Rome: Total War created the modern Creative Assembly empire. Shogun and Medieval might have come first, but very little of their designs remain except for the overall conceit of a turn-based strategic layer leading to real-time 3D battles. Rome is where Total War started to become a defining PC gaming franchise, and not just within the strategy genre, but as a showpiece for the hobby in addition to being a treat for history nerds. Its fully 3D battles and bright Technicolor treatment of the Roman Republic were breathtaking at the time, and have long made RTW a nostalgic favorite, obsolete but never replaced thanks to the lackluster reception for Rome 2.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wx584n/rome-remastered-tries-to-turn-back-the-clock-to-a-series-high-point