With the launch of Ryse: Son of Rome on Xbox One and PC, it only seems fitting to sit back and celebrate all of the Roman soldiers that paved the way for Marius Titus and his merry band of misfits. Throughout the years, games set in Ancient Rome have graced nearly every platform, going all the way back to the NES and through pretty much every decade that the PC has existed as a gaming device. Whether you give these games a thumbs up or down in the pantheon of gaming history, you can’t deny that these games have made their mark on the industry.
Here at The Áed we are looking at the 10 best (in no particular order) Roman based games for the PC platform. Enjoy!
1. Rome: Total WarRome: Total War is a revolutionary new title in the best-selling Total War series that carries players into the midst of ancient history’s most intense conflicts. Rome: Total War features groundbreaking technology that brings the epic, cinematic battles of the Roman era to life with graphics and gameplay beyond anything previously seen in a PC game. Players will be transported to the battlefields of ancient history’s greatest conflicts and control mighty armies. Up to 10,000 fully polygonal, highly detailed, motion-captured warriors can appear on the screen at once. They control vast armies led by history’s most legendary generals including Julius Caesar and Hannibal, and must use a combination of brains and brawn to successfully conquer the Roman Empire Release Date: September 22, 2004
2. Total War: Rome II
Continuing on from Total War: Rome, the franchise tasks you again to become the world’s first superpower and command the most incredible and vast war machine of the Ancient world. Dominate the enemies of your glorious empire by military, economic and political means. Your rise will bring admiration from your followers but will also attract greed and jealousy, even from your closest allies. Will betrayal strike you down, or will you be the first to turn on old friends? How much are you ready to sacrifice for your vision of Rome? Will you fight to save the Republic, or plot to rule alone as Dictator – as Emperor?
3. Grand Ages: Rome
GRAND AGES ROME is the sequel to the strategy game “Imperium Romanum”. You are a Governor of a Roman Province in the time-honoured Roman Empire, its fortune very much lies in your hands. Choose one of five Roman noble families such as Caesar’s Julii with different abilities to accomplish the comprehensive missions. Defend yourself against barbarian tribes, trade with other cultures, build a wealthy economic environment and fullfil the needs of your people in a huge single player campaign or with up to 3 human players in the multiplayer mode!
Release Date: Mar 17, 2009
4. Caesar IV
Caesar IV is the long-awaited sequel to Caesar III. In this historic city-building game, you govern a province of the Roman Empire, and are given the task of building its capital city. If you are successful, you move off to another province, with the final goal of becoming Caesar.The main focus of the game is on planning and building your city, while keeping your citizens happy and safe. Rome expects you to turn a profit and send regular shipments of goods back. And in the meantime, you have to defend your city against plundering barbarians.The online part of the game is divided in two sides: in Caesar’s Challenge you compete against other players to become the best governor of the season; in the Empire mode, you can build up and expand your own province by completing and uploading scenarios.
5. Age of Empires: Rise of Rome Expansion
Age of Empires is an epic real-time strategy game spanning 10,000 years, in which players are the guiding spirit in the evolution of small stone age tribes. Starting with minimal resources, players are challenged to build their tribes into great civilizations. Gamers can choose from one of several ways to win the game, including: world domination by conquering enemy civilizations, exploration of the known world and economic victory through the accumulation of wealth. Age of Empires was developed by Ensemble Studios and features the expertise of Bruce Shelley, co-designer of the hit strategy game Civilization. Rise of Rome is an add-on expansion for the original Age of Empires game. It focuses entirely on the legendary Roman Empire. Challenge veterans and novices alike to wage war on an epic scale with four additional civilizations, several unique units, new technologies, and new campaigns, including the showcase campaign that focuses on the Rise of Rome itself
6. Europa Universalis: Rome
Europa Universalis: Rome will cover the time period from the first Punic War to the start of the true Empire. Players will have thousand of gameplay choices ranging from country, culture, provincial and character options to name but a few, making each and every game infinitely customizable and truly unique. Fully 3D map with integrated graphics and detailed topography. Start at any date between 280 B.C. and 27 B.C. Choose between 10 different cultures, including the Roman, Celtic, Greek and Egyptian civilizations, with more than 53 playable factions on a map spanning hundreds of provinces. Watch your characters develop new traits through political intrigue and various interactions with thousands of other characters. Trade, negotiate or fight with your neighbours and advance your technologies to unite the Mediterranean World. Robust multiplayer allows you to challenge up to 32 players either competitively or in co-op mode.
Release Date: Apr 15, 2008
7. Imperium Romanun
Imperium Romanum puts the player in the role of a governor of a province, where he or she must strive to build a well organized, prosperous and commanding settlement. Set in the time of the Roman Empire at its peak, players construct fortifications, towers, gates and bridges, while paying for them with a new currency. Imperium Romanum is a challenging, enjoyable, and authentic quest to rule the world. With missions based on real events and locations and enhanced by elements like crime and economics, Imperium Romanum is the complete historical strategy gaming experience. Impressive graphics showcase historically accurate buildings, natural disasters, and siege machines, as well as an improved battle system where the player commands their armies. The missions are interactive, so the players activate the goals when they choose. Build. Rule. Conquer!
Release Date: Mar 11, 2008
8. CivCity: Rome
9. Caesar III
In the days of SimCity, there were few worthwhile city-building competitors in the market, but I always had a soft spot for the Caesar series. Rather than rely on modern conveniences and trappings, the Caesar games were an interesting set of strategy games, mostly due to the enhanced emphasis on the dichotomy between plebeians and patricians. With a traditional isometric view, it’s your job to make sure your citizens stay clean, fed and happy. As the pinnacle of the series Caesar IIIhas the most robust number of options available with the least amount of technical issues.
Release Date: Fall 1998
10. Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome follows a fearless Roman soldier named Marius Titus who joins the army to avenge the slaying of his family and emerges as a hero who must fight to save the Roman Empire.
Ryse: Son of Rome presents a cinematic re-creation of the Roman Empire, its people, conflicts and landscapes in breathtaking detail that represents the graphical benchmark for the next console generation. It brings the brutality and intensity of Roman warfare to life in visceral detail, thrusting you into the chaos of close-quarters combat, where the emotion on the enemy’s face can be seen and felt.
The PC version of Ryse comes with bonus material originally released as downloadable content, including: The Colosseum Pack containing two character skins and two Arena maps; the Mars’ Chosen Pack containing one new character skin, four Arena maps, and the new Survival mode; the Duel of Fates Pack containing two character skins, two Arena maps, and one additional Survival map; and the Morituri Pack, with three new Arena maps, two Survival maps, and five solo Arena maps. Finally, PC players also have instant access to the Ruins multiplayer map and the “Legionnaire’s Trust” sword initially released as part of a special edition of the game.