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ARTICLE

Top 7 Console Strategy Games

In this week's top 7, we take a look back at some of the best strategy games to make it over to console.

Strategy games have long been at home on the PC. The mouse and keyboard offer the optimum way of marshaling armies and directing navies and artillery around large and detailed campaign maps and battlefields.

But on console the genre has a much more checkered history, with many developers struggling to find the balance between control and accessibility that allows them to reach the mainstream audiences on offer. But not all strategy games fail to deliver on the most popular stage. With Xcom: Enemy Unknown just around the corner, we take a look at seven games that made the jump over to console and still managed to thrive and survive.

Xcom: Enemy Unknown (PS1)

Taking on the alien threat in isometric turn-based combat.

The original (and many would say best) game in the series. Whilst we await the verdict on the Firaxis crafted remake, we'll have to make do with memories of the Playstation port of the original. Whilst action in the Geoscape is real-time, combat in the Battlescape was entirely turn-based, and it was a combination that resonated strongly with gamers.

It was a title that attracted a cult following, as well as a slew of sequels. But it was the original that gamers held dear to their hearts. Like the imminent remake, the game focuses on the war between humanity and aggressive aliens trying to stick their oar in where it isn't wanted.

Absolutely nothing like the aliens that feature in the game, but an iconic image nonetheless.

The 1995 port was well received on console, especially considering the upgrade to the PS1's CD technology meant the old midi tunes could replaced. Ear drums everywhere were greatly pleased by this.

Civ Revolution (Xbox 360/PS3)

Sid Meier's Civilization series has been a mainstay on the PC for many years now. There's a strong and dedicated community of gamers supporting each iteration of the game that tasks you with nurturing your fledgling society into a dominating empire.

Civ Rev is playful and fun, yet deep as the ocean.

Civ Revolution is a fine addition to the series, and what it lacks in depth it makes up for in personality. The graphics are playful, and bely the serious nature of the gameplay. Importantly, the game plays really well on a console controller.

There are plenty of different civilisations to play as, and each has its owns strengths and weaknesses. Diplomacy and military strength are used in equal measure as players seek to expand and strengthen their empire. It's not the complete Civ experience, but not everybody is looking for that, and Revolution caters admirably for the people seeking a thought provoking challenge from the comfort of their sofa.

He might be smiling in this picture, but there's no pain more exquisite than being nuked by Gandhi.

Halo Wars (Xbox 360)

Nobody was really sure that Halo Wars would work. The different influences were so disparate, and from the offset it didn't seem like a natural fit. Luckily, first thoughts proved inaccurate: Halo Wars is a decent game.

It's pure real-time strategy and it's set in the Halo universe (years before the events depicted Halo: Combat Evolved). A UNSC ship races Covenant forces to find an ancient artifact that could win the war. It's a well delivered campaign, and it just about fits into the Halo timeline. But the multiplayer games are where the game showed its true colours.

Halo Wars was made by Ensemble Studios, a team recently decommissioned by Microsoft, and it was recently revealed that Bungie didn't take too kindly to having another team working on their franchise. We didn't mind, as Ensemble made a really solid game, populated by iconic units and explosive action. Perhaps the game's biggest success was in bringing a whole bunch of Halo fans to the strategy genre, many of whom hadn't played anything like it before then (or since, I would wager).

Bungie didn't like it, but we thought Halo Wars was a great console RTS.
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