What are the best Civilization V leaders?

Whether you're just getting into playing Civilization V or have been playing the game for quite some time now, this list is beneficial to you either way. The is the community's top picks for the best leaders in Civilization V! Get in on the action and vote for your favorite ones right here!

60 contributors
7 solutions
  1. 15

    #1Elizabeth (England)

    Elizabeth (England)

    Elizabeth is the leader of England's Civilization in Civilization V. She gives the player a set of extra bonus and advantages like: All Naval Units get +2 extra movement. During the Renaissance, England begins with two units.

    Game Elements


    Kyle Lucas
    Written on October 16, 2017
    "This doesn't make sense to me. It seems like it could be interesting but I couldn't figure it out. More power to you if you can but I think I will pass!"
  2. 11

    #2Oda Nobunaga (Japan)

    Oda Nobunaga (Japan)

    Oda Nobunaga is the leader of the Japanese civilization in Civilization V. Along with his features, you can find that he has the Bushido ability that allows your units to fight at full capacity even if damaged. He is a fierce dominator.

    Game Elements


    Joan Carpenter
    Written on October 22, 2017
    "Oda Nobunaga is a fun game. It's set in Japan and has some interesting difference between other games. Set up your civilization and fight like a Japanese warrior."
  3. 9

    #3Alexander (Greece)

    Alexander (Greece)

    Alexander the Great is the leader of the Greek civilization in Civilization V. He comes with the Hellenic League ability that permits: City-State Influence degrades at the half and recovers twice as fast eliminating trespassing penalties.

    Game Elements


    Douglas Henderson
    Written on June 7, 2018
    "I like to think that the Greek Leader Alexander is one of the best, if not the best CIV V leader to pick. He has awesome powers that you just can't play without!"


Civilization is a series of games that turns human history into a playground where players can exploit, based on turns, to bring glory to their chosen Nations. In 1991, Sid Meier’s Civilization was launched. It was a game that would define the turn-based strategy for over two decades. It paved the way for the birth of a new genre known as 4X. 4X is a creative term for eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. Now, the game is on its 6th installment. Civilization VI was released on Steam on October 2016. The game peaked at more than 160,000 concurrent players which is quite a feat. But even with its success, it’s still not enough to surpass Civilization V. Did you know that Civilization 5 is still more popular than Civilization 6? Why is this the case? Is there a reason why 4X players still favor the older version compared to the newer?

There are many different reasons why many of the active playerbase on Steam still prefer to play CIV 5 rather than CIV 6. This is by no means a claim that CIV 6 is a far less impressive game. In fact, a sizeable part of the online community has already switched to the newer game. But, for those who remain with the older version have cited different factors. From price to features, to aesthetics all have varying importance for different people. Some might be fonder of the best Civilization V leaders present in the game rather than the latter. They may like the war strategy game design a whole lot better than the other. But for a simple answer, people are content with CIV 5. It’s the biggest testament to the game. How it has stayed as a fan-favorite is remarkable.

  1. 8

    #4Isabella (Spain)

    Isabella (Spain)

    Isabella of Castille and Aragon is the leader of the Spanish Civilization in Civilization V. Her unique ability is Seven Cities of Gold - Gold Bonus from discovering Natural Wonders. Isabella tends to go for a domination victory.

    Game Elements


    Bobby Shaw
    Written on November 4, 2017
    "The description of the game does not sound too appealing. It is almost as a fantasy mixed with reality duo. I do not see this game taking flight. It's unclear whether or not the game-play is in Spanish, Castilian, or English. This could ultimately deter potential buyers. "
  2. 5

    #5Wu Zetian (China)

    Wu Zetian (China)

    Wu Zetian, empress of the 2nd Zhou Dynasty, is the leader of the Chinese Civilization in the Civilization V. She has the Art of War ability where Great Generals give +30% instead of +15% Combat Bonuses and their spawn rate is 50% faster.

    Game Elements


    Elizabeth Gonzales
    Written on October 14, 2017
    "Wu Zetian is a powerful leader in Civilization V! As the only female emperor to have ever ruled China, she focuses mainly on scientific wins. Her backstory is incredible, and it is a fascinating story to read. "
  3. 4

    #6Attila (The Huns)

    Attila (The Huns)

    Attila is the king and leader of The Huns in the Civilization V. His unique ability is Scourge of God - Double Raze speed. It starts with Animal Husbandry and earns +1 Production per Pasture. He is the most aggressive leader in the game.

    Game Elements


    Laura Peters
    Written on October 20, 2017
    "As a fan of ancient civilizations, I was excited about this game. Attila the Hun, historically, was a ruthless leader and warrior and this game captures that same personality. Each battle I played was intense but exciting. The graphics are fabulous and the battles were fabulously exhausting. Going against a formidable opponent, such as Attila, and knowing that he was a real person, made the challenges even better."
  4. 1

    #7Otto von Bismarck (Germany)

    Otto von Bismarck (Germany)

    Otto von Bismarck is the leader of Germany in Civilization V. He comes with the unique ability of Furor Teutonicus - Defeating a Barbarian in an Encampment gives you a 67% chance they join you and land unit maintenance costs 25% less.

    Game Elements


    Kelly Cunningham
    Written on October 13, 2017
    "I love playing Civilization V with many different starting leaders. However, Otto von Bismarck of Germany is one of my favorites. One of the best benefits of using Bismarck in Civ5 is the chance of turning barbarian units into units for your civilization. This really helps grow and expand at fast rates, which can give you a head start with competing civilizations."


Best What are the best Civilization V leaders
1Elizabeth (England)Game Elements 15 Free
2Oda Nobunaga (Japan)Game Elements 11 Free
3Alexander (Greece)Game Elements 9 Free
4Isabella (Spain)Game Elements 8 Free
5Wu Zetian (China)Game Elements 5 Free
6Attila (The Huns)Game Elements 4 Free
7Otto von Bismarck (Germany)Game Elements 1 Free

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