The Total War strategic series has long been one of the best that virtual military leaders can reach for. It will take you deep into the past or into fantastic worlds, entrust you with the hands of a huge army and the administration of the whole empire, you will simply become a general and a ruler at the same time.
But which Total War rules everyone? This question was asked by editorial experts Aleš and Vašek and they answered it straight away in a discussion video, which you could watch during yesterday. We now present the result of their thinking to you in text form, from the worst to the best.
15. Total War: Arena
Absolutely deserved last place, an experiment that did not work out. With him, Total War tried to penetrate the realm of the multiplayer genre of MOBA – he gave you a handful of poor units, sent you to the battlefield and told you to cooperate with other players.
Well, the project collapsed. The battles were fast and tedious at the same time, there was no cooperation, instead of clever tactical maneuvers you just pressed special abilities at the right time and tried to earn grind for better units so that you could experience them again with another match. We will definitely not miss this Total War.
14. Medieval: Total War
It may be unfair to portray Medieval as a dwarf game when it came out in the ancient year of 2002 and is one of the basic building blocks of the series, but the truth is that it simply does not stand today. The graphics would need to be remastered, but honestly, it wouldn’t be enough anyway – the mechanics are obsolete.
Example for all: One of the great currencies of the Total War series is free movement on the campaign map. When you run into the interior of France with the army, you choose where to go to Paris, and perhaps you will be attacked by a hidden enemy. The first medieval Total War can’t do it and divides the map into separate provinces, which is simply not the case. Who wouldn’t rather reach for the second part?
13. Shogun: Total War
Medieval’s older brother didn’t help much in our evaluation. He reached the thirteenth place due to the fact that he has the status of the founding father, rather than that he would be significantly superior to the medieval successor. The nostalgics will enjoy their life here, the pixel samurai will fight happily on the battlefield, but it is certainly not the golden nail of the series.
12. A Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia
After two old men, a relative novelty from 2018, for which the 12th place is definitely not flattering. In it, the creators decided to try a closer focus on a specific geographical location (British Isles) in a specific period of time (raids of Northerners on the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the 9th century). At the same time, they wanted to experiment with new mechanics. And it didn’t work out very well.
The basic idea was interesting, but unfortunately the result does not play well. The campaign map is confused and unsuitable for any big strategizing, the battles are incredibly monotonous for a change, because the infantry lines simply run together and cut themselves until one falls. Historically accurate? Maybe. But fun by no means.
11. Rome: Total War
For many, this will be the most controversial choice of the whole ladder, because many people still love the first trip to the Republic of Rome, but we stand behind it. As much as we remember the first Rome in a good way, today we would not advise to return to it – not even in the form of an unsalted non-greasy remaster.
At the same time, we are not at all interested in graphics and artistic rendering. Worse is the unobtrusive artificial intelligence and primitive mechanics on the campaign map, plus the absolute failure in the field of historical accuracy. You simply will not create a satisfactory alternative history here, because the very foundation is dumb, full of meaningless state units and military units. More in our article about the 10 greatest historical nonsense in the history of Total War, where the first Rome unfortunately dominates.
10. A Total War Saga: Troy
Troy looked awful from the first shows, in the end it didn’t turn out so badly. Although it is still somewhat strange that the creators in their adaptation of the Trojan War were not able to lean towards either the mythological approach or the strictly historical one, so the result is a kind of hybrid, but it is a hybrid that does not play badly at all.
Nevertheless, he does not deserve a higher place in our list. Yes, his units are variable, but at the cost of dozens of armed Martin Sáblíks speeding instead of light infantry on the battlefield. The magnificent conflict between the Trojans and the Greeks will not and will not come until you massacre the poor neighbors. The whole thing looks awfully average – in short, such a Meneláos among Total Wary.
9. Napoleon: Total War
Napoleon is a game with its mechanics, following on from the earlier Empire: Total War, which you haven’t seen on our list yet, so you can correctly assume that it has taken a better position. Why, when a game named after the famous French emperor had the opportunity to correct all the mistakes of its predecessor (which, moreover, were by no means small)?
The answer is simple: Napoleon is not very ambitious. It’s nice to play, but it only lets you go through a few straightforward campaigns instead of entrusting you with a worldwide empire. And fasting to tear Egypt out of Ottoman hands, to destroy the Prussians and Austrians until they fool around, it simply gets tired.
8. Total War: Warhammer
The combination of the Total War series and the world of Warhammer seemed like an absolutely brilliant idea – and it seemed right. The first Warhammer showed that a previously strictly historical series can work just as well, even if you put it in a fantasy world full of war between hostile races and, in addition to arrows, cast spells in a row.
It is not for a higher rank for a similar reason as in the case of Napoleon – the first Warhammer is relatively limited. Dwarves beat orcs in it, people cut themselves with vampires, then sweep them all away Chaos, but that’s about it. There is no freedom, no options. So if you don’t count on the Mortal Empires extension, which brings together the maps of the first and second parts, but we attribute the main credit to the couple who just brought it.
7. Empire: Total War
Ah, here we have the Empire. Building your own transcontinental empire in the turbulent waters of the 18th century is a lot of fun, whether you are expanding into the Americas and India as the British or trying to destroy other European powers in Prussian uniforms. In addition, starting a campaign with spearmen and ending it with drilled lines of infantry with rifles has something to do with it, especially when you see how your technological advancement translates into increasingly overwhelming dominance over various natives.
Unfortunately, there is also something to blame. The game came out in a very problematic state and did not go far for a bug – and the authors did not even hit the balance completely. To portray France as one big region, so that a single invasion will conquer Paris and essentially eliminate the whole faction… Let’s say it wasn’t the happiest idea. But when you rise above similar tactics, it is still a very good game in which you will experience beautiful stories.
6. Total War: Attila
Attila is a great rarity among all Total Wary. In other works, you usually expand your empire steadily until you devour all the annoying neighbors, but the strategic version of the migration of nations is more like a survival. Civilizations are collapsing, migrating hordes are burning city after city, the clay legs of a Roman giant are bursting at the ankles.
It’s a lot of fun, especially if you take on perhaps the most difficult task in the history of the series – saving the decaying Western Roman Empire. Just be prepared for a really very depressing atmosphere, which also includes not quite good graphics, and again certain problems with balance.
5. Total War: Shogun 2
We are approaching the podium and the second Shogun will be very disappointed that he did not cut into them with his faithful katana. This is an absolutely famous rendition of the wars and throngs of Japanese daimyo, which is further enhanced by one of the best additions in the entire series – a separate Fall of the Samurai data disc. The brave swordsman will stand against the machine guns.
Even without it, however, it is an excellent game that looks nice and is even better to play. You must try to maintain a careful balance between how many elite but expensive samurai you hire in your army and how much you rely on recruits who will kill even the best warrior in large numbers. Only one shogun can become a shogun – and there are really many candidates.
4. Total War: Three Kingdoms
And once again to East Asia, this time to the Chinese Tales of the Three Realms. The Three Kingdoms are a work that balances between history and mythology, because one of your rivers can playfully mow entire regiments of enemies, but the emphasis on individuality is the biggest trump card of the whole experience.
The creators promised something like the Crusader Kings – and surprisingly they did not disappoint. The individual characters control the narrative, form relationships with each other, allow you, for example, to deploy your own spies to the ruling family of another faction and provoke a civil war. Intrigues are suddenly as effective as a sword. And when it’s time for that sword, you’ll enjoy a wide variety of units, including some really interesting hybrids.
3. Medieval II: Total War
An old man among fresh young men! The legendary second part of the medieval escapade wins a bronze medal simply because its design is timeless. Yes, the graphics are not much (the remaster would like it here!), The user interface also does not meet the demands of a modern player, but the rest is still great.
What exactly do we mean by that? Especially extremely interesting gameplay based on the conflict of two major Mediterranean religions, the threat of papal excommunication or the late threat of terrible Mongol hordes. Plus there’s the amazing Kingdoms datadisk, which is working on the Crusades, the German Knights’ conflict with the Poles and Lithuanians, the struggle for Britain, and the early colonization of America. A durable gem of the strategic genre.
2. Total War: Rome II
Rome II did not enter life with his right foot, many people, instead of Carthaginian elephants, suffered from a rather unsatisfactory technical condition. However, the game has come a long way since then and is now a monstrous simulation of ancient warfare. You can play for dozens of nations, thanks to a number of successful DLCs, look into different ancient epochs and enjoy both the appropriately intricate layer of empire management and the various battles.
The map is huge and full of activity. The small tribes are fighting for independence in the face of the hungry realms, and no one knows whether the diadochi will win this version of history and restore Alexander’s empire, whether the power of the Punic gold will prove, or perhaps, as in real history, will they succeed in Rome if they do not destroy it. Etruscan. But no matter what happens, it will literally be a lot of fun.
1. Total War: Warhammer II
And here we have our winner. We adore Total War: Warhammer II because it connected his own map with the first part in an amazing way and gave rise to a perfect experience called Mortal Empires (read the impressions of the game here) and because it is an absolutely great game in itself.
It brings fascinating, creative races, such as crazy rats, Aztec lizards and two completely different species of elves, but for that we could still praise the model from the Games Workshop. An indisputable success of the developers themselves, however, is a story campaign about a magical vortex, which showed that in Total War you can win other than just a constant headless expansion.
An entertaining strategic level, perfect battles, asymmetrical races, each of which provides a unique experience, and on the breathtaking combined map… Warhammer II takes his gold for good. What will the upcoming third episode do with it?
This is what our ranking looks like. How are you? Share your opinions with us in the comments or on our Discord.
Source: Games by games.tiscali.cz.
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