I’m not usually that much of a gamer. Apart from a brief stint playing World of Warcraft, which, incidentally wasn’t really for me, I generally don’t have (or make) the time to play lots of games.
That wasn’t always the case. Back when I was at school, I used to be a lot more of a gamer than I am now, and one of the games that I grew up playing was the Civilization series.
I wasn’t ever particularly skilled at it – mostly sticking to the lower difficutly levels and playing it more for fun than seriously, but I enjoyed playing the turn-based strategy game.
I lost interest in it, but recently went out and purchased Civilization IV thanks to a random urge to come back to the series (playing it on my games-only Windows installation which dual boots with Kubuntu on my desktop PC).
I’m really enjoying it. Again, I am nowhere near skilled, but Civ IV seems to get it right and go back to the series’ roots while introducing new elements, in a way which for me wasn’t done so well in III.
If, like me, you used to play the Civs, but sort of grew away from it, I would definitely recommend giving Civ IV a try (there’s a 100-turn playable demo for the Windows platform).
If you haven’t played the series before, you could very well enjoy it, but beware there is somewhat of a learning curve to get into the mindset of the Civ player. The lowest difficulty levels are a lot easier than in III, though, so I’d imagine it would be much less challenging to pick up and play than it used to be.