The Civilization has been and continues to be one of the most successful games series in history. Despite its numerous games, the basics of the series remain the same. Players begin with a single settler to start a city. From there they will expand out to build new cities, roads, armies, and monuments. Players progress from the stone age to the near future, from axemen to nuclear weapons.
Games like Civilization are on an epic scale. A single game can take untold hours and games can be adjusted for different factions, difficulties, geography, and more. They offer a challenge suitable for all players, regardless of whether it is against AI or human opponents.
Prebuilt scenarios allow players to reenact the Second World War, Peloponnesian War, Napoleonic Wars, and much more. The games boast extensive fan content and continue to soar in popularity despite the first game’s release has been nearly thirty years. Fans of grand strategy have no option but to try it.
8 Best Games Like Civilization Series
Age of Empires Series
A classic RTS series, this trilogy of games remains one of the most successful and popular ever released. The games cover from ancient history until the 19th century, charting a course from ancient Greece to the wars of the early United States.
The second game, Age of Kings, remains the most popular with a thriving community today some twenty years after its initial release. The game still has expansions developed for it and features innumerable fan-made content and mods. Those looking for games of a similar style should look here.
Galactic Civilizations Series
A popular trilogy of space strategy games, Galactic Civilizations is perfect for players who want a sandbox experience or an immersive story-based campaign. A turn-based game, players must lead their chosen alien race to victory whether it be by conquest, diplomacy, cultural dominance, or technological superiority.
Sequels expand on the original, bringing in an ancient race of Precursors and the genocidal Dread Lords. As well as choosing from premade races, players can also create their own custom civilizations. Each game has expansion packs that add new elements to the series.
Age of Wonders Series
A turn-based 4x strategy series, Age of Wonders is set in a high fantasy world with monsters and magic. Players explore the map, engage in diplomacy, trade, war, and colonization, to expand their empire. Players can choose from a selection of different fantasy races each with their own unique abilities and alignments.
Age of Wonders real appeal is its RPG elements. A player’s leader is not just the leader of their civilization, they are also an integral unit on the battlefield who can grow in strength as they gain in experience. Their skill set will also affect the feel of the empire and what units can be recruited.
The Warlock games are a series of 4x turn-based strategy games. Players are a Great Mage, leading a race in a bid for world conquest across a hex grid map. The game is based on three simple resources, gold to hire units, food for their upkeep, and mana for spellcasting.
In addition to rival factions, players must also deal with hostile monsters, independents, artifacts, and gods. Heroes can go on quests, discover lost relics, and learn forgotten spells. There is more than one path to victory with players able to conquer, unify, or even convert the land to become the supreme power.
Another fantasy 4x strategy game, Endless Legend is set in the world of Auriga. The landmass and ecosystems of the continent are randomized for each game ensuring that no two playthroughs are the same. Players choose one of 11 factions to lead to victory.
Each faction differs not only in appearance but also playstyle, abilities, and traits. They include a race of dragon-like scholars, a mechanical cult, an insectoid hivemind, and a crashed colony of space colonists. The game is part of the wider Endless series that includes Endless Space and Dungeon of the Endless.
Total War Series
The Total War series is famed for its hybrid style of gameplay. A Risk-style map is used for the strategic map while tactical battles are fought on the battle map. Total War allows large battles with several thousand soldiers at once. The games cover a wide selection of eras, from ancient Greece and Rome to samurai Japan, medieval Europe, and the colonial age.
The series has been popular for nearly twenty years now and it’s showing no sign of stopping. The most recent entries in the series have focused on the fantasy world of Warhammer and dark ages Britain.
Endless Space Series
The science fiction counterpart to Endless Legend, Endless Space is a 4x strategy game on the scale of Stellaris or Galactic Civilizations. Players control one of eight civilizations and lead them in a galactic struggle spanning hundreds of star systems.
Endless Space offers numerous paths to victory. Players can gain victory through exploration of the galaxy, military might and conquest, trade, diplomacy, or even by sheer technological superiority. The variety of planets, events, and strange phenomena ensure that no two playthroughs are the same. Players looking for games like Civilization should look no further.
Anno differs from most of the games on this list as combat is at most a minor feature in the series. Primarily focused on colony management and business simulation, the original game is set during the European colonization of the Americas.
The series of games covers a wide spectrum of eras from the Renaissance age all the way up until the 23rd century. Anno is slower paced and of a smaller scale than Civilization which some players might appreciate.