THE pinnacle of Total War "genre". It is by far the most well-done and entertaining game in the whole series, with nothing that came after it coming even close to its glory.
While of course it has its cons, such as lack of multi-core support, on recent rigs it handles battles up to ten thousand men with no problem.
However, what is the best about this title, is the modding community. You will find mods for everything, even vaguely medieval related: Call of Warhammer (Warhammer Fantasy), Third Age Total War (Lord of the Rings), Stainless Steel (Medieval Europe, basically M2TW how it should've been), Westeros Total War (Game of Thrones) and many others.
If you are a medieval warfare fan, this is a must-buy.
But, as I want to be fair to everyone who might be willing to buy this game, let me list the greatest cons game has:
- Without mods, it's "just" good.
- Steam Version contains a bugged, idiotic "launcher", that makes launching mods difficult
- AI is not the brightest at times
- Steam overlay tends to crash battles
- City battles are seriously lacklustre ( they are made enjoyable only recently in Rome 2 Total War )
- Crossbowmen will not fire from walls
- Without mods, there are a few quirks the game has (cavalry charge lacking "mass", AI stupider than it has to be, etc)
OVERALL, in my humble opinion, this is _THE_ grand strategy/battle game of choice. Don't be fooled by my hour count on steam, I have owned the game since its launch, and have clocked over two thousand hours in this... which, I think, shows just how good the game is.