20 Video Games About Ancient Rome To Help Unleash Your Inner Gladiator

List Rules
Vote up the best games set in ancient Rome (regardless of how historically inaccurate they are).

Rome is one of the most fascinating ancient cultures due to the intricate historical records kept detailing the impressive people, places, and customs of a civilization that stood for more than 1,500 years. When Rome fell, it was one of the most chaotic times in Europe, and because Roman civilization impacted so many others, people have been fascinated with it for centuries.

It should come as no surprise that video game developers have been tapping into Roman history for games since the earliest days of the medium. While there have been plenty of Roman gladiator games, dig a little deeper and you'll uncover a bevy of strategy, first-person, third-person, civilization-building, domination, role-playing, and every other type of gaming genre that's somehow set in ancient Rome over the past 40 years. Some may have been forgotten in the annuals of history, while others are still regarded as exceptional ancient Roman video games.

Check out these 20 games centered around the rise and fall of Rome down below, and don't forget to vote up your favorite to see which video game about ancient Rome is the most epic.

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  • Total War: Rome II
    Photo: Sega

    The first Total War: Rome game introduced an impressive array of mechanics and gameplay, which were stepped up in this incredible sequel. The visuals are impressive, making this one of the best Rome video games in terms of visualization ever released. Like the first game, everything about Total War: Rome II is about strategy and tactics, so each player's skills make for a completely different gameplay experience.

    This sequel surpasses its predecessor in every way, by upping the ante in terms of graphics, sound, mechanics, and style. While it did have a ton of bugs at launch, those have long since been ironed out, making it an incredible game you can get these days at far less than Triple-A prices. The Emperor Edition on Steam comes packaged with all the extra campaigns and DLC, so get it while it's around, and enjoy battling against armies as history's greatest Roman commander!

    • Released: 2013
    • Developer: The Creative Assembly
    • Genres (Video game): Real-time tactics, Turn-based strategy, Real-time strategy
    • Platform: Microsoft Windows
  • Rome: Total War
    Photo: Sega

    Rome: Total War was the first of many games that incorporated a plethora of characters on the screen, making it possible to fight army against army on a single computer, and because it featured Roman history, the battles were intense and massive. Rome: Total War is easily one of the best strategy games ever made, as it features both micro and macro management, with each being important to gameplay.

    The game's campaign is massive, and it offers a great deal of historical accuracy. Most players agree that the game features some impressive replayability, and because of its robust multiplayer tools, it stands as one of the best multiplayer strategy games of its kind. The game is a classic, and you can score a copy on Steam for a steal.

    • Released: Sep 22 2004
    • Developer: Feral Interactive, The Creative Assembly
    • Genres (Video game): Real-time tactics, Historical real-time strategy, Turn-based strategy, Real-time strategy, Strategy video game
    • Platform: PC
  • Ryse: Son Of Rome
    Photo: Crytek

    The most recent game to find its way on this list is Ryse: Son of Rome, as it was a launch title for the Xbox One. In Ryse: Son of Rome, players take on the role of a Roman centurion named Marius Titus, as the leader of a Roman Legion. The majority of the game's story is told through the various fights and execution sequences spread throughout the game, making it an original take on a rather old idea.

    The game was heavily praised when it came out, and while it was intended to be the first game to feature the Kinect, it was redesigned into a third-person hack & slash title to better reflect the various nuances of gameplay and mechanics created for the game. While it originally came out as an exclusive title for the Xbox One, it can be found on the PC, thanks to a Microsoft and Crytek release on Steam.

    • Released: 2013
    • Developer: Crytek
    • Genres (Video game): 3rd Person, Action-Adventure Hack & Slash
    • Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One
  • 4
    39 VOTES

    Back in the days of MS-DOS games, SimCity was one of the most popular titles around, and it inspired a ton of copycats. City-building games featured everything from insect colonies to aliens, but one of the most successful of these dealt entirely with ancient Rome via the Caesar franchise. The third entry is arguably the best, as it introduced mechanics and play elements previously unseen in the genre.

    Players build their empire by keeping their citizens clean, happy, and well-fed. There are tons of options, making gameplay an immersive experience that changes every time you play it. Because it's the most popular title in the franchise, it has been ported to Steam, so you can enjoy it to this day in all of its glory.

    • Released: Jan 01 1998
    • Developer: Impressions Games
    • Genres (Video game): Isometric projection, City-building game
    • Platform: Mac OS, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh