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 launch a week ahead of EA's franchise update and had one of the biggest opening weeks ever recorded in the UK. Regardless, FIFA is outselling PES3 even in terms of PS2 sales alone; however, this year's soccer game battle is closer than ever before.
The Full Price top ten ranking is brimming with new titles this week, as the Hallow'een break saw plenty of key new releases roll out - including two major arrivals from EA in the form of SSX 3, which debuts at number three, and The Sims: Makin' Magic, which arrives at number six.
Fox Interactive (published by Vivendi here) rolls out its Simpsons-themed GTA clone, The Simpsons: Hit & Run, at number seven 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 number eight.
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 number 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.
The only other new entries in the Full Price top 40 were Namco's lightgun title, Time Crisis 3, which popped up at number 22, and the double pack of Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City, which appeared at number 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 number 19, was the GBA's highest selling exclusive.
Update #1: Altered FIFA/PES sales information.