Which Civilization to play in 2023? This question is asked by many strategy fans – even those who are already familiar with Tsiva firsthand. In this article, I will discuss the pros and cons of Part 5 and Part 6 of the series.




Civilization is a turn-based strategy cycle, and games in this genre are aging very slowly. The release of each part brought new mechanics to the system, but did not change the global rules. Despite all the efforts of the developers, Tsiva has always copied itself, building up a snowball of add-ons. I will not think long about all the parts of the series, as each has its own fans – especially the “classic” third. Still, in 2023 it is definitely worth choosing between two Civilization – the fifth and sixth.

It’s worth noting that different parts of the same franchise rarely get the same recognition. Firstly, because of the constant competition with themselves, studios are forced to go out of their way, trying to please gamers, and shock therapy, calculated at such moments for a “wow effect”, is not always successful. Secondly, fans often believe that the grass was greener in the past, and boycott new projects simply out of harm.

Public institutions in Civilization V

Civilization V was released in 2010 and was warmly received by critics, despite the background of the incredibly successful third part and the subsequent acceptable fourth. At the release, gamers appreciated the new user-friendly interface of the “five”. It has become more intuitive, making the game more beginner friendly. The gameplay of any Qiva is more addictive when you understand the basics – so the updated visuals and dashboards have had a positive impact on the online experience.

The basic version of the “five” was a standalone product that was already ready to use. Major DLCs – Gods & Kings (2012) and Brave New World (2013) – improved the game, fixed minor bugs like too much gold flow for meadows and unbalanced “will” and “tradition”, but did not radically remake the title. The basic version of Civilization V can still be enjoyed.

Starting City in Civilization V

In the case of the sixth part, everything turned out exactly the opposite. Civilization VI was released in 2016, and the close-knit community of civilizers split in two. Some left to conquer new horizons, others remained in their comfort zone. The vast majority of experienced players who tried Civilization VI at the start were horrified: only the graphics have changed fundamentally. Bugs, balance problems and a total lack of something new besides visuals scared away users. Even critics, who were clearly afraid to give a low rating and on average agreed on 88 points out of 100, noted the inconvenient interface, but praised for keeping traditions in a new wrapper. Is this required from a novelty? Given the high cost of the title, gamers didn’t want to buy the same game a second time. A year after the release, all indicators of the sixth “Tsiva” fell – on Steam, the fifth part was again several steps ahead of its descendant. I myself did not want to switch from Civilization V to VI for a long time.

Online Civilization V and VI on Steam in 2017

The very first major update, Rise & Fall (2018), seriously changed Civilization VI, turning it into a new game, and not a bad parody of the previous one. With him, loyalty and governors appeared in strategy, and the system for entering the golden age was completely redone. Fundamentally new mechanics were beneficial to the game. Many gamers were still scared off by the cartoon graphics, unusual to the eye after the realistic “five”, but for the sake of new sensations, they slowly began to “digest” it.

The Gathering Storm DLC (2019) has changed the game beyond recognition. The graphics remained the same, much to my personal disappointment, but new mechanics, including natural disasters and additional civilizations, added color to the boring gameplay. First of all, an element of randomness has appeared in the game – however, it is still quite fair to users. Many buildings and improvements can now be destroyed by heavy rainfall, flood, snow or sand storms, and even volcanic eruptions. Finally, the phrase “global strategy” has realized itself not only in the duration of online games, but also in in-game events. My delight, however, was not shared by everyone – for some players, uncalculated events seemed redundant.

Unlike the “completed” fifth version, good updates are still coming out for the sixth. New civilizations and even mechanics appear – I advise you to watch a video from the developers about the upcoming additions. However, this is a double-edged sword: even Firaxis Games, an experienced studio, can twist things and ruin the gameplay with too strong units or areas.

Civilization VI Free Weekend Starts On Steam
Civilization VI Free Weekend Starts On Steam

You can play for free until July 27.

It’s worth clarifying that I view Civilization V and VI as multiplayer games with humans. As singles, both are good, although the AI ​​leaves much to be desired here and there, and the increase in complexity only adds conventions that prevent you from winning quickly and without problems. If desired, even an inexperienced user can defeat the AI ​​on the “Emperor” by looking at the step-by-step guide – in my opinion, this is unacceptable in a strategic game. The network game is wonderful with live diplomacy, which an artificial opponent is not yet capable of.

Can you answer unequivocally which part is better? Let’s understand the points. It is impossible to consider every characteristic of games, because they are too many-sided and very different from each other. Let’s take a few of the most varied aspects – both game mechanics and overall experience and user-friendliness.

Benefits of Civilization V

  • Wonders of the world

In this version of the game, you can build any number of wonders of the world in one city. Is it balanced? I don’t think so. Is it great to have all the wonders of the world in the capital? Undoubtedly.

  • Great people

Great people are a resource that can be developed and accumulated. In multiplayer games, where the players have not established unspoken rules, you can collect several great people and instantly complete important buildings (engineers) or scientific research (scientists). The system is logical and understandable, although it is prone to abuse.

  • Musical accompaniment

Let’s consider music in two parts using the example of Russia. In the “five” the leader of this superpower is Catherine II. Compositions for both peacetime and wartime are distinguished by anxiety and aggression. The whole orchestra is responsible for the music, and the vocal part is performed by the choir.



  • Ecology

If you build many coal factories, and the city is on the coast, it is quite possible that you are putting spokes in your own wheels. Continue in the same spirit – and the glaciers will melt, the level of the world’s oceans will rise, and your settlement will go under water. The well-developed system of phased pollution of the planet clearly demonstrates the problems that humanity can face if it continues to frantically dig the earth and throw clouds of smoke into the atmosphere from the chimneys of factories. Not to mention the consequences of using nuclear weapons.

  • Workers build instantly

Each squad of workers has three charges by default for the construction of any buildings and improvements. Having used up the reserve of forces, they disappear, and new ones will have to be hired for additional funds (time or money).

Disadvantages of Civilization VI

  • Out of sync in a network party

Hangs and bugs, typical of the fifth part of the series, in the “six” have become much less – technical progress made itself felt. However, the problem with out-of-sync in online batches remained. As before, automatic reboot is not always enough to solve it, sometimes you have to exit the game completely and connect back. If you miss one move (for example, in an online FFA with strangers), the AI ​​can spend all your gold during this time, change its policy and sell a couple of masterpieces to an opponent for next to nothing.

  • Road construction

The user controls road construction only indirectly. Any city-state at the beginning of the game will want to send a caravan to you and make a convenient road for trade. He will not care that an enemy army can come to you along it. For internal routes of communication, you will have to send caravans to your own cities, and it is not at all necessary that merchants will pave the way where you want. Most often it will be calculated in terms of the shortest distance from point A to B, but personally, the paved asphalt in the middle of the field makes me a little angry.

  • Aviation

Aviation in the “six” remained so even after the patches. The research branch is designed in such a way that it is possible to study the technology necessary for the construction of aircraft without even knowing typography. At the same time, aviation is incredibly strong, and bombers alone are capable of destroying entire cities. You just have to enter it with any blockhead. The strongest victory strategy so far (and the easiest one) is to survive until the bombers open and find aluminum.

Cleopatra is the ruler of Egypt in Civilization VI

I think you’ve already noticed the catch – some of the pros and cons above contradict each other. All markers are different in taste and color, and the final versions of the fifth and sixth Civilization with two major DLCs made the games as unlike each other as possible. Before the release of Gathering Storm, I had doubts about which Tsiva to play, but now my advice is this: beginners should definitely study in Part VI. And the “oldies” who have not played for a long time and want to return, too. The fifth Civilization in 2023 is suitable for those who know the title well, have like-minded friends and want to get the same emotions and pleasure. Old “six” will annoy for a long time before settling in the heart – I checked. But if the spirit of adventurism lives in you, feel free to immediately acquire the VI part. readers probably have their own opinion about the Civilization series. Tell us why you hate this or that part of it and what you think is the best. For fans, I suggest taking the Civilization V and VI knowledge test – available here.