Medieval: Total War

Medieval: Total War was instrumental in popularising the ever popular turn-based strategy genre. Released in 2002, it lets players control an army from the interesting medieval period. Gameplay requires careful strategy to gain victory in battles.

Players must travel throughout several provinces represented on a map. They conquer these areas by defeating various rival forces. Rather than controlling a single soldier, players move entire groups across the battlefield from a bird’s eye view.


When it first came out, Medieval: Total War was very well received by reviewers, as well as regular players. It has since been seen as an important milestone for gaming. Particular praise was given to the impressive sense of realism. However, some criticised the fairly clunky unit management.

The game had a large amount of commercial success as well. It reached the top of the game sales charts in the UK. There has since spawned a lucrative Total War series set in different eras of history.


When a battle takes place, the conflict is represented in a 3D real-time environment. The two sides engage until one of them either retreats or is completely overrun. The player competes against an artificial intelligence system.

As well as fighting historical battles from medieval times, players can also create their own customised ones. This allows them to have a higher level of freedom in the terrain and climate of the battlefield.

The player’s team is made up of several different units. These include knights and archers. To win, these units need to be utilised in tactical ways. Players need to consider the various strengths and weaknesses of each fighter type.

Units can gain experience points if they succeed. This is known as “valour” in the game. Each map has terrain where this valour can be utilised in practical ways.