Creative Assembly’s Total War games are among our favourite historical strategy titles. If you’ve surveyed the range of games in the Total War catalogue, or you’re looking for another twist on the form, then you’ll find some more games like Total War here.
Is there a game like Total War?
There are a handful of games like Total War that are worth your attention. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord lets players give direct orders during combat, while Civilization VI is the standard for turn-based historical strategy.
Few games strike the balance between real-time and turn-based strategy that the Total War series is known for. But if you’re looking for a game that gives you tactical control over an army, or a management perspective over an economy, then you can take a look at our list below.
1. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
Mount & Blade is a strange hybrid of historical RPG and strategy game. Following its predecessors, Bannerlord lets players progress from lowly peasant to conqueror of the continent of Calradia. While its sandbox campaign and multiplayer combat make for wonderful distractions, its battles will appeal to Total War commanders.
During Bannerlord’s battles, players can command and fight beside hundreds of on-screen troops. Here they can use a range of orders to respond to tactical events: tell archers to engage enemy infantry, position two-handed axemen to counter mounted troops, and gather your cavalry for a flanking manoeuvre through the woods.
Otherwise, the older Mount & Blade: Warband (2010) is still a solid game with great mod support. It’s available on consoles as well as PC.
2. Company of Heroes 3
You might not have expected this title here, but the pre-release version of Relic Entertainment’s Company of Heroes 3 demonstrated an intriguing layer of inspiration apparently scooped from another SEGA studio: Creative Assembly.
Company of Heroes future campaigns will incorporate a mix of RTS and turn-based strategy that players will recognise from Total War. Players will move pieces representative of larger armies across the campaign map, then play out their battles in a real-time mode. The two franchises are different enough, however, that CoH’s World War Two strategy isn’t parked directly on Total War’s turf.
3. Civilization VI
A dependable time-sink for the turn-based gamer, Civilization VI should be your first port of call if you want to dip into a game that’s focused wholly on the grand strategy side of Total War.
Civilization simplifies all combat and opens the door for non-confrontational victory conditions. It’s more of a slow burn when compared with Total War’s occasionally intense battles, though there’s fuel here to take you up to (and frequently past) midnight.
4. Knights of Honor
Knights of Honor is an RTS classic that plays similarly to a real-time Total War. When two armies meet on the campaign map, you can play real-time battles. Visually, these will recall isometric RTS games of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
And here’s another reason to play Knights of Honor. Knights of Honor II: Sovereign is in development by Black Sea Games and THQ Nordic. Creative Assembly had actually bought the original developer from Crytek in 2017, renaming it Creative Assembly Sofia. Members from that same studio founded the modern Black Sea Games.
5. Crusader Kings III
It lacks the player-controlled battles of Total War, but Paradox’s legendary grand strategy series lets players embark on deep, emergent stories across a huge historical map.
Taking control of a noble house, players are charged with protecting a dynasty while expanding its power. Crusader Kings presents sprawling puzzles and plots, while tickling players’ itches for historical counterfactuals.
Is Crusader Kings like Total War?
Crusader Kings offers a much more in-depth management experience than Total War, building on the similarities between them.
While the Total War franchise is more interested in large scale military conquests and tactically defeating your opponents, Crusader Kings simulates multiple aspects of a single person’s life. It asks players to hold their realm together in the face of challenges to the kingdom’s succession.