. In fact, it let you spit on all of your minute digital enemies. With a deft finger you could command armies, empires, and even the entire earth. You got to lord over your little digital civilization with all the power of a god.

Once you pull yourself away from the immense battles, civilization building, and amazing amount of praise heaped on you by your little minions, you look outside and up into the sky to wonder if you're just a little sprite in someone else’s RTS game. Below is our list of the 10 best RTS games that kept you looking overhead for a cursor:

  • 10

    Empire Earth

    While most RTS games were fooling around with sprites, Empire Earth allowed you to feast your eyes on the wonderment of fully 3D graphics. You could dive straight into the fray and mosey around the battlefields as your little obedient avatars waged war on each other. Epic in size and scope, Empire Earth lets you battle your way through hundreds of years of world history as long as it involved awesome battles. It’s like a history class that skips the boring bits like the Renaissance.

  • 9

    Sins of a Solar Empire

    While most RTS games were concerning themselves with puny terrestrial squabbles, Sins of a Solar Empire showcased interstellar RTS action on a galactic scale. Removing the RTS genre from its land bound home and introducing a whole new plane of movement, this game pushed the boundaries of the RTS. With its innovative gameplay and impeccably styled graphics, Sins of a Solar Empire resonated with players who yearned to dominate the stars. It’s for those of us who thought NASA was a bit wussy. Seriously, the space shuttle didn’t even have laser guns. How was it supposed to fight off asteroids?

  • 8

    Medieval II: Total War

    Medieval Times were not only a place to get a whole turkey leg to gnaw on. In fact, it was a fascinating time of religious terror, famine, feudalism, plague, and, of course, battles. Medieval II: Total War lovingly recreates life in feudal Europe. This is the game for those of us that thought we were born in the wrong era. Its a game for people who thought that chain mail might be a better fashion choice than a geeky tee.

  • 7

    Age of Empires III

    Age of Empires has been the RTS franchise by which all other RTS franchises are judged. From spectacular graphics, attention to historical detail, and a classic control scheme, Age of Empires III is the culmination of every game preceding it. This time, you are thrust into the violent birth of the United States. You’re able to control the armies of the Revolutionary War and hopefully fulfill the dreams of the founding fathers. Make tea out of the nearest bay.

  • 6

    Total Annihilation

    Obviously the future is going to involve intergalactic war. Robots as well as man will be fighting for supremacy of the solar system. Total Annihilation was the first RTS to feature 3D graphics. You might think it looks a bit aged, but it still is an incredible game to play. It has some fantastic gameplay additions, such as the ability to stack commands for your units, that it adds whole new levels to the RTS experience. Its focus on stealth and reconnaissance rather than all out brute force make Total Annihilation something different in the RTS genre.

  • 5

    Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3

    Quite simply, Red Alert 3 is awesome. It is one of the most berserk, over-the-top, and enjoyable RTS games you’ll ever find. It features a story that would make any cold war sci-fi nut job whiz excitement down their leg. There’s time travel, live action cutscenes featuring famous actors, and the fantastic controls you know and love from the series. They battles get fast and frenetic while the witty banter between world powers entertains you to tears. Seriously, this game has Tim Curry with a bad Russian accent claiming to escape the capitalist pigs by hitching a ride on a rocket to space. Oh snap!

  • 4

    Warcraft III:Reign of Chaos

    Blizzard certainly knows how to make a game. World of Warcraft is the highlander of the MMORPG world, devouring the power of lesser games as they dare to challenge it. But before Warcraft has a world, there was simply Warcraft. The third incarnation of the fantasy RTS is by far the best. You have hoards of, well, The Hoard, at your command. As is usual in the fantasy world of Azeroth, a portal to a different land has opened and a marauding army of monsters has descended on the land. As is usual with any Blizzard title, the graphics are great, story is enjoyable, and gameplay is second to none. If you simply haven’t had enough of the World Of Warcraft, delving back into where Azeroth began will certainly not disappoint. At least you don’t have to grind boars in the forrest.

  • 3

    Empire: Total War

    The Total War series has been a staple of the RTS genre. Empire: Total War is the ultimate way to experience The Revolutionary War in every facet possible. This game occasionally feels more detailed than the actual events. With its turn-based action and bottomless level of strategy, Empire: Total War might actually make you feel like George Washington in command of the troops. The game even moves you off of the land and to the high seas to decimate the British warships off the coast. The naval battles are just a fraction of the elements that totally engross you into the world of Empire: Total War.

  • 2

    Company of Heroes

    Frequently RTS games delve deeply into history of the expansive worlds of our imagination for the epic battle fields that they portray. Company of Heroes is a different type of RTS. It brings the gritty realism of modern war closer than ever before in a strategy game. You’re tasked with trying to isolate the elements of the enemy’s supply line and expanding your own territory building by building. Company of Heroes is the most engrossing realistic strategy game that you’ll find. It captures the complexities of war and distills it into one of the most perfect RTS games ever.

  • 1

    Starcraft 2

    The best RTS game of all time should have solid controls, amazing graphics, fast paced action, and be addictively absorbing. Starcraft 2 has all of that and more! It has a fantastic story to drive the action, innovative online multiplayer, and it is set in a far off galaxy. SPACE! The gameplay is skill based and is utterly addictive to the point of people modding keyboards to gain a few millisecond edge in battle. People have died from playing this game for too long. Yeah, it is that good. So you should definitely give it a try. Just remember that moderation is the key. Game responsibly.