Medieval times have inspired some of the highest quality city building games to be produced in the strategy genre, usually with a mixture of medieval empire growth, management and strategic warfare combined. Here we cover our free games and premium titles amoungst the many available for PC.
Free Online Games
Here are the best updated games you can play in your web browser for free with no download or payment needed.
1. Forge of Empires: Grow a Small Village into an Aggressive Empire through 19 Periods of Time
Forge of Empires is a free to play browser game that allows you to build a city throughout the ages of history including three medieval periods - Early, High and Late Middle Ages, each equipped with their own unique buildings to construct (including medieval forts), technologies to research for economic development and to fight wars against real opponents online. The game also features another 19 periods in time (three prior to the middle ages) and many futuristic periods as well as popular timelines such as Colonial Age and Industrial age. The game is regularly updated and has an expansive range of options for how you lay your city out.
Empire Management Coupled with Aggressive Warfare Battles
Forge of Empires offers an ideal blend of city building and online competitive warfare, meaning you need to be a true leader to ensure the success of watching your small village turn into a thriving and mighty empire.
The good thing about Forge of Empires is you can choose to stay in any period of time for as long as you want and work on expanding and maximising your empires resources and strength before moving on. But if you get bored of the three medieval periods there's another 13 unique periods that await you and your people.
2. Tribal Wars 2: A Pure Medieval Strategy Game Online
Tribal Wars 2 is the sequel to InnoGames' hit, massive multiplayer real time strategy title TribalWars. Set during the Middle Ages, it is a free online browser based game that lets you create your own medieval empire. It doesn't matter whether you has a small village or a large, fully populated territory, alliances will need to be formed to ensure your empire's survival. Navigate the perilous waters of medieval politics, wage war using 13 different kinds of units and create presets in order to make it easier to plan attacks. You can also join an Order in order to gain access to elite units. From tactical combat to player-specified customization, there are plenty of things to do in Tribal Wars 2.
In order to keep your followers safe, you will need to rely on your wits. As with other medieval strategy titles, your goal is to conquer enemy land in order to expand your territory. Once you have the land for it, build a thriving village consisting of an assortment of building types. Trade resources with allied tribes or choose to compete in glorious battle -- what happens next is up to you. Sounds hectic? The good thing is, you have several ways of managing your empire. Tribal Wars 2 is compatible both for your browser and mobile device so you can stay on top of things on the go.
PC Games to Download (Paid)
1. Stronghold HD: The Original Castle Builder and Sieger Get's a Face Lift
The original castle sim, Stronghold HD allows you to design, build and destroy historical castles. Engage in medieval warfare against the AI in one of two single player campaigns or online with up to 8 players.
With 21 missions to test your mettle and four renegade lords to defeat, it is up to you to reunite medieval England and take back your lands from the treacherous Rat, Pig, Snake and Wolf. Missions range from breaking sieges and capturing enemy castles to raising gold and holding off enemy attacks. Also featured is a full economic campaign, tasking players to gather resources and build weapons within the time limit.
2. Medieval II: Total War
Medieval II: Total War is an indirect sequel to The Creative Assembly's strategy title released back in 2002. The fourth installment of the series, it blends real-time battles and turn-based strategy elements to create an award-winning, medieval gem. The game is set during one of the most turbulent times in history, occurring sometime between 1080 to 1530. Just like Medieval: Total War, its theme focuses on politics, warfare and religion. There are more than 40 new features such as finishing moves, new weather effects and an improved terrain system.
As the commander of a mighty army, your conquests will take you across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and even to the New World. In Medieval II: Total War, the battles are paced faster and made even more epic, with up to 10,000 troops fighting for glory on a 3D battlefield. Will you rule your people with kindness or with fear? Build a city from the ground up. Recruit troops and train them well. Earn allies through diplomacy or make enemies through grand conquests. Will you be able to outsmart the Inquisition? Influence the Pope? Will you side with the Christians or be a champion for the Islamic faith? With Medieval II: Total War, you can change the course of history. Play the single player campaign or, if you're looking for a worthy challenge, wage war against others in the game's 8-way online multiplayer mode.
3. Age of Empires II HD
Set in the Middle Ages, Age of Empires II HD is a real time strategy title developed by Ensemble Studios for Microsoft. The original was released back in 1999 as the second game in the series. The HD version followed later on in April 2013 containing both the core game and its expansion pack, The Conquerors.
Age of Empires II HD also has elements unique to its release such as new civilizations (Indians, Italians, Magyars, Slavs and Incas), 7 additional campaigns, the LudaKRIS map size and game modes such as Treaty and Capture the Relic. Additionally, the high definition version of the game has improved AI, trading cards and Twitch streaming integration.
Do you just love playing with others? Well, Age of Empires II HD supports multiplayer and user generated content using Steam. You can upload your creations conveniently from the in-game map editor. Better yet, share the experience with friends by collaborating on a collection.
The charm of Age of Empires II HD is not in the fact that it can deliver a sense of nostalgia to players, it is because it uses very basic elements to create very intricate and deep gameplay experience. AoEII combines Civilization-level building mechanics with the pace of an RTS game –you need to plan for the ahead and the now, making players think well of any actions they can take. By putting both long term and short term concerns into a single situation, this game is able to inspire players to come up with innovative strategies that would provide them with sufficient defensive capabilities while still having enough resources to improve their civilization.
Resource gathering also takes on a new role in the game. While in other RTS titles, they are simply a means to an end (a way to gather whatever consumables you will need), in AoEII, they serve a huge variety of functions and can even provide a defensive and offensive purpose in battle. The various civilizations that you can choose from also have their own unique traits –though the progression of civilizations tend to point to just one direction.
Combat in this game is built upon an elaborate rock-paper-scissors mechanics: you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of each unit and then assign them appropriately during combat. Mixing up your troop formations is a great way to adapt to a variety of enemy tactics, but the best payoff is when you create an army specifically made to counter our opponent’s setup. The game provides players with rudimentary commands –attack, defend, stand your ground, stop; these allow you to have a certain level of control on how the AI behaves when they spot hostiles. Of course, it is best to pay attention to skirmishes in order to make sure that your troops are doing the right thing –the last thing you want is for your units to be pulled into an obvious ambush.
Overall, Age of Empires II HD is a must have for RTS and Civilization fans –it does a great job of merging the slower made-for-turn-based sensibilities of the Civ games into a real time strategy format that just works as if it was always meat to be that way.
4. Crusader Kings II
Although the end is near for the Dark Ages, strife is still prevalent in Europe. Kings struggle to maintain their lands under control, realms are divided and lords have an insatiable thirst for power. A Crusade is called upon by the Pope in order to keep the Christians, and the Holy Land, safe. It's time for you to ensure the survival of your dynasty. Amass riches, expand your empire and choose your friends well. Remember, there are plenty of heretics and traitors just waiting to exploit a weakness. Even a seemingly loyal vassal can become your bitter rival -- can you become a great Crusader King?
Crusader Kings II is a strategy title set in the Middle Ages released by Paradox Interactive who are currently busy developing an even more elaborate Crusader Kings III. You are given free rein to start a game at any point in time between 1066 to 1337 and play up until 1453. As the game spans several ages, you don't just get to play as one Christian lord. You get to play as his descendants to ensure that the dynasty he established, survives. Gain prestige and glory by expanding your domain. Keep the land from falling apart in the hands of your enemies by unraveling their schemes. Fight off the Moors and survive against the Mongols. If you want to take your game to the next level, you can even compete against up to 32 real life opponents in the game's multiplayer mode.
5. Stronghold Crusader HD
Firefly Studios' Stronghold Crusader HD is the sequel to the hit castle building title Stronghold. It thrusts you right in the middle of the Crusades, giving you the chance to choose between joining the Crusaders or be a part of Saladin's forces. The game features units like Mercenaries and Assassins, 4 campaigns and a fiendish difficulty level that is perfect for genre veterans looking for a challenge. The unit cap is raised to 10,000 from just a thousand in the original game. There are also new Tactical Powers as well as over a hundred unique skirmishes awaiting you in this title.
With its high definition graphics, you can now view the whole battlefield on just a single screen. The missions document all three Crusades. It also covers conflicts in individual states so you can look forward to battles such as the Siege of Jerusalem, Heraclea, Nicaea and Krak des Chevaliers. Included in the Stronghold Crusader HD package are both the original game and Stronghold Crusader Extreme.
The original game is pretty old, with the most recent pre-HD still a far cry from full 1080p. That concern is all gone now. The new HD version of the game sports incredibly well updated visuals that make good use of the upscaling. The animations are incredibly smooth and fun to watch to well. This all makes the game’s combat mechanics feel even more alive as you watch your soldiers fire clusters of arrows into enemy forts. The various visual effects likes fire and smoke have also been smoothened out to merge well with the rest of everything.
Do not mistake Stronghold Crusader HD for a simple game however, combat here is not so straightforward and there are a lot of menu options for players to dig into. Aside from managing your troops in battle, your own kingdom has its own set of needs, and you need to ensure that your citizens are happy and have high morale –more than just keeping them clothed, fed, and sheltered, they need to be living substantially well that they can start filling up your coffers with taxes, which in then turn allows you to fund the needs of your army.
6. Crusader Kings Complete
Europe is divided into fiefs and a declaration has been made that anyone who risks their lives in the name of liberating the Holy Land will be absolved of their sins. Get your wits about you and lead the fight. Forge a bond with vassals, become a Crusader King of your very own nation by amassing riches. Build castles and cathedrals, fight of bands of highwaymen and unravel plots against you. In this game, strength is nothing without a clever mind.
The real-time strategy title Crusader Kings Complete allows you to play as several religious orders, including The Knights of St. John, The Teutonic Order, the Knights Templar or the Order of Calatrava and Santiago. The combat system has been updated using the engine used in the hit series Europa Universalis. In this game, every choice you make matters. Campaigns span across 400 years and the decisions you make affects future events. Think you can defend against the Mongols? Introduce your own laws and set taxes? There's that and more as you navigate the political landscape, even going as far as to interact with nobles and courtiers.