Finally managed to start playing Sid Meier's Civilization V, so far its excellent. Civilization V is the latest incarnation of the Civilization series. I have been playing since getting hooked on Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Complete (PC). SMAC followed Civ two coming before Civ III, and it hooked me. Phil and I used to play for hours, famously we once played until 4am and he had to work the next day (I had university I think I did make it to lectures somehow).
The graphics are greatly improved, the world map looks great. They have streamlined the whole game, removing the spying and religion features. Personally I think that this really helps make the game simpler and more fun. To get you going Advisors pop up to help make recommendations on their areas. The main thrust of the game remains the same however, starting from a lone city in 4000BC build up our Civilization into an great power.
One of the biggest improvements is the battle options. The unit counts are reduced to a more sensible one per tile, so no more stupid 20 unit stacks crushing your cities. Units cost more so it more important to keep hold of them upgrade them. Tactics now seem to be favored over swamping enemies with units.
There is one new feature, city states. These are computer controlled cities which can be interacted with in a variety of ways, befriending, trading or attacking.
The only issue that I have had so far is the games stability. I rally enjoyed Civ IV I wasnt sure how they could improve it, but they have managed to tweak the game in all sorts of wyas to make it a simpler and more fun experience while still maintaining the essence of what makes Civ uch a good series. If you like god games this is one of the best!