The best Civilization games: every Civ game ranked from worst to best. Which civilization game to start with

In fact, the series’ educational potential is so strong that several academic institutions have used Civilization as their classroom teaching tools. While there is debate about the effectiveness of these implementations, I personally believe that playing the show at least encourages students to research a variety of topics.

Civilization 6 strategies – How to master the early game, mid-game and late game phases

Now you have the basics, here’s how to dominate each phase of the campaign.

The joy of this game, as with all the previous titles in this series, is that there are many ways to play and countless Civilization 6 strategies you can take on your way to one of the many types of victory.

After exploring the various pages of this guide, from basic tips and tricks to a detailed look at Leaders and managing your Districts, you are well equipped to attack yourself and lead your civilization to glory.

Civilization 6 Interview – 18 minutes with lead designer Ed Beach (plus some new gameplay)

That said, forewarned is certainly armed and we have a lot more to offer. So, whether you’re hungry for some solid starting strategies, wondering how best to rule your mid-game population, or you’re looking for a late-game boost, we’ve got you covered with some strong moves in each of the three major phases of the game.

Quick Note: We’ve refreshed the Civ 6 Guides for the Nintendo Switch launch, but please note that they contain information about the Rise and Fall DLC and the base game, meaning some things only apply if you have that DLC ! Otherwise, develop!

Early game strategies in Civilization 6 to get off to the best start

The theme of Civilization 6 is Age of Exploration, which should give you a very big clue as to what the most important early tactics revolve around. Before you start pushing yourself to the brink of the fog of war, however, you need to establish your first city.

If your settler starts on the river, there is no reason to move anywhere before founding this city as fresh water access is the most important factor in the early stages due to the increase in housing it provides and the resulting extent of your city’s development. Besides, you are ideally looking for a nice mix of nearby terrain, with mountains, which are especially beneficial to use the neighborhood bonuses in the Holy Place and Campus districts, and also provide a good natural defense against robbers.

Founded city, your first building choices should be a scout, a slinger, and a monument to give you the opportunity to explore and speed up your citizenship research. For now, refrain from creating builders; thanks to their ability to create upgrades instantly, there is no need to set them to work like they did with workers in previous civilization games, and it will take a few turns before your population grows to the point where you can really use the upgrade tile.

Moreover, making tile upgrades without a few basic soldiers to defend your land is just a request to knock on a barbaric group of invaders. With your scout, slinger, and rookie fighter, you can go in different directions to assess where barbarian outposts might be. If you see a barbarian scout, don’t dismiss him as harmless, but track him down and kill him instead, as he will report to the nearest outpost and bring misfortune to your fledgling civilization.


Depending on the size of the map, all this exploration should lead to an encounter with another civilization or at least a city-state. An early study of the foreign trade society and the creation of a trader will allow you to take advantage of a lucrative trading opportunity; just be sure to follow the merchant’s route (they will form a path as they travel back and forth) and make sure it is free from barbarian threats.

Choose the government policy that best suits your current circumstances; Urban planning of additional production is always useful, and if it seems likely you will run into a few barbarians, use Discipline to increase the power of your attack against them to help overcome a threat before it turns into a threat.

With your first dozen or so bends in your belt, you can look for a builder to harness your first town’s growing population, and a settler shortly thereafter. Here, you can take a little more time to figure out where to build your next city, taking advantage of the varied terrain, but ensuring you leave room around your city for neighborhoods and wonders, each taking up space on the tiles.

The early game Civilization 6 is more flexible than its predecessors thanks to the numerous and varied bonuses enjoyed by both leaders and civilizations, but three cities per turn 60-70 is a reasonable target. Overall, take the time to look at how to get the most out of your leader and civilization’s bonuses, how best to fortify them with Civic and Technology Research, and what you can do to strengthen the research you like the most. Once you’ve established and worked on your roadmap, cleverly placing the districts and their associated buildings, you’ll be well on your way to the mid-game consolidation stage.

It’s worth mentioning that if you change your civilization everything will change (but won’t be reset!), Only your starting Commander will stay the same!

The Best civilization Games

Here are the best Civilization games:

  • Civilization: A Call to Power
  • Civilization II
  • Civilization
  • A call to power 2
  • Civilization III
  • Civilization V
  • Civilization VI
  • Civilization IV

No, we won’t be answering your questions at the moment

Civilization: Call to Power

The purists will mock the incorporation of Activision’s ambitious but chaotic blow into the great empire builder, but it marked a breakthrough in the franchise’s history that is quite fascinating.

Related: The Best 4X Games for PC

Call to Power arose from the legal skirmishes between Activision and Microprose over the origin of the trademark “Civilization” in board games. Created without Sid Meier, Jeff Briggs, and an associate at the helm, it was Activision’s first blow to the Civ franchise, which perhaps explains why it was seemingly crammed into every idea that one game could hold.

With bizarre ideas like space wars and underwater cities, as well as a wealth of sneaky individuals like lawyers, slave traders, televangelists with televisions behind their heads, and, er, steampunk airships that sent advertisements on hostile civilizations, The Call to Power was nothing other than ambitious. It was broke by a poor interface and bad implementation, with all the extra content that made the game feel bloated and distracted, and the late game was like a hell of a mob of conflicting ideas that, frankly, were a bit grim to be part of with Let’s just call it “Franken-civ” and let’s move on…

main civilization map 2

For this reason, we decided to create a guide in which we travel through each civilization in Rise of Kingdoms, expressing our own opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of each of them. Finally, we will also be our conclusions on the best civilizations in early 2021.

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Have you ever wanted to take control of some of the most iconic armies in human history, you just can’t get past the aptly named Total War franchise. Whether it’s Attila or Napoleon, you bring the story to a grand virtual stage. Total War: Three Kingdoms gives many of us Western players the opportunity to get to know the Three Kingdoms period in China and meet its heroic generals. While Civilization is more self-centered, more preoccupied with the advancement of your people, here you know you’ll finally get to the bottom of the matter – massive real-time battles where armies clash. In Three Kingdoms, your generals play a bigger role than ever before, so if you’re looking for something that, while great, also allows you to interact with characters on a personal level.

Available on PC


The development of Freeciv began as a hobby for three students in 1996. Today, in 2020, the game still has a lot of avid gamers. The reasons to play it today are simple: it’s free, open source, and therefore customizable, and it works on almost anything from anywhere, and it plays like Civilization 2. It still does exactly what it was designed to do by all these years, offering a cool multiplayer alternative for anyone looking to play one of the good old civil games without any hassle. It’s also great for anyone new to the genre who just wants to dip their toes first.

Available on PC, iOS, Android

Also check out the Civ V community update project if you want an interesting rule change, better AI and the restoration of Civ IV features such as vassal states and deeper espionage. We also have a guide to the best Civ 5 civilizations.

What is the Best Civilization Game?

Civilization VI is the best game in the Civilization series. While this hasn’t changed much after Civilization V, it’s the newest and polished version of the game with improved AI and multiplayer, better graphics, and a more challenging game experience.

Civilization VI

1. Civilization VI

I’ve already said that Civilization VI is the best Civilization game, so let’s just recap what’s changed here.

The game does not introduce any new radical features, which was noticeable during the Civilization IV update to Civilization V, but only the technology research tree.

Nevertheless, it still tops the list simply because of the necessary tweaks to its predecessor’s game mechanics and modern graphics.

So, if you’re looking for the only Civilization game to start with and are not interested in the history of the legendary franchise, just pick Civilization VI.

Civilization V

2. Civilization V

Although the latest installment moved Civilization V from the top of the list, it will forever be remembered as the most innovative game in the series.

First of all, starting with Civilization V, victory can be achieved in seven ways: research, diplomacy, exploration, expansion, economic development, government, and military conquest.

Second, hexagonal tiles have been introduced into the game to prevent units from being stacked into a single tile.

In addition to that, there are also improved VFX, advanced diplomacy, a new combat system, city-states, NPCs, better multiplayer, and more.

Among the disadvantages of Civilization V is poor AI, the removal of vassalage and religion, and simplified espionage, but after the release of DLCs like Gods & Kings and Brave New World, everything was fixed.

Civilization IV

2. Civilization IV

The third best Civilization game is the fourth edition.

Civilization IV has taken over from Civilization III with a few changes: a completely new game engine, stabilized multiplayer, and an increased influence of religion.

With the arrival of the new game engine in Civilization IV, you can now see what’s going on in your empire by simply zooming in on it, rather than just watching the City View screen that was available in previous games in the series.

Civilization III

4. Civilization III

With the release of the third game, Civilization has undergone significant changes; therefore it can be called the best Civilization game that paved the way to civilization we see today.

The first big improvement we see in the game are new elements of culture, nationality and art.

Second, it expanded the scope to include new world wonders, great people, and technologies.

In addition, the game features an advanced trading system, improved combat options, and an active world generator.

Finally, I think this is the most important change in the game, in Civilization III there are not two but five victory conditions. Despite the conquest and the space race, you can also win the game by dominating two-thirds of the planet, becoming head of the United Nations, or assimilating other civilizations.


All in all, while it can be confusing to find the best Civilization game on your own, I recommend you try out the three latest editions, starting with Civilization VI, which I prefer the most until you find your favorite.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article and now you know which Civilization game is the best.

If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments section below.

In fact, the series’ educational potential is so strong that several academic institutions have used Civilization as their classroom teaching tools. While there is debate about the effectiveness of these implementations, I personally believe that playing the show at least encourages students to research a variety of topics.

Changing Your Civilization? Yes, That’s Possible

By the time you read this, you probably have already chosen your civilization, right?

Well, you can change your civilization after selecting it, but it will cost 10,000 gems or a token to change civilization – so if you haven’t played that long (several hours or days) it’s worth thinking about getting started instead of wasting so many gems on it.

It is important to have the right civilization, but just think how much you can get for 10,000 gems or how long it will take to get that many gems in Rise of Kingdoms.

You can do this in your profile by using the arrows next to your civilization.

But now let’s go back to the original question, which civilization to choose?

It’s worth mentioning that if you change your civilization everything will change (but won’t be reset!), Only your starting Commander will stay the same!

If you also want to see which Commanders are really good at Rise of Kingdoms, you can check out my guide here.

Rise of Kingdoms Civilizations – Which Is The Best?

I’ve tried putting them on the tier list to give you a hint of how good (or bad) they are, so you’ll be picking great civilizations, fine civilizations, and civilizations that I don’t think are really useful.

  • Pick Japan if you start playing
  • Halfway through the game to China (more action points) or Germany (Teutonic knight) works really well
  • Late game Byzantium is a great choice, Saudi if you’re often the raid leader

The Civilizations To Choose

Before reading the table, remember that the starting commander is only useful at the beginning of the game, as you can use any commander with any civilization later in the game! Never change your civilization because of the starting commander, the change will not affect it anyway.

Also, a starting commander with an “S” rating means how useful a commander is at the start of the game in Rise of Kingdoms, not how strong he is later in the game (see the list of commander levels here to see which commanders are really strong).

* only if you are the rally leader!

Starting Civilization

If you’re starting out, you’ll be using mixed armies a lot, so specialized units aren’t that important. Your main goal is to get off to a good start as well as speed up your research and building as much as possible.

For this reason, I recommend that you use China as a starting civilization with bonus action points, speed building, and Sun Tzu you will also get a great launch commander.

Mid-Game Civilization

After unlocking your T4 units and starting your Specialization, you have a number of options:

  • Rome, France or the Vikings for infantry
  • Britain or Ottoman for archery
  • Germany for Cavarly

Changing your civilization at this point makes sense and while 10,000 gems is a lot, it will help you in the long run and save a lot of time if you choose the right starting civilization.

Details for All Civilizations

Arabia – Actually, this civilization has really strong buffs, but I have included it here because only raid leaders and frequent raiders will really benefit from the extra damage dealt to barbarians and the damage buffs that all allied troops will receive.

Great Britain – they are good too, and the additional garrison capacity will hurt the attackers a lot, as well as faster training of troops. However, it always depends on how active and good your alliance is. I only recommend them if you are later into the game and training a lot of T4 / T5 units that last a long time when faster training boost is involved and you want to specialize in archery.

Byzantium – the main benefits are 5% additional health for cavalry units and 15% additional hospital capacity. This is really powerful as many of them use cavalry quite heavily and the extra 5% will help them not to die as their training is really expensive especially later in the game. The extra hospital capacity will also help you lose as few of them as possible, so if you use cavalry units a lot (or plan) this civilization is really great in the later stages of the game

China – is the best choice as a starting civilization with extra action points that help you get a lot of extra resources from neutral stuff as well, and the extra build speeds help a lot early in the game until you get to the point where you start training T4 units, that’s the point where other civilizations are better.

The game does not introduce any new radical features, which was noticeable during the Civilization IV update to Civilization V, but only the technology research tree.


  • Commander: Sun Tzu
  • Special unit: Chu-Ko-Nu
  • Statistics
    • Increased military defense + 3%
    • Action point recovery + 5%
    • Building Speed ​​+ 5%

    Updated guide to the best Rise of Kingdoms civilizations for 2021

    China has strong defensive capabilities in the hands of its original commander, Sun Tzu, as well as increased unit defense for all units. These defensive benefits, coupled with their increased build speed, make China the perfect civilization for most players looking to progress quickly without having to worry too much about open warfare.


    • Commander: Kusunoki Masashige
    • Special unit: samurai
    • Statistics
      • Increased troop attack + 3%
      • Recon march speed + 30%
      • Resource gathering speed + 5%

      Updated guide to the best Rise of Kingdoms civilizations for 2021

      Japan is a civilization conducive to tactical awareness and strategic development. Their passive bonuses give them better opportunities to explore the map, allowing them to easily spot important zones or an easy victim of attack and looting, as well as potential threats. Their increased gathering speed also makes them great farmers and millers, which allows for quick expansion as long as the player is constantly collecting resources from the map.

      Among the disadvantages of Civilization V is poor AI, the removal of vassalage and religion, and simplified espionage, but after the release of DLCs like Gods & Kings and Brave New World, everything was fixed.

      Sid Meier’s Civilization is Renowned for Epic Music

      Civilization is famous for its soundtrack, but not in the same way as games like Legend of Zelda or Castlevania.

      While it features beloved original compositions such as the Grammy Award-winning opening theme of Baba Yetu from Civilization IV, the series is better known for its use of classical and ethnic music. So much so that all the newer episodes can be considered extensive samplers of world music.

      To give a few examples, in Civilization IV, the classic masterpieces of Mozart, Brahms and Dvořák accompanied the game segments of the Renaissance and the Industrial Era. A perfect introduction to the European musical styles of those epochs.

      Civilization V takes a more ethnic approach. Brazil’s leader Pedro II had a soundtrack taken from the Bossa Nova standard, Chega de Saudade. The Supreme Empress of China, Wu Zetian, was accompanied by the classic Chinese composition “Gao Shan Liu Shui.”

      In other words, all of the newer Civilization games are world music festivals. For music students, especially younger ones, it is undoubtedly also an engaging learning experience.

      To get a taste of what I am talking about above, it is enough to find the recording of Dvořák’s Brave New World, part two and listen to it through headphones. As you do so, imagine yourself in front of a vast border, full of dangers and promises. The chills you will likely experience are exactly the same as when you play and listen to Civilization games.

      First ever .

      Baba Yetu of Civ IV won the Grammy Award for Best Supporting Singer in an Instrumental Arrangement in 2011, being the first game music composition to ever do so. “Baba Yetu” means “Our Father” and is the Swahili name of the Lord’s Prayer.

      The tricky question of how to manage population size is a recurring challenge in Civilization games.

      The tricky question of how to manage population size is a recurring challenge in Civilization games.

      Civilization Gives You a Taste of Real-World Grim Realities

      It sounds unattractive to some players. After all, don’t we play video games to escape the misfortunes of the world?

      That said, the right mix of reality and fantasy can make the game a lot more memorable. In the case of Sid Meier’s Civilization, I’d say the developers have even achieved an elusive balance. The reality is never too distant, but neither is it depressing. At least never that bad.

      To get down to business, such realities are presented in games as “misfortune” and diplomatic challenges. In the case of the former, cities suffer greater and greater misfortune as they grow larger. The end stage of any game is therefore always the challenge of maintaining a large economic and defensive population while doing whatever you can to please the citizens.

      In the case of diplomatic challenges, they usually come up at the most unexpected moments. Aliens who have ignored you for hundreds of turns may suddenly declare war. A neighbor who has been your ally for centuries may have been bribed and made an alliance against you. In order to win the game, you have to be prepared for all such sudden disasters.

      Again, this mirroring of real crises can be too annoying for some players. However, I think this is a great introduction to the complexity of the human race overall. If anything, doesn’t it teach us patience and strategic thinking, and not panic when confronted or frustrated?

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