When you think of medieval warfare, you generally think of clashing cold hard steel and marksmen bowmen. That also prompts the thought of sieging castles and all the glory and gore that it brings with it. However, they aren't complete without mysterious tales, myths, and legends that fulfill the mysterious medieval atmosphere. Since, as we know, fear cuts deeper than swords. But it's all of these elements combined that form our choice of the five best medieval games of all time.
Some games may be heavier on some parts than others, but our top three offer the best overall balanced experience of the entire basket. They provide the role-playing experience to create your own tale that will be echoed across the lands and into the hearts of the bravest warriors. After all, it's your narrative of redemption, victory, courage, and a dash of sword-on-sword battle that elevates these titles as the best medieval games of all time.
The idea of full-out 64 vs 64 castle sieging warfare was originally conducted by Chivalry back in 2012. It was barbaric, chaotic, and flat-out anarchy across the battlefield, and gamers couldn't get enough of it. Blindly, players took arms and ran out into the battlefield swinging their weapons at anything that moved. While Chivalry did a good job with this concept, Mordhau elaborated on it and made it more perplexing with its release in 2019.
Mordhau's combat system is far more advanced, in how you attack, react, and parry attacks. You have to pay attention to the player's movement and timing, making for skillful swordplay. Rather than mindlessly button mashing. This truly separated the noblemen from the knights and gave us an original and engaging experience, still with all the carnage we hoped for. That's why when it comes to medieval warfare, Mordhau gets a seat on our list of the five best medieval games of all time.
4. Crusader Kings III
One component of medieval games that is sometimes overlooked is the concept of hierarchy, authority in families, and, well, medieval politics. Instead of turning the other way, the Crusader Kings series looks to explore that avenue. Especially their latest edition, Crusader King's III, which as much as it is a game about politics, power, and decisions, it's really just looking to submerge players in a story.
Crusader King III took the idea of medieval dynasties and made it into a dramatic sandbox full of limitless narrative possibilities. Everything is interconnected through family trees and which made decision-making in the game, vital with consequences. Much like chess, every move must take into account all of the possible outcomes. Such as breaking ties with other royal families or the possibility of creating more enemies for yourself. Although the game lacks action gameplay, the atmosphere and narrative for a meaty medieval drama are always there in Crusader Kings III.
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
What goes hand in hand with a medieval atmosphere is the mysterious folklore that surrounds its landscape. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, being an open-world RPG, brought with its myths, legends, and tales that are in dire need of exploring. Not just in its storyline but across the open landscape as well. The game was full of noble sidequests and mysteries that were often just too intriguing to ignore. This made for a superb medieval atmosphere, one you can get lost in.
Even when on your way to complete a mission you can get sidetracked by the fantastical beast that takes the landscape. As a witcher, it's your duty to conquer them, even more so when your Geralt, the most legendary witcher of all time. Of course, you can't include monsters without a little splash of magic and sorcery either. All of these factors make The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt a fully rounded medieval experience and a great one at it, marking it as one of the best medieval games of all time.
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
While The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt did a great job with its medieval RPG, however, more credit has to be given to the game that sparked the love for the genre. That game is no other than The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The game was released in 2011 and still has players in love with its open-world medieval RPG. The trailer for the game still gives us chills, as it genuinely captures the immense grandeur of an amazing game. This is heightened by the epic soundtrack, which fully completes the game's atmosphere.
What made Skyrim such a noble medieval game, is the fact you have unlimited control over how your tale evolved. Right from the get-go, you are immersed in the game's story, choosing your character's race and overall appearance for what's to come. Which unexpectedly is a great narrative that intertwines itself with a world full of possibilities. You can join factions, buy a home, and even take up an occupation as you develop your new life. However, as you may know, no ordinary soldier can survive an arrow to the knee. But that isn't you, is it Dragonborn?
1. Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord
Take Mordhau's glorious conquest, Skyrim's, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's open-world RPG prowess, and Crusader King III's noble narrative, then pack it all into one supermassive game. That game is Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord, and it connects all of those ideas into one complete title. Recently released in 2020, it didn't take long for gamers to fall in love with the game, and with that, for Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord to fulfill its legacy as the best medieval game of all time.
You're dropped into the game with nothing more than a sword, horse, and an endless number of decisions. The story is yours to make, from being an assassin, noble warrior, or even the king of your own kingdom. The game is all about character development and right alongside it, an engaging and emerging storyline. There isn't much more you could ask for, and Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord checks all the boxes, making it the best medieval game of all time.