The Medieval era is a popular one in video games. People have been lining up to strap on their armor and do battle for king and country ever since the early days of King’s Quest and Dragon’s Lair.

Part of this fascination comes from the popularity of Dungeons & Dragons. The tabletop game was a source of inspiration for many early RPGs in both its setting and mechanics. Games have evolved a lot since then, however, and the era has been featured in nearly every genre. There are hundreds of titles set in the age of shining knights and stone castles. With so many to choose from, how do you decide which one to play?

I have good news, friends. We’ve put together this list to help you find the best medieval games in 2020! Don your armor, saddle your steed, and get ready to game!

Is Fantasy Medieval?

We have a quick disclaimer before we get into our picks. Video games aren’t the most historically accurate things in the world. Shocking, we know! Even in the early days of gaming, most medieval games had an element of fantasy to them.

We won’t be excluding anything for the purposes of this list. If it’s got swords, shields, and castles, it’s in! Any game that features a medieval setting will count.

Best Medieval Games in 2020

Hark, weary travelers, for ye are about to behold the best medieval games in 2020!

13. Dragon Age: Inquisition

The best medieval RPG

Dragon Age Inquisition
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360
  • Developer: BioWare
  • Release Date: November 18, 2014

Dragon Age: Inquisition is the third game in the beloved BioWare series. The studio recently announced an upcoming fourth game at Gamescom 2020, but you don’t need to wait for it to come out to explore the world of Thedas.

One of the best things about Inquisition is its characters. Building your team means recruiting powerful allies, getting to know them, and assisting them in their personal quests throughout the game. Each character is a complex individual, and their stories help bring the game to life.

While the first two games in the series each confined you to their respective nations, Inquisition allows you to traverse many different areas on your quest to gather allies against the Breach. This opens up a wealth of medieval fantasy locals to explore on your journey to save the world.

12. A Plague Tale: Innocence

The best medieval horror game

A Plague Tale Innocence
  • Genre: Survival Horror, Stealth
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Developer: Asobo Studio
  • Release Date: May 14, 2019

Next up on our list of the best medieval games is A Plague Tale: Innocence. This game was something of a surprise hit, as Asobo Studio has never made a game even remotely like this before. You don’t generally expect the studio behind Zoo Tycoon, Monopoly Plus, and Disneyland Adventures to up and make a bespoke, medieval action-survival game, do you?

Amicia de Rune is the daughter of 14th-century nobles. Her world is suddenly turned upside-down when religious inquisitors attack her family and she’s forced to flee into the streets of plague-infested France with her sickly younger brother in tow.

To survive, you’ll have to creep through the cities, fields, and sewers of a country beset by war and sickness, avoiding both the men hunting you and the never-ending sea of plague rats that devour everything in their path. It’s a tale of frantic survival, love and loss, and family secrets that somehow intertwine with the plague itself.

11. Crusader Kings III

The best medieval strategy game

Crusader Kings III
  • Genre: Grand Strategy
  • Platform(s): PC, Linux, Mac
  • Developer: Paradox Development Studio
  • Release Date: December 2019

Crusader Kings III is a game for people who really love strategy games. It’s the most massive tactical game I’ve ever seen.

You can choose virtually any world leader from the medieval era, from a lowly lord disputing over territory to the leader of the Holy Roman Empire, seeking to expand your borders to their limits.

There are so many different ways to play this game and so many different mechanics, all working in tandem that it is genuinely mind-boggling to behold. The game doesn’t end, per se. It goes on and on for as long as you can keep your line of successors going. Still, if you’re looking for the best medieval simulation game, you won’t find one better than this.

10. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The best open world medieval game

Breath of the Wild
  • Genre: Action Adventure
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, Wii U
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release Date: March 3, 2017

Calling The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild medieval might be a hard sell for some of you, but you won’t find a better open world sword and shield game than the one offered in the Kingdom of Hyrule.

It’s not a stretch to say that Breath of the Wild is a major reason for the Switch’s success. The original Legend of Zelda is considered one of the first open-world games ever made, but the series has never done it this well. We loved it in our review.

Breath of the Wild combines a brilliant real-time action battle system with one of the most artistically-rendered open worlds of all time. You’ll spend hours exploring the forests and hills, delving into ruins and climbing mountains. The lighting effects and vibrant color palette make for a truly unique world.

9. Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

The best medieval RTS game

Age of Empires II Definitive Edition
  • Genre: Real-Time Strategy
  • Platform(s): PC
  • Developer: Relic Empires
  • Release Date: November 14, 2019

This is kind of an old one, but the remake of a classic will have to do since we still don’t know when Age of Empires IV is coming out.  

Age of Empires II was the pinnacle of RTS gaming in its time, and the recently-released Definitive Edition adds a lot more than just a coat of polish. It features modern graphics (with resolutions up to 4K), updated unit AI, all the original expansions, and — most importantly — “The Last Khans,” a new expansion that adds four new campaigns and four new playable civilizations.

If you’re interested in a classic medieval RTS game updated to include all the modern bells and whistles, this is the game for you.

8. Baldur’s Gate 3

The best medieval D&D game

Baldur's Gate 3
  • Genre: RPG
  • Platform(s): PC, Stadia, Mac
  • Developer: Larian Studios
  • Release Date: October 06, 2020 (Early Access)

D&D fans are sure to love Baldur’s Gate 3, although it’s very different from the first two games in the series. While the series has previously been handled by BioWare, this installment is developed by Larian Studios. You might recognize them as the creators of the Divinity: Original Sin series.

The game retains some aspects of BioWare’s signature style, namely its character design and branching dialogue style. Larian combines this style with their own turn-based strategy gameplay guided by the rules of D&D 5th Edition. The medieval fantasy setting is a joy to explore and offers a whole host of unique quests to complete on your adventure.

We should warn you that the game is currently in early access. You can buy it now and play the first ~25 hours, but the full game will be released in segments over the next year.

7. Northgard

The best medieval city-building game

Northgard
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Platform(s): PC, Linux, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Shiro Games
  • Release Date: February 22, 2017

Have you ever played Civilization, but just wanted to spend the whole game being a Viking in the medieval era? Let me tell you about a little game called Northgard!

It begins when you choose a clan of Vikings, each of which boasting unique abilities. You then settle a city and get to work managing resources and defending your borders from wolves, rival tribes, and even giants.

It’s a much more zoomed-in experience than most tactical civ builders. The UI is simpler, and the scale is regional rather than global. Simple isn’t necessarily bad, though. Its laid-back approach to strategy gaming allows the player to enjoy slowly conquering the frozen North without the headache of thirty different kinds of UI management. We put it at number six on our list of the best RTS games in 2020.

6. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

The best medieval game for PC

Mount & Blade II Bannerlord
  • Genre: Strategy Action RPG
  • Platform(s): PC
  • Developer: TaleWorlds Entertainment
  • Release Date: March 30, 2020

We already talked about Mount & Blade II a fair bit during our early preview article, but the game is good enough that the praise bears repeating.

Mount & Blade is a unique hybrid of battle strategy game and action RPG. You play a commander, controlling your soldiers from a close-up, first/third-person perspective. The game revolves around building your army, ranking up your troops, and leading them in battle.

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is currently in early access, and the full game cannot yet be purchased. It’s the only PC exclusive on this list, though, so be sure to look into it if you want the best medieval games on Steam!

5. Kingdom Come: Deliverance

The best medieval game for PS4

Kingdom Come Deliverance
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Developer: Warhorse Studios
  • Release Date: February 13, 2018

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a first-person RPG. It controls a lot like a Skyrim-style game, but it’s set apart from its contemporaries in that there are no fantasy elements whatsoever. Warhorse Studios actually hired historians as consultants in order to keep the game as historically accurate to its medieval times as possible.

The game has a massive open world full of quests to do and enemies to fight. It also has a much more complex story than you might expect. Henry’s quest to avenge his family’s death is a much more character-driven narrative than most medieval open-world RPGs typically offer.

4. For Honor

The best medieval game for Xbox

For Honor
  • Genre: Action
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Release Date: February 14, 2017

PVP isn’t something you see in a lot of medieval action games. That’s part of what makes For Honor so unique.

Players choose from several classes and one of three factions: Knights, Vikings, or Samurai. These factions can then participate in epic battles involving legions of fodder soldiers and player-controlled characters who you’ll face off against using the game’s unique dueling system. There’s a story mode as well, but that’s more of a warm-up to get you primed for the PVP scene.

3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

The best medieval game for Switch

Fire Emblem Three Houses
  • Genre: Tactical RPG
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo
  • Release Date: July 26, 2019

The Fire Emblem series has been around for a while now, but in recent years, it’s grown from a little-known tactical RPG to one of Nintendo’s most iconic series.

Three Houses is the first of the games to come to the Switch, and it’s an absolute delight. You play a former mercenary turned teacher who must lead a class of military academy students into battle. The medieval fantasy setting is a lot of fun as you train your students to become knights, spell users, archers, and wyvern riders. There’s also a Persona-like social simulation element that allows you to interact with the students in your care.

It was so good that it took second on our list of Fire Emblem games rankedThree Houses is my personal favorite game on the Switch and a must for any Switch owners who like RPGs with grid-based battle systems.

2. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

The best medieval action game

Dark Souls Prepare to Die
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: FromSoftware
  • Release Date: May 24, 2018

Anyone who’s into the gaming scene has at least heard about FromSoftware’s legendary Dark Souls series. Not only have they received the highest accolades from players and critics alike, they’ve also spawned a whole new sub-genre of “Souls-like” games.

Now you can play a remastered edition of the first game in the series (not counting the spiritual predecessor Demon Souls), which comes with the “Artorias of the Abyss” DLC.

Battle your way through these medieval dungeons, fight colossal monsters and armor-clad knights, collect souls, and try not to die.

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The best medieval game overall

The Witcher 3
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: CD Projekt RED
  • Release Date: May 18, 2015

Based on the series of novels of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher 3 is one of the most critically and commercially successful games of all time. It received a 10/10 on Steam, a 9.3/10 on IGN, and more game of the year awards than any other game ever. It’s actually seen more sales than ever in the last year, even though it came out back in 2015, most likely due to the release of The Witcher television series on Netflix last December.

The world of The Witcher is dark. The people that live there often lead short, hard lives. They are plagued by war, sickness, and infestations of brutal monsters. Witchers are among the only ones who can hunt these monsters…for a price.

This game blends a realistic medieval setting with fantasy inspired by Northern European folklore in a way nothing else comes close to. It also manages to tell a heart-wrenching story that sticks with you long after the credits roll.

Check out our list of the Witcher games in order if you want to learn more about the series.

HighGroundGaming_highGroundView_br

Fare-Thee-Well

Thanks for reading our list of the thirteen best medieval games in 2020. May your blades stay sharp!

Happy gaming!

Related Reading