There are very few games that make me think of the word "perfect" but Shogun 2 Total War really is in my mind the perfect total war series game, and in many ways the best RTS game I have ever played. Shogun two perfectly captures the struggles of building your own empire and being a funeral lord in medieval Japan.
If if you have never played a total war game before, gameplay is broken down into two different parts: Turn-based Empire management, and real-time battles both of which are fun and intuitive. During the turn-based portion you do simple things like managing your clans taxes, building infrastructure, managing religion and diplomacy with other clans, all of which is really rewarding and keeps you coming back time and time again.
The combat in Shogun two is also greatly improved, the AI seems to be relatively competent which has always been a major issue in most of the total war series titles, and the different unit types though all very similar are very well-balanced, and all have their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as useful roles and abilities to help you achieve victory against your opponent. Watching thousands of samurai clash one huge bloodthirsty massive battle on your computer screen, looks beautifully stunning, and is immensely rewarding. The units have a "rock paper scissors" set up (Sword>Spear<Calvary>Archers) in terms of strengths and weaknesses, which simplifies combat in a good way, but still allows for deep strategy. Building the perfect unit composition for your army will become an unachievable goal that you are constantly striving to accomplish. Every victory will inspire you to achieve greater conquests, and every loss will have you clutching your keyboard in disappointment.
Even the even the audio presentation is is spot on with music perfectly placed adding to the experience rather than taking from it. The clash of thousands of swords and spears and galloping horses is also perfectly captured and all your units speak in proper Japanese Which has jet yet another layer of immersion further throwing you back in history into Feudal Japan.
After logging over 1400 hours of gameplay I can safely say that I'll be logging many more. If you're curious about the total war series look no further than Shogun two, it's simple yet sophisticated, and by far the best total war game ever made by Creative Assembly. My advice to you is stay away from this title if you cannot afford to spend countless nights deprived of sleep obsessing over taking that next couple of turns. Shogun 2 is Cocaine.