11 Games Like Civilization - Best Turn Based Strategy Games

Are you a fan of the Civilization game series? Looking for other games like Civilization? There are many great strategy games (turn-based and real-time) available across multiple platforms.

Recently the turn based strategy genre has declined in popularity and the number of game releases has slowed making it difficult to find good games like Civilization (thus a majority of the strategy games here are real-time focused). Civilisation is definitely one of the best turn based strategy games available but there are still a few other standouts in the genre worth playing.

I've been on a long search for similar games to the Civilization series and am very happy with the games I've managed to collect on this page. Some of the games on this page are games like Civilization V while others are games like the earlier instalments of Civilization, regardless of your preference you will find a game that suits your style and preference.

Be sure to let me know what you think about the games like Civilization collection I've put together and don't hesitate to recommend another game in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Games Like Civilization

The Best Turn Based Strategy Games

1 - Anno Online

A Free Online Game Like Civilization

anno Anno Online is an online game like civilization that is set in medieval times. Players must establish their own city, develop technologies, build structures and grow an army to attack other players.

Anno Online involves a persistent world where the game continues even if players logout. It’s a game that definitely focuses on the economy side of gameplay rather than combat which I really enjoy.

Players start as a leader of their own city and from there give instructions to their population on how to gather and spend resources. Players can then focus on building their economy, completing fun quests or building up an army with a mixture of foot troops and siege weapons to explore, defend and attack.

Play Anno Online

Anno Online First Look

2 - The Settlers Online

A Free Online War Strategy Game Like Civilization

settlers-online The Settlers Online builds on the foundations of the popular Settlers strategy series and is perfect for fans of the originals and newcomers to the Settlers series. Playable in your browser and for free the game features some nice looking graphics and a level of depth not usually offered by a browser based experience.

The games focus is definitely towards the city building elements of the series but there is still plenty of combat as you complete quests by taking out bandit camps or challenging other players. Of course along the way you’ll find plenty of different strategy paths to go down thanks to the large selection of technology, units and buildings that the game has to offer.

If you’re on a tight budget or a long time Settlers fan you can’t afford to not try The Settlers Online and the strategic experience it has to offer.

Play The Settlers Online

The Settlers Online

3 - Dark Age Wars

Another Online Game Like Civilization

dark-age-wars Dark Age Wars is an online game like Civilization that is set in Medieval Europe. Players must build up their kingdom, develop their economy and create a strong military to attack other players.

Players start out as a king given the duty to develop their kingdom after returning home from the crusade wars. There is a great variety of buildings and military units available in the game and players can even team up with others to form alliances for fun and interactive team based play.

This browser based game like Civilization offers that classic strategic gameplay that fans of Civilization will love. What’s even better is the game is actually set in a map of medieval Europe (giving you a realistic experience).

Play Dark Age Wars

Dark Age Wars

DarkAgeWars Videoreview / Test
by mygamesdynamite | video info
10 ratings | 15,453 views
curated content from YouTube

4 - Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

An Older Sid Meier's Game Like Civilization

Alpha-Centauri Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri (SMAC) takes places in a science fiction setting and features the 4x turn-based strategy that Civilization fans know and love. The game is often considered to be a ‘sequel’ to Civilization II and contains many of the same features (just in a different story and setting) making it a great option if you are looking for a game like Civilization.

The game starts with players landing on the planet Chrion in the 22nd century. From here the player must choose their faction (each with their own characteristics and ideological goals). Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri features social engineering, weather, native alien life, customizable units and a varied number of ways to win.

The game is highly praised with the only thing standing in its way is the outdated graphics, but true turn based strategy fans will instantly be able to look beyond this and enjoy the game immensely.

Official Website – Firaxis Games (Demo Available)
Purchase SMAC From Good Old Games (GOG)

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Intro

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Intro
by matsku84 | video info
519 ratings | 261,357 views
curated content from YouTube

5 - Total War (Series)

One Of The Best Turn Based Strategy Games Like Civilization

total-war-series The Total War series is one of the highest rated strategy games and combines deep turn based combat with resource management aspects.

The Total War series has players playing several roles (leaders, generals, mayors etc.) within their civilization (depending on the game). From here the player manages land and armies in a turn-based style while battles take place in real time. Players must effectively manage their settlements, military production, economic growth and technological advancements.

The game series began in 2000 and has quickly expanded to include 7 main games in the series. Players are taken on journeys through Japan, medieval Europe, Rome and many others. The games all feature high scores on Metacritic and even have some demos available through Steam, allowing you try before you buy.

The standout game of the Total War series for me was definitely Total War: Shogun 2(shown below) which holds a very high score of 90 on Metacritic.

Total War Series – Steam

Total War: Shogun 2

Video Review

Total War: Shogun 2 Video Review
by IGN | video info
2,436 ratings | 441,281 views
curated content from YouTube

6 - Space Empires (Series)

A Space Game Like Civilization

space-empires-series The Space Empires game series is one of the longer lasting 4x turn based strategy games available. The series started back in 1993 and has since grown to 5 different games with the latest one being released in 2006.

In Space Empires players take control of a civilization that has only recently unlocked space technology.

Players start out with minimal options for their ships but eventually advance to build ships far superior (and larger). Diplomacy (or lack of) also plays a large role in Space Empires as players encounter other races.

The only real complaint from critics was that the game is very complex and sometimes features too many options. Space Empires is best avoided if you are new to turn-based strategy games but die hard fans of the genre will enjoy every minute.

Space Empires V – Official Website (Demo Available)
Space Empires IV – GOG

Space Empires V Trailer

Space Empires V Trailer
by WhichEntertainment | video info
95 ratings | 115,716 views
curated content from YouTube

7 - Galactic Civilizations (Series)

Another Space Inspired Strategy Game Like Civilization

Galactic-Civilizations Galactic Civilizations is a series of turn-based strategy games released in 2003 and 2006. The goal of the games is to dominate the entire galaxy through war, culture, diplomacy or technological advancement. The game series has been praised for its solid computer AI that has multiple personalities and routines, making each play significantly different.

The games focus on campaign and sandbox style gameplay modes and do not offer multiplayer. The game does however allow modding which has created lots of extra content.

The second game in the series offers players nearly a dozen races, a rock/paper/scissors style of ship building, moral choices and even random events that can alter the course of a game dramatically.

Galactic Civilizations II earned Editor’s Choice awards from IGN, GameSpot and GameSpy shortly after its release and has received overall highly positive reviews, holding a score of 87% on GameSpot.

Players looking to get into the Galactic Civilization series should look into Galactic Civilizations II and its two expansions (Dark Avatar and Twilight of the Arnor).

Galactic Civilizations Series – Official Website
Galactic Civilizations I: Ultimate Edition – GOG

Galactic Civilizations 2 Gameplay

Galactic Civilizations 2 Gameplay (PC)
by AndyzUtube | video info
36 ratings | 78,263 views
curated content from YouTube

8 - Master Of Orion (Series)

One Of The Classic Games Like Civilization

master-of-orion Master Of Orion was one of the original 4X strategy games and was released in 1993 (two years after Civilization).

Two sequels were also created Master of Orion II (1996) and Master of Orion III (2003).

The Master of Orion games have players face off against computer controlled opponents for galactic domination. Players start off on a single planet with limited ships and must explore and expand from these humble beginnings.

Victory can be achieved by either eliminating all enemies or reaching a peaceful resolution. Players have complete control over technology, ship building, combat and diplomacy.

If you are interested in purchasing Master of Orion, I strongly recommend buying from Good Old Games (GOG.com) to prevent any issues as newer computers and operating systems often create compatibility problems for older games.

Master Of Orion 1 & 2 – Good Old Games
Master Of Orion 3 – Good Old Games

Let's Play - Master Of Orion

Let's Play Master of Orion pt 1
by GetDaved | video info
158 ratings | 27,308 views
curated content from YouTube

9 - Age of Empires (Series)

A Historical Real Time Strategy Game Like Civilization V

age-of-empires While Age of Empires doesn’t involve turn-based combat it is still a great game like Civilization. The game series offers great single player campaigns along with strong multi player gameplay.

The Age of Empires game series began in 1997 and since then has grown into a popular gaming franchise and even includes an online version.

The Age of Empires titles follow historical events across Europe, Asia and Africa and involves time periods spanning from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. Age of Empires has been a success commercially selling over 25 million copies.

Age Of Empires 3 (Complete Collection) – Steam

Age of Empires 3 Review

GameSpot Review: Age of Empires 3
by musket09 | video info
638 ratings | 427,202 views
curated content from YouTube

10 - R.U.S.E.

A Popular Real Time Strategy Game

RUSE-game While R.U.S.E. doesn’t offer turn based gameplay its interesting real time elements still make it a good game like Civilization. The game is also one of the few on this list that is also available on console (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360).

The focus of the game is more geared towards global strategy as opposed to micro management which will either appeal to you or not depending on your personal preferences.

R.U.S.E. offers great gameplay replay ability through the number of different ways to beat campaign levels and the inclusion of multiplayer (complete with many possible game modes).

I always liked the R.U.S.E games although they often get less praised then they deserved (like many games before them). I encourage you to check out the games and see if they suit your ral time strategy style.

R.U.S.E. – Official Website
R.U.S.E. – Steam (Demo Available)

R.U.S.E. Trailer

Trailer - R.U.S.E. "Announcement Trailer" for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360
by CGRtrailers | video info
18 ratings | 18,375 views
curated content from YouTube

11 - Endless Space

One Of The More Recent Games Like Civilization

endless-space Endless Space is a turn based strategy game like Civilization that features the 4X gameplay that Civilization fans love.

The game is one of the most recent turn based strategy games to be released meaning it offers both outstanding graphics and deep strategic gameplay. In Endless Space you can choose from one of eight distinct space civilizations and battle the computer or other players in randomly generated maps (that support up to 8 players).

Winning is determined by a predetermined objective which can be military, economic or diplomatic in nature. The game uses a unique combat system that is simple to learn but is deep enough that you won’t be shying away from combat.

If you are looking for a modern game like Civilization that you can’t look past Endless Space.

Endless Space – Steam

Endless Space Trailer

Endless Space - Trailer
by IGN | video info
535 ratings | 225,026 views
curated content from YouTube

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More Games Like Civilization
Get your fill of even more turn based strategy games with this handy resource.

What Is Your Favourite Game Like Civilization?

Or Know Some Other Games Like Civilization?

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  • theramblerextreme Aug 05, 2014 @ 2:30 pm
    what about a game called Democracy it may not be graphic intensive and I know little about it but perhaps someone can enlighten me if it's any good.
  • CashInTheHand Jun 13, 2014 @ 7:17 pm
    Civilization V is my favorite, second is X-COM.
  • nipun-max Jun 10, 2014 @ 2:35 pm
    I have written an article about how to play strategic games professionally . Give it a try if you like :)
  • dmhonz Apr 14, 2014 @ 10:34 pm
    hey try Settlers it is also strategy game for me that's the number one strategy game I played I finish all the episode of it and very love it.
  • Nikoshka Apr 10, 2014 @ 5:49 pm
    You should see Sid Mires Pirates. Its not the best game in the world but it is quite cool.
  • thatgrrl Jan 28, 2014 @ 7:40 pm
    Majesty was fun too but it wasn't so detailed. A simpler game which was a cross between an RPG and a city building game.
  • thatgrrl Jan 28, 2014 @ 7:39 pm
    What about Caesar and it's versions?
  • Jan 09, 2014 @ 10:05 am
    my fav was a very very old game called settler, where all games like Civ 4 is based on. it was set in probably europe dark ages and you would wait forever to do something and your people would die of cholera and dysentery...
  • thatgrrl Jan 28, 2014 @ 7:39 pm
    I remember Settlers. I remember seeing a new version of it come out (but that was years ago now).
  • Zeraton Jan 03, 2014 @ 12:47 pm
    Cool page, love the videos.
  • HusnainK Dec 12, 2013 @ 4:17 pm
    Very informative post! Thanks! Age of Empires 2 is a classic I personally love.
  • Film_addict Nov 17, 2013 @ 6:27 am
    Total War !!!!!!!
  • Aladdins-Cave Oct 15, 2013 @ 12:28 am
    Age of Empires.
    WOW is all I can say
    Cheers from DOWNUNDER
  • Dentex Apr 27, 2013 @ 11:39 am
    Knights of Honor (2005) best medieval music and history in the game!!!
  • Mar 03, 2013 @ 6:14 am
    A fantastic lens! Some great games here!

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