HBO’s subscription-selling show has run its course and there’s nary a worthy follow-up in sight. What are GoT-loving gamers to do to cope with the loss? Thankfully, there are numerous games which capture some aspect of George R. R. Martin’s books or of the ridiculously popular show.

Fortunately for all the fans that want to make their own ending to the Game of Thrones story, there are numerous games that either have very similar themes and setting to the show or the books of George R. R. Martin or have dedicated mods that overhaul their world into the ones known from the HBO’s show.

But before we delve into the list of the video games like Game of Thrones, let’s take a look at what makes A Song of Ice and Fire (and by extension Game of Thrones) such a landmark in the fantasy landscape. If one had to describe GoT in two words, the most fitting ones would be “bloody politics”. Blood is inextricably woven into the political tapestry of the setting.

The state of the world in the first book/season is a direct result of generous and largely non-consensual blood-shedding, which left the previous king (from house Targaryen) very dead and his throne very eligible. What follows are several years of major noble houses trying to get on the Iron Throne (literally made out of hundreds of swords fused together). Four of the main players are houses Stark, Lannister, and Baratheon, and the remnants of house Targaryen represented chiefly by the daughter of the deposed king: Daenerys Targaryen of too many names.

Over several novels (and seasons of the HBO show), the houses keep forming uneasy alliances only to betray one another, or make an attempt at exterminating their opponents altogether. It’s all the fascinating politics of Medieval Europe you’ve probably never learned about in school, but with dragons, giants, shadow demons, blood feuds, incest, actual seers and even snow zombies.

Video games similar to Game of Thrones
GameReleaseGenreVideoSale
Crusader Kings III 2020-09-01 Strategy 75% Read more
Medieval II: Total War 2006-11-15 Action & RPG 79% Read more
Europa Universalis IV 2013-08-13 Economy 85% Read more
Sid Meier's Civilization V: Complete Edition 2010-09-23 Economy 77% Read more
Sid Meier's Civilization VI 2016-10-20 Economy 93% Read more
The Banner Saga 2014-01-14 Action & Adventure Read more
The Banner Saga 2 2016-04-19 Action & Adventure 93% Read more
The Witcher 2 Assassins of Kings 2011-05-17 Adventure 84% Read more
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 2015-05-18 RPG 69% Read more
Dragon Age: Origins 2009-11-06 Action & Shooter 4% Read more
Dragon Age: Inquisition 2014-11-20 RPG 78% Read more
Mount & Blade: Warband 2010-03-31 Adventure 80% Read more
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord 2020-03-31 RPG 32% Read more
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition 2016-10-27 Adventure 66% Read more
Kingdom Come: Deliverance 2018-02-13 Adventure 85% Read more

Capturing Westeros in a video game form

Game of Thrones Telltale Series

One would think a world with so much history and faction interactions would spawn successful games, but so far they’ve been hit-or-miss. There have been several strategy games and even an action RPG. Some, like A Game of Thrones: Genesis, were neither popular among the fans of the show or the books and did not receive much praise from the gaming community. There also were and still are, numerous browser and mobile games set in the world of Ice and Fire, but they are not very high-rated.

The only good Game of Thrones video game, that had an official license from the show and the approval from the writer himself seemed to be Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series, which was quite successful but very soft-lived. The graphic adventure by Telltale Games was a series of interactive cinematic cutscenes, which at certain points allow the player to make choices influencing the way the story unfolds.

With such lacklustre offerings, it’s a good thing there are games which capture some aspects of the Song of Ice and Fire experience even without using the license. Let’s take a look at a few of them, drawn from two genres.

Strategy games

        

Crusader Kings II

Release year:2012
Genre:Grand strategy, role-playing
DeveloperParadox Development Studio
GoT-themed modsPresent

Crusader Kings II is probably the closest thing to ASoIaF/GoT we’re ever going to get with betrayals, incest, and all.

Crusader Kings 2

The game has a fantastic mod dedicated to the story and characters know from Martin books called AGOT (A Game of Thrones mod) which was created by fans of the show and the books that spotted the perfect gameplay of CKII.

CKII puts you in charge of a single noble house and tasks you with increasing its power on the continent. You can arrange marriages, stab your allies in the back, secure the purity of your bloodline with incest, and deal with the consequences. It accurately and in detail models Medieval European politics, which makes it a perfect fit for the character-driven Game of Thrones. There’s even a total conversion mod which turns Europe into Westeros!

        

Medieval II: Total War

Release year:2007
Genre:Real-time tactics, turn-based strategy
DeveloperCreative Assembly
GoT-themed modsPresent

If you’re inclined towards military operations, cast your eye at Medieval II Total War.

Medieval II: Total War

Total War games are all about widespread conflicts. You manage the provinces you control, move armies, and tweak the economy in a turn-based mode, and then engage in massive real-time battles once your and your enemies’ forces inevitably clash. It won’t give you a character-driven experience of Crusader Kings II but does a great job at modeling the large conflicts Westeros’ history is full of. The total conversion mod, Westeros: Total War, takes place during the War of the Five Kings.

Key features
  • Huge battles between Medieval nations
  • Strategic layer encourages planning
  • More concerned with war than diplomacy
  • Many playable factions
        

Europa Universalis IV

Release year:2013
Genre:Grand strategy
DeveloperParadox Development Studio
GoT-themed modsPresent

EU, from the developers of Crusader Kings, moves the scale upwards and concerns itself only with grand-level politics and military actions.

Europa Universalis IV

EU doesn’t care for the small-scale stuff, it concerns itself with the actions of nations and armies. It’s almost abstract in the level of detachment, but still incredibly complex and difficult to master. It allows you to take control of a nation and change the course of its history. Which, when converted with a Game of Thrones mod may help you put house Tyrell or even the unlucky Starks on the Iron Throne. Or even disregard the symbol and make your own seat of power. It’s up to you.

Key features
  • One of the most complex grand strategy games
  • Simulates entire nations
  • Substantial mod support
  • Balanced rulership is encouraged
        

Sid Meier's Civilization V

Release year:2010
Genre:4X
DeveloperFiraxis Games
GoT-themed modsPresent

Expand your chosen civilization from a single hexagon to a map-spanning empire through diplomacy, military might, or cultural influence.

Sid Meier's Civilization V

The good old Civilization may not appear as good fodder for a Song of Ice and Fire game, and yet there are several mods which make Westeros appropriately hexagonal and turn-based. “Winter is Coming to Civ Deluxe”, “A Mod of Ice and Fire”, and “A World of Ice and Fire” all offer a slightly different approach, cover different parts of the timeline, and are worth checking out.

Key features
  • Gives ample time to think
  • Gameplay polished over decades
  • There’s no rush
  • Excellent in multiplayer
        

The Banner Saga

Release year:2014
Genre:Tactical strategy/ role-playing
DeveloperStoic Studio
GoT-themed modsAbsent

As an ancient enemy comes back from oblivion, people displaced by the uprising seek shelter and allies elsewhere.

The Banner Saga

If that sounds familiar to what brought the wildlings in direct conflict with the Night’s Watch, you’re not wrong. Even during the Kickstarter for the first game in the trilogy, the developers cited Game of Thrones as one of the key inspirations. Character-driven, meaningful choices, and an engaging storyline, The Banner Saga and its Norse aesthetic may well fill that Iron Throne-shaped void in your heart.

Key features
  • Wonderful story written in three parts
  • Choices, successes, and failure influence the story
  • Interesting turn-based battle system
  • Evocative art style

Role-playing games

        

The Witcher II/The Witcher III

Release year:2011/2015
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperCD Projekt RED
GoT-themed modsPresent

An insignificant man navigates the increasingly complicated political landscape to fulfill his own agenda.

The Witcher II/The Witcher III

Although at the ground level The Witcher is a game about a professional monster hunter trying to make a living, on the grand scale it’s a deeply political game, with old vendettas, conspiracies, and secrets running deep. Were we to step into the shoes of a monarch or a spy, the Witcherland would be as intricate as Westeros. The third game in the trilogy even features Charles Dance (the actor who played Tywin Lannister on Game of Thrones) as the voice of Emperor Emhyr var Emreis.

The world of the Witcher series shares many similarities with that of GoT as both author of The Witcher books, Andrzej Sapkowski and George R. R. Martin, are known for their realistic medieval settings with fully-fleshed characters, breaking taboos like incest, adultery or kin-slaying as well as great foreshadowing. On the mod front, you can at the very least give Jon’s Longclaw to Geralt.

Key features
  • Dramatic storytelling in an unfriendly fantasy world
  • Monsters inspired by the Slavic mythology
  • Interesting cast of characters
  • Mature themes
        

Dragon Age: Origins/Inquisition

Release year:2009/2014
Genre:Role-playing/Action role-playing
DeveloperBioWare
GoT-themed modsPresent

The hordes of twisted creatures rage across the land, while nations bicker and feud. Can alliances be formed before there’s no stemming the tide?

Dragon Age: Origins/Inquisition

Dragon Age: Origins gives you an uneasy task of gathering forces capable of stopping the seething hordes of the Darkspawn: people of Thedas twisted by dark magic. In Inquisition, you move your forces to address crises and engage in diplomatic and military conflicts yourself. On both counts, there is some of the Game of Thrones DNA visible, but although Inquisition has a mod adding the Iron Throne to the game, Origins is closer to ASoIaF in general tone.

Key features
  • A fantasy world with rich history
  • Hefty and dramatic decisions
  • Real-time with pause tactical combat
  • Cinematic role-playing
        

Mount & Blade: Warband

Release year:2010
Genre:Action role-playing, strategy
DeveloperTaleWorlds Entertainment
GoT-themed modsPresent

A newcomer to the land, you can form your own band of mercenaries, ally yourself with one of the rulers…or fight tooth and claw for your own domain.

Mount & Blade: Warband

Mount and Blade: Warband isn’t a pretty game, but it’s one of the most immersive and expansive quasi-Medieval games around. Fight roving groups of bandits, build your own army and reputation, lay sieges and defend your castles. Invest in a vineyard or assault caravans. With one of the total conversion mods (“A Clash of Kings” or “A World of Ice and Fire”), you could do all of that and more in Westeros.

Key features
  • You get to command your own mercenary army
  • Battle with potential hundreds of participants
  • Medievalesque role-playing sandbox
  • Multiple factions to join or act against
        

The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim

Release year:2011
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperBethesda Game Studios
GoT-themed modsPresent

A civil war revolving around the rulership over the northern reach of Tamriel, the rebirth of an ancient force for destruction, and you, having to deal with all of this.

The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim

If you want a full Westeros treatment for Bethesda’s evergreen wintry adventure, seek The Game of Thrones Adaptation Mod for Skyrim over on Mod DB. Even without the mod’s developed storyline and artistic fidelity to the show, Skyrim is set in a harsh place, not unlike the Starks’ beloved North and even has winter-themed horrifying enemies in the form of underground-dwelling Falmer.

Key features
  • Harsh Scandinavia-like environment
  • Large map to explore
  • Many ways to interact with the world
  • Killing dragons is fun
        

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Release year:2018
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperWarhorse Studios
GoT-themed modsAbsent

Bereft of home and family as a result of a Cuman invasion, a young man ends up on a noble’s court and has to learn a lot to survive this new situation and earn his keep.

Kingdom Come Deliverance

Kingdom Come: Deliverance was quite a hit in 2018, an action RPG boasting about realistic combat and a living world of medieval Bohemia. Historically accurate, it lacks the magical elements of A Song of Ice and Fire, but retains the gritty reality of bloodthirsty politics and a common man’s insignificance. Sadly until Warhorse Studios improve mod support the planned big Game of Throne’s mod is on an indefinite hiatus.

Key features
  • Realistic RPG in a historical setting
  • Demanding, action-based combat
  • The world goes on even without the player
  • Story-heavy

Play-out Your Own Perfect Finale

Whatever feelings you were left with after the TV show’s finale, the games above will make you feel better. Conquer Westeros as your favorite faction, make all the right choices, and go sit on the most epic pincushion fantasy has ever known. Or see your kingdom burn down and your heroes lie dead, for an authentic experience.

The mention above games will both let you feel like a powerful lord or small, less important character and you can do almost anything with them. For all the unsatisfied fans of the show, this is the perfect opportunity to create an alternate, maybe better, ending to this fantastic story, while for those who just will miss the show, it is a nice touch of nostalgia that can be carried through many long hours of gameplay of one of these fantastic video games.