For most of us, it's back to College time (or has been in January, rather). So in an effort to seem educated, here's some games based on mythology, legends, or olden stories. Note: Most of these games are altered from their original stories. So don't expect to play these and pass your next history exam. This is just a way to blow off steam, while often being a historical badass. You might consider showing some of these games to your instructors. They'll often consider playing them, or at least find them interesting.
Why not just "Mythical" or "Historical" Games?
Either one is too fucking restricting and doesn't allow for a lot of good games that would be in the other, but little to do with myth. It was my original intention for that anyway, but I had second guesses.
For the Record
The more a game has ACTUAL elements from history OR myth and legends, the better. Example: Shiva as a motorcycle is NOT relevant in either way. Glory of Heracles III, despite not following any one myth, but still has ancient Greece, the gods, and so forth, IS Mythical. Oregon Trail, while slightly exaggerated, is quite relevant to Historical events. So, no Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, or Zelda (Although several Zelda elements are based on myths). LotR is also kind of pushing it, but something like a good Beowulf game (If one existed) wouldn't be. Storybook games such as Aladdin and Sonic & the Secret Rings are questionable, mostly because of their heavily altered, but still somewhat relevant, roots, but adding Sonic and the Black Knight is just silly.
A comparison of game vs their mythical based roots has been done by GamesRadar: http://www.gamesradar.com/f/how-faithful-are-mythology-based-games/a-20100204131847258056 for those who'd like to see just how bad/good the games do with the material. (above link can be used as reference of new games to add to this list,
also notice how close this section of the wiki appeared and when this article was done, strange isn't it?) Actually, I had no idea this existed when I made this (though it would have helped a lot...). SO, NO, IT'S NOT STRANGE AT ALL.
Prehistory (Loosely before modern language and the like was conceieved.)
Games about Cavemen and Dinosaurs. Science has shown cavemen and dinosaurs weren't around during the same era, but for the sake of fun and good games, this mix will be allowed in this category. The closer a game gets to "actual" prehistory the better though.
The historical era of Myth and Legend (loosely before 500 A.D./B.C.E.)
Games about Ancient Greece, Rome, China, Japan, and possibly the early western world if you can find any relevant games for that.
|Box Art||Title||Genre||Description||System of Choice||Historical Origin|
|Battle of Olympus, The||Platformer/Adventure||Your gal pal has been kidnapped, and it's up to you to get some help from the Greek gods of Olympus to save her. Plays like Zelda 2 and Faxanadu. Can get pretty hard and confusing early on if you decide to go where you're not recommended to. So while it is non-linear to an extent, you should consider sticking with the advice of others to avoid getting killed. Note: A Game Boy Version also came out, but was altered slightly. It's a pretty decent alternative to this though.||NES||Greek|
|Destiny of an Emperor||RPG||Take control as Liu Bei and recruit worthy warriors to reunite China and restore the Han Dynasty. Essentially a mix of Dynasty Warriors and Dragon Warrior but what makes it unique is the auto-attack option which speeds up battles and the fact that you can recruit enemy warlords to your side. You can even make Lu Bu an ally!(He does betray you later though...) There is a sequel, Tenchi wo Kurau II, which is a bit more faithful to the actual source material.||NES||Chinese, Three Kingdoms era|
|Glory of Heracles II: Titan's Downfall||RPG||The first Glory of Heracles game to see a translation and the first to resemble its later sequels. You play as a mortal Greek soldier who must find the hero, Heracles, so he can prevent the Titans from resurrecting. Plays like a Greek cross between Dragon Quest 2 and 3, but without the annoying OPEN DOOR and CLIMB STAIRS of the NES era. Pretty hard early on, but there's a few neat elements to this that make it worth finishing. While the series includes mythological figures, the stories re-adapt or play with the actual stories for original purposes.||NES||Greek|
|Glory of Heracles III: Silence of the Gods||RPG||The first "modern" GoH game, now with enough differences from Dragon Quest to make it feel like it's own series. Technical aspects of learning magic from Greek Temples and weapon mastery from instructors aside, the series's writing got a notable boost in quality and the music now has an operatic feel about it, creating a very cool experience. You play as an immortal man who allies with other immortals but all of you are unable to remember WHY you are immortal, until...||SNES||Greek|
|Glory of Heracles V: Proof of the Soul||RPG||The first of the Greek-themed RPG series to make it overseas, and an excellent entry. Takes elements from previous GoH games and adds new ones. It features OPTIONAL touch-screen power boosts to your skills and magic (think Mario RPG). An intriguing adventure done by an ace team of old-schoolers. Takes elements from 3, but is mostly it's own game and story.||DS||Greek|
|God of War||Hack 'n Slash||Be Kratos, an asshole from ancient Greece who wants to kill everyone because he killed his own family. Traverse through nicely rendered Grecian level-scapes as you hack 'n slash your way to the top of Mount Olympus with two blades attached to long chains to kill Ares. Very similar to Rygar: The Legendary Adventure, although this came a few years later so it's much more polished and is thus better for it. Plus Kratos is soooo much more grimdark than Rygar is. Made quick-time events popular. Your Biggest enemy in this game will be the unmovable camera.||PS2||Greek|
|God of War II||Hack 'n Slash||You want more God of War? Here's more God of War. Watch Kratos get butthurt and start ripping things to shreds again with his Blades of Chaos. Better than the original.||PS2||Greek|
|God of War: Chains of Olympus||Hack 'n Slash||God of War on the PSP, complete with everyone's favorite button-mashing, quick-time-eventing, gory bald albino Spartan. The graphics are amazing and it has the feel of a full God of War title. Protip: This game was the first to use the full 333MHz of the PSP's processor, in order to render the HELLA SWEET GRAFIX.||PSP||Greek|
|Gods||Platformer||Great platformer with unique atmosphere of pseudo-Greece. Involves you playing as Hercules/Heracles in a curious story involving the Greek gods. Ported to consoles and sped-up a bit, making those releases harder as a result.||PC||Greek|
|Herc's Adventures||Action/Adventure||Spiritual successor to Zombies at My Neighbors. Play as Hercules, Atalanta, or a young Jason, each of which has a particular specialty of Strength, speed, or a balance of the two. A silly send up of myth and humor not meant to be taken seriously. Save Persephone after Hades rapes her. NO, NOT THAT KIND OF RAPE.||PS1, Saturn||Greek|
|Hero of Sparta||Beat 'em up||A God-of-War style action game for iPod Touch/iPhone, PS3/PSP Minis, DSiWare. Good graphics, decent controls, and the cyclops-decapitating QTE's that we've all come to know and love. The second is better, but available on less platforms.||iPhone, PSP, DSi/3DS||Greek|
|Icarian/NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits||Platformer||Platformer that allows the player to interact with the environment through Wii IR. Think LostWinds, but more so. Different powers and a good deal of challenge. Nyx's fiancé, Icarus, gets lost, and the gods offer Nyx their powers as help in finding him. WARNING: This game is not a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination.||Wii (WiiWare)||Greek|
|Master of Olympus: Zeus||Sim||Sierra goodness. Build a city in ancient Greece, protect the inhabitants from diseases, enemy armies and obtain the favour of the gods. Call in heroes to kill mythical creatures that estabilished on your land, and stuff like that. The Poseidon expansion adds a couple of tweaks.||PC||Greek|
|Pinball Pulse: The Ancients Beckon||Pinball||This Ancient Greek-themed pinball game is about as close to real pinball as you can get. The physics are spot on, there are LED displays, and scoring events that take place. Sadly, like a real machine, there's only one table. On the bright side, this was made by the team that worked on Metroid Prime: Pinball, which assures you're getting a quality pinball title.||DS (DSiWare)||Greek|
|Rygar||Platformer||This is like a mix of Zelda and Metroid. It's fun and challenging to collect all the items you need to defeat enemies and solve puzzles in a platforming environment in a fantasy world resembling a mishmash of Greece and Rome (Grome?).||Arcade, NES||Greek|
|Rygar: The Legendary Adventure||Beat 'em up?||A spiritual remake of the Arcade/NES title Rygar, you are put in the shoes of the titular hero as you travels through levels in the land of Argool, a fictional island province of ancient Greece, to destroy the Titans who have scoured the land. Your main weapon is a shield known as the Diskarmor, which can be thrown and summoned back via a long chain, and shreds foes with spikes protruding from it's sides. It's usually accepted that God of War
|Spartan: Total Warrior||Hack and Slash||Part of The Creative Assembly's push into consoles following the Sega buy-out, this is basically a really cool Ancient Greece themed hack and slash. Doesn't have the same sense of art-direction or polish as the God of War games but nonetheless it's especially with all the satisfying finishing moves and the focus on fighting in largish battles amongst a myriad of soldiers with smaller skirmishes to balance it out.||PS2/XBOX/Gamecube||Greek|
|Okami||Adventure||Mostly set in a world of anachronistic mythlogical creatures, settings and such but, like Muramasa, is a must get purely for awesomeness. Innovative and inspiring.||Wii/PS2||Japanese|
|Odin Sphere||Action RPG / Platformer||Inspired by Norse Mythology, Odin Sphere is a side-scrolling action game with RPG elements. It also boasts some absolutely amazing hand-drawn graphics.||PS2||Norse|
|Dynasty Warriors #||Beat 'em Up / Strategy||All the games are pretty much the same, with differences and improvements made throughout the series. However they take alot of REAL people and the rumors and legends about them, and make them into incredibly powerful warriors. Doesn't make alot of sense, but cool nonetheless.||Any||Chinese, Three Kingdoms era|
|Romance of the Three Kingdoms #||Turn Base Strategy||Based off of the Epic of the same name and the turn-based strategy version of Dynasty Warriors, take control as a nation during China's Three Kingdoms era and annex the others in order to reunify the empire.||Any||Chinese, Three Kingdoms Era|
Good Medieval Knights, the Age of Discovery, and the Samurais-ing Sun (loosely 500 to 1799 A.D./B.C.E.)
Games about Knights and Samurai usually fall around this era, don't forget about continental exploration as well.
Steampunks, the Wild West, and the rise of the Japanese Westernization (loosely 1800-1900 (up to 1912-ish at the latest))
Law-keeping Cowboys, out-of-work Samurais searching for new lives, and jolly old England and its steampunk jetpacks, robots, and whatever else they pull out of their gentlemanly top hats.
|Box Art||Title||Genre||Description||System of Choice||
|Gunman's Proof||Action-Adventure||In 1880, on a western little island, the space police came after a space outlaw. With your help, they persue him and his posse. Hardly historical (then again...), but it keeps with the western theme very well, despite alien-caused anachronisms, such as bazookas and alien mecha. Very comical, but still a fun game styled like Zelda, but much more action-inspired. You can even crawl and strafe for better gunning, and find an invincible donkey to ride. Strangely, you can also learn a Shoryuken-esque uppercut.Though Japanese, the ROM has a translation patch in full english.||SNES||Wild West|
|Red Dead Revolver||Shootan / Being a Dickhead||Play as multiple Wild West characters and kill everyone. Multiple characters with different playstyles/weapons make for an interesting single-player and multiplayer experience. Make money and buy new weapons by playing well. Most likely the best Wild West game that's been made yet.||PS2||U.S. Wild West|
|Red Dead Redemption||Shootan||It's essentially Grand Theft Horse. Multiplayer leaves a lot to be desired, just like GTA. There's also bear huntin'.||PS3||U.S. Wild West|
|Samurai Western||Arcade/Beat 'Em Up/Being A Badass||Actually a spin-off to the Way of the Samurai series, this game places you in the shoes of a Samurai named Gojiro who travels to the old west to kill his brother. That's fucking awesome. Actually has a level system making it similar to the beat em up's of old (although I would call it a slash 'em up), with a score card and everything. Character customization is present, and so is multiplayer, but it's sub-par and has to be unlocked. Can be quite challenging. You can slice through cowboys like a knife cuts through warm butter, and the opening intro wants you to KNOW how badass you are. You can play as other, gun wielding characters in other modes.||PS2||U.S. Wild West/Steampunk|
|Steel Empire||Horizontal Shmup||You fly through an alternate history that involves flying a blimp or plane to take down steampunk flying fortresses. It isn't exactly clear what country you are fighting for, so the historical origin is a mystery.||Genesis||Steampunk ???|
|Sunset Riders||Run 'n Gun||YEEEEEEHAW! A fantastic and challenging R'N'G by the folks at Konami, Sunset Riders is a multiplayer must-have. Fantastic visuals, gameplay, soundtrack, and fun, you truly haven't hit puberty till' you've played this manly-manfest of a game (wanna restore health or ammo? Sleep with a sexy prostitute, pardner). Cormano dual wields shotguns!||Arcade||U.S. Wild West|
|The Last Blade 1+2||Fighting||The original Last Blade games were well-loved for their incredible gameplay, and were a shining example among fighting games. As the cover illustrates, this actually takes place in the later 1800's with many characters being some of the last few practitioners of inherited older fighting styles. It is also loosely tied to mythology as the series-centric main characters have inherited powers from the Four Symbols of eastern mythology. There is also an EXCELLENT NGPC port that mixes aspects of both games, though the console experience is always best.||Neo-Geo consoles||Japanese Bakumatsu|
|Victoria II||Grand Strategy||Spanning history 100 years, starting with the Texan revolution in 1836, choose a nation (ANY NATION) during the time period and lead it to glory. Like its predecessor, Europa Universalis 3, the game can be rather complex, although this one less so. Includes a very detailed political/diplomatic system.||PC||Victorian Era (Duh)|
|Way of the Samurai||Action/Adventure/Being A Badass||The entire point of this game is to be a samurai. Do whatever you want within a day and a half of game time, as a samurai. Side with whoever you want, kill whoever you want, just do whatever you want. As a Samurai. Very interesting game with varied endings depending on your actions, and since it's short, you can keep replaying the same character over and over, improving his wardrobe, sword's stats, etc. You can also take the weapon of fallen enemies/allies and store it or use it yourself, which adds a very interesting collection aspect. Really underrated classic.||PS2||Japanese Bakumatsu|
|Way of the Samurai 2||Action/Adventure/Being A Badass||The sequel to Way of the Samurai is just a great improvement, with the same great game-play, time and freedom, but with a new set of stories, characters, longer playtime, and a bigger world. A lot more swords to collect too. Story-wise it's actually a prequel. The better of the two, but it's really just worth it to own both since they have different locales. Some people prefer the first game because they feel this game has weaker stories, but again, both are worth owning.||PS2||Japanese Bakumatsu|
|Way of the Samurai 3||Action/Adventure/Being A Badass||Continues the same gameplay and style as the first two (which are on the recommended list of PS2 games), but now has a stronger emphasis on 'good vs. evil' (not unlike KotOR), though here it's more 'honorable vs. greedy'. The only real flaw of the game is graphics, they're not bad by any means, but they could be much, much better for a seventh generation game, however, it is still highly recommended unless you disliked the first two.||PS3/Xbox 360||Japanese Bakumatsu|
|Way of the Samurai 4||Action/Adventure/Being A Badass||The fourth in this series of highly replayable, sandbox style samurai games. This one takes place in post-isolationist Japan, and has a lot of 'British' characters... who all speak horribly mangled english by Japanese voice actors. Whereas WotS 3 felt closer to the original game in it's rural setting, this game harkens back to WotS 2, and it's more 'urban' setting. The graphics are still kind of shit, but this series was never "AAA" anyways. Also of note, there is now a minigame mechanic to get laid. I'm not joking.||PS3||Japanese Bakumatsu|
Recent History (1901-1960-ish)
Will likely have to do with World Wars, but there are other possible subjects to explore as well.
For games that span through multiple eras throughout their respective playthroughs. Forward, backward, swapping between both. Doesn't matter. What does matter is that the game is enjoyable.
NOTE: If a game is predominantly within one era, but has some futuristic presence in it (good or bad) or jumps into the future for only a small portion of the game (especially if it's not mandatory), then it's still counted within it's (mostly) respective category and not here.
Despite Anachronisms, still try to only include games relevant to history and myth here.