Let's be honest, much as we all admire Tiger Woods - and I defy anyone not to have sniffled when he won the Open this year after his dad died - it does get boring that he's so consistently good. The same thing applies to the game of his name. It has been the peerless golf sim for some five years and, as with the real Tiger, it's easy to take the sublime execution for granted.
It's got an instinctive control in its reliable mouse-swing, gives just the right amount of feedback on course conditions to let you make decisions but still leave something to chance, it looks good and has a great career mode. The trouble is, it's had all of these features for years now and, aside from the odd new course (like The K Club), if you've any Tiger from 2003 onwards there's no real reason to buy this one. And if you haven't, well, the others are cheaper now.
This rather unprofitable fact must be patently clear to EA Sports too, and explains the frankly weird selection of novelty modes they've bolted on over the years. Among the more embarrassing: arcane challenges set on surreal golf courses, and Tiger travelling back in time to take on great players of the past. Tiger 07's effort is the Team Tour and sees you recruit a band of players to take on similar cadres around the world. A wearingly pointless piece of lily-gilding.
This being an EA Sports title, some outstanding issues still haven't been addressed. The awkward camera positions whenever you're close to a tree or bush. The superhuman recovery shots that even the most muppety of AI opponents can make from the worst of bunkers. The need to have one hand on the Esc key to skip needless animation. It all irks, but not too much.
Be assured that this is a top sports sim, a soothing, uplifting, almost metholated experience. But while Tiger 07 is as good as ever, it's also the same as ever, making it hard to recommend, despite its manifold pleasures.
Still number one, but where did that get Top of the Pops?