When it comes to tales of heroic champions, cunning deities, and otherworldly creatures, it doesn’t get any better than ancient mythology. From Greece to Egypt, the mythos of brilliant civilizations of the past keeps on inspiring modern audiences for their continued relevance and universal appeal.
Movies based on ancient mythology have fared well on the silver screen. And timeless legends of old have provided an epic backdrop for as many video games, bringing mythological stories to life in an ever-so immersive fashion. So, let’s check out some of the best games for all the mythology enthusiasts around.
Apotheon is a game set in ancient Greece, where humankind has been left abandoned by the gods of Olympus. Gameplay-wise, this platformer ticks all the right boxes of a solid action entry. Nikandreos, humanity’s last hero, must lead the battle across an expansive open world full of divine temples and sanctuaries to explore.
Gamers get to engage in brutal and bloody combat, slaying enemies and mythical beings with all the weaponry of an ancient Greek warrior. They may even pit their skills against a friendly foe in local multiplayer mode.
But this PC and PS4 title really shines in the aesthetics department. Drawing inspiration from ancient Greek pottery, Apotheon’s art style is as minimalistic as it is evocative. A gripping – if ominous – soundtrack only elevates further the atmosphere of this heroic narrative. And all throughout the adventure, the game sticks to its source material with impeccable devotion. This vibrant homage to Hellenic lore and culture even includes an excerpt from the Iliad of Homer.
Age of Mythology
Often shortened into AoM, Age of Mythology is a real-time strategy title released in the early 2000s. This Age of Empires spin-off gives gamers the liberty to pick one of three playable cultures, whether based on Greek, Norse or Egyptian mythology. Each culture boasts its own pantheon of gods, unlocking unique powers, units, buildings, and technologies.
Players have free rein to advance their tribe through the ages, conquering rivaling empires in the process. They may even channel the strength of fabled beasts like the Minotaur to defeat their enemies, while gods can be called upon at any time for assistance.
A true retro classic, this strategy and war game is a thrilling deep dive into ancient mythology. And an extended version is available on Steam, adding both the Atlanteans and Chinese pantheon for retro gamers to enjoy in campaign or multiplayer mode.
Released in 2020, Hades quickly became a landmark for roguelike dungeon crawlers. An intense adventure of mythological proportions, this hack and slash indie title puts players in the shoes of the prince of the Greek underworld. Zagreus, son of Hades, attempts to break free from the grasp of his unloving father to reach the mortal world and reunite with his mother, Persephone.
From glorious heroes to mighty deities, legendary Olympians interact with him throughout his quest. And though notoriously tough to beat, Hades’ challenging gameplay and absorbing narrative make for an engrossing match. Following the game’s massive critical and commercial success, a sequel is reportedly in the works. However, an official release date remains to be disclosed.
Meanwhile, mythology lovers can always revisit the original or dive into one of many fantasy RPGs with a Hellenic flair, such as Kid Icarus and God of War. Online casinos have also jumped on the ancient Greek bandwagon. Free slots like Mazooma’s Haul of Hades and Toptrend gaming’s Zeus Vs. Hades are a click away. Top platforms feature several more mythology-infused pokies, some of which switch the focus to Egyptian and Norse lore. Thus, players can try out an extensive catalog of thousands of games without committing any money. Plus, free slots require no downloading, so gamers can unwind anytime and anywhere.
Whether on film or in video games, ancient mythology is an endless source of inspiration for content creators and storytellers. No matter their cultural background, any gamer can relate to epic stories of tragic heroes and godly battles. The gaming medium also adds a more personal dimension to these grand tales, allowing players to make these classic fables truly theirs through vivid and interactive re-imaginings.
Better yet, video games are an exciting way to have fun while becoming more culturally competent. And mythologies from beyond the Greek and Egyptian worlds play center stage in even more entries, from the Japanese folktales of Okami to the Indian inspiration of Raji: An Ancient Epic.