User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 662 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 76 out of 662

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  1. Oct 2, 2010
    10
    If you do not want to lose hours of your day without noticing... DO NOT get this game, but if you don't mind playing marathon sessions and being totally obsessed with conquering the world then this is the right game for you!
  2. Jun 4, 2011
    9
    Great game. Other than some issues with the ATI card I had at the time, I've thoroughly enjoyed this game. Definitely the high water mark of the series.
  3. Jun 30, 2012
    8
    Strategy gaming at it's finest. People may argue that the graphical development has taken precedence over gameplay in Civ 4 (the culture system a bit hit and miss, and the end game can end up a bit of a quagmire) but for me the game play is still exceptionally addictive.

    If you enjoy games that make you think before you act, Civ 4 is for you.
  4. Jul 6, 2012
    10
    Review includes both expansion packs. This and Master of Orion 2 are the best 2 strategy games I have ever played and everything else I compare to them.
  5. Nov 9, 2010
    5
    My previous experience with this type of game was Age of Empire II, so maybe that gives me a bias. That game felt more fast-paced and fun. Civilization IV is as much fun as reading an encyclopedia: I may enjoy some interesting moments, but it's mostly just wading through details. This seems like a game that might be more enjoyable if you invest the time to learn how to play, but that's not the experience I'm looking for and my review is reflecting that. If you expect to get in and immediately start having fun, with maybe a in game tutorial to teach you as you go, you're in for a disappointment. If you do want to learn the game and you really enjoy having a ton of control over your empire (the negative way of saying that: "micromanaging"), then you'll be rewarded I'm sure. They could have done much better with the nation's leaders. When Ghandi himself is constantly threatening to commit genocide on my people if I don't give him some iron, something has gone horribly wrong. Expand
  6. Jan 24, 2011
    2
    I played this and and found the opening credits annoying. then i set up a game and there was no scenario maps! i started the game and played. the religeon aspect didn't impress me. i soon found the combat system has gotten worse. the nicely simpley animated wariors are gone they tried to make it look real but it looks worse. the game is a disapointment. all the people that have played the recent civ's i know don't like this game. only new players like it. and that's because they dont know civ. disapointed. i am very mad that it has a better rating than 5, since 5 is great. i have played civ three for at least 1000 hrs. no im not lying. played from age 7 - 14 and i am still play off and on. this gets a F- as a grade dont be fooled by the overrated cliques. this is not CIV. Expand
  7. Sep 1, 2011
    10
    Awesome game. One of the best Civs. If your trying to decide between this one and Civ 5 get this one Civ 5's a dumbed down peace of **** Also Ian277 is a retard.
  8. CRL
    Jul 25, 2011
    4
    This game... average at best. Turn-based strategy has never been my favorite, but this game makes it monotonous. The higher levels are ridiculously difficult, and doing the same exact thing over and over is exactly as it sounds: repetitive and boring. Every once in a while I find myself enjoying it, but I can't play it for too much at a time before my eyes start to slip shut.
  9. May 25, 2013
    10
    ....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more turn... one more turn... one more turn....one more Expand
  10. Mar 22, 2012
    10
    The best Civilization game of them all. If you can only play one of them, this is it! Note that this review was written AFTER Civilization V has been out for quite a while already. Yes IV is that good.
  11. May 19, 2012
    6
    Civilization IV is a mediocre game at best... Diplomacy is average, combat is easily manipulated with huge STACKS OF DOOM, and micromanagement is rife in the cities... Honestly, the best thing about this game is the Rhye's and Fall of Civilization scenario that comes with Civ IV: BTS.
  12. Sep 18, 2010
    10
    By far the best Civ game. Everything, from the military aspect to managing your cities, feel so balanced. In addition, there are plenty of ways to win a battle. Every game truly feels different.
  13. May 21, 2011
    9
    I really like it, and I like it much more as the civ 5 demo. I really spent hours playing it and still do sometimes, unfortunately not that often due to the lack of time.
  14. Dec 22, 2011
    9
    A revolutionary game for its time, Civ IV is still good nearly 7 years later. By far a better game than Civ V, IV is complex and engaging with more to learn every time you play. If you buy this game, there is a strong chance you will become obsessed and spend hours on end playing. So long as you have the time, Civ IV is much more worthwhile than many of the newer, more expensive games out now.
  15. Jul 20, 2011
    10
    Simple the best Civ in the entire series, and if Civ 5 is any clue, its also going to be the pinnacle of the series since the new one is completely awful, oh well at least this one has re-play ability similar to SMAC.
  16. Jul 5, 2011
    6
    It's just not enough to justify buying it. After I spent $40 on it, I played ONE game and was already bored. It's not that it's a bad game, but I found it a bit less fun and a bit more tedious than Civ III, so I just went back to playing Civ III.
  17. May 6, 2012
    10
    This game's genre is not my kind of thing, but I have to give it props for having the most meticulously balanced design and variety of paths to victory.

    The definitive turn-based strategy game of all time, and will continue to be considering the dismal failure that was V.
  18. Aug 31, 2011
    9
    One of the best strategy games ever. The realistic and a little complex gameplay makes this game a masterpiece. The music is awesome, the graphics is acceptable and it has a great technology tree as well. I only don't like the limited rounds.
  19. Aug 9, 2011
    10
    This game never gets old. It is now six years since the game came out and I am still playing. This is one of those games that beats its successor. Civ V cannot stand up to this game. This game has the right amount of complexity to keep it interesting.
  20. Jun 27, 2013
    9
    I can't say I really enjoy strategy games that much. Admittedly, I usually pick them up, and get bored of them really fast. However, I still play them anyway because despite how bored I get of them, I can often see where people who love this genre to death would love these games. That was the case with this game. While I got bored of it and hopped right back into Skyrim, I can totally see where strategy gaming fans will love this game. It truly is a fantastic game. It takes turn-based strategy to whole new levels. There is no real story to this game, however, it does not even need one. The story is really your own. You get to choose your own famous civilization, and set out to conquer the world through one of six victory conditions. You start out in ancient times with only one warrior and settler in most games. However, you will soon progress further to make giant civilizations that will span across the globe. The graphics and sound are also quite good. There is not a lot of detail in the graphics, however, there does not need to be any detail. The graphics are fine just the way they are. You can easily distinguish how everything looks in this game, so detail is not needed. Everything sounds just the way it should too. The game has a beautiful soundtrack, and the units also sound good. The gameplay is also very good. The game works perfectly as a turn-based strategy game. You make your decisions in turns, so you and your opponents (other civilizations) will each get a fair fight as if it were a more complicated game of chess. However, that's not to say the game is too complicated. The truth is, while this game is very advanced, it is simple at the same time. If you are unsure of what to do in the game, you can just set the difficulty level to its lowest setting, and the game will give you help by recommending certain options over others. It's one of those games that is easy to learn, but hard to master. That is probably the best thing about this game's gameplay. However, there is much more to it than that. The decisions you make can positively or negatively effect your civilization over time, and there is an almost limitless amount of decisions you can make in this game. You can form an alliance with other civilizations in hopes of having a peaceful victory in the end, or you can go to war with them to achieve a conquest victory. You can choose which technology your civilization should advance in, what landmarks it should have, what religions it should practice, and much much more. Believe it or not, there is even more to the gameplay than this. The game is also loaded with extra features. It has an encyclopedia, telling about every unit in the game, along with the history of every civilization (and yes, the history is 100% accurate). This makes the game a nice little history lesson. There are also several mods included with the game that change the way the game is played. There are some mods that follow history, such as mods that are made to completely recreate it, or a specific part of it such as World War II. There are also mods that tell a completely different story, such as a war going on between Russians, and mods that have absolutely nothing to do with history, and instead focus on a kind of fantasy. These mods included really change the game for the better. Overall, despite how bored I get of this game, it really is fantastic. I believe that every strategy gamer will love this game, and it is well deserving of a 9 out of 10. Expand
  21. Nov 2, 2011
    10
    The most moddable Civ game out there, if you're a coder. The last game distributed in a 'free' way (not forced to use steam, only DRM crap is the copy protection on the CD/DVD) and where the mods are also independently distributable. Lots more features and some eyecandy too. The last good Civilization game.
  22. Dec 29, 2011
    10
    Best Civilization game so far. I've played 200 hours without even noticing that I did. Addicting, easy to play and deep. The DLCs sucks, though. You really get nothing for your money if you buy those. I wish they released an expansion instead.
  23. Dec 30, 2012
    7
    I played it, not bad but certainly not great. I enjoy making colonies but rather dislike how numbers generally determine the battle thanks to the crappy combat system. The pillar of doom is extremely annoying as well.
  24. Feb 2, 2012
    10
    to all those who gave it less than 5-6 , the features are perfect u need to bring yourself up instead of sticking up with old features. and for those who cannot tolerate the game's slowness at least don't give bad ratings to ruin the games overall rating and mislead others.its nearly the best non-fight game out there.
  25. Dec 28, 2012
    9
    This is a really decent game. I've "only" played civilization 1, 4, and 5 and 1 and 4 were my best experiences. This isn't a review for the other civs, so I will try to limit it to this one. The graphics look better than the screenshots suggest so don't let something like that deter you. What makes this game and civ 1 so great is the level of complexity that goes into your relationships with other countries and your many choices to make during the course of gameplay. Most things you don't like you can turn off. There are only 2 things that bring this game down from a perfect score for me.

    First, is the %'s that the game tells you that you have of winning a fight. It will say something like 98.9% chance for victory... and you lose more like 1/3 of the time. This makes combat a bit frustrating - you never really know your odds of victory and what you resort to doing is saving before a fight so that you don't have to rely on luck to win. If these percentages were accurate I might choose to live with the consequences, but they aren't.

    The other downside and perhaps one that is merely opinion - but I feel enough people agree that it's worth mentioning anyway... is that the game is difficult. I play on the lowest difficulty settings and without feeling like a total wimp (for example giving myself more allies than the enemy has) I usually don't win. I don't play with barbarians anymore, but when I did having them around made the game MUCH more difficult. You can turn them off but it's something to be aware of.

    The first flaw is the only one that feels like a major pain though.. win or lose I still have quite a bit of fun playing.
    Expand
  26. Oct 1, 2012
    10
    Actually the best installment of the series. With improvements over earlier titles and not being dumbed down as V, it stands solid and on the pedestal of strategic gaming. Better graphics, improved diplomacy, governments and religion, strategic resources plus goodies... And modding. Such power of modding that has never been seen before in Civilization series. I have honestly played this game for so many hours, and tried so many mods that I can't give it less than a perfect score. It would be unjust. Expand
  27. Apr 30, 2012
    10
    This game is simply incredible I have played it often since I got it over a year ago if you have even the slightest interest in this kind of thing it is a must buy.
  28. Nov 17, 2012
    10
    This is the most refined and complex Civ iteration to date. Be prepared for some serious empire management, as religion and health provide some new challenges in your path to world domination. Enemy AI is, as always, really clever and its ruthlessness will make you think again before declaring war on someone. The game rewards a skillful diplomacy more than ever before, as allies now are a help more than a nagging nuisance. Graphics are not the best, but they look cool anyway. Absolutely recommended.- Expand
  29. Nov 29, 2012
    9
    The best turn based strategy ever (in my opinion), better even than any of the empire earth games! A great game that keeps me entertained to this day.
  30. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    The best PC game of all time (given you include the expansions), the only drawback here is the game will destroy your productivity. Civ 4 is still the gold standard in 4X strategy; holding up well 7 years after its release.
Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 50
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 50
  3. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. 94
    While the game hasn't lost any depth or detail, every aspect of the design has been streamlined to make it easier for new players to jump in and less monotonous for veterans. Die-hard fans will definitely find that the game offers up so much more variety this time around.
  2. Firaxis shows an impressively consistent grasp of what to abstract and what to detail, and a remarkable talent for presenting large-scale strategic challenges in a format that's easy to digest.
  3. 90
    From the mellow sounds of Leonard Nimoy's narration to the polished world view that allows you to smoothly scroll from satellite view to up-close and personal, this is the consummate update of a classic.