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16 Best Turn-based Strategy Games Like Civilization

16 Best Turn-based Strategy Games Like Civilization

If you are a fan of the game 'Civilization', you'd want to read this list to get more of that adrenaline rush. Carve your name in history by upholding your name and maintaining your stronghold in these games like Civilization.
Vijith Menon
The Civilization franchise has sold over 8 million copies, and counting.

Since the dawn of time, man has always wanted to conquer cities as a sign of dominance. We can't fight it. It's an inborn desire to achieve greatness and have the glory last for a lifetime. Lucky for you, you don't need to enter the army to prove your valor. You can do it while playing Civilization.

Civilization is a turn-based strategy game created by Sid Meier. It centers around a civilization one can shape from the Stone Age to the present time. Each turn allows the players to move their units on the map or build new cities and forge alliances. A basic strategy involves allying with the strong and crushing the weak. Player choose new technologies to research. This represents the impact of the civilization in culture, which allows the player to build new units and improve their cities. The game can be won by military conquest or by achieving the highest score.

Civilization has spawned five sequels, Civilization I - Civilization V, with their respective expansions. Many of the programmers who worked on Civilization have gone on to create successful games of their own, like Age of Empires, Rise of Nations and Spore. It has created a niche for itself in turn-based games, and inspired a bevy of game designers to do the same. Here are some other exciting turn-based strategy games just like Civilization.

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
Platforms:Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux
Considered to be the spiritual successor to Civilization II, this game doesn't disappoint. On an alien planet you plan your new home as well as discover some mysteries that refuse to fade away. With the language barrier and tensions at home, dream up new strategies to conquer this galaxy far, far away.

Total War: Shogun 2
Platforms:OS X, Microsoft Windows
A blend of turn-based strategy and real-time, this game takes place in feudal Japan, where a nation stands without an emperor. Take charge of your clan and wage battle against the rest to assert your dominant hand as the Emperor of Japan. While the Total War series has a range of games belonging to this genre, this one takes the cake for its good storyline and multiplayer gameplay. If you are a history buff, the Total War series can be educational as well as entertaining, as it has covered almost all wars, including the latest being Total War: Napoleon.

Endless Space
Platforms:Microsoft Windows
With ten civilizations to choose from, the player is spoiled for choice as he tries to expand his empire and conquer the galaxy. The player has to achieve one of the conditions for victory similar to Civilization, like Expansion, Scientific, Economic, Diplomacy, Supremacy, Wonder, and Score. With new patches available for download, explore new maps in this uncharted galaxy, as you try to maintain harmony within the empire and the universe.

Space Empires V
Platforms:Microsoft Windows
A strategy game similar to Civilization, you start out as a ship builder to eventually an explorer, as you establish contact with other alien races. Build your empire as you trade between worlds literally. The game has four prequels, with the current version being the first to include 3D graphics.

Galactic Civilizations
Platforms:Microsoft Windows
Fans of Star Trek have long desired to travel and explore the galaxy, and with this game, they finally can. After the invention of hyperdrive which lets you open a wormhole to distant stars, the race is on between you and five alien races, as you try to conquer the galaxy. The game has a sequel titled Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords. Watch out for the third part due to release in 2015.

Master of Orion
Platforms:MS-DOS, Apple Macintosh, Commodore Amiga
With a choice of 10 races to play from, the player chooses one race to conquer distant stars, as his current planet has almost exhausted its resources. Explore distant stars and make quick allies as you race against space and time to assert your dominance in this science-fiction-based strategy game.

Age of Wonders
Platforms:Microsoft Windows
Often compared with Master of Magic, this game has six races to choose from, namely humans, high elves, draconians, dwarves, orcs, and goblins. Explore your world as you choose different allies and thwart enemy attempts knocking at the castle door. This game has spawned 2 sequels, with the latest release in 2014. Better catch this game before it disappears.

Panzer General
Platforms:MS-DOS, 3DO, Mac OS 7, PlayStation, Windows
In this game, you play as either an Allied or Axis country leading your troops to victory. With World War II as the setting, it doesn't get any more real than this, as strategy is the key to ending the war and securing peace. Spawning 2 sequels and various expansions, not playing this game which is pretty similar to Civilization would be considered an insubordination.

Master of Magic
One of the oldest games in turn-based strategy, it was released to popular acclaim in 1994. On Earth, you play a wizard as he tries to collect magic artifacts that link to a parallel world. But time is of the essence, as strange creatures come through the portals trying to take our planet for our own. It's up to you to stall the inevitable, in this fantasy epic.

Heroes of Might and Magic
Platforms:DOS, Linux, Game Boy Color, Mac OS, Windows
Released in 1995, and obviously inspired by Master of Magic, you play a hero leading your army, exploring different regions of Enroth. It chronicles the legacy of the Ironfist Dynasty as they go through various upheavals in their own kingdom. Spawning six sequels and the latest one releasing in 2011, you'd be missing out on something if you don't play this successful franchise.

Frozen Synapse
Platforms:Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android
Set in a dystopian future, the player assumes the role of a tactical commander, who orders his units to battle against a corporate regime who has the power to control the people. Every player gets a turn to plan out his moves and direct the soldiers to the appropriate direction for action. The objective in single-player missions is to eliminate the other team, and multiplayer games include deathmatch, area protection, and hostage extraction. They have released a sequel called Frozen Synapse Red, solely for PSP Vita.

Europa Universalis IV
Platforms:Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux
Based on the board game of the same name, it lets you take control of one of the European nations, as you embark on missions to protect your borders and uphold the right to your kingdom. It is preceded by 3 other games, namely Europa Universalis I, II, and III. A must for fans of the Civilization series, as the game's amazing graphics and gameplay make for a fantastic re-imagining of history told through different perspectives.

Platforms:Android, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Ovi (Nokia), BlackBerry App World
A pretty straightforward game, with the only objective of conquering the opponent's bases. The method rests on you, whether its alliance, trade, or pure strategy. It has 20 campaigns for single-player, and a multiplayer gameplay for eight players. A player can participate in a maximum of 20 games at once while waiting for his turn.

Great Little War Game
This a turn-based strategy based on Advance Wars from Nintendo. With gameplay similar to Civilization, the player has to build units from the ground up, trade to build the economy, and burn the opponents to the ground. The world view is similar to Warcraft from the top, and you can control the camera as you wish. Watch out for its sequel, Great Little War Game 2. You'll want it if you liked this one.

Shadowrun Returns
Platforms:Windows, OS X, Linux, iPad, Android
Similar to the Shadowrun game on SNES, the player assumes the role of a shadowrunner, who tries to accomplish a mission from his accomplice. With a mix of fantasy and cyberpunk involved, the player tries to solve the mysteries in this city, as elves, orcs, and other creatures of the same kind try to settle down on the same plane. Play to save humankind from the brink of extinction.

The Battle for Wesnoth
Platforms:Windows, OS X, Linux, iPad, Android
The Battle for Wesnoth is a free open-source game that takes place in Wesnoth. The game consists of five races that you can choose from, which include humans, dwarves, elves, drakes, and undead. The game lets the player resolve the unending chaos in Wesnoth City. It comes with 16 campaigns, along with extra downloadable content available for extra campaigns.

Some More Options
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Imperial Domination
  • Elemental: War of Magic
  • Expeditions: Conquistador
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Shattered Union

        With these games similar to Civilization, you'd have your fill as far as turn-based strategy games are concerned. So enjoy from the lot, and let us know your thoughts, in the comments section below.