Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. 100
    The new mods alone, including space-based and mythological scenarios, are enough to keep a dedicated player occupied for days, and the new civilizations and systems introduce so many new layers to the gameplay that Civilization IV is practically a new game entirely.
  2. Where Beyond the Sword will really win you over is with the new scenarios and mods. There is some truly wonderful stuff in here.
  3. Beyond the Sword is unquestionably one of the best expansion packs I’ve ever played, and not just because the original release is so strong. The amount of content it adds, and the quality of those additions, is top-notch. This kind of massive depth, smooth polish, and unending replayability is what PC gaming is all about.
  4. Between all the wrinkles in the main gameplay, all the scenarios which completely change or add to it, and the fact that this comes with little to no system requirement increases or, well, anything that doesn't add to the gameplay, Beyond the Sword is little more than another stop on Sid Meier's traditional formula but is so much fun precisely because of this.
  5. Another brilliant add-on for an excellent strategy game. The new content is well designed and makes the somewhat dull endgame more interesting. Also the mods and scenarios are quite nice, some being actual games in their own right. [Sept 2007]
  6. Basically, Beyond the Sword is more of a director's cut of the fantastic original game than the usual expansion grab bag of scenarios and units. [Oct 2007, p.68]
  7. Civilization fans have yet another great addition to their addiction in Beyond the Sword.
  8. One of the most ambitious game add-ons you're likely to find and the vast majority of these changes are welcome ones that add significantly to the experience.
  9. 90
    Apparently, Hannibal’s scientists have been busy, and my spies have been lacking, as I had no idea that Carthage possessed nuclear capability. If I had, I wouldn’t have sent in a mere blimp as my first act of war.
  10. It’s almost a new game in terms of the amount of content, but it’s also the same game in terms of gameplay experience and sheer fun.
  11. 90
    Apart from a few quibbles (large maps still load at a glacial pace and the A.I. still builds cities right on top of yours), BTS takes a strong game with some serious flaws and turns it into a fantastic game with a couple of minor flaws. No small feat, that.
  12. 90
    A fantastic expansion and worth every cent, Beyond the Sword offers plenty of new content to properly upgrade the world of Civilization IV. A must buy for fans of the game.
  13. This is a monster expansion for a monster game; a total must-have that breathes new life into what is now a fairly old game.
  14. 90
    That these additions make the experience deeper and richer and way more fun can be considered nothing less than a "Wonder."
  15. 89
    Beyond the Sword makes an already phenomenal game even better.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 130 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Jun 4, 2011
    Incredible game. The series really reached its high point here. Incredibly fun to roleplay and totally immersive. Something we cannot say at all about it's suck-sessor number 5. I would truly recommend this game to anyone that loves a deep, complex, enriching turn based strategy game. Full Review »
  2. Dec 11, 2013
    "Beyond the Sword" is a great educational strategy game, I especially like the scenarios Earth18Civ and Earth 1000AD. Single player game is good for trying out a new strategy, but the real fun is playing it with someone together. Full Review »
  3. Feb 26, 2013
    The pinnacle of the Civilization series so far. You feel like you are developing a civilization in an alternate world, but Civ5 feels like a board game in comparison. The game is very good as is, but there are also many mods that add more to it or even transform it into an entirely new game (e.g. FFH2). All turn-based strategy fans should own this. Full Review »