Not every gamer cares for history, which makes it all the more mind-blowing when studios put a ton of work into historical accuracy in their games. Also, there is nothing more satisfying than proving that your video game is enjoyable and educational.
So what games are historically accurate? The truth is, not many. After all, part of the fun of video games is taking liberties with logic and fact. However, that does not mean that historically accurate games do not exist. You just got to know who to ask and where to look.
So here is our list of the best games with historical accuracy.
10 The Assassin's Creed Series
Obviously, not everything in this game is true. Ubisoft's well-known series though has packed a lot of history in its stories. In fact, some of what is true may surprise you. There are in fact records of a guild of assassins based in Masyaf Castle during the third crusade.
Many of your assassination targets are real people from history and they are at the right place at the right time. The only difference is that they were not assassinated. Also, the architecture and clothes for the time periods are stunningly accurate and would make any history teacher happy.
9 Age Of Empires Series
This game works a lot like a table-top in which you control a civilization from a sky-view. The series has a wide array of different times and places in history so there is a lot for a history buff to browse over.
Most of the historic reading material is separated from the gameplay and accessible from the menu. As for the history conveyed through gameplay, you start out with a couple of villagers and slowly build with resources and enter different ages such as the "Dark Ages" or "Feudal Age." Also, a lot of your upgrades convey different historical concepts such as spearmen upgrading to pikemen. So it shows a ton of examples of accurate historical development.
8 Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway
It may not be surprising that a lot of the most historically accurate games have to do with World War II. A lot of historic love went into Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway. There have been jokes that if you learn the games' maps enough, then you can "move to Holland and become a tour guide."
While developing the game, the developers studied WWII photos of places and weapons. They even contacted historians during development to get the game as historically accurate as possible.
7 Red Turn: The Road to Berlin
This game places you in 1943 shortly after the events of the Stalingrad Campaign and in the Battle of Kursk. Unlike most World War II games that pay most if not all its attention to the Western Front, this one focuses on the Eastern Front of the war.
Mission debriefings in the games are compact but historically accurate. For better or worse, you are also stuck within the bounds of history. If it didn't happen, it isn't in the game.
6 The Oregon Trail
This old classic has many variations, but the original and some of its remakes really go hardcore on history. In the beginning, you pick your profession which creates your class and the resources you start with. The amount of disease such as dysentery and cholera that your characters face are also historically accurate.
Also how travelers felt about Native Americans was realistic, often mentioning that they were worried about meeting "savages." However, the game also portrayed the Native Americans themselves realistically, where they were a rare sight on the trail and if they were seen, they were more likely to trade and talk rather than do harm.
5 Sid Meier's Pirates
This game is likely the most accurate pirate-based game out there. While it cannot help but indulge itself in some of the untrue stereotypes, a lot of the game is modeled after the real pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy. For example, your crew is only loyal as long as they feel like there is a reward in it for them. There is also a lot of political intrigues with the English, French, Dutch, and Spanish, and you typically work for one of them.
Besides all that, the naval combat is very realistic from shot types, ducks, hull size, and wind direction.
4 L.A. Noire
In much more recent time than others on this list, L.A. Noire's development team delivered big time on L.A. history in the 1950s. The game retells historical events and themes such as corruption in the L.A. Police Department, the Black Dahlia murder, and post-WWII societal displacement.
Besides themes and events, the developers studied and recreated historic sites. In fact, they poured research into seeing over 100,000 historic photos to bring an old L.A. back to life.
3 Pharaoh With The Cleopatra Expansion
If you want an accurate game about ancient Egypt, then this is the one for you. You get to slowly construct a city with the same resources the Egyptians had at the time. The housing, city life, warfare, trade, and religion are pretty accurate. If you want to even read about some history, there are lists with more historical information on the help menu.
There are real historical characters too such as famous pharaohs. For even more history, the Cleopatra expansion takes you to the Hellenistic period.
2 Total War: Attila
This game has an accurate representation of the fall of the western Roman Empire. It stands out as a Total War game for several reasons.
Firstly, it showed that not all societies have permanent cities and how that influenced their relationships and culture. It also shared more about why the invasions were occurring rather than just having angry people creating chaos. For example, changes in climate were forcing the Huns to migrate into eastern Europe.
1 Expeditions: Viking
There are a ton of untrue stereotypes about Vikings. They are always popular, all the more for video games. Luckily, Expeditions' studio ignored the stereotypes and stuck to its research. This game has you playing a Viking ruler, and you actually do things a Viking ruler would do; such as, constantly proving yourself as a strong and capable ruler while also solving family blood-related feuds.
Obviously, the Viking you create at the beginning of the game is not real, but the atmosphere is a ten out of ten.