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Produced by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft Games, this was the first game to introduce the Age of Empires series. Set in Ancient Times, it was unusual for playing its game absolutely straight: buildings and units were realistic (within the context of a two dimensional RTS, that is) and based on historical fact. It introduced a number of innovations to RTS, the biggest being the idea of breaking the game up into researchable Ages to show a progression through history. It even came with its own historical encyclopedia. You also got to play with a dozen different civilisations, and with a random map generator that was, and still is, excellent.

Rise of Rome

An expansion pack to the original game.