Mad props to the original Shogun and the original Medieval for being fantastic and groundbreaking games in their time, but they pale in comparision to the glory of Rome : Total War. Rome was the first game in the series that got everything together in a mix of grand strategy and tactical combat that felt fluid, manageable and most importantly, exciting. I cannot count the number of games of Rome I have played and yet each and every one continues to have that exciting, addicting “just one more turn” feel even long after the interface and mechanics of the game have become old hat. Rome : Total War ranks alongside Frog City’s masterpiece Imperialism 2 as the games in my collection with the most replayability.
That said, I’m not so sure I’d want to see a Rome 2 right now. Sure the tech has come a long way since Rome, and the game could benefit in many of the same ways Shogun 2 benefitted (though Shogun 2 is a totally different game from Shogun). Still, I would rather see Creative Assembly tackle a unique location and time period not covered thus far. Ancient China comes quickly to mind. The American Civil War is another idea mentioned previously. Ancient Greece and Persia would also be fascinating in a Total War game. Why tread familiar ground when there is still so much new material to be explored?