Are you a fan of the Civilization game series? Looking for other games like it? 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 ones. Civilization is definitely one of the best turn based strategy games available but there are still a few other standouts worth playing.
I've spent a long time compiling this list and I'm very happy with the games I've managed to collect on this page. Some of the games on this page are more similar to Civilization V while others are more similar to earlier installments. Regardless of your preference you will find a game that suits your style.
Be sure to let me know what you think about the games on this list and and don't hesitate to recommend another game in the comment section at the bottom of the page.
Check Out My Two Top Picks From This Page
1 - The Anno Franchise
A Large Series of Games Like Civilization
Anno is a large collection of games that are from medieval times to the current day and even into the future.. Players must establish their own city, develop technologies, build structures and grow an army to attack other players.
It's a game franchise that definitely focuses on the economy side of gameplay rather than combat, which I really enjoy and is guaranteed to hook many other strategy fans.
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.
2 - The 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. Playable in your browser and for free, the game features some nice-looking graphics and a level of depth not usually offered in a browser based experience.
The games focus is definitely on the city-building elements, 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.
3 - Tribal Wars 2
Tribal Wars 2 is a new online game 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 and are given the duty to develop their kingdom after returning home from the Crusades. 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 offers that classic strategic gameplay that fans of Civilization will love. It might not have all the depth of a full blown game but for a browser option, the realism and well crafted game elements more than make up for it.
4 - Sid Meier's 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 similar game.
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). The game 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 being outdated graphics, but true turn based strategy fans will instantly be able to look beyond this and enjoy the game immensely.
5 - 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.
Players take on several roles (leaders, generals, mayors etc.) within a civilization (depending on the game). From there, 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 six more.. 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, which holds a very high score of 90 on Metacritic.
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 five different games, with the latest one being released in 2006.
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.
7 - Galactic Civilizations (Series)
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 series should look into Galactic Civilizations II and its two expansions (Dark Avatar and Twilight of the Armor).
8 - Master Of Orion (Series)
Master Of Orion was one of the original 4X strategy games and was released in 1993 (two years after Civilization).
Two sequels were also released, one in 1996 and another one in 2003.
The 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.
9 - Age of Empires (Series)
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 first title int he series was released in 1997 and since then has grown into a popular gaming franchise and even includes an online version.
The game titles follow historical events across Europe, Asia and Africa and involves time periods spanning from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. In total, the series has been a success commercially selling over 25 million copies.
10 - R.u.s.e.
While R.U.S.E. doesn't offer turn based gameplay, its interesting real time elements still earn it a place on this list. It 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 and re-playability through the number of different ways to beat campaign levels and the inclusion of multiplayer options(complete with many possible game modes).
I always liked the R.U.S.E games although they often get less praise than they deserved (like many games before them). I encourage you to check them out and see if they suit your real time strategy style.
11 - 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.
What Is Your Favourite Game Like Civilization? - Or Know Some Other Games Like Civilization?
Yong Kuan Leong from Singapore on May 14, 2016:
I guess Alpha would be the best choice, if one is really hard-core one turn more kinda fan. AoE is a great choice too, with wonderful graphics. But is more intense than Civ.
DSmizzle from Long Beach, New York on April 08, 2015:
I'll check some of these games out thanks!
KingRezo from Puerto Rico on August 05, 2014:
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 on June 13, 2014:
Civilization V is my favorite, second is X-COM.
nipun-max on June 10, 2014:
I have written an article about how to play strategic games professionally . Give it a try if you like :)
dmhonz on April 14, 2014:
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 on April 10, 2014:
You should see Sid Mires Pirates. Its not the best game in the world but it is quite cool.
Laura Brown from Ontario, Canada on January 28, 2014:
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.
Laura Brown from Ontario, Canada on January 28, 2014:
@anonymous: I remember Settlers. I remember seeing a new version of it come out (but that was years ago now).
Laura Brown from Ontario, Canada on January 28, 2014:
What about Caesar and it's versions?
anonymous on January 09, 2014:
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 on January 03, 2014:
Cool page, love the videos.
HusnainK on December 12, 2013:
Very informative post! Thanks! Age of Empires 2 is a classic I personally love.
Film_addict on November 17, 2013:
Total War !!!!!!!
Aladdins Cave from Melbourne, Australia on October 14, 2013:
Age of Empires.
WOW is all I can say
Cheers from DOWNUNDER
anonymous on April 27, 2013:
Knights of Honor (2005) best medieval music and history in the game!!!
anonymous on March 03, 2013:
A fantastic lens! Some great games here!
ClintCarmel on February 21, 2013:
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 on February 14, 2013:
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 on February 04, 2013:
best game series ever and it was educational too.
anonymous on January 14, 2013:
anonymous on January 02, 2013:
Nothing compares to the TOTAL WAR series games. Best strategy games I have ever played, and waiting patiently on Rome 2
anonymous on January 01, 2013:
wheres Company of Heroes?
tophatpro on December 25, 2012:
I love civilization and other strategy games. Great list, although I wouldn't have said Shogun Total War was anything like civilization...
David-N on December 23, 2012:
Nice lens. I have played a few of these but still prefer Civ.
anonymous on December 21, 2012:
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 on December 08, 2012:
Enjoyed the list...well done
Samuel Franklin (author) on November 21, 2012:
@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 on November 21, 2012:
I am not convinced Civilization has much in common with Age of empires!
practicemastery1 on November 01, 2012:
Great list/collection - thanks!
AdriatiX on October 19, 2012:
Awesome collection of strategy games. I would also add Heroes of Might and Magic to this list.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 14, 2012:
These are great games. Even if I don't get into these I just like reading about them.
LuizAvila on September 20, 2012:
I love Civilization series. And I still love Civ 2!!!
Dorian Bodnariuc from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on September 11, 2012:
I played Age of Empires, but I soon realized I was too addicted. Actually my wife realized first... LOL
RoadMonkey on July 06, 2012:
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 on June 07, 2012:
Awesome lens! I love Age of Empires.
aSwellGuy on May 31, 2012:
Age of Empires was like crack when I was younger.
Samuel Franklin (author) on May 26, 2012:
@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 on May 26, 2012:
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 on May 23, 2012:
anonymous on May 22, 2012:
Thank you for these wonderful reviews! Gonna try a few of these games soon.
Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on May 22, 2012:
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 on May 22, 2012:
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