People have been interested in Norse mythology for a long time. Vikings and Norse gods have been shown many times and in many ways, from epic poems and folk music to superhero movies and, of course, video games.
Over the past few years, the number of people who play Viking games has grown by leaps and bounds, thanks in no small part to big games like God of War and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. You can be sure that if a series goes on for long enough, one of the books will be set in a world that is based on Norse mythology.
We thought that with the imminent release of Skyrim Anniversary and the recent news surrounding the God of War PC adaptation, it would be the ideal moment to take a look at some of the very finest Viking games that have ever been developed. Skyrim Anniversary is set to be released on November 10th.
This is going to be a ranked list, but keep in mind that it only represents our perspective, so you should take it for what it is. In addition, please do not hesitate to share your recommendations with us in the comments area. Let’s jump into it.
10. ANCESTORS LEGACY
This first one is for all of you who like to plan things out. Ancestors Legacy is a real-time strategy game set in the Middle Ages. It plays a lot like Company of Heroes. The gameplay isn’t as complicated as you might expect from a typical RTS, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, if you’re new to the genre, Ancestors Legacy is a great choice.
The main focus of Ancestors Legacy is on the story, which is about four warring groups. You have the Anglo-Saxons, the Germans, the Slavs, and, of course, the Vikings. If you want to leave Europe for a while, you can play as Saladin, who was the first Sultan to rule both Egypt and Syria.
But there is a lot to do here even without the DLC. There are 40 missions in 4 different campaigns in the base game alone. That’s just for the single-player mode. If you want even more action, you can also play the game with other people.
The free version of Ancestors Legacy is called the “Peasant Edition.” It only lets you play 17 multiplayer maps and 4 single-player missions. But that should be more than enough to show you what this game is all about.
9. FOR HONOR
Even though For Honor wasn’t the huge hit that Ubisoft had hoped for, it was still a good game all around. And if you like PvP games, this is one of the best Viking games around. When the game first came out, there were three factions: the Vikings, the Samurai, and the Knights. With the Marching Fire expansion, the Wu Lin was added.
Strangely, there are also Roman-themed warriors like the Centurion or Gladiator, but they are part of the Knight faction.
Even though there are things that don’t make sense, you’re here for Vikings, not Knights. So let’s discuss them. There are at least seven classes to choose from in the Viking faction: Raider, Warlord, Berserker, Valkyrie, Highlander, Shaman, and Jormungandr. Each class has different skills, weapons, and ways to play. There is a single-player campaign you can try, but PvP battles are what make For Honor what it is.
The game doesn’t really care about being true to history, which is why the Scottish Highlander is with the Vikings. Here, the Norsemen will be portrayed in a very strange way. There are warriors with horned helmets, bare chests, and big two-handed weapons.
For Honor still has a loyal player base, but it’s slowly shrinking because cross-play isn’t available and there have been too many broken updates. If things keep going like this, Ubisoft might decide to shut down the servers soon. If you want to see it, you should hurry up.
Jotun is one of the Viking games on this list that doesn’t get enough attention. The game takes place in a world based on Norse mythology. You play as Thora, a disgraced warrior who must win back the favor of the gods by defeating Jotun, which are huge elemental creatures.
Defeat them all, and you might be let into Valhalla. If you can also fight Odin head-to-head, that is.
Jotun is a pretty simple indie game with a lot of puzzles and exploring to do. With boss fights thrown in every once in a while. But even though there aren’t many fights in this game, the ones that are there are memorable. And not that easy.
The huge Jotuns have a variety of elemental powers at their disposal, and they won’t hesitate to use them to send you straight to Hel. Thora, however, has some godly powers of her own that help even out the odds.
Even if you don’t like fighting huge elemental beings, you should still check out Jotun just for the way it looks. The game’s art style is hand-drawn and looks absolutely beautiful. Jotun also has beautiful, real Icelandic narration that helps set the mood even more.
Next on our list of the best Viking games is another real-time strategy game. Even though this one has city builder elements as well. The idea is simple: take control of one of several clans of Vikings and try to explore and settle the land of Northgard.
Wild animals and the living dead will make it hard to do this job. Also, you will have to fight with other clans for territory.
On top of that, you will often have to fight against the weather while trying to keep your clan alive. The seasons in Northgard come and go, bringing with them big changes in the weather. During the summer, there’s not much to worry about, but once it gets cold, you should be ready because Northgard’s winters can kill your crops and even your warriors.
When Northgard came out in 2018, there were only a few clans and no real single-player campaign. Both of these problems have since been fixed. There are now at least 11 clans to choose from, and each one has its own unique skills.
Unfortunately, the majority of the clans are only accessible through costly downloadable content (DLC), but if you limit yourself to the fundamental factions, you can still have a good time playing.
6. ASSASSIN’S CREED VALHALLA
The newest game in the Assassin’s Creed series is set during the Viking Age and is about how the Norsemen moved into the British Isles.
This time, we play as a raider named Eivor and get to meet many historical (and some not quite historical) people, like King Alfred the Great, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Ivar the Boneless, Harald Faihair, Rollo, and others. If you’ve seen the TV show Vikings, you might know most of these names.
Valhalla plays more like an open-world RPG than a stealth-based action game, just like Origins and Odyssey. The long-running fight between the Assassins Brotherhood and the Templar Order is still going on, but it doesn’t get as much attention as the invasion of Britain.
In the same way, there will still be scenes set in the modern world, but they don’t really matter much at this point.
The game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is pretty big, and it should take you anywhere from 60 to 100 hours to finish it. As long as you do some side quests along with the main story.
You can also check out the Wrath of the Druids and The Siege of Paris DLCs if you want even more action. This game can, of course, keep you busy for a long time.
5. HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE
Most Viking games let you play as the Vikings themselves, but in this one, the Norsemen are the bad guys. Hellblade is about a Celtic warrior named Senua who has to deal with Vikings taking over her land and psychotic episodes that make her see her dead lover.
Hellblade is a great game for a lot of different reasons. First of all, it looks better than a lot of AAA games, even though Ninja Theory made it on their own. The people who made the game wanted to tell a very serious story about mental health, and they didn’t want a publisher to get in the way. That was a good idea for sure.
Even though this game takes place in a world that is based on Helheim, the Norse version of Hell, the main theme is all too real. The people who made the game worked with neuroscientists and people who have had psychosis to make sure that the disorder was shown in a way that was accurate and made sense.
The end result is a game with a lot of impact and emotion, which may or may not give you nightmares.
The amazing motion capture and great performance by Melina Juergens, whose likeness was used to bring Senua to life, are also worth mentioning. As an aside, Hellblade 2 is coming out next year, and we couldn’t be more excited.
4. THE BANNER SAGA TRILOGY
The Banner Saga has a lot to offer people who like Viking games with deep tactical combat, immersive stories, and hand-drawn art styles.
The Banner Saga is a series of three turn-based RPGs set in a world that is based on Norse mythology. Even though it was the first game made by the studio Stoic Studio, the first installment got a lot of praise from both critics and fans. And eventually led to two more movies that did just as well. Along with a board game and a few books that go with it.
In the game The Banner Saga, every choice you make affects how the story goes. Even choices made during conversations. You can go on adventures with more than 25 different characters, so you can expect to have a lot of conversations with them.
Stoic Studio was started by people who used to work at Bioware. Because of this, The Banner Saga’s story has some similarities to games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Just like in Mass Effect, your progress from the first game in this series carries over to the second and third games.
In 2021, it will be hard to talk about Viking games without bringing up Valheim. The open-world survival game came out of nowhere and quickly became the first big hit of the year. It’s easy to understand why.
Valheim doesn’t try to change the way games are played or blow our minds with new ideas. It’s just a clean survival sandbox, which is all we really want. “It just works,” as Todd Howard was known to say.
One of the best things about Valheim is that it is all about working together. Most survival games take the name too seriously and put more effort into making the game hard than into making it fun. Here, you don’t have to worry about having to live alone in a dangerous world for a long time before you’re good enough to join a clan or guild. From the start, the game wants you to work with other people. And most people in Valheim are pretty friendly to people who just moved there.
Valheim has lost some of its buzz over the past few months, but a lot of people still play it. If you want to join the party for the first time now, don’t worry about being late. The game is still in “Early Access,” which means a lot of people can still play it. When it finally launches, there will probably be a huge influx of new players.
2. THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM
Skyrim is one of the most well-known Viking games, and it doesn’t need much of an introduction at this point. The game was first released in 2011. Since then, it has been re-released so many times that many of us are sick of hearing about it.
But that doesn’t change the fact that Skyrim is still a good role-playing game. Even more so if you use mods, of which there are literally tens of thousands to try. Some of them, like Enderal and The Forgotten City, have even been made into full games.
Skyrim might have the most generic setting of all The Elder Scrolls games. Depending on how you look at it, this could be a good or a bad thing.
On the one hand, the land of the Nords is not a good place to set a story if you want a strange world like the one we found in Morrowind. On the other hand, it is the perfect place to be if you want to feel like you are in a world with gods, dragons, and magic Vikings.
Bethesda will bring back Skyrim for one last time on November 11 to mark the game’s 10th anniversary. This is your chance to play it if you haven’t already.
You can also visit the lands of Skyrim in The Elder Scrolls Online, which is one of the best MMORPGs out there.
1. GOD OF WAR
It would be an understatement to say that God of War is one of the best Viking games out there. When the game came out in 2018, it was praised by everyone, and many people thought it was as important to the gaming community as the first God of War. It should come as no surprise that it also helped sell a lot of PlayStation consoles.
The 2018 reboot of God of War was an interesting change in the series’ direction. In more than one way. The original series was all about action and big set pieces, but the reboot added RPG elements and a story that pulled you in.
Don’t worry, the point of the game is still to beat old gods to a pulp. But the latest version of God of War has a lot more going on than any of the games that came before it.
God of War will be available on PC in early 2022, if you don’t have a PlayStation console. A follow-up called God of War Ragnarok will also come out in 2022, but there is no date set for it yet.
God of War is finally coming to PC, so there’s a good chance that the sequel will also be ported. Eventually.
We couldn’t fit all of the interesting Viking games on our main list, but we still wanted to let you know about them. Look at them down below.
- Tribes of Midgard
- Expeditions: Viking
- The Frostrune
- Total War Saga: Thrones of Brittania
- The Frostrune
- Mount & Blade II
- Song of Iron