There are a lot of video games out there and in this era of mobile and home-based gaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic?
Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest, and unforgettable games through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best video games, our attention this time turns to games about pirates. From cartoon-like puzzle adventures to action-packed quest games, you have a lot of games to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Assassin’s Creed has gone through multiple eras and protagonists over the years. While its storytelling isn’t that great, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag boasts a vast map and some fun naval combat. It’s set in the early 1700s when pirates ruled the seas and when corruption was at an all-time high. You’ll travel through this game’s Caribbean as a young pirate named Edward.
He’s an assassin with great charisma and weapon variety. Like past protagonists, he’ll be drawn to the ancient war between Assassins and Templars. You’ll defeat the game’s horde of enemies using Edward’s cutlass swords and flintlock pistols. The story has its memorable segments, but fans will adore the game more for its delightful gameplay.
It’ll make you feel like a pirate and an assassin. From shooting cannons from ships to trailing enemies from afar, Black Flag offers players many ways to engage their enemies in the game. The world has about 75 diverse locales worth exploring and each house has entertaining activities for you to indulge in. Give this game a shot if pirate-themed gameplay is what you’re after.
Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves was a great game developed by the folks who brought you Banjo Kazooie and Perfect Dark. It’s a first-person action adventure that focuses on traversing the seven seas with your shipmates. You’ll have a blast building upon your pirate crew, looting islands for treasure, and engaging in conflict with nearby foes.
The game offers several mini-bosses and fun updates. These bosses propose a worthy challenge and make the game’s world feel lively and expansive. Completing quests will help players build upon their individual ranks. Your goal is to become a Pirate Legend. As a Pirate Legend, you’ll gain access to many perks that will make your experience better.
If you’re looking for a fun, explorative title that captures the essence of pirate life and culture, Sea of Thieves awaits you!
Return of the Obra Dinn
Return of the Obra Dinn is an award-winning puzzle-adventure game set in the early 1800s. You assume the role of an inspector who gets dispatched to a ghost ship. While aboard, you must determine what happened to sixty people who were aboard the ship before it became a decrepit wasteland. You’ll utilize the protagonist’s time-traveling pocket watch to teleport to each user’s moment of death.
This will aid you in your investigations as you explore the ship from a first-person point-of-view. The game’s monochromatic art style is unique and will make some players relive experiences with early GameBoy titles. The game’s atmosphere and soundtrack will help players immerse themselves in its environments. With its thought-provoking game mechanics, absorbing setting, and historical influences, you’ll be wishing you’d tried this game out sooner.
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
After Majora’s Mask was released to critical acclaim, fans clamored for another dark title from The Legend of Zelda franchise. While it wasn’t what fans wanted at first, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker opened the doors for more games like it. Unlike prior games in the franchise, this game opted for a cartoon-like art style and open-ended gameplay.
As with any The Legend of Zelda game, you take control of Link. His goal this time around is to secure his sister from the evil sorcerer Ganon. What starts as a simple rescue mission turns into another struggle for the Triforce. It’s up to Link to thwart Ganon’s evil plans while receiving assistance from people like Princess Zelda and a pirate captain named Tetra.
The natural element “wind” plays a pivotal role in Wind Waker’s plot. You’ll tame this natural force through Link’s magic conducting baton and travel to multiple islands with Link’s pirate ship called the King of Red Lions. Each island houses bountiful life and many NPCs who’ll make your journey imaginative and memorable.
The game tackles some mature themes like previous games but feels more cheerful in retrospect. If you’re looking for a game that will give you a pirate-like experience, check out The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
No matter if you’re a grumpy old-timer or an energetic child, the Lego games are a blast to play. These games have splendid gameplay and beautiful worlds. They deliver amusing retellings of well-known franchises like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter. Eventually, Pirates of the Caribbean would receive the Lego treatment.
This game features iconic pirates from Jack Sparrow to Captain Barbosa. It explores the first-four Pirates of the Caribbean films and delivers compelling jokes, nice visuals, and the same brick-themed puzzles you loved from its other tie-in franchise games. You can experience each film’s events with a friend or by yourself. For a more amusing time, I’d recommend playing with a partner.
For those curious, the game offers phenomenal voice acting to help immerse you in this world’s absurdities. If you loved Lego’s interpretation of Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Indiana Jones, then you’ll likely enjoy this game too.
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure is a fun adventure game with wonderful characters, a charming world, and fun gameplay. It was developed by Capcom for the Nintendo Wii. It follows the journey between a young pirate named Zack and his monkey friend, Wiki. The two join a pirate gang and meet a talking skull that belongs to their gang’s leader Barbaros.
If they assist him in recovering pieces of the captain’s cursed body, Barbaros will lead Zack and Wiki to Treasure Island and his remarkable pirate ship. This game was praised for its unique mix of puzzle-solving elements and point-and-click adventure interface. You’ll use the system’s Wii Remote to pull levers and turnkeys and to pour liquids.
Despite being praised for incredible gameplay and straightforward controls, the game didn’t sell as well as Capcom hoped. Nonetheless, fans still hope Capcom will revisit the series again in the distant future. If you own a Nintendo Wii U or Nintendo Wii, this game’s worth your time.
Sid Meier’s Pirates!
If you’re in need of another cartoon-like pirate game look no further than Sid Meier’s Pirates. This game provides players with a compelling open-world setting, fun RPG mechanics, and exciting naval gameplay. In it, you’ll sail across the seven seas looking for treasure. You’re given the option to become a crooked pirate or a compelling one who only desires cash.
On the other hand, every player can expect to get into fights with enemy pirates, raid villages, and flirt with maidens. With all the activities it offers, it’s safe to assume that the developers want players to feel like pirates. Its graphics won’t impress everyone, but its gameplay will pull you in with the number of activities you can participate in.
Unfortunately, this game doesn’t offer any multiplayer options, so you’ll have to travel through its setting alone. Given how the game’s played, you’ll understand immediately why the developers didn’t implement any multiplayer components. If you’re looking for a fun pirate-themed game with simple controls, a variety of activities, and decent graphics, this one’s worth your time.
Pirates of the Caribbean (Sea Dogs 2)
The Sea Dogs series is on equal footing with Sid Meier’s Pirates with the amount of content stashed within it. The first Sea Dogs title had captivating gameplay and decent graphics. It was a hybrid RPG with naval simulation and strategy aspects. Pirates of the Caribbean, formally known as Sea Dogs 2 before the name change, exceeded fans’ expectations.
The reason for the name change was to allow the game to correspond with the release of the first Pirates of the Caribbean film. In this action RPG, players control Captain Nathaniel Hawk. He embarks on a series of quests for countries that control islands across the Caribbean. You’ll buy a ship, recruit crewmates and officers, and go to battle with nearby scoundrels.
You can battle enemies on land or in the sea and earn skill points and new abilities. Despite being marketed as a Pirates of the Caribbean work, the game doesn’t offer many connections to Disney’s film. It shares the pirate theme and touches upon the Black Pearl, but there’s nothing else that stands out as a nod to that film. That aside, you’re bound to have a pleasant time with this game if you’re into pirates.
The Monkey Island Series
LucasArts has developed many fun games in the past, and the Monkey Island series is one of their cherished ones. This game series follows the misadventures of a proposed mighty pirate named Guybrush Threepwood. He’s actually a clumsy fellow but aims to become the best pirate in the Caribbean. However, that’s not all Guybrush wants.
He desires the heart of Governor Elaine Marley and must thwart the evil undead pirate LeChuck’s plans. Each game has Guybrush surrounding himself with the mysteries and secrets that lay dormant on Monkey Island. The series is known for its amusing humor, fourth-wall breaks, and player-friendly aspects.
These games follow the point-and-click adventure formula to a tee and have you completing numerous puzzles to advance the narrative. The Monkey Island series’ easy difficulty may not appeal to gamers who are looking for a challenge. However, those who adore games with compelling characters and gripping storylines will find this series delightful.
Greedfall is an open-world RPG where players traverse a landscape filled with magic, riches, secrets, and fantastical beasts. This game features many quests and objectives for you to complete. You can tackle these missions in multiple ways. This helps players forge an experience that’s different from others.
You’ll use diplomacy, combat, deception, or stealth to get by in this enchanting universe. The game gives players to freedom to express themselves with its character customization system. You can choose what abilities, spells, or skills you want your character to have to make things more engaging. Many players recommend adding some community mods to make Greedfall feel more immersive.
This isn’t to say what it offers out of the box is terrible. However, some folks may not enjoy the game’s dialogue and exploration-heavy segments as much as others. The game’s combat will appeal to everyone. The story includes some emotional moments that will get players invested in the setting and NPCs. If you’re looking for a fun open-world game with enjoyable action aspects, check Greedfall out.
So, there we have it, our pick for the best pirate-themed video games through the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!