In this article, I want to answer the question of whether you need to play the first two Total War: WARHAMMER games before WARHAMMER 3, or you can simply jump into the latest edition of the series right away.
So, if you’re unsure which Total War: WARHAMMER game you should start with, let’s begin.
First of all, let’s address the most common misconception about the game.
Since there are three titles in the series and each one of them has a consecutive number, it’s reasonable to think that Total War: WARHAMMER 3 is the next part of a big overarching story.
This isn’t true.
Although Total War: WARHAMMER has its own lore and each race has a deep background, this isn’t a game that focuses on the story. It’s more about managing your kingdom and fighting in large-scale battles with the end-goal of conquering the world.
Therefore, you can endlessly play this game over and over again and it will never be the same.
And when it comes to the lore, you can learn about it separately even without playing the game.
So, if you think of Total War: WARHAMMER in the same way as about The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and fear that by starting with Total War: WARHAMMER 3, you will skip two-thirds of the story, don’t bother, you won’t miss out on anything.
The only difference between these three games content-wise is that each one of them allows to play entirely different races; thus, if you want to play a specific race that’s available in another game, you must buy it.
However, after you buy a game with your favorite race, you don’t have to play or even install it because after the purchase, races unlock everywhere, and it’s a much better idea to play them in a more polished game with better graphics and better in-game mechanics - Total War: WARHAMMER 3.
Just make sure you have all games on the same account on Steam or another platform where you can purchase the game.
Notice that if you buy the game one, its races will become available in the game two and three, and if you buy the game two, its races will be unlocked only in the third game; don’t expect the new races from the second and the third installments to appear in the previous games.
All things considered, you don’t need to play Total War: WARHAMMER 1 and 2 before 3, and you can simply skip to the third one without fear of missing out on anything important. BUT… Another big question is whether you need to buy all games of the Total War: WARHAMMER series to fully enjoy it.
In my opinion, the answer is yes.
And aside from the races, there is a much bigger reason for this.
Having all Total War: WARHAMMER games unlocks a campaign in WARHAMMER 3, which is a combination of all games in the series into a single massive map with every race and faction from three games.
However, don’t hurry to buy them at once.
Considering the fact that you’re wondering whether you should play Total War: WARHAMMER 1 and 2 before 3, I assume that you’re new to the game, and you are still not sure if you like it or not.
Therefore, I recommend starting with Total War: WARHAMMER 3, playing it for a while, and purchasing the other two titles only after you understand that this is your game.
Another advice I want to give you is to not buy the first two games at the full price.
It will cost you $180 in total.
And for me, a person who buys games only on sales or on websites that sell cheap Steam keys, it’s an insane amount of money.
It would be more thoughtful to wait for the next sale (considering that the last one ended only two weeks ago, it’s not going to be anytime soon, but it’s totally worth it) or, if you’re not patient, buy them from Steam key resellers that sell each game for $10-15. I’ll leave some links below.
Total War: WARHAMMER 1:
Total War: WARHAMMER 2:
Total War: WARHAMMER 3:
All in all, Total War: WARHAMMER is one of the best strategy games ever made, and in my opinion, if you’re looking for the game of that genre, this is supposed to be the first thing you should try, especially if you like fantasy.
So, feel free to begin with Total War: WARHAMMER 3, and then, buy other titles to expand the latest game and get access to all three Total War: WARHAMMER games on one big map with all races and factions.
And that’s all I wanted to tell you today.
I hope this article was useful and now you know whether you should play Total War: WARHAMMER 1 and 2 before 3.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!