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9 Of The Best Games Like Civilization in 2020

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The games that are strategy-based and involve four subgenres i.e., Explore Expand, Exploit, and Exterminate, are called the 4X games as an abbreviation. The Civilization game or other games like civilization are mostly the 4X types of games.

These games include both Turn-Based Strategy (TBS) and Real-Time Strategy (RTS). Most 4X games are competitive, but each game has varying levels of strategic depth. 

A game about which almost every avid gamer would know about or has heard of is Civilization. The publishing of Civilization was revolutionizing in the gaming industry, and eventually, it became a shining paradigm of excellence.

Even now, gamers who once played the first or the 90’s Civilization game speak warmly about it. Civilization is a game that entwines a lot of memory for the long hours that the players spent enjoying the game. 

The Civilization series core design is very enduring as to be even remembered for 30 years since its release.

Even Mark Zuckerberg said that it was the game Civilization that got him interested in the Engineering field, and he spoke about the game with much love and warmth. It is not only him, but many people around the world still are hardcore Civilization players.  

Most games like civilization require the players to make macroscopic societal decisions, and these games also help them build managerial sense. Significant aspects of 4X games or games similar to Civilization include the building of a nation and making suitable economic decisions that affect the player’s nation.

Then these events of the game are followed by the balance of progress in industrial aspects, keeping in mind the environment preservation and engaging in war for expansion of land, then dealing with the effects of war.  

All these aspects are applicable in real-life, and playing games like civilization strategically would mean increasing life-skills. The 4X games also teach people a more simplified way about reasonable outcomes of their actions, which can be either good or bad but can affect a variety of large-scale areas. 

Even if a player feels the game hasn’t helped develop skills, that person cannot deny that the game tickled them intellectually. The game inevitably urges the players to make individual decisions and see the later consequence.

All these aspects make games like civilization enjoyable, and that is why the games witness a vast player base. We are providing a list of games (with details about it) that are similar to Civilization so that players can engage in some more strategic games’ fun. 

Best Games Like Civilization: Our Top Pick 👌👌

1. Endless Legend (2014)

The Endless Legend (Download Here) is a Role-Playing, Indie game, and Turn-Based Strategy (TBS) genre game. The game is based on a plot and has several mysteries underlying through it. Each player will have a city with a few soldiers and loyal people habiting in the city.

Players have to use their power and magic to keep the city and its people alive by growing food, collecting wealth, building industry, and developing science as well as magic. 

In the Endless Legend game, a player has to plan out the strategy before a battle and then wait for the strategy to play out on its own. In short, every aspect of civilization in this game is controllable, but each player has to struggle to protect their homeland. 

Developer: Blue Byte Software

Game Modes: Single Player and Multiplayer option

Platform(s): PC based supporting Microsoft Windows and macOS. 

2. Europa Universalis 4 (2013)

Civilization is a game that successfully kept events occurring inside the game as neutral as possible. However, the game Europa Universalis 4 is developed to look as if it is based in the European environment (Download Here).

Best Games Like Civilization

Amid all the imbalances among the world’s nations, EU IV creates another controversy being a game restricted to only Europe. Europa Universalis 4 is a decision-making type of game where no two factions start under the same condition.  

Spoiler alert: EU IV has no endgame, so one pressure is lifted off the shoulders of the players. All-in-all, Europa Universalis 4 is a game with many management options, which makes it a little more challenging compared to other games like civilization

Developer: Paradox Development Studio 

Game Modes: Single Player and Multiplayer option. 

Platform(s):  LINUX, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. 

3. Fallen Enchantress (2012)

The Fallen Enchantress (Download Here) is a game about the building and expanding of an empire and going on quests. However, Towns can only be built on fertile patches of land, and this feature of the game encourages the players to explore the terrain well.

While the town grows, the players have to turn their focus to a particular area they want to progress in, like the military centers of the empire, production in the area, or research.

Therefore whichever faction of the Fallen Enchantress game you choose ultimately has a more significant influence on your style of playing. 

As per the reviews, Fallen Enchantress is a game that is said to be a perfectly balanced strategy game with many exciting possibilities, and the AI of the game is also good for it doesn’t crash.

But one area of improvement in the game is that the AI isn’t much aggressive during wars. The exciting fact is that Fallen Enchantress is actually an expansion of the TBS game called the Elemental: War of Magic. So for those who already own Elemental, they can get Fallen Enchantress for free. 

Developer: Stardock 

Game Mode: Single Player option only. 

Platform(s):  PC based supporting Microsoft Windows. 

4. FreeCIV (1996, stable release on 2020)

In 1996 three students started developing FreeCIV (Download Here) as a hobby. The game is free, open-source, is customizable, and this game runs on almost every device.

Best Games Like Civilization

The game is excellent for beginners and for those who are looking for games like civilization. And FreeCIV provides a no-hassle experience to its players, and that is why even in 2020, it has a vast player base.  

Developer: The Freeciv project

Game Modes: Single Player and Multiplayer option. 

Platform(s):  LINUX, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Android, Amiga. 

5. Sid Meyer’s Alpha Centauri (1999)

The developers of the Civilization game created this game, but this game’s design is like the space-age version of games like civilization. Alpha Centauri (Download Here) is a game where the players have to build a civilization in an inhospitable environment, and for this, they have to take all the necessary steps that are possible in the game. 

This game was much ahead of its time and is often called the Civilian game with spaceships. Alpha Centauri has a grand narrative, even being a strategy game. Players in Alpha Centauri have to deal with the morally uncharted territory. 

Developer: Firaxis Games, Westlake Interactive

Game Modes: Single Player and Multiplayer option. 

Platform(s):  LINUX, Mac, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One. 

6. Stellaris (2016)

Publishers Paradox Interactive had struck gold with Stellaris for it being a very strategic 4X game. Stellaris (Download Here) is a game with a grand strategy occurring in deep space. The grand strategies of games are usually about waging war to foster diplomacy, but this can differ in many cases. 

Stellar is a game on which the developers put much thought into the details that allow the players to interact with the other alien species of the game using the diplomacy system.

Paradox games don’t apparently believe in letting the fun end for Stellar have 11DLCs and content packs that include story missions, more species, etc.

Developer: Paradox Development Studio 

Game Modes: Single Player and Multiplayer option. 

Platform(s): PC based supporting Microsoft Windows. 

7. The Settlers: Rise of an Empire (2013)

In this PC game, the players are in a virtual medieval world where they have to build towns. The Settlers: Rise of an Empire game (Download Here) is a strategy game similar to games like civilization.

Best Games Like Civilization

The animations are richly detailed and seem very realistic. The Settler figures have to survive daily by doing their routine tasks that involve several actions. 

Players have to also have to look out for enemies because everyone will try to loot and destroy your town once they get the chance. But in the end, every Settler has the common objective of expanding your empire so that they can become a legendary ruler. 

Developer: AMPLITUDE Studios

Game Modes: Single Player and Multiplayer option. 

Platform(s): PC based supporting Microsoft Windows. 

8. Warlock: Master of the Arcane (2012)

This game (Download Here) is also a 4X strategy game released in 2012. The game involves players to conquer an area, manage resources like food, mana, and gold. Warlock is often compared to the Civilization game by gamers. 

Developer: 1C: Ino-Co Plus

Game Mode: Single Player option only. 

Platform(s): PC based supporting Microsoft Windows. 

Some other mention-worthy games like civilization are:

  • Total War: Three Kingdoms

Developer: Creative Assembly

Game Modes: Single Player and Multiplayer option.

Platform(s): PC based supporting LINUX, Microsoft Windows, and macOS.

Click the link for more information about the game

  • Hearts of Iron 4

Developer: Paradox Development Studio

Game Modes: Single Player and Multiplayer option.

Platform(s): PC based supporting LINUX, Microsoft Windows, and macOS.

Click the link for more information about the game

  • Victoria 2

Developers: Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio

Game Modes: Single Player and Multiplayer option. 

Platform(s): PC based supporting Microsoft Windows and macOS. 

Click the link for more information about the game

Turn-Based Strategy vs. Real-Time Strategy in games  

Both the Turn-Based Strategy and Real-Time Strategy games have their own potential benefits and drawbacks. But first, we need to understand what each of the two mechanisms is about. 

Turn-Based Strategy Games

These are the games that have directly been descended from the board games tradition that predates back to video games. For gamers looking for a transparent play and the games a little less overwhelming than the action games, Turn-Based Strategy games would be perfect for them. The fan-base of Turn-Based Games overlaps with that of people loving the board and card games. 

Turn-based games allow players to have more time for complex calculation. Artificial Intelligence is also more robust. 

And most Turn-Based Strategy games emphasize on conceptual planning. Many gamers criticize the Turn-Based games associated with wait times. Many game theorists have claimed that strategic thinking is best suited to Turn-Based Strategy games.

Real-Time Strategy Games

Real-Time games are rather multiplayer friendly and are more immersive in nature. Except for the sports games of Real-Time Strategy type of games, the others could only indeed be advent virtually.

But new players are sometimes easily overwhelmed by Real-Time Strategy games if they are not well-placed, but slowly they get the hang of it. 

Real-Time Strategy is best suited to action-oriented games. The challenges and realism of Real-Time Strategy games have been appreciated by many players because they demand rapid decision making, which is an excellent mental exercise.

However, many game theorists have also criticized Real-Time Strategy games for not showing the exact requirement for strategy; it instead involves only rapid mouse clicking. 

Civilization was actually first based on Real-Time Strategy, but the players were massively overwhelmed with the more significant number of systems that had to be juggled at the same time. Thus the prototype of the game was changed by Sid Meier.

Civilization changed into a Turn-Based Game, which made the game less intimidating and more enjoyable. 

Therefore it can be concluded that Turn-Based Strategy games are more accessible; that is why casual games are based on it. However, for a chaotic game with challenges that gamers will enjoy, it is best to choose Real-Time Strategy. 

Questions related to games like civilization and their answers:

(Q) What makes some games strategic in type?

Answer: The genre of video games that involves an emphasis on planning and skillful thinking for completing an assigned task or for achieving victory is called strategy games. In strategy games, the players have to plan a series of actions to defeat enemies or achieve their goals.

The contribution of luck is much less in strategy games in comparison to the level of superior planning required to win. In most strategic 4X games, the player is a God-like persona who controls every aspect of that kingdom or area.

The combats in strategic games require tactical considerations of the opponents’ attacks and require the player’s ability to manage the player in the game.

(Q) What makes Civilization so popular?

Answer: Civilization is a strategic game that outshined other strategic games created before it. Unlike the earlier strategic games, Civilization brought a change for being developed on a huge game map. Earlier games also had shorter gameplay for being placed on a short map, but Civilization was different from this. 

Plus, in civilizations, it doesn’t matter the number of times you are playing the game, you will end up having different results every time.

In the realm of this strategic game, the players got the freedom to do many activities, starting from creating towns to making allies and enemies. But the aspect on which every Civilization player would agree is that the thing that made this game famous was it most humbly being fun.   

(Q) Why has Civilization not lost its level of fame even after so many years of its release?

Answer: It is astonishing that even after 25 years of the Civilization game’s release, it is still as popular on the market as before.

One of the primary reasons behind the game’s popularity is that the franchise continuously invests a more significant production value in every new game of the Civilization series.

Another aspect that kept the game’s true fan and player base intact were that the Civilization franchise didn’t change the core of the game that works. The franchise only kept adding new aspects in Civilization to enhance the gaming experience.  

And all this popularity was gained by Civilization without any false marketing that had become very common in today’s world but not when Civilization was introduced though.

Well, probably because of these few things, the game’s franchise did right; therefore, the Civilization game became a genuinely good reputed and famous game. 

(Q) Can no other game top Civilization?

Answer: It is hard to objectify people’s preferences; therefore, there is no confirmation that Civilization is the best strategy game ever made. But Civilization definitely achieved several milestones in the gaming industry that qualifies it in the list of top strategy games.

But with every passing day, people are getting more interested in gaming and joining, so there is no doubt that other games might receive a greater audience now.

But at the time when Civilization came to the market, it witnessed booming success in comparison to other games of the then time. Therefore all these comparisons are very relative and debatable. 

(Q) What are some games that make the players do a mental workout without being boring?

Answer: Not all games will be successful in giving players a mental workout. Some brain teaser games like puzzle games or memory games help to slow down the aging of the brain.

Some games like this are Mario Bros, Angry birds, etc. are examples of brainteasers. Brain Teaser games are notorious for improving the motor skills of the players without them realizing it.  

Then Role Playing Games (RPGs) also require the players to use reasoning and problem-solving strategies. Some RPGs that are famous like Elder Scrolls or Final Fantasy have customizable elements in the plot that make the player face choices and later consequences of their chosen decision.  

Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games demand the players to plan strategies to accomplish the assigned tasks in the game or to overcome an obstacle. And since these games are played in real-time, the players develop skills like multitasking, adapting, managing skills, communication skills, etc.  

(Q) Will VR and AR take a toll on games like civilization? 

Answer: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are slowly becoming an intricate part of our life without us realizing. And soon, most real-life training will be conducted using VR and AR.

And if the technology is elevating every other industrial sphere, there is no doubt that the gaming industry will also be experiencing modifications to improve gamers’ experience.

And we should also realize the importance of this transformation of games because there is no limit to the ways in which the legacy of video games like civilization has impacted us in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Therefore, this change might just be useful in the future for learning and development. 

Conclusion

Playing strategy games like civilization are honestly fun and exciting. But one benefit that very few players will realize about playing these games is that it helps in the improvement of productivity. Many are skeptical about video games, considering them a waste of time, but honestly, there are many upsides of playing strategy games. 

Unlike games that are already pre-encoded with directions of what to do and what not and have a fixed outcome does not allow gamers to exercise their minds.

On the other hand, strategic games are developed such that the outcomes depend on the decisions taken by the player. It is proven that strategic games provide mental stimulation and improve mental activity. 

Playing strategy games like civilization for short periods during intervals in one’s busy schedule of routine work can help in the release of stress. But one has to be careful about their playing time because video games can be very addictive.

Abstain from playing the games for long hours. Players should try to take time and plan your strategies then take a decision instead of mindlessly playing. This will help them get beneficial results from playing the game. 

Most strategic games have the option of multiplayer, which means that the players have to connect and work together in the virtual world. This will help in the increase of social skills, including the enhancement of teamwork in real life.

An additional benefit of multiplayer features can be finding friends because of sharing mutual interests. 

In short, playing games like civilization will increase your productivity if you are willing to play it strategically.