Just a thought I had. I'm offering this comparison. I know there are some other effects (IE I think you can pop a great scientist in 5 for a tech boost) - but I'm going to disregard the comparatively weaker ways to use them, if you would rarely go with that (IE in 4 why would you ever not build the academy with the great scientist?) Great Scientists: Civ 4 (50% increase to science production in city); Civ 5 (+4 science (base level); Civ 6 (various, at most +2 science for each university + free university) Great Engineers: Civ 4 (finish a wonder); Civ 5 (finish a wonder or +4 production, base level); Civ 6 (various, but really nothing special, probably Leo De Vinci is the strongest with +1 culture per workshop) Great Merchants: Civ 4 (+1 food/+6 gold in city or +1000 or so gold for a pop); Civ 5 (+4 gold base yield or pop for city state favor and ~1000 gold); Civ 6 (various, probably the best are the ones that give you +1 trade route and a free trader) Great Prophets: Civ 4 (give you +1 gold in the holy city of a religion for every city that follows the religion, if you founded a religion); Civ 5 (allows you to create a religion, add a new belief, or build a holy site (if you go down the piety track this is actually more powerful than 4)); Civ 6 (allows you to create a religion) Great Artist: Civ 4 (+5 culture, +1 gold or +4000 culture burst); Civ 5 (produces a great work that creates +2 culture +2 tourism); Civ 6 (creates great works) Great General: Civ 4 (burst adds xp to unit or improves starting xp for units created in city); Civ 5 (creates great forts that claim enemy territory, improves strength of surrounding units passively); Civ 6 (passive combat boost for units of certain ages; improves siege weapons; usually has some small retirement option) Basically, other than great prophets when used in the piety tract in Civ 5, every single type of great person in Civ 4 was more powerful than later incarnations, despite the fact that they have arguably placed more narrative emphasis on them. I'm kind of discounting the end game great people in 6 only because you've probably won or lost by the time you get to them. I've never gotten Van Braun and been like "gee that's what's going to put me above my competition." 5 also comes close if you choose the freedom ideology, which significantly buffs great person generation and powers. You could also say, though, that Civ 4 has something like the philosophical trait which doubles great person point generation. Additionally, I still feel like something like the great scientist academy is so much more powerful than even that. Also, on top of all of that, I think GP in Civ 4 have so much more utility. The great artist burst power, for example, can do so much more work - even if you aren't pursuing a cultural victory, while the great prophet holy shrine power is gamechanging even if you aren't really pursuing a religion game. And then, looking at the merchant, there are ways in which they effect each game differently because gold is so different in each game. Gold lets you buy city states in 5, which is a big deal. But gold is what lets you expand in 4. So it's way more essential. So getting that passive gold production or burst can be the difference between settling a new city or not in 4. In conclusion, I just thought this was all pretty amusing.