Games in the domain of medieval strategy are sparse. Yet, the ones that we do have in the genre are typically very solid and well-rounded games. That being said, some are better than others.
We’ve had a go at rounding up the best ones. Here are the 10 best medieval strategy games around right now.
Developer: Firefly Studios
Year of release: 2001
Stronghold is an oldie but it’s still a goodie and is, arguably, still the best game in the entire Stronghold series. It is a historical real-time strategy set in Medieval Britain around the time of William the Conqueror’s Norman invasion of England.
The game has both an economic and military campaign, and both are excellently implemented with rewarding and satisfying missions. For its time, the graphics were excellent and stylish, and the music was catchy.
Stronghold is still worthy of a play today, no doubt, and it is easily one of the best medieval strategy games to try.
9. Conqueror’s Blade
Developer: Booming Tech
Year of release: 2019
If you’re after a tactical medieval game that takes you into the MMO world, Conqueror’s Blade might just be what the doctor ordered.
With some epic cinematics, good co-op aspects, challenging strategy, and a whole host of activities to be getting on with, Conqueror’s Blade fits a lot of enjoyment into the game.
It’s far from perfect, and you’ll need a hefty PC for it to run smoothly, but it’s certainly worth trying if you’re into medieval strategy games.
8. Crusader Kings 2
Developer: Paradox Development Studio
Year of release: 2019
Not only is Crusader Kings a thoroughly addictive and amazing simulation strategy game, but it’s also now free!
Have fun turning your family tree into a long-lasting powerful legacy that reigns supreme over the feudal sandbox world. Though, the less said about the game’s incestuous tendencies the better…
In all seriousness, though, this game is a great insight into the feudal system in medieval Europe, and as any good lord in the middle ages, you will have to expand, conquer, and crusade your way to a successful dynasty.
7. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
Developer: Firaxis Games
Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Android
Year of release: 2016
It’s hard to pick just one game from the Sid Meier Civilization series, as they’re all classics that set the standard of turn-based strategy games for the time they were released. Yet, the most recent game is the perfect amalgamation of all of the best features from the previous installments.
Although not exclusively based within the middle ages, each game has a medieval period that you can strategize your way through, and it’s up to you how long to decide to stay in this era.
The medieval era is the 3rd era of Civ 6, and is typically the time when things start to take shape. More often than not, expansion leads to war at this stage, so make sure you have enough battle units or are sufficiently skilled in diplomacy to survive!
6. Divinity: Original Sin 2
Developer: Larian Studios
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Year of release: 2017
Granted, this is more medieval fantasy than purely medieval, but it’s so good that it has to be included. One of the main charms of DOS2 is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The characters are all delightfully quirky and you will enjoy getting to know them in different ways depending on the path you take.
The level of strategy involved with combat is another major win for the game. There are multiple different approaches you can take to master the game (I personally like a strong necromancer build), but each one feels satisfying and allows for multiple playthroughs.
If you enjoy medieval strategy games, Divinity: Original Sin II may just scratch that tactical combat itch that you have, while also providing a rich story to become immersed in.
5. Total War: Warhammer
Developer: Creative Assembly
Year of release: 2016
Another game that falls more under medieval strategy than purely medieval. Total War: Warhammer provides an excellent blend of turn-based strategy and real-time battle tactics that propelled the Total War series to new heights when it was released in 2016.
Warhammer brings the same essence as its predecessors in the franchise, but feels more polished and has superior battle sequences. The unit variation makes for some interesting tactical decisions and, before you know it, you’ll have sunk hundreds of hours into the game trying to formulate the best strategy for victory.
This is one to try for fans of turn-based strategy battle games.
4. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
Developer: TaleWorlds Entertainment
Year of release: 20201
It’s impossible to talk about medieval strategy games without bringing up Mount and Blade, and the second installment to the franchise is a worthy successor to the fantastic original.
Although it takes place slightly before the middle ages during the Migration Period (c. 300-800), some of the factions used in the game are heavily inspired by medieval kingdoms, the Vladnians being the most notable example.
There were a lot of improvements made from the original, particularly to the combat physics. Every hit felt like it connected with a purpose, horseback attacks were more fluid, and the attack movements were far more varied.
The game is still being updated over time, and many would suggest waiting for the completed version. But Bannerlord is just too good to pass up in my opinion, and it is well worth the investment.
3. Age of Empires 2
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Platform: PC, PS2
Year of release: 1999
For many, Age of Empires II is not only the pinnacle of the Age of Empire franchise, but is also the pinnacle of real-time strategy games. You won’t hear much argument from me, neither, the game is still a joy to play today despite being released before the turn of the millennium.
In total, there are thirteen playable civilizations from the Medieval era. Each civilization is unique and has a different look. The aim is to take your chosen civilization to glory by gathering resources, building your kingdom, and exploring and conquering other regions.
Age of Empires 2 is pioneering in the domain of medieval strategy games and, if there’s one game that you should play in this list in terms of legacy, it is this one.
2. Medieval 2: Total War
Developer: Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive
Platform: PC, Android, iOS
Year of release: 2006
If there’s one thing developer Creative Assembly knows how to do well, it’s making great medieval strategy games, and Medieval 2: Total War is the cherry on top of their impressive collection.
As with other Total War games, the game is split between turn-based strategy and real-time battles. There is a battle mode and a campaign mode, and you can choose between eighteen different factions. Unit wise, the game is very diverse, too.
For a truly great experience you’ll want to delve into the world of Medieval II mods, this will bring a whole new layer of variety and playability and makes a great game even greater.
1. Mount & Blade: Warband
Developer: Paradox Interactive, Ravenscourt
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Year of release: 2010
This choice probably comes as no surprise. Mount & Blade: Warband is the pinnacle of medieval strategy games.
Set in the medieval world of Calradia, Warband is an RPG sandbox battle strategy game in which a player customizes their protagonist and attempts to explore and conquer the world around them.
You must work your way up from nothing, winning battles to improve your reputation and gain reso
urces to build your army. Battles take place in real time and then the game switches to an overworld map for you to decide where to explore on the map.
Horseback combat is expertly implemented, and there are a number of orders you can give to your soldiers in battle in order to plot your route to victory.
I personally believe that no other game in the genre holds a candle to Warband. Despite it being one of the older games in this list, it is still one of the best, and absolutely worthy of playing if you haven’t done so yet.
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For a more detailed look at Mount & Blade: Warband, check out the YouTube review below by Resonant.
If you’re not into strategy games, but love the medieval aesthetic, I highly recommend you try Kingdom Come: Deliverance. This is an RPG game that will go down as a classic in years to come.