Worlds, planets, universes, and everything in between are all fair game fair in the best games like Civilization 6. For more than 30 years, Sid Meier’s long-running strategy game Civ remains as important now as it was when it was originally released. This is due to the fact that it has spawned a number of other outstanding strategy games in the interim period. In these games, you’ll do everything from march into combat with the Three Kingdoms of China in the third century to wrestle for interplanetary dominion. To satiate your world-conquering appetite, check out these top games like Civilization 6.
1. Age of Wonders: Planetfall
Aiming to take 4X games away from earthly historical wars and put them in a more fantastical setting, the Age of Wonders series has been available since 1999. In the first Age of Wonders, elves, orcs, and other races were included in a high-fantasy environment. To get to the stars, we’ll have to make our way through the planets. While the civilisation-building process in Age of Wonders and Civ is relatively similar, combat methods in Planetfall differ noticeably. Because conflicts occur more frequently in Planetfall, a fun, turn-based system was required. As a result of this, XCOM-style ground fights were introduced, which are both enjoyable and visually appealing.
2. Total War: Three Kingdoms
In order to play as some of the most well-known armies in history, the Total War series is an absolute must. Your virtual theater is bringing history to life in the grandest possible way, whether it’s Attila the Hun or Napoleon. All-out war. Western players can learn about China’s three kingdom period and meet its heroic generals thanks to Three Kingdoms. This game has large real time battles between armies, while Civilization is more inwardly focused and more preoccupied with growing your people. The generals in Three Kingdoms are more important than ever before, thus this is the greatest option if you’re seeking for something enormous while also allowing you to interact with personalities on a personal level.
Freeciv’s origins date back to 1996, when it was first developed as a side project by three students. The game still has a large following in 2020. There are only a few good reasons to play it right now. Civilization 2-like gameplay may be found in a game that’s free to download, open source, and operates on a wide range of platforms, including smartphones and tablets. If you want to play a classic Civ game in multiplayer with little effort, this is your best bet. It still does exactly what it was supposed to do all those years ago. In addition, it’s ideal for those who are just starting out in the genre and want to get their feet wet.
4. Europa Universalis 4
Unlike Total War, which allows players to delve into a wide range of historical events by means of, well, war, Civ has always attempted to keep things as global and non-partisan as possible. With all of Europe’s historical inequalities, Europa Universalis focuses on Europe alone. Every faction begins with a different set of circumstances. There are some similarities to Civilization IV in terms of the overall gameplay, but EU IV places a more emphasis on player agency by removing the ending. Due of its various management possibilities, Europa Universalis is a more sophisticated and challenging Civ.
As the second-most prolific developer and publisher of strategy and 4X games after Firaxis, Paradox Interactive has found success with Stellaris, its deep space grand strategy title. However, the difference between grand strategy and 4X games can be pretty academic when it comes to fighting war and nurturing diplomacy. Stellaris’ diplomacy system allows you to encounter and interact with a wide variety of alien races, all of which have been painstakingly developed. Paradox games in particular don’t let the fun finish with the main game, so keep that in mind before you start. More than a dozen expansions and content packs are available for Stellaris.
6. Endless Legend
In the current Age of Wonders you may be looking for anything like to space exploration. As part of the Endless series, Endless Legend joins Endless Space I and II as a new chapter in the series’ history. Endless Legend, like Stellaris, contains factions that force you to be uncompromising in your gameplay. The stats and behavior of each faction are radically distinct. Battles in Endless Legend are fought without direct assistance, thus it can be a little tedious to watch.
7. Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri
Though the Civilization makers built Alpha Centauri as a space-age version of their own game, it may be considered cheating to include it on this list, Alpha Centauri is more than that. In this case, we’re talking about terraforming an uninhabitable environment and building a civilization that’s ready to do what’s necessary. Alpha Centauri’s vision of humanity’s future and the challenges it may confront was well ahead of its time, thus you’re often dealing with morally murky waters. It’s amazing what a strategy game can do when it comes to storytelling.
8. Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War
Gladius is the only turn-based strategy game in the 40k universe that attempts to include the 4X formula. The game’s combat is excellent, as one would expect from a game about war. On the other hand, obtaining resources is a breeze, and there’s no room for diplomatic maneuvering. Gladius may not have much of a foundation, but it’s a wonderful starting point for newcomers to 4X games who are intimidated by the different systems. For those who are most fond of the word “X” for “eXterminate,” this is an ideal game.
9. Sigma Theory: Global Cold War
If you’re looking for a 4X-style game but don’t want to get bogged down in the complexities, this is your best option. Choose your nation and compete with other nations for the best technology in the world in Sigma Theory. Undercover operatives are sent out to steal secrets for you on a rotating basis. While you’re eavesdropping on other countries, diplomatic relations with those countries are being worked on. Despite the fact that it’s a simple idea, it makes diplomacy a central part of strategy games, leading to compelling narratives.
Writing for venues like Eurogamer and PLAY, Malindy also works as a game design consultant and translator. Japanese pop culture fascinates her, and she’s always looking for the next Japanese video game. Additionally, she is a big fan of narrative-driven games, charming indies, and the financial side of the gaming industry, and always wants to learn more.