Civilization IV was released this week.
Most of my Civ experience is in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and Civ III. I'd flip from one to the other, liking parts of both. What I really wanted was a game that had it all -- civ3's culture mechanics and sense of sweeping history, and SMAC's customizable governance and prettier graphics.
Civ IV delivers, and more.
The new gameplay mechanics are enough to make it more than just a graphics update to civ III, which is really nice. And the gameplay's as addictive as ever. If you're a fan of the genre, it's a good buy.