2Civilization V: Brave New World
The big daddy of 4X games, Civilization V has you control an empire right from its conception through to the modern day. Any Civilization game is a must-play for any strategy game enthusiast — the series is one of the best games to really highlight the scale that you can explore within a 4X game — but I’ve chosen V over the latest release as I feel its two DLC packs, especially Brave New World, refine the game to be much more balanced and fun to play.
You go from researching pottery to stockpiling nukes in your quest to be the best civilisation there ever was. You can legitimately play to any number of different strategies — will you opt for a military campaign, or will you peacefully turn your direction towards the arts and culture?