Universal acclaim - based on 70 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 70
  2. Negative: 0 out of 70
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  1. My favorite Civilization to date. Hex tiles and no stacking makes combat fun and more tactical. The new systems work incredibly well without altering what makes the game Civilization. Civ V is an excellent game.
  2. Maintaining the beloved "Civilization" feel while adding some delicious "boardgame" goodness, Civilization V is a solid addition to any strategy library.
  3. 100
    A hugely accomplished reinvention of a franchise that was showing signs of dotage.
  4. Civ V is, essentially, the anti-StarCraft, or at least as far as it can get while still occupying the same realm of strategy games. Either way, I cannot recommend Civ V enough to fans both old and new, or even people who hadn't considered playing a turn-based strategy game before.
  5. 100
    For a game so very, very large, it delivers everything in an easy to understand package no matter what route you take to playing it. The core Civilization experience is still there, but it's like an efficiency expert came in and streamlined everything that had gotten clunky with the series. It's a "friendly" strategy game.
  6. Civilization V is one of the best strategy games I have ever played.
  7. The real miracle of Civilization V is how effortlessly the game delivers its take on global empire-building. Beneath its well-polished hood, Civilization V is deep and complex. But where it counts, the game feels deceptively simple.
  8. Firaxis succeeded. Easy to handle even for the newcomer, but still as rich as ever with multiple gameplay systems to play with, Civilization V will easily seduce the strategy-savvy. The lack of religions will maybe be covered in a future expansion, but even as is, it's a must-have in the genre. Plan your sleepless nights far ahead, and get a recent enough PC to handle it. Yup : this, too, is called evolution.
  9. It's very hard to describe a Civilization game in great detail without starting to ramble. If you take nothing else from this review, know that Civilization V is more inviting, fun, and engrossing than any lengthy description can truly convey.
  10. Even though the changes in Civ V seem to be nominal, the impact they have on the game are massive. Most importantly, all the new adjustments continue to maintain and refine what is - in my opinion - the best turn-based franchise ever made.
  11. As a hardcore strategy gamer who is no stranger to planning out my empire's production dozens of turns in advance, I've already turned to Civ V for my world-conquering needs – but at the same time, if anything is going to rear a new generation of strategy gamers like the very first Civilization did for me, it's this.
  12. AceGamez
    Civilization V is an awesome game and one of the best (if not the best) empire management games available.
  13. The lack of progress with the AI continues to be an anchor on the series, but on every other count the game is an outstanding experience, well worth the money.
  14. Improvements to the user interface and AI at all levels result in it being more approachable for newcomers without losing any of the strategic depth that long-time fans crave. It vastly improves combat, making the micro-level gameplay both more complex and entertaining. It trims all the fat, leaving only decision-making, strategic planning, and the sheer joy of crushing your enemies. Civ V is the pinnacle of the franchise to date.
  15. Somehow where a lot of 4X games fail (I'm looking at you Master of Orion 3), Civilization keeps changing the game without losing the magic.
  16. Civilization V keeps everything that makes the series great, makes the game more accessible to non-fans, and overhauls many of the finer gameplay details. Every PC gamer owes it to himself to give this game a shot.
  17. This is Civilization at its best and over time it will ripen like a fine wine and become a masterpiece. 2K Games have outdone themselves in making some massive changes without changing the core gameplay and alienating their fans.
  18. Civilization V is a brilliant expression of the turn-based strategy game by the undisputed masters of the form. It's a great entry point for newcomers, and veterans will delight in all the wrinkles and refinements.
  19. 93
    For the most hardcore Civ addicts out there, some of the changes may be a little unfamiliar. But Civilization V retains the ethos of this iconic series, while modernising, simplifying and improving both its look and its feel.
  20. What you have here is the cleanest, best looking, smoothest playing, most tactically enjoyable version of the deepest and most addictive strategy game of all time.
  21. Gorgeous graphics, deep combat and a user-friendly makeover makes the fifth Civilization a great place to start or renew your interest in global domination. [Nov 2010, p.52]
  22. Some might complain that Civ V lacks features of its predecessors, but in the end the streamlining makes it a better game.
  23. PC Format
    Dec 25, 2010
    As good as Civ ever was, with some interesting new additions and, better yet, no more stacks o' doom. A worthy series update. [Issue#245, p.98]
  24. 92
    Strategy fans should not allow themselves to not have Civilization V in their collection.
  25. The fifth entry in the Civilization franchise is one of the best games of the series so far. V refreshes the series and offers an amazing strategic experience for newcomers and hardcores too.
  26. The new additions keep the traditional gameplay fresh and addictive while the work made on the engine and in particular on the UI helps to get the series closer to the newest productions.
  27. Sid Meier's Civilization V is definitely a great sequel of the last Civilization games. It comes up with cool graphics, nice background music, and some really awesome gameplay with the well known Sid Meier's addictiveness.
  28. Dec 20, 2010
    On the whole, Civilization V is superb.
  29. Apr 3, 2011
    Despite my gripe with the animations in multiplayer, Civilization V is the perfect entry for the series' debut in the current generation of gaming.
  30. Games Master UK
    Dec 25, 2010
    Civ gets hexy, and is all the better for it. A must-have for fans old and new alike. [Issue#232, p.73]
  31. Edge Magazine
    Dec 20, 2010
    Civilization's revolution is daring for a series built on expansion. It strips and pares away, making management easy and command enjoyable. [Nov 2010, p.91]
  32. Dec 20, 2010
    The Firaxis team has proven that change is good when it's done right. Sid Meier's Civilization V takes core game assumptions that have persisted for as long as two decades and replaces them wholesale - almost invariably for the better.
  33. There aren't many new ideas in this cilization simulator, but at the same time you can't look past the fact that Civilization V is so much fun with great variation and easily competes with the best strategy games out there.
  34. One of the best strategy games released all year, and once it's installed be prepared to lose many hours of your life to the quest of global domination.
  35. The most significant sequel in Civilization history maintains all of the series' most intriguing features while greatly improving the accessibility and combat.
  36. 90
    Sid Meier's Civilization V is a fantastic sequel to the popular series and once again pushes the genre forward in polish, accessibility and insane depth.
  37. PC PowerPlay
    Radically reinvented and beautifully presented, Civilization V is a must-buy for fans and just as accessible for newbies. [Nov 2010, p.52]
  38. Civilization V is a fantastic entry in the series, which avoids the trap of getting stagnant thanks to some important novelties on combat system, interface and general design, designed to create a 4X of elegant and clean mechanics.
  39. In a sea of tepid first-person shooting sequels, Civilization V shines so brightly you won't realise it's already midnight.
  40. "Huge but accessible" is the best way to describe Civilization V. You could accuse it of sacrificing depth in favor of overview and clarity, but we choose to see it as a game trimmed down to the most essential and fun parts of the series. Civ is more relevant than ever.
  41. The combination of all these elements have certainly made this the most playable Civilization game to date.
  42. It's still not very accessible to non-grognards, and it's still fairly boring when it comes to multiplayer (turn-based games just involve too much waiting around for other people to finish up). But it's also still incredibly addictive, begging you to stay up just five minutes more, just to see what happens in the next turn.
  43. This game has nearly everything you could ask for in a world conquest simulator, and if you plan to dive in it may be best if you let your loved ones know you are going to start writing a novel. Or training for a triathlon. Just pick something that takes a really long time and sounds hard. You're going to be busy for a while.
  44. How can you not be overwhelmed by Civilization V? It's a perfect example of a series that's getting close to perfection, step by step. The new improvements are great and feel like they've been there all along. A must-buy for the fans and a great way for newcomers to finally get familiar with the series.
  45. Ever wanted to rule the world? Civilization V gives you all the tools you need to do just that, and boy is it addictive. This is a game absolutely everybody needs to try.
  46. More of the same, yet always different, Civilization V is an intelligent lecture of the past, read through the eyes of the new generations. Some epic changes are able to modify the historical gameplay and the result is excellent.
  47. The gameplay in Civilization 5 is still as addictive as ever.
  48. 90
    One of the best turn-based strategy games I've ever had the pleasure of playing. Whether teaming up with my friends for some multiplayer, or simply losing a whole night of sleep to the game's endlessly replayable single player, this is one game that any strategy enthusiast, or, hell anyone strat-curious should check out.
  49. 90
    Highly refined and just a little faded, Civilization remains the classiest act in the "4X" marketplace.
  50. Excellent tactical battles and a slick interface make the latest Civilization another wonderful addition to a classic franchise.
  51. Even for hardcore Civilization IV players, the game is different enough to warrant a purchase for anyone looking for something new. Civilization V took a whole lot of risks, and nearly all of them paid off.
  52. CIV V is not a brand new start for the series, but some of the new features are really interesting, adding intensity to the main experience.
  53. So don't go running, because Civilization V has its iron fist well hidden inside a fine velvet glove. From beginners to veterans, each will feel at ease remodelling the world's civilizations.
  54. For the most part its gameplay tweaks feel natural, a refresh of the core Civilization gameplay. After twenty years, there is still something very addictive about clicking "next turn." For a gamer, Civilization is a standard, an essential.
  55. Ultimately it's a very enjoyable game. If you've never played Civ before, go for it. If you loved Civ 4, there will be things in Civ that will impress, but a few dumbed-down changes that may annoy. But hey, that's why God invented Updates.
  56. If there has to be one PC game on your holiday list for 2010, make it Civilization V. It's the best turned-based strategy game on the market, let alone in the past five years.
  57. A great step forward in streamlining and modernizing Civilization and a lot more forgiving for newbies, yet ultimately shipped with a long laundry list of problems and balance issues, not to mention completely incompetent AI. A flawed classic in need of some serious patching.
  58. I'll be truly screwed when Firaxis starts patching the game up, which is really holding it back from what it could be in a fully fleshed out form. That's all I got for this one; Ghandi is being a bastard anyway and I've got to take care of that.
  59. Despite a few problems, Civilization 5 is a great game and a worthy sequel with a very bright future.
  60. Civilization 5 remains a threat to my productivity and household happiness. Though not quite the complete triumph it could be, Firaxis has shown how a twenty year old design can still be tweaked and improved in the hands of a team unafraid to break things in the interest of progress.
  61. games(TM)
    Jan 20, 2011
    We're just a little bit disappointed that this Civ evolution isn't as polished as we'd expected. [Issue#102, p.108]
  62. Jan 15, 2011
    An old franchise that knows who to evolve to adapt to modern times. Its latest new ideas might not be perfect, but serve the purpose of making the game even more interesting.
  63. For all the hours it eats up, outside of its multiplayer it gives disappointingly little back, and it will continue to give very little back until Firaxis bites the bullet and admits that there are aspects of Civilization which deserve not just to be improved, but fixed.
  64. 80
    In a sea of shooters with pounding soundtracks and frenetic gameplay, Civilization V is one of the few games to challenge players' minds - to have them sit back and analyze situations methodically. If Halo: Reach is heaven on earth for twitch-gamers everywhere, then Civilization V is the thinking man's paradise.
  65. Oct 24, 2010
    Quotation forthcoming.
  66. Sure, Civilization V is a good game we'll play with pleasure… but before going back to serious business with Civilization III or IV.
  67. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    It's catchy and a great strategy game but from the fifth installment of the legendary series we expected more. Newcomers would be excited, veterans would miss the importance of technology and diplomacy. [Issue#196]
  68. 50
    Unfortunately, it also features some questionable design decisions, an A.I. that can't play the game Firaxis has designed, and the need for a couple of patches.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2918 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Sep 26, 2010
    I had been looking forward to this game for awhile, and I have always been a fan (not a junkie) of Civ games. What a disappointment. The gameI had been looking forward to this game for awhile, and I have always been a fan (not a junkie) of Civ games. What a disappointment. The game looks terrific out of the box, but just on setup a few worrisome issues come clear. The number of civs and maps available to play is surprisingly low--okay, we get it, you'll be selling DLC--but it's like half of the counts available in Civ 4. Once in-game, excitement at the new graphics and combat system are tempered by all the things that are missing. As others have posted, the missing details in the diplomacy screens are a huge problem that renders diplomacy almost useless. City States are even thinner in detail, and that is a feature that GalCiv 2 did way better. City management is a lot easier and the whole turn cycling interface improved is nicer, but the tech tree is also a dissapointment. And the whole anti-expansion philosophy is just un-fun.

    I can see why the game developer might have wanted to take the game in this direction. It's probably more accessible to more people--thus it has a larger potential market. But making the game easier to play didn't have to mean taking a lot of features away. It's easy to imagine ways that religion and detailed technology--even espionage!--could have been left in, yet hidden from novice players or those players uninterested in detail. Instead, lots of fun stuff is just gone.

    Finally, while I presume that the game will be patched quickly, it is crash-prone and has poor performance. The protracted time between turns is just unacceptable by even the middle of a Marathon game.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 22, 2010
    A fantastic addition to the Civ franchise. My greatest complaint with previous Civ games, which I've been playing since 1991, was that largeA fantastic addition to the Civ franchise. My greatest complaint with previous Civ games, which I've been playing since 1991, was that large armies were extremely unwieldy and frustrating to manage. Sea transportation logistics were also a frustrating time sink. Both of these problems have been solved with Civ V. Everything about the game screams polish and it runs like an absolute dream, haven't had a hitch yet which is becoming so rare with new releases. Full Review »
  3. Sep 25, 2010
    Being a long time fan of the Civilization franchise and having played Civ4 so much that I wore out 2 copies of the game, I have to say thatBeing a long time fan of the Civilization franchise and having played Civ4 so much that I wore out 2 copies of the game, I have to say that Civ5 was a true disappointment. I didn't expect anything revolutionary, not even with the hex tile switch, but I did expect to get what I had gotten out of the others. I bought Civ5 because I liked how the series didn't change much, just got prettier. Overall, my biggest pet peeve is that the over-simplicity of this newest version has made the game less of a challenge and more of a tedious waste of time. I liked Civ4 because micromanagement seemed to really have an effect in the grand scheme. However, doing so in Civ5 feels like playing a pretty spread-sheet. First the bad:
    -The adjustment of the game length makes it feel like Civ3, which I like, but combining that with the extended length of turns makes for an over drawn out experience.
    -Difficulty is not adjusted by leader craftiness, but by the number of units that they bring to the fight.
    -The introduction of city-states was nice, but their nagging gets old really quick.
    -Not allowing unit stacking promotes strategy, but makes for increasingly frustrating front-lines.-
    In the 30 hours that I've played, I have found that there doesn't seem to be any kind of situation other than war to win. The readjustment of victory conditions makes domination more accessible, but the others become easily forgotten when trying to keep enough units around for defense (I've always been a cultural/space race victory kind of guy).
    -Boring, tedious, and exasperating war. I'm not kidding, even if a rival has basically no military, it will still take 10 turns to conquer a city.

    Now the good:
    -The introduction of straight purchasing of city improvements and units is a huge boon to the game. Assuming you can afford it, popping out much needed military support doesn't waste time in production.
    -Barbarian activity is better balanced. In Civ4 at the 5th difficulty level, barbarians would wipe you out way to quickly.
    -Ranged attack. Finally, logical ranged attack. Why did this take so long?

    Maybe it's just my play style, but Civ5 doesn't pull me in like previous iterations. More often then not, I find myself wishing that I hadn't bothered with the game that enjoying it. If you are looking for the fun challenge found in previous versions of Civ, I suggest that you go back and play those as this one just doesn't cut it.
    Full Review »