Civilization III

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“How do you improve on perfection?”

There was lots of confusion over the sequel to Civilization II. Some players thought Alpha Centauri is the sequel, while others thought Civilization: Call to Power is Civ3. It was not unusual to see people ask “When will Civilization III be release?” in newsgroups and forums and get replies such as “I already have it!”, “It’s already out!”, well before Civilization III was released.

The true sequel was developed by Firaxis Games and published by Infogrames / Atari . Civilization III was officially released on October 30th 2001 after two years of development. There are two editions at first: Collectors Edition and the Standard Edition. The Limited Edition comes in a very nice tin with the game, manual, a “Making of Civ III” CD, and a fold-out tech tree. The Standard Edition comes with just the game and the manual.

According to Jeff Briggs, President and CEO of Firaxis Games,

Firaxis LogoOur goal with Civilization III is to provide the most compelling and fun civilization experience ever! This game isn’t simply about a face-lift or adding more “stuff” to the existing design. It’s not even just about keeping and refining the good, addictive aspects of Sid Meier’s Civilization I and Civilization II and combining those with what was new and innovative in Alpha Centauri – though this is a major thrust of our efforts. It’s also about amplifying some previously unexplored areas of gameplay and enhancing some others in ways that give players more options and fun choices to build their empires the way they want to.

The Civilization III project was first announced in E3 1999 (May 14th). Firaxis released some impressive unit animations, concept arts, and in-game screenshots starting in January 2001. Many screenshots were also released thru gaming sites and magazines. You can find more than 150 high quality screenshots from the final version of the game in our Screenshots Gallery.

Roman LegionHere are the key features of Civilization III:

  • More interactions, alliances and realistic artificial intelligence responses put players in the middle of negotiations, trade systems and diplomatic actions. Advanced trade system to manage resources, trade routes and spread of technology.
  • Improved combat options provide finer levels of control for enhanced war-making capabilities.
  • Technologies, Wonders Of The World and Great People expand the scope of the game.
  • New elements of Culture, Nationality and the Arts help players plan a new peaceful pathway to victory.
  • Active world generator creates more realistic maps and organic terrain features.
  • Easier-to-use interface for streamlined management and better control.

For more details, please visit our Civilization III Info Center. The Info Center contains more than 30 pages of Civ3 information, all indexed by topics!

Expansion Packs

Civilization III: Play the World (PTW)

Civilization III: Play the World was released in late 2002 and is the first expansion pack for Civilization III. The key feature of Play the World was the multiplayer mode. In addition to multiplayer, PTW also added eight new civilizations (Arabs, Celts, Carthaginians, Spanish, Ottomans, Vikings, Mongols, and Koreans) and new game modes including elimination, regicide, and capture the flag. There are also new terrain graphics, new wonders of the world, and extra units (WW2, Dino, Medieval Japan).

The Play the World expansion pack is included in later Civ3 releases such as Civilization III Gold and Civilization III: Complete. The second expansion pack Civilization III: Conquests also contains Play the World.

Civilization III: Conquests (C3C)

Civilization III: Conquests is the second and the final expansion pack for Civilization III. It was published in 2003 by Atari. This expansion added seven new civilizations to the game, as well as including the eight civilizations from Play the World, bringing the total number of playable civilizations up to thirty-one. The new civilizations are the Byzantines, the Dutch, the Hittites, the Incans, the Mayans, the Portuguese and the Sumerians.

Two new special civilization traits are added: seafaring and agricultural. New governments (Feudalism and Fascism) have also been added to the game, along with new Wonders of the World such as the Statue of Zeus and the Mausoleum of Mausollos.

The main feature of this expansion however was the inclusion of eight scenarios (aka “conquests”). Unlike the epic game, these scenarios took much less time to play and focused on a specific period in history. Scenarios included in this expansion were Mesopotamia, the Rise and Fall of Rome, the Middle Ages in Europe, Mesoamerica, the Age of Discovery, the Napoleonic Wars, the Sengoku period in Japan, and World War II in the Pacific.

System Requirements


Operating System: Windows® 95/98/Me/2000
Processor: Pentium® II 300MHz (500 MHZ recommended)
Memory: 32 MB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 400 MB free hard drive space
CD-ROM Drive: 4X Speed or higher
Video: DirectX® 8.0a-compatible video card* (must be able to display
1024x768x16 bit)
Sound: DirectX® 8.0a-compatible sound card*
DirectX: DirectX® version 8.0a (included) or higher

* Indicates device should be compatible with DirectX® version 8.0a or higher.


  • MacOS 8.6 or higher or MacOS 10.0.4 or higher
  • 300MHz iMac G3 or better (500MHz preferred)
  • 64M RAM for the classic MacOS (96M preferred), 128M for MacOS X.
  • 500MB Hard disk space (650MB preferred)

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)