User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 172 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 172

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  1. Jun 15, 2013
    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.
  2. Sep 1, 2011
    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.
  3. May 24, 2011
    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 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
  4. Dec 20, 2011
    Well if you haven't already got this game don't get it, instead get Civ II or Civ IV both of which are light years better than this bargain bin game. This is basically a 2nd release of Civ II but with more bugs, still isn't "horrible" but it's a waste of money when you can just get Civ II. My ranking of the civilization series
    Civ IV (95/100)
    Civ II (92/100)
    Civ I (88/100)
    Civ V (76/100)

    Civ III (54/100)
  5. Nov 2, 2011
    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).
  6. Jan 2, 2012
    A fun game that you will want too keep playing even though your AI opponents seem to be able too accomplish feats you would never be able too. The graphics are good and the user interface has been improved. But still the game play is not as good as Civ II.
  7. Dec 30, 2012
    Not particuarly great. It does have colonies, which I love, but it is too expansive for me. Combat is annoying due to one unit who fights is destroyed. The scenarios, however, I enjoy! Once again, numbers required to win pisses me off! I like doing it germany through russia style!
  8. Feb 18, 2014
    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.
  9. IoeT
    Apr 15, 2008
    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? Collapse

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. 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.