User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 269 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 269
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  1. MitchK
    Mar 18, 2008
    10
    The people that rate this game poorly because of the tank/spearman issue likely do not know how to play the game. The game does not determine battle outcomes by icon, it uses a number system. So in the case where a spearman is attacked by a tank: Spearman (in city, fortified, on a hill, across a river, etc. etc.) will be pumped up quite drastically and make it feasible to beat a tank. The people that rate this game poorly because of the tank/spearman issue likely do not know how to play the game. The game does not determine battle outcomes by icon, it uses a number system. So in the case where a spearman is attacked by a tank: Spearman (in city, fortified, on a hill, across a river, etc. etc.) will be pumped up quite drastically and make it feasible to beat a tank. Awesome game, endless fun. Expand
  2. May 24, 2011
    10
    To date, this is my favorite game hands down. You have the freedom to expand how you want. Will you win by military domination? Will you win by scientific development or a cultural victory? Will you win through political intrigue? You decide! This is by far one of the best games I've played. While graphics aren't the best when compared to modern games, it is an excellent game for those whoTo date, this is my favorite game hands down. You have the freedom to expand how you want. Will you win by military domination? Will you win by scientific development or a cultural victory? Will you win through political intrigue? You decide! This is by far one of the best games I've played. While graphics aren't the best when compared to modern games, it is an excellent game for those who wish to focus on the overall campaign instead of individual battles or graphics. To date, this is the only game I've played throughout the night and into the early hours of the morning. This game was definitely an epic win for Sid Meyers. The biggest problem with the game is the lack of a dedicated online community (if multi-player is your thing. Expand
  3. Jun 15, 2013
    8
    This game requires a MASSIVE learning curve for people who haven't played Civilization before, but for the people who have played before, it's a fun and deep game.
  4. Sep 1, 2011
    10
    Without doubt my favourite installment within the Civilization franchise.

    The fact that almost a decade after it still sucks me in like the first day is a testament to its ever lasting appeal. You only know when you start a game but you never know when you'll put it down or finish it; it's just so addictive unlike Civ V which has no lasting appeal. For me Civ 3 felt like digital chess.
    Without doubt my favourite installment within the Civilization franchise.

    The fact that almost a decade after it still sucks me in like the first day is a testament to its ever lasting appeal. You only know when you start a game but you never know when you'll put it down or finish it; it's just so addictive unlike Civ V which has no lasting appeal.

    For me Civ 3 felt like digital chess. It's a game that has you continually thinking what your next moves will be and rewards handsomely forward-thinking and carefully planning ahead. I even like the graphics which are not as cartoonish as Civ IV. Along with Brian Reynold's Alpha Centauri, Civ 3 is my all-time favourite game. The amounts of hours I've poured into it can be tallied by the thousands.

    If you like 4X TBS games you owe it to yourself to play this classic. The Conquests expansion infused new life by way of historic scenarios which are fleshed out very nicely. Special mention goes to Rise of Rome and the Napoleon scenario where you relive the glory and bloodshed of the lost Empires. Civ IV has overshadowed its predecessor significantly but Civ 3 will always have a place in my heart and harddrive and I return to it at least twice a year.
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  5. Xemawth
    Dec 12, 2009
    10
    Fantastic, to say the least. The third installment into the civilization series really lives up to the praise and aspiration that Sid Meier's games always seem to have. I personally prefer this game over Civ IV because it goes back to the basics and if you don't have a hardcore gaming rig you can play the game with relative ease. Despite some... questionable... battle outcomes Fantastic, to say the least. The third installment into the civilization series really lives up to the praise and aspiration that Sid Meier's games always seem to have. I personally prefer this game over Civ IV because it goes back to the basics and if you don't have a hardcore gaming rig you can play the game with relative ease. Despite some... questionable... battle outcomes (the classic tank losing to the knight on horseback scenario) it is something you get used to the game really brings to light what should be expected from a turn-based strategy game. In my opinion Civ III really emphasizes the reality of raising a civilization and grooming it to become the conquerer of the world. Expand
  6. RegnardR.
    Jan 7, 2002
    10
    Be forewarned: This game is is more addictive than crack!
  7. MattR.
    Apr 2, 2003
    9
    This game is great. While it's true that there is a lot in common with Civ 2 (units, overall interface, etc), that's not necessarily a bad thing. Its greatest strength is its amazing addictiveness. More options/scenarios/units would be welcome, as would different visual options.
  8. DejimmyD.
    Feb 21, 2005
    8
    A nice game witout an population limit.
  9. WillyB.
    Sep 5, 2003
    10
    This game is terrific. I've played and won the earlier Civs or the hardest difficulty and the first time I played Civ 3, it kicked my butt! "Mike" says it is too hard, even for Civ experts. Well, then I think you are in a rut strategy-wise. I changed my play methods and now have a great time giving the computer a run for its money. This series is the best of all time.
  10. HenryThoreau
    Dec 31, 2001
    10
    Refined, refined, refined. MicroProse has perfected the Civilization series with Civ. III. I did not think they could have improved over Civ. II much but, I was very wrong. The game is now faster and easier (and more addicting) to play. I hate to get up from the game to eat, "Just one more turn..." Also, I have learned more about history and politics from Civilization than from my history Refined, refined, refined. MicroProse has perfected the Civilization series with Civ. III. I did not think they could have improved over Civ. II much but, I was very wrong. The game is now faster and easier (and more addicting) to play. I hate to get up from the game to eat, "Just one more turn..." Also, I have learned more about history and politics from Civilization than from my history classes! :) Collapse
  11. BryanG.
    Apr 27, 2002
    10
    Addicting.
  12. TonyW.
    Aug 4, 2002
    10
    Very Awesome, Addictive, Great Graphics. That was the good news, the bad news no multiplayer or internet play, but i still give it a 10:)
  13. WhiteEmperorTC
    Apr 29, 2003
    10
    Simply great.
  14. EricG.
    Jun 30, 2005
    9
    Simply great, you'll still be playing it years after you bought it.
  15. SamT.
    Sep 6, 2005
    10
    not only the best series of games ever, but the best single game ever. notice that the biggest complaint of the people whom brought the metascore down were whining about the fact that there is not enough difference between it and civ2. they should be rating games vs one another, not vs previous versions....
  16. JeffreyT.
    Jul 25, 2007
    10
    Incredible... the unique player units and dependance on resources is a great addition to the game... Hard time fighting for aluminum... but that's part of the game!
  17. Joshua
    May 23, 2008
    10
    This game is as good as strategy gaming gets, and deserves full marks. Civ 3 and its expansions provide seamless and highly refined game play, culminating everything that this ground-breaking series has brought to gaming in the 21 years it has been in existence. A must-play for strategy and history enthusiasts. Put your plan to take over the world into action!
  18. JeffA.
    Mar 16, 2002
    10
    The game rules!
  19. MelchisedecH.
    May 19, 2006
    10
    Quite honestly one of the best games in its time. It is ridiculously addicting and will keep you from even the most necessary of things including 3 squares a day, unless of course you can manage your empire and get one more bite of pizza at the same time.
  20. IoeT
    Apr 15, 2008
    10
    Civilization III is the best strategy game, turn-based or otherwise, that I have ever played. Civ 3 is easily one of the most re-playable games around, especially for people who love empire builders, next to CS:Source and the Super Smash Bros. trilogy. Another outstanding feature of Civ 3 is the editor, it allows users to very easily change all aspects of their gaming experience in Civilization III is the best strategy game, turn-based or otherwise, that I have ever played. Civ 3 is easily one of the most re-playable games around, especially for people who love empire builders, next to CS:Source and the Super Smash Bros. trilogy. Another outstanding feature of Civ 3 is the editor, it allows users to very easily change all aspects of their gaming experience in lay-mans terms, unlike python from Civ 4. The game also includes tons of accurate historical information for history buffs, like myself. The only weak points of the game are the multiplayer aspects, with the exception of hotseat, but who needs the real world when you have the entire span of human civilization at your fingertips? Expand
  21. [Anonymous]
    Dec 31, 2001
    9
    I love Civilization II, so I will love III.
  22. Nov 2, 2011
    10
    Good game. Great scenario editor for non-coders. Civ IV is more customizable, but it requires more of a coder mentality (and optimally, be a coder that is willing to code outside of work). Great game for those with older computers (5-8 years old).
  23. Nov 26, 2016
    8
    A great strategy game made mediocre by luck. There were matches I lost simply from bad luck. When your units fight, a calculation is made based on their stats, the land they are on, who is attacking versus defending. Much of the time my chances of winning a fight were 66% or higher but I frequently lost those fights. It is frustrating to work hard to gain superior technology to anotherA great strategy game made mediocre by luck. There were matches I lost simply from bad luck. When your units fight, a calculation is made based on their stats, the land they are on, who is attacking versus defending. Much of the time my chances of winning a fight were 66% or higher but I frequently lost those fights. It is frustrating to work hard to gain superior technology to another civilization only to lose what should be a winning fight. Even playing on the easiest difficulty isn't very easy.

    That said, the game looks good (for 2001), has compelling history and scenarios, interesting micromanagement of cities, and great diplomacy interactions. I very frequently found myself completely immersed in a match, always pressing for the next turn or my next big move. So much so that I forgot to eat sometimes!

    Bought the Complete Edition on steam sale for $1.24, played 80 hours, recommended.
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  24. Jul 22, 2015
    10
    Ciiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiv!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  25. Feb 18, 2014
    10
    It's a great strategic 4x game, nice graphics and very addictive gameplay. That 'one more turn' thing appears almost at the very beginning. It's definitely a must play.
  26. May 16, 2016
    8
    I would have to say this game, overall is great. The only main complaint I have with it is that you can have an infinite amount off units on one tile, as the AI tends to always produce so many units. It can be really annoying if you don't have animations turned off.
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. If you're a fan of the series or of the genre, then I can readily recommend picking up Civilization III -- just keep in mind that it may not be all you expected, especially later in the game.
  2. Computer Gaming World
    100
    It was difficult to write this review, because each time I started the game to check on some detail, six hours mysteriously vanished. [Jan 2002, p.92]
  3. Complex combat, climbing the tech tree, and resource management (commonly found in RTS games) make Civ III a deep strategy game – far beyond a simple Simulation game.