Best Total War Games Ranked Update 07/2024

Total War Warhammer

Total War is a well-known name in the world of PC games. Total War is a staple of the strategy genre, just like Sid Meier’s Civilization or the Command and Conquer series.

Total War has been going on for twenty years. During that time, there have been at least 15 core games and a number of spinoffs. People in the community and on Metacritic talk a lot about which game is the best example of the series and which is the best Total War game overall.

Total War Saga: Troy – Metascore: 75

Total War Saga Troy

Release Date: 13 August 2020

Available Platforms: PC and Mac

Main Story Completion Time: 33 hours

Best Feature: The excellent presentation and attention to detail

Even though it’s never fun to be last, Total War Saga: Troy is not a bad game, as shown by its Metascore of 75. As the name suggests, it takes players back in time to the Bronze Age, when the Trojan War happened.

Total War Saga: Troy is one of the more recent games in the series. It has a lot of great features that make it better than the earlier games, like complex battle mechanics and great graphics. But the game has problems that feel like they should be fixed by now, such as the way you interact with it.

Total War Saga: Thrones Of Britannia – Metascore: 75

Release Date: 2 May 2018

Available Platforms: PC and Mac

Main Story Completion Time: 11 hours

Best Feature: The stunning campaign map

Thrones of Britannia is the first game in the Total War Saga sub-series. It is set in the year 878 AD. The Total War Saga sub-series is meant to give players a more in-depth look at a specific time in history instead of covering an entire era.

Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia is tied for last on this list, with a Metascore of 75. However, Creative Assembly and Sega probably won’t be too upset about it, since it won the Best Strategy Game award from the Independent Game Developers’ Association.

Total War: Rome 2 – Metascore: 76

Total War Rome 2

Release Date: 3 September 2013

Available Platforms: PC and Mac

Main Story Completion Time: 52 hours

Best Feature: It offered a new take on the series’ quintessential entry

Total War: Rome 2 just misses being the worst game in the series, but it is by far the most disappointing one. It was never going to be easy for Rome: Total War to follow up on one of the best-reviewed and most-loved strategy games of all time, but not many people expected to be as disappointed as they were.

Even though it came out almost ten years after Rome: Total War, the second game had many basic problems, like a bad camera and a lot of technical problems.

Total War: Attila – Metascore: 80

Release Date: 17 February 2015

Available Platforms: PC and Mac

Main Story Completion Time: 40 hours

Best Feature: The horde mechanic

Total War: Attila came out in 2015. It starts in 395 AD, nine years before Attila the Hun was born. It was a very important part of the series because it was the first game to come out after Total War: Rome 2. After the second Rome game failed to live up to expectations, Attila had a lot to live up to. If it didn’t, the series could have ended.

When it came out, Total War: Attila got a lot of praise for having one of the best overworlds in the series and giving players new ways to play with its new factions. The game did get its fair share of criticism, though, especially about how it worked and how it looked.

Napoleon: Total War – Metascore: 81

Napoleon Total Wa

Release Date: 23 February 2010

Available Platforms: PC and Mac

Main Story Completion Time: 30 hours

Best Feature: Improved historical accuracy from previous entries

Napoleon: Total War takes place between the 18th and 19th centuries, as the name suggests. It has three campaigns that follow the military career of the former King of Italy and Emperor of France, as well as a fourth campaign that lets players try to defeat Napoleon.

People liked how Napoleon: Total War put more focus on historical accuracy and immersion, but they didn’t like how the A.I. wasn’t very good. The game won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Original Video Game Score and the Milthon European Game Award for Best PC Game.

Total War: Three Kingdoms – Metascore: 85

Release Date: 23 May 2019

Available Platforms: PC and Mac

Main Story Completion Time: 48.5 hours

Best Feature: The setting, which is one of the series’ very best

Total War: Three Kingdoms is the most recent main-line Total War game from Creative Assembly. Even though most people think it’s good, many fans and critics were hoping for more, especially after the over-the-top Total War: Warhammer games. Luckily, the Mandate of Heaven DLC does a great job of rounding out the game’s core features and even adds legendary characters similar to the legendary lords from Total War: Warhammer. Even though it has one of the lower scores for a Total War game, Three Kingdoms is still worth a look.

Total War: Warhammer – Metascore: 86

Total War Warhammer

Release Date: 24 May 2016

Available Platforms: PC and Mac

Main Story Completion Time: 33 hours

Best Feature: The Warhammer crossover provided a great change of pace for the series

Warhammer and Total War look like they were meant to be together. One is a series about tactics and war on a grand scale and the show of big battles. The other…well, that pretty much sums up both franchises.

One of the best things about Total War: Warhammer is how different its factions are. For example, the Dwarf Realms have heavily armoured infantry and siege engines, while the Vampire Counts use a mix of undead fodder units, monsters, and powerful spellcasters. Because of this, every army has its own unique tactical challenges. Before going into battle, players have to think about their own strengths and the advantages their enemy has.

Shogun: Total War

Developer: Creative Assembly, Sold Out

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Platform(s): PC

Shogun was a real-time strategy game that came out in 2000. It was the first game of its kind to have formations of units take the lead in battles instead of a single unit, like Age of Empires or Starcraft. The turn-based strategic layer gave the player a reason to unify Japan and a big picture goal.

A year later, the Mongol Invasion expansion added a new culture and put hordes of horsemen against the new Samurai class and their retainers. This made the game even better. The interesting historical setting gave the series a sense of place and let it explore a time and culture in military history that aren’t often seen. This made it stand out from many other historical or not strategy games.

But I almost don’t want to put this game on the list because Shogun and its sequel are what I would call historical artefacts of the Total War series. They are definitely important to the franchise, but compared to where it is now, they are more of a novelty that is more interesting to talk about than to play with. Still, Shogun has the bones that would lead to the rock-solid base of Total War.