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 (654 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 11, 2005

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Recommended By Curators

"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
231 of 245 people (94%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
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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190 of 239 people (79%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2014
as far as i can tell, the pirates don't actually work for sid meier
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69 of 77 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
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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42 of 46 people (91%) found this review helpful
22.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
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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50 of 61 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
43.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
I am still playing this game ten years later... or closer to 25 if you count the original...
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54 of 71 people (76%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
19.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
Nearly a decade of playing.
Still can't do the ♥♥♥♥ing dancing stages.
10/10 IGN
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31 of 36 people (86%) found this review helpful
20.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
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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27 of 32 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
57.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
Get it,

Oudated grafix? check
Arrrrgh and rum ? Check
Goveners daughters? Check
Spanish Galeons 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 its cute looks put you off of it as a kids game!

Yargh and Argh! Mateys!
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28 of 37 people (76%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
This is the game Assassin's Creed Pirate Edition wishes it was.
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15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
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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22 of 32 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 25, 2014
Yo ho ho!

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

-Dancing
-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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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
I was the worst dancer but the best fighter
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
32.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
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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13 of 22 people (59%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
Like wenches?
Have rum for blood?
Buy this game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
168.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
Amazing openworld gameplay, the sword duels are a bit meh but the sea battles are FANTASTIC. The storyline is repeatitive, but not terrible. 9/10
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
60.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
★★★☆☆

Sid Meier's Pirates! is a light strategy pirate adventure game. After a mutiny that put you at the helm of your own ship, you and your pirate crew arrive in the Caribbean to find fortune as you seek to avenge your family from those that did it wrong.

Pros: Every tropes you ever saw about pirates is there: build your reputation and ranking with the four European factions, while also dealing with the clergy, the natives and the pirate community, compete against the most notorious pirates in history while using pieces of maps to find their buried treasure or the lost cities of gold, do ship-to-ship combat against raider, merchant, military or other pirate vessels, flirt with the governor's daughters by impressing her in the ballroom. The game is easy to pick up regardless of difficulty level, navigating, ship-to-ship combat and swordplay are simple. 25 or more different type of ships sail the sea, any of which can be captured, each with different storage and crew capacity, optimal wind angle, speed and turning speed. Ship-specific upgrades are available at various ports, capturing ships might get get you permanent specialists for your crew, a variety of items can be purchased in taverns. The graphics are bright and colorful and animations are smooth.

Cons: The graphics are showing their age. Sid Meier's Pirates! borders on the casual game: it's basically a collection of multiple mini-games: fighting, dancing, ship-to-ship combat, swordplay, city sacking, all mini-games with little depth. City conquering strategy is extremely simplified, and the game lacks any realism of the hardships of being at sea. Capturing ships will become repetitive after a few playthrough. The map is always the same, varied only by the chosen timeline or occasional European conquest of a rival European faction's city.

Verdict: Overall, this is a fun game, and that's all it aims to be: fun. It isn't a seafaring simulator, it isn't an action swordfighter, it isn't a trade simulator and definitively not a strategy game. If you're looking for a nice, easy and fun game worth its price, then I'll recommand you give Sid Meier's Pirates! a try!
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
31.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
Runs great on windows 8.1. Super fun game.
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8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
this game brings back childhood memories though game runs better on the old xbox than on modern pc's
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
This game is pretty cool. You can plunder pretty much everything, take down famous pirates and work your way up in the Royal Navies, there's even a decent storyline. But, there are some setbacks. You have to pay your troops (leaving you with little money, 40 crew, no trading goods or extra ships and a 15 mo. supply of food) which you have to do on a CONSTANT basis, you lose your men fairly easily and it's a pain to get from one place to the other (sometimes even if they're close by). Overall, I give this game an 8.6/10. I'd say it's worth a try, escpecially if you could get a discount (I bought it yesterday, Jan/1/2015, for $2.49 plus $0.22 tax).
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