People have romanticized war ever since we invented it. From ancient epic poems to the exploits of larger-than-life heroes on the battlefield to Oscar-winning films, war stories are some of the most compelling in the world. They’re a great fit for video games, and many historical conflicts have been brought to life this way.
There have been many wars throughout human history. How many games have been made about the most famous ones? We decided to take a look at which historical wars have the most titles, from shooters to strategy games and everything in between.
These numbers were compiled from multiple sources, including Google, Wikipedia, and Giant Bomb; The sheer volume of titles for each listing means that all numbers are approximate.
Table of Contents
9 The Gulf War (AD 1990–1991): 20+ titles
The invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq triggered military intervention by 39 countries. Although wars are relatively short, the Gulf War was the last armed conflict of the Cold War and set the tone for the global post-Soviet era.
Given that Desert Storm and its deeply unpopular sequel are still relatively new, and veterans and families are still feeling the long-term impact, it’s no surprise there aren’t many games about them. However, as one of the few large-scale wars of modern times, it is a natural setting for games like Conflict: Desert Storm It shows military equipment from the late 20th century. In the mid-1990s in particular, several military flight simulations were set in the skies over Iraq and Kuwait F-117 Night Storm And F-15.
8th The Third Crusade (AD 1189–1192): 30+ titles
Numerous wars broke out in medieval Europe Country, religion and personal grievances. These were usually brief, bloody affairs, and few have captured the modern imagination as much as the Third Crusade. Led by King Richard “Lionheart” of England, the Third Crusade was a Attempt by the Christian kingdoms of Western Europe to conquer Jerusalem.
The 2000s saw several titles focused on the Third Crusade, including both Medieval: Total War title and the original Assassin’s Creed. Nowadays the Crusader Kings Franchise is by far the most popular game series on this topic.
7 The Napoleonic Wars (AD 1803–1815): 40+ titles
The turmoil of the French Revolution gave rise to a militaristic empire This required an end to the combined power of Europe. As Napoleon Bonaparte is generally assumed the greatest military commander in historyand his charisma, ruthlessness, and skill on the battlefield made him the most dangerous man alive by the early 19th century.
Although they have influenced the history of Europe, The Napoleonic Wars remain a niche topic of interest for both gamers and history buffs in general. As the last major pre-industrial conflict, however, they are the setting for jaunty uniformed infantry lines and heart-rending naval battles at the end of the age of sail. Total War: Napoleon is one of the most accessible examples thanks to its recognizable brand, while games like Austerlitz, March of the EaglesAnd cossacks Give players numerous chances to step into the footsteps of the little corporal or his many enemies.
6 Sengoku Jidai (1467-1615 AD): 45+ titles
During Sengoku Jidai – the Warring States Period – applies Technically, it consists of dozens of smaller conflicts Spanning more than a century and a half, its impact as a single period of conflict cannot be overstated. Feudal lords throughout Japan conquered, vassaled, and destroyed their enemies until finally the islands were destroyed united under a single authority, the Tokugawa shogunate.
Regarded as the pinnacle of samurai warfare and culture, Sengoku Jidai is depicted in games as a time of scheming, honorable bushido devotees, and bitter betrayals. It’s the go-to time for games mostly inspired by Japanese history Samurai warrior And Sengoku Basara. There was even one PokemonAdaptation of the time!
5 The American Civil War (AD 1861-1865): 50+ titles
The American Civil War is one of the most studied conflicts in history a compelling narrative that lends itself perfectly to video games. The Southern States fear that newly elected President Abraham Lincoln would limit or outlaw the practice of slavery attempted to secede from the United Statesresulting in an armed response to restore the Union.
American Civil War games are typically made by and for players who are genuinely interested in the subject. From classic titles like Sid Meier’s Gettysburg to newer adjustments like Great Tactician: The Civil Waryou can usually bet that these games have an above average focus on historical authenticity.
4 The First World War (1914-1918 AD): Over 60 titles
The First World War was notorious unprecedented number of victims with very little advancement at the front lines as armies struggled to adapt to rapid advances in weapons technology. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria sparked a… chain reaction of invasions Across Europe and beyond, this resulted in a conflict larger and deadlier than anything the world had seen before.
True, there are many strategy games and shooters about the First World War, including about the recent one western frontthere is also a unique subgenre of horror games set on the battlefields of France. The juxtaposition of supernatural horror and the grim reality of life and death in the trenches has proven particularly effective, as in Amnesia: The Bunkerand as general interest in the conflict grows, we’ll likely see more WWI titles in the future.
3 The Period of the Three Kingdoms (220-280 AD): Over 75 titles
Few eras combine history and legend as closely as the Three Kingdoms period Decades of war after the collapse of the Han dynasty in China. Former vassals of the Emperor made their own claims to the throne and were willing to fight against Imperial troops and each other to dominate the Middle Kingdom.
Dynasty warrior And Romance of the Three Kingdoms are two long-running series that dramatize this era with flashy costumes, over-the-top martial arts, and heroes with the strength of a thousand soldiers. Because of his status as one of the defining moments in Chinese historyThere were dozens of adaptations in Asia during the Three Kingdoms period, but comparatively few reached the Western market.
2 The Vietnam War (1955–1974 AD): 80+ titles
Very easily the most notorious of the many proxy wars The Vietnam War, fought between the United States and the Soviet Union in the second half of the 20th century, was and remains deeply controversial. When the Soviet Union backed an insurgency attempting to overthrow the Vietnamese government, the United States backed it sent troops to prevent the emergence of a new communist nation.
Games set during the Vietnam War tend to be Sagittarius, The focus is on surviving in dense, trap-filled jungles where ambushes can happen anywhere. The heavy use of airstrikes during the conflict also lent itself to a handful of flight simulators, particularly in the early 1990s.
1 World War II (1939-1945 AD): Over 500 titles
World War II is the historical conflict best suited to video games, and the range isn’t too big. After years of unhindered territorial expansion in Central Europe, the German Empire came into being tried to conquer Polandprompting Britain, France and the Soviet Union to intervene.
The sheer volume of WWII games means that if you care about the conflict at all, chances are there’s a game for you. Tank, naval and air combat simulations abound, ranging all the way to arcade shoot ’em ups 1943 If you prefer to focus on the overall strategy and tactics of the war, Company of Heroes And hearts of iron are great decisions. call of Duty started out as a shooter from WWII and Wolfenstein takes a science fiction approach to the alternate history of the fight against the Empire.
Whether commanding battleships off Midway or defending the streets of Stalingrad, WWII is the setting of choice for battlefield gaming, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
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