10 of the finest PC games for medieval times will transport you back in time.
Even though the word “medieval” appears in the list’s name, we have been a little lax. Isn’t medieval just a sentiment or frame of mind? No, it is a certain period in history, but we’re not restricting our list to simply the medieval era.
We chose titles that, whether retro city builders, Sword and Shield fighters, or survival role-playing games, capture the essence of the medieval genre. Though not always accurate to the textbooks, each choice will be entertaining and sufficiently historical.
So, here are the top 10 medieval games in terms of setting and spirit.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
If you found this list looking for an authentically grimy medieval experience then Kingdom Come: Deliverance has a cholera tinge trough with your name on it.
As chipper chop devouring blacksmith son Henry, you can join a resistance force fighting against invading human mercenaries to restore rightful King Wenceslas to the throne.
The true joy of Kingdom Come is in the little things. It provides a narrow focus of a period we can only dream about experiencing. Letting you brew potions, gather herbs, and even learn to read.
While most medieval games focus on wars and conquest, Kingdom Come offers an insight into what it was like to be a commoner in olden times. And while Henry certainly has it better than most, it’s still an engaging rank, slightly better rags story, that’s quite unlike anything else.
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We all have an image of medieval sieges in our head, massive war machines, flinging rocks, smashing rules, and lobbying festering Peaks over enemy battlements and while rooted in truth real-life seizures for the most part weren’t quite so dramatic.
Physics-based crumble them up for a siege, however, leads towards the more flamboyant side of destruction like a scaled-up version of the weapons you make at school out of pens and elastic bands.
While the result of the siege can often feel rather a slapstick there are very real forces at play here. You’ll have to think about weight, momentum, and tensile strength if you want to build an engine that survives.
And if you don’t, your monstrous creations often crumble long before you reach an enemy wall. Is it historically accurate? No, not always. But it does not make it any less enjoyable?
A Plague Tale: Innocence
If you’re scared of rats, look away now! A Plague Tale: Innocence is a journey across France, as a meteor tries to protect her brother from Inquisition Knights and swarms of the aforementioned vermin.
These grubby little creatures infest the shadows plaguing your life in the truest sense of the word. The country is overrun with sickness and war, meaning that all the pretty John’s through nature you enjoy one moment will be followed by ruins landscapes, darkness, and always the rats.
It’s a game that feels good just to inhabit, despite the rodent-based terror. For being one long escort mission with nothing more than rocks for combat, A Plague Tale: Innocence will keep you excited and scared of a rat-induced death throughout.
Yes, Your Grace
It’s not easy being a king and nowhere is that more apparent than Yes, Your Grace. In this medieval-style world, monsters and arcane magic pose as much of a threat as dwindling resources and troublesome political ties.
Is marrying your daughter off to the highest bidder okay? If it means an army to protect your people. Do you help starving citizens, or keep your gold to pay for more troops to scout incoming dangers.
Is it okay to take from the bank for now only to leave you in debt later on? Each day you greet petitioners and offer your help or send them on their way. It’s a careful balancing act of keeping people happy, keeping them safe, and keeping your daughters from hating you.
All easier said than done. So, your first Run-through might end and disaster, but you can just start all over again.
Lay down your guns and pick up sword, axe, or sphere as your new favorite multiplayer combat game takes place in medieval times.
Mordhau is a hectic battleground of front-line team fights and full-scale battle royals, all with historical melee weapons to wield and castles to pillage. You can step onto historical grounds as whichever fighting you want.
Staying back to pick off enemies with a bow, getting up close and personal with a short sword, or a little bit of both with a spiky evening star which sounds sort of romantic but it isn’t.
You can even get hands-on with the best siege engines history has to offer, such as catapults or ballistics. Like any good online FPS, S standing for slasher here, you can team up with friends or go alone.
With helpful AI for some offline practice battles too, You may fight and you may die, but know that the soldiers will never take your freedom.
If you’ve ever walked along with the old medieval strengths of a town, you’ll know that straight and organized building was not their thing and neither is it in Foundation.
Unlike your usual city builder, there are no grids to snap to or roads to follow. Instead, you create organically, filling in space as you go. This means your creativity is let loose.
Building unique settlements every time. It’s not just you who contributes, villagers and workers follow the same routes placing houses as they want to. You work with your little AI friends.
There are lush trees to chop, and ripe berries to pick as you manage your resources to bring your medieval Lord fantasies to life. It’s the perfect peaceful kingdom to rule over. With no invading armies to fight off, you’ll always be in power.
Crusader Kings 2
When it comes to medieval, the first image that pops into your head is a sword, maybe even a knight on horseback. However, It’s less likely that you’ll see a tangled backstabbing court, full of petty squabbles, grand ambition, and intrigue.
This is partly because it’s much easier to think of a sword, but political power plays are a huge element of being a medieval ruler and Crusader Kings 2 captures this perfectly.
The only thing that matters is the ascendancy of your house and you’re encouraged to try all manner of inventive ways to preserve it. Scheming marriages, murder, and war are all there to help you claw your way to the top of this scrabbling heap.
It’s a deeply engaging emergent narrative experience, full of stories of betrayal and Machiavellian scheming that will make time and Lannister look like Mr. Rogers.
Total War: MEDIEVAL II
So you know when earlier I implied Kingdom Come was the medievalist game on this list, this entry beats it.
But unlike Henry’s rotting boots-on-the-ground experience, Medieval II gives you the scaled-up kingly version of life in that period. You’ll be too busy worrying about rebellions, rival powers, and Crusades to relax and opulence.
But there’s still a God likely in watching waves of foot soldiers wade into battle at your behest. It’s a classic of the Total War Pantheon II.
Later games such as Three Kingdoms and Attila might be more malleable and rich, but there’s something about Medieval II’s clean relatable systems that makes this series a favorite.
Not only does the time period make it an essential pick, but it’s still thrilling to learn about this tumultuous period and history while bothering your upstart neighbors.
In medieval times, the thing that finally pushed you off this mortal coil with less likely to be a grandiose battle with knights and kings and more likely a yellowing infected wound on a cold night.
Outward has that experience wrapped up with some magic and serves to you in this fantasy RPG. So it’s not accurate to any place or time, but the survival mechanics give you a sense of living on the historical edge.
Similar to Kingdom Come, you’re an ordinary person with nothing special to put down in the history books. But unlike our friend Henry the world of Outward is a little more mystical.
Monsters populate uncharted territory, magic is part of every day and the environment spans from gold route cities to purple grasslands. One of the best parts is that you don’t have to go it alone.
Outward allows split-screen co-op so you can venture out and die of thirst with someone fight your side.
Mount and Blade: Bannerlord
Out now in early access, Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord takes place 210 years before the previous game Warband.
The setting is Calradia: a fictional land with an empire analogous to our own Roman Empire. A ruling power in terminal decline. This makes it a time of conflict with burgeoning new powers and formerly repressed people all bustling to take advantage of the power vacuum. This is why it’s so much fun.
As an upstart Lord, you can amass troops fight bandits and pledge fealty to local Lords or you can become a menace yourself. Kidnapping, reading, and robbing whenever the urge takes you.
It’s a delightfully open-ended experience where your daily travails can range from simple sheep escorts to watching in horror, as enemy forces wipe out your army then drag you around as a hostage because nobody will pay your ransom.
So those were 10 of the best medieval games around, but certainly not the only ones. The Witcher 3 of medieval fantasy at some of its best. Anno 1404 is still an addictive city builder. The Assassin’s Creed was also not mentioned anywhere on this list.