Played Civ 5 for 240 hours now, and played the series from 1991. Despite some bugs, and a few issues here and there, I must say this is clearly the best vanilla CIV ever. I remember the days I played Civ 1 and Civ 2, and yes, no game will ever give the same magical feeling I felt those days. But I remember what visions I had for Civ. I played a game called Panzer General those days too, and I got the thought; how awesome wouldn't it be to implement this battle system for the Civ-series, and now, 15 years later my dream has become reality. I remember when Civ 3 came out, and how I realy liked bombardment from units being introduced, and how disapointed I was about the suicidal catapults in Civ 4, but all in all I loved both games. Civ 4 vanilla had a lot of interesting new features as well, but I felt it missed alot I liked about Civ 3. After 2 expansions of Civ4, bombardment was the only thing I missed from Civ3.... Now Civ 5. So many great solutions on many of the "problems" the civ-series have had. No more superstacks of doom, no more instantly raized cities, no more overpowered tech trading (abusing the AI or destroying multiplayer), no more abuse of knowing the mathematics of AI relations. We also have the most interesting concept of culture to date, the greatest game mechanic for golden ages, city states are introduced with intresting impacts on gameplay, the terrain is finally decisive in warfare, swamps are back, the maps looks stunning, the auto generated maps make more interesting maps then ever before and more realistic maps at the same time. I also have my complaints, but they are on some small details here and there. Some of them unbalances the game too, in my opinion, but damn, this is things that can be easely improved. Even the terrible multiplayer lobby can be improved, and some other mp issues we have. I will not mention my concerns here. My point is that too many people in these threads seems so focused on all the small negative things that they forget to see the big picture. This game is really awesome, and a true incarnation of the previous games. Firaxis has moved in the right direction with alot of things here, they have not dumbed the game down. The patches and expansions will without any doubts make this the king of all Civilization games. I'm a believer, and to Shafer; you are a genious!