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Civilization VI vs Crusader Kings 3 – The Definitive Comparison

While the games might be of different genres, these 2 colossal strategy games have one thing in common; you won’t be able to stop playing as days and nights, and time in general, becomes a blur.

That said, you’re probably not gonna be playing both games consistently, it’s not about preference as it is about time.

So, if you’re a newcomer, which game is more worth your time? Find out with this comparison, where we’ll compare storylines, gameplay, and visuals.

Without further ado:


Neither game has any storyline. Both games follow the logic of “build your own story”. In other words, what you do and the choices you make are essentially your story, because believe me, once you’re done with a playthrough, you’ll have stories to tell.

However… Crusader Kings definitely has more affinity with that. Crusader Kings is more than a simple strategy game. It’s actually an RPG as well, as you have your own character (which you can create and edit if you want), and you must keep your family’s legacy alive through heirs, as your character eventually dies.

That means that the “build your own story” is actually literal here, as every character you have will have various stats and traits, which can be changed by various random events. Talk about unique!


As I mentioned, the 2 games are of different genres. Let’s dig into that.

Civilization as a series has always been a 4X game. 4X games are a strategy sub-genre that goes more in-depth with every aspect of your empire.

That means that, besides managing your armies, attacks, and economy, you also have to look out for things like scientific and cultural advancement, or religion, or even how to keep your people happy and well-fed.

These aspects exist because simply put, they are essential to victory. In Civilization, you can certainly win by becoming the world’s superior power and conquering everything in sight, but there are in particular, 4 more ways to win (plus the default one if you run out of time, but that can be disabled).

By being scientifically advanced, culturally superior, a world diplomat, or by spreading your religion across the corners of the world. These, plus being a warmonger, are all the ways you can seek victory.

In fact, many different factions have different advantages that give them an affinity of some sort toward 1 or 2 of the aforementioned ways.

Crusader Kings is a grand strategy game, but with an RPG twist.

Essentially, you only win through score once the timer expires, but you could theoretically conquer everything, though that’s easier said than done.

From trying to hold your empire together (even if you begin as a county) to keeping good relations and well-managed armies, you’ll play dozens of games before you know what you’re doing.

That is a key difference between the games; while both complicated, Crusader Kings far surpasses Civilization, as you pretty much must micromanage almost everything, from people in your court and wife and tutors for your children to your council seats and vassals.

I won’t go into much detail about their gameplays lest this article becomes too big.

A word about their SFX before we move on.

Civilization has an undeniably unique and awesome soundtrack. Every country has its own theme that derives from the country’s culture and becomes more and more synthesized as you move technologically to show you this progress.

There are voice actors for every leader, and every leader speaks in the country’s native language, even if it doesn’t exist today.

Crusader Kings has an (equally) awesome soundtrack that loops as you play. If you’re a metal fan you’re in for a blast. If not, I think you should try listening to the songs anyway.

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Civilization’s visuals are top-notch. It is, after all, considered an AAA game. Even in the lowest settings, any old PC won’t be able to run it. Most bad specs PCs may run it, but expect long-timers toward the end of the game, as it has lots to process.

Crusader Kings 3 has even better graphics this time around. Crusader Kings also feels more realistic and allows you to fully edit your character’s appearance like any true MMORPG would.

Final Thoughts

If anyone has the time to play and master both games, I urge you to do so.

However, we’re here because almost no one has the time.

Let’s get the easiest out of the way.

If you want complexity or more of a focus on your actions and choices, or if you generally want an RPG to feel to your strategy game, definitely go for Crusader Kings 3.

If you want stunning visuals (and can handle them), or more variety than just war, then Civilization VI is your choice.

For those of you that can’t decide, I’ll give you my personal experiences.

Crusader Kings is overwhelming at the start, and even as an advanced player, you still won’t have an “optimal way” to play.

In fact, as I said, you’ll hardly make it past 3 centuries at the start, as always something happens, and your family gets killed.

But the game is certainly worth it, as you can find a base strategy to survive early and learn from there.

Multiplayer is also more fun in Crusader Kings as well, in my humble opinion.

Civilization is also more complex at the start, but there is a good learning curve there, where, as you scale the difficulties, you learn more and more.

Plus, Civilization also has the aspect of map mastery. Every map is different, and you always have to think differently about how to exploit it. The same goes for the grounds within your empire.

Take these into account before deciding what to play.

If I had to decide, I’d choose Civilization if you wanna play solo, or Crusader Kings if you want to play with company and friends. As always, this is my personal opinion.

That’s it for my comparison. Have you played both games? If so, which do you prefer? You can tell me your opinions below.

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