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11 Games Like Civilization - Best Turn Based Strategy Games

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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

My 3 Favourite Civilization Style Games - Check Out My Three Top Picks From This Page

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Complete
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Complete

Most fans of the turn based genre can trace their love back to Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and I am no exception.

I love older games and Alpha Centauri has always been one of those older games that gets re-installed on a yearly basis. Best of all because its an old game it means that it is dirt cheap.

 
Total War: Shogun 2 - PC
Total War: Shogun 2 - PC

In my opinion Total War was the first game to properly combine the real time and turn based genres. Plenty of other games had tried but mostly failed.

I usually recommend Total War to my friends who like a strategic game but want something a bit more fast paced.

 
Endless Space Admiral Edition [Download]
Endless Space Admiral Edition [Download]

I accidentally stumbled upon Endless Space one day when I was searching for a strategy game on Steam.

After making my purchase decision I wasn't disappointed. The game lives up to its name and truly is an endless experience. There is countless things you can do in the game world so make sure you load this one up when you are in the mood to sit down and give it the time it deserves.

 

Games Like Civilization

The Best Turn Based Strategy Games

anno
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anno

1 - Anno Online

A Free Online Game Like Civilization

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

settlers-online
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settlers-online

2 - The Settlers Online

A Free Online War Strategy Game Like Civilization

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

dark-age-wars
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dark-age-wars

3 - Dark Age Wars

Another Online Game Like Civilization

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

Alpha-Centauri
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Alpha-Centauri

4 - Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

An Older Sid Meier's Game Like Civilization

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 - Grab The Complete Edition (Game and Expansion Pack In One)

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Complete
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Complete

Sid Meier (the mind behind the Civilization series) brings you Alpha Centauri, a space turn based strategy game like Civilization. The complete edition (shown here) also comes with the Alien Crossfire expansion pack.

Thanks to the random world generator and various AI strategies the game offers infinite replay-ability.

 

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Intro

total-war-series
total-war-series

5 - Total War (Series)

One Of The Best Turn Based Strategy Games Like Civilization

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 - My Favourite Total War Game

Total War: Shogun 2 - PC
Total War: Shogun 2 - PC

Total War: Shogun 2 is the direct sequel to Total War: Shogun and is the most recent addition to the Total War franchise. The game focuses on streamlining gameplay while keeping the deep complex strategy that the Total War series is known for.

The result is a highly enjoyable and addictive game that both appeals to veterans and newbies of the strategy genre. The game has received critical acclaim, holding a score of 90 on Metacritic.

 

Total War: Shogun 2 - Video Review

space-empires-series
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space-empires-series

6 - Space Empires (Series)

A Space Game Like Civilization

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 5 - Buy & Download The Game From Amazon

Space Empires 5 [Download]
Space Empires 5 [Download]

Space Empires 5 is the latest addition to the Space Empires series and offers a massive amount of gameplay with deep strategy to back it up.

Fans of 4x strategy games will not be disappointed with this space style game like Civilization.

 

Space Empires V Trailer

Galactic-Civilizations
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Galactic-Civilizations

7 - Galactic Civilizations (Series)

Another Space Inspired Strategy Game Like Civilization

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 II Gold - Grab The Gold Pack For The Game and Expansion!

Galactic Civilizations II Gold - PC
Galactic Civilizations II Gold - PC

The Galactic Civilizations II Gold comes with the original game and the Dark Avatar expansion allowing you to enjoy more game content for a reduced price.

Fans of Civilization will feel right at home in this space style strategy game.

 

Galactic Civilizations 2 Gameplay

master-of-orion
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master-of-orion

8 - Master Of Orion (Series)

One Of The Classic Games Like Civilization

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

age-of-empires
age-of-empires

9 - Age of Empires (Series)

A Historical Real Time Strategy Game Like Civilization V

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 - The Latest Age of Empires Game

Age of Empires III (Gold Edition)
Age of Empires III (Gold Edition)

The Age of Empires III Gold Edition is the perfect place to start in the Age of Empires series.

At a single price you get the original game along with the expansion packs to offer even more game content.

 

Age of Empires 3 Review

RUSE-game
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RUSE-game

10 - R.U.S.E.

A Popular Real Time Strategy 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)

Grab A Copy Of R.U.S.E - (Multiple Platforms)

R.U.S.E. [Download]
R.U.S.E. [Download]

R.U.S.E. is available on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is one of the few RTS games to make a successful console experience which is why it is particularly attractive to console gamers.

The games focus on carefully planning your strategic choices is unmatched in my opinion. Much of your time will be spent tricking your enemies and hiding your true power to lure them into devastating traps.

 

R.U.S.E. Trailer

endless-space
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endless-space

11 - Endless Space

One Of The More Recent Games Like Civilization

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 - Download The Game From Steam Now

Endless Space Admiral Edition [Download]
Endless Space Admiral Edition [Download]

Endless Space offers a great 4X gameplay experience and stunning visuals to deliver an all around great game.

Battle for control of an entire galaxy in this popular strategy game.

 

Endless Space Trailer

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 Last updated on August 7, 2014

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What Is Your Favourite Game Like Civilization? - Or Know Some Other Games Like Civilization? 41 comments

KingRezo profile image

KingRezo 8 weeks ago from Puerto Rico

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 LM profile image

CashInTheHand LM 3 months ago

Civilization V is my favorite, second is X-COM.


nipun-max profile image

nipun-max 3 months ago

I have written an article about how to play strategic games professionally . Give it a try if you like :)


dmhonz 5 months ago

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 5 months ago

You should see Sid Mires Pirates. Its not the best game in the world but it is quite cool.


Seasons Greetings profile image

Seasons Greetings 8 months ago from Ontario, Canada Level 4 Commenter

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.


Seasons Greetings profile image

Seasons Greetings 8 months ago from Ontario, Canada Level 4 Commenter

@anonymous: I remember Settlers. I remember seeing a new version of it come out (but that was years ago now).


Seasons Greetings profile image

Seasons Greetings 8 months ago from Ontario, Canada Level 4 Commenter

What about Caesar and it's versions?


anonymous 8 months ago

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...


Zeraton 9 months ago

Cool page, love the videos.


HusnainK profile image

HusnainK 9 months ago

Very informative post! Thanks! Age of Empires 2 is a classic I personally love.


Film_addict 10 months ago

Total War !!!!!!!


Aladdins Cave profile image

Aladdins Cave 11 months ago Level 3 Commenter

Age of Empires.

WOW is all I can say

Cheers from DOWNUNDER


anonymous 17 months ago

Knights of Honor (2005) best medieval music and history in the game!!!


anonymous 19 months ago

A fantastic lens! Some great games here!


ClintCarmel profile image

ClintCarmel 19 months ago

An excellent page. My only quibble: you left off Master of Magic. :( To this day, it remains the greatest example of this sort of game ever made.


anonymous 19 months ago

For me, there is no game like Civilization. Civilization games are unique! But the Total War series are splendid also (I like Rome and Medieval above all)


KateAdamsUSA profile image

KateAdamsUSA 20 months ago

best game series ever and it was educational too.


anonymous 20 months ago

Spore?


anonymous 21 months ago

Nothing compares to the TOTAL WAR series games. Best strategy games I have ever played, and waiting patiently on Rome 2


anonymous 21 months ago

wheres Company of Heroes?


tophatpro profile image

tophatpro 21 months ago

I love civilization and other strategy games. Great list, although I wouldn't have said Shogun Total War was anything like civilization...


David-N 21 months ago

Nice lens. I have played a few of these but still prefer Civ.


anonymous 21 months ago

Hi guys, been a fan of Civ for a while, but was wondering if any of you could recommend a game like civ but with a few twists. such as random world event happenings (earthquakes, Floods, Volcanoes) and/or managing trade routes for a higher income?


RandySturridge profile image

RandySturridge 22 months ago

Enjoyed the list...well done


SimilarSam profile image

SimilarSam 22 months ago from Australia Hub Author

@Markwell1: It definitely depends on what you are looking for in the game. But it's definitely one of the less obvious games like.


Markwell1 profile image

Markwell1 22 months ago

I am not convinced Civilization has much in common with Age of empires!


practicemastery1 profile image

practicemastery1 23 months ago

Great list/collection - thanks!


AdriatiX 23 months ago

Awesome collection of strategy games. I would also add Heroes of Might and Magic to this list.


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 23 months ago Level 2 Commenter

These are great games. Even if I don't get into these I just like reading about them.


LuizAvila 2 years ago

I love Civilization series. And I still love Civ 2!!!


Coffee-Break profile image

Coffee-Break 2 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada Level 3 Commenter

I played Age of Empires, but I soon realized I was too addicted. Actually my wife realized first... LOL


RoadMonkey profile image

RoadMonkey 2 years ago Level 4 Commenter

Used to love playing civilisation. I had it on a 25Mhz computer, which only had floppy disks. You could save your game onto floppy disk, so you could continue where you finished previously. It was good for being able to make a risky move and then go back if it didn't work out, so you didn't lose a life!


anonymous 2 years ago

Awesome lens! I love Age of Empires.


aSwellGuy 2 years ago

Age of Empires was like crack when I was younger.


SimilarSam profile image

SimilarSam 2 years ago from Australia Hub Author

@CivChe: I agree, I don't like to include RTS games but unfortunately the lack of new turn-based games made it so I had to include some of the better ones.

I'm thinking of doing a separate lens for old games like Civilization because there are plenty of good ones but then the issue becomes finding places to buy them (which is what this lens is intended for, help people find games to buy that are like Civilization).


CivChe 2 years ago

I am fanatic for all games from Civilization series. I don't think that any real-time strategy can be similar to Civ, but on your list I found many promising games (like online Evony: Age II ). Thanks for good lens!!


candz1 lm profile image

candz1 lm 2 years ago

cool lens!


anonymous 2 years ago

Thank you for these wonderful reviews! Gonna try a few of these games soon.


SusannaDuffy profile image

SusannaDuffy 2 years ago from Melbourne Australia Level 4 Commenter

I'm a great fan of Civilisation and of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri - it's been a while since I had time to play these games though (sigh)


samsipet profile image

samsipet 2 years ago

Years ago I used to play hours and days with no end when they first came out...nice to see that it is still around. great lens

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