EA's FIFA 2004 and Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 3 held on to the first and second spots respectively in the UK Full Price chart this week, while there were plenty of new entries for other key titles in the top ten.
Although FIFA has topped the charts for two weeks running, relegating PES3 into second place, Konami's critically acclaimed title did have a one-week lead over EA's franchise update and that week saw one of the largest software launches the UK has ever experienced. This year's footy game battle is harder to call than ever before.
The Full Price Top 10 ranking is brimming with new titles this week, as the Halloween break saw plenty of key new releases roll out - including two major arrivals from EA in the form of SSX 3, which debuts at No.3, and The Sims: Makin' Magic, which arrives at No.6.
Fox Interactive (published by EA here) rolls out its Simpsons-themed GTA clone, The Simpsons: Hit & Run, at No.7 this week, while one of Nintendo's big hitters for the quarter, F-Zero GX, has a strong debut but is crippled by the console's low installed base, managing a respectable but unremarkable debut at No.8.
F-Zero fared better than one of Microsoft's Xbox hopes, however, with Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge only just scraping into the full-price ranking despite a generally positive critical reception and allegedly excellent Xbox Live play.
Other games with less than spectacular debuts included Team 17's Worms 3D, which turned up at No.16 this week; however the history of this franchise suggests that it'll sell strongly for many months to come, and publisher Sega is unlikely to be concerned by its failure to make the top ten in its opening week, although its failure to make the Full Price PC Top 20 at all may raise some eyebrows.
The only other new entries in the Full Price Top 40 were Namco's light gun title, Time Crisis 3, which popped up at No.22, and the double pack of Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City, which appeared at No.27 - although it's only been released on PS2 so far, with an Xbox launch still to come.
Crimson Skies was the top ranked Xbox exclusive title, while F-Zero GX was the top-ranked GameCube exclusive. Super Mario Advance 4, at No.19, was the GBA's highest selling exclusive. Billy Hatcher, meanwhile, didn't make the All Formats Top 40 and failed to even outsell some of the Cube's oldest titles.