Games Like Civilization Series

games like civilization
A benchmark in the 4x genre, the Civilization series has come a long way since its initial appearance in 1991. The games remain top sellers worldwide and always guarantee a solid experience. Regularly supported with DLCs and added content, the games have a reputation for scale that is mind-boggling.

Games like the Civilisation series have features that make the 4x genre what it is; immense depth and strategic choice. Perhaps they mightn’t have invented all the tropes but they certainly popularised many of them. The notion that there is more than one path to victory is still something that many modern games struggle with.

If negative reviews of the Civ VI put you off, try out Civ V until the teething issues and bugs are worked out. In time, it may prove to be one of the best 4x games of all time.

16 Best Games Similar To Civilization

Age of Empires Series
An aging series, Age of Empires remains one of the most popular strategy games of all time. The game trilogy has a huge selection of expansion packs and fan-based content that have kept the games thriving with a huge player base, even now more than twenty years after their initial release.

The games offer large-scale action in some of history’s most recognizable eras. The first game introduces players to the wars of ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, Egypt, and Rome. The second brings us forward to the middle ages and renaissance. Finally, the third game is set in the age of discovery, allowing for war to be waged on three different continents.

Age of Empires

Age of Empires preview

The purpose of Age of Empires is the development of the civilizations of Iron Age Empire. The player needs to work for that and collect the units and resources through the game. The players can choose between twelve civilizations and progress through the period of Stone Age, Tool Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age.

About the game:
Released: 15 Oct, 1997
Genre: Real Time, Strategy
Platforms: PC, Microsoft Mobile, Macintosh
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Publisher: Microsoft
Official Website: ageofempires.com
System Requirements:
  • OS: /
  • Processor: Pentium III or Athlon MP
  • Memory: 64 MB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce 6200 LE or Radeon Xpress 1200 Series
  • Storage: 128 MB

Metacritic Rating: 83

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 21 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 34 Hours
  • Completionist 42 Hours
  • All Styles 29 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Base Building, Building, History, Multiplayer, Real Time, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, War

Age of Empires II

Age of Empires II preview

Enjoy over 20 historical campaigns and choose from over 30 civilisations in this timeless RTS classic. Guaranteed hours of play on and offline. Fight across a thousand years of history and annihilate your opponents.

About the game:
Released: 30 Sep, 1999
Genre: Action, Strategy
Platforms: PS2, PC, MacOS
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Publisher: Microsoft, Konami
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 95/NT/98
  • Processor: Pentium III or Athlon MP
  • Memory: 32 MB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce 6200 LE or Rage 128 Ultra with 16 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 250 MB

Metacritic Rating: 68

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 26 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 72 Hours
  • Completionist 105 Hours
  • All Styles 61 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: 2D, Action, Adventure, Base Building, City Builder, Classic, Co-op, Competitive, Historical, Isometric, Medieval, Multiplayer, RTS, Real Time, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical

Age of Empires III

Age of Empires III preview

This sequel brings forward the action a few centuries to the conquest of the New World. Take charge of mighty European powers as they vie for control of the Americas. Expansions let you play as Native American tribes and the eastern Asian dynasties and fight in their own struggles for power.

About the game:
Released: 15 Sep, 2009
Genre: Simulation, Strategy
Platforms: Windows Mobile, PC, N-Gage, MacOS
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 64 MB VRAM NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or ATI Radeon X1300
  • Storage: 12 GB

Metacritic Rating: 81

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 14 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 20 Hours
  • Completionist 27 Hours
  • All Styles 18 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Adventure, Base Building, City Builder, Classic, Co-op, Historical, Military, Multiplayer, Online Co-op, Open World, RTS, Real Time, Singleplayer, Strategy, War. Simulation

 

Endless Legend
Fans of Amplitude Studios first work, Endless Space, should love their second outing. But don’t let this game fool you, it’s not just Endless Space repackaged in a fantasy skin. Endless Legend stands on its own merit and you’ll see why as you strive to conquer the land of Auriga. The gorgeous visuals are combined with a rich and absorbing backstory.

The map is beautiful and this game combines aspects of RTS, RPG, and 4x games, in a manner that is truly spectacular. Battles take into account the abilities, equipment, and terrain, present to solve a clash. Randomise the map or design it to your specifications, the choice is yours.

Endless Legend

Endless Legend preview

Lead your civilization to victory on the world of Auriga. Survive cold dark seasons and evolve your race through the discovery of lost technology and power. Conquer or assimilate minor factions to bring them under your banner. Save your people and your planet.

About the game:
Released: 18 Sep, 2014
Genre: RPG, Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS
Developer: AMPLITUDE Studios
Publisher: Sega
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
  • Processor: 2.5Ghz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 or equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1 GB VRAM nVidia Geforce GT460 or equivalent, 500 MB VRAM ATI HD4850 or equivalent
  • Storage: 4 GB

Metacritic Rating: 82

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 13 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 22 Hours
  • Completionist 44 Hours
  • All Styles 17 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Adventure, Atmospheric, Exploration, Fantasy, Hex Grid, Indie, Medieval, Multiplayer, Open World, RPG, Sandbox, Sci-fi, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based

 

Galactic Civilizations III
Sequel to two highly successful games, the third entry in the Galactic Civilizations series continues the epic saga after the genocidal Dread Lord onslaught of the second game. It brings forward the narrative some ten years after the previous game’s war, in a universe almost unrecognizable.

The sheer variety of customization options and victory conditions means that you’re guaranteed a new experience with every playthrough. This is a game that is designed to be enjoyed again and again and again. Choose your map size, abundance of planets and resources, the frequency of events, and many more. Create your own history in this ultimate sandbox game.

Galactic Civilizations III

Galactic Civilizations III preview

Ten years after war with the Dread Lords, both the Drengin Empire and Yor reign. Most other races have been either conquered or exterminated. Earth prevails but is isolated behind a Precursor shield. In 2242, the Terran First Fleet returns, armed with advanced weaponry, determined to liberate Earth.

About the game:
Released: 14 May, 2015
Genre: Indie, Strategy
Platforms: PC
Developer: Stardock Entertainment
Publisher: Stardock Entertainment
System Requirements:
  • OS: 64-bit Windows 10 / 8.x / 7
  • Processor: 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / AMD K10 Dual-Core
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM (AMD Radeon HD5x00 Series / Nvidia GeForce 500 Series / Intel HD 4000 or later)
  • Storage: 12 GB

Metacritic Rating: 81

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 18 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra / Hours
  • Completionist / Hours
  • All Styles 18 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Exploration, Grand Strategy, Indie, Moddable, Multiplayer, Open World, Sandbox, Sci-fi, Simulation, Singleplayer, Space, Strategy, Turn-Based

 

Warlock Series
A series of successful 4x strategy games, the Warlock games are set in a fantasy world where humans, monsters, and the undead fight for world domination. The game is laid out on a hexagonal grid with different tiles providing penalties or bonuses. Fertile fields will boost farm productivity whereas arid tiles will reduce it.

Each faction is led by a Great Mage. Players can choose to create their own or choose from pre-created characters. The game incorporates several RPG mechanics with players able to go on quests for rewards as well as enhance their Mage’s spellcasting ability.

Warlock – Master of the Arcane

Warlock – Master of the Arcane preview

Expand your borders and build an empire as a Great Mage, one of many warlords striving for power in Ardania. Master powerful spells, raise armies, fight your enemies across unique terrain. Manage your cities and choose from a pantheon of eight gods to strengthen your cause.

About the game:
Released: 8 May, 2012
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC
Developer: Ino-Co Plus
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7
  • Processor: Dual Core CPU
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GT240 512Mb or comparable
  • Storage: 4 GB

Metacritic Rating: 71

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 11 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 22 Hours
  • Completionist 43 Hours
  • All Styles 15 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Adventure, Fantasy, Hex Grid, Magic, Multiplayer, RPG, Singleplayer, Strategy, Turn-Based

Warlock 2: The Exiled

Warlock 2: The Exiled preview

Lead your armies into battle against rival Great Mages. The shattering of the world means your return to Ardania will be a vengeful one. Destroy all those who stand in your path as you reclaim your home and have your vengeance.

About the game:
Released: 10 Apr, 2014
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: Ino-Co Plus
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows Vista 64-bit, Windows 7 64-bit
  • Processor: Dual Core CPU with 2,66GHz clock speed or higher
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8600 GT or ATI Radeon HD 6570
  • Storage: 2 GB

Metacritic Rating: 73

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 35 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 38 Hours
  • Completionist / Hours
  • All Styles 36 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Adventure, Fantasy, Hex Grid, Magic, Multiplayer, RPG, Singleplayer, Strategy, Turn-Based

 

Age of Wonders III
A new entry in the classic fantasy series, Age of Wonders III is a combination of turn-based strategy and RPG. You lead a fantasy race in their quest for domination in the fantasy world of the Blessed Continent. The game offers two campaigns, one each for the Elven Court and the Commonwealth Empire in addition to skirmish mode and one-off scenarios.

The game’s RPG mechanics come from the importance of your faction leader. Leaders can level up with experience points, their skills and traits helping to shape the empire. Leaders are powerful hero units with unique abilities that can change the course of a battle or even a war if used correctly. Similarly, the playable races all offer different strengths and weaknesses.

Age of Wonders III

Age of Wonders III preview

Enjoy a mix of roleplaying, empire building, and warfare, as you lead one of six races to conquer. Get lost in a rich singleplayer campaign, on one of two sides. Wield destructive magic and crush your enemies using the unique abilities of your army. Explore a detailed and living fantasy world.

About the game:
Released: 31 Mar, 2014
Genre: RPG, Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: Triumph Studios
Publisher: Triumph Studios
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.4 Ghz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ @2.6 Ghz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia 8800 / ATi Radeon HD 3870 with 512 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 10 GB

Metacritic Rating: 80

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 29 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra / Hours
  • Completionist / Hours
  • All Styles 29 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Adventure, Atmospheric, Classic, Co-op, Fantasy, Female Protagonist, Grand Strategy, Indie, Moddable, Multiplayer, RPG, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, Turn-Based

 

Rome: Total War
Rome: Total War is an undisputed classic of the strategy genre. It sets players in the Republic era of Rome, right before the Empire occurred. Players can command the mighty Roman legions, the fierce barbarians of Europe, the Greek city-states, and much more.

The strategic game has received praise for its complexity but it’s the tactical battles that the players come to Total War for. The sight of massed ranks of thousands is an unforgettable one, battles are a glorious and bloody affair. Elephants crash into serried ranks of hoplites while siege weapons rain death down.

The series shows no signs of stopping with Creative Assembly expanding and planning to release games set in more and more eras.

Rome: Total War

Rome: Total War preview

Rome, once a proud and mighty empire, is now falling around you as barbarians threaten to erase what is left of the empire. Assume control of one of the many feuding Roman noble families, unite roman by cunning or by force, and drive away the invaders to save the empire in Rome: Total War!

About the game:
Released: 22 Sep, 2004
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: iOS, PC, MacOS
Developer: The Creative Assembly
Publisher: Sega
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 2000/XP
  • Processor: Pentium III 1.0 GHz or Athlon 1.0 GHz processor or higher
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 64MB Hardware Accelerated Video Card
  • Storage: 3 GB

Metacritic Rating: 92

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 36 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 65 Hours
  • Completionist 134 Hours
  • All Styles 53 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Action, Atmospheric, Classic, Historical, Medieval, Moddable, Multiplayer, RTS, Rome, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy, Tactical, War

 

Endless Space Series
Part of the larger Endless franchise, the Endless Space games are science fiction based 4X games that almost feel like a futuristic progression of Civilization. Players take charge of a unique alien empire and vie with AI or player opponents to expand across the galaxy.

The four resource economy requires careful balancing to ensure the stability of your empire. The tech tree is comparatively simple, also featuring four strands to focus on, military, science, exploration, and diplomacy.

While the gameplay is standard fare for grand strategy, the real achievement is the worldbuilding in-game, encountering strange alien races, and stumbling across the ruins and artifacts of ancient beings.

Endless Space

Endless Space preview

Take charge of one of ten unique interstellar powers in 3000AD or choose to create your own! Guide your empire’s expansion over hundreds and thousands of years as you strive to dominate the galaxy. Choose to focus research on military, science, exploration, or diplomacy tech trees.

About the game:
Released: 6 Oct, 2016
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS
Developer: AMPLITUDE Studios
Publisher: Sega
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows (64bits only) 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
  • Processor: Intel i3 4th generation / i5 2nd generation / A6 series
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD 4000 / AMD Radeon 5800 series / NVidia 550Ti
  • Storage: 8 GB

Metacritic Rating: 77

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 13 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 43 Hours
  • Completionist 135 Hours
  • All Styles 29 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Indie, Multiplayer, Open World, Sci-fi, Space, Strategy, Turn-Based

Endless Space 2

Endless Space 2 preview

As the leader of a nascent empire, choose from one of several races, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Choose to ally, trade, or conquer, with rival empires. Recruits armies and fleets to subjugate the galaxy. Design ships and learn tactics to give you an advantage over your foes.

About the game:
Released: 18 May, 2017
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS
Developer: AMPLITUDE Studios
Publisher: SEGA
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows (64bits only) 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
  • Processor: i3 4th generation / i5 2nd generation / A6 series
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD 4000 / AMD Radeon 5800 series / NVidia 550Ti
  • Storage: 8 GB

Metacritic Rating: 80

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 10 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra / Hours
  • Completionist / Hours
  • All Styles 10 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: 4X, Action, Grand Strategy, Great Soundtrack, Indie, Moddable, Multiplayer, Open World, Sci-fi, Singleplayer, Space, Strategy, Survival, Turn-Based, Turn-Based Strategy

 

Anno Series
The Anno series has games that are classic mixtures of simulation and strategy. From 1404 to 2200, it embraces a wide variety of eras from Venice in its prime to science fiction universes. You build a city, trading with rivals in a game that prizes economic success over military conquest.

The games are beautifully realized with the expansion of your city a joy to behold. For those tired of army builders, this is a welcome change of pace.

Anno 2070

Anno 2070 preview

In the year 2070, rising tides have damaged coastal cities while climate change has rendered whole swathes of land inhospitable. Face this new world’s challenges and choose to build efficiently and industrially as a Tycoon or sustainable and environmentally friendly as an Eco.

About the game:
Released: 17 Nov, 2011
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC
Developer: Blue Byte, Related Designs
Publisher: Ubisoft
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7
  • Processor: 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2 or better
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM DirectX 9.0c–compatible with Shader Model 3.0 or higher
  • Storage: 5 GB

Metacritic Rating: 83

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 26 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 47 Hours
  • Completionist 163 Hours
  • All Styles 44 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Building, City Builder, Co-op, Economy, Futuristic, Multiplayer, Online Co-op, RTS, Sandbox, Sci-fi, Simulation, Singleplayer, Story Rich, Strategy, Trading

Anno 2205

Anno 2205 preview

Venture into space as part of humanity’s next step into the future. Build a better tomorrow with glittering cities and glorious industrial complexes. Build your empire both on Earth and the Moon in race for resources and power. Enjoy a beautiful and immersive world full of wildlife and citizenry.

About the game:
Released: 3 Nov, 2015
Genre: Simulation, Strategy
Platforms: PC
Developer: Blue Byte
Publisher: Ubisoft
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (64bit versions)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 750 @ 2.6 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.2 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce GTX460 or AMD Radeon HD5870 (1024MB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0)
  • Storage: 35 GB

Metacritic Rating: 72

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 19 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 23 Hours
  • Completionist / Hours
  • All Styles 22 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Building, Casual, City Builder, Co-op, Economy, Futuristic, Multiplayer, RTS, Sci-fi, Simulation, Singleplayer, Space, Strategy

 

Crusader Kings II
Crusader Kings II is one of the most popular and complex 4x games on the market. Unlike the others in the genre, CK II doesn’t have you lead a nation to victory, it tasks you with leading a dynasty through the highs and lows of medieval Europe.

The game has a thriving modding community that has converted it for settings as varied as the Elder Scrolls, Game of Thrones, The Warlord Chronicles, and even science fiction adaptations. One of Paradox Interactive’s crowning achievements, it is one you cannot miss out on.

Crusader Kings II

Crusader Kings II preview

Lead your dynasty through one of the most turbulent periods of history in Europe. Survive the Black Death, religious warfare, treacherous vassals, and the Mongols. Manage a court of intelligent AI, courtiers, vassals, agents, and nobles, each with their own plots and agendas.

About the game:
Released: 14 Feb, 2012
Genre: RPG, Simulation, Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: Paradox Development Studio
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: Intel Pentium IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon X1900, 512 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 2 GB

Metacritic Rating: 82

How long to beat?
  • Main Story 68 Hours
  • Hours Main + Extra 159 Hours
  • Completionist 366 Hours
  • All Styles 118 Hours
  • Learn more
Tags: Character Customization, Co-op, Education, Grand Strategy, Historical, Medieval, Moddable, Multiplayer, Political, Politics, RPG, RTS, Sandbox, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy

 

Europa Universalis Series
Part of Paradox Interactive’s big four of grand strategy games, Europa Universalis covers the age of discovery and colonialism. Players take charge of a nation and vie for supremacy. War, trade, religion, exploration, these are all important if they are to dominate the globe.

The game is noteworthy for its steep learning curve and harsh gameplay. Declaring war on countries without a casus belli can result in severe penalties and players can find their nation torn apart by instability and anarchy. Skillful administration is as important as a strong military.

As well as waging wars at home and abroad, players can explore unknown regions, racing their competitors to be the first to settle the Americas or Africa. The game is perfect for alternate history simulations. Indeed a common activity is for players to choose a minor power and then let the gameplay by itself, so perfect is the simulation.

Europa Universalis III

Europa Universalis III preview

Guide one of 250 nations to victory over 300 years of detailed and accurate history. Decide the form of your government, mold society to your wish, employ historical personalities such as Newton, Mozart, or Descartes. Colonize far off lands.

About the game:
Released: 23 Jan, 2007
Genre: Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS
Developer: Paradox Development Studio
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 2000 (with Service Pack 1 or higher) or Windows XP (with Service Pack 2)
  • Processor: 1.9 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor or equivalent
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM (1 GB RAM is highly recommended)
  • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM with Hardware T&L and support for Pixelshader 2.0 or better
  • Storage: 1 GB

Metacritic Rating: 83

How long to beat?

Tags: Co-op, Diplomacy, Education, Grand Strategy, Historical, Medieval, Military, Moddable, Multiplayer, Open World, Political, RTS, Sandbox, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy

Europa Universalis IV

Europa Universalis IV preview

Lead a nation to become a global empire during the age of colonialism. Use trade, diplomacy, exploration, economics, and warfare to your advantage in this deep strategic game. Create your own history in a richly detailed word or mod it to your hearts content.

About the game:
Released: 13 Aug, 2013
Genre: Simulation, Strategy
Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
Developer: Paradox Development Studio
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 7/Windows 8
  • Processor: Intel Pentium IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon X1900, 512 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 2 GB

Metacritic Rating: 87

How long to beat?

Tags: Co-op, Diplomacy, Education, Grand Strategy, Historical, Medieval, Military, Moddable, Multiplayer, Open World, Political, RTS, Sandbox, Simulation, Singleplayer, Strategy

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