It can be challenging to judge the best total war games. This is mainly because the main concept behind “best” depends on the type of mood you are in.
Many individuals play these games on rotation, inspired by whichever films, games, or books they might be consuming at that moment.
The best total war games are generally “feel” games that satisfy cravings even beyond the requirement for pitched battles and sharp strategy.
They allow the players to create brand new stories, role play as their favorite generals, and twist history at the same time. Some games appear as if they have evolved from a completely different Universe, but the truth is that they all provide the same combination of conquest and conflict, domination, and failure.
Total war games, for the people who do not know, are the best turn-based strategy games. One thing that sets them apart from the other gaming genres is that the majority of these games take place in varied locations and varied periods as well.
The variations available in this category make it quite impossible for gaming enthusiasts to understand which game they should pick and start playing.
Thirsty gamers with a preference for adrenaline will surely develop the affection and passion for some of the best total war games. These games boast of a massive fan base.
The new games in this category are designed and developed on the foundation of their predecessor games, which means they are nothing short of the adventure and the war themes found in the older ones.
Choosing the best total war game might vary as per the gameplay and choice of different individuals. Before jumping on the best total war games, you must know that there is nothing called bad total war games in this category.
Some games are either subjectively or objectively better than the others. But this does not mean they are only the best games. Even the ones that fall back in gameplay and features might be the best ones, not in your opinion but the opinion of the other players.
Here, we will be going through some of the best total war games that will surely give you an adrenaline rush.
Best Total War Games: Our Top Pick 👌
1. Shogun 2
Shogun comes as one of the first war games released under the Total War Game franchise. The game boasts of amazing thematic presentations and is considered one of the most enjoyable pieces in the category of total war games.
Released in the year 2011, Shogun 2 features the perfect AI algorithms along with advanced gameplay. It gives players a real war-like adrenaline rush while they play the games.
This second expansion of the Shogun series is called the Fall of the Samurai, and it brings in pitting spears, gunpowder, and wielding farmers into the picture. It took the total war Shogun franchise to a completely new level that it deserved.
An exclusive feature of this Best Total War Games are:-
- The game took players to the feudal Japan of the 16th century when different leaders fought against each other for gaining power.
- The gameplay of Shogun 2 is split into a couple of categories, and they are the battlefield and campaign map.
- Campaign map gameplay is about the player’s strategy with huge scopes such as managing tax rates, establishing trade routes, and strengthening alliances.
- The battlefield is where the players use their infantry, archers, and ninja army for attacking the castles and for conquering territories.
- Shogun is a title that the players win once they conquer all the territories.
- The game features exciting battlefield gameplay combined with strategy and diplomacy.
- The excellent presentation involved in the game.
- Involving strategy for the gamers.
- It is hard to memorize the names of the Japanese army units.
The game can be played on Linux, OS X, and Windows platforms.
If you enquire about any individual who is a total war game fan, he or she will surely rate Shogun 2 as one of the best total war games.
This game is all about the expedition of Atilla the Hun from Rome, and this is the reason why many gaming enthusiasts also call it Rome III total war game.
The interface of the game is loaded with models, assets, and maps that are the same as Rome, the popular total war game. But there are, of course, some impressive modifications found in Atilla, and these make it completely different from its predecessors.
Nevertheless, experts are of the view that players should try their hands at least one of the Rome wargaming series for getting a clear understanding of the difference between Atilla and Rome.
Important features of this Best Total War Games include:-
- The game has Europe as its location, which is possibly after the devastation of the Roman Empire.
- The entire gameplay consists of burning cities, devastated regions, and several nomadic tribes rampaging cities across Anatolia endlessly.
- Dissimilar to the previous series of total war games, while playing Atilla, the players can serve as hordes that keep moving from one place to another. They can set up camps temporarily for invading territories.
- Coming to the battles, the game has more influence on the main player’s city if he or she loses the battle. Perhaps, if a player loses very soon in the battle, his or her city would completely vanish from the map.
- Atilla comes loaded with some of the latest methods and techniques for building and attacking.
- The gameplay also involves starvation, legislative problems, and destruction.
- Beautiful game with a well-scaled and organized world map.
- Horde gameplay offers great gaming mobility and fun. First-of-its-kind in the total rare game series.
- Much better AI.
- Migratory and nomadic horse factions bring unpredictability and speed to the game.
- The game interface is completely cluttered.
- Minute statics and their specificity are distracting.
- The game is all about politics and diplomacy.
- Pathfinding is broken within the game in both the campaigns and even on battle maps.
The game can be played on Linux, Windows, and OS X devices.
If you love being political and conquering territories for showing your power, then Atilla is for you.
3. Napoleon – Definitive Edition
Your total wargaming experience will not be complete until you play Napoleon. This is one of the most favorite total war games for gaming enthusiasts across the world.
As is suggested by its name, this game is completely focused on Napoleon’s journey from serving as minuscule Artillery personnel to the ruler of France. Nevertheless, it is this thought that even limits the gameplay to a considerable extent.
The game consists of three campaigns allowing the players to play as Napoleon. All three campaigns have varied objectives that have been duly scripted, so they match history.
Exclusive attributes of this masterpiece in the series of total war games are as follows:-
- There are lively battles that make this game attractive and interesting at the same time.
- The bloody and vast battles introducing gunpowder warfare are quite satisfying.
- The game is also filled with a lot of DLC experiences that improve the main base game.
- Players can auto-resolve the battles for avoiding battle maps.
- The game consists of a large number of new map features, units, and areas to play at.
- The strategy map consists of a lot of micromanaging of the army units.
- The game crashes subsequently, and there are no solutions available for this problem.
The game supports OS X, Linux, and Windows platforms.
This magical entry into the genre of total war games is worth trying your hands at if you want to have that complete and most satisfying game playing experience.
You might also be surprised to know that this classic total war game got an edition upgrade off late because of the quality gameplay it offers.
4. Warhammer II
The game comes from the house of Creative Assembly, and this time the folks here paid attention to the numerous complaints that the gamers had with Warhammer- the original version of this classic total war game.
So, they put in their best efforts and came up with a successfully renovated and superbly amazing second version that renewed the likes and the interests of the gamers. This fantasy version of Warhammer is a complete masterpiece of the game in itself.
Some of the most notable features of this Best Total War Games are:-
- The game consists of four factions that look similar to the factions of the original version at the very first glance. The four factions are the Lizardmen on Dinosaurs, Dark Elves, Skaven- the ferocious rats, and High Elves. However, there exist subtle differences.
- When you play this second version of Warhammer, you will find that the High Elves now have dragons, and they even have the potential of doing magic spells during the wars.
- Lizardmen in this new version are more enchanting and colorful.
- A personal favorite of many gaming enthusiasts, Warhammer II is sneakier than its original version and brings up some great cavalries from underground.
- The renewed factions of this game are superb at magic. They boast of both ranged and melee specialists.
- The design of the map in this game has also been updated. There are no spawning continents here, as was the case with Warhammer I.
- The maps in this game are loaded with interesting and exciting campaigns. They take the game to a completely new level.
- The game involves a fantasy strategy.
- Amazing graphics on the cut scenes, battle map, and campaign map.
- The campaigns have tight forces and pacing.
- Creators of the game have been intelligent in adding Warhammer mythology into the RTS game.
- Some of the most interesting gameplay choices are included in the game.
- It requires a good amount of processor capacity to be played comfortably on a computer.
- Only individuals possessing gaming computers will be able to play this game on their systems.
- The narrative campaign of the game is difficult and cannot be followed very easily. This goes special for people who have not played the original Warhammer game or the first one in this series.
- It takes too long to load up.
The game can be played on Linux, Windows, and OS X platforms.
Considering the features and the exciting gameplay sessions that this game is filled with, enthusiastic players will simply love every bit of the improvement made to this second version of Warhammer.
5. Empire – Definitive Edition
Now that you know a bit about Napoleon, the total war game, it is quite likely for you to find Empire, yet another superb total war game, completely the opposite of Napoleon.
Empire is the opposite of Napoleon in the sense that it offers more versatility and freedom to its gamers than is the case with Napoleon. Dissimilar to Napoleon, Empire offers players several scopes instead of restricting them to events that have taken place in history.
First glance at the game, and you will find it very similar to Atilla or Medieval, the other total war games on this list. But there is something more to the Empire.
The cool attributes of this game that make it completely unique and different from the other games in this list are:-
- Players of Empire get the chance to engage in some of the most absorbing fights for acquiring land.
- They also get the chance to display their strategic and diplomacy skills in managing cities and establishing trades that never existed historically.
- The gamers get to indulge in a lot of spying and tactical battles.
- They also get to expand territories, indulge in side missions, and add stuff such as family trees.
- Subverting traders and appointing governors are also activities that are a part of the game.
- One of the very first games in the total war game genre with improved graphics.
- The chance of gameplay widely broadens with Empire as there are several scopes that keep the players engaged for a very long time.
- Strong game format.
- Mixed gameplay.
- Beautiful graphics.
- There are limited gameplay options.
If you try your hands at Empire for the very first time, chances are you will be addicted to the game literally and will find excuses to play this epic and classic total war game.
This turn-based, addictive empire building game is filled with real-time battles set in the world of giant monsters, legendary heroes, and flying creatures.
The game even has storms of superficial and magical powers in it. It comes from the creative and innovative house of Creative Assembly and is available for Linux, OS X, and Windows operating systems. It is a first of its kind, total war game that does not have a historical environment or setting.
Exclusive feature of this Best Total War Games include:-
- The gameplay unfolds on varied scales like kingdoms in turn-based plan campaigns, army movements, and managing cities.
- Players get to control multiple fantasy factions having their very own abilities, characters and units.
- On a smaller scale, the game consists of real-time tactical sieges and skirmishes along with the management of the actions and movement of individual characters and units.
- There are human factions, dwarfs, vampire counts, and green skins at launch and more if the players get the paid content that is downloadable.
- The game consists of diplomatic activities, which means it will give the gamers a rich game playing experience.
- Boasts of dramatically superb graphics.
- It does not have the trouble of going through history in any form and shape.
- Devoid of maximum turns.
- The micromanaging feature might be a little challenging if you have a huge empire.
- A good quality gaming computer is needed for playing this game.
- It is very difficult to comprehend the units that serve as huge threats and the ones that are novelty segments.
- Quite possible for gamers to lose track of their constructions and armies.
The game consists of all the exclusive features total ear gaming enthusiasts are fond of and will surely offer you better graphics.
The game has been made simple with the release of several DLC in the year 2016. When compared to the other games in this list and the 2nd series of Warhammer, this original version is way better than worth giving a try.
7. Thrones of Britannia
Players who have already tasted the rich graphics and gameplay experience of Atilla will hardly like the Thrones of Britannia. Both the games are close enough or similar in their appearance with a bit of difference in a geographical setting.
The game features devastated regions that were previously found in Atilla, and they are the same. A major part of this game functions the same as Atilla, but there are certain new geographical settings along with campaigns that might grab the interest of the players.
Some strong attributes of the game include:-
- Gamers are in the character of Alfred The Great and the way he fought against the Vikings in the Edington battle.
- Serious wargaming is the focus of this game and its basis as well.
- The objective of the game is clear.
- The game involves some of the most exciting battles and readable content.
- Deep and time-consuming at the same time.
- Beginners into total wargaming might take time to get used to the game’s format.
Though it is not as rich and as exciting an experience as Atilla, Thrones of Britannia is worth giving a try. It will be a good way of spending leisure time while learning something new.
8. Three Kingdoms
The Creative Assembly group is known for releasing new games on a regular basis, and this goes special for the total war game series.
The folks at Creative Assembly always make it a point to release new games regularly so that the fans of total war games are provided with some of the latest and the most exciting adventures.
Three Kingdoms is one of the most exclusive games in this series, where there is a classic battle taking place for uniting China during the period of Three Kingdoms. The setting of the game was 190AD or the period when the Han dynasty succumbed to its downfall.
Exclusive feature of this Best Total War Games include:-
- Players get to make their choice from a total of 12 fabulous warlords. They further get to conquer the well-known world.
- Players who are successful in defeating all the warlords are the ultimate emperors, and they unite China into a single strong kingdom.
- Updated AI algorithms and better graphics make this game amazingly attractive and interesting.
- The game will take your total ear gaming experience to a completely new level.
- The game features gorgeous art.
- One of the best strategy games that look exclusively beautiful.
- The game involves Duelling.
- Blends character and grand strategy elements perfectly.
- Includes diplomacy revamp.
- Historically inaccurate game.
- Naval battles are not a part of the game.
All in all, it can rightly be said that the Three Kingdoms is one of the best new releases in the category of total war games. It will not only give you an adrenaline rush but will also make gaming super fun and adventurous.
Starting from Shogun to Thrones of Britannia and even Three Kingdoms, the world of total war games is exciting, fun, interesting, adventurous, and above everything else, unique.
There is no other gaming genre that can offer you the same adrenaline rush and the same spirit to win as is available with the games on this list.
The total war game series is not just about war-based strategy games transforming historical fights into multiplayer, real-time, and tactical gaming experiences. Still, it is also about advanced graphics and improved AI algorithms.
The games have been designed in such a way that they will surely offer the players a real war-like experience. You can easily compare the different games and their versions along with updates for playing the ones that best match your preferences and tastes. Once you get a good experience playing these games, you will keep coming back for more, and that’s for sure!