Sea open spaces, pleasant breeze, grog, boarding and piastres – pirate romance that has captured the minds of ordinary people since the 19th century, after the release of the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island, continues to attract attention and arouse keen interest. Yes, this is not the most popular topic, and it certainly cannot compare with the heroic fantasy stamped like a blueprint, but that is its value: there are not so many films, TV series, books and video games on pirate themes, therefore they are all remembered and remembered fondly in heart. With the release of Pirates in 1987, Sid Meier pioneered the elite trend by becoming the father of corsair-themed games. In this article, we have selected for you the best games of different genres about pirates.
Sid Meier’s Pirates! (2004)
Genre: Action, Simulation
Platform: PC / Xbox One / PlayStation 2 / PlayStation Portable (PSP) / Xbox / Nintendo Wii
Release date: November 22, 2004
Developer: Firaxis Games
We’ve already mentioned old Sid. But we are happy to add a remake of his game from 1987 to this top. Sid Meier’s Pirates! 2004 is a pirate life simulator that enhances and develops the themes of the original game from the late 1980s. You play as a rebel who raised a rebellion against a vile captain who did not put his team in anything, and you occupy his position. Before you complete freedom of action in a huge open world. You can do whatever you want: surf the ocean, plunder encountered ships, arrange raids on forts, arrange drunken fights in taverns or frame mamzels. Gradually, the fame of you begins to grow and thunder throughout the world, your fleet is becoming more powerful, and the unofficial title of the storm of all seas is getting closer. An excellent game, which is not a shame to play even today, despite its venerable age. By the way, a remake of the remake of “Pirates”, we are sure, would have come to court today.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Genre: Action, Adventure
Platform: PC / PlayStation 4 / Nintendo Switch / Xbox One / PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 / Nintendo Wii U
Release date: October 31, 2013
Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment
Developer: Ubisoft Entertainment
Probably the most atmospheric pirate game to date. And one of the most highly rated in the Assassin’s Creed series. The part of the gameplay devoted to managing your ship and battles with enemy sailing ships from the third part really liked the players, unlike the rest of this game, and the developers decided to make this mechanic as important in their next game as the search for forerunner artifacts. You play as Edward Kennaway, the grandfather of Connor, the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed III, hence the fourth part is a prequel to the third. In “Black Flag” the developers have focused on the open world and sea travel, battles on ships and the whole atmosphere of pirate romance. They did it just fine! Just what are the songs that the team sings during the long journey from city to city. And hunting legendary ships is a great challenge to your captain skills. If for some reason you missed this game, we strongly recommend that you correct this annoying misunderstanding.
Genre: simulator, RPG, action
Released: December 9, 2005
Publisher: Playlogic Entertainment
A game from the “Golden Era” of the Russian gamedev, for which I am very proud! The third corsairs are set in the Caribbean. You can play either a simple guy Blaise, or a red-haired beast Beatrice (I confess, I don’t know who played for Blaise, Beatrice came out too hot!).
An open world, a huge variety of ships, detailed team management, warring factions, many side missions and a chic role-playing system – the Corsairs series and specifically the third part was known abroad, which at that time was extremely rare. And if you were tired of naval battles, you could always become a respected merchant and make a completely honest fortune without bloody boarding.
As mentioned, the game features a huge selection of ships of different classes and they all corresponded to their real-life prototype ships.
It is worth noting that the series is still alive. Released in 2012, “Corsairs: To Each His Own” in the spring of 2023 received a fresh update. And attempts to raise money for Corsairs: Black Mark show that Black Sun Game Publishing (the current owner of the franchise rights) believes in the interest of gamers.
Sea of thieves
Genre: Adventure, MMO, RPG
Platform: PC / Xbox Series X / S / Xbox One
Released: March 20, 2018
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Sea of Thieves is a very cool and atmospheric co-op adventure, a kind of role-playing sandbox. For a comfortable game, it is better to find a company of companions of four people, since many activities are designed specifically for group passage. And in the company it is always more fun. Together you will travel the seas, fight teams of other players, hunt the kraken, dive for treasures and explore mysterious caves.
Despite the not very successful start, the game has overgrown with content over time, and now it can be safely recommended to everyone who loves party games and pirate themes. As in any good game-service, the developers deliver content regularly, so you will not be bored.
Port Royale series and specifically the fourth part (2003-2021)
Genre: economic simulator, strategy
Platform: PC / PlayStation 5 / PlayStation 4 / Nintendo Switch / Xbox Series X / S / Xbox One
Release date: September 25, 2023
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Developer: Gaming Minds Studios
A rare representative of economic strategies on the maritime theme of the 17th-18th centuries. The fourth installment of the series was released last year, and this year it received the Buccaneers expansion. Unfortunately, the fresh part received mixed reviews from players, and objectively, there are reasons for that. However, due to the lack of any alternative in this rare genre, we are adding the game to the list.
In the game, you have to deal with the establishment of trade, routes and production chains between the islands of the Caribbean. The needs of developing cities are constantly growing, so you will definitely not be left without a job. And if you like robbery and robbery, you can become a pirate and do what you love. But competitors will not wait either. Although, when receiving a letter of marque, there should be no problems with the chosen state.
By the way, in the fourth part, the battles became turn-based, which did not like the fans of the Port Royale series. But new players took the game more favorably. And if this innovation does not suit you either, you can always refer to the third part.
Risen 2: Dark Water
Genre: Action, RPG
Platform: PC / PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360
Released: August 3, 2012
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Piranha Bytes
Sequel to New Gothic. A direct continuation of the first part, in which the hero, although he saved the island from the fiery titan, but the world continues to be in danger. And to challenge the kraken, terrorizing sailors, sinking their ships and killing sailors, he, that is, you, will have to become a pirate.
The game radically changes the setting – from the conditional Middle Ages of the first part, we move on to sea romance, corsairs, rum, and that’s all. Otherwise, the game is completely true to the traditions of Piranha Bytes – a role-playing game with deep immersion, many quests, broken balance, a pinch of bugs (which can be without them) and the obligatory becoming a citizen.
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (and the entire Monkey Island series)
Genre: quest, adventure
Platform: PC / iOS / Xbox 360 / Mac
Release date: June 23, 2010
Publisher: LucasArts Entertainment
Developer: LucasArts Entertainment
A remake of the timeless classic of 1990 and one of the best representatives of the quest genre of all time. Work was done to improve the graphics, sound and music were rewritten and the interface was redesigned, and a hint system was added, but everything else remained unchanged – a gorgeous story and sparkling humor.
You play as Guybrush Threepwood, a young romantic who dreams of becoming a pirate. In search of fame and honor from his colleagues, he goes through many difficult trials, finds the love of his life and defeats the ghost of LeChak. And where without the fatal lady, whose heart the hero has to conquer.
Gorgeous characters, addicting gameplay and an interesting story rightfully elevated The Secret of Monkey Island to the podium. The additions are no worse than the original, and we highly recommend you check out this legendary series.
Captain Blood Adventures
Genre: Adventure, Action
Release date: April 25, 2023
Don’t be surprised at the publisher. The Adventures of Captain Blood is a materialized ghost game. An AAA-class product (according to the developers, of course) was supposed to be released in 2010, but something went wrong. Repeating the fate of the legendary “Vseslav the Sorcerer”, the game “went gold”, but never reached him. Officially, the reason is not known, but there are various speculations.
And here’s a surprise: in April 2023, a completely finished working assembly of the game is posted on the Web. You play as a noble robber, the standard of the romanticized image of a pirate on the positive side, Captain Peter Blood – the protagonist of a series of book novels by Raphael Sabatini. Your holiday with friend Walt at the Port Royal inn is interrupted by the Spanish attack. Having repulsed the attack (still, the Spanish soldiers cannot be compared with the masterly possession of the captain’s saber), the heroes requisition the ship and find an English official in the hold. He tells a tragic story: their ship was attacked by pirates under the command of a certain Easterling, and the Englishman’s daughter was kidnapped, the official himself was wounded and thrown aboard a sinking ship. But the Spaniards saved him.
Naturally, this order of things does not suit the noble captain, and he, together with a comrade, goes to rescue the kidnapped young lady, and at the same time to distribute to the treacherous Spaniards for nuts. And how it all ended, you can find out on your own by downloading the build on the Web (we will not give a link, after all, this can be regarded as pirated content, find it yourself, it’s not difficult).
And the game was included in our selection not only because of its history, but also because in the end it turned out to be an excellent 3D action game with good graphics and a good combat system.
Here is a selection of the best, for one reason or another, games on the theme of pirate adventures and the conquest of the seas. Yes, the topic is not the most popular among gamers and developers, but from time to time new games appear on the horizon. One of these potentially best can be an online action game from Ubisoft – Skull & Bones, if, of course, the game is released. According to rumors, product development is in a natural production hell, and the concept of the game has changed several times, and the team actually started everything from scratch. As originally conceived, we were to get a deep expansion of the ideas implemented in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag in the open world, with the influence of weather, brutal and intense battles on sailing ships and extensive multiplayer. The first gameplay shots inspired optimism and delighted with the graphics, but alas: after the announcement in the summer of 2017 and the first shots plus a finished promo page on the Ubisoft website, we never got anything new. We really hope that this game will still receive worthy attention from the studio, will be finalized and released exactly as it was announced during the presentation. And we’ll get another representative of pirate-themed games worth adding to the list of the best.
What are your favorite corsair games? Share your thoughts in the comments, it will be very interesting to know how many fans of this topic we have.