Is not age of empires 3 the best game of the saga?

When I was a big addicted fan of age 2 I used to hate company of heroes and age of empires 3.
My brothers usually play those games and I was happy with my AoE 2. They insisted on me playing those games, I had to refuse, I thought myself ´´what a lame game and economy, those games really suck´´-
Then my brother bought me CoH. I said arggh whatever, will give it a try just because it’s free… Man, that game was incredibly epic! Then I said to myself -holy crap, maybe I should give a try to AoE 3…
Guys, best decision ever! what an insane game, with way more possibilities and strategies than AoE 2.
To be honest at this point I consider it the best RTS of all time. The infinite strategy paths and the incredible polished animations make this game a germ! I have not even touched AoE 2 in years and became an AoE 3 addict since then.
The explosions, the siege operators, the celebrations, the destruction effects, the fidelity of the units to reality, the asymmetry of the civs, the cannons, the detailed wonderful spectacular ships, man why is this game so underrated?

And one more question, why stick AoE 4 to AoE 2 when AoE 3 is superior to AoE 2 in all meanings!?
Yeah I understand fan base and blah blah but come on, do they want an AoE 2 fan base playing it or a whole new fan base buying it? because if it was the case, AoE 3 has incredible graphics, modern economy options and improvements and insane physics and effects…

However, I crazy love AoE 3, it is just an incredible game that needs some love and recognition and whoever is playing AoE 2 should give it a try.

AoM is underrated too, but its understable, those graphics are a pain for the eyes. Cant wait to play AoM 2 with the engine of AoE 4.


No, the best is Age of Empires 2.


AoE3 is not concidered the best AoE-game by the general consensus because it’s simply not a “true AoE-game”. They deviated too much from the core identity and copied stuff that didn’t fit in the franchise. For instance, introduction of homecities was a thing that many people just didn’t enjoy. Additionally, people don’t like the timeframe as much as the middle ages.

I’ve played AoE3 for several years(not really on high level tho), but for me most civs are rather one-dimensional in what they do. Britons → gonna boom for obv reasons, japanese → gonna spam ashigaru, natives → try a rush or lose the game, french → go cav. Maybe things changed since DE, but for me it was always mostly clear what the civs will do in certain matchups.
It is naturally designed with assymetry that civs tend towards a certain playstyle.

This is a bold statement. I prefer AoE2, but there are certain areas where AoE3 does things slightly better.

In my opinion these are some major things that make AoE2 just superior (just core gameplay):

  • better micromanagment for units (e.g. you can dodge arrows, but not musket shots, onagers micro vs cannon micro, no snare effect)
  • more complex eco (manual farm management, resource drop off buildings, limited gold resources)
  • slower pace in early game (it just feels like you’re building an empire)
  • 4 instead of 5 ages
  • clearer counter system

Almost all aoe2 civs can produce masses of skirmishers and spearmen which essentially delete everything and you don’t even need gold for that, so don’t know about complex economics. If that’s not unidimensional, i don’t know what is.

Also, counter system is trash, you can kill melee cav with archers without even losing an archer. Lol.


AoE3 provides me more fun and variety in MP than AoE2 now. It think this is caused by more diversity among civs while in AoE2 all civs are more or less the same (in comparison to AoM or AoE3).

Currently I play 3 more frequently than 2 and I see 3 more polished in current state than 2 (which has bad pathfinding, idle soldiers in battles… omg how is that possible, in general 2 seems to me as an archer based game now…)

But honestly, 2 has bigger soul for me than 3 :slight_smile: I grew up with 2, I spent thousands of hours in scenario creating and playing campaigns :slight_smile:


To be fair, there were only AoE1, 2 and AoM at that point. It’s not like it was that huge franchise with 10+ games with similar design and they decided to do something new for the eleventh game.

Ok… but would you really say that it’s different for AoE2?
You’ll have a hard time selling me that someone playing Britons in AoE2 will go with infantry, archers or knight strategies nearly at the same ratio as other civs in high level game.

That is indeed your opinion, as basically everything is pretty easily debatable. (4 ages is better than 5, really? How could anyone prove that anyway…)

If your definition of complexity is having to constantly reset your drop points (closer lumber camps) and find more ressources on the map, then sure, AoE2 is more complex.

If your definitions is on options, than AoE3 is by far superior.
How should I get gold now:

  • Find new mines?
  • Use wood to build an estate?
  • Send crates?
  • Develop a Trade route and put it on gold?
  • Age up and get a Factory?

At the end of the day, there is nothing more true than this: strictly speaking, there is no superior game, only one that people enjoy more than another.

As a Treaty player, I enjoy Late Game fights and this is a point where AoE3 is strictly superior.
AoE2 is totally unbalanced for that kind of game.
I remember building my Berber army of mixed cavalry and camel archers being melted by 100 Khmers scorpions. The only play that could have saved me was a transition to Onagres , but as you know, they are extremely slow to create and would have required nearly as many to have a chance :stuck_out_tongue:


Speaking of counter system, ranged units are totally broken in aoe2, simply because cavalry moves way too slowly.


And thats why we see skirms / spearmen in teamgames? You can counter this comp really cost effectivly with onagers. There’s a reason why non gold units are called “trash” - you win by mass, not by class.

On equal numbers and without choke points cav melt archers. I’d assume you mean 20 archers kill 5 cav? Which is kinda expected.

To be fair, when the series creator thinks that it was not an age game, than it’s not an age game. I spent my childhood playing AoE3 - but it’s not a true successor for the franchise.

This might be true for some cases, however when you know that enemy goes for hard counter skirms you can atleast mix in some knights. Even if those knights are not the best, but the opportunity to atleast have a counter unit available to nearly every civ is just good.

Especially when games don’t go to imperial age it rly doesnt matter if you don’t have all available upgrades.

  • having a 4th resource - stone (not counting exp in AoE3)
  • generally having to micro more vills
  • relics

AoE2 is superior, however this doesnt mean that AoE3 sucks. Most people prefer AoE2 for a reason, it might not be better for you personally, however overall if people rank these games AoE2 has the clear advantage. The number of active players speaks for itself.

Aren’t there strictly op civs in AoE3 treaty(japanese, french, russian)? I can’t remember anyone playing nativs or spanish/otto/ports and the spamming wall meta wasn’t really something i enjoyed. I don’t think that you should balance around treaty/4v4 in general if this influences 1v1 balance too much.


Which creator said it isn’t an age game?

Bruce Shelley, founder of ensemble and creator of the aoe series.


I wonder if he feels the same now, as that interview was 10 years ago. I know that Sandy Petersen, one of the designers for AoE2 and AoE3 does not feel the same at all.


Well AoE3 didn’t rly change, so why should he think differntly about it?


Well, considering he seems to think that “everyone” on the team didn’t think it was an “age” game. Obviously Sandy Petersen changed his mind in the intervening years. He has been quoted as saying he thinks AoE3 is the best of the series.


Got any source on that? Did he talked about this in a video?

He starts talking about it at around an hour and fifteen minutes.


To quote for the lazzy dudes :

"from my point of view, age of empire 3 is the best age of empire that was ever done"



The xp + deck system is a way better mecanic than just adding a 4th ressources on the map.
And it add a lot of strategy + skill in the gameplay.

On AOE3 you use to micro your vills way more because most of the players go to herd far away on the map instead of going mills.

  • fight starts very early, and you got raid in few minutes.

For me, there’s no superior games. If AOE3 went out before AO2, everybody would consider it as the best.

That’s just nostalgia speaking.


Thats not nostalgia speaking, its AoE2 DE speaking. Which has a much larger playerbase compared to 3DE.


From my perspective, AoE2 and AoE3 has its own advantages and disadvantages:



  • As others mentioned, there is a clear counter system.

  • Complex micromanagement and macromanagement which adds depth to the game.

  • Similar kinds of tech tree except unique unit which makes the game easier to be balanced. (Except 2 or 3 top civs like Mayans, Chinese)

  • No free resource buildings (Except the Feitoria which everyone hates)

  • No home city cards which can suddenly snowball the game (Except stuff like Flemish Revolution which doesn’t belong to the game). Which also makes scouting more important.

  • Due to the above points, we have tournaments with better prizepools than AoE3.


  • As a person who doesn’t have much time to play for some years, I find the game slow paced. As the units are trained more slowly when compared to AoE3, opponent can wall and stall. Hopefully, new Empire Wars will overcome that.

  • The game revolves around knights and crossbow meta, which gets boring quickly.

  • Easy to begin, but harder to master. Which might take years for one to be at a top level.



  • Faster paced game.

  • Walls are not so strong as it is in AoE2, still quite strong in late game which is fine.

  • The game revolves around more army and rush (in Supremacy) which makes it quite fun to play.

  • New mechanics like finding treasures, building trade posts, gathering hunt throughout the map which rewards map control compared to turtling in AoE2.

  • Lots of cool and separate art style and unit type for every civilizations.


  • Owing to the different unit type and tech tree, the game becomes imbalanced.

  • Home city cards makes the game faster paced but at the cost of adding imbalance.

  • Too many free resource buildings : Factory, Bank, Shrine, Torp. This just makes the game cringy when I see them as it becomes so annoying that one civ gets an unraidable eco (villagers) and others’ eco can be easily raided.

  • Some realism added which makes it more fun from being a casual perspective but just kills competitive play. Example, Lakota and all other native civs just dies in Imperial Age.

To summarize, I find both games fascinating but I think AoE3 has to be balanced well for competitive scene. AoE2 has been balanced quite well (as it is easier to balance similar tech tree units)


That’s where you’re wrong.

AOE3 is invisible, until DE the game never had any adds, last DLC was in 2007, there was no “HD edition”, no big tournaments. Fan AOE page weren’t talking about it.

And still, the game still alive. Players plays it cause it’s a great game. Idk wow people can be that stubborn to say one game is superior to another, it make no sens cause that’s just not objectiv.

You could compare the playerbase only if there was just the 1999 AOE2 and the 2005 AOE3. Otherwise it make no sens. It’s like saying that singer you see everywhere on adds and on tv is better that the independant one, even if he sings better. just because the commercial one sells more.