So, you want to know what the best Total War game is? Shogun: Total War released in June 2000, which means the venerable strategy series has been going for over 20 years now. That’s longer than iPhones, broadband, and most memes. There have been 14 games in that time – not counting mobile spin-offs or the shuttered and underrated Total War: Arena. It's a lot to keep track of.
Enter: us. If you've ever been curious about this stalwart of PC gaming, look no further. We've put together a list of the best and most essential Total War games, from Shogun to Three Kingdoms via the fantastical foray that is Warhammer.
It is, of course, impossible to crown one single Total War game the 'best', because – especially since Warhammer – they do so many different things, with their various settings affecting the feel of their campaigns and tactical battles. So instead, we'll walk you through what each of our picks does well and differently from the other games in the series, and why they may be regarded as 'essential' – beloved by fans and yet to be truly imitated by any other game in the series, or even in all of gaming.