Get ready to clash swords and destroy your opponents in cold blood in the middle of a field somewhere very muddy as we check out the best medieval games of all time!
Whether you’re a fan of the Vikings, the Knights Templar, or Undead Warriors out for blood, there’s a little something for everyone in this list.
For those wondering what time period ‘medieval times’ is, it’s widely considered to be between the year 500 and around the year 1400.
We’re talking battling knights, invasions, the slaying of mythical creatures, and a time where average human life span was about the same as the batteries in your Gameboy DMG.
The following 10 games have captured those medieval vibes perfectly, giving you all the action and none of the loss of limbs, disease, or having to store all your gold in a chest in the ground to keep it safe.
Let’s get things started and check out which bloodcurdling terror has taken the 10th spot in our best medieval games list!
Table of Contents
Let’s get tactical with our first entry in this best medieval games compendium. Bad North is one of those titles that requires those grey cells of yours to kick into overdrive, and your brain is the only muscle you’ll need to stop those pesky vikings from pillaging and plundering.
This game is definitely worth your attention, but to be honest it’s kind of gone under the radar with a lot of gamers. Some people tend to just see tactical and give titles like this a wide birth, but the action and tension is sky high from the very moment you start playing.
And even though the Vikings are your enemies in this game, they’re still super cool!
Yes, instead of causing havoc alongside the Vikings, you are tasked with protecting the islanders once the Vikings come ashore.
This game is all about thinking on your feet and being quick, otherwise the people in your care will cease to exist!
By building defences and earning gold, you can do everything from strengthen your town to fight the advancing Norsemen with an army of your own.
And for those Valhalla seeking gamers amongst you, there’s even a Very Hard Mode which feels like trying to squeeze blood from a stone!
Let’s keep the Viking theme going with Northgard. This time, you’re playing alongside your Viking brethren instead of trying to fight them off, and it’s up to players to delve into the mysterious new world in the North.
Expect plenty of gold and enough danger to guarantee your entry into Valhalla.
If you’ve ever watched an episode of Vikings, then you’ll know all about the movements of the Vikings as they set sail to new lands in search of not only fame and fortune, but also places to call home and good earth to till.
And those are all the things you’ll be doing in Northgard. Building your own settlement is only the beginning, however.
Northgard is definitely another title for the tactically minded out there. In a touch of Game of Thrones, you’ll have to defend your new home from Dire Wolves and Undead Warriors. There’s even giants and a long winter…
… ok, that’s more than ‘a touch’ of Game of Thrones. Thats basically making John Snow a Viking!
Regular Retro Dodo readers will know that I’ve always had my issues with Assassin’s Creed. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best medieval games out there today and the series has gone from strength to strength.
My main problem is that once you’ve got to grips with the main gameplay mechanics, the game gets a little ‘samey.
Jump off something high, sneak up and get secrets… it just could have been more interesting.
That being said, those initial few levels while you’re getting into the gameplay are phenomenal. The struggle between the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Knights Templar makes for great gameplay, and the Animus machine that gives out modern day protagonist the ability to relive the memories of his ancestor is out of this world.
It makes Dumbledore’s Pensive look a little boring in comparison.
Again, I just wish there was a little more variety moving through the game. It’s got all the action but just lacks depth, which is why I’ve given it the 8th spot in todays list.
Let’s keep on the sneaky-gameplay theme and move onto Thief II: The Metal Age.
Now I know some of you are thinking that ‘The Metal Age’ was when Metallica and Megadeath were at their prime, but it’s actually the second outing for Master Thief Garret.
And if you loved Thief: The Dark Project, then you’re going to be all over the new arsenal of moves he’s got in store for you in this game.
What I like about The Metal Age is that it feels almost like a continuation of the first title while keeping things fresh and exciting for fans. You don’t need to relearn a whole new set of controls, but there are lots of new and exciting features for you to uncover as you move through the levels.
Remember on Brooklyn Nine-Nine when Jake gets excited about that gun that can shoot around corners? Well, gamers can throw orbs around corners to see what’s coming in this second Thief adventure, which is even better!
Don’t run in and hope for the best in this game. Stealth and patience are the ways to get ahead and ultimately win, two traits that I’m still learning how to use at the age of 33…
For Honor takes the 6th spot in this list of the best medieval games of all time, bringing bloodthirsty battles to the death right into the heart of your living room.
If you like your games with the maximum amount of enemy slaying, then step right up. In this game, players can play as a knight, a samurai, a Wu Lin warrior, or they can call upon our friends the Vikings to get them out of a tight jam.
And when I say tight jam, I mean getting a sword rammed through your chest or your head cut off.
So, a family friendly game then eh?
‘The Art Of Battle’ is an epic part of the game where you go head to head with a foe, with other players forming a sort of ring around you like the Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Don’t be thinking that you can just go into Smash Bros Melee mode and just hit the C-stick until your opponent has KO’d, however.
You’ve got to master your fighting mode Jin Sakai-style and keep on the ball to watch the movements of your opponent, otherwise it’ll be game over faster than you can throw your controller to the other side of the room!
Risen is up next, a game that might feel very familiar to those of you who have played another Piranha Bytes title in the past.
German dev company Piranha Bytes made the epic game Gothic back in 2001, and Risen kind of feels like a continuation of that same game. It’s filled with battles, character interaction, and completing all-important quests that will shape your character throughout the game.
So basically it’s got everything we geek out about and look for in a game!
While it feels a lot like Gothic, the game itself is a lot more compact. Piranha Bytes have gone for quality rather than quantity when it comes to the openness of the levels here, and we’re all for it.
The side quests will keep you occupied for hours, and you’re going to need all the help you can get upping that skill tree in all departments if you want to survive against some of the mammoth beasts in this game.
If a fantasy medieval world with angry gnomes and giant fire monsters is your bag, then step right up!
You can’t choose your family, but you can choose to keep them all-powerful with a lot of skullduggery when it comes to Crusader Kings III.
To start with, you can choose to play in either the year 867 or 1066. Whenever you die or lose your seat of power, players continue by controlling another branch of the family tree. You’re essentially writing the history books for your family over the ages.
So, you better make sure those pages are full!
It’s all a bit Game of Thrones-esque, with a lot of incestual activities, backstabbing, illegitimate children threatening the throne… you know the drill.
There’s a behavioural trait system in this game that makes things very interesting. Will you be a gracious leader, or will you frighten people into doing your bidding with the threat of execution? There’s no right or wrong way to play, but just make sure to think things through before putting someone to the sword!
Build skill trees along with your family tree, and declare war in order to expand your reach. Just make sure that the king you’re going up against isn’t actually your illegitimate child from two marriages ago…
Dark Souls takes the 3rd spot in our list of the best medieval games of all time, and it’s one that has definitely caused some major rage issues in the Retro Dodo Towers offices over the years.
Here’s a little fact about how stressful this game is – my friend Josh actually got that tense while playing this medieval masterpiece that he actually ate the buttons and most of the plastic from his Sky TV remote while traversing the dungeons on this game.
I know you need to have your finger on the button when playing this game, but no one said anything about ingesting them!
If you know your ‘Souls’ games, then you’ll already know that Dark Souls is the second game in the series, with 2009’s Demon’s Souls kicking things off.
Gamers take an undead soldier through what can only be described as a hellish wasteland, the kind of place that you definitely wouldn’t want to be if you were living, at any rate.
The enemies you come across are almost as big as the open world levels you’ll be exploring. Like Thief II, sometimes not attacking and kicking back is the best option.
Oh, and you’ll die all the time. The sooner you get that notion into your head, the more you’ll enjoy the game and not end up eating your Sky remote.
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim will no doubt already be in your games collection as I sit here writing these words. As open world titles go, it’s one of the most well known games of our time and has bagged a whopping 200 Game of the Year awards.
If that doesn’t make it a surefire hit for this list of the best medieval games of all time, then I don’t know what does!
For a game that is so insurmountably big, it’s no surprise that there’s a whole bunch of easter eggs in here for gamers to find (and I’m not talking about the chocolate kind either). If you come across Erik the Slayer, then you’ll meet a character based on Erik West, a Make A Wish visiter to Bethesda who now lives on forever in the game!
Seriously, just look at that still above; this game is incredible from start to finish and the attention to detail is second to none.
Follow Dragonborn as he sets out to fulfil his role in life – solving puzzles and sticking metal into the skull of a dragon.
Would Skyrim have been around for 12 years on multiple consoles without a sequel if it wasn’t a special game? People still go mad for this title and will do in another 12 years time too. It’s phenomenal and a title you really need to play at least once in your life!
The results are in, the Retro Dodo team have spoken, and Age Of Empires II is officially the best medieval game of all time!
When I think back to how much time I would spend on this game as a kid there’s no wonder I ended up being the editor of a gaming brand. It’s also probably a massive part of why I wished I lived in Meduseld and fought with the Rohirrim too!
The whole concept of creating your own settlement and going to war against threats in the outlying lands is what every nine-year-old nerd loves, right? It certainly never left my PC and stood me in good stead for later life… or at least that’s what I tell myself.
Play as Vikings, Britons, and Goths amongst many others. And no, the Goths don’t all sit around listening to Cradle of Filth and complaining that their Mums don’t understand them.
If you’ve ever played titles like Sim City, then you’ll know just how satisfying and cathartic building civilisations can be. Hunt, build, thrive, and survive in this epic conquest game.
Will you come out victorious, or will your civilisation be completely missed out of the history books? Get playing and find out!
And that’s a wrap!
Thank’s for checking out our 10 best medieval games of all time. Maybe you’re now thinking about getting into jousting and mead drinking, but perhaps just try these titles out first before investing in all the gear!
Dont forget to check out our list of the best Lord of the Rings video games of all time for more sword clanging action!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 33 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.