Civ 6: The Most Fun Civs To Play, Ranked

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Most civilizations and leaders in Civilization 6 are viable, but they’re not all quite as fun to play.

Settling the Tundra with Russia or dominating technologically with Korea are straightforward paths to victory – but are you really having fun?

If you’re chasing enjoyment rather than victory, you need to think outside the box.

It’s not about wiping the floor with your enemies – but about having fun and doing it your way. And here’s my picks for the leaders with cool and unique abilities that’ll make for a truly fun game.


10. Aztec

Montezuma's Aztec / Civilization VI

Leader: Montezuma

There’s nothing quite as fun as servitude – as long as you’re the one being served.

The Aztec civilization is one of the most potent early-game nations and one of the most fun to lead. They owe this to their Eagle Warrior and increased amenities from Luxury resources.

Not only does it give them the upper hand in the Ancient Era, but the EW can turn enemy units into Builders for your empire after defeating them. In other words, it’s slave labor.

Once captured, you can use them for whatever you need – including finishing 20% of District construction.

If you’re prepared to go on the offensive from Turn 1, you can’t go wrong with Montezuma.


9. Gaul

Ambiorix's Gaul / Civilization VI

Leader: Ambiorix

Another violent civilization worth trying out is Gaul, led by the fierce Ambiorix.

Gaul can go on a successful early offensive thanks to their unique unit – the Gaesatae – and their special district: the Oppidum.

This Industrial Zone replacement is cheaper to build and unlocked with Iron Working. That means you’ll have a Production district while others are just learning to ride horses.

The resulting hordes of Gaesatae should be able to overpower your early-game neighbors. Thanks to Ambiorix’s leader ability, you’ll get 20% of any Military Production back as Culture.

Gaesatae get +10 Combat Strength against more advanced units, allowing you to get more mileage out of your early game army.


8. Japan

Hojo Tokimune's Japan / Civilization VI

Leader: Hojo Tokimune

Japan is the perfect civilization for city-builder fans who’ve logged many hours in Cities: Skylines and Surviving Mars.

Japanese districts receive double adjacency bonuses for every other adjacent district. This includes Holy Sites, Theater Squares, and Encampments, which the Japanese build twice as fast.

Your main objective is to settle cities in a way that allows you to create district clusters between two or three cities, massively increasing your yields.

Japanese Land and Naval units are stronger on coastal tiles, so let the Samurai take care of defending the borders while you enjoy planning out your perfect empire.


7. England

Victoria's England / Civilization VI

Leader: Victoria

What if I told you that you could have a free navy in exchange for colonizing more land?

That doesn’t sound half bad, right?

Well, that’s precisely the strategy behind playing Victoria’s England.

Each city or Royal Navy Dockyard you build outside your starting continent comes with a free military unit. It’s a melee unit like a Redcoat for every city and a naval unit for every RND.

This allows you to focus on finding good land to settle while your armada grows on its own. It’s a fun playstyle that makes you feel like a real explorer and pioneer.


6. Australia

John Curtin's Australia / Civilization VI

Leader: John Curtin

Most players hate being the target of a declaration of war.

Now, you’ll have to start making walls and soldiers instead of finishing that World Wonder!

But there’s a silver lining – at least if you’re playing as Australia.

John Curtin’s cities get double production during a foreign invasion. Even if you had no army before, you’ll get it now.

This makes a comeback with Australia extremely easy and fun.

Strategies like over-extending on purpose to force your enemies into war can prove very profitable, and you’ll feel like a master tactician.


5. Persia

Cyrus's Persia / Civilization VI

Leader: Cyrus

Suppose you’re too impatient to wait for your enemy to take the initiative.

In that case, a civilization like Persia might be the way to go.

Besides reduced Grievances and War Weariness, the Persian army gets +2 Movement after declaring a Surprise War.

This allows you to swarm your enemy without massing your forces at the border first, preserving the element of surprise.

Persia’s domestic trade routes generate extra Gold and Culture, and they’ll sustain the war effort for as long as it takes.

Did I mention your Swordsman is replaced by a melee-ranged hybrid Immortal that can take cities? It’s wild.


4. Scotland

Robert the Bruce's Scotland / Civilization VI

Leader: Robert the Bruce

Some people can’t get along unless an authority figure keeps them in line.

In Civ 6, you can become that authority figure by playing as Robert the Bruce.

The Scots combine the best parts of Australia and Persia’s military abilities. Every time they declare a War of Liberation, they get +2 Movement for all units and 10 turns of doubled production.

Thanks to this, you’re encouraged to become the “world police” and ride to the rescue of occupied cities.

You’re a warmonger like Persia, but the international community applauds rather than denounces you.


3. Portugal

João III's Portugal / Civilization VI

Leader: João III

There’s nothing more fun in a Capitalist society than having money – and few can make cash flow like Portugal.

Like England, Portugal’s game revolves around exploring foreign waters. You’re not looking for new lands to colonize but profitable trading partners on foreign coasts.

You get one more Trade Route slot every time you meet a new civilization. You can only send them over water, but they get +50% to all yields along with +50% range.


2. Rome

Trajan's Rome / Civilization VI

Leader: Trajan

As a newbie – or even a somewhat distracted veteran – it can be hard to keep track of everything on a Civ 6 match.

Rome helps you focus on the fun and exciting parts of the game – such as settling and going to war – by taking care of transportation, Culture, and Gold production for the player.

Every new city comes with a free Monument to prop up your Culture production and a Roman Trading Post to generate extra Gold for your passing merchants.

You’ll also get a free road to the Capital with every new city you found or conquer within range of your traders.

Did I mention the Legion (Swordsman replacement) can chop Forests and build Forts?


1. Maori

Kupe's Maori / Civilization VI

Leader: Kupe

If you feel you’ve mastered most of the “mainstream” civilizations in the game, it’s time to try something entirely new.

During the first few turns, the Maori might as well be playing a different game.

They spawn in the middle of the Ocean – inaccessible to even Barbs at this point – and must find the closest suitable land to found their first city.

You either spend a lot of time finding the perfect starting location or rush to the nearest coastline to exploit bonuses like a free Builder and extra population ASAP.

Either way, it’s high-risk, high-reward, and you’ll be experiencing the game from a new perspective.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.