Wildly popular and causing thousands of gamers to lose sleep with its “just one more turn” mentality, Civilization V perfected the turn-based strategy game formula and continues to be popular even as more Civ games are released and in development.
However, while 100 hours, 1,200 turns, and trying to win on a Huge map on Deity difficulty with one city as Gandhi provides a sporting challenge, you can only enjoy Civilization V for so long before you need something more different than even the thousands of game mods can provide. Fortunately, just because you are sick of Civ doesn’t mean the strategy genre doesn’t have more time-steal treasures waiting for you.
Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri
There have been a lot of Sid Meier games before Civilization V, although not all of them were as great. However, Sid Meier fans can universally agree that if you loved Civilization V, then Alpha Centauri is the game to play if you are looking for something similar. Although older, Alpha Centauri is essentially Civilization after the space victory. That is actually what Civilization: Beyond Earth was as well, but Alpha Centauri, even though it is near twenty years old, is still the superior game.
Crusader Kings II
While Civilization V is a 4X turn-based strategy, Crusader Kings II is more of a grand strategy sort of game and an excellent follow up if you enjoyed playing as all the historical leaders in Civilization V. Unfortunately, while Civ V is relatively easy to pick up, Crusader Kings II, like most Paradox games, has a huge learning curve, but once you learn, it can provide thousands of hours as fun. Essentially, it is like Civilization meets Game of Thrones where the idea is to not only wage war, but gain territory through plotting and intrigue.
Total War Series
Total War is another game for those that like the historical aspect of Civilization V, but want something with a lower learning curve than Crusader Kings II. However, while Civilization V put a big emphasis on city and empire-building, Total War has more focus on, well, war. However, while you can guide battles out on the field, you can also automatically resolve them if you just want to focus on growing your empire. The nice part is that you can jump into almost any historical period throughout the series. Rome: Total War, Medieval: Total War, Shogun: Total War, Napoleon: Total War, and all the rest allow you to jump into almost any time period if you also include the copious, but worthwhile, amount of DLC that comes with each game.
Age of Empires
Age of Empires doesn’t involves the same turn-based expansion and combat as Civilization, but it does offer opportunities to build and expand as you follow historical events as they spread across Europe, Asia, and Africa. Think of Age of Empires more like a historical Starcraft, which allows it to be more closely related to Civilization V than Starcraft.
Although critically overlooked by many Civilization V fans, Anno 2205, as well as the entire Anno series, is perhaps the most similar game to Civilization V. However, Anno 2205 takes place in the future and rather than having you fight for new territory, you colonize Earth and the moon in this city-builder.
X-COM: Enemy Unknown
Due to its future technology and aliens, XCOM: Enemy Unknown might have more in common with Civilization: Beyond Earth, but it is a game that features the same sort of feel. Made by Firaxis, the same as the Civilization games, you get those same clean sort of graphics that border on cartoonish. However, instead of conquering a whole world, XCOM narrows your focus down to just managing your resources and controlling the turn-based battlefield.
Rise of Nations
Although more similar to some of the older Civilization Games, Rise of Nations is a close cross between Age of Empires and Civilization. While you can advance your empire all the way to the Information Age, the technology tree and building options are a bit more limited than Civilization V, but you do get a wider range of combat units, which tends to be more of the focus in this game.
If what you really crave is that 4X gameplay that hardcore Civilization fans really love, then your best option is also one of the most recent releases. Endless Space lets you choose from eight distinct civilizations that send you into the deep reaches of space to explore and conquer. Like Civilization V, war isn’t your only option with economic and diplomatic victory options also available.
Warlock: Master of the Arcane
Until Warlock: Master of the Arcane was released, the 4X market was really missing a profitable niche – fantasy. There is sci-fi and historical like Civilization V, but Warlock lets you assume the role of a fantasy civilization, as a warlock who wants to be a warlord. Thankfully, while it is a Paradox Interactive game, the learning curve for this 4X is quite low making it easy for you to build your fantasy-inspired empire.
While it lacks the flashy graphics of Civilization V, Dominions 4 effectively combines Civilization with Warlock: Master of the Arcane. You take on the mantle of a Pretender God that is looking to rise to full godhood, but first must overcome all other pretenders. The Pretender God you pick each comes with different powers which makes each nation feel unique. Furthermore, the game also allows you to pick a time period that comes with other pretenders to keep each game of Dominions 4 feeling fresh well into your 50th playthrough.
His 2 favorite fictional characters of all time are Ned and Tony.
Ken lives a life of anguish as his love for video games and all things geek is only surpassed by how horrible he is at playing them.
He has the hand/eye coordination of a 41 y/o man matched with a mind of an 18 y/o.
His cat's name is John Constantine.