Best Medieval RPGs – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

Best Medieval RPGs

The Medieval era has always captivated the imaginations of fiction writers due to its tumultuous nature and rapid transformations. From J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic Lord of the Rings saga to the popular Fate/Stay Night anime series, various forms of media have embraced this genre, including video games. In fact, the Medieval period has played a significant role in shaping and revolutionizing the RPG genre, offering a unique blend of harsh realities and mystical elements that were prevalent during that time.

The medieval RPG remains a prominent formula among game developers today, encompassing both classic fantasy titles and more realistic simulation experiences that continue to gain popularity as technology advances and historical knowledge deepens. For many players, these games provide a gateway to the Medieval period, allowing them to immerse themselves in its rich tapestry. Below are some of the top titles that excel in transporting players to this captivating era.

6. Medieval Dynasty:
Medieval Dynasty, developed by Render Cube, is a survival-simulation/management game that focuses on the realistic portrayal of the average peasant’s life during the Middle Ages. Starting with nothing, players must gather resources, craft tools, and build a settlement to attract NPCs who can be assigned various tasks. Unlike typical RPGs with grand narratives and fantastical elements, this game offers a grounded perspective on the lives of ordinary people from the past. While some criticize its grind-heavy gameplay, it accurately reflects the pace of the time and is a must-play for medieval history enthusiasts.

5. Anvil Empires:
Anvil Empires, an upcoming MMO from Siege Camp, the creators of the World War 2-themed Foxhole, takes a similar concept of players working together in small roles and transports it to the Middle Ages. Although the game’s outcome is uncertain at this stage, players who have had the privilege of play-testing have reported a positive experience overall. With its release scheduled for later this year, Anvil Empires will allow players to join one of three factions, engaging in years-long battles and performing a variety of jobs to support the war effort.

4. Wartales:
Wartales is an open-world RPG that places players in control of a band of mercenaries as they embark on various quests in a partially fantastical, partially survival-based world. With a wide range of classes and specializations to choose from, players can mold their characters into a formidable fighting force. Additionally, they have the ability to tame wild animals, such as wolves and bears, to fight alongside them. The game features turn-based combat akin to XCOM, providing a refreshing change of pace and adding strategic depth to the traditional hack-and-slash medieval RPG. Overall, Wartales is a fantastic game for fans of the genre.

3. Crusader Kings 3:
Paradox Interactive’s Crusader Kings 3 offers a unique take on the Medieval setting. In this strategy and management game, players assume the role of an entire dynasty, navigating the complex political landscape of Medieval Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East over the course of several generations. From holy wars to secret romances, the game incorporates detailed procedural storytelling, ensuring that each playthrough is truly unique. Characters possess various traits and skills that can be modified, making them feel like distinct personalities.

2. Mount And Blade: Bannerlord:
The Mount and Blade series is renowned for its large-scale battles, intricate world-building, and dynamic economy. Mount and Blade: Bannerlord represents the pinnacle of this beloved series, offering addictive gameplay that spans from political intrigue to commanding vast empires. Its loyal modding community continuously introduces alternative worlds, such as Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, expanding the game’s horizons and providing players with endless customization options. This game serves as an excellent platform for players to explore diverse narratives and tailor their gameplay to suit their preferences.

1. Kingdom Come: Deliverance:
Kingdom Come: Deliverance, developed by Warhorse Studios, stands as one of the most accurate medieval life simulations in gaming. Players assume the role of Henry, an ordinary man caught in the conflict between Sigismund and Wenceslas in the region of Bohemia during the Holy Roman Empire’s reign. Unlike many other titles, Henry is neither a great warrior nor a heroic figure, but a simple man who lacks even the ability to read at the game’s outset. Although the game has a steep learning curve, it rewards players with a truly unique and immersive experience, thanks to its painstaking attention to historical detail.

In conclusion, the Medieval period continues to captivate gamers with its rich history and fantastical elements. These top titles offer a range of experiences, from survival simulations to grand strategy games, allowing players to delve into the complexities of the Middle Ages and shape their own narratives within this enthralling era.

The Medieval setting has long been a favorite for fiction writers due to the turmoil and rapid changes experienced throughout the time. From Tolkein’s Lord Of The Rings to the Fate/Stay Night anime series, all forms of media can make use of this genre in some format, and video games are certainly no exception. Arguably innovating and revolutionizing the RPG genre more than any other setting, the Medieval period offers a blend of the brutal hard-living of the times along with mysticism and fantasy as was often recorded in the histories of the people who lived in that era.


Related: Western RPGs That Encourage Multiple Playthroughs

Still a prominent formula among games developers today, the medieval RPG can encompass many classic, well-known fantasy titles, along with some more realistic simulation-type experiences, which are becoming ever more popular as technology and understanding of the past continue to develop. For many players, this is one of the few ways in which they are able to be transported to the Medieval period, and the following titles do so in the greatest ways possible.

6 Medieval Dynasty

Screenshot of a farm on Medieval Dynasty.

Medieval Dynasty is a survival-simulation/management game developed by Render Cube. The focus in this game is on realism and surviving as a humble peasant might have done during the Middle Ages. Starting out with virtually nothing, players will have to gather, craft and assemble everything alone, before constructing a small settlement which will encourage NPCs to move in – where they can then be assigned jobs to help out.

Far from a typical RPG ‘chosen one’ narrative with dragons and spells abound, this game focuses on the down-to-earth lives of the people from the past. While the game has at times been criticized for being “too grindy”, in the developer’s defense it is a very accurate reflection of the pace of the times, and certainly a must-play experience for fans of medieval history.

5 Anvil Empires

Anvil Empires

Anvil Empires is an upcoming MMO from developers Siege Camp, creators of Foxhole – which is of a similar style but set in World War 2. Anvil Empireson the other hand takes the same concept of players working in small roles as part of a much larger collective, and transports it to the Middle Ages. The result, so far, is not entirely certain, but players who have been granted play-testing access have reported, on-the-whole, a very positive experience.

Related: Games To Play If You Love Medieval Fantasy

With the game set to release in some form later this year, players can look forward to taking up arms as one of three factions, and over the course of years ahead battle it out for supremacy and work in all manner of jobs to support the war effort.

4 Wartales

Wartales Trait Tier List (4)

Wartales is an open-world RPG in which players take control of a band of mercenaries in an effort to complete a variety of different quests in a world that is partially fantasy but mostly grounded in survival and management of the party. With many different classes and specializations to choose from, players can mold their different characters into a cohesive and combat-effective unit, as well as taming wild animals such as wolves or bears to fight alongside them.

The game features turn-based combat in a similar vein to XCOM, which can provide a nice change of pace and a layer of strategy not usually present in the typical hack-and-slash medieval RPG. Overall, Wartales is a great game for any fans of the genre.

3 Crusader Kings 3

Crusader Kings 3 Armor in Barbershop

Another unique take on the Medieval setting is Paradox Interactive’s Crusader Kings 3. The game allows players to take control of an entire dynasty and the gameplay plans hundreds of years and several generations as they seek to build and maintain their kingdom among the rapidly changing and unstable political environment of Medieval Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Related: Crusader Kings 3: Every DLC, Ranked

From Holy Wars to lovers’ secrets, the game includes all manner of details and procedural storytelling – meaning that every single playthrough is guaranteed to be unique. While the game is primarily a strategy and management game, characters come with a range of modifiable traits and skills, making each one feel like a unique personality.

2 Mount And Blade: Bannerlord

cavalry in the desert in mount and blade 2 bannerlord

The Mount and Blade series is known for its large-scale battles and in-depth world-design, with a changing economy and endless political intrigue as well as party management and generic RPG elements all combining. The result is a very rich world with addictive gameplay, and Mount and Blade: Bannerlord represents the pinnacle of the series. From huge siege battles to interpersonal affairs, players starting as a lone peasant can work their way up to command entire empires and everything in between.

A loyal community of modders also ensure that the game stays fresh, with many alternative worlds from Game of Thrones to Lord Of The Rings included in the extensive list of available mods. The game therefore also represents an excellent platform from which players can branch out into even further stories, and can customize their game in any way they wish to suit their particular needs and play-style.

1 Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Warhorse Studios’ Kingdom Come: Deliverance might be the most accurate simulation of medieval life yet seen in gaming. As the protagonist Henry, players can immerse themselves in an interesting story which also tells the true history of the Holy Roman Empire and the conflict between Sigismund and Wenceslas in the region of Bohemia. Contrary to many other titles, Henry is not a leader of a great army or a swashbuckling hero, but simply an ordinary man who, at the start of the game, doesn’t even posses the ability to read.

While the game can be difficult to learn at first, it is extremely rewarding for those who persist with it, and is also very unique in terms of gameplay in its effort to recreate historical settings with painstaking detail.

More: RPGs With The Best Customization Options

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