Finding Older Historical Games at

For a history educator, trying to find suitable simulation games to use in class can be a significant obstacle to using the medium. I have made some lists of potentially viable historical games in Gaming the Past (2011) and my website Hard as it is for me to believe, both are five years old now and new games continue to be available.

Often times, however, the newest games are not the best choices for an educator wishing to use historical games. The newest games need more powerful computers to run them and tend to be significantly more expensive than older games.

Just a few years ago there was little chance to use games from ten or fifteen years ago, games that were no longer actively produced, in the classroom. (Good Old Games) has changed all this. Over the past few years, has revived all manner of games that were designed in the past 20 years or so. They take old game code and update it so that the games will run on new versions of Windows (and some Macs). Prices tend to be very reasonable and the games are available by digital download.

Since the processing power needed by older games for graphics etc. is generally less than that needed by today’s games, GOG games are an extremely good option for educators using hardware that is not cutting-edge. Don’t be fooled by the lower quality graphics. Generally speaking, students will not be disappointed by the graphics an effective game, comparing it what is available in the top current titles. My experience suggests rather that the game will be compared to other modes of instruction/learning in the classroom and fare well for that (though of course, I believe my caveat still holds that not all students will find historical games an appealing route to learning about the past)

I’ve been meaning to post this for some time. Maybe someday I’ll be able to comment about some of the games here. In the meantime, the list itself might be useful. Here is a reasonably current list. GOG adds new titles frequently.

American Conquest + Fight Back

Anno 1404; Anno 1503; Anno 1602; Anno 1701

Caesar 3

Capitalism II

Capitalism Plus

Castles 1+2

Celtic Kings: Rage of War

“Children of the Nile, Complete”

“Colonization, Sid Meier?s”

Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord

Conquest of the New World

Cossacks Anthology

Crusader Kings Complete

Darkest Hour: a Hearts of Iron Game

Democracy 3

Europa Universalis 2

Europa Universalis III

Europa Universalis Rome Gold

Expeditions Conquistador

Grand Ages Medieval

Great Battles Collector?s Edition

Guild 2 The Renaissance

Hearts of Iron 2 Complete

Hearts of Iron 3

Imperial Glory


Imperialism II

Lords of the Realm: Royal Edition

“Men of War, Men of War: Red Tide”

Panzer General II

“Patrician 1, 2, 3”

Pharaoh and Cleopatra

“Port Royale, Port Royale 2”


SimCity 2000

Simcity 4

Stronghold Crusader HD

Stronghold Crusader II

Stronghold HD

SuperPower 2

The Guild Gold Edition

Tropico 3 Gold Edition

Tropico 4

Tropico Reloaded

Ultimate General Gettysburg

Zeus and Poseidon


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