Yargh’s Revenge: The Top Five Pirate Games


Climb aboard, ye scurvy landlubbers. We be about to parlay over the best o’ the pirate game genre on this most auspicious of Gab Like A Scallywag days (AKA Talk Like A Pirate, for the uninitiated). These here games be the best upon these seven seas. Now, down to brass tacks.

1. The Monkey Island Series

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Nothing quite says,” scurvy dogs and great jokes” like the Money Island games. From the brilliant mind of Tim Schaffer, Monkey Island is basically an adventure gamer’s bread and butter. Despite being almost as old as I am, the games still sell well, and the plot is both entertaining and well-written. You start out as a plucky upstart pirate and must work your way to being a feared (but comical) pirate captain. Along the way you’ll battle angry food, pirates with insecurity issues, corruption, voodoo, and you’ll learn the importance of the one-liner in a combat situation. If you like adventure and puzzles, Money Island is a must-play.

2. Sid Meier’s Pirates!

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Sid Meier is a god when it comes to game design. I swear the man is incapable of making a bad game. As a result, Pirates! is a blast. You choose a country to align with, or none at all, and set out to plunder the Caribbean. Want to build your own pirate empire? Go right ahead. Search for treasure? Check. Follow the story to find vengeance and power? Also an option. Nothing can hold you back, except maybe the British fleet, as you build your own navy of pirates and set out on a hunt for glory. Also, there are dance sequences and tavern fights, because of course there are. If you like your games light-hearted but still serious at the core, this is the pirate game to call home port.


3. Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag

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I know, it isn’t out yet. I’m still calling it now. This game deserves a top 5 slot. All the coverage shows a game in a beautiful, open world with tons of options for a budding pirate captain. With boarding sequences and sword fights on a truly visceral level, this is one to keep an eye on. Combine that with the undersea stuff that’s been previewed, along with the treasure hunting present in all previous AC games, and you have a recipe for a game of the year contender and something that should be in every pirates cabin game library.

4. Risen 2

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If you want a high fantasy, land exploration heavy pirate experience, Risen 2 is great. The sequel to the incredibly underrated Risen, Risen 2: Dark Waters was a great, if incredibly unforgiving, game. Everything about this game is tough, and you certainly have to play well to advance. It won’t hold your hand or coddle you, right from the start. The learning curve is high, and voodoo is disappointing, but the pirate experience is solid, and the combat feels heavy and is difficult enough for even the most seasoned pirate captain to occasionally give up the ghost. Test your mettle against the Gods in Risen 2: Dark Waters; you won’t be disappointed.

5. Sea Dogs Series

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Sea Dogs, from Akella and published by Bethesda Softworks, was another great pirate series. One of the first of the open-world pirate RPGs, you had the ability to build a fleet and manage your crew, as well as deal with the day to day personal dealings of a pirate captain. Sea Dogs II was eventually redone as Pirates of the Caribbean to tie in with the movie, but both games were generally excellent portrayals of the pirate genre. If you can get past the sometimes wonky combat, the game offers a great challenge and an awesome experience. Get your ass on your boat, hit the high seas, and plunder in the name of personal fortune. Sea Dogs is probably the grittiest entry on this list, other than maybe Risen, but for hardcore pirate enthusiasts, it’s the must play series.

Now, ye landlubbing gamers, get out there and get your sea legs under you. The ocean calls, and we all must answer on this day o’ pirate holy days.

About Whiskey Ginger

Whiskey Ginger is a scientist by day and comedy writer by night. Other than his passions for the nerdier things in life, he also writes for comedy sites dedicated to fraternity and postgrad humor. His parents just wish he'd write less dick jokes.

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