1. Civilisation (1991)
A game played across oceans of time. You begin with a handful of men in the year 4000BC, and gradually steer their development into towns and cities, creating industries, fostering a society that learns and fights and struggles and blooms right up to the space age. Majestic in scope and compulsive in nature, the Civilisation series has accounted for more time spent alone in front of a screen, slowly munching crisps and swigging from a warm 1.5L bottle of fizzy drink than any other. We know of at least two people whose friends have staged an intervention with Civilisation players, destroying the discs and telling them just go outside, into the real world, just for a bit. If you're a proper gamer, that kind of advice just means you're doing it right.