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UK Charts: FIFA hangs on at the top

FIFA 2004 fought off a posse of new releases this week to maintain its headlock on the nation's top slot, making it three straight weeks at number one for EA and extending FIFA's lead over Pro Evolution Soccer 3.

FIFA 2004 fought off a posse of new releases this week to maintain its headlock on the nation's top slot, making it three straight weeks at number one for EA and extending FIFA's lead over Pro Evolution Soccer 3.

THQ's fifth SmackDown! Title, Here Comes The Pain, was the highest new entry at number two, while Activision had a good week with its two main releases charting well in the Full Price chart - True Crime at number three, and Call Of Duty at number nine - and all the more creditable for being new franchises, even if they do follow in the footsteps of Grand Theft Auto and Medal of Honor respectively.

Affiliate label LucasArts fared less well with its two Star Wars releases, with the GameCube exclusive Rebel Strike only managing a debut at number 13 despite topping the Cube chart, and the PC MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided charting at number 38.

Ubisoft's big Xbox hope Rainbow Six 3, meanwhile, entered at No.14 on the Full Price listings (ranking at number three in the Xbox chart), while EA's Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup managed a relatively lowly debut at number 17. Although the game isn't supported by the launch of a movie or book this Christmas, we'd expect it to be high on a lot of parents' shopping lists as we get closed to he holiday season, and it's likely to be a climber in the charts.

It was a big week for Xbox releases, and aside from those already mentioned, Microsoft's out-of-season tennis title Top Spin made it to number 25 - a slightly disappointing start for a title which has been oft-compared to the seminal Virtua Tennis, a title which gave the Dreamcast a rare number one when it was launched in the UK. Meanwhile Capcom's Xbox-exclusive Dino Crisis 3 just scraped into the Xbox chart at number 20, no doubt not helped by a critical panning from many reviewers - although interestingly, this is the only Xbox title to have managed a top ten chart position in Japan in the past six months or so.

Of the recent big new releases, Simpsons: Hit And Run climbed to number four, SSX 3 dropped to number five, Pro Evolution 3 slid to number seven (a superb showing this year, but still nowhere near enough to displace FIFA 2004 from the top spot), Worms 3D inched up to number 15, F-Zero GX plummeted to number 24, Jak II went down to number 28 (a pretty disappointing performance for the highly anticipated platformer), Max Payne 2 slid dramatically by 20 places to number 29, while Buffy: Chaos Bleeds similarly crashed to number 36.

This week's Missing In Action awards go to: Codemasters' Pop Idol, Eidos' Backyard Wrestling (the PS2 version of which was held back until next week), Acclaim's NBA Jam, EA's NBA Live 2004, Nintendo/Kemco's GBA title TG Rally, and a host of obscurities and unmentionables.

This week sees another slew of big new releases, notably the awesome Mario Kart: Double Dash!, LOTR: Return Of The King, Pokemon Pinball, Amped 2, Terminator 3, Beyond Good And Evil and Broken Sword: Sleeping Dragon, slippage permitting.

Additional reporting by Rob Fahey

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Kristan Reed avatar

Kristan Reed

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Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.