I have over 700 hours on this game, 30 within the last week. You can probably see where this review is going.
GAMEPLAY: It is possibly the second best part of the game, the gameplay. It can make or break the game, and it has definitely made this game. The game is easy to play but extremely difficult to master, even people poor at the game's mechanics can have fun (as did I in my early days). The simplest I can put the game is, as a Medieval Combat Simulator, but it is so much more than that. With options to become a King (or Queen) and partake in the politics, alternatively become a vassal under one of the existing Lords. You can become a trader, vying to create a trade-empire or a brigand who preys on the poor farmers and villages.
The gameplay is, simply put, possibly the best out of any game out there. There is so much you can do, and even more.... The game is created to be easily modded, there are dozens of era-changing mods out there, let alone even more minor or current-era-altering mods. Most of them are relatively stable, even if they are made on old versions of the game. There is simply put, no end to the game.
GRAPHICS: Not a high-point, but they are not bad when set on the highest options. I myself don't play on the highest options, as all the dust and shadows (and the trees, ugh the trees...) can make me lag terribly in large battles. Especially against horse-archer nomads who gather up a lot of dust. If you're not a graphics ♥♥♥♥♥ this shouldn't bother you.
COMMUNITY: Surprised that gameplay wasn't the best? It's not, the community is the best part of the game. Well, it is the best and the worst part of the game. Just hang out with some mates and have a good time, maybe even join a group of like-minded players, or make your own. If you want a serious group, for competitions and such, those exist too. But they are usually in-group competitions. Like the time I won DOTA 2, and I didn't know it was free... -.- Won't deny the tournament with friends and the absolute chaos of randomness that followed afterwards was worth it.
EXPANSION: I also own Napoleonic Wars, the expansion for Mount & Blade: Warband. I too, also have had many hours on this and definitely recommend it. It is multiplayer only, but there is so much to do even there. There are also several amazing mods requiring this expansion.
11/10 would buy again.
Posted: November 25th, 2013