What we said: It's a quality game, that can't be denied. Play it with a mate and it's a lot of fun. The live action clips are so bad you can't not want to watch them, and the whole experience has that addictive quality that makes you want to play it when you're not, but it's a hugely conservative effort. The co-operative campaign is a nice addition, but we've been playing RTS games with friends on the same side for years in skirmishes, so this is more evolution than revolution. This is one for the series' army of fans.
5. Spore, EA
What we said: While each individual stage may remind you of other games, we assure you that the overreaching feel and play is like nothing you've ever come across: it's weird, surprisingly thought-provoking and above all else, fun. Of the hiccups we've mentioned, only the difficulty of the Space Stage really narked us - and we hope that's something that Maxis will address via a patch of some kind. At its best, Spore is wildly innovative; it would be a crying shame if a single defect were to deprive the game of the success it so richly deserves.