The Golden Age of Pirates has inspired many a story, song, and film, and video games are no exception to its inspirational qualities. It was an age where piracy upon the sea was rife, and where traveling from point A to point B was a peril-filled adventure. The world was a pretty unsafe place back in the day, and to top it off, it was filled with real-world characters like Black Beard.
Needless to say, the Golden Age of Pirates has become something of an anchor for video games, competing as a strong genre among the likes of zombies, aliens, and robots.
In this list, we take a look at seven of the best and most well-received (by the public, and by yours truly) pirate-themed games of all time.
#7 Risen 2: Dark Waters
Though the original Risen was a medieval fantasy game, Risen 2 is a swashbuckling-themed game that transfer classic Caribbean pirate themes into a fantasy world where ancient gods, voodoo magic and titans coexist. As an RPG, players take control of a main character to explore the world.
#6 Assassin’s Creed Pirates
A spin-off of the Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag game, Pirates is developed for smartphones and follows the pirate Alonzo Batilia in search of the treasure of the French pirate La Buse. The game focuses on naval combat and shares some strong similarities to Black Flag in terms of combat and gameplay.
#5 Age of Booty
Taking place in the swashbuckling era, Age of Booty is a real-time multiplayer strategy game that allows players to helm their very own pirate ship with the goal of sinking enemy opponents and sending them to the depths of the ocean.
Players team up with other online players or AI-controlled pirate ships to raid, pillage, and destroy their way to dominance on the high seas.
#4 Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - The Legend of Dead Kel
The Legend of Dead Kel is an expansion pack for the ill-fated, but nevertheless great RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It adds a rather significant expansion onto the base game, providing a raft of new content in an island called Gallows End.
It’s full of undead pirates and even includes a new player housing called Gravehal Keep, featuring an estate with quest givers and perks.
#3 Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag
Taking place during the Golden Age of Pirates, Black Flag puts players in the role of one Edward Kenway, a buccaneer and pirate who finds himself embroiled in an ages-old conspiracy—a war between Templars and Assassins that’s raging on even to this day. Players fly the Jolly Roger upon their mast and undertake missions on both sea and land.
#2 Sid Meier’s Pirates!
Sid Meier’s Pirates! is a game containing almost every aspect of pirate life. There’s real-time sea battles, turn-based land battles, dance offs, and tactical sword-fighting.
Originally developed in 1987 (sans ballroom dancing), the game was remade in 2004 with much of its features intact.
#1 Monkey Island Series
An adventure game series by LucasArts (and later Telltale Games, but we’ll be talking about the originals only in this one) Monkey Island puts players in the role of one Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate.
He must struggle to overcome the most notorious pirate in the Caribbean, defeat the plans of the evil undead pirate LeChuck, and win the heart of Elaine Marley, governess.