The English may be a sedate people with bland food and silly accents these days, but they weren't always like that. Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Brits were too busy conquering the fucking world to care about what kind of tea they were going to have with their scones.
By the early 1900s, their massive empire encompassed a fifth of the world's population. We'd love to play as a gentlemanly but tough British conqueror steamrolling over foreign cultures simply for the sake of expansion.
On the other hand, assuming the role of an Indian or Chinese native fighting against the oppressive British rule would be educational as well. And by educational, we of course mean violent and exciting. We are still talking about games, after all.