Focusing on the time periods after the invention of gunpowder. It will deliver 12 unique and challenging scenarios created by the development team at Firaxis as well as some esteemed members of the Civ Community. Civ IV: Beyond the Sword will also include ten new civilizations, sixteen new leaders, five new wonders, and a variety of new units that will offer even more fun and exciting ways for players to expand their civilization's power as they strive for world domination.
Civilization IV is the pinnacle in turn-based empire building games. Its predecessor (Civ III) had many problems - particularly the corruption mechanics and urban sprawl. However Civ IV has improved all of these issues, added heaps on new features and mechanics, streamlined all of the tedious tasks, and has great new music and graphics.
Civ V (its successor) would actually take many steps backwards, a buggy release with non-working multiplayer, less civilizations, and honestly less of all the things that made Civ IV a gaming masterpiece. Civilization IV is still the top of the civilization series - don't let anyone fool you.
The king of strategy, without a doubt. More civs, new scenarios, all built on the best refined of the strategy engines out there. A game I played for years with much enjoyment, and continue to play with the new life that the fan mods added.
I always knew I enjoyed Civ IV, but its supremacy finally hit home when I started playing the open beta of Fallen Enchantress. Comparing it to the debacle that was Elemental: War of Magic, I realized that most of the improvements to the game had one thing in common: they made the game more like Civ IV. And guess what I was playing while waiting for Fallen Enchantress? The Fall from Heaven II mod, of course.
With Civ V, the existence of two mods tell the story. The Powers That Be is a Civ IV mod intended to incorporate the best of V (unique civilization powers) while staying uniquely IV. Meanwhile, Civilization NiGHTS is considered one of the best mods of Civ V G&K, again, because they made it more like IV. Frankly, the successor, in trying to be different from its predecessor, failed to reach the same heights.