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Farsala said:

Romance of the Three Kingdoms IX in the Strategy genre.

When it comes to Strategy, Romance is usually nowhere in the conversation. When it comes to best ROTK games, ROTK IX is usually nowhere in the conversation.

But honestly I loved it the most. The start is always brutal and barbarians take some tuning, but otherwise pretty much perfect. There are multiple avenues to victory but it all depends on your decisions and strategical ability to overcome larger countries. There are multiple scenarios and countless goals you can choose for yourself. I wish I could play it now, but I don't have it with me anymore.

It's available on Steam if you want to play it! It's ¥3,080, which is a bit pricey given its age and it's Japanese/Chinese only without a translation patch (although you've lived in Japan long enough that it should be ok!). Koei-Tecmo went through a period a couple years back where they released a couple of old games on Steam every month. A lot of the old ROTK and Nobunaga games are on there now.

I'll have to give it a try some day. Never played 9. It didn't release in Europe unfortunately so I've not had the chance before. 8 was still our newest one while Japan and the US were on 10 already! 8 was fantastic though, and our next one was 11 which was also great!