User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 782 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 83 out of 782

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  1. JasonL.
    Jan 7, 2006
    9
    This game is so much better than Civ III. They have left out all the tedious micro-management and enhanced the areas which make it more fun. Obviously they have listened to players gripes and recommendations and produced a work of art. Fantastic.
  2. AlexW.
    Sep 3, 2006
    6
    Its hard to justify the pricetag for a game like Civ IV. In total it adds a few minor feature changes from Civ III, some worse and some bette. The engine is beautiful but excessive for the style of gameplay and problems running it are commmon even on game meeting the specs. Finally the game has serious holes related to balance, as well as strategic options. Any strategy hound would be Its hard to justify the pricetag for a game like Civ IV. In total it adds a few minor feature changes from Civ III, some worse and some bette. The engine is beautiful but excessive for the style of gameplay and problems running it are commmon even on game meeting the specs. Finally the game has serious holes related to balance, as well as strategic options. Any strategy hound would be better served by Civ III or Alpha Centari both of which while recieving less unanimous critical praise were far more solid games. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. BalazsC.
    Jul 7, 2008
    10
    Civ 1 was a revolutionary game. Civ 2 was a worthy successor. Civ 3 was well.. a step into a new direction. This game however. This game gives you the greatness of civ 1, the streamlined feeling you had in civ 2 and if that wouldn't be enough, civ 4 manages to do the impossible and takes the game even further. The only real negative i could mention in regards of this game is the Civ 1 was a revolutionary game. Civ 2 was a worthy successor. Civ 3 was well.. a step into a new direction. This game however. This game gives you the greatness of civ 1, the streamlined feeling you had in civ 2 and if that wouldn't be enough, civ 4 manages to do the impossible and takes the game even further. The only real negative i could mention in regards of this game is the fact, that it will completely take over your life. Other than that, its 10/10 +. One of the titles that truly deserve the maximum score. Expand
  7. HarmLokesz
    Nov 7, 2005
    10
    This is a perfect game. Didn't play Civ 2+3 because I started with Call to Power and that wasn't the best version of Civ. Realy love Civ 4 though. It is easy to get started and you can learn more strategic depths while playing. The choice of music is also very good. I like the music before 1700. I also played it on my P4 1700 laptop with an ATI firegl graphics card. did not have This is a perfect game. Didn't play Civ 2+3 because I started with Call to Power and that wasn't the best version of Civ. Realy love Civ 4 though. It is easy to get started and you can learn more strategic depths while playing. The choice of music is also very good. I like the music before 1700. I also played it on my P4 1700 laptop with an ATI firegl graphics card. did not have any performance issues. Thats very nice. Found a few technical issues with the graphics but I must admit I didn't install the latest drivers. Don't expect too much from the graphics. It is just there to present the gameplay. And the gameplay is superb. Expand
  8. BillC.
    Feb 19, 2006
    10
    This isn't Quake or Half-Life or Far Cry. It is a strategy game. If you can't handle strategy then don't buy this game. However, if you enjoy thinking and planning then you can't go wrong with Civ 4. Like others here Civ 3 was a let down in my eyes. However, Civ 4 storms back and is just awesome. Have completed the game three times now - each with a different This isn't Quake or Half-Life or Far Cry. It is a strategy game. If you can't handle strategy then don't buy this game. However, if you enjoy thinking and planning then you can't go wrong with Civ 4. Like others here Civ 3 was a let down in my eyes. However, Civ 4 storms back and is just awesome. Have completed the game three times now - each with a different strategry. There is tons of flexibility for just about any type of player. Trust me - you'll get your $50 back in gameplay. Hours and hours of fun! Expand
  9. TobyM
    Dec 30, 2009
    9
    Whatever people say about the game being bad is likely because in all honesty it's not just insanely tough, it's also hard to get into. But i give this game a 9 because once you do get into it, it is one of the best strategy games i play to date, the indepth of the culture aspect of the game leads to a whole new way of getting victory, why kill your annoyingly AI oppents when Whatever people say about the game being bad is likely because in all honesty it's not just insanely tough, it's also hard to get into. But i give this game a 9 because once you do get into it, it is one of the best strategy games i play to date, the indepth of the culture aspect of the game leads to a whole new way of getting victory, why kill your annoyingly AI oppents when they can kill your tank with archers (which i've tested and isn't true) when you can expand your cultrual borders into theirs and then before they know it! The city is yours! Expand
  10. Zac
    Nov 20, 2005
    10
    A great improvement on the other Civ games, and that's saying a lot. The changes from Civ3 make the gameplay smoother and more emersive.
  11. MakaH.
    Nov 9, 2005
    10
    Civ 4 da best!!!!
  12. Nic
    Dec 30, 2005
    10
    I never liked Civilization games before, but this one pulled me in. The graphics are superb and it's easier than ever for newbies. It's deeper and overall more satisfying.
  13. JussiA.
    Oct 2, 2006
    10
    I had thought my playing habits were falling for good as I more and more rarely found myself playing long hours of any game. But Civilization 4 took me by suprise. I got it at 11 'o clock when I was just about to goto the lecture. The lecture was skipped and after 16 hours I finally went to sleep. Also the next day I skipped all the lectures that day. Even now after a year I still I had thought my playing habits were falling for good as I more and more rarely found myself playing long hours of any game. But Civilization 4 took me by suprise. I got it at 11 'o clock when I was just about to goto the lecture. The lecture was skipped and after 16 hours I finally went to sleep. Also the next day I skipped all the lectures that day. Even now after a year I still find myself playing the famous "one more turn" all over again. But nowadays I only play on my leisure time. Civanonymous video was so funny, because it was true. Expand
  14. 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.
  15. 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 notMy 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
  16. 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 totallyI 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
  17. 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 thisActually 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
  18. MorganC.
    Mar 30, 2006
    10
    This is, quite literally, the best game I've ever played. Will keep you hooked for hours on end.
  19. 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!
  20. JamesH.
    May 25, 2008
    2
    Civ four falls hard coming to the worst of the series. The graphics are about a 6.5 and only on par with other games in its class just barely better then those of Civ 3. In what they have made up for in streamlining the game they have lost in strategy. There is no middle ground in this game it is either ridiculously hard or boringly easy. The AI show little to no improvement from that of Civ four falls hard coming to the worst of the series. The graphics are about a 6.5 and only on par with other games in its class just barely better then those of Civ 3. In what they have made up for in streamlining the game they have lost in strategy. There is no middle ground in this game it is either ridiculously hard or boringly easy. The AI show little to no improvement from that of civ 2 While the negotiation is much more complex even on the easiest of level the player will find 80% of negotiations wasted and unusable. The civ knowledges are so dumb down that most of them are nonsensically as wells as their improvements they lead to throughout the game. Its hard to build cites through the map because of borders and war constraints based on the layout of most of the maps and area that each city consumes. The movies also take huge steps back compared to those of 3 and 2. The palace and animated counsel are completely missing as well as the large array of units and improvements. Civ 4 is almost an identical copy of Age of empires 2 and Total War crossed over and mashed together. How Sid Meiers could slap his name on this crap is beyond me. Over all advice is to save your money. Expand
  21. bb
    Jun 29, 2008
    3
    It's very frustrating seeing your entire army get wiped out by 2 archers.. the 2nd time it happened (after rebuilding it AND having a Military "Great Person" assigned to some units) i was ready to throw my fist through the screen... anybody want to buy and barely used version of Civ4 Gold?
  22. JohnN
    May 31, 2009
    3
    Deeply disappointing. Above all, the geography stinks. What I mean by this is that in far, far too many cases one's civilization is bereft of any natural frontiers - obviously designed deliberately that way so that you HAVE to build massive armies. Unrealistic and tedious. A massive step backwards from Civ 3.
  23. RichardS.
    Sep 22, 2007
    0
    I have played CIV in most of its itterations for 16 years, and CIV IV is the worst game I've ever played. At the next to the easiest level, you have to contend with a never-ending supply of barbarians who can't be beat. If you build more than 6 or 7cities, the game crashes your economy. After playing for weeks, I still can't score higher than next to last. Now, I can't I have played CIV in most of its itterations for 16 years, and CIV IV is the worst game I've ever played. At the next to the easiest level, you have to contend with a never-ending supply of barbarians who can't be beat. If you build more than 6 or 7cities, the game crashes your economy. After playing for weeks, I still can't score higher than next to last. Now, I can't even delete it from my computer because it has some kind of error. The beauty -- I spent $100 to upgrade my computer so I could play this worthless piece of crap. Expand
  24. GreatGamer
    Nov 26, 2009
    10
    Best Civ game ever made. Great technology tree, culture, military, superb graphic, music and the best gameplay in strategic games. There are "only" 18 nations (civilizations) but additional are added in the next addons ;P My score is 10-/10, but there are no "-" scores availabele, so i score maxumim ;)
  25. RobertN.
    Mar 29, 2006
    10
    The ultimate in strategy. If you
  26. PaulT.
    Nov 4, 2005
    10
    Very addictive game. If you like Civ you will like this. Note to Julio: 'You're a blank'.
  27. MartyS.
    Feb 11, 2006
    1
    I give it a one, only because it might be a game small percentage of people could like. I find dull dull dull. pathetic. The grafics and the turn base stinks the zoom is worse and the movies are a waste of time. Warriors, fighting with spears, taller than sky scappers, come on! This game puts me to sleep. Just can't for the life of me see why it is rated so High. And as for any game I give it a one, only because it might be a game small percentage of people could like. I find dull dull dull. pathetic. The grafics and the turn base stinks the zoom is worse and the movies are a waste of time. Warriors, fighting with spears, taller than sky scappers, come on! This game puts me to sleep. Just can't for the life of me see why it is rated so High. And as for any game scorring a 10 that should be impossible. For a game to score 10 every person sould want to play it and forgo every thing else. Wake you game reviewers and get a ratting system that means something. Expand
  28. BilgeG.
    Jan 14, 2008
    3
    First time I have tried an 'epic strategy game' in some years, and what can I say? its just not a sufficiently interesting strategic challenge for the time invested. My old complaints from (probably) Civ2 remain: the AI is not at all interesting, surprising, or even rational, and must cheat to be 'challenging'. The game soon bogs down in micromanagement, unless maybe First time I have tried an 'epic strategy game' in some years, and what can I say? its just not a sufficiently interesting strategic challenge for the time invested. My old complaints from (probably) Civ2 remain: the AI is not at all interesting, surprising, or even rational, and must cheat to be 'challenging'. The game soon bogs down in micromanagement, unless maybe you want to use the in-game helpers, which are as bad as the opposing AI... and then the graphics... they are worthless and distracting in such a strategy game. I had to turn on this extra layer of silly balloons to 'clarify' what is supposed to be displayed in the graphics, and still, something as significant as a huge hostile army at the border is not at all clear... so you are left to make your strategic decisions with incomplete information. and although it proports to be not solely a wargame, wars seem unavoidable, and are the worst and most tedious micromanagement of all. there are a lot of interesting aspects to this... but it certainly cannot be seen as any kind of meaningful 'historical simulation', so all this 'stuff' is mainly clutter, and not really that interesting strategically. maybe the makers should just play 'go' for a few years, and get back to the basics. Expand
  29. JacobT.
    Jan 7, 2008
    2
    The gameplay is fully identical with rise of nations and sizes are wery weird
  30. Dave
    Dec 20, 2005
    3
    I have played CIV I, II and III, this one sucks. 3D graphics detract from the game and are certainly not relevant to a CIV game. User Interface is clumsy. Too many sacrifices made in attempt to improve performance - probably a result of wasting too much computer time on silly graphics. It's a shame but this one is BAD.
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.