Civilization series of video games is one of the most renowned in the gaming industry. It’s a popular strategy game with a huge fan following for years across the globe. The franchise includes six main Civilization video entries games, various spin-offs, and expansion packs. This video game series has engaging gameplay in which a player runs and manages the development of the entire civilization from scratch. They cover different eras of humanity from prehistoric to modern times. All these ages are depicted in the games based on various nations' religious, social, and political aspects.
In this article, we have curated a tier list, entailing all main Civilization games, their various features, and mentioning what made each sequel best or worst from another. Since all tier lists are subjective in nature, the ranking of each game we have done is entirely based on our experience and perspective and is not up for further discussion or debate.
By far the best Civilization game one can play today as it offers the best features and addictive gameplay elements.
A civilization game that is not praised enough in the community yet includes a lot of impressive features, such as the introduction of an isometric perspective towards the game instead of the classical one-dimensional view in the first civilization game. While its predecessor focused a lot on military relations among civilizations, this game introduced various trade and diplomatic aspects.
The game is also significant as it deepened the war factors. Civilization II is criticized because of its bad visuals and animations, as most city views were mostly static, which can negatively affect a player's gameplay experience. Still, Civilization II is a gem of a video game of its era.
The second most played Civilization game that many players still play since its launch.
Civilization IV is another beloved game in the Civilization franchise. This sequel is considered a significant addition to the installment as it introduced many never been seen features and paved the way for further development and improvement of upcoming Civilization titles. The introduction of a new game engine from its predecessors contributed to giving players a deeper gameplay experience.
The game introduced enhanced 3D structures, which were one of the most appreciated additions by the fans. This game was the first-ever civilization game to include the religion factor as a control tool. It introduced spies capable of excellent espionage.
With a lot of new features loved by fans, many publications such as IGN consider Civilization IV as one of the best games along with Civilization VI.
The Civilization games ranked in this tier list strike the perfect balance between offering decent visuals and features yet lacking the extra punch to come on top.
Civilization V is one of the most appreciated sequels in the franchise. This game replaced Square grid maps and introduced Hex grid maps allowing players to build their civilization more precisely. This feature also contributes to making the graphics look more realistic. More civilizations were added to Civ V, and some of them include Ethiopia and Sweden. By the way, I highly recommend using TopTierList CIV 5 Tier List, as they have explained each character in such an astounding way – that no magazine has done. All websites on Google have just ranked characters without any logic.
The game removed the religion and espionage elements and thus suffered a lot of criticism from the fans. The game introduced a more convenient method for the defense of the settlers instead of building separate military units. The settlers were able to now defend themselves by shooting all the nearby enemies. The game, however, had better graphics than its prequel.
A civilization game that is appreciated by both the gamers who play modern games and those who enjoy old-school classic media. Civilization III has beautifully crafted pixel graphics and amazing animations. Various cultural factors were introduced to the game. Culture became an important aspect that would increase a city’s influence. Each civilization became more individual and specific as each of them was assigned different traits.
These traits made the game more strategic. A civilization trait would affect the way you control and build your civilization, and this feature made the gameplay much more engaging and exciting for players. A lot of new historical civilizations were introduced, including Byzantine, Mayan, Sumerian civilization, e.t.c.Moreover, Civilization III introduces various approaches where you would have to manage politics, deal with natural disasters, and handle corruption, business, and monopoly.
Civilization III acts as a cornerstone that would further pave the way for better features and development in civilization games. It is also the last civilization game with pixelated graphics, and even those were improved from its prequel. Civilization III is a well-praised game worth playing with so many features loved by fans and its great critical acclamation.
An average Civilization game that offers modern graphics, all features, and tools to enjoy nation-building. However, the lack of variety and gameplay limitations weigh these games down.
Civilization VI is the latest installment in the series and is considered one of the most significant games by various publications because of its amazing gameplay. The gameplay was better organized and did not appear messy or confusing. The game allowed various units like the military to be placed at tiles separated from main city tiles.
This separation of tiles for different units allowed the players to be more strategic. The game also presented many new civilizations and leaders, such as Babylon and Vietnam. The graphics have seen significant improvement from previous Civilization video games.
The game includes almost all of the features used in previous games in addition to adding new ones; for example, the game utilized Civilization V’s hex-grid maps. The game also included Religion, Tourism, Espionage, and City-states used in previous games that were removed after the release of Civilization V. With the best gameplay and features out of all civilization games; Civilization VI is the pinnacle of all civilization media. For Civ 6 Leaders Tier List, I’d recommend using eXputer or ProClockers, as they both have done great job.
The least preferred and played Civilization game to date.
The first-ever game that laid the foundation of the Civilization franchise turned the genre into an iconic symbol. While this game is forgotten by various fans, this is the base ground where it all started. The game starts small as there are only seven leaders and a few civilizations.
At the time of writing, the gameplay we see is of inferior quality not only in terms of features but also poor because of pixelated graphics with a one-dimensional view. Such graphics are hard to get into, especially for modern gamers. This game also lacks a lot of features that were developed in future games, so newer fans of the franchise might not appreciate it. With poor gameplay, crude graphics, and lesser features, this game is a lost and forgotten game and probably not even worth playing.
Several improvements were made with every civilization game, and new features were added, making it one of the most successful gaming franchises globally. Civilization VI is the epitome of this franchise as it learns from the previous mistakes, improves upon them, and delivers amazing balanced gameplay. The series aged nicely with the addition of lots of great features and improvements compared to its first-ever installation.