• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: May 23, 2019

Generally favorable reviews - based on 64 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 64
  2. Negative: 0 out of 64
  1. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    May 31, 2019
    Massive enhancement of all systems is perfectly complemented by beautiful audio and visuals. You won’t regret this trip to China! [Issue#295]
  2. May 28, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms sets a high watermark for the series and a new bar for the genre. Its attention to detail, high level of polish and differing faction mechanics means you can blissfully spend hundreds, even thousands of hours playing and still find something new and beautiful to engage with. It blends larger than life characters with historical authenticity, and technical polish with tactical finesse...I can see myself playing for years to come, and I can’t wait to see where the series goes next.
  3. May 27, 2019
    More than just a good Total War game. Its variety in play, riveting campaign mode and improved performance move it up to one of the best games in the RTS genre.
  4. May 16, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms is as close to flawless as you'll find, with a fantastic balance of 4X strategy and character-focused development and emergent storytelling. The battles are frantic, with increased tactical opportunities through duelling. City development is more intuitive and less restrictive, though still requires thought and all of this takes place on a China that looks downright fantastic, where even the UI and menus look great. This is the Total War experience and a new high for the series.
  5. May 23, 2019
    I really don’t have sufficient superlatives to use here. Beyond best-in-setting and best-in-franchise, Total War: Three Kingdoms is a game that instantly contends for best of the year, or best in its genre. The setting and franchise here give it high expectations, and Three Kingdoms surpasses those expectations at almost every level.
  6. May 16, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms uses excellent pacing and strong character mechanics to create a consistently exciting and challenging historical strategy campaign.
  7. May 17, 2019
    Creative Assembly has managed to make the series feel fresh without changing its core, delivering one of its best entries to date. It looks and plays great, and it comes with many, many hours of content.
  8. May 27, 2019
    CA took a huge gamble with its latest release and it really paid off. Three Kingdoms offers a very polished campaign with a strong narrative and robust diplomacy and espionage systems. Together with the immersive management of faction characters, the series are steering towards deeper micromanagement and a more challenging and deeply immersive experience. Romance mode might not be everyone's cup of tea but there are also other options for the more historically inclined fans.
  9. Jul 8, 2019
    One of the best entries in the series yet, deep enough for veterans and approachable for the new players.
  10. Jun 3, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms is a top-tier Total War game, and the pinnacle of historical and real-time strategy tactics.
  11. May 30, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms is the best the series has been in a decade. By emphasising on characters and their relationships, each campaign feels like an epic narrative of friendship and betrayal.
  12. May 28, 2019
    In the end, Total War: Three Kingdoms is essential for fans of Chinese history, the romantic depiction of the era, and all-round history buffs. The steep learning curve is well worth the time investment as the enhanced and expanded diplomacy and management side moves the series forward in meaningful ways.
  13. May 24, 2019
    The developers promised to focus on individual people - and they weren’t lying. Three Kingdoms is great at building interpersonal drama, but can pivot into all-out bloody war at a moment’s notice. You will not find a better Total War.
  14. May 24, 2019
    The length of development and the decision to opt for the two-month delay have been vindicated with the release of what is one of the most polished and detail packed Total War entries in the entire series. The number of generals and play styles of each of the factions ensures that there is enough content here to fill at least a several hundred hours of addictive gameplay. As always, the battles are exciting, and the scope and scale never fails to impress, with the addition of the heroes adding a new dimension to tactics and strategies. This is the game that Romance of the Three Kingdoms fans have been waiting for.
  15. May 24, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms is an ideal representation of what it means to be a PC exclusive series in 2019. In addition to having beautiful graphics and a wide-ranging set of features, it fully utilizes a PC player's understanding of turn-based strategy games to provide a complete, full-scale war experience.
  16. May 22, 2019
    Three Kingdoms is one of the best historical Total War games. It has a deep strategic map with a lot of options to guide your faction to the crown of China. The battles, of course, are amazing and epic.
  17. May 22, 2019
    It’s not without its UI issues, but Total War 3 Kingdoms provides a beautiful, rich strategy that is well paced while enjoying a new layer of story depth through diplomacy and intrigue.
  18. May 17, 2019
    Creative Assembly successfully combines Three Kingdoms with Total War, and using the brand-new Romance Mode, bringing us to that chaos times. For those who love Three Kingdoms or Total War series, this is no-doubt a must-try game.
  19. May 17, 2019
    A hugely enjoyable mix of historical realism and exaggerated action that is both surprisingly accessible and filled with an impressive depth of tactical options.
  20. May 17, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms is, perhaps, the franchise's most ambitious game. After a few "little-games", Creative Assembly makes "all-in" with new features and the old-good things. The key was not to replace fields but to be better in them, and we have no doubt that they have achieved this.
  21. 90
    Regardless of which way you choose to play, you get a supremely balanced, intelligent, and deeply strategic game in Total War: Three Kingdoms.
  22. May 16, 2019
    Three Kingdoms is the most divergent Total War I’ve seen since Total War: Warhammer. I would in fact call it the first post-Warhammer historical installment, taking what is good in fantasy and using it to compliment the historical components of the game. On top of that, it revamps both diplomacy and spying, two aspects of the series that desperately needed updating.
  23. May 16, 2019
    The setting in China is a bit strange for us Europeans, but the game as such is with its new mechanics the best in the series.
  24. May 16, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms captures the spirit and essence of the time period. It's filled to the brim with unique and thematic detail, with aesthetic beauty that's a wonder to behold.
  25. May 16, 2019
    Three Kingdoms, to me, represents the best of both the historical and fantasy sides of the franchise. It creates stories that are compelling to play through and watch, using a vast number of systems working in harmony to achieve it. It creates the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows, and it does it all while still improving upon the Total War formula.
  26. May 16, 2019
    There are few licenses that are able to last over time while maintaining a high level of quality. The Total War saga is one of them and this new episode is no exception to the rule. Even better, this is probably the most successful episode of the saga. Filled with novelties, offering a colossal amount of content, and having a mastered artistic direction, we quickly forget the few technical issues in order to launch body and soul into the conquest of the title of Emperor of China. Moreover, we can't hide our joy seeing the huge replayability of the game which once again promises several dozen (hundreds?) hours of fun.
  27. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Aug 2, 2019
    There’s a definite focus shift from tactics to strategy – which is risky, considering that tactical combat had always been a staple of Total War series. It couldn’t be avoided, though: unlike Medieval and Rome settings, China simply lacks variety in troops types. So fights end up being very predictable – while Chinese politic field is anything but! [Issue#239, p.48]
  28. May 16, 2019
    Creative Assembly Studio knows a lot about strategies of war and fun. Total War: Three Kingdoms is a clear and sophisticated evolution. The series will continue on this path and lovers of the genre can be happier than those players who have never been in Total War.
  29. May 16, 2019
    Three Kingdoms is one the best, if not the very best, historical Total War game. The strategic gameplay is especially compelling, and almost Paradox-like in depth. Still, the lack of variety caused by the limited setting widens the gap with the much more spectacular, and overall more enjoyable, Warhammer 2.
  30. May 16, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdom.s is the perfect contrast to the Warhammer games
  31. Jun 11, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms is worth your time. To put things in a simple way - it's a superb strategy game that deals with a relatively unknown part of history. There are no flaws in terms of gameplay mechanics - it's a great Total War game that keeps to the series' high standards and quality.
  32. May 22, 2019
    Total War: THREE KINGDOMS is the first in the award-winning series to recreate epic conflict across ancient China. Combining a gripping turn-based campaign of empire-building & conquest with stunning real-time battles.
  33. May 22, 2019
    After several years, we finally have a true Total War experience in Three Kingdoms. Covering almost everything that a fan of strategy genre craves, Three Kingdoms is one of the most complete entries in the TW series and one of the best strategies in recent years.
  34. May 20, 2019
    While those looking for the pure historical war experience may find themselves wanting a bit more, with such a critical emphasis on the commanders and their supreme battlefield presence, those willing to indulge in a more prodigious past have lots to enjoy. With strict historical adherence out the window and a bit of a streamlined tactical combat experience, Three Kingdoms still has a lot to offer the strategy enthusiast.
  35. May 20, 2019
    Its presentation is the icing on an already rich cake. If you’re a series veteran, you’ll find much to appreciate in this new setting, and if you’ve never tried a Total War game, but always been curious, you’d be hard pressed to find a better starting point than Three Kingdoms. Just remember, take it slow and always backstab.
  36. May 16, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms collects the legacy of the previous chapters related to the Warhammer universe, presenting many noteworthy innovations that show how that formula can also be applied in a historical context. There are also some good new mechanics on the espionage and diplomacy side, too bad that the artificial intelligence hasn’t been retouched accordingly, representing once again the weakest part of the entire offer.
  37. May 16, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms is a fantastic addition to the series, taking place in the Three Kingdoms period of China's history. The gameplay requires patience and strategizing, but is satisfying when successful. With plenty of aspects to manage, you won't be wanting for something to do, although it may be too much for some gamers.
  38. Jun 6, 2019
    Three Kingdoms represents a return to form for the historical side of the Total War series, with an emphasis on much improved diplomacy and inner-faction politics, alongside a fantastic setting working in the favour of this massive strategy sequel - even if the real time battles mostly feel very familiar.
  39. Jun 28, 2019
    Total War: The Three Kingdoms reverts the franchise in a more down-to-earth fashion, focusing more on the historical characters and the impact they have on the unfolding of the story. Diplomacy is revamped and is more dynamic than ever, while the implications of the inter and outer relations are in another new level. On the other hand, the action on the battlefield, regarding the troops and the units, remains stale and unchanged.
  40. Jun 19, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms provides a solid look at the spectacle, history, and romance of the Three Kingdoms period, as well as being entertaining enough to hold the attention of those who just might not care about that stuff. I don’t know who they are, but I’m sure they’re out there.
  41. May 27, 2019
    Yet another great entry in the long-running series. While it may not be the absolute pinnacle of what Creative Assembly can achieve, it has become my favorite entry simply because of the setting used. We've reached a point where your personal favorite Total War will be determined more by the property being adapted than any worry about quality or gameplay factors. Since everything is fine in Three Kingdoms, what else do I really need to say?
  42. May 21, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms is a big step in the right direction for the series. The diplomacy is the best its ever been, with the campaign events and possibilities demanding replayability. The battles are awesome as always, even though I miss a bit more unit diversity. Sadly, the stylistically beautiful visual style makes the campaign map a bit too "ethereal" to feel real and grounded even on the Records mode, and the user interface suffers from a lack of clarity, ending up being too busy and cluttered for its own good.
  43. May 20, 2019
    The Three Kindgoms are a great setting for this new Total War because it can provide some fantasy elements taken from the last Warhammer games. The mix is consistent enough to work well, just like the new spying system.
  44. May 17, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms innovations are also his weak points. It's a good Total War, but not the best one.
  45. May 16, 2019
    While I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been a big fan of the series, I found a lot to like in Three Kingdoms.
  46. May 16, 2019
    Three Kingdoms is a good game, and it feels like relearning an old game – it sticks to the Total War formula, but changes so many things around that everything feels different.
  47. May 16, 2019
    A worthy entry in the Total War franchise, Three Kingdoms gets a lot more right than it does wrong.
  48. May 16, 2019
    With an ever increasing amount of games getting console releases, the PC gamer can typically only point to having the best version of a title. Total War has always been a hold out and is one of the few AAA quality PC exclusive series left. While Total War veterans might be justified for feeling a bit of fatigue with the battle system, there’s still plenty fresh in Total War: Three Kingdoms to enjoy. This is a game that brings an amount of depth that would be frightening if there wasn’t also systems in place to help guide a new player. It’s dripping with a beautiful style that evokes the era while still feeling modern. Indeed, the release of Three Kingdoms is an event. Just be prepared to lose track of time building that better China. Plus, it’s a bargain. After all, it’s three kingdoms for the price of one.
  49. May 16, 2019
    Cold, hard battle strategy meets the warmth of human interaction and politics to create an engaging and addictive experience.
  50. May 16, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms is a wonderfully torrid period epic that understands the greatest stories are written about people, not empires.
  51. May 16, 2019
    Three Kingdoms feels like a breath of fresh air. By harkening back to the intricacies of older titles and builds on some of the foundations laid by Thrones of Britannia, it offers a distinctly contemporary and thorough experience. This is the most ambitious that Total War has ever been, from the variety of different ways that you can enjoy the game to the sheer scope of the stories that they've weaved around each unique character's playable experience.
  52. Jun 28, 2019
    It’s evolution, not revolution. By building upon a mass of ideas accumulated since Rome 2, Total War: Three Kingdoms creates the most compelling strategic mode in years. All that’s left to do now is fix battles…
  53. May 16, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms maybe has the best campaign ever seen in the series, but it misses the point with the tactical phase.
  54. May 16, 2019
    Not the best Total War game but not the worst by a long shot.
  55. Total War: Three Kingdoms is a definitely a Total War game. It has all the diplomacy, blood and intrigue inside. The game is a hard one if you are just getting into series, but a good step forward for fans.
  56. May 23, 2019
    Three Kingdoms is one of the very best Total War game, but it's aimed at the seasoned player, as we can find pretty much every gameplay system from the series in it, which could be a little overwhelming for newcomers.
  57. May 22, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms is a game full of ideas, with the desire to change and break with tradition, but not always making sensible choices.
  58. 70
    The Total War series finally takes on land wars in Asia with this latest installment, bringing its signature RTS/TBS hybrid gameplay to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Series veterans will find a lot to love about this new iteration, and fans of the source material will find this a great jumping on point.
  59. May 31, 2019
    If you’re willing to put in the time, you’ll find a complex experience that’s satisfyingly tough to get a grasp on and equally hard to put down.
  60. May 22, 2019
    Total War: Three Kingdoms is not the best episode of the saga but the treatment of the historical period of the Three Kingdoms is extremely well handled by The Creative Assembly team. It is unfortunate that the technical part (the graphics engine) is pouring out the content. It's time to change it.
  61. May 16, 2019
    For Total War fans, there’s lots here to enjoy. It’s the best historical Total War game since Shogun 2, and one of the finest this series has seen thus far. However, for those drawn in by the bombast and spectacle of Total War: Warhammer, this game can feel flat by comparison. Beautifully presented, this is a treat for history fans, but it might leave other players slightly cold. A step back for a franchise that felt on the edge of mainstream success, but series veterans will feel right at home.
  62. May 16, 2019
    You have a lot to do, a lot to learn and a lot to forgive. Especially since the battles might be impressive, but haven’t progressed for years.
  63. May 16, 2019
    Changes on the battlefield don't make for a Total War experience to match historical and Warhammer entrants, but there's still a deeply involving strategic layer in Three Kingdoms that sits well with its licence.
  64. May 16, 2019
    Three Kingdoms is another solid instalment in the Total War franchise, but lacks a certain wow factor. Creative Assembly has made some clever refinements around the edges of that enduringly addictive strategic core, allowing fans to steep themselves in yet another historic saga. However, there’s a chance that some won’t gel with this new setting or the way Guanzhong’s epic has been adapted. It’s another fun and rewarding take on the series, though we’d struggle to call it a must-buy.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. May 16, 2019
    Ambitious and sometimes overwhelming, Three Kingdoms does a great job of capturing the complexity of China's vivid past. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  2. May 31, 2019
    For those new or interested in the series, this is absolutely the best place to start, as it’ll ease you in and communicate its complexities better than any other Total War. And if you’re experienced, you’ll just love how this is a smoother, smarter ride. Three Kingdoms isn’t a perfect Total War game, but it’s the closest the series has come in a long time.
  3. May 31, 2019
    A strategy masterpiece. Historical simulation has never been better. [Polygon Recommends]
  4. Three Kingdoms is an absolutely massive game, but it has a very clear thematic focus on the Three Kingdoms period – specifically the Romance of the Three Kingdoms – and a very clear mechanical focus on individual heroes. [RPS Bestest Bests]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 294 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 294
  1. May 23, 2019
    After a few hours play I am already getting a sense of how deep this game is. Running flawlessly as well, performance is a marked improvementAfter a few hours play I am already getting a sense of how deep this game is. Running flawlessly as well, performance is a marked improvement over previous games. Full Review »
  2. May 23, 2019
    Amazing game, definitely my favorite Total War! The epic setting, the character focus and most engaging campaign gameplay to date -highlyAmazing game, definitely my favorite Total War! The epic setting, the character focus and most engaging campaign gameplay to date -highly recommend it! Full Review »
  3. May 23, 2019
    Praised be CA for listening to the community.
    This game does not only have the most deep and complex dillomatic system ever in a total war
    Praised be CA for listening to the community.
    This game does not only have the most deep and complex dillomatic system ever in a total war game, with a capable AI that does work, but also looks beautiful as hell, with changes to the graphic engine that make this one of the most amazing pieces of art of gaming map design.
    Cities look amazing, battles feel more reponsive than ever, characters feel alive and, most importantly, stuttering is gone and the game runs better than any other total war game.
    This is without a doubt the best total war title by far, so even if you do not like the tine setting give it a chance if you like total war.
    Full Review »