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15 Iconic History Games That Mastered the Past

best turn-based strategy

15 Iconic History Games That Mastered the Past

The best historical games you can get your hands on.

Assassins Creed Syndicate (1868)



As the Industrial Revolution reaches it peak, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate turns the spotlight to 1868 London. The rich embrace the technological innovations of the time adjacent to the poverty stricken lower classes as Ubisoft paints a contrasting world; the wealth of the British Empire is juxtaposed stunningly as the destitute find unity in their adversity. As players explore this era the tension is apparent as Syndicate’s protagonists, Jacob & Evie Frye, stand at the tipping point of a nation.

Red Dead Redemption (1911)



Gamers embark on journey into the west, a vast rural land filled with savage outlaws and distinct wildlife, as John Marston. The world crafted by Rockstar is an organic one which gives way to unexpected discovery and adventure. From the snowy mountain ranges to the dusty ranch trails, Red Dead Redemption placed gamers in the heart of the American Frontier as the Wild West took its first steps towards the modern era.

Mafia III (1968)



Step into the shoes of Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam veteran on a hellbent on revenge against the Italian Mafia, as he explores the corrupt open world of New Bordeaux. This reimagining of 1968 New Orleans sees our protagonist exploring the cities turbulent collection of districts and fighting to survive its unpredictable nature. Racial tension is high and that Southern charm can sometimes represent the antithesis of hospitality. Teeming with life, Mafia III brings to life a remarkable environment, marred only by the criminal empires and corrupt officials which lay coiled and ready to strike at any moment.

Company of Heroes (1944)



Storming the beach of Normandy, Company of Heroes opens with the iconic beach assault known as D-Day. This crucial event was a milestone during World War II and saw Allied forces establish an important foothold in the battle against Germany. The Real-Time Strategy game Company of Heroes grants players control of squads of Allied forces as they navigate through some of the most pivotal battles of World War II. Drawing directly from its history counterpart and tapping into this war-ravaged history period, Company of Heroes manages to capture the bravery of the Allied soldiers as they went up against insurmountable odds.

LA Noire (1947)



In a town where everyone has something to hide a post-war Los Angeles is a city filled with unchecked corruption, a violent drug trade and murder rates reaching an all-time high. Audiences get their first look at this nefarious playground through the eyes of Cole Phelps, a former marine and recent LAPD recruit. As Cole Phelps progresses up the law enforcement ladder he finds himself investigating a range of arson attacks, brutal murders and racketeering conspiracies. This post war Los Angeles may have a vibrant Hollywood scene but the cities violent nature is abundant. Offering a unique detective experience, La Noire places gamers in this crippling ecosystem and challenges them to uncover what lies beneath its veiled exterior.

Farcry Primal (Stone Age)



The dawn of man can sometimes be a hostile place with wild beasts roaming the land and harsh elements making survival a challenge. As sabretooth tigers and huge mammoths dominate, Ubisoft aims to place gamers in the heart of the Stone Age where mankind sits at the bottom of the food chain. In this prehistoric age players are asked to use their ingenuity to craft weapons, build fires and expand tribes to dominate the unforgiving Stone age region.

Total War Shogun 2 (1500 – 1600)



Follow the path of the Samurai in 16th Century Feudal Japan, a tumultuous period of civil war history doused in bloodshed; with an emphasis on legendary warlords, Total War Shogun 2 casts its gaze upon their battle for supremacy. As you lead massive armies toward victory, or certain defeat, this real-time strategy game teaches gamers the about art of war. Samurai swords clash on the battle field as conflict plays out in real time, leaving on the strongest standing and one destined to rule the empire of the rising sun.

Grand Theft Auto Vice City (1986)



As you cruise down the neon lit street of Vice City you’ll soon realise this vibrant world is modelled after Miami. The fictional Vice City borrows heavily from its real-world counterpart and saturates it in a groovy 80’s soundtrack to score your rampant acts of crime. The satirical presentation Rockstar Games are known for transports gamers to the past where dark comedy imbues radio shows and the streets of Vice City are filled with violence and 80’s nostalgia. This open world cocktail of ingredients produces a memorable game which encapsulates an iconic era.

Battlefield 1 (1914 – 1918)



Battlefield returns and resets is numeral iteration, this time opting for the number one, perhaps to symbolise its new setting. Taking place in World War One, players are given access to a wide arsenal which include bayonets, biplanes and bomb dropping zeppelins. This setting sits in contrast to many modern shooters and sets Battlefield 1 apart by giving it a more personal touch. This era utilised what resources it had at its disposal and you can find soldiers riding into combat on horseback, charging enemies as they ready their melee attack.

Civilization 6. (Stone Age – Present)



While technically not set in a specific era, Sid Meier’s Civilization series spans history and asks players to build an empire which can weather the harsh conditions of time. As players manage their resources in this turn based strategy they’ll progress through history; beginning at the dawn of the Stone Age and surviving to the modern Information age, Civilization tests the resolve of your domain as you compete against some of history’s more prominent leaders.

Call of Duty 1-3 (1944)



During the early ages of Call of Duty, before it become the behemoth we all know, the original three titles placed an emphasis on World War II. There is no future tech here and the campaign for these early iterations centred on the climactic action sequences of this important war from history. These action heavy moments often placed gamers in the shoes of either American, British or Russian soldiers which allowed for the series to portray each nations perspective on the war during this time. Developers Infinity Ward and Treyarch spent three games exploring the nuances of World War II before the Modern Warfare series arrived to shake up the series.

Medal of Honor (1944)



The Medal of Honor series was published by Electronic Arts and heavily featured moments from World War II. This first person series placed gamers on the frontline as moments from World War II were recreated. From the perspective of the brave infantry men who fought for victory, the Medal of Honor series has explorer World War II thoroughly and attempted to mine as much detail from this widespread conflict. The series focused on different aspects of the war as the various iterations carried subtitles like “Allied Assault”, “Airborne” or simply “Frontline”.

Assassins Creed Black Flag (1715)



The Assassin’s Creed series has been known for its comprehensive recreations of specific periods in history and Black Flag was no exception. Taking place in 1715, in an age of pirates, the lush Caribbean marks the location for this 18th Century adventure. With an emphasis placed on mastering magnificent ships, sea-based combat and exploration is a key element in Black Flag. Whether searching for treasure or harpooning sea-life, Black Flag brought this golden age of pirates to life and gave players a front row seat.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII (200 BC)



Set in Ancient China, this strategy series aims to offer players control of the great battles which may shape the future of the continent. Featuring extraordinary characters, Romance of the Three Kingdoms aims to test the strategic capability of players by giving them control over a variety of ancient units as they attempt to lay siege to cities from the past. Fans of strategy may find this title compelling as they navigate through important events in history and explore this intriguing period of history.

Battlefield 1942 (1942)



Before Battlefield 1, the series had a humbler beginning and its debut was set in a time frequently tread by games in this genre. The first release to the Battlefield series was Battlefield 1942, set in World War II, this offering saw gamers globetrotting across several maps as they engaged enemies across significant battlefields. Presenting players with the ability to select their class and even control a range of military vehicles, Battlefield 1942 set out to distinguish itself from other titles in the genre.


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