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Civilization series for me is one of the most beloved among PC games.

I played Civ2, Test of Time, Civ3, Civ4, SMAC and SMAX. Never played Colonization and Civ5. Recently I bought CtP2.
I would want to hear from old gamers who played all the titles in series and the similar titles - what is your favourite game and why?

As for me I'd say that Test of Time coiuld be the favourite. I like multi-layered maps, sci-fi and fantasy scenarios (as I remember, I never played Original or Extended:) ), techologies and discoveries with much lore-wise flavour, graphics is good too. I like the special resources too. But continent maps are slightly corridor-narrowed with no vast plains. I feel claustrophobic... :)

Alpha Centauri series is the real competitor for the first place. Brilliant setting, living characters with their own motives and agendas, social types, flavour texts and voices, designable units. But I too slightly dislike its map. It is all reddish, dim and dull. And we have no special resources in tiles, only three standard types.

I remember playing Civ4. Map is perfect. But overall impression is overwhelming. Religions, cultures, and such are plentiful and slightly annoying. I feel that there are too many features that don't fit to each other in harmony.

I played Civ3 long ago but I remember that overall feeling was very pleasant. It's a pity that there's no Civ3 here on GOG. I plan to purchase it on Gamersgate, but if it would appear here in some future I would buy it again with no hesitation.

And I have a one more overall complaint for Civ series. Unique troops for each nation are only one by nation and are unequal in their usability and strength.

Ah, and I remember playing Fall from Heaven mod (don't remember, for Civ3 or for Civ4 it was :)). But i can't say that I was impressed. If I would want to play mythologic creatures and such, I play Dominions.

The best feeling for me while playing Civ games is this thrilling joy when you see the perfect spot for your future city with some special resources around... :) And then you see your cities grow. Fantastic!
Post edited October 19, 2013 by Swaigstiks
I like Civ 3 and SMAC the most.
Maybe I should replay Civ 1 someday to see if I would still like it.
I liked Civ 2 too but I never liked how they made it look like an MS Office product by using the Windows interface.
I agree with you on Civ 4, I like the 3D mode but I couldn't care on how religion was handled among things.
I played but never liked the Colonization games because I couldn't play for the indians and throw the whitefaces back into the sea.
CTP is just a bit off in how it handles things like public works and never could get into it.
Strijkbout: I played but never liked the Colonization games because I couldn't play for the indians and throw the whitefaces back into the sea.
Yes, the word "colonization" itself is what I slightly dislike.

By the way, I forgot about mods. Maybe are there some recommendations for Civ 3 mods? I heard about Ancient Mediterranean, but never played it. And I rather more inclined to the mods that improve the old content than to those that create the new content.

And maybe, Age of Wonders series could be named as Civ-like fantasy game by the main Civ-likeness criteria for me - the map when you can build cities wherever you want.
I've never tried any mods for Civ 3, maybe I will give them a try someday.
Can't say anything about Age Of Wonders as I've never played it, to be honest medieval fantasy world never appealed to me.
Swaigstiks: Civilization series for me is one of the most beloved among PC games.

I played Civ2, Test of Time, Civ3, Civ4, SMAC and SMAX. Never played Colonization and Civ5. Recently I bought CtP2.
I would want to hear from old gamers who played all the titles in series and the similar titles - what is your favourite game and why?
I've played Civ 1-4, Test of Time, CtP 1-2 (only little of 2nd), Master of Orion 1-3 (considered Civ in space), GalCiv 1-2, Colonization, Civ4Col, FreeCol, Alpha Centauri, Master of Magic and Age of Wonders 1,2&SM. There are probably some civ like games I've forgotten.

It's quite hard to say what are my favorites as quite number of them have been for a time and most of them are good games (MoO 3 should never have existed, it's that bad).

Out of Civ games the best probably have been Civ4, Civ2 and CtP 1. Civ 2 & 4 mainly thanks to their modding capabilities (the main reason Civ3 does not make to the list). CtP for some of it's interesting features (space (removed in CtP2, not nessearily a bad thing) and sea colonies), public works that got rid of massed worker units of Civ series, Army warfare (no stacks of doom) and combined arms battles among other things. I really wish CtP3 was made. Shame Civ V and future Civ games are steamshitfails only. CDProject should buy Take-Two/Firaxis, release all civ games here and the world would be better place. ;-p

Aplha Centauri with it's expansion is alone in it's own category and has no contender (one is coming soonish). It's unique how the story is integrated into open world gameplay.

Out of civ in space games MoO 2 stands on top without peer followed by GalCiv2. MoO 2 has tactical space battles and all it's features simply work together.

Out of Colonization games, original has the best implementation. Civ4col balance is poor (way the liberty bells are implemented among other things) and colonization does not sit well in Civ4 engine. Freecols poor AI is the major hinderance for enjoyment as is the fact that it's programmed in resource hogging Java.

Out of "fantasy civs", again the original has no peer but AoW Shadow Magic comes close second (although it's campaign based and not open world). There have been plenty of contenders over the years but none of them quite found the right balance. Upcoming Worlds of Magic is making an attempt to the crown and looks promissing.
Oh, of course I played MoO series (2 and 3), Galactic Civilizations (both), Master of Magic and Age of Wonders (1, 2 and SM), but I don't count them all as truly Civ-like games. Maybe AoW only, where you have freedom to build and raze cities everywhere you want to. In space TBS games you are limited with planets/star systems while the space between is rather empty room for battles only. In GalCiv you could have something like Civilization gameplay but nevertheless there are plenty of "empty places" that have no resources, no strategy value.
Post edited October 21, 2013 by Swaigstiks
So far SMAC is the best for me, I'm really interested in Civ 2 Test of Time, hard to get so I'll have to use E-Bay.

Like Petrell and you said, SMAC has character and story in what is usually a 'dry-ish' genre. I find it makes up for the kinda weak Sid A.I.

I got Gal Civ 2 recently which is supposed to have the best A.I. of any of these games. I still got so many classics to put time into though like MOO 1&2.
Hmm, at the moment civ4 is the ultimate civilization experience ever. So called Civ5 went so far away that it no longer deserves it's name (not saying it is a bad game only not a proper civilization title any more).

Civ1 is surprisingly playable even today and that says something about the strenght of original idea behind it. Civ2 is merely civ1 on stereoids, better gfx, balance & gameplay but I find it troublesome to play on modern system (no saving sucks). By then the series reached perfection and kinda stalled. There were basicly three parallel lines of sequels:
1. The official civ3 - when I played it back in the day I hated the guts out of it, and expansion made it even worse. From the today's perspective it is not entirely bad truth to be told, but still suffers from apparent lack of fresh ideas.
2. Not so official SMAC - It is strange at first (and each time you return to it) but only gets better the more you play. Introduced enough new mechanics to make it enjoyable and progress the concept further.
3. Nominally unrelated CtP series - frankly because my physical copies stopped working some time ago my memory of the differences between ctp1 and 2 is blurry at best (time to acquire the first one somehow). But one thing I do remember - this is where civ should have headed. Tons of innovative elements that work well together. If only the ai was better I could play it over and over.
After that there was a drought until civ4 came out and redefined 4X genre.

To summarize: civ4, smac and ctp in that order (sorry ctp, I like you more but you are not the best).
My favorite is Civ 2: Test of Time but my opinion is of little merit since I struggle to beat the game on any difficulty higher than the one below 'Emperor'. Customization and re-playability are tops for this one.
I've wanted a copy of Civ II Test of Time for ages. Even if I do get one I don't think it will run on Windows 8 :(

To the question, Alpha Centauri is my favorite of the Civ games. Has its flaws like all the Civ games but makes up for it with great atmosphere. The only other turn based game I have played that has a similar effect is the original XCOM.
I love Civ II and miss it very much. Haven't played it in a long time.
Time for a thread necro, heh.

The CivFanatics forum has patches to make Civ II Test of Time work on 64-bit systems. Other mods will "downgrade" ToT to Civ II Multiplayer Gold Edition and even to the original Civ II. =)

Test of Time is available on Amazon in the US for $10 from a couple of different sellers -- (not an affiliate link). There are two versions I'm aware of - the Microprose release in a big box with the manual, tech tree, etc. and an Infogrames re-release that is a smaller box with the CD only (no manual - not even a PDF on disc -- I have both releases).

As for my favorites, that's hard to say. I've played just about all of the main series (aside from Beyond Earth) from the original on the Amiga and Civ II on the PlayStation, to Civ 5. Overall, I think my favorite is Civ II and Civilization Revolutions on the PlayStation 3. Being familiar with Civ Rev has helped me get into Civ IV, but overall I haven't had the "one more turn" syndrome as much with the later games as I did with Civ II and Civ Rev.

Lately, though, I've been getting the itch to play again and I'm working my way through SMAC/SMAX and CtP2. Both are very interesting games. I've had Master of Magic for ages as well. Time to give it a serious playthrough as well.

My opinion is that CTP2 and Civ4 with mods are the best up until the Civ5 as I don't know personally about the last spacey one in the series (not heard good words about though)...
The is also a game called "Pandora - First Contact", which has a setting and a lot of features close to what SMAX offered:

Biggest positive thing speaking for it is the support it (very stable, hardly any bugs) has both received from the developers (two expansions released, the 1st for free!) and now from a dedicated German fan, who improves the AI (officially approved) currently:

German Community is here even the better organized and more active:

And of course its wishlisted for a GOG release as well ;)
Favourites are SMAC, call to power 2, civ2 and civ3

Civ4 was ok, but i found the unit promotion system rather moot unless backed up with a shitload of game reloading which drove me nuts!

The galactic civilisations games are brilliant and similar in principle - 2 dimensional play, except instead of having cities you have planets.

Civ5 was a total disaster for me because i categorically despise the 2 unit tile limit, unplayable.