I played Civilization for most of my life.
Let me take you people on a time travel adventure of it's own. Most of the things I say about dates I have to google. I played civilization 1 on my Atari after it came out. I will admit, we didn't have the original. The code for the game plopped in after a few turns and asked you how techs were related. So if you were good enough at the game you didn't actually need the booklet with the codes.
I was eleven mind you so I had not really any idea what was going on but I liked it. It was the basis for my later developing taste for strategy games.
Along came Civilization 2 in 1996. This game I actually bought and it was great. Being in school and having friends we played together (well against) each other on LAN parties. A lan party, for the younger ones of you, is where you take your PC to. Not laptop, PC. And your monitor. The big, heavy tube monitor of your Pc. It was great fun, but civ games usually took far too long so I played it usually only with my best friend. Civ 2 looked much better than the first game though.
Now I really have to include Call to Power into this. In 1999 Call to Power 1 hit the shelves and it was, in my humble opinion, far superior to Civilization 2 and even 3. For starters you could settle the oceans floors and space. You had future technology and asymetric warfare. Eco terrorists, slavers and a lot of other stuff you could possibly want as well as a lot more and cooler government forms. And the possibilities you had with your government were much nicer. And the combat was much better. There were no doomstacks but you had two line fights.
Civilization 3 came out it 2001 and later in it's development got some really cool mods. It's the first game I ever got mods for as far as I remember. One I found particulary interesting: You got up to 32 government forms, it introduced a lot more units and so on and so forth.
And in 2005 finally Civilization 4. I still prefer Call to Power 2 over Civ 4 even though CtP2 didn't introduce a whole lot of stuff. For me Civilization 4 was a bit of a disappointment. Sure the religions were nice but otherwise I got tired of squares. I played a lot of Panzer General earlier and hexes made just more sense but thankfully Civ adopted hexes at some point.
One very important thing about Civ 4 though: If you never played the Fall from Heaven II mod for it you haven't lived. Mods like this make games great.
Away with the doom stacks and squares, long live the hexes. In 2010 it came. Civ V. Well obviously it looks great, the series always improved on its looks but it also felt right. There are a lot of people disliking the decision to go for hex fields but it should have been hexes to begin with. I am a passionate Battletech fan and hexes are hexes are hexes. Hexes are more logical, easier and plain better. Ok, enough of this.
Civilization VI I bought of course as well. I am still overwhelmed. It's still improving so much. Sure, it's no grand strategy game, it's still a bit to shallow for my personal liking but I can watch a good series and play Civ on the other screen and have fun. It's great to play with friends or just click a bit around in it while you talk on Teamspeak or something similar. In hindsight, aber 26 year of Civilization it's still dear to me but other games has pushed it out of the core gaming experience of mine.
And nobody ever can take the moment away as a friend of mine declared war on another friend. We nuked his american cities with our indian and middle eastern bombs and spies and he tried fighting back, furiously and landed his nuke on an air strip in India.