Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution is so magnificent and addictive, people might get lost in it for months. You can portray any of many historical figures: Gandhi, Elizabeth I, Lincoln, Caesar, Napoleon. Then, you control that leader's country from the Stone Age to the Space Age. You juggle your nation's resources in order to build armies, construct temples, universities and other structures, and fortify your cities.
At first, you merely send warriors into other territories to wage war and sign treaties. Later you build tanks, planes and nuclear weapons. The winner is whoever takes over the world and/or builds the United Nations first.
This is a great game for students of history. You can play as a Russian pushing democracy, then start over as an American pushing communism. And you can see how things that seem destined to us now - holocausts, the Manhattan Project and the Magna Carta - could easily have evolved differently.