UK Charts: NFSU2 continues record stint at No.1

More success for EA's street racer as market continues to decline through quiet January.

Electronic Arts' racing title Need for Speed Underground 2 has racked up a ninth week at number one in the UK software charts, making it the only game in the past five years to hold the top spot for over two months.

The last game to take more than eight weeks in the top spot was Eidos' Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, which stayed at number one for nine weeks at the end of 2000 - a record which NFSU2 is likely to smash next week, with no major new releases on the schedule to disrupt its stint at the top.

Despite the game's success, sales of the title were actually down by 22 per cent this week, the largest drop of any title in the top 20 ranking, with the market as a whole continuing to drop value through the quiet January weeks.

The top three were all non-movers, with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas holding firm at number two and Vivendi's now heavily-discounted The Simpsons: Hit and Run at number three, while the top ten mostly sees last week's titles jostling for position - with the exception of Sonic Heroes, which climbs two places to re-enter the top ten at number nine.

As is to be expected at this time of year, there are no new releases in the ranking this week - not least because there were precisely zero new games launched in the UK last Friday. Activision's critically acclaimed Rome: Total War does re-enter the ranking, however, with the biggest sales boost of any title (up 31 per cent) driving it up to number 25.

This week sees EA's NFL Street 2 appearing in the UK - although it's not likely to have much impact on the charts, given the relative unpopularity of US sports in this part of the world.

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Rob Fahey

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