3, 4, or 5: Which is best to start with?

#1 Posted by adummy (32 posts) -

I picked up the Civ collection during the steam sale and I wanted Giant Bomb's opinion. I have never played a Civ game before and I wanted to know which is best for a new player to start with? Also, will playing 5 first make 3 to difficult/annoying to go back to? Thanks in advance GB!

#2 Edited by GJSmitty (685 posts) -

Hmm, I never played 3, but from my experience, 4 is more complicated than 5, and the same may be true for 3 and 4. I would recommend going in order, from 3rd to 5th, just so that you can see how the series has evolved. Or, if you would rather skip the old graphics and UI, Civ 5 would also be a great intro to the series, because it also gets rid of a lot of stuff that made the 4 more frustrating. I imagine if I went back to 4, I wouldn't like it nearly as much as I do 5.

If you are determined to play all 3, then for sure start with 3, because it won't be easy to go backwards.

#3 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2167 posts) -

I'd wait to hear what vets have to say, but as someone who also never played a Civ game before finally trying one I just went to Civ 5 and really enjoyed my time with it.

#4 Posted by PeezMachine (278 posts) -

Start with 5, and never look back. I've been playing Civ since 2, and 5 is all of the good stuff with none of the crap. It's the only one in the series that doesn't really bog down in the late game, and there's so much verstaility in how to play that you aren't a prisoner to your starting location. I HIGHLY recommend the Gods and Kings expansion for any number of reasons.

#5 Posted by Omega (878 posts) -

5 is way simpler and more streamlined than 4 though 4 is more fun.

#6 Posted by EchoEcho (845 posts) -

Start with 4 or 5. Civ 3, while competent in its own right, is a low point in the series in my opinion. 4 and 5 are on relatively the same plane, depending on your tastes, though most Civ fans seem to believe that 4 is superior. From what I've read and seen of the new expansion for Civ 5, though, it might just put it at the top of the stack.

#7 Posted by triviaman09 (816 posts) -

I started with 5. It eases you into things well. I don't know about the other ones, that's the only one I've played. After you play 5, it might be hard to go back.

#8 Edited by TruthTellah (9655 posts) -

I'd say you won't want to go back to 3 after playing 4, but 5 is its own bird. So, if you want to play all of them, go 3, 4, 5. If you just want to have a good time, as it's your first experience with Civ, I'd say go with 4 and then 5.

Civ 3 was great for its time, but in my opinion, 4 is simply better for a new player. Though, Civ fans generally disagree on 3 vs 4, and I'm sure other Civ fans in this thread may disagree with me. ha. You'll usually like one and dislike the other(though they're both pretty high-quality; it's more about personal preference). So, give 4 a shot, if it isn't for you, then fall back on 3 and see if its pace is a bit more to your liking. Either way, play Civ 5 last, as it changes things up and will probably make it hardest to go back.

#9 Posted by Hunter5024 (6447 posts) -

I think you'll have the most fun with 5 so my instinct is to say go with 5, but I do think that will make it hard to go back to the older ones. 5 is the easiest to get into for a new player as well.

#10 Posted by Spoonman671 (5136 posts) -

V will explain the game mechanics best.

#11 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12902 posts) -

V is the most accessible, so you should start with that. IV is no slouch either, though it is perhaps a bit... bloated?

#12 Edited by MentalDisruption (1787 posts) -

IV or V. I've played since II, and I always found III to be a little lackluster. Never really got into it. V is probably easiest to get into if you don't mind going back to unit stacking and square tiles to play IV later. I highly suggest starting with IV if you're willing to take the time to learn everything going on in it.

#13 Posted by HadesTimes (887 posts) -

I started playing Civ back with #2 so I guess I'm the wrong person to ask. I would say so far 4 is probably the most traditional and 5 takes most of that and throws it out. Most of the strats from 4 don't really work in 5. Also, If I was just starting out I would definitely enable the expansion if I was going to start playing 5. After all, why not learn everything all at once.

#14 Posted by StarvingGamer (9194 posts) -

It depends on what you're looking for. If you crave complexity at the cost of accessibility then play IV. If you want a rich game experience sans the clutter then go for V.

#15 Posted by DoctorWelch (2817 posts) -

I am no expert, but V really felt boring to me. I'm not an enormous Civ guy or anything, and I still felt like they stripped out a lot of the complexity that made the older games good. Not only are there less systems at work, but the ones that are a work just seem trivial. Maybe it was just me, but the amount of ways to actually play the game and win seem to be limited compared to the older games. It felt like they wanted to make it easier for people to get into, but they really just made the whole thing seem limited in scope while still being as slowly paced as ever, really making the entire game way more monotonous and laborious.

My time with Civ III was so long ago that I have completely forgotten everything about that game, but I remember playing Civ IV and feeling like the presentation was better, but the mechanics of how the game actually worked weren't as fun. In conclusion, I would probably play Civ III or IV. If you find that it's over your head, move on to V. When you feel like V is just too boring, move back to IV or III.

#16 Posted by Mikemcn (7511 posts) -

Civ III was a better game than 4, but it's presentation is more outdated.

#17 Posted by sickVisionz (1299 posts) -

I think Civ4 is the best overall, but the combat in Civ5 is way better, which is good considering that diplomacy is insane in 5 and the AI seems to be modeled after "internet deathmatch kid" who just wants to go to war all the time.

My favorite way of playing Civ4 was to be pretty peaceful and just build up a fly ass culture that was so awesome that I could take over cities solely because the citizens knew I was the shit and wanted to role with a winner. Civ 5 completely removes all of that and all of my games are just constant war and insane AI that never does anything that makes any sense.

#18 Posted by Zekhariah (700 posts) -

Civilization V is probably the best one to start with.

Playing that before IV+BTS does show that there are more options, but most of the streamlining was in the service of removing items that were less interesting. And Gods and Kings is out now :D>.

Alpha Centauri (GOG) is also pretty awesome if you are wanting an older Civ game though. To me, it had seemed like IV was overtly build and peace oriented, so it lacked the tension on any of the reasonablish difficulties.

#19 Posted by mosdl (3388 posts) -

At this point civ 3 and civ 4 have merged in my head, so I would choose 4 over 3 just for the better presentation.

@sickVisionz: The culture stuff in Civ 4 felt overpowered to me, too easy to use culture bombs. I had hoped that the religion stuff in Civ 5 would be similar - civs with same religions would be friendlier, etc. Doesn't seem to be true from what little I plaid of the new expansion though.

The insane AI through is much more realistic for me though as history has shown. But hopefully for Civ 6 they take the criticism of diplomacy and make it better.

#20 Posted by mosdl (3388 posts) -

@Zekhariah: I have to hope that after XCOM they make a new Alpha Centauri.

#21 Posted by SmilingPig (1370 posts) -

If you play 3 or 4 before 5 than you will most likely be disappointed from what 5 dose not have, so I say play 5 first.

#22 Posted by sickVisionz (1299 posts) -

@mosdl: I like that in Civ4, it felt like I had multiple ways of playing the game. I could piss off everyone and be at constant war if I wanted to, or I could not. I feel like Civ 5 effectively removes all options other than total war.

#23 Posted by Xymox (2163 posts) -

Civ 5 and Alpha Centauri.

#24 Posted by UitDeToekomst (785 posts) -

i don't see any real point in playing 3 nowadays other than out of curiosity, because it is most likely pretty dated in comparison to 4 (although i haven't actually played 3 since 4 came out). As others have said, a fairly significant number of changes were implemented in 5, and 4 is my favorite ever Civ game, so it is possible, depending on your personal tastes, that you will prefer 4 over 5. with that said, i would recommend playing a bit of 4 and then a bit of 5 and assess your preferences then. Leave playing 3 for a time when you have played the others enough to appreciate the leaps that are made with each new version.

#25 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (2007 posts) -

I would bet hardcore Civ guys would tell you start with 4 ... but 5 is a perfectly fine game thats way easier to get into (plus, personally, I like the combat-system in 5 better) ... so it comes down to how much work you are willing to put into it.

#26 Posted by dungbootle (2501 posts) -

I like 4 more, but you probably wanna stick with the latest just 'cuz. I'm sure more expansions could bring 5 up to 4's level eventually.

#27 Posted by Fattony12000 (7969 posts) -

IV is voiced by Leonard Nimoy.


#28 Posted by Remedy25 (142 posts) -

I have the whole Civ collection that I bought as a bundle ages ago, and started on the 5th instalment but I couldn't get to grip with it. But I recently picked it up again and gave it the time it deserved and now I love it. The mutliplayer is especially fun with a few friends. So, I'd recommend starting on the 5th game from my experience, although I haven't actually touched the previous games.

#29 Posted by Kidavenger (3927 posts) -

I would just stick with 5; there is plenty to do and it's by far the most polished. If you really get into it, then get gods and kings.

#30 Posted by Canteu (2891 posts) -

V is the easiest and most accessible, and will introduce you to a lot of the mechanics even if they are somewhat different.

If you want to get into IV it will involve a lot more "studying" and is less fun during the learning phases as you're basically useless until you get it.

#31 Posted by mikey87144 (2000 posts) -

V for some odd reason always breaks down to war against the other civs. IV is more complicated and more in depth but still I would start with V then go back to IV

#32 Posted by Wuddel (2309 posts) -

V and never look back. Compared to IV they removed complexity in some areas and added it elsewhere. V with the expansion seems to be the best choice. The hardcore community also seems to approve. You totally can win other conditions than domination. But it requires you to be more aware of the diplomacy side of things.

#33 Posted by _Chad (999 posts) -

I just bought 5 on saturday when it was 8 dollars. I've really enjoyed it so far. I've played 4 a little and didn't really enjoy it but I had no idea what I was doing.

#34 Posted by impartialgecko (1768 posts) -

5. If you've never played a Civ game 3 and 4 will make sure you never play them again. They're great for someone who knows Civ but hell for a newcomer. 5 gets you thinking Civ thoughts better than its predecessors ever did

#35 Posted by Hunkulese (2968 posts) -

I look at the Civ games more as evolutions than as sequels and you'll be doing pretty much the same thing in all the games so there's really no reason to play 3 & 4 anymore. Unfortunately 5 took a few small steps back from 4 but also made some huge leaps forward.

The expansion for 5 is also important becaus it makes it closer to the game it could have been.

#36 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4569 posts) -

anyone played civ on iphone?

#37 Posted by Zelnox (430 posts) -

I preferred the systems in Civ IV, but Civ V is pretty good too. The combat is certainly quite different. I enjoy playing on marathon speed.

@mosdl: EA owns the rights to Alpha Centauri. http://www.firaxis.com/company/faq.php#3

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