User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 152 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 152

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  1. Dec 27, 2010
    I have been playing this game on and off for about five years now, and it I still love it. It's probably the second greatest RPG ever made. The story is pretty dumb, and the graphics aren't THAT great (but decent) and the sounds are fairly low quality at some points, but the sheer fun and addiction of the gameplay surpasses all of that. The main problem with the game however, is that is never really fresh. Once you have completed about three different quests or so, you've completed every quest in the game since every quest is practically the exact same thing. Expand
  2. Jun 21, 2011
    Total Rubbish, boring, poor visuals, repetitive. Totally overrated, I just don't know how they give it 88, a score similar to half-life 2! I Would not finish this gave if you paid me too, 0 / 10.
  3. Oct 23, 2010
    This is how computergaming should be. You'll play for an hour, and when you finish, you discover 6 hours have past. It's oldish but the gameplay is so much fun, albeit frustrating at times. One can easily tell how much fun the developers had, when they created the game. Not without flaws, but by far the best pirates-game I know of. Uaaargh, ya lubbers.
  4. S-P
    Oct 1, 2012
    Having just finished my umpteenth playthrough, I figure it's a good time to write a short review about this underrated gem.

    I've been a gamer for over 20 years. A relatively passionate one, and not one to generally like strategic games as much as the more action-y titles. The first time I was introduced to Sid Meier's Pirates was with this 2004 remake, in 2004/2005. Played through it,
    loved it, and sort of forgot about it. Since then, though, I've felt the urge to play it again and again. Sometimes it's after a year, sometimes a year and a half. But it always happens. That is a rare quality in a game, as most titles you beat once and forget about afterwards.

    It rarely happens with any game, and almost never with games that are this flawed. Pirates is repetitive, relatively shallow for a strategic game, and because it's rated E, it can be obnoxiously childish in tone as well. Plus some of the minigames are just downright tedious, the worst offender being ballroom dancing, that can luckily be skipped with a trainer.

    But none of the flaws overshadow the fact that Sid Meier's Pirates is FUN. Bringing criminals to justice, forcing that one unfortunate nation off the face of earth (for me it's usually Spain or France), plundering ships and towns, creating the strongest pirate army the world has ever seen, and retiring a legend.. With a bit of imagination, your journey truly becomes legendary -- if not for anyone else, then at least for you. And that's what counts. You start playing, and suddenly, nine hours have passed, and you have to fight against speaking in a pirate "slang" if you manage to somehow exit the game and actually venture outside your apartment for long enough to actually meet real humans. Actual humans, who never seem to have appreciation the struggles us pirates go through during the days after the game again draws you back for a new playthrough.

    And it will, faults and all. For me, Sid Meier's Pirates wasn't all THAT special when I first played it. But during the years, it's slowly brought itself up from behind, and joined the five games that I can honestly say I've loved during the 20-some years I've been around video games. A feat that almost rivals my latest career as a pirate, having retired as a 36 year old Governor of Campeche, with 180640 gold pieces, 37650 acres of land and a beautiful wife.

    I did everything that can be done in the game.. Except I only found eight hidden treasures. Which is undoubtedly something I will have to surpass on my next playthrough, in a year or so.
  5. Mar 31, 2011
    Game's great, make no mistake, but there are some fatal flaws that make it awful or not lasting long enough. Here I'll try to devide + and - in sections:
    + Innovative gameplay, the difficulty rises slowly at your decision letting you get accustomed to the game.
    + Many minigames within one package, arcade naval warfare, arcade fencing, tactical assault of the cities, treasure hunting.
    + You
    can do many things in SM's Pirates, do quests, rob caravans, follow rumors, collect valuable items, romance royal women, upgrade your ship, board and capture other ships, represent one of 4 nations or meddle in their business and become a notorious pirate, give and receive gifts, share collected gold with your team, etcetera, etcetera...
    - Controls on the tactical map are just awful... Sometimes you hit Page Down instead of 7 and you automatically retreat from a fight.
    - The game is way too repetitive. The good experience will not last very long.
    - It's a sandbox arcade game. A good sandbox game is a game in which you have overwhelming amount of possibilities and everything is happening at random, making up for more fun! Although in Pirates, events are happening at random, randomly generated, they are getting old very fast, due to your limited possibilities e.g. you put your money in a bank, you have some items, but you don't have a character's doll, so at some point (very fast actually) all of the items are applied to your character and this aspect disappears from the game. Moreover, fencing challenging it may be at first, get's overly easy later on due to your equipment. Ship upgrades can only be made in specific cities (What?), so you'll have to sweep the damn Caribbean if you want to find them all. Back to the idea, all of your possibilities uncover VERY VERY fast, after that you don't discover anything new, everything else is just repetition of thing you did one hour ago.
    = Conclusion: A great game it may be, but it's way too lengthly for an Arcade and way too shallow for a Sandbox. While trying to get the best from each, SM's Pirates end up being none and losing it's greatness somewhere along the way.
  6. Apr 6, 2012
    I have a love/hate relationship with this game. After every playthrough, I set it down declaring I will never play it again due to its repetitive gameplay. However, it seems, I can't help myself from coming back for just one more game. I would have assumed it was some sort of temporary charm from nostalgia, but the fact that I can't quit until I finish the entire thing again says otherwise. I'll easily concede that this isn't the freshest game on the market, but its excellent design, charming music and strong tone keep it as one of the contenders for my favorite game of all time. Expand
  7. Jun 13, 2012
    Gets an instant 10/10 for being the best pirate game ever made (don't believe those "Monkey Island" purists). The difficulty can be changed *while playing*. This is awesome! If you find you're having too easy a time plundering you can divide the loot and up the difficulty. Higher difficulty settings grant you access to different items to help you in your piracy and new quests. Your reflexes get slower with age, making swashbuckling duels tougher. There's all kinds of nice details like this waiting for you AFTER sinking everything French stops being "fun" and starts to feel more like "community service". All I can say is play it. Expand
  8. Sep 22, 2013
    Many hours of great Entertainment Feels like a piratmovie of the 50s but you are the maincharakter.
    This game has everything a good pirat RPG-Adventure needs.
    Only con is the clumsy gameplay.
  9. Aug 23, 2011
    Pirates is a great game fora nice long time and has a high replay value. What the other reviewers say is mostly true however, it gets very repetitive after extended amounts of play time. This is corrected however by raising the difficulty level! I found Journeyman difficulty much more exciting and rewarding than Apprentice, I think raising the difficulty level even once can make the game last hours more. The graphics are a bit outdated at this point, and the story is rather bland, but its certainly worth the 10$ it is on Steam! Expand
  10. Jun 15, 2012
    I enjoyed the original back in the old days, and this has everything that makes a good and enjoyable remake. It's been improved in all the rigth places (graphics and so on), the game mechanics have been reworked while retaining the spirit of the original.

    Hours and hours of good solid entertainment.
  11. Jul 17, 2014
    This has been one of my favorite games for years, and it runs great on steam. You pick a nationality (which you can then blatantly ignore if you choose), board a ship and enter an open world pirate game with replayability rivaling any other game on the market. You can climb the list of greatest pirates on the sea, follow the main story or side missions, pillage cities, earn ranks in different nations militaries by killing rivals, whatever you wish. All this of course while maintaining a fleet, an increasingly agitated crew and trying not to get thrown in prison.

    I always love picking a nation and not stopping until every city carries their flag, but you pick how you want to play. I have over 1500 hours into this game across different platforms, accounts and I've bought it multiple times throughout the years (though with steam I never have to again!) and all I can say is, buy it.
  12. Jun 21, 2013
    The game is very much like the Mount and Blade series but it is sooooo repetitive! The game very overrated as it really does not have much to offer, after a few cannon and sword fight I really sad to discover that this was the only thing to do in the game. The graphics have really dated and I don't like the cartoon style at all, in fact I feel as if they where trying to keep the game child friendly for some reason. Expand
  13. Sep 22, 2013
    I have to agree with the negative reviews on this one. Although it's a fun game, that fun factor only lasts for a few plays. Despite their being a main story, it's very repetitive. Chasing around the villains to restore your missing family and the dancing mini games are more tedious than fun. A very overrated remake of a popular Sid Classic. If you want a good pirate game, avoid this one, and play Pirates of the Burning Sea or Age of Pirates. 3/10. Expand
  14. Jun 10, 2014
    Remake de uno de los juegos más influyentes de una generación entera de americanos que se aprendiendo todos los nombres de las islas del caribe gracia a él. Sigue funcionando bien las mecánicas, que son muy variadas. En super rebajas vale la pena para ver un Meier de primera generación.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. Won't appeal to everyone, but if you're nostalgic for the original or like unstructured and open-ended games, this booty is well worth seeking. Yarrr!
  2. There's really only one word to describe Sid Meier's Pirates! and that's 'charming'. The excellent presentation, clever gameplay design and exquisite pacing mark it out as a unique and well thought out game. It's full of confidence and style, eager to impress and even if it won't keep you playing for months on end, is bound to provide an enjoyable experience while it lasts.
  3. Its huge open-endedness does an excellent job of establishing the proper atmosphere while the balance of combat and economy produces a quality strategy title. It does, however, have its problems. Open-ended gameplay can lead to a lack of focus, and this game is very light on tutorial, how-to material which creates a somewhat larger than average learning curve; preventing me from recommending Pirate's to all gamers as a whole.