Starcraft 2 fo sho'. Just go through the campaign, play some practice league games and you'll be fine.
Don't be afraid to play the practice league games. You'll probably lose the first match, but the level of play is seriously low there, so you'll be doing fine pretty quick. Just jump in and give it a go.
Halo Wars is pretty good for a console RTS, but it isn't necessarily a good "beginner" entry because it lacks many RTS standbys that you need to get used to. Base building is really streamlined, the economy is more or less autonomous, and unit control is kept to a minimum due to the restrictions of the controller.
If you've got a PC, I'd recommend Supreme Commander 2 as a pretty decent intro to RTS games. It's not nearly as hardcore as its predecessor but it still includes pretty much everything.
" Age of Empires 2 or Rise of Nations. "This (if you aren't interested in ladder games) even though I've only played Age of Empires 2 (my first rts) but I've heard really good things about Rise of Nations.
If you are interested in getting into competitive multiplayer I would suggest Starcraft 2 cause I hear that's the hip new thing with the kids these days.
I know it just came out, but Starcraft 2 has the best ease-into-it kind of missions so new players can really get going on it. Challenges are great, and there's a beginner's league so you can get used to playing online against people without anything really riding on it.
" @kous18 said:Yea, that confused the hell out of me when I saw it. If you want a real time strategy RPG, try Ogre Battle. As for something that will help you get into RTSes, Starcraft is pretty good at helping you get into the genre." the fire emblem games are pretty simple also "Not real time. "