Released in 2008, the action role playing game Mount & Blade from TaleWorlds Entertainment is not only one of the most popular and well-reviewed games on Steam but also a classic single-player game that is begging for a new, multiplayer experience.
Set in a decidedly medieval, European setting, Mount & Blade prides itself on offering players a level of medieval action that had heretofore only been seen in titles like Thief from Eidos Interactive.
Though only receiving a lukewarm reception from professional critics, game players and Mount & Blade community members have kept the spirit of the title alive through subsequent modding and other tweaks to the core game engine.
Celebrating a decade since its release, in 2017 TaleWorlds Entertainment showed off 13 minutes of gameplay of their much-anticipated sequel to Mount & Blade, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.
This sequel to the popular Mount & Blade is expected to release sometime soon, Mount & Blade II is actually billed as a prequel to the original from a lore standpoint.
Mount & Blade II will focus on the formation of the nations of the Calradian Empire that are found in the original Mount & Blade and will be using the historical epoch between 600 and 1100 AD as its inspiration for the in-game world of states.
Based upon medieval European and Middle Eastern kingdoms, the factions of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord have their own unique style and flavor in combat, much more so than in Mount & Blade, and as such the 8 major factions and their attendant sub-factions play a huge role in the gameplay structure.
Sporting a brand new graphics engine that features realistic lighting and shading, among other things, Mount & Blade II is leaps beyond its predecessor in terms of graphical presentation and attention to detail. One of the official major focuses of the development team behind Mount & Blade II is an emphasis on skilled, challenging AI.
Towards that end TaleWorlds Entertainment has spent tons of dev hours refining the core tactical engine that makes the single-player experience so compelling on the original Mount & Blade.
Coming from the devs at Ubisoft Montreal, For Honor is a mildly well-received game on Steam (with a 6/10 aggregate review score as of press) that also features a medieval theme like Mount & Blade but is somewhat more grounded in fantasy than in some kind of understanding of fictional European/Middle Eastern history as in Mount & Blade.
As a knight, samurai, or Viking you will engage in basic fighting game and hack-and-slash fare as you battle your way against opponents in an arena in one of six game modes (with a seventh well on the way).
Praised and derided for its multiplayer content, For Honor is laden with small details that make the game as close to a triple-A blockbuster title as a game mixing various historical themes can be.
Given its many faults For Honor does a great job of simulating the combat for your chosen warrior. From the general graphical style employed to depict the avatar to the language he speaks, Eidos Montreal did not leave any details out in their recreation of historical warrior classes and it shows in For Honor.
Sandbox-style gameplay, in which a player is largely given free reign to do as he pleases within a game world, is probably the single hottest trend to dominate video games since the release of Grand Theft Auto V back in 2013.
And not without good reason: As the single most profitable multimedia property in the world, GTA V prints money for publisher Take Two Interactive and this success attracts others who would like to pull off something similar.
Kenshi, from Lo-Fi Games, takes the sandbox gameplay concept and melds it with a Rogue-like’s appreciation for difficulty and an unforgiving in-game world. Using aesthetics and a general style that is eerily reminiscent of Bethesda’s Fallout series, Kenshi, as the title implies, is largely about how one warrior survives in a brutal world filled with hostile people and an unforgiving terrain.
The open-ended nature of the gameplay allows you to build and grow crops or cause havoc and terror across the land. The choice is largely yours.
Battle Brothers from Overhype Studios lives up to its praise as one of the more popular games on Steam by offering a compelling tactical role-playing game wrapped up in the general look and feel of a medieval mercenary company’s life.
Using a procedurally generated open world, Battle-Brothers lets you lead your band of warriors in whatever way you see fit. As the leader of this band of warriors you can decide who to work for (and against) as well as what mercenary jobs you’d like to do and those you’d rather not.
Using graphics that look like they were ripped from a classic Blizzard game, Battle Brothers is as fun as it is addictively unique.
Another awesome game with a mild reception on Steam as far as user reviews are concerned, the East Asian theme real time tactics and role playing game Tiger Knight from NetDragon is all about player versus player and player versus environment combat in a sprawling battlefield environment to take control of China during the Three Kingdoms era.
The three factions each offer their own unique set of advantage and disadvantages as well as unique units and tactics possible because of them.
Probably the game most similar to Mount & Blade in terms of general feel and style, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare from Tom Banner Studios has overwhelmingly positive reviews for its first-person simulation of medieval combat.
Like Mount & Blade, Chivalry prides itself on conveying the grit and reality of what a slog fighting in the medieval battlefield was for a night.
Movements are weight and slow but hits are devastating and impactful. If you like your games straddling the worlds of fantasy and reality then Chivalry is what the doctor ordered for you. Detailed graphics and robust sound only help to underline what high-quality production values this game has.
This long-running series of musou games from Tecmo Koei has built a legion of dedicated fans over the years that love it for its intense combat and massive scale of its battles.
As a legendary warrior from the Three Kingdoms era in China you will take on endless waves of opponents as you battle your way to the enemy general for an epic confrontation to decide the fate of the battle.
Deploying a more Manga-influenced art direction than other games on this list, Dynasty Warriors 8 is not about realism but almost revels in its surrealism. A game that is markedly more fantasy than history, Dynasty Warriors 8 is perfect for those gamers that love endless challenge and combat for days.
Posting overwhelming positive reviews to Steam it is no wonder that Dynasty Warriors 8 is regarded as the best entry in the series by many veterans of the Three Kingdoms’ struggles.
This classic released in 2004 for the original Xbox, four years before Mount & Blade, Kingdom Under Fire is another hack-and-slash, real-time tactics game that is similar to but not as intense as the Dynasty Warriors series.
Different from Mount & Blade in general execution, Kingdom Under Fire: Crusaders shares with that game a general medieval milieu and an emphasis on hand-to-hand combat.
Though it is a bit aged it is one of the more positively reviewed games on this list, thrilling critics and gamers alike with an unforgiving though completely challenging and addictive take on medieval combat.
For those of us that like to have an eagle’s perspective on the battle, the Total War series takes you from the shoes of a foot soldier and places you in the saddle of a general in a strategy game that is perfect for people that like to take a global view of events.
Unlike many of the other games on this list, Total War is more about being a general than it is about being a soldier. Starting all the way back in 2000 with Shogun: Total War, the Total War series is a longstanding pillar of classic strategy gaming and is a case study in how to meld real-time strategy and intense action together in a game.
Garnering almost nothing but positive reviews since its release, the Total War series is a total must-own for fans of the genre.
Starpoint Gemini: Warlords (Wild Card)
Another spectacular game with a different take on everything above, Starpoint Gemini: Warlords is a classic title with overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam that emphasizes a global approach to things over a specific approach.
This means that you’re more likely to engage in things other than battle in Starpoint Gemini: Warlords and that’s a good thing.
With such a well-rounded set of choices in the game, Starpoint Gemini: Warlords shines when it lets the player do his own thing. Probably best suited for gamers that like to go in and out of being commanded, Starpoint Gemini gives you options in the game’s world that many titles on this list do not so if you’re looking for a game world you can live in, Starpoint Gemini: Warlords has that for you.
Rimworld (Wild Card)
Rimworld is a game where you are given charge of a colony and tasked with building it up to prominence.
The game is different from Mount & Blade in that it does not emphasize hand-to-hand combat but rather takes the general vibe of medieval struggle and turns that into a simulation game.
You will have to fend off raiders and use elements from games such as tower defense titles to keep your settlement safe.
One of the best reviewed games on Steam, Rimworld is tough as nails and unforgiving – quite like the world it throws its players into. If you want more strategy than action or something a little different, even a bit quirky, then Rimworld is your game.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list, it was amazing to put together and hopefully, you’ve found a game to replace Mount & Blade. If I missed any games you think should have been on the list, let me know in the comments below. Have an amazing day!