Vikings have long fascinated history buffs. Though often portrayed as brutish raiders, the Norsemen of old were equally brazen travelers as expert traders. And there are many more surprising facts to learn still about these seafaring Scandinavians.
There is no wonder why the Vikings have proven to be a prolific topic to explore on both the silver screen and the gaming medium, with as many triple-A blockbusters as indie gems diving into the legendary world of Norse gods and warriors.
So, have a go at riding to the gates of Valhalla and facing the beasts of Helheim with these five video games for gamers with a knack for all things Vikings.
God of War: Ragnarök
The ninth installment in the God of War series was one of the most anticipated games of 2022. And God of War: Ragnarök did not disappoint, selling a whopping 5 million units in its inaugural week alone. The first cross-gen release in the franchise, this monumental mythological epic is perhaps the first true PS5 classic. Critics lauded the entry’s incredibly immersive graphics, imaginative storytelling, and superb dynamics between the Spartan god-killer Kratos and his son Atreus.
Covering the doomsday event of Ragnarök – the battle to end all wars – this blockbuster action adventure brings an exhilarating conclusion to the franchise’s Norse arc. Get ready to hurl your axe left and right, thus, and embark on a monster-slaying journey across the nine realms.
Valheim is an indie title developed by Swedish studio Iron Gate AB, which takes place in an open world inspired by Norse mythology. In this brutal survival horror game, slain Vikings shall prove themselves worthy of entering the halls of Valhalla. To please Odin and reach the afterlife, they must first defeat the evils that plague Valheim, the tenth underworld within the sacred tree of Yggdrasil.
Whether in single-player or co-op mode, players can craft powerful weapons to slay mighty enemies and construct longhouses to keep monsters at bay. Exploration is another key component of this survival sandbox game, leaving gamers to sail the open seas and gaze at visually-stunning Norse environments. And while still in early access, Valheim has enough content to keep players engrossed for over 100 hours.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
The twelfth mainline installment in Ubisoft’s flagship Assassin’s Creed series is a dream come true for all Viking enthusiasts. This fictional retelling of the Norsemen’s 9th-century expansion into the British Isles builds upon the narrative established in all previous entries, as players control a Viking raider entangled in the centuries-long feud between the Brotherhood and the Templar Order.
Yet this overarching plot takes a backseat to the depiction of Norse history and lore, AC: Valhalla playing out like an open-world RPG full of historical figures and landmarks to discover, much like its Egyptian and Greek predecessors.
Munin takes a different approach to the formulaic Viking-infused action-heavy title. This indie platform game has you play as one of Odin’s two trusted messenger ravens, rotating to solve mazes and puzzles across over 70 unique levels inspired by the nine worlds of Yggdrasil. While rough around the edges in terms of graphics, Munin is proof enough that games about Norse mythology have more to them than mere RPGs.
Other distinct additions to the genre include adventure-puzzler Kari and even machine slots. Free Norse-themed pokies abound, such as Age of Vikings and Lost Vikings. But gamers may also play slots online for real money. Gambling with real cash means real wins. Progressive jackpot slots like Hall of Gods might even land gamblers a hefty prize. And though stakes are higher, cautious players can claim an array of bonuses and rewards to fund their bankroll.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Vikings and Norse gods are often the brash heroes of epic gaming adventures, but they can be equally as vicious foes. Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice follows the grief-ridden story of a Celtic woman warrior setting out for the Viking land of the dead to save the soul of her late lover. Yet, for all its fighting and exploration, this dark fantasy game also feels like a brutal descent into madness as Senua struggles with psychosis.
As hauntingly gripping as it is beautifully atmospheric, this Norse-inspired game blends impeccable artistry with gut-wrenching storytelling. And an accurate rendition of Norse myths and detailed attention paid to its Norse setting make Hellblade definitely stand out among a long list of Viking-themed games.