10 Video Games That Secretly Teach Us History

You may be playing exciting strategy or action games, but you're also learning about History.

LA Noire Cole Phelps

History as a subject often gets short-changed. The study of the past can, of course, be fascinating. However, if taught incorrectly it can turn people against it forever. Luckily, there is a selection of games out there that show us how interesting history can be.

Games take different routes to achieve this. Some attempt to be as historically accurate as possible, letting you be the leader of major armies or make decisions that will forever impact the world. Others though, take a more liberal approach, intertwining their stories into myth and legend while also giving glimpses into the true history of the world.

Whichever way that these games show us our world, we should be glad, because these games are more responsible for teaching history than any lecture hall. Anything that gets people to learn while having fun, is a good thing. So, look through this list, and why not leave a comment if we missed any that you thought were important?

10. Total War Series

LA Noire Cole Phelps
Creative Assembly

Ever since the Creative Assembly team released Shogun: Total War back in 2000, the Total War series has taken its subject matter very seriously. The combination of turn-based management and real-time tactical combat has made this historical simulation one of the big names in tactical games.

Games in the series have shown many different ages in history. From the rise and fall of the Roman Empire to the Napoleonic Wars, the series has covered so many of humanity’s biggest conflicts. Their real-time combat system is praised by many players for offering a number of tactical decisions and controls, and these have only improved as the series has progressed.

The game also allows management of your empires. This can be as small as micromanaging the income and outcome of one town or choosing how you are perceived by the other powers in the world. From learning about rulers, theology, and conflict, there is little these games miss out on teaching you about world history.

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I'm a freelance video game and tech journalist, with an interest in History and video production. Follow me on Twitter for more video game-related content.