Medieval: Total War is one of the series of grand strategy games that are the mixture of classic map games and the 3D graphics engine during the battles. This strategic war game simulates the political and military balance in medieval Europe, but also gives the chance to lead the troops in the battles that will decide the future of a land or whole continent.
We can choose which nation we want to lead - there are plenty to choose from, also we can choose the era in which we will be playing. That choice makes a lot difference - you can choose strong nation (like German or French) and conquer the land or small nation (like Danes or Poles) and fight your way to survival. The era is also important - with time the technology has improved with times and the balance of power have changed.
The aim of the game is rather obvious - to be the biggest power on the continent, which is as hard in medieval times as it was ever before and after. Most of the nations have special fighting units (f.e. Lithuanians their famous light cavalry, Germans their heavy infantry or Danes their Viking warriors) and while approaching them you have to consider ways to overpower them. Of course the archers play important part in most of the battles killing the enemy warriors from far range and destroying their morale. Cavalry is always the best in charging and flanking the enemy, infantry is best in the defence. But battlefield is not the only way to defeat enemy - sometimes you will have to siege their villages, cities or castles and try to starve them to death or charge their gates.
The military side of the nation is very important - you need strong garrisons to keep enemy from attacking or locals from revolting. But the fighting units are expensive and that is where the economy comes in - beside defending your land you need to improve the nation technology level and the economy, so people would pay more taxes and thus you had more money to spend on the army. There is also third option, diplomacy, but just like in real medieval times its role is rather marginal.
The game is well balanced between economy and the military sides of ruling the medieval nation. There are enough options available to keep players busy for a long time - conquering the whole continent is a huge venture that requires a lot of skill and a lot of patience. And not forget the storms that will eventually approach from the east - Genghis Khan and the Golden Horde.