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:
Very Positive (18 reviews) - 88% of the 18 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (1,559 reviews) - 94% of the 1,559 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 11, 2005

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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.
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (18 reviews)
Very Positive (1,559 reviews)
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1,242 reviews match the filters above ( Overwhelmingly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
19.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
Do NOT be fooled by my 12 hours of gameplay. I used to play this game endlessly after it came out.

If you love games that are all about player choice, then this is absolutely for you.

Want to be a swashbuckling badass and go about destroying the caribbean in a hellfire of cannonshot and steel? Want to be a simple trader, escaping your past and aiming to lead a simple life of commerce? Want to be a hero, save your family, get the girl, and slap about the hapless spaniards? Do it, do it, and do it.

Naval battles, sword fights, dancing, stealth,'s all here and you can do whatever the b***h you like. The game's aesthetic is less "reality" and more "disney cartoon" which makes the atmosphere of the game that much more delightful to partake in however you please.

Super replayable, full of player choice and a delight to both look at and immerse yourself in; this game has aged incredibly well. I want to join the throng that cries for an HD remake but...this game is a masterpiece as it is. No need for a newer version.

TL;DR Player choice, high replay value, excellent and varied gameplay.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
51.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
So I was bored the other day and thought I might try one of the old classic piracy games. Port Royale has always been buggy (tbh I don't even know if it will work in Win 10 - I'll worry about that later) so I decided to fire up Pirates, forgetting that I had bought the remake and not the original 90's version that I used to play longer ago than I care to admit.

Imagine my surprise when I'm seeing 3D graphics rtather than still images! Detailed maps instead of pixellated blocks of green and blue! A Jolly Roger that actually looks like a skull and crossbones!

I was almost disappointed... Until I started looting the Spanish Main and became the second most feared pirate in the Carribean. Curse you Blackbeard, I'll have you yet!
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
1,037 of 1,109 people (94%) found this review helpful
216 people found this review funny
34.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 28, 2015
Sid Meier, why not remake this instead of Civilization next time?
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429 of 440 people (98%) found this review helpful
108 people found this review funny
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 21, 2015
Take my starting ship and do battle with the Spanish Galleons. 8 cannons vs 40 cannons.
First 10 minutes of the game and you have one of the biggest ships in the game, dance with the governor's daughter, own your own estate and declare war on the whole Spanish empire.

A full game purely for the 'Pirate' genre. Not some half ♥♥♥♥♥ wannabe.
If you're not happy with any ships, pick a fight with them. Not happy because a port merchant ripped you off during trading goods, bombard the port and take it over. Governor doesn't want to let you see his daughter, control the port and change the governor. Unsatisfied because a country sunk your ship? No problem there, wipe their country off the map by conquering all their ports.

This is a game where skills can beat brute strenght. Wind, ship size, upgrades, tactics and rum is all that matters. Arrrrr!

One of the best, if not THE best pirate games of all time.
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391 of 426 people (92%) found this review helpful
43 people found this review funny
4.9 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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549 of 615 people (89%) found this review helpful
566 people found this review funny
27.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 7, 2015
-Sail into English port
-Meet with English governor
-Promise to raid Spanish ships
-Promptly raid English ships
-Sail into Spanish port
-Get promotion from the Spanish for attacking English ships
-Attack Spanish ships
-Remember the actual plotline of the game
-Ignore it and carry on attacking everyone becasue pirate

11/10 would betray England again
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463 of 525 people (88%) found this review helpful
410 people found this review funny
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 15, 2015
>Be pirate and plunder ships
>Have 2 ships in tow
>Crew is unhappy and some leave, taking a ship
>Chase them down and sink it
>No survivors.

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252 of 269 people (94%) found this review helpful
185 people found this review funny
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2015
This is the best Pirate RPG I've had the pleasure of playing, and it's amazing in how it fools you desperately. You have this sort of "drive" to get a VERY good ship. So naturally, "Size Matters" kick in. You take your ♥♥♥♥♥♥ sloop, attack a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ galleas and voila you think! Your ship can now house 32 cannons with a 200 man crew (I believe.) So you take your Galleas, you name it something like "Josephine" and drive it around. You keep your sloop with you or discard it, perhaps even sell it and you feel like Captain Jack Freaking Sparrow. Then you go into a tavern and the lovely barmaid informs you that there's a War Frigate out to kill ya, so you capture that. You now have 50 cannons, possible 400 crew, cargo hold of 128 ton and feel invincible. Then you drive your ship around and feel like the King of the World. That's how it usually is, and seems to be how most people play this game.

It's the wrong way. You start out, you take your Sloop and find a War Canoe. They can be found amongst the savage natives of the Caribbean. You board it with your sloop and acquire it. The next thing you do is to go into town and sell your cannons and your sloop. And everything that's not food. You wont be needing it. You have your War Canoe. You then go to the tavern and recruit the 48 people wanting to join you. Voila, full crew. And you have your War Canoe. The War Canoe is in fact the best ship in the entire game. "But Sir, what about when the English deploy a Ship of the Line to take me out?" You board it. They shoot at you? Well guess what, I hope your Mother taught you how to weave, for you'll be weaving your way around the cannonfire into the Ship. You board it at once the fight starts. If it's too much for you or you take a hit or two, you're in the fastest ship in the game. Turn around, sail away. Nothing can catch up to you. Oh no you wont have cannons, who needs it? Sugar, spice, goods? With your crew of 50 whatever you plunder from the ships in gold is way more than what you'd normally be due. You take your War Canoe, which you'll name something like "Arrow" or "Emma" and ram that thing into whatever comes your way. It's the best ship. Here's why:

-You can bypass ship battles. This means more gold for you. And I personally found them tedious
-Boarding is more manly
-Your ship is the fastest in the game. Get a quest to escort a Governor from Mexico to Florida? Takes you 4 minutes.
-Hunting some ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ that keeps your family hostage? Like hell he can outsail you.
-Smaller Crew means fewer mouths to feed, and more gold for you when you divide the plunder.
-With a big ship, you'll either shoot something dead while taking damage or see them board you without difficulty. Why be the prey?

10/10 game would make my own War Canoe.
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268 of 293 people (91%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
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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192 of 204 people (94%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
56.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 4, 2015
I guess this game just tickled me right because I loved everything about it. It would be most accurate to describe this game as a collection of mini-games combined into a single experience. There's the land battle mini-game, the ship-combat mini-game, the dancing mini-game, and the fencing mini-game, all connected together by a sailing overworld. I hear a lot of people like the fencing and ship battles but dislike the land-battles and dancing. I liked all of it. And I don't often play musical rhythm games, either.

I'll admit also that playing the whole game has a certain amount of nostalgia appeal for me as well. I played the original in the form of a demo when I was a kid, never got the chance to play the whole thing. Thus closes a previously unfinished chapter of my childhood here.
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Recently Posted
0.3 hrs
Posted: October 19
"A pirates life not meant for me..."

Helpful? Yes No Funny
10.1 hrs
Posted: October 15
Yarrr. sink the spanish treasure fleet!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.7 hrs
Posted: October 12
Why play with two hands?

If you happen to have a hook for a hand, Sid Meier's Pirates(!) is the game for you, matey! All you need is one hand to man the number pad, and your missing swashbucklin' digits can take the night off!

Here's what I love about SMP:
  • There's loads of crap to do, from storming villages to digging for treasure
  • You can rob or bully anyone, even your allies!
  • Seeing yourself rise on the pirate ranking is joyful
  • Sailing around and doing nothing somehow never gets boring

Here's what I don't like about it:
  • Romancing the governer's daughters is damn annoying as poop
  • Sometimes mutiny ensues without any particular reason (scripted?)
  • This game is essentially just a series of minigames, some of which can become monotonous

    This game has stood the test of time, and is worth every penny of the full, landlubbin price.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Machoman Sam AKA Fetus Maximus
5.5 hrs
Posted: October 11
I gift it a eight out 'o ten, because it dont come wit' any spiced rum aye matey
Helpful? Yes No Funny
6.4 hrs
Posted: October 10
Just a rollicking good time. The port (ha ha) is a little difficult since you almost exclusively use the number pad, but if you get the hang of it it's a simple yet fun game. Brings back good memories of my childhood.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Digital Twin
0.5 hrs
Posted: October 9
Helpful? Yes No Funny
13.7 hrs
Posted: October 9
This game is a classic. Remembering back the days I played this on the C64 and the Amiga, the atmosphere is intact but with better graphics and an easier time sailing east.

The veterans from days of old will know what I mean.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.1 hrs
Posted: October 9
If you already own it, id probably just use an emulator for this one, great game just not very good on steam.
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Nicolas Cage
23.8 hrs
Posted: October 8
You know they did something right when Sid Meier's Pirates continues to be the best pirate game ever made, even after 11 years. Graphically, it was a genius design choice to go the cartoony direction, letting the game age flawlessly through the years, and the game still continues to run well on most systems today.

But if you take off your nostalgia goggles, for a minute...

It's still is one of the best pirate games of all time. There is a ton of replay value, even if you 100% the game. Not to mention the number of minigames for you to play, the ship battles and fleet building, huge world map, etc, etc.


Helpful? Yes No Funny
39.6 hrs
Posted: October 7
The best pirate simulator.
Helpful? Yes No Funny