Released on PC in 2000, the Total War series is one of the greatest real-time strategy games in video game history. Combining turn-based grand strategy with engaging, intense combat where players can test their tactical prowess as a general, Total War remains one of the highest-rated and most popular franchises today.
10. Total War: Arena (PC)
Starting with the list, we are releasing the first 100% free Total War multiplayer game.
In the arena, players control smaller armies of around 300 soldiers - far fewer than many armies where they could command thousands of soldiers at once in previous games. Surprisingly, this greatly improves the gaming experience.
In the style of MOBA games, two teams of up to 10 generals clash in a variety of terrains, including mountains, meadows, forests, farms and more. Each general is modeled after a historical leader like Caesar or Leonidas and has his own characteristics.
To win, you must either eliminate enemy troops, capture the objective, or finish the game with more troops than your opponent.
Focusing on real-time tactics, Super Scale provides an immersive experience that emphasizes one of Total War's most beloved gameplay elements: combat.
Feel the magic every time your team aligns and pursues the same goal, saving you or helping to crush the enemy soldiers in front of you.
Unfortunately, Arena is short-lived. Here's hoping they reboot this title in the future because it's a lot of fun.
9. Medieval II Total War: Kingdoms (PC)
Medieval II's Kingdom Expansion introduces four new campaigns to the game: America, Britain, Crusades, and Teutonic Knights.
Since the Crusades and Teutons-centric campaign is very similar to the experience of the original Great Campaign, the additions from America and Britain steal the show.
The ability to fight against invaders and European conquerors such as the Aztecs, Mayans and Apaches is a novelty in which players assume the role of cult warriors against the violence of foreign imperialism.
Great Britain has a similar theme, but from the perspective of the Irish, Scots and Welsh. The battle began in the 13th century when the British Isles were a powder keg ready to explode.
By focusing on a specific sub-region, Kingdoms adds depth to all the action that takes place on the continent in Middle Ages II.
8. Rome: Total War: Alexandria (PC/Mobile)
Set some 90 years before the original Rome, Alexander, as the name suggests, allows players to take on the role of Alexander the Great during his conquest of Persia.
The win condition depends on two important factors: 1) the total number of rounds is limited to 100; 2) if Alexander dies, the player loses.
While this expansion pack doesn't come with a ton of extra content, defeating Alexander is considered a badge of honor by the community given the higher difficulty level.
7. Total War: Shogun 2 (PC)
Some readers might be surprised that Shogun 2 isn't in our top 3 or top 5, which is only fair considering how great the game is.
Part of its popularity is due to the fact that the developers of Total War went back to simplicity after all the whistles that Empire brought.
The game takes place in feudal Japan where the player chooses one of nine great clans to lead the rivals in the region. Each clan has unique unit classes and advantages over other clans.
Like the key new mechanics in Empire, Shogun 2 offers generals and leaders more character development, making them feel like real heroes and villains. The skill tree also adds elements to the game's story, starting a trend for future games.
6. Empire: Total War (PC)
As with the other Total War minor games, many fans of the series were initially unsure if a setting or time period other than antiquity or the Dark Ages would be appropriate for the series.
However, any concerns about Empire's potential were dispelled once the campaign or custom battles were loaded, and the game managed to bring nearly a million players into the modern era in its first year of release. Have you ever wanted to unleash your inner patriot? Set in the 18th century, Empire is the perfect game for that.
Empire marks the first time that players will be able to go outside of the region in a large campaign. Europe, America, and India are all available, allowing players to tackle new climates, terrains, and of course, civilizations.
The game has around fifty factions around the world, eleven of which are playable. Among them are Great Britain, the United States, France, Spain, Prussia, Sweden, Russia and others.
The improvements to naval combat in Empire were significant, eventually paving the way for new combat mechanics in future games, including air units and dragons.
5. Medieval II: Total War (PC)
In Medieval II, players choose one of five feudal kingdoms between 1080 and 1530, and players can fight for supremacy as England, France, Castile, the Holy Roman Empire, or the Republic of Venice.
Although it bears many similarities to the original Rome, Medieval II offers players the opportunity to travel back in time to the time of knights and maidens; complete with bright banners and full armor sets.
Game improvements include unique combat animations (such as finishing moves and armor upgrades) and new agents to help achieve diplomatic goals in the grand campaign, particularly through deception.
4. Total War: Warhammer (PC)
Where do we start with Warhammer? It's such an unexpected distraction from the historical perspective of previous and subsequent Total War games that many fans weren't sure if it would be successful.
This is without a doubt one of the best games in the series for many reasons.
Warhammer combines the famous Total War turn-based campaign and real-time combat formula with the fantasy world of Warhammer. This is great.
Dwarves, goblins and vampires? Check, check, check.
Those dragons we talked about earlier? Big check.
Being able to replay the original Warhammer was unprecedented due to the character's rich history. Each campaign immerses players in a truly unique story.
3. Total War: Rome II (PC)
Set in the same time period as the original Rome: Total War (circa 270 BC to 1st century AD), Rome II introduces superior graphics and significant gameplay improvements to the series. The title is so heavy that some say the creators are trying to boil the ocean with it.
Rome II brings the total number of factions in the game to over a hundred and includes major updates to the large campaign and battles.
It's also the first time players have the option to include blood effects in combat, giving it a "look and feel" that's both realistic and terrifying. If anyone needs a reminder, these are really rough times. Real-time naval and military combat also adds a whole new element to tactical gameplay.
Although the initial release was unstable due to bugs and errors, Rome II's developers realized their vision for the game a few patches later. Rome II has the largest number of expansions in the series to date, keeping the game fresh for many years.
2. Rim: Total War: Barbarian Invasion (PC/Mobile)
The first expansion pack for Primal Rome: Total War, Barbarian Invasion, takes place as the Roman Empire crumbles and eventually splits into East and West.
Set in the 5th century AD, the game introduces brand new game mechanics that refresh the campaign experience as players fight off attacks from "barbarian" factions such as the Huns and Goths.
Unlike Rome, when the last cities were conquered during the barbarian invasions, they became nomads ("tribes"), instead of disappearing into the shadows of history.
Also new in Barbarian Invasion are night battles. This expansion adds many new elements that players should consider as they build their ancient civilizations and defend the armies they need.
1. Rome: Total War (PC/Mobile)
There is no doubt that the game put the Total War series on the map.
The action takes place between 270 BC and 14 AD. Players begin the game by choosing one of three Roman families from the early days of the Republic: Julia, Brutia, or Scipia.
The goal of the game is clear from the start: use military might and political skills to defeat enemies at home and abroad.
Negotiate trade rights. Abstract. Put down the rebellion. Protect your heirs as they lead your armies into battle.
In Rome: Total War, the fate of Rome - and Western civilization - is truly in your hands.
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