Home » Lists » Game Lists » 17 Games Like Civilization You’ll Sink Hundreds of Hours Into

17 Games Like Civilization You’ll Sink Hundreds of Hours Into

Games Like Civilization

The Civilization series is older than most of the people that play it at this point, but somehow it never actually gets old! Except when it does. What do you do when you’ve explored, expanded, exploited, and exterminated all the civilizations there are? Well, you come to this article and get your next turn-based strategy fix! With seventeen games, you can be sure there’s something for everyone here, so let’s get into it:

1. Endless Legend

Endless Legend

With all the hours you’ve put into Civilization, it’s only fair that the next game you play also offers an endless amount of content. With Endless Legends, you get to embark on a thrilling adventure in the fantastical world of Auriga, where you’ll take the reins of unique factions, each filled to the brim with their own fascinating lore and strategic gameplay.

As you explore uncharted lands, establish flourishing cities, and extract valuable resources to fuel your empire’s rise to greatness, you’ll slowly become the conqueror you’ve always wanted to be! The best part of this game’s 4X formula is the dynamic seasons, which can be both friend and foe, adding a layer of challenge that you never really expect but will always have fun with.

A strategy game isn’t quite complete without an epic narrative, and you get plenty of that, too, through the quest system in this game. It’s exciting, it’s engaging, and it adds a sense of purpose to the otherwise mindless expansion! Plus, as you do all that, you can also engage in tactical battles that hang in the balance of every single turn, so the thrill is ever-present. To play this game, you’ll need a PC, though Civ players are no strangers to PC gaming, so you’re probably all set.

2. Warlock: Master of the Arcane

Warlock: Master of the Arcane

We’re gonna be jumping from realm to realm a lot in this list, so hang on tight! This time, we’re getting a bit mystical as we venture towards Warlock: Master of the Arcane. To get a picture of this game, imagine yourself as a badass mage, casting wicked spells and ruling over an entire magical empire that’s all yours. With this 4X strategy game, you get cast into a fantasy world where quests, ancient ruins, and mythical creatures are all at the helm of your discovery!

It’s not that simple, though, because there’s PVP! You’re gonna prepare to face other mages, each with their own strengths and ambitions. Of course, you don’t always have to fight them; instead, you can forge alliances or engage in diplomacy, but remember to be ready for the turn-based battles that are always around the corner!

In Warlock, the path to victory is yours to choose, whether you conquer rival mages, master arcane knowledge, or embark on tons of amazing quests. Plus, with customizable gameplay options that are pretty much core to a civ alternative, there’s really not much more you can ask for! To play this game, you’ll need a PC.

3. Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Now that we’re done with the mystical realm, it’s time for a thrilling journey into the cosmos with Age of Wonders: Planetfall, where a literal entire galactic empire has fallen, and you hold the fate of a single planet in your hands! Picture a post-apocalyptic world, once ruled by the mighty Star Union, now fragmented after The Collapse event that shook the universe.

As you dive into the game, you’ll be transported to the planet of, well, Planetfall (they really don’t mince words, do they), where various factions of survivors have landed, each vying for dominance in this new and challenging landscape. It’s a saga of turn-based strategy, empire-building, and tactical combat that all combine to make one hell of an experience!

Right, so what’s your mission here? It’s to rebuild, explore, and conquer the world as you lead your chosen faction to glory, of course! Every strategy that you’ve ever learned in civilization is going to help you tenfold here, especially when you’re first starting out, so this makes it a perfect alternative. If you’re craving new frontiers to 4X, then Age of Wonders: Planetfall is waiting for you to play it on PS, Xbox, or PC.

4. Europa Universalis IV

Europa Universalis IV

In the world, or rather, the universe of Europa Universalis IV, a grand strategy game that promises a sophisticated and historically immersive experience like no other, you have no idea what’s about to hit you! From the early modern period spanning 1444 to 1821, you get to take the reins of a nation and shape its destiny throughout history. Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit, but moving on:

Civ players are no strangers to depth and complexity, and there’s plenty of that to be had here as you manage diplomacy, economy, military, technology, culture, and exploration. The game goes deep, too, with every decision you make having far-reaching consequences as you navigate the intricate web of geopolitics and interact with other AI-controlled nations.

As a grand strategy game, Europa is a perfect sidestep from Civilization as apart from the genre, they offer unique experiences. Unlike Civilization’s turn-based approach, EU4 is a real-time strategy game that authentically simulates historical events and politics! Hey, if nothing else, at least you’ll ace that history exam once you play this game. (Don’t actually take that advice). If you’re convinced, you can try out Europa Universalis IV on PC only.

5. Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri

Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri

It makes sense that another Sid Meier game is on this list; about time! With Alpha Centauri, you essentially get the funky cousin of the Civilization series. Released in 1999, this game is basically Civilization but in space! It has most of the same elements from the Civilization that we love, but it’s packaged into a whole new atmosphere that makes it a true game on its own.

In terms of gameplay, you start off as the commander of a wild interstellar expedition, exploring unknown planets, expanding colonies, and harvesting alien resources like they’re free real estate! The aliens probably didn’t need them anyway… right?

Keeping with the space setting, there’s a juicy tech tree filled with cosmic goodies waiting for you! Want lasers? Done. Need funky alien friends? Say “hello” to factions with ideologies crazier than your nearest KKK rally (but somehow still less racist). Apart from that, this is your classic, never-gets-old Sid Meier gameplay with a different setting to it, so you can be certain it’ll be good. To play, you can get Alpha Centauri on a PC, including Mac and Linux.

6. Sigma Theory: Global Cold War

Sigma Theory: Global Cold War

No, not that kind of Sigma Theory! In Sigma Theory: Global Cold War, you’re a spy, and not just any spy, but a super-secret intelligence mastermind! Picture yourself in a futuristic adventure, racing against rival nations to grab hold of the game-changing Sigma Theory, which is kind of the ultimate objective of the game.

As the leader of your spies and agents (read: civilization), you call the shots and play the diplomatic game with the other rivals. With the pressure of managing your own covert agents while competing against adversaries that wanna do not-very-nice things to you, the thrill is always there!

Speaking of the thrill, you’ll also wanna be pretty careful because if you make one wrong move, you’ll have countries breathing down your neck, and your plans might go kablooey! Remember, only our agenda is the right one. So, gear up for espionage, deception, and strategy fun that’s unlike most games you’ve played before, Sigma Theory is available for the Nintendo Switch and PC.

7. Stellaris

Stellaris

Yup, you guessed it, this is another space-based game! Stellaris is a grand strategy game developed by Paradox Interactive that takes place in the vastness of space, a lot like Alpha Centauri but also not. In many ways, this is also a space-themed version of Civilization, but it’s made by a completely different developer, so you’re in for a pretty new experience.

In Stellaris, you get to create and lead your own interstellar empire, starting from a single planet and expanding your dominion to conquer the galaxy. The game’s setting spans a wide range of futuristic elements, including space exploration, diplomacy, research, colonization, and warfare with other alien civilizations. Can’t have a civ game without random declarations of war on neighboring civilizations, am I right?

4X gameplay is a standard in this list, where you “eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate.” In Stellaris, that means you’ll explore new star systems, expand your influence through colonization, exploit resources from planets and asteroids, and engage in diplomacy or warfare to secure your place among the stars. Hey, everyone has to earn their place. With a galaxy full of procedurally generated planets, species, and events, each playthrough is more amazing and unique than the last! To try it out, you’ll need an Xbox, PC, or PlayStation.

8. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

Warcraft never disappoints, and you can be damn sure that this is no exception! Warcraft III is a lot like Civilization but with a dash of RPG spice added to it. The main similarity you’re going to love when you try this game is that it’s a strategy game, just like Civilization, but with its own take on pretty much everything. Unlike the turn-based strategy we’re used to, this time, we’re going for a real-time strategy (RTS) plus RPG-mix game!

Warcraft III’s gameplay includes a little bit of everything – base-building, resource management, and epic tactical battles, all while strategically utilizing your hero’s unique powers to gain an edge in combat! The heroes are where the RPG elements come in, and with that, new territory for you to venture into.

Warcraft III is one of the all-time greats for a reason, it has an engaging storyline, best-in-class gameplay, and a vibrant modding community through its map editor. You already know what that means – the craziest community maps and modes you can ever think of! And who knows, Warcraft 3 already created Dota 2; maybe the next big game is waiting on the community mods too? To explore its magical realms, you can play Warcraft 3 on your nearest PC.

9. Old World

Old World

The name really gives it away – Old World is indeed set in the olden times and is a refreshing alternative to the Civilization series. Developed by Mohawk Games, Old World is a turn-based strategy game that takes place in the ancient world.

In Old World, it’s time for you to learn what the world was like without the internet… and, like, electricity too. You’ll step back in time to relive history as you guide your civilization through various eras and see the influence of classical antiquity on this game. Oh, and you also get to lead famous historical figures and dynasties! Babylon, I’m on my way.

Now, similar to Civilization, Old World gives you empire-building, managing resources, being all diplomatic, and engaging in warfare with neighboring civilizations. The game also features complex decision-making and focuses on intricate family and dynasty mechanics, so you’re gonna want to make sure your rulers don’t have any dumb heirs. And trust me, there are lots of dumb heirs. If you love the historical-modern feel of Civilization, Old World was literally made for you – playable on PC.

10. Freeciv

Freeciv

Again, the name really does give it away! Freeciv is short for Free Civilization, I’m guessing because that’s the premise of this community-made open-source masterpiece – freedom. Now, it’s not an official spinoff, but in this case, that makes it even better because it’s made entirely according to the requirements of the player base itself.

The result of all that is probably the best Civilization game ever, if you don’t care about graphics, of course. In Freeciv, you get the standard Civilization gameplay where you lead it and shape its destiny from ancient times to the modern era. It’s a grand adventure of exploration, city-building, resource management, and tactical diplomacy – just like its Civilization cousin!

Okay, it’s open-source, and that’s all nice and dandy, but what is there to really make you consider it over the standard series? Well, for one, it’s free! By being accessible to everyone, it also makes sure there’s a healthy player base that gets access to modding, cross-platform support, continuous updates, and of course, a proper retro appeal!

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you really love Civilization games and haven’t tried this out yet, you owe it to yourself to do just that – playable on PC and Android.

11. Humankind

Humankind

Imagine combining the best elements of Civilization with a fresh design and a splash of mystery – that’s Humankind! Developed by Amplitude Studios, this game lets you rewrite the course of history by leading your civilization from the ancient era to the modern age. Sound familiar?

One of the coolest features I love about this game is the Culture System, allowing you to seamlessly blend different cultures as your civilization evolves. You’ll have the freedom to create a truly unique and diverse society, literally eliminating racism from your in-game world!

Jokes aside, this game is truly amazing with the features it has – breathtakingly detailed cities, dynamic landscapes, and of course, tactical battles on a beautiful 3D map. Add to that the plethora of scenarios it has and the classical ability to customize your leader’s traits, and you’ve got an experience with Humankind that’ll keep you coming back for more and more! To play this game; you can get it on PS, Xbox, or PC.

12. Warhammer 40000: Gladius – Relics of War

Warhammer 40000: Gladius - Relics of War

Warhammer 40000: Gladius – Relics of War is one of the most unique 4X strategy games as it takes you to the dark and war-torn world of Warhammer 40K. You’ll be in control as you choose from four iconic factions, each with its own units and abilities. What do you do now? Engage in violence and bloodshed, of course! That happens through thrilling turn-based battles that are chock-full of tactics and allow you to then expand your empire by capturing strategic points and building outposts.

Oh, and I almost forgot, there’s also a lot of lore to explore in Warhammer 40K! The rich universe here adds a ton of depth and context to your conquests, so they feel more than just random encounters and more like the progression of a storyline.

If you’re looking for a fresh take on civilization management, Gladius is your ticket to an intense sci-fi experience with a focus on military might and combat tactics that you’re not soon going to forget – playable on PC. Also, if Gladius doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, Warhammer 40k has a ton of other alternatives that you can also check out, all with similar gameplay and premises.

13. Total War: Three Kingdoms

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Three Kingdoms is one of the best entries in the Total War series, particularly for the average Civilization enthusiast, for its rich historical setting, grand strategy, diplomacy, and incredible battles! Set in ancient China during the Three Kingdoms period, you’re gonna forget you’re playing a game when you’re fully immersed in its historical accuracy and attention to detail.

This game makes sure that you’re not just playing any old strategy game; you’re playing a proper civilization simulator. This is to say that there are complex negotiations, alliances, and vassalage, all of which shape the political landscape through diplomacy! If there’s any qualification system for gamers to enter politics, this game will make sure you qualify!

Total War also adds RPG-like elements through the hero system, as legendary characters lead armies with their unique abilities. Plus, the faction diversity, coupled with a thriving modding community, make it so you can virtually never get tired of this game. If you thought Civilization was addictive, you’re about to be surprised! Total War: Three Kingdoms is playable on PC.

14. Master of Magic

Master of Magic

Master of Magic, despite being a really old game (1994), has stood the test of time and continues to be beloved by Civilization players for a couple of really good reasons. This classic gem seamlessly blends the core 4X strategy formula with the most fantastical fantasy elements you can think of, adding a twist that few games in this genre try to get!

In Master of Magic, you not only get to build and expand your civilization like in Civilization, but you also take on the role of a powerful wizard, so you’re more than just a leader. And thankfully, you’re not in a realm where magic is frowned upon, so being burned at the stake isn’t something to keep you up at night!

The game’s depth and strategic complexity have been has been some of the best I’ve seen as you balance traditional city management with mastering the arcane arts. Along with it, its immersive fantasy setting, filled with mythical creatures, ancient relics, and magical realms, makes it so you really do feel like you’ve been transported to a different realm! If you’re looking for a unique and mesmerizing strategy adventure that goes beyond the realms of reality, Master of Magic is a game unlike any other out there – playable on the original PlayStation and PC.

15. Crusader Kings II

Crusader Kings II

Another entry from Paradox Interactive; this time, it’s Crusader Kings! The second one, to be specific, and it’s yet another grand strategy game that takes Civilization fans for a ride into the realm of medieval politics and dynasty management. Wait, that’s the same realm… but hey, it’s a different take on it!

In Crusader Kings II, you don’t just lead a nation; you control a dynasty, guiding it through generations of rulers. The game is all about intrigue, diplomacy, and the art of scheming to make sure your family’s legacy goes on. Now that I think about it, it’s actually a lot like a mix of Game of Thrones and Civilization! Minus the uh, the Lannister doing the thing.

Now, it’s the same genre, but there’s certainly going to be some differences that this game has, which make it unique and its own thing. Unlike Civilization’s focus on building empires, Crusader Kings II emphasizes character-driven gameplay. You’ll develop traits, ambitions, and plots for each ruler, making your dynasty’s story feel personal and engaging and also unlike any other one before it! To try out Crusader Kings II, you can get it on PC.

16. Galactic Civilizations II

Galactic Civilizations II

Alright, we’ve been on Earth for too long; it’s time to blast off into space again! Galactic Civilizations II, taking place in space, shares a bunch of similarities with Civilization games in terms of gameplay and genre, making it a great option for Civ enjoyers that don’t mind venturing out of the stratosphere!

Like Civilization, Galactic Civilizations II is a turn-based strategy game with a focus on 4X gameplay – you lead your civilization to explore the galaxy, colonize planets, manage resources, conduct research, and engage in diplomacy or warfare with other spacefaring factions. Remember random declarations of war on nearby nations? Congratulations, now you get to do that with whole Galactic civilizations!

The game also features a technology tree, where you’re gonna be researching hard for advancements to unlock new technologies and upgrades, just like Civilization. Another similarity is the diplomacy gameplay, which most certainly also plays a significant role in shaping your relationships with the other AI-controlled civilizations. I’m not sure if there’s a nuke-happy Gandhi in here waiting to be discovered, so I’ll leave that up to you – Galactic Civilizations II is playable on PC.

17. Making History: The Great War

Making History: The Great War

Ah, behold, Making History: The Great War, a strategic time machine that takes you all the way back to the tumultuous days of World War I! Think of Civilization, but only during WWI, and you’ve got this game. For some reason, I don’t know much about WWI and know a lot about WWII, I should educate myself better (by playing this game, of course).

In this game, you’re going to be playing as a diplomat, trader, researcher, and military maestro – all rolled into one! But remember, this game doesn’t do the whole ancient-to-modern-era gig like Civilization. Nope, it’s all about World War I and the chaos that it brought with itself!

Given that it’s based in that era, you’ll also get to enjoy some serious historical accuracy and a couple of geopolitical brain teasers. Seriously, Making History: The Great War takes its history seriously, and at times you might even feel like you’re right in the middle of the war, in control of its fate! If you think you can get to a peaceful conclusion, you can try this game out on PC.

And that’s all for today! seventeen games is a lot to go through, but you’d be surprised at how many fun grand strategies are out there just waiting to be discovered. Think you’ve got your sights on a new favorite? Let me know which one it is and if you have any other thoughts! Until next time, good luck and have fun.

More from Us

Check out some of our related guides below.

Danish Javed

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Danish Javed

Obsessed with everything from Rainbow Six Siege and Valorant to Dota 2 and Rocket League, Danish is a competitive gamer at heart. Committed to creating exciting content about the latest trends in gaming, he is always on the lookout for the next big thing. Learn More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.