Universal acclaim - based on 58 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 58
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 58
  3. Negative: 0 out of 58
  1. It has so much depth and aptitude that you'll find yourself drawn in for hours, which will quickly turn into days, months and, dare I say, years. There's been so much effort put into every single aspect of the game that it's hard not to admire the hard work of the developers behind it.
  2. 100
    A new breed of superlative is needed to even begin describing how truly revolutionary and fantastic Rome: Total War really is. "Medieval" was a strategic masterpiece but the superiority of Rome makes Medieval look positively, well medieval in comparison.
  3. 100
    The most epic, cinematic real-time 3D battles ever seen.
  4. A sumptuously detailed and totally engrossing RTS title that can even hook those who normally aren't fans of RTS titles.
  5. 100
    Few things are more satisfying than watching the bodies fly as your cavalry charge breaks through a defensive line or watching your elephants flatten your foes as they run away in terror. Rome: Total War adds much needed personality to the battle. No other game in the strategy genre does it better.
  6. Enough staying power to keep you busy for years. [Dec 2004, p.72]
  7. Every couple of years a game is released that is so well crafted, so perfectly made, that it sets a benchmark for gaming quality. Rome: Total War is one of those games. We couldn't find a fault.
  8. Without a doubt one of the best strategy games I’ve played. Activision has successfully combined full RTS and turn based genres in one game while maintaining the balance between them, putting any serious strategy fan to the test.
  9. This is a MUST HAVE GAME, with stunning graphics, depth, detail and playability. This game provides a new level of challenge and enjoyment that other games will now be judged against.
  10. I suppose the most telling thing about this game is the way that it draws you in, making you ponder every turn-based move, knowing it will affect the outcome of each battle with each enemy army that takes offence to you.
  11. It's huge, thrilling, epic stuff. Give yourself unto Caesar. [PC Gamer UK]
  12. Still, despite the occasional glitch in battle, Rome: Total War is a superb game that easily consumes your day, evening, night and next morning. In other words, play this game with caution if you succumb easily to the desire to conquer the world.
  13. Like Romeo and Juliet, I was deprived of my love for so long, but the third Total War has made the franchise accessible to all but the most casual of gamers.
  14. Combining a powerful turn based engine for the management, and an insanely enjoyable RTS engine for the battles, Activision and The Creative Assembly have produced what could easily be the best strategy game of 2004.
  15. The most advanced, complete and realistic strategy game out there. No matter if you are looking for a great single player campaign which can fill weeks or even months with continuous challenges and new experiences, or you just want realistic cinematic multiplayer skirmishes of epic scale, this game delivers.
  16. 94
    Personally, I've never given a score this high before but Rome Total War is without a doubt one of the best games I've ever played. The combination of subject matter, game mechanics, and outstanding visuals add up to one of the best experiences you'll have on the PC.
  17. 94
    The atmosphere in R:TW is breathtaking...This game is by far the best Total War game released yet and, in our opinion possibly the best strategy game of all time.
  18. Rome: Total War is nothing less than awesome, and is engrossing enough to provide weeks of play at the very least.
  19. The graphics for Rome were nothing short of great in my opinion from animations to the smooth camera work and lack of lag even when large numbers of troops filled the screen. The sound in the game is also spectacular.
  20. It has a seamless blend of strategy and tactics, giving the player the power to choose whether he wants to enjoy one or the other, the 11 civilizations to play – and it does this all in a very refined fashion.
  21. As a total game experience, it is enchanting, and sometimes even astounding, if you have a machine that can handle it well.
  22. An ideal strategy game as it combines two rather different gameplay approaches into one very cohesive package.
  23. Jaw-dropping battle engine, Staggeringly deep yet intuitive strategy map, Fiendishly lifelike AI.
  24. 93
    The presentation is marvelous, the gameplay is terrific, and much of the strategy is tremendous. Strategy gamers, I implore you, buy this game!
  25. Crosses the rubicon of greatness with a Latin flourish; it's the equal of a hundred lesser games. [Nov 2004]
  26. To say I loved every minute of Rome: Total War is a tremendous understatement. For my money, it's the ultimate strategy game. Not only does it effortlessly combine turn-based strategy with raucous real-time warmongering, but it delivers them in a package that is accessibe and easy to play. [Nov 2004, p.76]
  27. Rome's campaign mode can be a bit daunting for all but the most hardcore RTS veterans.
  28. A constantly impressive element is the rousing speech your general hollers before a battle.
  29. 92
    If you loved "RISK," you’ll feel right at home with this title.
  30. It's as much a revolutionary step as it is an evolutionary one, thanks to a beautiful new 3D graphics engine that makes the series' tactical battles--featuring thousands of soldiers--better than ever. The results are nothing short of spectacular, helping make Rome: Total War the very definition of an epic strategy game.
  31. 91
    The best part is that players can zoom in to watch the battle in glorious detail, and players will want to zoom in just to sit back and watch the action.
  32. No other game so expertly combines a cerebral challenge with visceral thrills.
  33. A fantastic conquest. The power of the game engine has finally caught up with the developer’s vision of what a war game should really be like, and what a cool vision that is. It’s almost like getting two games for the price of one...and you can even just play your favorite.
  34. Many games are excellent world-builders, and many are deep real time strategy war games. Rome: Total War sets out to be both and pulls it off wonderfully.
  35. Rome: Total War is more compelling, more beautiful and more expansive than anything that has gone before. [Dec 2004, p.104]
  36. The multiplayer could use a few more game options, like allowing players to actually play the campaign rather than only skirmishes. Still, for anyone who wants strategic depth with their RTS game, there's no better title out there. [Dec 2004, p.131]
  37. In any real-time strategy game you'll fight desperate battles against hopeless odds, but here, thanks to the strategy side, you know the precise cost of loss will be. It's a magical, beautiful synergy and there's nothing quite like it in the entire gaming lexicon.
  38. The tactical battles are better than ever thanks to an improved engine and significantly smarter enemy AI. You can now take up to 400 units into battle, leading to some impressive large-scale scraps.
  39. For people who loved "Gladiator," fans of top-shelf strategy games and history aficionados of any stripe - all roads lead to Rome.
  40. An epic game in terms of both visual execution and longevity...Campaigns can last for several hundred turns, so prepare for the long haul.
  41. While I wouldn’t way Rome: Total War is a good title for novice strategy players, there’s plenty of depth and fun in this masterful effort from Creative Assembly without being overwhelming.
  42. No matter if you’re a fan of strategy, combat, really angry guys with spears or some mixture of all of the above, Rome: Total War will definitely please.
  43. 90
    A stunning title... Sure, it might be a little complex for the casual gamer, and it might be a little rough in places, but Rome is as deep and as satisfying as they come.
  44. It sucks you in and holds on for hours. Anyone with the slightest interest in RTS games would find it well worth their money.
  45. 90
    Almost a perfect strategy game. It has strategic scope and splendor nearly matching that of "Civilization" and a tactical game unlike anything else on the market.
  46. Where the series goes from here (Please, a cross over with the "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" series?), it will have a mighty legacy to live up to.
  47. Primarily for hardcore strategy fans but, thanks to the great tutorial, it's still accessible enough for the casual gamer interested in delving further into the world of armchair generals. The game play is steeped in depth and can sometimes be overwhelming, but that’s a good feature—trust me.
  48. It seamlessly combines real-time and turn-based gameplay, gives the player ultimate control of their experience, and provides a level of depth that verges on bottomless.
  49. Finally, the campaign elements and the 3D combat have merged into a game that's practically perfect in almost every way.
  50. A stroke of brilliance. With its unparalleled scope and enough strategic gameplay for two top-flight games, let alone one, Rome is a game that triumphs over its minor bugs and A.I. glitches and once again redefines what a historical strategy game can - and should - be. [Holiday 2004, p.100]
  51. This game is not only visually overwhelming, but intellectually, too. This is not for the casual gamer, or for people who only have a few hours a day to play. Instead, it is for those armchair generals who enjoy both the slower turn-based elements of games like Civilization and faster paced real-time strategy games.
  52. As far as tactics and empire management are concerned, this is not a (much) more elaborate strategy game, and the AI does have its faults, but this is certainly an infinitely more cinematic and spectacular looking strategy game than before.
  53. 89
    Niggly controls, cheating AI, cluttered management screens, a rash of aggravating bugs and an unshakeable sense of over familiarity all combine to keep Rome: Total War from being an outright classic.
  54. 87
    The in-battle game engine is entirely unmatched for realism and its unique vast - and yet personal - nature, while the turn based world map is both complex and involving.
  55. In the strict application, and importance, of strategy in regard to your success, Rome: Total War is to most other strategy games what chess is to tic-tac-toe. Far from flawless, Rome is, unquestionably, an enjoyable and immersive game.
  56. My last whine is lengthy AI turns.
  57. As it stands, Rome: Total War is merely a good empire simulation with a minor real-time strategy diversion built in. [Nov 2004, p.165]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 743 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 153
  1. Jan 21, 2012
    A great game, along with Shogun 2 the best of the Total War series. What's unique about this game compared with the rest of the series is that it is actually quite balanced. Full Review »
  2. Feb 22, 2012
    Don't listen to all the idiots giving this game a 6 or 7 or lower, since they obviously lack any real understanding of gaming as a medium or as a game of the mind. Rome Total War is probably the greatest of the total war games in my professional opinion, although my favorite would have to be Empire. Rome offers what many other games fail to do, give you unparralelled strategy game play of the ancient Roman/Greek age. It's one thing to command armies on the campaign map, strategically positioning them to ambush your enemy or block routes, using diplomats, spies and assassins to your advantage, deceiving your allies or enemies, managing cities and towns, but it's another thing completely in the battle map. In the battle map it's a no-holds-barred kinda match, anything goes, it gives you totally complete freedom to setup your units as you wish, in formation how you wish and use them however you want. If you ever wondered what it would feel like to siege a Roman city as an invading Carthaginian army, feel free to do so in campaign or in a custom battle, you can use siege towers, battering rams, ladders, siege weapons like catapults, trebuchets and more to batter through your opponents defences. There is nothing quite like Rome Total War in terms of content and mere polish. Full Review »
  3. Mar 9, 2012
    The most epic and incredible strategy game, still being played and will survive for decades! With epic mods such as Europa Barbarorum (the most original total conversion for any game out there) and Lord of the Rings : Total War this game really deserves a 10. Full Review »