Sail the Caribbean, marauding all on the high seas or ally your ship and crew as a privateer in search of riches - the life you choose is up to you. Face dogged enemies, raid unsuspecting villages, woo fair maidens, avoid capture or dig for buried treasure. Discover what it takes to become one of the most famous pirates in history!
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (595 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 11, 2005

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"Remake of one of the greatest open world adventures ever. In this Pirate-Sim action, strategy, tactic and roleplaying elements complement each other. A+"

About This Game

Sail the Caribbean, marauding all on the high seas or ally your ship and crew as a privateer in search of riches - the life you choose is up to you. Face dogged enemies, raid unsuspecting villages, woo fair maidens, avoid capture or dig for buried treasure. Discover what it takes to become one of the most famous pirates in history!

System Requirements

    Minimum: Windows® 98/Me/2000/XP, Pentium® 1.0 GHz or higher, 256 MB RAM, 1.2 GB Free HDD, 64 MB video card* with Hardware T&L support, Windows® 98/Me/2000/XP-compatible sound card*, DirectX® version 9.0b (included) or higher
    * Indicates device should be compatible with DirectX® version 9.0b or higher.
Helpful customer reviews
156 of 166 people (94%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
If you’re an older gamer, then you are more than likely familiar with Sid Meier’s Pirates. It was one of the first games to give you truly open-ended gameplay – you were free to sail under any flag, change allegiances, be a merchant or a pirate … the Caribbean was an open sea for you to explore. The gameplay was pretty straightforward, but it had an engaging quality to it that would cause you to lose yourself in the game for hours on end. Now the game has received a much overdue update and its basic design has withstood the test of time – the game is just as much fun as it ever was, if not more so.The premise of the game is simple: you’re a young buccaneer captain out to make your fortune on the Spanish Main. You’re also out to avenge the capture of you family and rescue them from indentured servitude, but it is really up to you whether or not you want to pursue their rescue. The game will rate your performance more highly if you do, but you can certainly simply concentrate on becoming a feared pirate and leave your family to fend for themselves. The game does not oblige you to do anything.Politics plays a large role in the game as it did in the Caribbean in the 17th Century. The four nations vying for dominance in the region constantly shift allegiances and move in and out of states of war. As an enterprising captain you need to take advantage of this and always be on the look out for new opportunities.The animations are detailed and you’ll see your sails react to the wind as you tack or come about, the wake kicked up by your ship, and even dolphins who come to play in that wake. While sailing the seas you’ll encounter other ships and as you approach you’ll see the flag of their nationality and the ship’s class. Battles on deck are abstracted to a sword dual between you and the enemy captain. You can select a rapier, long sword, or cutlass with which to fight, each of which is a trade off to some degree between speed and defense. You have three attack moves to choose from and a defensive move to counter each.The cities in the game are for far more than sacking. As you sail the Caribbean you’ll see the relative size of each city and be able to tell its relative wealth from the condition of the flag that flies above the town.When in town you have several locations that you can visit. Each town also has a shipwright who can repair your battle damage, buy your captured ships, or in some cases provide upgrades to your hull, sails, or cannons to aid your ship’s performance in battle. Speaking of treasure, it wouldn’t be a pirate game without buried treasure. At the lower difficulty levels maps are always complete and well-marked and it is simply a question of going to the right location and picking up your prize. At higher levels things get a bit trickier as you often have to make do with map fragments and must search for specific landmarks like an arched rock or a clump of dead trees to find the buried booty.Overall Pirates has that hard to pinpoint addictive quality to it that will keep you coming back. Hours will disappear as you strive to complete one more raid or get your next promotion. It’s a magical quality that’s missing in most games, and one that will keep you coming back to Pirates as other games come and go.
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78 of 100 people (78%) found this review helpful
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
as far as i can tell, the pirates don't actually work for sid meier
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35 of 39 people (90%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
This is hands down, no lies or embellishments made, the best game I have ever played. Perhaps my experiences are colored by a long lifetime of loving this game, but I have never found something that interests me more, that I can just sit down and play a few hours of and craft a life-story for my character, an entire persona. It's simple really, you are a pirate and the wide open world of the 1600's Carribean is yours for the plucking. The graphics are out of date, the controls are simplistic, and your crew will always get upset no matter how many famous pirates and ships you sink, steal, or scuttle. You can't win, mainly because there is no victory condition. You can save your family, you can get married, you can become the deadliest and most notorious man on the high seas, it's all up to you what you do, who you become, which beach you get marooned on, I love it, I've lived years loving it, I can't recommend this game enough. It isn't for hardcore gamers, don't come in looking to get the highest score, play to relax, it'll work, you'll love it, just, just play the damn game.
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27 of 29 people (93%) found this review helpful
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
One of my all time favourites - one of the only games I would rate 10 without hesitation for it is one of those few games where every playing moment is different - the sea of caribea feels alive and has always ships to plunge, resources to sell, towns to invade, hidden treasures to seek and even attractive governors' daughters to date with! These and numerous other quests await - Ya'harr!
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33 of 40 people (83%) found this review helpful
43.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
I am still playing this game ten years later... or closer to 25 if you count the original...
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22 of 22 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
I played the original Sid Meier's Pirates! on Commodore 64 in 1985. I broke many-a-joystick trying to sail against the wind. Good times. This game brought back all of those memories in a massive flood. I thoroughly enjoyed plundering all sorts of ships, I like the land combat, and the storyline gave the game something to work towards rather than just a blast-and-hack pirate game. The nostalgia effect was strong, and for die-hard, long-time gamers such as myself, this is a must-have. Best three bucks I ever spent.
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21 of 24 people (88%) found this review helpful
20.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
A timeless classic, one of the first open-world strategy RPGs. The Mount & Blade series was clearly inspired by this game; if you like one you are pretty much guaranteed to like the other.

Some of the new features in this latest version can be sort of annoying (the ballroom dancing and sneaking out of prison), but it's still a better game than 99% of the things created today.
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31 of 42 people (74%) found this review helpful
19.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
Nearly a decade of playing.
Still can't do the ♥♥♥♥ing dancing stages.
10/10 IGN
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
20.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
Sid Meier's Pirates may be the first game I ever completed to 100%, and it may be the only one where getting there didn't seem to be a chore.

I genuinely wanted to continue boarding, privateering, plundering, pillaging, smuggling, fencing, collecting bounty, and just sailing around the Caribbean until my character got too old to manage a happy crew or hold a Rapier.
I, personally, wanted to find Buried Treasure, Lost Cities, Lost Relatives, Infamous Pirates, Decked-Out Ships, and whatever trinkets or wenches were waiting for me at the next port's tavern, I didn't need a Quest Log to tell me where to go next.
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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
57.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Get it,

Oudated grafix? check
Arrrrgh and rum ? Check
Goveners daughters? Check
Spanish Galeond full of gold? Check

It must be a pirate game!
It is a great remake of the classic although not as hard as the original still very enjoyable and addictive, don’t let is cute looks put you off of it as a kids game!

Yargh and Argh! Mateys!
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
BEST ABOUT IT: The open ended nature, sailing around picking on ships that outclass you, and managing your fleet and supplies.

WORST ABOUT IT: The quicktime event dancing and fencing scenes are downright awful and the mere thought of them is usually enough to prevent me from playing this game.

GAMEPLAY: You start by choosing a country to side with and a small sloop in that chosen country's port. You can get some info and supplies from that port and then you're off to sail around the Caribbian. The ship controls feel fantastic, working with or against the wind, and there is strategy in what type of cannon shot you fire, round to damage a hull, chain to damage the sails, and grape to take out crew. You also need to buy or raid supplies to keep your crew from a mutiny.

CONTROLS: Steering your ship and firing the cannons is very satisfying. However the UI and map screens are clunky and seem like from an age prior to when this game was released. The QTE cut scenes are obnoxious and repetitive but they can mostly be avoided altogether.

STORY: You play as a young pirate who is trying to rescue his family and defeat some marquis villain. This is a sandbox game so you’ll be creating your own story for the most part. There's no way to customise your character other than your name and some stat bonuses (1 perk at the start and others with items), but you can captain any ship you can get your hands on and deck it out with upgrades.

GRAPHICS: The main graphics look Caribbean and still mostly hold up today and are certainly functional, but the cut scenes look dated. You have to use your imagination a bit. The highest screen resolution is 1152 x 864 and no widescreen. It looks ok though, and there are ways to force the resolution if you want.

PERFORMANCE: Ran smoothly for me and I didn't encounter any problems.

SOUND: Excellent. The sounds of the waves, creaking of the wooden ships, and shouts of your crew are some of the first things that come to mind thinking of this game. I’m not a fan of the Simlish spoken dialect though. The music is fitting and sets the cartoony pirate mood well.

REPLAYABILITY: Replay doesn’t get any better than this game. However I haven’t actually finished the story yet, it's just fun to sail around and do your own thing.

SIMILAR TO: I don’t know, the Sims 2 mixed with Grand Theft Auto 1 and Port Royale?

RECOMMENDED PURCHASE PRICE: I don't see this on sale often but $10 is reasonable.

Sid Meier’s Pirates
Firaxis Games 2004 (remake of 1987 original)

RATING: 75/100
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Still the best Pirate game on the market without a doubt. I just replayed here in 2014 and compared it several others out on the market. They do not compare. If you have never played this game, do yourself the favor and play this game immediately. Simple but fun with a dynamic world that you influence. I hope Firaxis never forgets this title and keeps it current and fun.
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
This is the game Assassin's Creed Pirate Edition wishes it was.
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16 of 23 people (70%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
Yo ho ho!

+Sea Battles
+Sword Fights
+Hot Chicks
+Raid Towns
+Buried Treasure

-Ugly Chicks

A great game, a true classic. Even this version is quite old now, but I remember playing Pirates! Gold for many, many hours back in the day. This version is on par with the older ones. Some aspects, such as the swordfighting, were better in the other ones. Other aspects like the overworld view and sea battles I liked better in this version. No matter which version you try it's simply one of those games you must play.

It does contain a plot, but much like Skyrim it's up to you whether you follow it or not. You can choose to chase after your lost family or simply sail around looking for booty. It offers a wide selection of ways to achieve greatness, which makes it great.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
32.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
This is a fun, casual game. It is not, by any means, deep, but it's still enjoyable to mess around with. You play the game as a pirate in the Caribbean pre-Johnny Depp. You can play the game during various historical settings which basically have the effect of changing how much variety there is in terms of the different national factions. The later you set the game, the more likely you'll see major French, Dutch, and English ports. By contrast, in the earlier settings, it's far more Spanish-dominated.

This can have an effect on how you play the game. With more factions, you have more ability to behave like a true pirate, sinking or taking vessels of various factions, and then doing the same to whomever they're at war with (and they're always at war with someone...). When it's just the Spanish, you have to try playing a minigame where you sneak into the Spanish port, risking imprisonment. Speaking of the minigames, they're generally good fun, if occasionally repetitive and annoying. The dancing in particular can get tedious, but at least you're usually well rewarded.

As I mentioned, the game isn't particularly deep. It's not as if you're running a wooden ship simulator. The game's graphics are dated, but acceptable. They were fortunately done in a "cartoony" style, so they age a bit better than supposedly cutting-edge visuals from the same era (2004), which now fall squarely into "uncanny valley" territory.

Anyway, it's a good game, and usually available on Steam for dirt cheap. You'll definitely get your $2-5 worth out of this title.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
Like wenches?
Have rum for blood?
Buy this game.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Best pirate game out there.

The game is a remake of classic "Pirates!" and it is worth the title. While at first I had my doubts due to cartoonish graphics the game quickly won me over. It is a charming and addictive. The game consists of mutiple minigames (sword-fighting, sneaking into a city, dancing, sieging towns.) All of them are enjoyable even though they are really simple (not necessery easy though.) Your main goal is to travel around the carribean gaining wealth and prestige by acting as a coursair for 4 countries fighting over carribean. Additionally, you have famous pirates to defeat, family to rescue from cruel Baron SomethingSomething, hidden treasure to uncover and hidden inca temples to find. All added at the end in a score based system when you decide (or a forced at certain age) to retire.
It is a game I return for more every once in a while.

The only real problem with the game is its focus on using numpad, which you probably don't have if you play on laptop. External numpad might work but in my case (wireless logitech) it did not. You can change the keys in the ini file, but it is a rough start as you probably won't know what to bind it to without playing the game first.

Also I want a sequel. Firaxis! Get right on it.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
Best pirate game of all time.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
13.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
Sid's Meier's Pirates! Has a place in my heart as being one of the first few games I have ever played on my old college laptop, I remember playing this game and having so much trouble getting it to run on a laptop (which doesn't have a keypad, everything was done with a mouse or scroller pad)

Anyway about the game, what can I say, it's a simple and linear game, but that's what makes it so likable I suppose, it's a game where your quest is set out for you early on, and you decide how long you want to take to pursue those quests. However there is a time limit as you age in this game (yes you age)

I have to say by today's standards, it's quite linear but for a game of it's age, I must say it certainly stood the test of time, and if you have some extra cash leftover, pick it up, simple clean fun that's just good for a casual gaming experience.

I'd recommend it for sure, but only if you'd like to try something casual for a change. 6/10
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 20
I was the worst dancer but the best fighter
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