If you're into turn-based strategy games, then the 2-decade Total War game franchise will blow your mind. From strategic troop planning and positioning your enemies to action-packed wars, these games have it all.
But the question is which stands as the best Total War game among them all. While each of the games under this franchise has been a tactical banger, a few take the throne as the most prominent titles.
But what is the best Total War game? So here's a compiled list of some of the best Total War games ranked and DLCs included. Let's check them out!
#10. Total War: Shogun
Total War: Shogun takes place in feudal Japan, with conditions such as economics, religion, politics, samurais, and espionage, which impact your gameplay progress. Even while being an early 2000s game, Total War: Shogun's battlefield design, tactical strategies, and battle mechanics are ahead of their time.
However, the game engine is outdated for current times- making mechanics a bit too clunky for recent gaming experience for some.
The Shogun game also has multiple DLCs on Steam with gripping storylines, strategic battles, and immersive gameplay.
#9. Total War: Rome
This game is considered to be one of the underperforming among the Total War line. On the flip side, it's known for improving real-time battles, historically accurate maps, and improved combat animation.
The in-game campaign happens between 270 BC and the 14th century and indulges in political strategies and leadership. Additionally, multiple Rome DLCs, such as:
- Rome II Empire Divided
- Rome II Desert Kingdoms
- Rome II Rise of the Republic, etc.
It is available on Steam for everyone to enjoy!
#8. Total War: Medieval
This Total War game takes place in Medieval Europe and was the first in the franchise to add siege and single-player wars. However, the battle elements, visuals and overall gameplay are slightly outdated compared to the recent Total War games.
The game also has a DLC version- Total War II- Definitive Edition, and it includes various useful feature updates.
#7. Total War: Empire
The Empire game from Total War showcased the Hunnic Empire. Here, the vision is less on ancient warfare and more on naval combat, gunpowder weapons, and colonial imperialism throughout the 18th Century.
Here, you can play as America, Austria, England, etc., to conquer India, Europe, and several other regions. Here, you'll get to build barracks, strategize troop placements, and build your empire with absolute firepower!
However, the game suffered from crashes, bugs, and installation errors, which bothered initial gamers. Thankfully, such issues are comparatively lesser, thanks to timely patches. Additionally, Total War: Empire- Definitive Edition is a great DLC to the original game, adding more immersive gameplay.
#6. Total War: Napoleon
This is one of the most historically accurate Total War games of the early lineup, with three campaigns that prepare you for defeating the cunning French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte.
Total War: Napoleon's story takes place in the 19th century, and charts out Napoleon's humble beginnings towards his rise in power and steadily becoming the European dictator. Additionally, the game recreates the unforgotten battles of Austerlitz, the battle of Waterloo, and the gunpowder warfare.
However, the game is criticised due to the underwhelming usage of AI. But let's not forget that it has won several awards within the gaming circle. You can also try out the famous Napoleon DLC to indulge in this game's immersive simulated warfare.
#5. Total War: Attila
Total War: Attila is the first of many games with little to no glitches. The game ventures started in the dark ages of 395 AD, before the rule of Atilla (406 AD.) From hereon, he rises to power, becoming a menacing figure throughout the history of the Hunnic Empire.
It's crucial to progress and build your skills to take down this powerful ruler. While playing, you'll experience the rapid spread of diseases and barbarian tribes leaving Central Asia to escape the Huns. The re-imagination of brutal conditions, tension, and the devastating state around you.
This game comes with several DLCs on Steam, each more immersive than the other. Try them out today!
#4. Total War: Warhammer
Large-scale combat, intense tactics, and diverse warfare are what fuse the Total War and the Warhammer franchise so perfectly. Enjoy using weapons from the popular Warhammer series as you carefully calculate and strategize before engaging in bloody combats.
What sets Total War: Warhammer apart from the previous games is its diverse tactical troops and their unique battalions. For example, the Vampire Counts have monsters, spellcasters, and several undeads under their wings, while the Greenskins have massive orcs, goblins, trolls and more within their menacing roster.
Experience large-scale wars, rich lore-building, and an array of challenges that will keep you hooked. Make the war a gamer's dream with Steam's DLCs and watch the warfare become more vigorous.
#3. Total War Saga: The Thrones of Britannia
This highly-optimized title is full of high-level technical features and developments. These include:
- Mustering System
- Province rework
And while the game itself is the pinnacle of improvements within the Total War franchise, the overall lack of variety is visible. There are limits in factions and units, while the campaign feels nearly mundane.
However, the game is especially interesting in terms of experiencing new elements within the Total War universe. There's more to the game, thanks to DLCs available on Steam. Check them out if you'd like to experience this game in its full capacity.
#2. Total War Saga: Troy
Troy's visual beauty exceeds other games within the roster, making it a much-discussed video game for its graphical ingenuity. There are politically charged moments showcasing the realistic and tense situations of the Trojan War.
You are pulled into the Mycenean Greek cultures and have to make a choice:
- Be the defender of Troy, or
- Be part of the Greek Alliance
These decisions are crucial for progressing into the heart of the story. The battle dynamics within the game have various fantasy elements. All in all, the game is a treat for anyone looking for a diplomatic historical setting and an enriching visual experience to enhance it all. The game also comes with its very own DLCs, which makes Total War: Saga more immersive than ever.
#1. Total War: Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms is a realistic and regal game experience that concentrates on the state of affairs post-disintegration of the Han Empire. It's a player-character-focused game which throws light on underrated Chinese generals who fought for power over Han China.
The high-quality details of the 3D visual scenes make this strategic game an instant favourite of new players and veterans. Plus, when you use the Mandate of Heaven DLC, it unlocks legendary characters to enhance the gameplay further.
In short, these are the complete list of base Total War Games, ranked from the worst to the very best. Try them out and indulge yourself in classic and historic gameplay!