Reasons Total War games suck:
1. World interface is basically non-strategic.
2. Interface is sketchy to say the least.
3. User has little control over overall outcome.
4. Battle system is either dull, or out of control, even for good players.
5. Game tries so hard to be realistic it becomes not fun.
6. Nothing specifically unique about the game to attract attention.
7. Tends to appeal to the lowest common denominator with flashy fight scenes.
8. Help system is terrible.
9. Almost seems purposefully confusing at times.
10. Things like piracy and religion are terribly implemented and just annoy you.
11. No real ascension to power, simply, slow tedius struggle.
12. InCREDIBLY repetitive.
13. Auto-battle is absolutely aweful.
14. Mindless diplomacy on easier levels where you should be in a learning process.
15. No intuitive learning.
16. Almost no timing-skill involved.
17. Tries to compensate with battle formations but fails to do so.
18. Terrible learning curve, even if units are melee only.
19. Overly rewarding for saving and loading constantly.
20. Because a bunch of fanboys without two brain cells to rub together are fanatic about these games.
(Note on 20: I don't like the mindless fanboy mentality, not that everyone that likes Total War games are mindless fanboys.)
And YES, I have played other Total War games. I hated them too!