Is Sid Meier’s Civilization (1991), Worth Playing?
Sid Meier’s Civilization (1991) is one of the most important PC games in history and, in many ways, is responsible for the widespread popularity and mass adoption of the 4X genre by generations of gamers.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: 4X Strategy
Developer: MicroProse
Publisher: MicroProse
Price: $10+ on eBay
Release Date: September 1991
Supported Modes:

Cross-Generational Influence.

Sid Meier’s Civilization is an ancient game by modern standards, yet despite its simplicity, it helped popularise the 4X genre to the masses, and while even the most complex aspects of Sid Meier’s Civilization are simplistic compared to a modern 4X game, all of the core components of a modern 4X title are easy to see.

Having recently played Sid Meier’s Civilization in preparation for this review, I was amazed at just how quickly I was able to overlook its awful visuals and terrible soundtrack and focus on the simple yet engaging gameplay that continues to be the focal point of the Civilization titles over three decades after Sid Meier’s Civilization (1991) was released.

Pick up any 4X game today, and you will see the influence of Sid Meier’s Civilization and its successors; while I doubt anyone would choose to go through the trouble of buying a floppy disc drive and vintage PC just to play Sid Meier’s Civilization, for those with access to older hardware, Sid Meier’s Civilization is a great look back at the not too distant past of gaming, and see just how far we have come in a relatively short time.


Lack of Availability.

Despite being one of the most iconic PC games in history, Sid Meier’s Civilization is not available to download via any legal sources, with pirate and abandonware sites being the only way to download Sid Meier’s Civilization in 2023, despite retro storefronts like Good Old Games (GOG) existing, and the market for classic titles such as Sid Meier’s Civilization being larger than ever.

I would love to see Sid Meier’s Civilization and Sid Meier’s Civilization II released onto modern storefronts, as I cannot endorse piracy even when it is well-intentioned.

Sid Meier’s Civilization is part of PC gaming history, and modern gamers and fans of Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise (especially those born in the last 30 years) deserve the opportunity to see where it all began.

For those with access to vintage hardware, Sid Meier’s Civilization is available on eBay in various formats (including floppy disk!) for around $15, so while it is not entirely unavailable, it is far less available than titles such as Sid Meier’s Civilization III which is widely available via Steam.


Iconic Soundtrack.

Sid Meier’s Civilization’s soundtrack is somehow iconic, nostalgic and awful at the same time; this rather impressive collection of incredibly low-quality and overly compressed midi anthems is impossible to forget for those of us who invested hundreds of hours into Sid Meier’s Civilization.

External URL: Sid Meier’s Civilization – Complete MT-32 Game Soundtrack (MS-DOS, 1991) – YouTube.


Sid Meier’s Civilization is a very old game and the first in the series. Therefore, it has an abundance of strange quirks and unintentional features, with my favourite being the ability to wipe out an enemy civ within the first five turns by capturing its capital with a settler unit. My least favourite is the need to manage hundreds, if not thousands, of units at a time, with players being expected to invade enemy lands with as many as 50 separate units, a number which can easily swell to 100 units when facing off against multiple foes.



In Sid Meier’s Civilization, besieging an enemy city is very simple and mostly comprises unleashing wave upon wave of units against a defender’s stack of units until the invading army runs out of units or the last defender falls.

When I first played Sid Meier’s Civilization, I knew no better and found this system enjoyable; however, after playing modern titles that emphasise using the correct units over masses of lower-quality units, it feels incredibly simplistic.


Sid Meier’s Civilization has always had a strange relationship with religion; even 32 years later, militant atheists are angered by the abundance of scriptures used throughout the tech tree, while religious people are offended by the quotes by atheists and agnostics.

While each side has claimed that Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise is biased either for or against them at various times, the truth is Sid Meier’s Civilization has always sought to appeal to both theists and atheists,  a methodology that has at times worked, and at other times given us the mess that was the introduction video of Sid Meier’s Civilization (1991).

The developers attempted to appease both sides by using creationist verses from the book of Genesis modified to suit an evolutionist narrative, alongside imagery that leaned towards evolution. Unfortunately, they only succeeded in offending both parties, with neither side feeling that their beliefs (or lack of) were being respected.

However, the views presented in Sid Meier’s Civilization were not entirely new and are essentially the cornerstone of theistic evolution, aka the theory that evolution is real and that God was behind it; this runs in contrast to traditional atheistic evolution and creationist world views.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and his references to God making male and female in the beginning are enough for me, having witnessed time and time against direct evidence of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ in my own life (including witnessing people cured of cancer and incurable blood disease ), I do not doubt for a second that our current existence is the work of God.

However, that does not mean that humanity as we are now, were the first humans on Earth, and the Bible itself lends credence to this with God stating that Adam was to replenish the Earth, something he and Eve would not have been able to do if they were the first humans.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth. - Genesis 1:28

In addition, we are told that before creating mankind, God spoke and said, “Let us create man in our image”, with some original texts containing a word that modifies meaning to be something closer to “this time let us”, or “this time we will”, implying that mankind in some form had once lived on Earth before it becoming formless and void, as it is rediscovered at the start of Genesis.

As for why the Earth was created and then became formless and void, only to be repopulated, the Bible does not say; however, many believe this was due to the heavenly rebellion which saw Lucifer cast out from heaven, with many theologians believing this act was the catalyst for the end of the old world, which then entered a rapid cycle of decay until the Earth was entirely devoid of life and light.


Could this explain the elusive final “missing link” between modern man and Neanderthals, the extinction of the dinosaurs and proto-humanity, and why modern human history only existed back 6-10k years despite evolutionists claiming that humanity in its current form has existed for much longer? Very likely, as we know, these things did exist (despite some extremist Christians trying to claim dinosaurs were not real), and yet there has never been any scientific or religious proof that bridged the gap between the “old world and proto-man” and modern humanity, signifying that a break occurred and that the history of the Earth is not as linear as we have been lead to believe.

Fascinatingly, Genesis contains the first messiah prophecy about the coming messiah (Jesus),

I will put hostility between you (the snake) and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. - Genesis 3:15

This verse refers to Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection would put an end to Satan’s dominion over all men (crush his head), while Eve’s offspring (Jesus) would be persecuted and suffer great cruelty and even execution at the hands of the serpent (strike his heel), Jesus would emerge the victor.

This verse and countless others like it have existed in scrolls of the Jewish people for thousands of years before the birth of Jesus and remain part of the Tanakh (Jewish Scriptures) even today, despite Judaism not recognising Jesus as their messiah at all and that they have no reason to add such prophecies in revision (as some atheists have claimed), as they would only serve to reinforce the stature of Jesus Christ, something that no follower of Judaism has any interest in doing as it would run counter to their own deeply held beliefs.

Some people have taken this verse to mean that the Jewish people are the serpent’s offspring, but this is untrue; all early Christians were Jewish, and Jesus himself was a Jew.

Rather, the serpent’s offspring are those that actively try to stop or diminish the Word of God, such as the many Jewish religious leaders at the Christ, and in no way implies that “all Jews are the enemies of god and are responsible for the death of Jesus”.

No, it was not the Jewish people or the Romans who were responsible for the death of Jesus. Rather, it was all of us, every single man, woman and child, who would have no hopes of reconciliation with a holy God without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who, because of his love for the Father (God) and the Fathers love for us offered himself up as a sinless sacrifice to redeem mankind.

I don’t have much more time to talk to you because the ruler of this world (Satan) approaches. He has no power over me, but I will do what the Father requires of me so that the world will know that I love the Father… - John 14:30-31

Sid Meier's Civilization FAQ

Sid Meier's Civilization is a 4x strategy video game developed and published by MicroProse, it was released on September 1991 and retails for $10+ on eBay.

Platform Availability.

Sid Meier's Civilization is available exclusively on PC.

Are The Developers Active?

Sid Meier's Civilization is no longer in active development, and the developers have moved on to other projects.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Sid Meier's Civilization is unrated and contains the following:

  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Sid Meier’s Civilization is a great game. I have a lot of fond memories of playing it, but to be realistic, I cannot recommend anyone except retro enthusiasts go out of their way to play it in 2023, as while it’s a good game, every game in the franchise ever since has surpassed it. Honestly, right now, there is no reason to play it when Sid Meier’s Civilization V and Sid Meier’s Civilization VI exist.

Is Sid Meier's Civilization Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Sid Meier's Civilization" a rating of 7/10, indicating that it is a good game, that is well worth playing, and while it may have a few shortcomings, the average gamer will enjoy it.

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