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If you like your gaming adventures seasoned with a hefty dose of Nordic-inspired history then you’ll want to check out the Viking vibes in these titles. From expansive open-world RPGs to action-adventure and grand strategy, if you’re looking to steer your longship into some Viking-inspired waters then our picks for the 11 best Xbox Series X/S Viking games should satisfy your wanderlust. Time to go a-Viking.
#11 Mount & Blade: Warband
Publisher: TaleWorlds Entertainment, Koch Media, Paradox Interactive
Developer: TaleWorlds Entertainment
Release Date: March 2010
An open-world action role-playing game that takes place amidst a medieval landscape, Mount & Blade: Warband clearly takes inspiration from Viking-era battles, as well as raiding smaller towns in order to expand the player’s realm. The game focuses mainly on horse-mounted combat, which is a slight shift from traditional Viking melee battles, but it’s a title that players who enjoy a medieval-era RPG will enjoy. Mount & Blade: Warband has a Viking Conquest DLC, enabling the player to explore Scandinavia, Frisia, and the British Isles, although this seems to be available only on the PC version of the game.
#10 Civilization VI
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Firaxis Games
Release Date: October 2016
An epic turn-based strategy game that tasks players with developing a small civilian settlement into an entire civilization, Civilization VI is one of the ultimate in city-building titles. It also has a Vikings Scenario Pack that adds Vikings, raiders, and traders into the game as additional content. If city-building is your thing then you’ll definitely find yourself sinking hours into Civilization VI, which is playable on the Xbox Series S/X via backwards compatibility. The Vikings Scenario Pack also enables players to take part in raids on England, Paris, Vinland, and various ports along the Mediterranean Sea for the full Viking expansion experience.
#9 Crusader Kings III – The Northern Lords
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Paradox Development Studio
Release Date: March 2021
The Northern Lords is the first DLC for Crusader Kings III and introduces ferocious Vikings into the grand strategy game. The expansion also brings a number of additional features to the base game, including new art and music, Norse adventurer realms, Jomsvikings, shieldmaidens, and a range of historical-cultural components that enhance the features and options of Crusader Kings III‘s post-campaign content. In a game that’s all about managing your kingdom as ruler, having to decide the best way to deal with or collaborate with the Viking invasion from the north should prove as rewarding as it is challenging.
#8 Volgarr the Viking
Publisher: Adult Swim Games, Adult Swim
Developer: Crazy Viking Studios
Release Date: September 2013
A Viking-themed platformer that takes inspiration from the classic side-scrollers of the ’80s, Volgarr the Viking sees players taking on a dragon-hunting quest given by Odin. Playable via backwards compatibility, this is a Viking game with a purposely retro feel to it, but don’t let its cool old-school pixelated looks deceive you. Volgarr the Viking definitely brings an impressive level of challenge. With a sword, spear, and wooden shield, players will need to work hard to stay alive in this game, but it’s tons of fun trying. This is a great adventure for those who like their Viking games with a bit of a roguelike, retro vibe.
#7 For Honor
Release Date: February 2017
In For Honor, players can take on the role of a Viking warrior in an action-based fighting adventure. The game is set in a non-specific medieval fantasy world in which players from different historical factions can battle their way through either a single-player campaign or various multiplayer modes. Within the Viking faction of the game, players can try out the different combat styles of raiders, berserkers, warlords, valkyries, highlanders, shamans, and Jormungandrs. Each of these has a distinct playstyle and gives players a bit more variety when fighting as opposed to playing through the campaign as a generic ‘Viking’ character, as can sometimes end up being the case in other Viking games.
Publisher: Shiro Games, Playdigious
Developer: Shiro Games
Release Date: February 2017
Northgard is a resource management survival game that’s underpinned by Norse mythology and looks stunningly as a top-down real-time strategy title. Players will need to build their settlement, select and master a clan of their own, and manage their resources carefully in order to ensure its survival and growth. In order to carry out the campaign missions, players will need to fully understand six different clans, so there’s a lot to contend with in this game. Northgard also has a story mode in which players can work through a murder mystery campaign that revolves around the Viking High King’s throne. There’s plenty for players of all kinds to do in this game, and it’s certainly a must-play for fans of the Viking genre.
Publisher: Thunder Lotus Games
Developer: Thunder Lotus Games
Release Date: September 2015
A gorgeous hand-drawn adventure set against a backdrop of Norse mythology, this is another example of how visually appealing Viking games can be. Jotun sees players stepping into the role of Thora, a Viking warrior who must prove herself worthy of entry into Valhalla. The titular Jotun in this game are Thora’s main enemies, and take shape as huge elemental giants that players will need to battle and defeat in order to pour enough glory on their names to gain access to the halls of Odin. This game is a must-play if you’re looking for a Viking adventure that looks a bit different but still revels in rich historical knowledge and takes delight in the mythological details.
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Release Date: November 2011
While not specifically a ‘Viking’ game, there’s little doubt that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim leans heavily on Norse culture, mythologies, and Nordic landscapes and scenery in its rich lore and world setting. Skyrim is perhaps one of the most quintessential open-world RPGs out there with a Viking feel, as players see themselves stepping into the greaves of the mighty Dragonborn as they explore the wintry wilds of the province of Skyrim. The game takes inspiration from Viking culture in its weaponry, armor, and folklore stylings, with the Nord race of characters, in particular, epitomizing the Vikingesque traits of the native inhabitants of Skyrim. It’s a world that players can get lost in, and one that stands the test of time against more modern entries into this list.
#3 Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Publisher: Ninja Theory
Developer: Ninja Theory
Release Date: August 2017
For many, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is considered a masterclass in game design and storytelling, while also bringing combat to the very real edges of difficulty and realism. The game tells the story of Senua, a Pictish warrior who must contend with the difficulties of severe psychosis as she journeys through the depths of Helheim to try and save the soul of her beloved. While not specifically one of the classic Viking games, it’s a game that leans heavily into Norse mythology in its styling. However, it actually takes historical inspiration from the Picts, who were the indigenous people of northern and eastern Scotland in the Early Middle Ages. Regardless of the historical specifics, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a must-play, and is best experienced with headphones.
#2 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: November 2020
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is a seminal Viking adventure that just so happens to be set in the Assassin’s Creed universe. Players will step into the shoes of protagonist Eivor, a Viking warrior who leads their people across the seas from Norway on a conquest voyage to Anglo-Saxon-era England. Players will have a range of adventures whilst on this journey and will be able to experience what England was really like during the time of the Viking invasions. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla places a lot of historical and cultural research into this game, which reimagines life in the British Isles during the time of the Viking expansions. It’s simply a great game that any Viking fan will love.
#1 The Banner Saga
Publisher: Versus Evil
Developer: Stoic Studio
Release Date: 2014-2018
A truly epic adventure series that spans three different Viking games, The Banner Saga is a tactical story-driven role-playing series of games set in a world inspired by Norse and Viking mythology. This is another example of a game world where hand-drawn 2D art really set things apart, as the environmental artwork really adds to the experience of this engaging narrative adventure. Players will be able to journey across three titles as they travel with their caravan across a Nordic-inspired land full of interesting culture, characters, combat, and heavy choices.