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25 Fantastic Games Like Civilization 5 in 2024
March 24th, 2024 - By Steve Chang
If you were captivated by Civilization 5, numerous comparable games are ready to further enrapture you.

If you're a lover of strategy games, then there's one in particular you absolutely must have in your collection: Civilization 5. This award-winning title isn't just a game, it's an immersive journey through the annals of history. Starting from the dawn of civilization, you'll guide your chosen nation through thousands of years of development. You can create peaceful nations focused on culture and science or militaristic empires bent on global domination. With beautifully detailed graphics, an epic musical score, and a challenging yet addictive gameplay system, Civilization 5 is a game that will steal hours of your time without you even regretting it.

But while Civilization 5 might be a shining gem in the crown of strategy gaming, it's far from the only one. There's a vast world of similar games out there, each offering a unique spin on the genre. Some focus on specific historical eras, others let you create your own alternate timelines. There are games where you lead empires, kingdoms, or even corporations to global dominance. Each one of these games comes with its own learning curve, its own challenges, and its own rewards. So, if you find the historical strategy of Civilization 5 to your liking, you're in for a treat because...

25. Civilization 4

Well, you're in luck, then, as Civilization 4 not only mirrors its successor, Civilization 5, but it's also lauded by many fans for its complexity and depth. Just like in Civ 5, you'll be leading a civilization of your choice from the dawn of time to the future, reaching for one of the several victory conditions such as cultural dominance, scientific discovery, or military conquest. You'll manage your cities, explore the map, meet new civilizations and inevitably clash with them. The familiar turn-based gameplay is there, letting you plan and strategize at your own pace.

Another appealing aspect of Civilization 4 is the depth of its diplomatic and economic systems. Similar to Civ 5, you can forge or break alliances, trade resources, conduct delicate diplomatic negotiations, and even spread your religion world-wide with the help of advanced technologies. However, Civ 4 often takes these systems a step further. For instance, the introduction of 'vassal states' allows for deep manipulation of global politics, leading to more engrossing dynamics on the macro level. Despite the older graphics, the game's rich strategic elements and heightened realism makes Civilization 4 a standout choice for fans of Civilization 5.

Civilization 4 is available on PC, typically priced around $29.99 USD.

24. Civilization 6

In many aspects, Civilization 6 mirrors its predecessor, Civilization 5, sticking to the core gameplay that strategy lovers have come to appreciate in the series. Both games offer a range of sprawling civilizations for you to create and shape through multiple ages, offering meticulously designed mechanics of progress, from the building of cities to research advancements to diplomatic negotiations. Each civilization has a distinct set of attributes and advantages that can be utilized to shape the growth of your empire, further amplifying a sense of strategy that is reminiscent of Civilization 5.

Sticking to the gameplay style of Civilization 5, Civilization 6 once again offers a turn-based strategy game with hex-grid based maps. You're given the opportunity to explore these vast landscapes, engage in trade and combat with other civilizations and gather resources to fuel your empire’s growth. A key similarity is the social and technological development trees, laying out a clear path of advancement to give your civilization that leading edge. In both Civ 5 and Civ 6, decisions you make shape the world — its politics, its climate, its culture. Simply put, if you enjoyed the strategic challenges and global evolution of Civilization 5, you'll appreciate the familiar, yet refined experience that Civilization 6 offers.

Civilization 6 is available on a multitude of platforms including Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, typically priced around $60 USD.

23. Europa Universalis IV

Europa Universalis IV is highly comparable to Civilization V but it offers a unique blend of complexity and historical accuracy which sets it apart from other strategy games. Similar to Civilization V, Europa Universalis IV has an emphasis on world domination, where you select a nation and guide it through the years with the aim of becoming a global powerhouse. The game offers an array of strategic choices, intertwined with political decisions, trade agreements, and military actions. The depth of diplomacy and trade mechanics, as well as intricate combat tactics in Europa Universalis IV, presents a more detailed and elaborate system as compared to Civilization V, thereby providing a deeply rewarding gameplay experience for devoted strategy gamers.

Another exciting aspect about Europa Universalis IV that resembles Civilization V is the aspect of technological advancement and colonization. As the game progresses, you can adopt new technologies, enhance your national ideas, and exploit numerous geographical discoveries to expand your empire. This constantly evolving nature of gameplay means that you're always presented with fresh challenges and diplomatic dilemmas, a feature that makes for a thrilling strategy game. Although Europa Universalis IV is set within a fixed historical timeframe, from 1444 to 1821, it nonetheless provides an immersive and comprehensive simulation of the geopolitical landscape that Civilization players have grown to adore.

Europa Universalis IV is available on Windows, MacOS, and Linux platforms, typically priced around $39.99 USD.

22. Crusader Kings II

In Crusader Kings II, much like Civilization 5, you are tasked with constructing and managing your very own Medieval dynasty, which is similar to the control you have over your civilization or empire in Civ 5. Just as in Civ 5, Crusader Kings II allows you to experience the thrill of using diplomacy, warfare, and economics to ensure your survival and supremacy. Part of the gameplay involves strategically navigating through historical events and using them to your advantage, something that Civilization 5 players will be familiar with and enjoy. The way political intrigue, religion, and culture are incorporated into the grand strategy might also remind you of the mechanics in Civilization 5.

Even though Crusader Kings II favours dynasty and character management instead of the wider empire management of Civilization 5, the game still offers possibilities like military conquest, diplomatic relationships and religious control which are akin to Civilization 5's mechanics. The well-realised world will surely suck you into the epic, sprawling journey just as Civilization 5 does. If you love the real-world historical aspects, grand strategy, and the feeling of being a powerful decision maker, Crusader Kings II could offer you a new yet familiar perspective in the wonderful world of strategy games.

Crusader Kings II is available on both Windows and MacOS platforms, typically priced around $39.99 USD.

21. Total War: Rome II

Both Total War: Rome II and Civilization 5 belong to the grand strategy genre, offering an expansive historical world for players to immerse in. In essence, both games share a common goal – to build, grow, and lead your civilization or empire to ultimate victory. Just like in Civilization 5, Rome II allows you to manage your empire's economics, politics, and military campaigns. But unlike Civilization’s turn-based engagement, Rome II also offers real-time tactical battles for territories, giving you a more direct command over your troops in the battlefield.

Another parallel aspect between the two games is their rich historical context. Civilization 5 lets you guide your chosen civilization from the dawn of man into the space age. On the other hand, Total War: Rome II lets you experience the grandeur of the Roman Empire, filled with political intrigues, colossal battles, and the chance to shape the ancient world to your vision. Both games engross you in fascinating historical periods, enabling you to learn and interact with different cultures, technologies, and epic events. Overall, they provide a deep, immersive gaming experience that combines elements of strategy, historical context, and resource management in remarkable ways.

Total War: Rome II is available on personal computers running Microsoft Windows, typically priced around $60 USD.

20. Stellaris

The grand strategy game Stellaris shares many similarities with Civilization 5, crystallizing into a gaming experience that fuses the best elements of both. Like Civ 5, Stellaris is a turn-based strategy game which presents players with the objective of leading your civilization, or in this case your interstellar empire, to grandeur and dominance. The game offers immense freedom to explore and expand in a vast, procedurally generated universe, not unlike the expansive maps of Civ 5. Furthermore, the construction and development of numerous cities (or planets) which you must manage resourcefully, the detailed diplomacy proceedings, and the compelling scientific advancement mechanics neatly parallel the strategic depth of Civilization 5.

Stellaris introduces unique elements similar to Civ 5's different victory conditions. This includes the diverse ways to shape your empire, Alien diplomacy, the unpredictable crises that arise, and multitudes of different end-game scenarios each providing a unique challenge or advantage to your strategy. Both games demand a sharp strategic mindset and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. So, if plotting the progress of a civilization from the dawn of time to the heights of glory is your cup of tea in Civ 5, then choreographing the rise of an interstellar empire from its infancy to its zenith in Stellaris will be equivalently rewarding.

Stellaris is available on the platforms of Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, typically priced around $40 USD.

19. Civilization: Beyond Earth

Well, if you're a fan of Civilization 5, you're going to find Civilization: Beyond Earth extraordinarily enjoyable. The core game mechanics and turn-based strategy gameplay that you loved in Civ 5 are the foundation of Beyond Earth. The familiar hex-based tile system, city-state interactions, tech development and even the art style are very much the same, providing a comforting sense of familiarity. However, Beyond Earth weaves these mechanics into a brand new setting, offering an exciting space frontier to discover and colonize, which introduces new strategic elements and decisions mid-game.

Civilization: Beyond Earth offers a new feature where the course of your civilization depends on the answers to the biggest questions of the future. Will your people push for the purity of the human race, seek harmony with the new world, or would they become supremacists who augment their bodies with powerful technologies? Each of these choices affects the strengths and specialties of your civilization, creating a more personalized and replayable experience than Civ 5. This innovative divergence system, combined with the alien environment, creates a strategic depth and immersion that is still comfortably similar to Civilization 5.

Civilization: Beyond Earth is available on Windows, MacOS, and Linux platforms, typically priced around $40 USD.

18. Anno 1800

Just like Civilization 5, Anno 1800 is a strategy game that captivates players with its immersive and complex city-building mechanic. You maintain control over an evolving city, which sparks a sense of personal ownership similar to Civ 5. There are also shared political elements as you negotiate, trade, or wage war with other AI factions, similar to the diplomacy in Civ 5. It's the balance of expansion, resource management, and strategy that echoes Civ 5 and makes the gameplay of Anno 1800 so intriguing.

Another aspect which might appeal to a Civ 5 player is the historical backdrop of Anno 1800. Set in the 19th century during the industrial revolution, it shares Civilization's attention to historical detail. The lush and intricately designed environment provides an enchanting atmosphere which is very similar to the unique worlds Civilizations 5 creates. The quest system also adds a storyline dimension to your gameplay experience, offering alternate play styles comparable to different Civ 5 leaders and nations.

Anno 1800 is available on Windows PC, typically priced around $60 USD.

17. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri carries many of the elements and mechanics that made Civilization 5 a hit and moves them into a compelling science fiction setting. Just like Civilization 5, Alpha Centauri is a turn-based strategy game that has you overseeing the development of a civilization. Instead of starting in the stone age and working your way up over the course of history, though, you'll be landing on an alien planet and establishing a new society in the far future. The game’s strategic depth, innovative tech tree, and dynamic AI leaders all give it very much of a Civilization 5 feel.

Further, Alpha Centauri embodies the same signature Sid Meier's touches, allowing for a wide range of possibilities and strategic options. Similar to Civilization 5, Alpha Centauri offers different unit types, varied landscapes, options for diplomacy, development, war, and peace. However, it includes added features such as the ability to design your own units and a narrative that explores sociopolitical ideologies on this alien world. Alpha Centauri definitely has a bit more of a learning curve compared to Civilization 5, but once you get the hang of it, you are in for a rich strategic experience.

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is available on PC, typically priced around $15 USD.

16. Age of Empires II

Age of Empires II and Civilization 5 share many core concepts that make them both entertaining and strategic gaming experiences. Both titles revolve around commanding a civilization, managing its resources, and guiding its development through the course of history. From the ground up, you can build your empire, advance through various ages, evolve technologies, and interact with other civilizations diplomatically or through warfare. The key goal is to achieve global dominance, either militarily, scientifically, or culturally. Similarly, they both offer highly engaging multiplayer options, where you can match wits with players from all around the world.

However, what sets Age of Empires II apart is its real-time strategy gameplay, compared to Civilization 5's turn-based approach. This means in Age of Empires II, events happen in real-time, adding a dynamic layer of excitement and requiring immediate decision-making and quick strategizing. Furthermore, AOE II focuses more on warfare, with a significant part of its gameplay centered around battles and sieges. You get to manage units individually, split armies, use various formation tactics, and even employ deceitful strategies to triumph. Additionally, the designs of the various historical eras you'll go through are absorbing visually, just like Civilization 5. The richly-designed environments, buildings, and units provide a lot of depth and authenticity to the gameplay experience.

Age of Empires II is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, typically priced around $20 USD.

15. StarCraft II

StarCraft II, like Civilization 5, is a strategy game that requires advanced planning, resource management, and clever tactics. Both games will draw you in with their respective immersive worlds, whether it's forging a path of conquest in the richly historical backdrop of Civilization or exploring the fantastic space opera universe of StarCraft. While StarCraft II gives you control over one of three powerful factions -Terran, Zerg, or Protoss, similar to how Civilization V enables control over various world-leading civilizations, the ultimate goal remains the same in both: to emerge victorious by outsmarting your enemies and leveraging your strengths according to your chosen faction or civilization.

StarCraft II's complexity also rivals that of Civilization V. It offers a diverse range of units and technologies like Civ's military units and technological innovations, which add layers of depth to your strategy. Furthermore, both games feature robust multiplayer modes where you can test your strategies against other players, adding endless replayability. Civilization V's turn-based style and StarCraft II's real-time strategy mechanics may differ in execution, but both demand careful decision-making and strategic foresight, keeping you engaged and challenged throughout the gameplay.

StarCraft II is available on Windows and MacOS platforms, typically priced around $20 USD.

14. Endless Legend

It's great to know you're interested in grand strategy 4X games like Civilization 5! If you enjoyed Civilization 5, then you will likely love Endless Legend. This game takes common gameplay elements from Civilization, like turn-based tactics, a focus on research and technology, and distinct civilizations with unique abilities, and places them in a fantastical setting. A key feature similarity is the hexagon tiles; just as you maneuver units and construct cities on hex-based maps in Civilization 5, Endless Legend employs this mechanic on an ideological and truly expansive world of Auriga. The world of Auriga is also procedurally generated, which adds a dimension of variety and unpredictability that keeps every game session feeling fresh.

Where Endless Legend really stands out is in its narrative depth and faction diversity which are reminiscent of the Civilization series, but with distinct differences. Each of the factions in Endless Legend has a unique storyline that will carry you through the game, and your actions can influence the storyline’s outcome, lending a degree of narrative-driven RPG elements to the base 4X strategy gameplay. This is a layer on top of the traditional grand strategy formula that fans of Civilization should find interesting. The factions themselves are not simply different colors on a map, but have their own methods of resource collection and governance which fundamentally alters their strategies and means of diplomacy. It is this depth in factional diversity and the injection of storytelling elements which really differentiates this title in the genre, while remaining familiarly satisfying for Civilization 5 connoisseurs.

Endless Legend is available on PC via Steam, typically priced around $30 USD.

13. Total War: Shogun 2

As a passionate Civilization 5 player, you might be interested in Total War: Shogun 2. Just like Civ 5, Shogun 2 is a strategy-centered game that requires careful planning, resource management, and diplomatic skill to lead your faction to dominance. You'll appreciate the variety of buildings you can construct for development, the wide range of factions you can choose from and the distinct strategies they each require. It's set in 16th-century Japan – a departure from Civilization's global scope – which adds an element of historical and cultural intricacy to the game that is both challenging and immersive.

Also, the game mechanics will feel familiar to you due to the turn-based structure of the game, but with a twist. When you enter combat, the game switches to real-time, providing a thrilling, hands-on experience that sets it apart from Civ 5's positional warfare. It not only tests your battlefield tactics but also your ability to think and react quickly. Despite this difference, the strategic layer's focus on technologies, buildings, and relationships between nations should hit all the same satisfying notes you loved in Civilization 5, while offering a new perspective on the strategy genre.

Total War: Shogun 2 is available on PC, typically priced around $30 USD.

12. Endless Space 2

Endless Space 2 and Civilisation V are both turn-based strategy games that take their essence from creating a civilization from scratch and leading it to universal (or global, in CivV’s case) dominance. Just as CivV lets you redefine history on Earth, Endless Space 2 gives you the power to shape the future of your civilization in the cosmos. You'll find a lot of comparable depth in terms of managing resources, technological advancement, diplomacy and warfare. In both games, you command your leaders, negotiate with other factions, and strategically plan your way towards victory.

Another aspect where Endless Space 2 mirrors Civ V is in its strategic resource management and expansion. Much like Civilization, where you constantly strive to harness new lands and resources, Endless Space 2 presents the same challenge, but on an intergalactic scale. Colonizing new planets, mining asteroids, and creating interstellar trade routes are all part of your strategic plan. The richly diverse factions in Endless Space 2, each with their unique gameplay mechanics and narratives, very much resemble the different civilizations to choose from in Civ V, each offering a unique play style and set of abilities.

Endless Space 2 is available on windows platform, typically priced around $40 USD.

11. Hearts of Iron IV

Hearts of Iron IV and Civilization V share some striking similarities that could peak your interest as a fan of the latter. Both are grand strategy games, which essentially means that you have full control over a nation and its many aspects. In HOI4, just as in Civ5, you manage resources, engage in research, maintain diplomatic relations, and naturally, wage wars. You still get to dictate every major decision and policy affecting your chosen nation from a top-down perspective. Creating your own history within a wide range of timelines, from the ancient era in Civ5 to the World War II era in HOI4, is a core experience in both games.

Another element that binds these two games is the extensive strategic and tactical depth offered. They all have a focus on strategic and tactical warfare. Whether it's deciding where to place your cities in Civ5 or planning your invasions in HOI4, your decisions make a significant impact on the outcome. The way both games treat advancements too are somewhat similar; throughout a play-through, you get to progressively improve your means of warfare and other aspects of your civilization/nation. The joy and satisfaction of seeing your strategies come into fruition is a rewarding experience that both games capture quite beautifully.

Hearts of Iron IV is available on PC, Mac and Linux, typically priced around $40 USD.

10. Victoria II

If you've enjoyed the historical strategy and nation-building aspects of Civilization V, then Victoria II is definitely a game you should try. This grand strategy game mirrors many familiar elements of Civilization V, but introduces new dimensions that add depth and complexity. In highest regard, you'll find a similar sense of immersion and satisfaction in guiding your chosen civilization through the rigours of time, balancing the pressures of research, policy-making, warfare, diplomacy, industrial and societal development to steer your nation to prominence. Just like Civilization V, the game spans a significant era of human history, and the decisions you make will shape the narrative of your nation's journey.

However, Victoria II does set itself apart with a more in-depth focus on economic and political mechanics. The game's historical period, the 19th and early 20th centuries, invite you to tackle issues like the Industrial Revolution, colonialism, and the emergence of modern political ideologies. The management of population groups, complex economic systems, political reforms and revolutionary movements add fascinating layers to gameplay and require strategic thought. So, while it maintains the epic historical scope and strategic planning of Civilization V, Victoria II adds an engaging, authentic complexity that will please any strategy gaming enthusiast.

Victoria II is available on Windows and MacOS, typically priced around $20 USD.

9. Galactic Civilizations III

In comparing Galactic Civilizations III to Civilization 5, the first thing that stands out is the core gameplay which is rooted in the same 4X style strategic framework: exploring, expanding, exploiting, and exterminating. You will start by founding your civilization and progressively expanding your territory through a delicate balance of diplomacy, warfare, and economic expansion. The depth and breadth of Civilization 5's turn-based strategy are mirrored in Galactic Civilizations III, albeit in a fantastic sci-fi setting that takes you from planet surfaces all the way into the depths of space.

The other notable similarity is the deep customizability and replayability factor in both games. In Civilization 5, each game can be entirely different based on your choice of map, civilizations, and your strategies. Similarly, Galactic Civilizations III offers an impressive level of customization, from the design of your spaceships to the genetic makeup of your civilization. The random map generator creates unique galaxies for every new game, providing an endless array of strategic possibilities and ensuring that no two games are ever the same. The AI of each opposing civilization also learns and adapts from each game, making the gameplay continually captivating and challenging.

Galactic Civilizations III is available on the PC platform, typically priced around $40 USD.

8. Total War: Warhammer II

One of the key similarities between Total War: Warhammer II and Civilization 5 is the focus on resource and empire management. Just like in Civ 5, you have to consider a range of aspects including economy, city development, tech research in order to build and expand your empire. Warfare also plays a crucial role in both games where you deploy armies across vast, beautifully rendered maps. Just as you'd carefully manage your units and plots in the Civilization 5, you also coordinate different types of units ranging from melee to ranged and magic wielders in Warhammer II.

The heart of these games lie in strategic planning and execution. Total War: Warhammer II brings in the complexity and depth of Civilization 5, albeit with a different angle, incorporating fantasy elements and tabletop mechanics into the mix. Just like Civilization 5, Total War: Warhammer II provides a deep and engaging single-player campaign experience. It's also worth mentioning that, much like Civ 5's rich historical context, Warhammer II showcases the epic lore and imagination of the popular Warhammer fantasy universe.

Total War: Warhammer II is available on PC through platforms like Steam, typically priced around $60 USD.

7. Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution

If you loved the adrenaline pump of Civilization 5, you will adore Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution. It brings the same strategic conquest and empire-building interaction that's intrinsic to the Civilization series, while allowing for a more streamlined gameplay. Civilization Revolution, just like Civ 5, offers you a variety of civilizations to choose from, each with their particular leaders and unique abilities, again, very similar to Civ 5. You will shape the culture, economy, and military might of your civilization, researching technologies, trading, and engaging in diplomacy and warfare with other civilizations.

Moreover, Civilization Revolution shares a lot of the same game mechanics and concepts with Civ 5. You'll find familiar 4X strategy elements: "eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate". You'll need to manage resources, develop your cities, and balance your civilization's needs and ambitions, much like in Civ 5. But the game has been streamlined and optimized for quicker, more dynamic games, making it great for those nights when you still want to take over the world, but don't have many hours to invest. The random maps and variable victory conditions also ensure high replay value and unique challenges in each game.

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution is available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, and iOS platforms, typically priced around $20 USD.

6. The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom

When it comes to games similar to Civilization 5, one standout title is The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom. Just like Civ 5, it is a strategy game with an emphasis on resource management and strategic planning. You’ll find a deep and engaging mechanic where managing and utilizing your resources effectively is as important as the military or diplomatic strategies you adopt. This makes for complex, multi-layered gameplay that’s sure to impress fans of Civilization. It also showcases impressive graphics and a rich storyline that adds layers to the overall game experience.

Another striking similarity is the aspect of territorial control between these two games. In Civ 5, you strive to expand your empire and take control of different territories. This is echoed in The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom, where you're tasked with taking control of territories to gather resources, build structures and unlock new technologies. It definitely provides a familiar feel if you're coming off Civilization 5, but it also offers unique mechanics that bring an interesting twist to the gameplay. All these parallels make The Settlers 7 a recommendable game for Civ 5 lovers, with its perfect blend of strategy, resource management, and territorial expansion aspects.

The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom is available on PC, typically priced around $19.99 USD.

5. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

In both Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Civilization 5, the core appeal rises from the strategy component, offering you the thrilling challenge of planning, managing resources, and directing the course of a civilization or race. These games share similar aspects of empire or kingdom building - where you are tasked with researching technologies, constructing and upgrading buildings, gathering resources, and recruiting and commanding armies, all while keeping an eye on the geo-political map and preparing to outmaneuver your rivals.

Despite the different themes - fantasy in Warcraft III and historical in Civilization 5 – the intricate world-building and unraveled depth of play are echoic. Both games have a storyline mode, yet they also provide free-play scenarios where you're able to invent your own narratives and strategies. The multiplayer modes further amplify the potential for complex political and military strategies, offering a broad range of interactions from diplomacy to warfare. Thus, if you've enjoyed the strategic depth, challenge, and freedom of Civilization 5, you will undoubtedly find elements to appreciate in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos is available on Windows and Mac OS, typically priced around $15 USD.

4. Rise of Nations

If you loved Civilization 5, then you'll definitely be intrigued by Rise of Nations. It's like Civilization 5 in that it is a real-time strategy game incorporating different world civilizations and seeking dominance over the world map. Just like in Civ 5, you get to progress through various eras, starting from the ancient times up to the modern period. The successful management of cities, armies, technologies, and trade ties is key to expanding your empire. However, unlike Civ 5's turn-based gameplay, Rise of Nations operates in real time, which throws in an exciting level of challenge and decision making on the fly.

Another feature that makes Rise of Nations similar to Civilization 5 is its focus on resource management and economic strategy. You have to gather resources such as knowledge, wealth, food, wood, and oil to build your cities and fund your military. In addition, you'll also interact with other nations through diplomatic negotiations or warfare- just like Civ 5. The game’s Conquer the World campaign will take you on a tour of global domination against formidable AI, another parallel to Civ 5’s own world-conquering campaigns. Even the defence strategies resemble Civ 5, with fort construction playing a significant role.

Rise of Nations is available on Windows PC, typically priced around $19.99 USD.

3. Anno 1404

Stepping into Anno 1404, you'll find a sense of familiarity as it echoes many aspects that you've loved in Civilization 5. Like Civ 5, Anno 1404 is a strategy game that tasks you with developing your empire, but instead of an emphasis on wide-ranging historical evolution, you’re focused on the era of discovery. You'll be building and managing bustling medieval metropolises, engaging in trade, diplomacy, exploration, and even warfare. The characteristic strategy element is present in both games, with the challenge of managing your resources, infrastructure, and the well-being of your population, creating a captivating gameplay experience.

Where Anno 1404 really stands akin to Civilization 5 is in its impressive depth. Just as you found nearly endless layers of complexity with Civ 5, the same is true for Anno 1404. It invites you to dig deep into its systems, learning the ropes of economic chains, maintaining political relationships, and balancing the unique needs of different citizen classes. The level of fine-grained control and strategic planning you've reveled in Civilization 5, Anno 1404 readily offers with a unique context and perspective. Its rich graphical environment, replete with detailed buildings, bustling citizens, and changeable weather, adds an immersive appeal alike to Civilization's captivating diversity of eras and cultures.

Anno 1404 is available on platforms such as PC and it's typically priced around $19.99 USD.

2. Tropico 5

In many ways, Tropico 5 and Civilization 5 bear striking similarities. Both games belong to the realm of 'city-building': you start with a primitive set-up that you gradually develop into an intricate web of industry, commerce, and infrastructure. Much like Civilization 5, Tropico 5 requires you to manage multiple aspects of your society - economy, politics, international relations, etc - to propel your civilization to greatness. They share a similar turn-based strategy format, however, Tropico 5 leans more towards the real-time side of the spectrum.

Another similarity is the importance of resource management. In Civilization 5, you have to be strategic about resource extraction and utility to win. Likewise, in Tropico 5, managing resources - whether it's exploiting gold mines, planting sugar or tobacco - is vital for your economy to prosper. Both games also make use of historic figures and elements, though the context and usage are quite different. In Civilization 5, you play as renowned leaders steering a nation, while in Tropico 5, you play as the self-serving 'El Presidente,' stamping your legacy through generations on the tropical island you govern. Both games have a vast tech tree that affects your level of civilization advancement, with research playing an integral role in how your civilization or Tropican society evolves.

Tropico 5 is available on PC, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and MAC, typically priced around $20 USD.

1. SimCity 4

SimCity 4, like Civilization 5, is an enticing game for those who love strategy and creativity. Both games provide an expansive sandbox world where players have the ability to shape their own realms based on their unique strategies. In SimCity 4, you're offered the role of a city planner and manager, deciding where to place infrastructure, managing taxes, regulations, and dealing with the consequences of natural disasters—similar to the way you design and govern your civilization in Civ 5. If you loved balancing the complex components of an empire in Civ 5, SimCity 4 will keep you thoroughly entertained with its rich, dynamic urban planning and development mechanics.

Furthermore, the challenge in SimCity 4, as in Civilization 5, is mastering the art of long-term strategic planning. In Civilization 5, you must advance your civilization through carefully mapped-out steps while keeping your opponents in check. In SimCity 4, the growth of your city hinges on the efficient allocation of resources and proper planning for future growth. The strategies you formulate and decisions you make directly affect the progress and success of your empire or city. So, if you enjoy the thoughtful strategy and planning involved in Civilization 5, SimCity 4's challenge of maintaining a city's economic health while keeping its residents happy will certainly pique your interest.

SimCity 4 is available on PC and Mac, typically priced around $20 USD.

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