ARRR...Your favorite pirate games?

Used to be, the only pirate game I could think of was Sid Meier's Pirates. But that was long before The Crappening, when Gabe Newell walked across the water, raised his hands to the heavens and told the entire population of Earth to go forth and multiply the number of games on Steam. Now, we have enough pirate games that their combined weight would sink a Man O' War. We even have, Gabe help us, PlayWay preparing to launch Pirate Den Renovator (and also Pirate Simulator--they literally have over 100 games going). So now is the perfect time to get our resident gaming connoisseurs to use their critical skills to separate the sauerkraut (stops scurvy and keeps forever) from the chaff. What are the best pirate games out there?

For me, I can't select Sid Meier's game because, even though I remember it very fondly, that's basically all my atrophied brain has left--good squishy feelings. Then I get irrational, because even though I had more fun with Atlas than Black Flag, I have a hard time putting Atlas at number one. It's an absolute disaster. If I had played more of Sea of Thieves, I could rank it, but I only played for about 15 minutes before something came up, and I never went back to it (don't judge me--it was on Game Pass). There is, as I have mentioned, a ton more on Steam now, including at least 5 that are "coming soon", but I don't know anything about them. Um....

1) Atlas
2) Black Flag

I played Atlas with my son, so it wins.

What I'm hoping for is that someone here has played one of these other indie games and liked it because I'm in the mood for some pirating.

So what you got?
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
I think I played a pirate in Risen 3. (Never played Risen 2.) It wasn't all that pirate'y, though.

I never played Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, either, though Odyssey had some boat boarding action.

I pirated a bunch of spaceships in X4: Foundations. However, all but two of them were pirate ships. I don't know of pirating pirate ships is all that pirate'y.
 
I think I played a pirate in Risen 3. (Never played Risen 2.) It wasn't all that pirate'y, though.

I never played Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, either, though Odyssey had some boat boarding action.

I pirated a bunch of spaceships in X4: Foundations. However, all but two of them were pirate ships. I don't know of pirating pirate ships is all that pirate'y.
I have sworn that before the end of the month I'm going to start X4
 
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I loved Black Flag. I haven't played a lot of pirate games, but I loved that aspect of Black Flag.

I love the concept of Sea of Thieves, but I don't get into multiplayer games, so I doubt if I'll ever play it, even though it's on Game Pass. I could probably play 2 player co-op with my son, but not sure how good it is with only 2 players.

I always loved the idea of the Monkey Island games, but I never bought one. I did play a demo back in the day, which actually came on a CD with a PC Gamer magazine.

Other than that, the only pirate game I've ever played was Swashbuckler on an Apple IIe with a green screen.
 

PCG Jody

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Dec 9, 2019
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What I'm hoping for is that someone here has played one of these other indie games and liked it because I'm in the mood for some pirating.
I've been looking for the perfect pirate game for years, but haven't found it yet. These are a few I enjoyed, though:

If you like Monkey Island, there's an adventure game called Jolly Rover that's an old-fashioned point-and-click about pirates who just happen to be dogs. (Sea dogs, geddit?) Charming and funny.

Pirates of the Burning Sea is an MMO from 2014 that's kept alive on a legacy server. Everyone's captain of their own ship. The naval battles are great, though the swordfighting was always a bit clunky.

Man o War: Corsair is janky fantasy cross between Sid Meier's Pirates! and Black Flag. I like it a lot, but then it's Warhammer-themed so I would.
 

Frindis

Moderator
I'm so happy nobody read that as: "You favorite pirated game".

Monkey Island is of course up there as the funniest one and Black Flag is definitely also high up there. I need to play that one again since I never really got that far. Sid Meier's Pirates was actually pretty good. You fought against other ships, could buy/trade, and could explore different islands. The sounds of the waves were perhaps the worst thing about the game, it sounded like an old TV with that snowy sound you got without any signal.
 
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Frindis

Moderator
@ZedClampet Oh man, I totally forgot about Sea of Thieves. The ocean in the game is just amazing looking and going on a sloop trying to board ships is so much fun. I remember setting up ambushes on merchant islands, waiting for people to come back from heists and I would shoot on dynamite barrels I had placed around the merchant or in close proximity. When they died I would quickly sell their loot before they managed to get back. Watching Summit1G doing his famous tucks on the ships and stealing the heist using their rowboat was legendary!
 
Can you have fun with Sea of Thieves with only 2 people?
Depends on what you consider fun. My son had fun. I didn't.

He had played for a couple of nights and had a small ship and a flag that was really valuable for some reason. I think the flag may have actually put a bounty on us. A huge ship spotted us and headed in our direction. My son said he thought we could outrun it, so I wasn't paying much attention, then all of a sudden two guys came flying through the air and landed on our ship.

The combat is very similar to Vermintide, and I'm a solo Nightmare player in Vermintide, so I killed the two guys, and a minute later they were flying through the air and landing on our ship again. I killed them again. I was willing and ready to do that all night. Unfortunately, now they got in canon range and sank us. My son was swimming around the water trying to pick up stuff, as were the other guys, but I swam over to their ship and climbed up the ladder and killed the other guy.

So my son is coming toward the ship, as are the other two guys, when the guy I killed comes running at me. I understand why he was the one left on the ship, and I kill him again. By the time everyone else is on the ship, I've killed him another time. My son, who is also a Nightmare Vermintide player, kills the other two guys, and sets sail for a nearby island. I ask him how we stop them from spawning on the ship and steal it for ourselves, and he says we can't. The guys start arriving on deck again right as we slam at high speed into the island. Does the ship sink? Hell, no. It bounces off like a rubber ball. I scream, "You have to be f****** kidding me!" and jump overboard. My son follows me. I say, "This game sucks. I'm logging off." And that was the end of my night in Sea of Thieves.

Maybe if we didn't have a bounty on us (maybe we didn't and I misunderstood) I would have enjoyed it more. Or maybe if we'd had Captain @Brian Boru there to sail us to glory....
 
Maybe if we didn't have a bounty on us (maybe we didn't and I misunderstood) I would have enjoyed it more. Or maybe if we'd had Captain @Brian Boru there to sail us to glory....
I couldn't trust an Irish man to safely sail us to some form of safety! He'd probably miss lead you to some dark valley and next think you know you wake up as part of his giant board game.

I think Black Flag is the only pirate game I've ever played, so it's a bit of a biased opinion of that being the best.

Sea of Thieves just didn't grab my attention. Though Skull & Bones looks like it could have some potential.
 
Why am I becoming famous all of a sudden? Have my seafaring skills somehow leaked online? I knew I shouldn't have bothered with that new-fangled GPS thing…

Since Brendan the Navigator was the first European to discover the Americas—many centuries before Viking types followed after—I wouldn't worry too much if you're lucky enough to end up in my hold. With William Brown as an ancestor, what could go wrong?
 
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Oh boy, I get to mention the 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean game again!

Black Flag is okay, but it's very arcadey. The 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean game has much more complex gameplay. You can buy several types of ships, from a small sloop to a massive battleship, or obtain them by boarding enemy ships and killing their crew. You can use different kinds of ammunition for your cannons, like grape shot or knipples to specifically target the crew or sails of enemy ships. You have to take wind into account while sailing and can fire your cannons manually. You can recruit NPCs who you can level up and assign as captain of captured ships, eventually getting a fleet of up to 4 (I think) other ships to follow you into battle. There are various different factions with which you can build relationships. You can even ransack entire forts.

The biggest downside is of course that it looks like a game from 2003 and that the content of the base game is a fairly lacking. For the last part however, you can try out New Horizons, a mod that has been in the making since a few months after the game released and which' final build was released in January of this year: https://www.moddb.com/mods/new-horizons

I haven't had a chance to try New Horizons out yet, sadly, so I can't say much about it's quality, but I assume that people don't keep working on a mod for 19 years if it wasn't enjoyed by a significant amount of players.

I feel like I need to try those some day, but that maybe it's too late now.
I don't think it's too late. It's been quite a while since I played them, but I'm pretty sure the humour still holds up and the soundtrack is amazing in my opinion. Do keep a walkthrough ready though, because some of the solutions to the puzzles are pretty far out there.
 
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I've never played a "true" pirate game. There was a pirate faction that you could join in Pillars of Eternity: Deadfire, where you could hunt down and battle other faction ships. Or, you could join another faction and take bounties on hunting down the pirates. A bit of a tropical, piratey feel to the game, but not a pirate game as such.


think I played a pirate in Risen 3. (Never played Risen 2.) It wasn't all that pirate'y, though.
I've played Risen 2 (but not Risen 3) and it was the most pirate themed game that I've played. It had it's moments, but it wasn't that great. My least favorite Piranha Bytes game.
 

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