This is the best strategy game I've ever played. I'm eager for the next version V to be released this year....

User Rating: 9.2 | Space Empires IV Gold PC
I's not fancy, it has not astoinishing graphics (it's 2D) but it has an awsome replayability, it has the most comprehensive tech tree, you can customize almost every aspect of the game (i.e.: size of galaxy, type of galaxy, tech allowed, number of other races from 2 to 20, with or without warp points, etc. etc. etc) there are so many mods that you can simply keep playing for years (like me), you can customize your starships (and test your design in a simulated battles, which is amazingly fun,), have random events, even you can change the galaxy itself (opening/closing warp points, destroying or creating stars/black holes/nebulaes, creating planets, etc), you can make "intelligence" on the other races. (To steal plans, technology, even, if you are strong enough, you can "convert" planets and ships to your empire, sounds fun eh?, trust me, it is...)

Keep in mind this is a 4X game, lot of micro-management, you have to move every ships and fleets, decide what to build in each planet, which tech develop,etc. (there is a "governor" but is somewhat difficult to set).

For me it has two wakness : diplomacy/interaction with other races, is very limited (compared with Galactic Civilizations). The AI is a little dumb, even in the thoughtest level (it keeps sending ships and fleets to my well protected systems where I have ships with the ability to capture its ships)

Other plus : it is turn based, so you can play it at your own pace. The interface is quite simple, but could be difficult at the very beginning (so many icons!)

You can find mods that emule the entire Star Trek universe (want to fell the sensation of command a Borg armada against Federation?), Galactica (with emphasis in fighters instead in capital ships), etc.

As far as I have read, the new version is fully 3D, a la StarWars empire at war, and the AI will be much more challenging, whit lot of improvements....

Had you experienced the "Wait darling, just another turn!!" sindrome???