Medieval history is one of the most well-known parts of European history, and it’s been romanticized in the stories of King Arthur and shown in a wide range of media, from cheesy popcorn movies to Saturday morning cartoons. Yet, there aren’t many good video games set in the Age of Chivalry. When it comes to medieval fantasy adventures with monsters and magic, the cup runs over. But if you’re looking for something more real, like swords without magic, you’ll have to do some digging.
It’s also possible to put on your favorite blademail and read this list of the best medieval games ever made by us. Because of backwards compatibility, any PS4 and Xbox One games will also work on PS5 and Xbox Series X | S, so keep that in mind.
1. Graveyard Keeper
Developer: Lazy Bear Games
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Android
There was more to the Middle Ages than just swords and kingdoms, Graveyard Keeper would like to remind you.
This game is about a young man who takes care of the graveyard behind a church. You spend your days cleaning up headstones and making room for new graves. It’s hard work for low pay, but there are chances for someone with a good idea to make a lot of money.
No one can deny that Graveyard Keeper looks disgusting, but it also makes you think about important things, like: do the dead really need all of their organs? And why is burger meat so pricey when you have so many dead bodies around? People’s lives will be affected by how you play the game and what you do, too.
2. Stronghold Crusader 2
Developer: FireFly Studios
Publisher: FireFly Studios
Stronghold Crusader 2 is the sequel to Stronghold Crusader, a 2002 RTS game that looked at the Holy Roman Empire’s many divinely-ordered campaigns to conquer the Middle East. Stronghold is the name of a TV show that focuses on the logistical problems and long, drawn-out standoffs of siege warfare.
A tactical action game and a full-blown castle manager, this game is a little bit of both. You’ll spend as much time making sure your economy is stable as you do taking down your enemy’s base. If you play on a small map, you’ll always be competing with your opponent for resources, which are always limited and cleverly placed so that they’re important to launching a successful attack on the enemy castle.
It’s best when you fight in sieges. Attackers must poke and prod to find chinks in their opponent’s castle ramparts, replenishing the troops lost after every assault, while the defender works to keep structures in working order and make sure they have the resources to keep training defenders.
3. Chivalry 2
Developer: Torn Banner Studios
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
Platform(s): PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One
You can cut off limbs and send heads flying with a single swing of your blade in Chivalry 2.
A class-based shooter set in the Dark Ages with bows and swords is what the game is about. Weighty and violent fights are the norm in this game, and the focus on melee action forces players to get right in each other’s faces. You can de-limb someone with a well-placed hit, which never gets old. This leaves them open for a fatal blow to the head or heart.
There are a lot of gruesome images, but Chivalry isn’t a game that takes itself seriously. It’s a nod to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but Chivalry 2 lets you fight even if you don’t have any arms or legs. Half the players in a game are running around with bloody stumps for arms and legs. It’s impossible to keep a smile on your face.
4. Anno 1404
Developer: Ubisoft Mainz
Anno 1404 is a city-building game that places more importance on economic power than on military strength. Because the game is mostly about trade, you’ll spend a lot of time building trade infrastructure, planning routes, and setting up your ports in the best way possible.
The city and trade management are both difficult and accessible, but 1404 does a great job of gradually getting more difficult as the player learns how to use the game’s different mechanics. The game places more emphasis on passive income than most other Anno games because it lets the player set up automatic buy orders in their ports so that they can make money without having to work.
This moves small-scale buying and selling to the NPCs so the player can spend their time expanding and building their cities. Anno 1404 is the most accessible game in the series because it’s set in a world before electricity, which means that players don’t have to think about the power grid optimization that dictates city planning in later installments. This makes it a great way to get into the slow-paced, cerebral strategy series.
5. Life is Feudal: Your Own
Developer: Bitbox Ltd.
Publisher: Bitbox Ltd.
Make solo play so realistic that it’s boring. This is the simple but controversial idea behind Life is Feudal: Your Own, which is a creative sandbox game set in the Middle Ages. The goal is to build community by making collaboration the only way to make anything worthwhile.
The first thing to do is build a house out of wood logs. Step two in most survival games is to cut down some trees and get enough logs to build your house. In Life, it’s war: Unless you have a lot of space, you can’t build your home with logs because they’re so big. You have to slowly move the log to where you want to start building. Once you have enough, you have to go back and do it all over again until you have enough to finally build a place to live.
Each server can hold up to 64 people, most of whom will work together to make something cool. Is there anything else like Life is Feudal: Your Own?
6. Knights of Honor
Developer: Black Sea Studios Ltd
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Knights of Honor is an underrated strategy game that combines the multi-generational kingdom building of Crusader Kings with the real-time tactical battles of the Total War series. It’s a shame that this game isn’t better known. As it turns out, it’s a little bit like both of those series. It’s not nearly as complicated as the first one, and it’s a lot less combat-oriented than the second one.
What do you want to do in Knights? Be crowned the ruler of Europe. You can conquer other countries and make diplomatic agreements with them to grow your territory and power. There are also less direct ways to get rid of your rivals, like sending your family members to infiltrate enemy courts or starting riots in nearby kingdoms. In most cases, you won’t be able to rule the world for the rest of your life, and so much of your time will be spent arranging political marriages so that you can pass on the job to someone else.
Knights of Honor is a complex game that isn’t complicated. It has an easy-to-use and intuitiveness that few other grand strategy games can match. Those who want a less intense version of Crusader Kings should check out this little-known game.
7. Conqueror’s Blade
When you play Conqueror’s Blade, you play as a warlord who is in charge of an army. You lead your chosen units into epic 15v15 PvP fights. You can look at the battlefield from both third-person and top-down perspectives to make sure you’re getting the most out of your position. With so many weapons and units to choose from, you have a lot of control over how you fight. As long as you have a sword and a shield, you can go into battle. Or your warlord can use glaives and mauls, or even a huge Japanese nodachi, to fight.
To raise the stakes, you can join a House and become part of a bigger team. Houses fight together in bigger battles like Territory Wars, and if you’re lucky, your bannermates will share rewards and resources to help you build your army’s strength.
8. Mount And Blade 2: Bannerlord
Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord understands what combat in medieval games is all about, and that is the feeling of being part of an extremely dangerous moshpit, jostling for a few inches of space to swing your mace into someone’s forehead, who then dies instantly because that’s how maces and foreheads work. In Bannerlord’s huge battles, you’re never more than an arrow in the eye away from death. This means that they’re full of excitement, tension, and danger.
As it stands, Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord is a pretty good game even if it was just about openings and fighting. The skirmishes take place in a huge Medieval world. Warring factions and empires, trading, romance, bandit raids, sidequests, arena duels, and town management all coexist in the same place at the same time. On top of that, the battles have their own RTS layer, which lets you order your troops into formations and give them commands. It turns into a mix of your favorite strategy games, open-world games, simulation games, and RPG games, creating a game that is completely unique to Bannerlord.
In Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord, which is still in early access, there are still some rough spots, cracks, and stretchers to find and iron. That said, even at this point, it’s still one of the best medieval games on the market. It’s for people who like big, exciting battles, or people who like moving from one city to the next and selling a lot of cheese.
Ok. It’s time to answer the most important question. In all these knight games, why can’t I run around the field with a guitar and play for people? There is a person who hears you: Mordhau He is the answer to all your prayers.
As in The Witcher 3, a well-known card game, Mordhau has a whole first-person PvP game based on lute playing, just like the game Gwent. There are a lot of different kinds of fights in Mordhau’s game. There are siege battles, horses, ranged fights, and fortification building. Mordhau is your go-to game when you need to leave your opponents looking like the black knight from The Holy Grail. It’s the right mix of multiplayer action and medieval fun.