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Best Total War Games, 20 Must Play Games In Total War Series

If you are confused in choosing the next title to play in this award-winning turn-based strategy game series, you can always pick one of the 20 best Total War games featured in this list.

Total War is a series of turn-based strategy and real-time tactical video games that are set in various war-time eras.

Released by various developers (Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive) and publishers (Electronic Arts, Activision, Sega) throughout the years, the series offers the same type of gameplay elements that have helped build the uniqueness and popularity of the series.

The first game was released in the year 2000 for the Windows platform under the title Shogun: Total War, and throughout the years, the developers and publishers have released many other installments of the series.

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Our List Of The Best Total War Games

Here are the 20 best Total War games that you can play:

Medieval II – Definitive Edition

Released in 2006, the Definitive Edition of MEDIEVAL II provides the entire DLC content that has been released for MEDIEVAL II, which also include Kingdoms.

Best Total War Games

Features:

  • The Kingdoms DLC offers many new features, including new campaigns, new units, new factions, new territories, new buildings, and more.
  • The new campaigns that you can play are Crusades, Teutonic, Britannia, and New World.
  • MEDIEVAL II will allow you to build an army and take charge on the wars in the medieval Western era, where the Holy War is raging.
  • You can recruit new armies, have a diplomacy with the pope, or choose whether you want to lead the Christian crusade or Muslim army in the Holy War.

It includes great features such as improved real-time battles, epic single player campaign, better user interface, weather effects, advanced terrain system, and intense multiplayer battles.

Download Total War: MEDIEVAL II – Definitive Edition on Steam

Shogun: Total War – Collection

As the first game in the Total War series, SHOGUN has left a great impression among fans of strategy games. This is the game that makes the entire series so popular today.

Best Total War Games

Features:

  • The Collection version of SHOGUN includes the main game as it was released in 2000, as well as the expansion pack called Mongol Invasion.
  • The setting of this game takes place in 1542 Japan, where the Shogunate has collapsed, which created many factions in the nation of Japan. Each faction leader wants to be the new Shogun.
  • In SHOGUN, you can choose the faction that you want to play, and then lead the wars with other factions to bring the Shogun title to your leader.
  • You will need the skills to strategize your attacks in various terrains and battlefields.

The Mongol Invasion offers a new playable faction, new units, a new campaign, multiplayer modes, and map editor.

Download SHOGUN Collection on Steam

Rome: Total War – Collection

Taking place in the greatest empire of the world, Rome, this installment allows you to play as different noble Roman families in the ultimate goal to seize control over the entire Roman Empire.

Best Total War Games

Features:

  • Released in 2004, it was chosen as the best strategy game in that year by various gaming media.
  • You can play as the great noble Roman families that have their own important people, such as Hannibal, Julius Caesar, and Spartacus.
  • In Rome Collection, you will also get access to the expansion pack of the main game, titled Barbarian Invasion.
  • It features epic battles that can include hundreds or thousands of army on the screen at the same time.

Barbarian Invasion allows you to play as the Barbarian factions like Attila the Hun, Saxons, and others.

Download Rome Collection on Steam

Warhammer – Best Total War Games

This is the Total War game that is set in the fantasy world, instead of based on the recorded history of the human race.

Best Total War Games

Features:

  • If you love this series and would like to experience something different in terms of the setting of the game, this is the installment that you need to play right away.
  • Based on the fantasy world of WARHAMMER, you can take control of five different races called Vampire Counts, Greenskins, Empire, Dwarfs, and Bretonnia.
  • You can use legendary weapons, magic, and strong armors to win the battles.
  • The DLC for this installment is available, which is titled Mortal Empires.

It combines the landmasses as they are available in the New World and Old World. This game was released in 2016.

Official website  

Total War: Warhammer II

As the continuation of the first title, WARHAMMER II offers many improvements in various aspects of the game.

Total War WARHAMMER II

Features:

  • In this game, you can command thousands of monsters and troops, with the management of civilization and tactical battles.
  • The campaign has been expanded to include larger areas to explore, expand, and conquest.
  • You can play this game in both single player and multiplayer mode, with various races that are available to choose.
  • The ultimate goal in WARHAMMER II is that you will need to seize control of the Great Vortex with the race that you choose.
  • Available races are High Elves, Dark Elves, Skaven, and Lizardmen.
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Whether you use this authority to do good or bad for the land is up to you. Defend your land and conquer others. This game was released in 2017.

Official website

Total War: EMPIRE – Definitive Edition

EMPIRE allows you to put your strategy toward conquering the land and the sea with your army. You can go around the Earth and build a new nation in this game.

Best Total War Games

Features:

  • It is set in the 18th century where colonialism is the norm, and nations are warring against other nations to gain the piece of land to expand their kingdoms or empires.
  • This is the installment where real-time battles take its first appearance in the series.
  • The Definitive Edition of EMPIRE will include all the DLCs for this game since it was released in 2009.

The included DLCs are The Warpath Campaign, Elite Units of the East, Elite Units of the West, Elite Units of America, Special Forces Units, and Bonus Content.

Download EMPIRE – Definitive Edition on Steam

Shogun 2 – Best Total War Games

Released in 2011, SHOGUN 2 acts as a direct sequel to the very first title released in the series. In this installment, you are playing in an era of feudal Japan in 16th century, where the country is divided into multiple factions.

Total War SHOGUN 2

Features:

  • It is set in the darkest days of Japan, in which you will fight the other factions for the position of Shogun.
  • There are 10 legendary warlords to choose, and once you’ve chosen one Daimyo or clan leader, you are required to eliminate the other clans in order to rise as Shogun.
  • This installment allows you to conquer various islands in Japan in the 16th century.
  • Build your own kingdom, follow the Art of War strategy as taught by Sun Tzu, and complete the main story in single player and multiplayer mode.

Compared to the previous titles, this installment offers new features such as rotating 3D map, RPG-style leveling up for Agents and Generals, new hero units, and new multi-stage sieges.

Download SHOGUN 2 on Steam

Attila – Best Total War Games

ATTILA takes you back to the very beginning of the Dark Ages in the year 395 AD. In the world filled with diseases, wars, and famines, you will rise as the Barbarian king that will conquer the Roman Empire.

Best Total War Games

Features:

  • The gameplay gives you the mix of turn-based strategy and real-time tactics to make each battle even more breathtaking.
  • In this installment, you can either build your own Barbarian or Eastern kingdom, or fight head-on against the Roman Empire.
  • Released in 2015, ATTILA offers the features that give you the best experience in playing the game.

Some of the highlighted features are improved UI and core gameplay elements, apocalyptic destruction mechanics, controlling Western Roman Empire at the start, accurate period details including war tools or social state common in each period, and great visual fidelity.

Official website

Total War: THREE KINGDOMS

Released in 2019, the newest installment of the series will offer you the story of war between three kingdoms of ancient China.

Total War THREE KINGDOMS

Features:

  • The strategic turn-based and real-time tactical battles allow you to conquer the other empires of ancient China and build your own empire.
  • It is set in the 190 AD where one emperor is needed to unite all of China.
  • You will need to choose one among 12 warlords and set up the story to gain the total control of ancient China as the new emperor.
  • In this game, ancient China is fully recreated to show its natural beautiful environments.

It also features 12 known legendary warlords in that period, Guanxi system of dynamic relationships, stunning graphics, and an improved battle system where your actions can bring greater consequences for your relationships with your allies.

Official website

Napoleon – Definitive Edition

NAPOLEON is set around the time of Napoleon Bonaparte, a famous general of France in his quest as the French emperor.

Best Total War Games

Features:

  • Conquering many lands with many wars and battles, you can unfold the story of the general by playing the story campaign.
  • The game also allows you to play as the general’s enemy, but the outcome can still be unpredicted.
  • Released in 2010, the NAPOLEON – Definitive Edition offers the base game along with all the downloadable content that has been released for the title.
  • The DLCs include The Peninsular Campaign, Coalition Battle Pack, Heroes of the Napoleon Wars, and Imperial Eagle Pack.
  • These DLCs give you even more details in the life of Napoleon Bonaparte as an army general and emperor of France in his battles against various nations.

Download NAPOLEON – Definitive Edition on Steam

Shogun 2 – Fall of the Samurai

Although it still belongs to the Shogun 2 title, Fall of the Samurai is a standalone game that doesn’t require the base game in order to play it.  Also, it is not a free DLC or expansion pack for Shogun 2.

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Shogun 2 – Fall of the Samurai

Features:

  • It is set in a different time period, which is 400 years after the period of Shogunate era of Japan as presented in the main game.
  • In the 19th century of Japan, the Japanese people became resentful of the growing power of the Western colonialism and influence.
  • Japan is in the era of modernization. Set, in the Boshin war era, this is the war between the Shogunate clans and Imperial clans, which leads to the fall of the samurai.

This title was released in 2012, and it adds new features to the main game, including an extended map, six playable clans, railway network map, new land units, new naval unit types, new interactions, improved battle mechanics, and more.

Download Shogun 2 – Fall of the Samurai on Steam

ROME II – Emperor Edition

Released in 2013, ROME II serves as the continuation of ROME, and it offers various new features and improvements over the previous title.

Best Total War Games

Features:

  • The Emperor Edition is the definitive version of ROME II, featuring all free DLC content packs that have been released since 2013.
  • In this game, there are improved graphics, better politics system, improved building chains, and smoother battles. There are lots of factions to choose, such as Pompey, Lapidus, Octavian, Dacia, Egypt, and more.
  • The Emperor Edition also includes The Imperator Augustus DLC, which tells the story of conflicts between various factions after the demise of Caesar.
  • In ROME II, you can plan your conquest, build large armies, battle with real-time combat mode, play as the Roman Empire or the rival civilizations, and experience the detailed ancient city models.

Download ROME II – Emperor Edition on Steam

ROME II – Caesar in Gaul

As a paid DLC of ROME II – Emperor Edition, the Caesar in Gaul Campaign Pack is worth playing to expand your experience.

ROME II – Caesar in Gaul

Features:

  • The main story for this campaign pack shows how Julius Caesar uses his power to expand his territory against the Gaulish tribes. This DLC was released in 2013.
  • In the main story, there are four factions that you can choose, which are Rome, Germanic Suebi, Belgic Nervii, and Gallic Arverni.
  • It has a more detailed map of Gaul territory when compared to the one featured in the base game.
  • It also has more turns per year as the period of Caesar in Gaul only takes 7 years in total.

Not only that, this campaign pack offers more focus on the characters featured in the game.

Download ROME II – Caesar in Gaul on Steam

Medieval Collection – Best Total War Games

MEDIEVAL takes place in the medieval age where the wars are focused in the regions of Western Europe, Middle East, and Northern Africa.

MEDIEVAL Total War - Collection

Features:

  • It is where great empires are built, which last for centuries. This game covers the first Crusade until the time of the fall of Constantinople.
  • It allows you to choose between fourteen factions, display 10,000 soldiers on the screen at the same time, take advantage of your faction’s characters, and use the new siege systems.
  • In the MEDIEVAL – Collection, you can also play the included expansion pack for the main game, titled Viking Invasion.
  • In this expansion pack, there are two new additional playable factions, which are Viking and Anglo-Saxon.

There are also new features being added to the main game, including new playable factions in the Grand Campaign and flaming ammunition. This installment was released in 2002.

Download MEDIEVAL – Collection on Steam

Warhammer II – Rise of the Tomb Kings

WARHAMMER II – Rise of the Tomb Kings is the paid DLC of the WARHAMMER II installment, with its own story campaign and various new features.

WARHAMMER II – Rise of the Tomb Kings

Features:

  • By installing Rise of the Tomb Kings, you will be able to play the Tomb Kings race in the main campaign.
  • Not only that, there are also features that are not available in the main game unless you install this DLC.
  • Rise of the Tomb Kings has many things to offer, to add more experience in the gameplay, including unique race mechanics, four new playable Legendary Lords.
  • Collectible Book of Nagash, research of the Nehekharan Dynasties, enter the Realm of Souls, summon Ushabti in battles, craft new magic items, and comprehensive army roster.

This DLC was released in 2018.

Download WARHAMMER II – Rise of the Tomb Kings on Steam

Total War Battles: KINGDOM

Battles: KINGDOM offers a new kind of gameplay in the series. This is a free-to-play cross-platform Total War game that offers the same type of gameplay mechanics.

Battles KINGDOM

Features:

  • You can play it on any device you prefer, whether it is desktop or mobile device.
  • In order to build armies and equip them with various types of weapons and armors, you will need Gold to purchase all the necessary equipment, which you can obtain via in-app purchase.
  • In Battles: KINGDOM, you can easily build and expand your kingdom, alter the appearance of the landscape, participate in large-scale battles, experience battle with other players in real time, and sync your progress across devices.
  • This game was first released in 2016.
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It is regularly being updated with new content and features, with Viking Explorers as the latest major update.

Official Website

Total War Saga: THRONES OF BRITANNIA

THRONES OF BRITANNIA combines the real-time battle mechanics with turn-based strategy to create another jaw-dropping Total War experience.

Best Total War Games

Features:

  • In this installment, you will choose between three factions to seize control of Britain. These factions are Gaelic clans, Anglo-Saxons, and Viking settlers. It is set in the year 878 AD.
  • This game offers you the Grand Campaign to delve deeper into the main story, where you can become the ruler of Britain.
  • You can explore and conquer the British Isles with all of its challenges, forming allies and fighting enemies along the way.
  • No matter what faction you choose, you will face the challenges unique to that faction at the time.

Released in 2018, THRONES OF BRITANNIA offers a refined version of the classic Total War gameplay.

Download THRONES OF BRITANNIA on Steam

ROME II – Rise of the Republic

ROME II – Rise of the Republic brings you to the year 399 BC, where the great Roman Empire flourishes.

ROME II – Rise of the Republic

Features:

  • However, in the middle of such greatness, there are threatening factions that may crush the Roman Empire.
  • All the conflicts will lead to the rise of Rome as republic.
  • In this game, there are nine factions that you can play, which are Rome, Tarchuna, Senones, Insubres, Samnites, Taras, Syracuse, Iolei, and Veneti.
  • There are also new units, new technologies, and new buildings to use in this game.
  • Rise of the Republic is the paid DLC that requires ROME II – Emperor Edition to be installed on your device.

This DLC was released in 2018.

Download ROME II – Rise of the Republic on Steam

Warhammer II – The Prophet and the Warlock

The Prophet and the Warlock is the paid DLC for WARHAMMER II title that allows you to play two new Legendary Lords (Clan Skryre and Cult of Sotek), new Lord types, new battlefield units, and new Regiments.

WARHAMMER II – The Prophet and the Warlock

Features:

  • It tells the story of clash between the serpent-god Sotek and his prophet against the warlock clan of Skaven.
  • The prophet and his army needs to destroy the warlock clan because of the destructions and devastations that they have caused in the world.
  • But, sensing the attack from the godly army, the warlock clan is preparing to counter it.

This DLC was released in 2019 and requires the base game to be installed before playing it.

Download WARHAMMER II – The Prophet and the Warlock on Steam

Warhammer II – Curse of the Vampire Coast

Curse of the Vampire coast is a paid DLC for WARHAMMER II released in 2018. You are required to have the base game in order to play this content.

Best Total War Games

  • In this DLC, you can play four new Legendary Lords, which are Luthor Harkon, Count Noctillus, Aranessa Saltspite, and Cylostra Direfin.
  • The main theme of this DLC revolves around vampires and pirates, and the greatest objective is for you to be the greatest pirate known for its dreadful reputation on the seas.
  • The DLC features infamy level for your faction, pirate coves, upgradable ships and building trees, eight golden tokens to be discovered, unique rites, and new battlefields.
  • The army roster featured includes Lords, Heroes, Core Units, Exclusive Units, and Regiments of Renown.

Download WARHAMMER II – Curse of the Vampire Coast on Steam 

Conclusion

Whether you are new to the Total War series or an experienced player in the series, it would be quite difficult to find the best titles to play since this series has been around since 2000.

New titles, expansion packs, updates, and DLCs are kept being released by the developers and publishers.

These are the games that you can play today, which have mostly positive reviews from the users.

So, if you are confused in choosing the next title to play in this award-winning turned-based strategy game series, you can always pick one that is featured in this list.

It can expand your experience in the strategy genre, as well as the entire Total War franchise.

So, tell me which one of all these best Total War Games is your personal favorite and why?

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