Games like Crusader Kings II are grand strategy games full of complex systems that give you the freedom to lead many nations all over the world. Some may be more accessible than others, some might look too hard, while some might put more focus on specific mechanics. Crusader Kings II puts more focus on the survival of your dynasty, as your actions worsen or better relations in medieval Europe. You never know what to expect, as even the most loyal servants can end up betraying you.
It’s a fight for the throne, as every single character has their own agenda while you try and gain as much prestige as you can in order to outclass other historical dynasties. Due to great mod support, there’s no better game that would fit making a Game of Thrones mod than this one. Aside from mods, Paradox is still bringing new content in the form of DLC, which may be a bit too much by now.
Looking for more, similar games like Crusader Kings II that give you plenty of freedom to change the course of history? Don’t stop here, we’ve got a list of tactical games that offer tons and tons of hours of intense strategy right down below.
14 Best Games Similar To Crusader Kings II
Europa Universalis Series
Made by the same developers, the Europa Universalis series of games focuses on expanding your nation in many different ways. Whether you start off with a small country and try to turn it into one of the most powerful empires through clever diplomacy or take command of a stronger country and colonize territories from all over the world, these games offer plenty of freedom for tactical gameplay. Influence historical events and try out plenty of mods to make the already in-depth games even better.
Hearts of Iron Series
Get ready to go through one of the most violent events in history: World War II. The Hearts of Iron franchise puts focus on the years before, after and during WW2 as you take command of any country and lead it through difficult situations. You can choose to join one of the big alliances at the time or stay neutral as you negotiate and win crucial strategic battles.
Victoria II takes place during the colonial era of the 19th century where your choices may cause the population to revolt against the government or react in some other way as you colonize and make political reforms. Use the technology system to research important technologies and engage in a complex economy that features over 50 types of different resources.
Supreme Ruler Series
This franchise spans games that focus on many periods, from World War I all the way into the future. Choose various fun scenarios where you’re tasked with completing a specific objective, or immerse yourself in the freedom of Sandbox mode where you can play any way that you want. Produce and export resources while leading various types of units to victory.
Total War Series
The Total War games offer massive battles across feudal Japan, medieval Europe and more. Historical accuracy is not the only thing these games offer. The franchise has even gone into fictional territory, making beautiful games set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. Whichever game you choose to play, you are bound to enjoy the atmospheric ground and sea battles as you lead your historical or fictional faction to victory.
If dominating Earth isn’t enough for you, then get ready to conquer the whole galaxy in Stellaris. Explore huge randomly-generated galaxies as you encounter unique, random races. Gather resources from tons of planets and build your own ships with the game’s Ship Designer while researching powerful technologies. It’s a great game that lets you raise an empire on a whole new level with mod support to further let you enhance the experience.
Knights of Honor
Knights of Honor offers a great mix of RTS and grand strategy gameplay as you manage your loyal knights and make sure you don’t get assassinated. Make trade agreements and find husbands for your daughters as you wage war and increase your influence.
Set in modern times, SuperPower 2 lets you take full control of a country in its military, economy and politics. Whether you will try and attain world peace, aim for world domination or something else, is completely up to you. Modify internal laws, establish treaties or even launch nuclear missiles at your biggest enemy.
Distant Worlds: Universe
If you’ve had enough of medieval battles and historical events and are looking to go far into the future, then this space strategy game should offer you that fun pausable real-time space warfare you are looking for. Explore a huge galaxy filled with secrets and other empires to interact with. Use colony ships to colonize planets all over the galaxy while building a strong fleet to defend your empire from space pirates. It’s a complex game that includes mod support and even an in-game editor that lets you alter anything in the galaxy, even the attributes of any empire.
While these fantasy strategy games don’t look that great visually, their mechanics are full of depth. In these games, you play as a God who fights a diverse set of Pretender Gods in a historically-inspired fantasy world. Cast powerful spells with mages and enlist hundreds of different units in a complex combat system that allows for huge strategic depth.
Galactic Civilizations Series
Dominate unique galaxies in sandbox mode or play fun storylines in this popular 4X space strategy franchise. Take control of the human Terran Alliance or play as alien civilizations against AI or online with friends. Customize to your heart’s content and research to gain a technological edge over your enemies.
Age of Wonders III
Age of Wonders III puts you in a detailed fantasy world where you can play as one of 6 RPG-style leaders. Ally with one of 6 main races as you unlock crucial leadership skills that make your troops and empire stronger. The game features a turn-based tactical combat system, an exciting campaign and a random map generator for endless replay value.
Sid Meier’s Civilization Series
There are plenty of games in this critically-acclaimed turn-based strategy franchise. Each of them however focus on progressing your civilization from prehistoric times all the way to the future, except for Alpha Centauri and Beyond Earth that take place in the future from the start. Advance your civilization through the years with new technologies as you negotiate with other civilizations and build cities while defending them from bandits and enemies.
Endless Space Series
Rule the galaxy in this stunning sci-fi strategy series. Command one of 8 distinct civilizations, each featuring their own story quests and playstyle. Recruit and train Heroes that can be appointed as important fleet admirals, influential senators and system governors. Along with a shipbuilding system that lets you customize ships with various parts, these games are packed with complex, strategic gameplay and marvelous worlds to explore and conquer.