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Thread: What is the best Total War game?

  1. #1

    Default What is the best Total War game?

    • Empire
    • Napoleon
    • Attila
    • Rome
    • Total War: Warhammer
    • Medieval 2
    • Total War: Warhammer 2
    • Shogun 2. There are other games on this list with more units, greater scope, and grander settings, but Shogun 2 is Creative Assembly at its cohesive best

    ?

  2. #2
    Daruwind's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    By which metric? Which point of view? In my opinion every TW is special in some aspects and doing things beter than others.

    Older games? Shogun/Rome/Med1+2 - They have their specific feeling. Definitely the best moddability is one of greatest advantages. Med 2 set norms for long time.

    Empire/Napoleon/FotS - Clearly if you want gun powder era it will disqualify many TWs. Napoleon surpass Empire in terms of mechanics and improvements, it has great Napoleonic atmosphere but it is lacking grand scope of Empire. Naval combat feels like coastal action, totally missing "trade" theatres and high sea action which is available only Empire, all others TWs with naval combat are feeling just like more restricted versions. Rome2/Attila only Mediterranean, ToB just water round Albion, FotS/Shogun 2 just coastal round Japan banana.. And there is the whole colonial aspect. Due to theatres Americas and India are feeling like distant countries from European perspective. Empire on other hand has many bugs but I still prefer it as almost every Napoleon campaign is feeling way similar, you always fight around France while in Empire there is so many starting strategies like expansion into N. America, Carribean, S. America or Europe or heading into India. FotS is of course the most advance tech. I like coastal bombardment but for example castles and modern vs traditional unit battles feel strange.

    Shogun 2 - is standing alone. It has hands done the best immersion in global. Music, artistic things, graphics, feelings, Avatar conquest...but it is lacking in other aspects. Clans are way similar, unit rosters.. Campaigns are fight from one end of banana to the other.

    Rome2/Attila/ToB - Rome 2 has for me great Ancient Empire vibe, there is something about Hellenistic/Roman splendour. Attila oin other hands is very hardcore, dirty world heading down the apocalypse. It is also one of few titles where you can start as big empire and try to survive. Mechanics are again superb and built upon Rome 2 many mistakes but then again R2 got some late DLCs adding a lot stuff like family trees. Attila on other hand has still big performace issues. ANd what about ToB? It would be great performance fix for Attila, great DLC but it is standalone. As full game it is falling short but on other hand it is very god introduction title into series. Let´s say somebody wants to start with TWs. This title has no DLCs, it cheaper and anybody can learn basics very well. Definitely game is underrated due to being compared with others full titles.

    Wh1/Wh2 - Especially current Wh2 ME, that is crazy ride totally using all advantages of TW formula. No naval combat, weak economy focus but total battle fun. Fantion and unit diversity at total maximum. History fans probably get heart attack what what is more epic than Dinosaurs fighting Dragons? Great addition of magic, RPG aspects.


    3K - this is hard, game is still in beginning of its life cycle, lot content is still out. Will it be another Shogun 2?

    Troy - My estimation are this will be better ToB mixed with more "fantasy/mysticism" feeling.
    Last edited by Abdülmecid I; January 24, 2020 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Huge gif.
    DMR: (R2) (Attila) (ToB) (Wh1/2) (3K) (Troy)

  3. #3
    Imperator Majora's Avatar What's under your mask?
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    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    Yes, discussing this somewhat lacks a point without defining the metrics of greatness. Multiple games missing from the list, unless they're just ones you like.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    Total War: Warhammer
    Medieval 2
    Total War: Warhammer 2
    Shogun 2
    My favorite list

  5. #5
    Leonardo's Avatar Reborn Old Timer
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    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruwind View Post
    Rome2/Attila/ToB - Rome 2 has for me great Ancient Empire vibe, there is something about Hellenistic/Roman splendour. Attila oin other hands is very hardcore, dirty world heading down the apocalypse. It is also one of few titles where you can start as big empire and try to survive. Mechanics are again superb and built upon Rome 2 many mistakes but then again R2 got some late DLCs adding a lot stuff like family trees. Attila on other hand has still big performace issues. ANd what about ToB? It would be great performance fix for Attila, great DLC but it is standalone. As full game it is falling short but on other hand it is very god introduction title into series. Let´s say somebody wants to start with TWs. This title has no DLCs, it cheaper and anybody can learn basics very well. Definitely game is underrated due to being compared with others full titles.
    I disagree. Personally, I find nothing in Rome 2 that is better than Rome TW in comparison, because R2TW lacks everything in which RTW already have from the beginning e.g family tree, ancient atmosphere (Republic, Empire). There is also some game mechanics that CA removed from R2TW and what I am talking about is the ability for the player to choose how much money one want to spend on diplomatic negotiations. Of course I cannot say if that was added with the DLC or not since I stop playing R2TW after I discover another thing (two years in one season when it should be the opposite) that CA messed up with.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leonardo View Post
    I disagree. Personally, I find nothing in Rome 2 that is better than Rome TW in comparison, because R2TW lacks everything in which RTW already have from the beginning e.g family tree, ancient atmosphere (Republic, Empire). There is also some game mechanics that CA removed from R2TW and what I am talking about is the ability for the player to choose how much money one want to spend on diplomatic negotiations. Of course I cannot say if that was added with the DLC or not since I stop playing R2TW after I discover another thing (two years in one season when it should be the opposite) that CA messed up with.
    Nothing?

    Don't get me wrong, I prefer the sum of factors and overall experience one finds in the classic games (although in every way that matters to me, Rome is obsolete in the light of M2 through mods), and yet there are several things that Rome 2 does that Rome does not... that Rome could actually learn from.
    - Rebels are no longer faceless grey entities defined by flavor text; rather, individual factions that someone with the right mind might actually want to play for the sake of it. The null diversity of prior game rebels is replaced with colored, viable entities.
    - Competitive starting selection for factions, paired with a far more blooming world map. It is easier to have everything being its own thing when you only offer so much in factions in the first place.
    - Actual civil war mechanics, though their nuances are what ultimately made me drop Rome 2. Still a highly individual issue and an effort Rome never made outside of completely different factions representing Rome. Speaking of which,
    - More political diversity, ie, parties that have superficial, but present meaning, which (in conjunction to a now-present family tree) provide more backend immersion in these regards than the original Rome could manage. Especially in its current state, there's a bit more effort towards the individual's role in the greater faction, despite the lack of depth-per-character that is a viable counterargument.
    - Rome's divisions were made more nuanced. Ancient Roman atmosphere is kinda sabotaged when you have three unique things calling themselves rome from the beginning spreading different colors across the map. The truth is a bit more nuanced. Rome 2 didn't hit it, but it does make a valid effort to address the matter.
    - Civil war mechanic allows two versions of a faction on the same map in tandem with the above - I wouldn't put that down too far, for despite its gameplay irritation, it's certainly a viable happening.
    - Every city is no longer apex of civilization by late campaign because there's actual attention on the countryside surrounding the structures. A city has more meaning in the scope of a province when it is at the head of more authentic smaller parts.
    - While general traits suffered, there is more character diversity; a member of family, politician, so long in the structure can perform internal political actions, including diplomacy and governance far more fluidly than the old generation of game, limited to being a general within the settlement or out on the field. Female family members have function, with nods to civilizations where they would have virtually no chance of getting anywere, but an opportunity to do something in the factions where that wasn't so cut and dry. It's a flawed implementation, but a viable effort.
    - Camera functions and handling are far more fluid.
    - I think I touched on this, but yeah, R2 does have a family tree now. Not a valid criticism anymore. Relatively recent updates did a great deal to make the backend a bit better, even if it's still ultimately superficial. But then, despite the intrigue of traits, Rome was never truly the apex of where this could go either. In both cases it is what you make of it.

    The game took a better shape over the years, even though it was a bit too little, too late, and not meaningful enough on a level I could make do with it since a lot of the flaws are definitely still there and still keep me away; and additionally are largely things that will not be modded or patched out. But a good portion of this list has been valid since the beginning. It deserves some credit for new things it does and even things it improves, even if one should not miss the flaws. The additions I wrote of are entirely free, not DLC walled.

    Two years in one season is Medieval 2's problem, I'm not even sure where that came from in R2's context since that is pretty solidly set at 1tpy and has been for pretty much ever...

  7. #7
    Leonardo's Avatar Reborn Old Timer
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    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    Overall nothing, but since you described in details what you find to be better in R2TW than RTW then I agree. There is at least 3-4 things I find to be better in R2TW than in RTW and that's like this.

    - spies can be personalized
    - champion IIRC is useful similiar to what the player could do with an assassin in NTW
    - build a camp with a small fort outside of a city, just to slow down the enemy and give time for the city garrison to get reinforcement in time
    - army tradition can make an army better

    Now, I find two things annoying and that's the ability for an army of fast moving, shown by a whirlwind in-game, which makes a fast moving army a perfect target to be defeated in an ambush since it cannot deploy in the same turn the ambush happen.

    Of course a different game engine makes a comparison needless, but what I was talking about was the nostalgalic feeling I got every time I started a new campaign in RTW, BI included, with mods or without mods. Which I never got in R2TW.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    There is of course a case to be made for nostalgia, but my main point of contention was there being nothing by comparison - and even to say 'overall', that wouldn't necessarily be true either, unless it was in reference only to specific elements that you look for. When discussing the best total war game in anything more than utterly subjective abstracts, each entry should have its appropriate strengths highlighted so it may be more strongly critiqued in the details that don't work so well.

  9. #9
    Souron's Avatar Civis
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    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    Throwing my hat in here

    1 - Total war: Rome II
    2 - Total war: Attila
    3 - Total war: medieval II
    4 - Total war: Thrones of Britannia (controversial i know!)
    5 - Total war: Warhammer 1 & 2
    6 - Total war: rome
    7 - Total war: Empire/Napolion
    8 - Total war: Shogun & 3k (just didnt like the settings)

  10. #10

    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    I have the most time in Rome 2, but I honestly hate the feel of the combat.

    It has no weight to it, at all.

    But I can't stop playing it.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    Quote Originally Posted by CommodusIV View Post
    Nothing?

    Don't get me wrong, I prefer the sum of factors and overall experience one finds in the classic games (although in every way that matters to me, Rome is obsolete in the light of M2 through mods), and yet there are several things that Rome 2 does that Rome does not... that Rome could actually learn from.
    - Rebels are no longer faceless grey entities defined by flavor text; rather, individual factions that someone with the right mind might actually want to play for the sake of it. The null diversity of prior game rebels is replaced with colored, viable entities.
    - Competitive starting selection for factions, paired with a far more blooming world map. It is easier to have everything being its own thing when you only offer so much in factions in the first place.
    - Actual civil war mechanics, though their nuances are what ultimately made me drop Rome 2. Still a highly individual issue and an effort Rome never made outside of completely different factions representing Rome. Speaking of which,
    - More political diversity, ie, parties that have superficial, but present meaning, which (in conjunction to a now-present family tree) provide more backend immersion in these regards than the original Rome could manage. Especially in its current state, there's a bit more effort towards the individual's role in the greater faction, despite the lack of depth-per-character that is a viable counterargument.
    - Rome's divisions were made more nuanced. Ancient Roman atmosphere is kinda sabotaged when you have three unique things calling themselves rome from the beginning spreading different colors across the map. The truth is a bit more nuanced. Rome 2 didn't hit it, but it does make a valid effort to address the matter.
    - Civil war mechanic allows two versions of a faction on the same map in tandem with the above - I wouldn't put that down too far, for despite its gameplay irritation, it's certainly a viable happening.
    - Every city is no longer apex of civilization by late campaign because there's actual attention on the countryside surrounding the structures. A city has more meaning in the scope of a province when it is at the head of more authentic smaller parts.
    - While general traits suffered, there is more character diversity; a member of family, politician, so long in the structure can perform internal political actions, including diplomacy and governance far more fluidly than the old generation of game, limited to being a general within the settlement or out on the field. Female family members have function, with nods to civilizations where they would have virtually no chance of getting anywere, but an opportunity to do something in the factions where that wasn't so cut and dry. It's a flawed implementation, but a viable effort.
    - Camera functions and handling are far more fluid.
    - I think I touched on this, but yeah, R2 does have a family tree now. Not a valid criticism anymore. Relatively recent updates did a great deal to make the backend a bit better, even if it's still ultimately superficial. But then, despite the intrigue of traits, Rome was never truly the apex of where this could go either. In both cases it is what you make of it.

    The game took a better shape over the years, even though it was a bit too little, too late, and not meaningful enough on a level I could make do with it since a lot of the flaws are definitely still there and still keep me away; and additionally are largely things that will not be modded or patched out. But a good portion of this list has been valid since the beginning. It deserves some credit for new things it does and even things it improves, even if one should not miss the flaws. The additions I wrote of are entirely free, not DLC walled.

    Two years in one season is Medieval 2's problem, I'm not even sure where that came from in R2's context since that is pretty solidly set at 1tpy and has been for pretty much ever...
    Rome Barbarian Invasion does most of this better. Its my favorite TW by far. There are united rebel factions, dynamic campaigns, religions, character politics, etc. Rome 2 is so shallow with all of its mechanics, even its warfare is weaker. It plays like an adventure game when the cities are so huge that you just follow the road to the next one instead of going into wild country or bypassing them for strategic play. Its so app like that you are just waiting for the next set battle. In BI I can send fast cavalry scouts to take an undefended city, or split forces to defend multiple points or lure an army into a trap. Everything in Rome2 outside of combat is just busy work to slow the player down and is was an afterthought at launch.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    Quote Originally Posted by narvi909 View Post
    Rome Barbarian Invasion does most of this better. Its my favorite TW by far. There are united rebel factions, dynamic campaigns, religions, character politics, etc. Rome 2 is so shallow with all of its mechanics, even its warfare is weaker. It plays like an adventure game when the cities are so huge that you just follow the road to the next one instead of going into wild country or bypassing them for strategic play. Its so app like that you are just waiting for the next set battle. In BI I can send fast cavalry scouts to take an undefended city, or split forces to defend multiple points or lure an army into a trap. Everything in Rome2 outside of combat is just busy work to slow the player down and is was an afterthought at launch.
    Well said. This is an aspect of strategic positioning - albeit limited in terms of AI response - that was lost with games post-R2. Design and player choice constriction instead of freedom and dynamic events. I hated how R2 introduced armies requiring a general (thus making small skirmishes and scouting parties rare), simplified the terrain and maneuvering aspect on the campaign map (big sprawling cities and tons of mountain passes), and let RPG mechanics replace the random and dynamic character development.

    I love campaigns in Empire for the same reasons you love RTW:BI. When fighting an enemy, you might temporarily split up a main army to fight an containing action on one front, then unite to take a city center while at the same time sending a raiding party to some mines and factories. Or some cavalry to chase off the enemy's scouting force and fight a super micro intensive little battle where every little height advantage counts.

    Not to mention the horrible UI of R2. The entire game looks like a mobile phone app, with small icons plastered all over the screen, and menus and sub menus popping up in places that don't make sense. Again, compare this to ETW, NTW and Shogun 2 where the UI is related to an GUI inside an OS (windows and tabs). In ETW, I love how every button menu is found clustered together in the main menu panel, and opens up with windows and descriptive text right where it should be.

    For nostalgia reasons though, my heart belongs to the original Medieval Total War. Can't beat the beautiful simplicity and flow of a 2D Risk map.

  13. #13
    Leonardo's Avatar Reborn Old Timer
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    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Durango- View Post
    Well said. This is an aspect of strategic positioning - albeit limited in terms of AI response - that was lost with games post-R2. Design and player choice constriction instead of freedom and dynamic events. I hated how R2 introduced armies requiring a general (thus making small skirmishes and scouting parties rare), simplified the terrain and maneuvering aspect on the campaign map (big sprawling cities and tons of mountain passes), and let RPG mechanics replace the random and dynamic character development.

    I love campaigns in Empire for the same reasons you love RTW:BI. When fighting an enemy, you might temporarily split up a main army to fight an containing action on one front, then unite to take a city center while at the same time sending a raiding party to some mines and factories. Or some cavalry to chase off the enemy's scouting force and fight a super micro intensive little battle where every little height advantage counts.

    Not to mention the horrible UI of R2. The entire game looks like a mobile phone app, with small icons plastered all over the screen, and menus and sub menus popping up in places that don't make sense. Again, compare this to ETW, NTW and Shogun 2 where the UI is related to an GUI inside an OS (windows and tabs). In ETW, I love how every button menu is found clustered together in the main menu panel, and opens up with windows and descriptive text right where it should be.
    You can do that in NTW as well and one thing I really like in NTW is the automatically replenishment system, while in ETW the player will always wait for two days before an army is fully restored.

    Personally, I prefer the UI in NTW.

    Quote Originally Posted by -Durango- View Post
    For nostalgia reasons though, my heart belongs to the original Medieval Total War. Can't beat the beautiful simplicity and flow of a 2D Risk map.
    I concur.

    Another thing I think should be mentioned about playing a battle, MTW is the last TW game that sway points really works in a battle. I once used the sway points in RTW and to my surprise it didn't work as intended.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    He started playing with Rome, but Medieval 2 became his favorite.


    And recently I tried Empire. From the first time, everyone just didn’t like it terribly: melee combat became worse than in Medeival 2; forts impenetrable in some places are generally terrible sieges in principle; the terrible placement of units, which is one of two things: either they can become even, or do not fit into a space that is somewhat uneven in clutter; idiotic balance of characteristics among units and their general impersonality. So I did not like what I deleted.


    A day later, I installed it again and played the opening colonialist campaign for the USA, and I started to like it. Of course, some of what I did not like remained, but much was smoothed out and much was revealed. The balance of characteristics and the sameness - for a more or less equal setup, and then it all develops with research. Sea battles. The mechanics of individual towns in the province. Technological tree. Some types of troops: where else could I have before drove dragoons into the rear of the enemy, dismount and shoot in the back. More understandable settlement economics and trade. In general, the game has changed and, in principle, liked it.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    By no metric whatsoever, personal preference - Medieval Total War. (the original)

    And I've been playing TW games since 2000.
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  16. #16
    King Athelstan's Avatar The Wheel Weaves
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    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarchOfThePigs View Post
    I have the most time in Rome 2, but I honestly hate the feel of the combat.

    It has no weight to it, at all.
    This is very much how I feel about Rome II. I can stop playing it however, might be my 4 digit hour count in Med 2 talking

    But aye, as echoed previously: It is impossible to be unpartial and the only metric one can judge by is ones own mind, it often comes down to what one played first and made one fall in love with the series. Nostalgia plays a big part I think.

    That being said, Medieval 2 is the correct factual answer and anyone who says anything else will be subject to an invitation to a duel to the death, or a horsehead in bed.
    Last edited by King Athelstan; April 06, 2020 at 12:31 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    Definitely Medieval II.
    The old engine was much more capable than Warscape and offered us a proper unit mass system, two settlement types (castles and towns with different specialisations), lots of building slots, a heat system (heavy armoured troops in the desert receive a penalty), moddable animations and animation speeds, a better AI, a good addon instead of overpriced DLCs and the possibility to create total conversions.
    Handling units is a bit clumsy compared to Rome II and Medieval II does have some technical shortcomings, but overall, it's still a fine game.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    For me it's Shogun 2/Fall of the Samurai/Rise of the Samurai for medieval combat, gun powder and manual naval combat.

    Rome 2 is enjoyable but the autoresolve is just unbalanced ie just make a stack of high defense tier 1 units and just autoresolve your way to victory. Attila and Warhammer suffer from this as well.

    Med 2 has only auto resolved naval battles but it does have some good mods. But everytime I play Med 1 I realise Med 2 is just about pretty graphics.

    Empire is just wonky and unfinished so I will put that in the trash pile along side Thrones and Attila

  19. #19

    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    I have another question related with this thread: What would be the best Total War game for low end computers?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What is the best Total War game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Incendio View Post
    I have another question related with this thread: What would be the best Total War game for low end computers?
    That would be Medieval 2 or Rome 1, as a general rule - the older the game, the easier it is to run
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