When it comes to video games, they come in so many different genres these days. But one of the most popular ones that have been around a long time is medieval games. Medieval, otherwise known as the Middle Ages, is reminiscent of a time in the past much less modern than today's world. It heavily features monarchs and peasants, wars fought on horseback or with siege weapons, and issues like poverty and famine. It might have knights, princesses, and rogues. And often in games, it takes even more of a fantasy twist and adds magic, dragons, elves, dwarves, demons, vampires, and more! But you can bet characters are going to be fighting with swords, bows, maces, and axes rather than guns.
For someone who is interested in the romantic side of history, or wants to get lost in a fantasy realm full of magic and intrigue, medieval games are the way to go! Our list of the Top 10 Medieval Games can hopefully help you sort through the massive amount of games that exist in this genre to find the ones we think are the best to play. Some are realistic, some high fantasy, and some more gothic so hopefully there will be something for everyone! And they stretch across consoles and time periods as well, so whatever you're gaming on, we hope you can find a title on our Top 10 Medieval Games!
10. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Devil's Castle Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight)
- System/Platform: Playstation
- Publisher: Konami
- Developer: Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
- Release Date: Mar. 20th, 1997
In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, you play as the defeated Count Dracula's son Alucard, who is trying to keep his father from returning once more. First, though, you have to defeat Dracula's servant's, Death and Shaft, who are determined to ensure their Master's resurrection. Most of the game takes place in Dracula's old castle, which Alucard has become the master of, and it's full of plenty of dark monsters to battle. Luckily, you're joined by a few friends who are also vampire hunters, and who also have the same goal of preventing Dracula's return. But to do so, first, you must find Richter, the hero from the previous game, who is the power behind bringing Dracula back this time....
Part of a hugely successful series, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is arguably one of the best games in the series. It's not an average fantasy game, but rather a more gothic look at a medieval theme. Of course, it's full of vampire lore, alongside other monsters that are more horror than fantasy. It doesn't make the setting any less medieval in feeling, though, since you spend most of your time in a castle fighting with various cool weapons, including the classic whip and new additions like nunchucks.
If average high fantasy or more realistic medieval settings aren't your style and you like horror and gothic themes more, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night might be a great fit. Because it's not the usual medieval setting it's near the end of our list of the Top 10 Medieval Games, but it's worth checking out all the same due to its huge success in rereleases and fun gameplay!
9. Assassin’s Creed
- System/Platform: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
- Release Date: Nov. 13th, 2007
Assassin's Creed is uniquely a story within a story. The first layer is that you play as Desmond, a modern-day bartender who is kidnapped by an organisation called Abstergo. Abstergo forces Desmond to relive the memories of his ancestors through a machine called the Animus. The second layer of the story and main part of the gameplay is controlling his ancestor Altair Ibn-La'Ahad, a member of the Assassin Brotherhood in Jerusalem during the time of the Crusades. Altair is fighting against the Templar Order, who are trying to find the Apple of Eden. This relic would give them god-like powers, so Altair must do whatever he can to stop them. But there is more to Abstergo than they originally reveal to Desmond, and what he learns through Altair could change the modern world too...
Assassin's Creed is a bit different from other entries on our list of the Top 10 Medieval Games. It's not set in a land of magic and fantasy; there are no dragons, stone castles, and knights. But the time period is correct all the same to be a medieval game - but with a unique Middle Eastern setting! It makes Assassin's Creed's deserts, weapons, architecture, and even clothing style stand out from other medieval games as something refreshing and different. Plus it's the first game in a series of acclaimed action and stealth games.
While it's not role-playing you make very few choices, and the cutscenes play like movies with no interaction, the gameplay is an interesting mix of fighting, stealth, and free-running over obstacles. If you like a more traditional medieval setting, Assassin's Creed doesn't deliver. But if you want to try something different, be sure to check it out!
- System/Platform: Xbox, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
- Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios, Feral Interactive (Mac OS X)
- Developer: Big Blue Box Studios
- Release Date: Sep. 14th, 2004
Fable is set in the world of Albion, a country of city-states that used to be prosperous and peaceful but has since become corrupt. Within Albion lies the Hero's Guild, an organisation that trains warriors that can go into the world and pursue work as everything from guardians to mercenaries - the Guild gives no moral guidelines. You play as one such Hero, a boy whose village and the entire family was destroyed before his very eyes. He was rescued by another hero named Maze who took him to the Guild to train to be a Hero himself. As the Hero grows up, he begins to learn that there is more to the murder of his family than he could have ever guessed, and you as a player have the chance to choose what the Hero does about it.
Fable is a game that emphasises moral choice as a key part of its gameplay and story. You're often given the option to spare or kill enemies, and you can play through the game as either a protector of the people or a bandit and murderer. Your moral alignment will change your appearance, and that, in turn, will change how non-player characters react to you and how they treat you. The choices are very black and white, which can be boring for some players, but watching the alignment of your character shift is a lot of fun!
Plus, Fable has its fair share of comedic points (you spend the start of the game with the title "chicken chaser" until you can find someone to pay for a better title for people to call you as you walk by) and they help keep the game interesting. The setting is undeniably medieval, so if you're looking for a game that you can play casually and have a laugh, Fable is great. Plus with four different endings, replay value is high!
7. Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn
- System/Platform: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Linux
- Publisher: Black Isle Studios, Interplay Entertainment
- Developer: Bioware
- Release Date: Sep. 24th, 2000
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn takes place shortly after the events of Baldur's Gate, and feature many of the same characters from the previous title. The story begins with the player character arrested in the country of Amn and undergoing experimentation by the wizard Jon Irenicus. You manage to escape your bonds and find a friend named Imoen, but while battling with Irenicus to escape the fight is interrupted by the Cowled Wizards. This group controls all the magic users in Amn, and arrests both Irenicus and Imoen for their unsanctioned use of the power. Can you save Imoen and deal with Irenicus? Just what will be the fate for Amn?
The setting in Baldur's Gate II is based on a medieval Earth but with a high fantasy twist. Amn is a merchant kingdom, realistically wealthy from trade and commerce. But just an average land wouldn't be interesting enough for a great game! So add in elves, wizards, beasts of lore and magic and now you've got an exciting setting. Baldur's Gate may be a bit of an older game, but it's fun to play and easy to get lost in the fantasy story of gods and magic and the fate of the realm in your hands. You have a chance for full character customisation at the start of the game, and throughout gameplay, recruit NPCs to be a part of your party. Your relationship with them affects the dialogue and storyline that happens, too! You can pick from 12 different character classes to play as which makes Baldur's Gate 2 easily customisable to your play style and what you want from a medieval game!
6. Dark Souls
- System/Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
- Developer: FromSoftware
- Release Date: Sep. 23rd, 2011 (JP), Oct. 4th, 2011 (NA)
The world of Dark Souls is, you guessed it, a dark one. The land used to be ruled by dragons, but they were defeated at the start of the Age of Fire when Lord Gwyn defeats them with a Lord Soul. The flames are dying at the start of Dark Souls, and the darkness is returning.
You take control of an undead warrior, tasked with finding the Lord Souls and succeeding Lord Gwyn to rekindle the flames for the Age of Fire. When you have it, you are given the chance to either keep the Age of Fire alive or return the world to the Age of Dark. The rest of the plot is vague, and the player only hears about it through other characters' talking. Most world events are simply implied and left to the player to determine for themselves what they mean.
Dark Souls is a dark fantasy game in a medieval setting. It has one of the most popular medieval elements - dragons - as a main part of the plot line and is full of fantastically oversized and cool swords, maces, and axes. The game also has had a heavy influence on many other games, including the number two entry on our list of the Top 10 Medieval Games - and Dark Souls is just the first instalment in a series! But be warned, it's not for the faint of heart, nor the easily frustrated. It has insanely challenging gameplay so be ready to die many times and replay countless hours. But when you reach the conclusion, you'll feel perhaps the most accomplished you ever have in your gaming history.
5. World of Warcraft
- System/Platform: Microsoft Windows, OS X
- Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
- Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
- Release Date: Nov. 23rd, 2004
World of Warcraft is, at its most basic, a struggle between two groups called the Horde and the Alliance. Because it is an MMORPG, the individual story that players experience is up to them, based on how they interact with the world and other players, and determined by their allegiances and character classes. There are many different storylines that players progress through as they play, and new ones continue to open up as expansions are added to the original game. Everything from defeating legendary dragons to fighting gods has been a goal in World of Warcraft, and these stories will continue to expand into the future.
World of Warcraft has a unique setting that incorporates science fiction right alongside fantasy, but overall it has a more medieval vibe above all else. While there are spaceships and alien worlds, predominantly there are dragons, elves, orcs, and other medieval fantasy creatures and themes. Players use melee, ranged, and magic attacks to progress through the game, playing as a variety of fantasy species. Because it is an MMORPG, World of Warcraft is massive and continues to grow with each expansion - meaning you can play for a very long time (and many people do).
It's one of the most famous medieval games ever, with a high subscription rating and players that have been playing for years. For a seemingly never-ending world that you can share with many people (and maybe make friends with the same interest in games as you!) World of Warcraft is the best way to go.
4. Dragon Age: Origins
- System/Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, OS X
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Developer: Bioware
- Release Date: Nov. 3rd, 2009
Dragon Age: Origins is the first game of the Dragon Age series. The world is being destroyed by a Blight - creatures called Darkspawn are emerging from under the earth and destroying everything in their path. And what's worse, they're being led by an arch-demon in the form of a huge, formidable dragon! You take the role of a newly initiated Grey Warden, a member of the only group of people that can destroy the archdemon and save the land from the Blight. Your power comes at a terrible cost, though, and when the good name of the Grey Wardens is tarnished in treachery, your role becomes even harder. Against the odds, can you unique the country together to help you take on the archdemon and end the Blight?
Dragon Age: Origins is an action RPG with a heavy emphasis on making choices. In every dialogue, you will be presented with options for what you want to say, which will affect how characters treat you - and the fate of the world. There will be massive decisions to be made in regards to how quests are handled, and sometimes the choices are challenging to make. It means that the game has very high replay value because making different decisions leads to all new storylines and content - it's impossible to see everything just playing one time!
It's also strongly driven by the relationships you build with your companions, whether good or bad, and each has their own unique personality and feelings. The map isn't open world, but it is massive all the same which makes Dragon Age: Origins a lengthy game to complete. And with the ability to be a human, elf, or dwarf and then a specialised character class, there's something for everyone looking for a game they can really make their own.
3. Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
- System/Platform: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, PlayStation 2
- Publisher: Microsoft, Konami
- Developer: Ensemble Studios
- Release Date: Sep. 30th, 1999
Because Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is a real-time strategy game consisting of many different single and multiplayer campaigns, it doesn't have a strong storyline. The emphasis is more on the gameplay, and developing and defending your chosen nation to make it achieve the goals your selected campaign has set. Basically, you chose a historical period and nation, and you build it up as you try to fulfill the campaign requirements. There are a lot of different campaigns to tackle, each one unique from the rest. And the settings come from across the world, not just Europe, so get ready for a lot of different stories based on real history!
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is the only real time strategy game on our list of the Top 10 Medieval Games, and it is also the one with the most realistic medieval setting. No magic and dragons and demons this time - it's based on the real Middle Ages. You can play through 13 different medieval civilisations over a 1000 year historical timeframe. You gather resources and people, build towns, and attack your enemies while defending your nation. There are even campaigns based on real figures from history, like William Wallace, Joan of Arc, and Barbossa.
If you're looking for a more realistic medieval game instead of another fantasy or more gothic one - or just love history and strategy - don't let the age of Age of Empires II put you off! The game was highly praised when it came out and is still fun and challenging to play today.
2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- System/Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
- Publisher: CD Projekt RED
- Developer: CD Projekt RED
- Release Date: May 19th, 2015
Geralt of Rivalia's story comes to an end in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Set in a massive open world map full of cities and wild lands, you take control of Geralt on his quest to find his missing lover Yennefer and their adopted daughter, Ciri. Meanwhile, the world around you is changing, and Nilfgaard and Redania are powers at war. Geralt himself is an adventuring monster hunter for hire known as a Witcher, meaning he has special magical abilities over nature, animals, and even people that he gained through a brutal ritual. Geralt has to use all of his abilities to get to Yennefer and Ciri before the Wild Hunt, the group that is chasing them - and there are plenty of other dangers and monsters along the way! The world is not friendly to Witchers, but the fate of it lies in the hands of one all the same.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the final instalment in a series of highly praised games, and is definitely not a disappointment. With its massive open world setting, you are free to pursue the main quest line alongside countless side quests of your choosing, which makes the game have the potential for a lot of play hours. While you can't customise the set character of Geralt, you can still make choices within the story during cutscenes, so the world is still shaped by you. It's a beautiful, but dark, fantasy land that awaits your exploration - and even if you haven't played the two prior games, it won't take long for you to get fully emerged in the world of The Witcher 3!
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- System/Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
- Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
- Release Date: Nov. 11th, 2011
Step into a beautiful, cold world full of magic, monarchies, werewolves, vampires, monsters - and of course, dragons in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. While it is the fifth game in the series, it's not a direct sequel to anything so you don't have to worry about starting with Skyrim. You take the role of the Dragonborn, a person with the soul of a dragon. The world of Skyrim is currently having a civil war between two factions that is tearing the land apart - and on top of that, dragons are returning and laying waste to everything! As the Dragonborn, you must get to the heart of the problem with the dragons. But you also need to choose a side in the civil war! What future will you create for Skyrim?
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an open world action RPG with a heavy focus on free exploration and character development and customisation, which makes the game a unique experience for every player. It has a massive map with lots of towns and dungeons to explore, and hosts of side quests and collectible items. The storyline itself is decent to play through, but if you find yourself tiring of it or not interested, you can choose to ignore it and simply explore on your own.
There are several different guilds to join as well, each with their own side quests and progression, and countless secrets to unlock and discover. Plus whether you like playing as a Mage, an archer, an assassin, a two-handed axe wielder, or whatever you can think of - Skyrim gives you that option. And did we mention it has full character customisation at the beginning, with a range of different species each with their own strengths and weaknesses at the start? With so much freedom to play the game how you want to, and with a massive and beautiful map, Skyrim holds the top spot on our list of the Top 10 Medieval Video Games - despite its sometimes infuriating glitches.
Are you ready to slay a dragon, hunt a vampire, or defeat the neighbouring kingdom? Maybe you want to cast some spells, craft a greatsword, or explore a massive, beautiful map. Whether your play style is free-range or linear, tactical or hack-and-slash, old school or new school - there are so many medieval games to pick from! Plus lots of the games on our list of the Top 10 Medieval Games are part of a larger series, so if you enjoy them be sure to check out the rest of the series as well. Hopefully, this list can just be a stepping off point for you to get lost in an awesome medieval game!
What is your favourite medieval game? Have you played the ones on this list, or do you have one to add? Do you prefer gothic, high fantasy, or realism? Let us know in the comments below and let's talk about medieval games!