Greek mythology is one of the most captivating and inspiring forms of mythos in the world. This culture, which existed thousands of years ago, was rich with gods and goddesses and philosophies about who we are as humans and how we should navigate our way through the world.
With epic and ancient Greek tales such as The Iliad still capturing imaginations today, it’s unsurprising to see those in the games industry turning to Greek lore for ideas and looking to bring this incredibly rich period of human history to life.
In this guide, we’ll explore Greek mythology and why it’s popular. We also examine some of the most popular video games inspired by this era and the impact those games have had on the industry as a whole.
What is Greek Mythology and Why is it Popular?
Greek mythology refers to the collection of stories about a vast range of different gods, goddesses, monsters, heroes, legends, fools, and great warriors. These tales were told thousands of years ago when Ancient Greece played an influential role in the world.
While we refer to it as mythology, at the time, the Greeks believed and revered these figures, such that they became a huge part of their cultural identity. The religion surrounding the mythos helped to give the world purpose and meaning for the Grecian people.
The enduring popularity of Greek mythology has, in part, been down to the richness of the tales that have emerged from it. From the stories of the twelve gods and goddesses, like Zeus and Demeter, to mythical monsters like the Kraken and Manticore, people can’t help but be drawn in.
As we’ll see below, Greek mythology has helped inspire a number of hugely popular games. This popularity has reached all aspects of the gaming world, including gambling. Rise Of Olympus, for example, is a very popular slot machine game that you can play at online casinos. As the name suggests, it’s heavily inspired by Greek mythology.
As these video games draw more and more from the Greek mythos, its popularity may grow even further. Let’s look at some of the most popular.
Examples of Games Inspired by Greek Mythology
Here’s a breakdown of some popular games inspired by Greek mythology.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
Perhaps the most famous and popular game inspired by Greek mythology is Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.
The legendary franchise has explored many different parts of history, from the Vikings to the Ancient Middle East. In this instalment, it focuses on the land of the Ancient Greek Gods.
The game has drawn plaudits for your ability to start out as a regular citizen of Greece, an outcast on the periphery of society. As the narrative develops, you can rise up to be a legend of Sparta as you set out on an epic quest to save the nation.
Players have the ability to explore the incredible and historic cities of Athens and Sparta and, with the ability to make different decisions, each gaming experience is unique. The ending can even work out differently depending on your choices.
This game really does appeal to fans of Greek mythology. As always, the Assassin’s Creed games are well-researched, and Odyssey is no exception. Throughout the game, you can find interesting references to the likes of the legendary Spartan King Leonidas (who Gerard Butler played in the film 300) and the alluring beasts of the mythos, like Medusa.
It all makes for an incredibly captivating and immersive gaming experience.
Total War Saga: Troy
One of the most popular PC game series is Total War. The strategy series has won scores of awards. Like Assassin’s Creed, the different games in its series focus on different eras. In Troy, the focus is all on Ancient Greece.
The tale of Troy is centred around the Trojan War, one of the most famous battles in all of the Greek era. The game allows players to relive this legendary campaign, giving them the choice of eight characters, including the great warrior and hero Achilles. Players also have the ability to recruit mythological creatures.
While elements of the game center around turn-based systems, the real-time battles offer an experience like no other. You have the ability to build your army and command them to victory on the battlefield. You can watch as the two forces clash, and respond as the battles unfold.
In between battles, you can build and expand your empire. The game allows you to try and control the whole Mediterranean region from the Bronze Age.
Unlike Assassin’s Creed, this game is only available on PC and not consoles.
Achilles: Legends Untold
One game that makes great use of Greek mythology is Achilles: Legends Untold. In the style of a Souls-like RPG game, players can explore a world filled with Greek legends and monsters. Unsurprisingly you get to play as Achilles.
The fight scenes and battles all take place as part of a war waged between Ares and Hades and slowly, you can build up your character’s skills and strengths.
The game is ideal for those who enjoy third-person adventures with characters who use swords and shields. The game is available to play on all consoles.
If you’re looking for a different but more artistic game experience, Apotheon could be for you. This indie game is two-dimensional and takes on the style of artwork that you’d see on Greek pottery from the era.
Apotheon is a single-player game inspired by Homer’s The Iliad. Players control the central hero Nikandreos. His task is to battle his way to the top of Mount Olympus to claim the divine powers of the gods and save the fate of the human race.
It’s a game rich in Greek mythology and lore. Throughout the game, players can find excerpts and historic references taken from the likes of The Iliad, as well as other Greek sources. It’s something that offers good educational value as well as entertainment.