Beside the hack and slash type of gameplay, medieval games can also offer endless hours of strategizing, commanding huge armies and finally conquering rival territories. For the gamers that love to spend their time making elaborate plans, organizing cities and planning how to best use their resources we made a list of the best 10 medieval titles that give you the liberty to build your very own kingdom. The games were chosen by always keeping in mind a vital aspect: they had to offer us the opportunity of actually constructing and expand our lands and legacy.
Banished is a city-building strategy game where you lead a group of outcasts to grow and maintain a settlement. The citizens of the town are similar to a resource that needs to be managed, the player having to give them various tasks such as building, fishing or hunting. The goal is to keep your population healthy, happy and well-fed and to build different constructions such as houses, blacksmith shops, hospitals, farms, and schools in order to expand your city. Banished tests the players’ city management skills challenging them to evolve and learn new things.
The Sims Medieval
In this installment of the Sims series, you are free to build your own kingdom by successfully completing the quests that take place in a medieval inspired environment. There are several types of professions you can choose from, each with their unique abilities; monarchs, wizards, spies, priests and bards are just some of the various classes available. Unlike the other games in the series, The Sims Medieval concentrates more on the RPG style of gameplay, aspects such as character creation, simulation, and architectural elements taking a back seat in favor of actions that evolve your character.
Knights of Honor
Knights of Honor is a real-time strategy title that takes place in Medieval Europe, the players being able to play as one of the 100 available kingdoms featured in the game. The actual area where the action takes place spans from Ireland to Armenia and from Scandinavia to the northern coast of Africa, the map being divided into provinces. Each of these land parcels is governed by a city and contains rural areas such as villages, farms and monasteries. The main goal in Knights of Honor is to gain enough power and influence as to conquer the whole land and become the Emperor of Europe.
The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom
In The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom the player has the opportunity to choose between three unique methods of victory: Military, Science and Trade. In the Military development path, the players build a strong army and intend to conquer as many territories as possible and ultimately defeat their enemies. A peaceful way is also available, where the lands can be occupied using the power of religion, through missionary priests. The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom has been valued mainly for its tense and complex gameplay that makes the players feel like real Medieval tacticians.
Crusader Kings 2
A grand strategy game set in the Middle Ages, Crusader Kings 2 allows the player to control a Medieval dynasty from 1066 to 1453. The main goal is to become as successful as possible and make a name for your house; actions such as the strategic use of war, marriages and assassinations being necessary and even encouraged. The gameplay is open-ended so that every player can achieve his or her goals by different means, making every action much more important but also giving a sense of free will. An impressive number of expansion packs, DLCs and Mods are available for Crusader Kings 2, making it a highly appreciated title and Paradox’s second most successful release, after Cities: Skylines.
Mount & Blade: Warband
Besides the impressive direct combat Mount & Blade: Warband offers, there are also other more complex aspects present in its gameplay. For example you can opt to become the ruler of a faction and gain power over other lords, making them your faithful vassals or you can choose to marry a lady of the realm for romantic reasons or for pure political advantages. By commanding your band of brave companions you will be able to expand your lands, fight your way through harsh wars and ultimately become worthy of the throne of Calradia.
Set both in the medieval and the renaissance periods, Anno 1404 offers a complex gameplay that includes city-building, economic simulation and real-time strategy elements. The players are able to create and manage their properties alongside other AI entities. Actions such as colonizing islands, planning settlements and starting naval or terrestrial fights are just some of the elements that contribute to the extremely solid world of Anno 1404. It is one of the most appreciated titles of the series and it should definitely be tried by all the medieval games aficionados.
A historical real-time strategy, Stronghold focuses on conquering new areas of land and expanding your territories through military force, but it also offers the possibility to use a strategy based on economy and development. Taking place in Medieval Britain, around the year of 1066, Stronghold’s gameplay can span over longer periods of time, even for hundreds of years after the initial date when you started. The player takes the role of a Lord that must make his kingdom thrive by creating a steady economy, building powerful armies for defense and reconquer the lands taken by other rival lords.
Medieval II: Total War
Combining turn-based strategic rounds with real-time tactically-oriented battles, Medieval II: Total War is based on medieval warfare, religion and political elements. Its storyline takes place between the years 1080 and 1530 and includes territories from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The gameplay has two modes: battles and single-player campaign, the battles being available in multiplayer, in user-defined scenarios, or in historical settings that simulate real wars. In the campaign the player can take control of a faction and build a civilization in order to defeat other factions and take control of at least 45 rival territories.
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
The second title of the Age of Empires game series, The Age of Kings takes place during the Middle Ages and offers a number of thirteen playable civilizations. The players’ goal is to gather resources that help them build towns and armies in order to gain enough power to defeat their enemies and conquer territories. Five historically based campaigns are available where the player is constricted to follow some specialized and story-backed conditions. In addition to these, three additional single-player game modes, and multiplayer are also supported. Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings spans over a 1000 year period and is an extremely respected medieval gaming title, being the inspiration for many other titles that came after it.