[Top 10] Games Like Crusader Kings (Games Better Than Crusader Kings In Their Own Way)

Top 10 games like Crusader Kings
The character creator in Star Dynasties - Crusader Kings in space!

Are there any games like Crusader Kings?

It's difficult to find games that scratch the same itch CK does, and when they do, they're often way too shallow.

Whether you're a fan of the grand strategy or roleplaying aspects, there are still plenty of other games for you to try out that can go toe-to-toe with Paradox's popular series. See if any suit you from this list below!

10. Suzerain (PC, Switch)

Suzerain - OUT NOW

In Suzerain you play Anton Rayne, the newly-elected president of Sordland, which has just shed its dictatorship after a brutal civil war.

The game is primarily a text-based choose your own adventure. There are choices involving the fate of your country and of your family, too.

The characters in this game take center stage and decisions have impactful consequences. Although there are many options, the story is pre-defined, unlike CK's randomly generated events - so there are fewer of those crazy storylines forming.

If you enjoy political simulations and the intricacies of managing a country, it's definitely one to check out.

9. Sengoku (PC)

Sengoku Release Trailer

Sengoku is a lesser-known ancestor of Crusader Kings 2 and is also developed by Paradox. It’s set in feudal Japan in 1467 and features many of the core gameplay elements of CK. Since it was somewhat of a testing ground for CK’s mechanics, it can be a bit lacking in detail in some areas.

It does still feature the combat you’d expect, families, education, intrigue, religions, and ninjas as hirable mercenaries.

If you’re hungry for more CK content or a big fan of Japanese history this just might be the ticket. It’s interesting to see where the other games came from, and Sengoku is often on sale for a cheap price.

8. Old World (PC)

Old World - Official Release Trailer

This game is like a combination of Civilization and Crusader Kings. The map and realms are set up like those of Civ, and you fight using similar units. Old World also places importance on your family and other relationships.

You can raise children or develop other family members through events that are similar to CK. From marriages to assassinations, there’s plenty of roleplaying content here to add another layer to this strategy game.

With a little bit more depth than Civilization, this game should also have you sticking around for one more turn!

7. Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord (PC)

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord - Early Access Trailer

The Mount & Blade series places you in the fictional medieval landmass of Calradia with various factions vying for control of the land. This game has elements of real-time strategy, action gameplay, and role-playing.

You control your own character and cleave through the battlefield, leading an army along the way. Most of the gameplay revolves around leading your party across the map and fighting other groups on battle maps.

If you’ve ever been playing Crusader Kings and thought you could do a better job than your troops, then this is the game for you!

In Bannerlord, you can also trade, have a family, and rule land. There isn’t any map painting here, but you’re able to take over castles and crush other factions as well.

6. Anno 1404 (PC)

Anno History Collection: Launch Trailer | Ubisoft [NA]

Anno is a classic city builder series involving lots of exploration, management, and trade. There are several games in the series, and their names indicate the time periods they’re set in. Anno 1404 is considered the gem of the series and is set right around the time period CK players will be familiar with.

You can also opt for the remastered History Edition of each game with updated graphics and performance.

Players who enjoy CK’s merchant republics might find some of the same satisfaction in the game’s detailed economic simulation. You must manage taxation and trade, among other things, to help your population thrive.

5. Europa Universalis IV (PC)

Europa Universalis IV - 8th Anniversary Trailer

EU4 is another Paradox game set from 1444 to 1821. You control your nation and deal with many of the same obstacles as you would in Crusader Kings, except on a national level.

For most of your EU4 games, you’ll be focusing on trade, diplomacy, warfare, and management. Note that while there are dynasties here, there’s a lot less focus on your character than there is in a CK game. Most dynasty mechanics and effects happen passively.

The Europa Universalis series is perfect for CK players who enjoyed conquering lands, managing a larger realm, or playing as a merchant republic. You can also convert your CK2 and 3 save files to EU4 to keep developing your empire!

4. Star Dynasties (PC)

Star Dynasties - Release Trailer

Star Dynasties, as the name suggests, focuses on your family and relations with other empires. It’s set in space and unlike Crusader Kings it’s turn-based. It’s often described as a hybrid of Stellaris and CK, and for good reason.

Most of the game sees you managing your alliances, obligations, and dynasty. Playing around with these is a lot of fun, and you can scheme or manipulate to get what you want. There’s a big focus on characters and their development that’s very reminiscent of CK’s event system.

Although there is some combat, it’s not as crucial as the other elements. Players who enjoyed managing a dynasty and all the drama that came with it will love what is basically space-CK.

3. Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence (PC, PS4)


KOEI Tecmo has released many editions of Nobunaga’s Ambition, though some of the latest ones received mixed reviews. Sphere of Influence, on the other hand, was well-received and is a good starting point for new players.

NA is set in Japan during the Warring States period and has you controlling your own clan and character. There’s an option to create an entirely custom clan, too, along with officers and other characters to populate it.

Battles and historical events have quite a bit of depth here, as do the diplomacy options. You can also manage your own family, arrange marriages, and raise heirs to your clan.

Just like CK, you have a few historical bookmarks to pick from. They all come with prominent characters and include goals related to historical events from the time.

There’s not as much character detail here, but if you’re more interested in conquering Japan, the NA series is the perfect place to do it!

2. Total War Series (PC)

Total War: ROME II / How Far Will You Go? / Launch Trailer

The Total War series is famous for its detailed real-time battles. CK players might want to check out a few titles set around similar time periods and locations, like Rome 2, Medieval 2, and Atilla. Despite being the oldest of those listed here, Medieval 2 is beloved by fans, so don’t skip it!

TW tends to focus on settlements, battles, units, and generals. You’ll be vying for control of the map with several other factions.

As you might expect, there’s not a lot of character depth and no development here - you’re mostly choosing and fighting with generals with different abilities.

Players who get frustrated with CK’s auto battles need look no further - control every battle by yourself, if you wish, and win using your own tactics. The real-time combat system is great fun and leads to some dramatic scenes!

1. Romance of the Three Kingdoms Series (PC, PS4, XB1, Switch)


ROTK is another game from KOEI Tecmo. There are several games in this series, but they can be difficult to find in English! Available platforms will depend on the version you choose.

13 (XII) and 14 (XIV) are the latest additions in English - though if you speak Chinese or Japanese, 11 (XI) is highly recommended.

In ROTK 13, you play as a single character during turbulent times in China. This character can take on a variety of roles, from ruler to merchant to general, and there's a huge amount of roleplaying to be had. You can also raise children, along with managing relationships in the game.

ROTK 14 strips down some of these roleplay elements, but builds on a few others related to warfare, making strategy a much more important part of the game. Depending on your interests, one may suit you more than the other.

Of course, there are large battles and territory to conquer in all versions. This series is very versatile, so it's worth a try for any CK fan who’s missing that depth in other games.

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Hailing from the chilly reaches of Scotland, I love to explore new lands and always take my trusty companions, my games, with me.
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Crusader Kings 3, Thief, & DMC5
Top 3 Favorite Games:Devil May Cry DMC, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Mount & Blade: Warband

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