5. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean
Say what you will about Lego games, but they have the unfathomable ability to take any license or movie property and make it fun to play with all the family. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean while by no means ground breaking, harmlessly lets you work your way through each of the four movies, building bricks and unearthing minikits along the way. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean was one of the last in the Lego series to make use of mime, relying on character motions to keep things fresh, and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is all the more charming and enjoyable for it.
4. Tropico 2: Pirate Cove
Similar to experiences you might see in other construction and management simulation games such as Civilization (you may have heard of it), the Tropico series is one that still continues to this day, tasking players to stay in power as the president of an island whilst keeping political factions at bay. The Tropico series highlight has to be 2003’s Tropico 2: Pirate Cove which introduced a landlubbing lick of paint to the island management gameplay loop, requiring you to keep all the pirate inhabitants happy as the pirate king, and stealing their treasure when the opportunity presents itself.
3. The Secret of Monkey Island
A PC adventure pirate game in its purest form where you play as an awkward teenager named Guybrush Threepwood. The Secret of Monkey Island sets you on a path that will have you pointing and clicking your way to buried treasure in no time. Released way back in 1990, you can expect the game won’t be holding your hand, instead you’ll find yourself scratching your head often and chuckling at its witty humour and tone. This pirate may not be bloodthirsty but does have a knack for questing, and if doing things old-school isn’t quite your thing there’s always The Secret of Monkey Island 2009 Remaster.
2. Sid Meier’s Pirates!
Having been re-released more times than you can shake a stick at, if you haven’t already taken the 2004 version Sid Meier’s Pirates for a spin then shame on you, it’s widely touted as one of the most in-depth pirate experiences out there. An action strategy game that leaves no stone unturned, Sid Meier’s Pirates tasks you to manage various pirate-themed activities to help you facilitate your own style of play whether it’s through sailing, trading, or capturing as many ships as possible.
1. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
It was going to be a recipe for success from the very start, pirates + assassins = fun! Successfully innovating upon the ship combat of Assassin’s Creed 3, Black Flag integrated systems we’d originally seen in Far Cry except this time challenged you to explore anywhere on your trusty ship the Jackdaw. Whether it was when firing the cannon’s in the hope of raiding a man-of-war or simply sailing across the oceans whilst singing some annoyingly catchy sea shanties, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is a highlight of the series for many.
Unfortunately there are not too many great pirate games out there with the seriousness of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag or Sid Meier’s Pirates but we can hope that 2017 and 2018 bring us something similar.