Best Total War Games – Best Total War Games You Must Play
Best Total War Games It’s easy to see the appeal of Total War games. These games are ambitious, combine real-time strategy with turn-based strategy, and offer such delicious flavours of historical recreation (or low-fantasy) that their settings will entice even the most avid strategy naysayers.
However, quality is not guaranteed. While there were some duds and insignificant instalments, they still stand out as shining examples of creativity and refinement. So you don’t have to spend hours manning line infantry in Empire and think you’re having fun. We’ve compiled the best Total war games.
Keep in mind their breadth, though. Each instalment brings out a new set of differences in style, feel, and intent. Although they may appear similar in function – mixing real-time battles with turn-based empire management to create a sleek grand campaign, their strengths and weaknesses can vary title-to-title. We’ve chosen the games that meet their requirements: the ones that can live up to the great ambitions they have set for themselves.
If all else fails, you can choose the game that appeals to your heart.
> Total War: Shogun 2
These are some of the best games on this list. These are truly magnificent games, which demonstrate the scope, ambition, joy, and sheer joy of grand strategy games. They are both historically reverent but whimsically fanciful. None of these games can match the powerful enrichment offered by Total War: Shogun 2. You have the best Total War game and one of the most popular PC strategy games. Take care of your diplomatic negations and clan management.
Shogun 2 learns from its predecessors’ mistakes and builds upon its greatest assets. With their common cultural and technological abilities, Factions are similar and balanced. However, they operate and play differently. The AI has learned new combat techniques. Instead of waiting for a point where you can steamroll multiple countries at high speed, you will need to pay more attention to clan management and difficult diplomatic negotiations to support the war effort.
Shogun 2 is a combination of the stunning geography of Japan and the grandiosity (albeit exaggerated) battles. It also incorporates the sense of mythology into its historical setting without straying into fantasy.
It does this by removing the continent-spanning maps from other entries in the series. As you attempt to unify your nation, the Japanese archipelago replaces the breadth of Europe. This narrower focus does not compromise the series’ scale. Best Total war games It only gives the game a tangible focus that is more understandable and better suited for instant-to-moment payoff. Shogun 2 is a great game, regardless of whether you’re a veteran or new to the series.
> Total War: Three Kingdoms
Amazingly, Creative Assembly took so long to discover the Three Kingdoms period in China. The era is primed for the Total War treatment. There’s a family drama, scheming Warlords, vibrant natural landscapes and vast territories to conquer. It’s also been treated to a wonderful offering that puts it at the top of the pack.
Best Total war games it’s easy to see the influence of Warhammer Total War’s success. Battles are less complex, flashier and easier to manage. The emphasis on creating a narrative path for your campaign is reminiscent of Warhammer 2’s Vortex storyline. The fantasy aspect is even more prominent, as generals are no longer brave leaders who raise troops’ morale but become demi-gods that destroy the battlefield.
It’s the game’s non-combat system overhauls that have made it the most prominent in the series. Your characters are as important as your armies. The relationships between your family and your court are crucial to your empire’s growth and can often direct your war goals. The Guanxi, Wu Xing, and Diplomacy systems reinforce the importance of interpersonal relationships. They also reflect the traditional Chinese social philosophy.
Three Kingdoms has a lot of replayability despite the lack of unit variety within and between factions. The vast yet dense map can be accessed from many directions. Additionally, the enhanced diplomatic system and economic system don’t just add layers to your decision-making but also open up new opportunities for conquest. Best Total war games you can use them to expand your empire more nuanced than ever. Every time you enter Three Kingdoms, you will be presented with a new challenge.
> Total War: Warhammer II
Total War: Warhammer represented the series’ tectonic shift, which sparked Creative Assembly to take a more creative approach. Warhammer 2 is the result of that transition into an extraordinary beauty of a strategy video game. In almost every way, this fantasy title is better than the original: the stakes and factions are higher, and the narrative centre takes on a greater role. The original title is superior in every way to the fantasy title.
Warhammer 2 swaps out the charming but old, Greenskins and Dwarfs Empire factions for the more eccentric Lizardmen and Skaven, Dark Elves and Tomb Kings. Warhammer 2 is confident with its lore, but not at the cost of strategic depth or technical insight. Warhammer 2 might be criticised for its rapid campaign pace, ostentatious battles or difficulty drop if you are a history buff. But embrace Warhammer 2 as a brilliantly colourful strategy game, and you will be rewarded with a title that is unmatched in its sheer confidence.
You can also field Vampire Counts and play any of the factions in the first game with the Mortal Empires expansion. It unlocks all factions from the subseries and combines maps from both games into one massive sprawl. It would be amazing if Warhammer videogame adaptions could be this good all the time.
> Total War: Medieval 2
While Medieval 2 Total War may not have the same halcyon nostalgia that Rome: Total War does, it is perhaps more worthy. Medieval 2 shares its core strengths and weaknesses, but it also improves upon its Latin predecessor in nearly all aspects. Campaigns are more focused, but they retain their ambition. Battles place greater emphasis on unit tactics.
Medieval 2 is undoubtedly showing its age. Many of its features, which set it apart from its predecessors when it was released, now seem unremarkable. Although these features were significant improvements over the visually stifling battles of Rome (which were mechanically fluid and visually very stilted), they are now merely routine or expected.
Its historical setting is more important than its novelty in gameplay. The romance of gallivanting through Europe as a feudal king is unmatched in later entries. Seeing regiments of lancers fight on open plains, cannon fire cracks a city’s walls, or longbowmen drop arrows onto vulnerable pikemen makes the game all the more charming in the poetic, grittily-written world of Middle Ages Europe.
You can also enjoy a little bit of post-release content. Medieval 2 was a haven to Total War modders over a decade after it was released in 2006. It still has some of the most popular fan-made creations, from Lands to Conquer, which adds the Hundred Years War conflict to the game, to Stainless Steel which tweaks and enhances almost every game aspect. There’s plenty of quality content in Steam’s Definitive Edition. It includes the massive Kingdoms expansion.
> Total War: Rome 2
Rome 2 was always expected to be great. However, the launch of Rome 2 was a disaster. It was plagued with bugs, AI issues, inept systems and other technical problems that quickly made it a lost opportunity. The hopes of reliving Rome: Total War’s glory and restoring the original’s splendour to the next generation were dashed faster than a Roman legionary could utter, “Oh gosh! That Gaul’s got an axe” at Teutoburg Forest. Its DLC campaigns have been some of its most successful.
The game’s Emperor Edition and a series of free updates have revived Rome 2. It has overcome its launch issues and is now fully committed to its historical context. The map is dominated by Roman rule, but it must also be viewed with care by the new governors and foreign rulers who seek to destroy the empire. The DLC campaigns of this series are among the most well-directed, adding narrative flavour to what can quickly turn into a tedious sandbox.
There is still a lot of chaff. Many factions feel neglected or underpowered, and large portions of the vast map are still empty. This makes it difficult to explore interesting land, but more like an annoying space to navigate. Rome 2 can keep its head up, just like its first namesake. A good redemption story is something we all enjoy.
> Total War: Napoleon
Napoleon: Total War was the original Total War Saga game. This was before Creative Assembly realized they needed a subseries dedicated specifically to historical events. Napoleon: Total War tells the story of Napoleon, the French general, emperor and all-around nasty man. He improves Empire’s cumbersome shift from line infantry warfare and sheds its worst parts. And he adds a narrative atmosphere to make sure you overlook the flaws.
In colourful regalia, infantry fight in pitched battles. Great frigates and warships engage with each other in chaotic naval standoffs. Grand European coalitions form as Bonaparte leads Bonaparte through Europe. Although the campaign mechanics and battles are very similar to Empire’s, Napoleon’s smaller scope allows them to create moments of dynamic force. Although the game is possible in a large sandbox campaign, it shines in smaller theatres, such as Napoleon’s invasion and trekking through Northern Italy or the branching of the Iberian Peninsula. Total War may not have fully understood ranged warfare, but it was close.
> Rome Total War
Rome, the first “proper” Total War game, revolutionized both grand strategy and operational battles. Instead of moving armies as pawns across a flat map from one province to another, like in the original Shogun or Medieval titles, they would instead traverse mountains and embark on ocean crossings as distinct armies. Sprites would no longer clash on the battlefields, but units models with never-before-seen details would fight until the last man – or the war elephant. It’s a revolution, resourceful and great fun.
Best Total war games it’s not hard to see that nostalgia can cloud most players’ memories of the game. The booming battle cry “TRIARII!” maybe ingrained in any player’s memory who spent hours fighting off invading Gauls like the Julii. But less well-remembered are the poor unit pathfinding and hollow diplomacy system—persistent bugs around siege weaponry. And peculiar AI strategies that made it seem as if the computer was actually into all this territorial conquest nonsense.
These flaws are a matter of course, but you can still enjoy Rome: Total War as the innovative, resourceful and great fun game it is. No strategy title released since 2004 could match the game’s expansive scope, engaging visuals, or breadth. It was a turning point and a valuable artefact. Enjoy it.
> A Total War Saga: Troy
Creative Assembly might need the Total War Saga subseries. The games were designed to be smaller and more focused on one time period, geography or civilisation. Unfortunately, Thrones of Britannia, the first Saga, was not a success. Creative Assembly’s second effort, Troy, shows the potential of this streamlined series.
Best Total war games are based on the Iliad stories and is a pivotal point in Ancient Greek History with all the pomp and show that goes with its setting. Troy, a smaller map that only captures the Greek Islands, is an example of experimentation. Multi-resource economies are more successful and allow for more strategic campaigns. In these cases, your expansion is not driven by petty grudges or objectives but by economic necessity. The battle maps are more diverse, adding tactical terrain and choke points to the previously flat areas characterised by the series.
Its pseudo-fantasy integration, however, is quite a surprise. Troy decides to use a middle point to represent mythical units with their real-life counterparts. The minotaurs can be seen as butch men in bull skulls and harpies as vicious warrior women. Centaurs, however, are old, horseback-riding men. It’s an unusual combination that leaves you with a bittersweet aftertaste.
Best Total war games although it is refreshing to try to find the truth behind this myth, you cannot help but wonder if it would be more satisfying to actually see a minotaur crashing through the ranks of hoplites or winged Harpies descend on the field. You can look past the bizarre mythological integration and enjoy the new systems and golden light of the tantalising bronze age setting.
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