I got Civilization IV almost as an afterthough to my recent visit to Best Buy. Well, I've loved the Civilization game series since the initial version was released back in the day. I remember playing it on my old Tandy computer, which didn't even have a hard drive. I was pimping it out by having two 3.5" floppy disk drives so that I didn't have to do as much disk swapping for the bigger games (like Civilization).
My favor release is Civilization II. The producers expanded the scope of the game perfectly. I felt Civilization III was good, but it came across as not as well balanced for length and type of game play it offered. Civilization IV scales back much of what made Civilization III too looming, while at the same time offers more depth of game play.
So, I've been playing Civilization IV about every chance I get now. So far, it's my second favorite release. There's not a whole lot of waiting around for thangs to happen, so the pace is quicker, but it feels as though I'm still playing with the same level of control as the previously releases.
I very highly recommend this game! I'm a bit surprized by how much I'm enjoying it.