Rule the galaxy!
The original Master of Orion is a stunning bit of science fiction 4X which needs to be in any strategy fan's collection. Surprisingly enough, this sequel outdoes its predecessor and stands as one of the finest examples of the genre, making it a must play if you have any interest in this sort of thing. There's a bit of background to the game, involving a mystical planet created by the Ancients and a race to become its new master. This is where you come in, and you must take control of one of several different alien races and guide them to their rightful place at the head of the galaxy. In many ways, the essential concept of the game remains unchanged, and you must use a mix of diplomacy, military might and other such things in order to become ruler, while managing resources, exploring space and researching new technologies. A major change here is the ability to play with other humans, which really adds to the appeal, but even if you're playing solo, this is a masterpiece of a game. Although the basic concept is nothing new, it's the way that everything is integrated so beautifully that makes this work so well, even after all these years. The interface is pretty friendly for such a game, so even if you've never played one before, you shouldn't be too lost. It also has plenty of replay value, with thirteen very different races to try, as well as all the expected depth and tactical challenge, thanks to the sheer range of options and activities. When you throw in the decent visuals and sound, you're left with a true classic.