Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to

Rise of Nations

By Common Sense Media, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Conquer the world with economic force and might.

Game Windows 2003
Rise of Nations Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 10+

For All Ages, Amazing

This has got to be one of the greatest strategy games of all time, it's brilliant. Without even being very violent sure there is a heap of killing but honestly that looks like someone falling over and falling asleep!!!
age 10+
This game manages to show players the development of people from the early ages to today. Diplomacy is also a key aspect of the game and shows in a simplistic, effective way the aspects of diplomacy, especially in the way of resource trading (committed aid). There also exists a learning curve that doesn't happen to be very steep, and the difficulty of the AI makes for a possibly challenging and fun game. The Conquer the world campaign also gives players an idea of world geography, as well as the history and aspects of a particular area of earth or a particular people (For example China's "Power of Culture", highlighting China's advantage in the area of cultural development in the middle ages over other civilizations, or Egypt's ability to have two extra farms per town being reflective in their agriculture in the early ages due to the Nile.) This is a fantastic game.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (3 ):

The game some educational potential, offering specialized units and traits for each nation and following a rough timeline of national development from ancient times to modern ages. These elements could spark a player's interest in a particular nation's history, but the game doesn't take advantage of this by explaining the historical significance between the special units and that particular nation. From an entertainment aspect, the game performs admirably with artificial intelligence that offers multiple levels of difficulty. Players can use a multi-player option to challenge friends.

Although battles are shown fully animated, the violence is tempered by the player only having a bird's eye view rather than being fully immersed. In the end, Rise of Nations is a good game; from an entertainment point of view it is excellent. However, a little more effort could have given players not only an entertaining time, but also an educational one.

Game Details

  • Platform: Windows
  • Available online?: Not available online
  • Publisher: Big Huge Games
  • Release date: September 30, 2003
  • Genre: Strategy
  • ESRB rating: T
  • Last updated: November 4, 2015

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate