Pirates have long fueled popular culture, and video game audiences are deeply entangled in the mythology of these swashbuckling vagabonds. Some of these games, such as Sid Meier’s Pirates!, have even helped change the landscape of the gaming world. However, not all pirate games are so successful.
Some games are hidden in the sands of time, patiently waiting to be found by a daring privateer who finds the X marking the spot. With so many pirate games out there it’s easy to get lost, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great pirate games out there that deserve a second look.
10/10 Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat
PlayStation 2 and Xbox
Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat was released in 2002 on Playstation and Xbox consoles. The plot follows a dangerous pirate: Katarina de Leon, better known as Black Kat. In search of revenge and lost treasure, Black Kat sails the seas in search of Captain Hawke, the man responsible for her father’s death .
The game itself had solid gameplay, especially the sailing mechanics, which were simple but fun. There’s also a surprising amount of customization options. Players can use various projectiles for the cannon, including chain shots, and summon magic in battle. The Legend of Black Kat is a solid game to get rid of that nostalgic itch.
9/10 Pirates of the Caribbean online
Microsoft Windows, macOS and classic Mac OS
Released 2007, Pirates of the Caribbean online was a pirate MMORPG that transformed the cinematic universe into a playable world for fans. The game focused on creating a pirate, exploring the lore of the universe, and completing quests to advance in the level. Players flocked to the game to battle the franchise’s most dangerous pirates.
The studio discontinued the game in 2013, but a few devoted fans created their own spin-off game. That Pirate legends online is of course in no way affiliated with the original game but a fully built replica of Pirates of the Caribbean online. There seems to be an appetite for more Pirates of the Caribbean Content as the game is run by volunteers.
8/10 Pirates: Legend of the Black Buccaneer
PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows and Xbox
In this pirate epic, players control Francis Blade as he explores the island of La Borgne after being shipwrecked. Once the player finds an amulet that allows Blade to transform into the Black Buccaneer, an undead voodoo pirate captain, the game becomes more interesting. The goal is to repair a ship so players can escape from the island. There is also an exciting boss fight that rewards players with long-lost pirate treasures.
The game is big enough and contains puzzles for players to guess what to do next. Although the game looked visually stunning, the overall ratings were lackluster, causing it to fade into obscurity.
7/10 age of prey
Cloud (OnLive), Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
age of prey is a tile-based real-time strategy game published by Capcom. Players must take over tiles, fight for resources and fight other pirates who want to steal the loot. It has an easy learning curve, allowing players to pick it up at a leisurely pace.
However, the challenge modes aren’t easy, as things can get tricky once players approach the biggest difficulties. age of prey addictive when playing with friends and rewards communication and teamwork. It’s simple but the game has depth to keep players hooked.
Launched back in 2012 and published by KingsIsle, Pirate101 was all but forgotten until 2022 when loyal players took a stand and flooded the servers. The idea was that mass joining would force developers to update the game. The game already features voice acting, companions and turn-based combat.
The plan to force KingIsle to update the game worked as the studio promised updates for the game in 2022. However, KingIsle has tempered expectations by saying it will take time to readjust. The game is free to play, features customizable ships and pirates, and is family-friendly.
5/10 Pirates, Vikings and Knights II
Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux.
Pirates, Vikings and Knights 2 is a free-to-play game that combines three eras in one war zone. There’s a team deathmatch mode, a territory mode, and a unique loot game. Each faction is unique and has different gear, strengths, and special moves. Players use mouse movement to deflect melee strikes, but opponents can attempt to deflect in the same way. It’s very similar chivalry or mordhau, and it’s free!
Since this is a free exciting medieval battle simulator, the reviews for the game are still very positive. Unfortunately, the player base is down due to the rise of newer titlesis hovering around 13 concurrent players according to Steam Stats.
4/10 Zack & Wiki: Finding Barbaros’ Treasure
Zack & Wiki: Finding Barbaros Treasure is an excellent pirate adventure game published by Capcom for the Nintendo Wii. The Wii console is a unique platform that existed Zack & Wiki a special twist on the point-and-click adventure style.
Players control Zack and his monkey buddy Wiki as they search for the treasure of the legendary pirate Barbaros. The game combines solving puzzles with bright exciting cutscenes. Zack & Wiki received rave reviews from critics for its originality and unique experience that only the Wii could offer. Despite the fans’ cult following, the game failed to live up to expectations commercially.
Released in 2000 and published by Bethesda, seals follows in the footsteps of previous titles such as Sid Meier’s Pirates! The gameplay is more developed and uses an updated engine to make this possible seals to improve the design. It’s action mixed with strategy and a touch of RPG. It can be confusing for players at first, but the gameplay actually has an endearing simplicity.
Players control Nicolas Sharp as he attempts to manage a ship and crew. As with many Bethesda games, the story is non-linear and players can choose where to go. Despite obvious issues, the game is an enjoyable experience, but it’s a product of its time and has aged significantly. seals is a nostalgic hit for players who have already played it but is outdated.
2/10 Treasure Island (1984)
ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Plus/4 and C16
treasure island is a game based on a novel written by Robert Louis Stevenson and published in 1882, well beyond its original time. The video game was released in 1984 making it one of the very first pirate games ever made and as such it is a product of its time. The gameplay is limited, but it’s great for a nostalgic trip for the players who had the pleasure of playing the game at its peak.
In the game, players take control of Jim Hawkins, the book’s protagonist, who prepares for a showdown with the immortal Long John Silver. Throw cutlasses at pirates and use limited resources to advance each level; swashbuckling action at its finest. The game begs the question: Why aren’t more classic books turned into games?
1/10 marine legends
marine legends was released on May 31, 1996. The game is set in 1667 and players have to sail to Barbados, but there are many twists and turns in the plot. The game features piracy and warfare on the high seas, followed by layers of a scripted role-playing quest. Players take on the role of Captain Richard Grey, a noble British sailor who can transform into a pirate at the player’s request.
There are elements of a point-and-click adventure style that is a precursor to popular pirate games like the recently revived one monkey island Series. However, for a game that was released in 1996 and has a total download size of 135MB, there are also some impressive 3D duels and interesting sailing mechanics. Family secrets, betrayal and murder all await you marine legends.
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