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Video game creators seem to find a way to tap into just about every theme and setting you could ever fathom. However, one of the settings that haven’t been completely wrung dry is pirates. Sure, there have been some pirate games released over the years, but when compared to other themes like ninjas, fantasy, and science fiction, it feels like the surface of pirates has just been scratched.
So we decided to take a deep dive into the world of pirate video games to pick the best of the bunch. We’ve narrowed it down to seven games that any swashbuckling pirate fanatic won’t be able to get enough of. There are retro games, modern games, and everything in between!
7. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean
The LEGO games aren’t necessarily the most difficult or demanding games, as they’re designed primarily for kids. One thing they always bring to the table, though, is a certain level of polish, and the LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean game is no exception. It doesn’t necessarily offer the gritty story that pirate fans look for, but it’s fun and family-friendly, and that goes a long way!
6. The Secret of Monkey Island
When it comes to classic point-and-click adventure games, few are as beloved as The Monkey Island series. The Secret of Monkey Island first released in 1990, and it received a remake in 2009 titled The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. Both are fantastic, but if you’re more accustomed to modern games, you should play the remake, as it features many modern conveniences while maintaining the fantastic story and challenging puzzles of the original.
5. Sid Meier’s Pirates! (2004 Remake)
When you hear the name Sid Meier, you almost certainly think of Civilization. But Sid also created a tremendous pirate game all the way back in 1987. And while this game was a classic in its time, you’re much better off checking out the 2004 remake, as it’s much easier to go back to. The game masterfully blends together elements of strategy and action, making it a perfect game for pirate fans.
4. Age of Booty
If the depth offered by Sid Meier’s Pirates is too much for you, then Age of Booty should be right up your alley. It’s an RTS, but it’s super casual in terms of gameplay, meaning it’s simple enough for anyone to get into. The single-player portion of the game has mixed reviews, but if you can find some friends who want to pull out their PS3 or Xbox 360, there’s still a lot of fun to be had.
3. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Wind Waker probably isn’t the first pirate game that comes to mind, but the game has all the key elements that make it pirate-themed. There are ships, captains, and plenty of exploration of the seas. And when it comes to video games, it’s hard to find one more beloved than The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. If you somehow haven’t played this gem, it’s time!
2. Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves launched to mixed reviews, but Rare, the developers of the game, have put a tremendous amount of effort into bringing the game where it needs to be. As far as pirate games go, it’s one of the purest pirate experiences you can find, as it’s literally just a game about living the life of a pirate.
1. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag
What happens when you mix the incredibly fun stealth gameplay of Assassin’s Creed with some of the most fun ship-to-ship combat ever in a video game? Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is what you get, and it’s a truly magical experience. Not only is Black Flag the best pirate game of all time, but it’s one of the best games of this console generation.
It’s hard to believe that pirates have been so underrepresented in the world of video games. Everything about the life of a pirate seems conducive to video games, but alas, swashbuckling games are few and far between. Still, if you need to get your fix, the seven games we’ve looked at today should fill that void!