[Top 10] Today's best Total War games (2023)

No, this isn't a battle between your favorite whole grains, it's an all-out war. Don't cry over spilled milk!

Ancient Rome, China, the medieval kingdoms of Europe - just like the empires they represent, the Total War series covers many areas; but Caesar, Genghis, or any other great conqueror will tell you that there is always more territory to conquer.
Total War's grand campaigns, story elements, and expansive, unique tactical combat have always been a staple of the award-winning series, and these top 10 games offer a new and unique take on many of the same great elements.
If you enjoyed the Total War series but want to explore beyond the borders, this list is for you.

10: Whip of the Rat: Waterloo

"Taxi! Waterloo please." "Station?" Well, I'm late for the fucking fight! "

Although we don't always see swords and cannons sharing the battlefield, cavalry charge with sabers and cannons became a defining scene of the Napoleonic Wars.
Scourge of War: Waterloo skillfully covers the period, through extensive research and historically accurate units, generals and battlefields, as well as the sheer size of the armies.
Although the game lacks the campaign map of the TW games, the tactical map works in a similar way. The key difference is the chain of command system, which forces the player to request reinforcements from commanders via couriers, rather than controlling units directly.
The battles are huge and realistic, and even though the graphics aren't great, give it a try; comes from the 19th century!
A game for strategy gamers and history buffs alike, Bane of War: Waterloo is a welcome addition to other TW-style titles.

9. Natjecanje III: War of the Ancients - Longbow Digital Arts

"Do you think they will attack us?" - No, they don't have Gale.

If you're looking for a mix of grand strategy and real-time tactical warfare set in the pre-Roman Mediterranean, look no further; if you just want to play a good game, it's a happy coincidence.
Hegemony III: War of the Ancients is the latest installment in the Hegemony series, and it's a great place to start.
It's reminiscent of TW in many ways, but the combat is focused on strategic maps rather than locked duels, and unique features like the authenticity of supply lines are just one of the many refreshing mechanics that make it worth playing.
Choose from dozens of unique factions, including ancient Greeks, Gauls, and Latins, and unite those tribes in any way you want!

8. King Arthur - Developer: Neocore Games

A saga told in the style of grand strategy.

Take control of mythical heroes like Lancelot, Merlin and many more from the Arthurian legend as you fight your way across Britain in this great strategy RPG game.
King Arthur plays like a grand strategy game, with empire management attributes like exploration, citizenship, diplomacy, and politics, as well as RPG elements like progression and learning special skills.
Heroes play the role of generals who can be warlords, champions or sages, supporting their army accordingly, fighting on the front lines or casting powerful spells.
Diplomacy, economics, and politics play an important role in managing your empire on the strategic map, while combat involves capturing strategic points on the tactical map.
Very similar to the TW games, but with added fantasy and heroic elements that make it stand out like the mighty Excalibur.

7. Warhammer: Mark of Chaos/Marsz Bitewny — Black Hole Entertainment

Goblins, demons and goblins, oh wound!

If you're new to Warhammer World, imagine a Lord of the Rings theme with a Warcraft III aesthetic.
While there aren't the large strategy maps of the other games on this list, Warhammer: MoC has many combat elements similar to the TW games.
Choose from a variety of races such as bow-wielding high elves, armourers, demon-summoning tribes, and rat-like skaven.
Heroes can learn special abilities to strengthen their troops or simply destroy enemies.
RPG elements allow you to upgrade units and heroes, making combat not just tactics, but sophistication.
Battle March is an expansion to MoC that adds many new features, including new playable races such as Dark Elves and Goblins. How will you crush your enemies with the brute force of the Horde, the gunpowder technology of the Humans, or the onslaught of Zerg ravenous Skaven?

6. Star Wars: An Empire at War - igra Petroglyph

A sci-fi game in an article almost exclusively about medieval and fantasy games? Honestly, it happened a long, long time ago. That's not a Jedi trick, that's Star Wars.

I know the (mostly) realistic past of the games on this list is a bit weird; Caesar never had a giant planet-destroying space station to work with, and if he did, he probably used it. Star Wars is undeniably about incorporating "the majority" into a grand strategy (galactic conquest encompasses little more than the Mediterranean), and Empire at War demonstrates this with sandbox campaigns across planetary systems.
Controlling rebel or empire factions, you must eliminate enemy factions, faction leaders, or destroy or protect the Death Star.
Battles take place in space and on land, using different types of troops and ships, and heroes like Vader and Obi-Wan in tactical battles.
If you're into the historical/fantasy genre, EaW's theme is different, but the spirit is familiar: protect or destroy, sword or lightsaber, the choice is yours.

5. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord — TaleWorlds Entertainment

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be one of the many soldiers on the battlefield? Welcome to Mount & Blade.

If you're new to the Mount & Blade series, Bannerlord is a great place to start.
The game takes place on the fictional continent of Calradia, where the Calradian Empire is historically similar to the rise and fall of ancient Rome.
These games are completely open source and work like an action/strategy/role-playing game where you create and level up your character, who can then enter their own country, lead troops, and progress however they want.
Think of a TW general/governor, but as a general you fight directly alongside your troops throughout the game.
While the action/RPG aspect may seem out of place compared to TW, the game strikes a beautiful balance between RPG, strategy and action elements, giving it a refreshing depth and immersion.

4. Knights of Honor - developed by Creative Assembly Sofia

Chivalry Is Not Dead: KoH lays the groundwork for KoH2.

Aesthetically similar to Age of Empires, Knights of Honor is a tactical/grand strategy game set in medieval Europe with a unique charm.
One of the most impressive things is the large number of factions to choose from, each with their own unique units. KoH reminds me of real-time civilization with gameplay reminiscent of TW games.
Rebels can take over a city and create a new state, diplomatic mechanics are complex and varied, and spies have almost limitless potential to infiltrate, elevate, and take over rival kingdoms!
Check out the big contender in this space, KoH2: Sovereign, which is slated for release in late 2020.

3. Europe Universal IV - Paradox development studio

What? A game without a battle map? How is it similar to Total War? Well, I have a voice in my head, to explain to you...

Set between the 15th and early 19th centuries, EU IV is a grand strategy game by Paradox of the Long Renaissance.
Based on historical events, you can control one of 500 factions (yes, 500) competing for 3633 provinces (yes) and the place of their empire on the strategic map.
If you're not familiar with the Paradox games, battles are fought using a simple yet in-depth system that takes into account a number of factors that affect the outcome of battles; for example, a unit's flanking range indicates how far it can cover the enemy, and unit discipline increases the overall effectiveness of the army.
As with other development titles - diplomacy, trade and character development play an important role in the game and despite the lack of a tactical combat system, EU IV is a good candidate for TW.

2. Crusader Kings 3 — studio deweloperskie Paradox

Do you remember the Crusades? NOT? What about the king? NOT? Well... Anyway, here's the Crusader Kings.

The latest installment in the CK series: Crusader Kings 3, there's a lot to love in the footsteps of its acclaimed predecessor.
If you're not familiar with the series, Crusader Kings is a grand strategy simulation set in the Middle Ages with a heavy emphasis on empire management, which of course means diplomacy... which of course means war.
Like other Paradox games, CK3 has no in-game combat mechanics; imagine "auto combat" in TW, but with a much deeper system that takes into account all the factors you'll face in real-time combat.
Retaining RPG elements from the previous game, character traits and other factors will affect the characters and the situations they find themselves in, and the genetic traits of the royal family can be passed on to potential leaders who will later influence your empire.
If you're new to the series, CK 2 is free on Steam, and Crusader Kings 3 has proven itself to be a worthy heir to the throne within just a few weeks of its release.

1. Ultimate General: Civil War - Game-Labs

How to make a Great Civil War game: 1 part Union, 1 part Confederate, and 1 part by Total War Mod Maker. *WARNING: Do not get involved in political propaganda. *

What happens when one of the most respected modders in the Total War franchise makes his own game?
Ask Nick Thomadis, creator of the TW AI "Darthmod" mod. Nick used his vast experience in the modding community to design the Ultimate General series, and while the game doesn't have complex grand strategy systems like resource gathering or empire building, it's good enough to get your tactical combat right.
Play as Union or Confederate soldiers, recreate historical battles, or manifest your own destiny in campaigns.
Only an effective formation of forces, sufficient supplies and perfect tactics can destroy or defeat the enemy on the battlefield; Can you emerge victorious as the ultimate general?

If you liked this article, you might also like these:

The best Total War games of 2016

And Total War Saga: Troy reaches 7.5 million players in 24 hours

Total War Warhammer review: is it worth playing?

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