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Mercenaries rumbles in at top

Official ELSPA Entertainment Top 20 Software Chart (all prices) - week ending 19 February

1 (NE) Mercenaries
(PS2, Xbox)
2 (1) Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
(Xbox, PC)
3 (6) The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, GBA)
4 (3) Sonic Mega Collection Plus
(PS2, Xbox)
5 (4) Need for Speed Underground 2
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, GBA)
6 (2) World of Warcraft
7 (5) Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
8 (8) The Simpsons Hit & Run
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC)
9 (7) UEFA Champions League 2004-2005
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC)
10 (10) FIFA 2005
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, GBA, PSone)
11 (9) The Incredibles
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, GBA)
12 (NE) Ace Combat Squadron Leader
13 (12) Pro Evolution Soccer 4
(PS2, Xbox, PC)
14 (13) Sonic Heroes
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC)
15 (14) Call of Duty Finest Hour
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube)
16 (11) Shadow of Rome
17 (16) The Sims 2
18 (19) Simpsons Road Rage
(PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, GBA)
19 (NE) Dead or Alive Ultimate
20 (15) Football Manager 2005

LucasArts knocks itself off the top this week with its tank-happy, war-fuelled action game Mercenaries, with Star Wars KOTOR II being shunted to second place. Meanwhile last week's record breaker, World of Warcraft, has been pushed down to sixth place.

WoW's fate can't be totally blamed on the new number one, though - The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie has risen, for the second week in a row, to three; it's those school half-terms, y'see.

With no other substantial top 10 movement to speak of, there are two new entries into the top 20: at 12, Ace Combat Squadron Leader brings some deadly aerial combat to the mix, while the number 19 slot is occupied by some lady-on-lady fighting action in the guise of Dead or Alive Ultimate.

After a good innings in the top 10, The Incredibles has fallen behind, now at 11, and the biggest top 20 drop comes from Football Manager 2005, slipping five places from 15 to 20.

Elsewhere, evidence of the half-term strikes again, as Sega Superstars enters the top 40 at 27, while new release Settlers Heritage of Kings also makes an entry and 'settles' at 39.

Although the school holiday has presented a few unpredictable chart positions, it must certainly have made publishers happy: the software market has seen its best sales week of 2005, with unit sales up 17%.

Next week will, most likely, see a brief lull, with few big games due for release. March, though, along with the wonders of spring, brings the joys of Nintendo's DS, Metal Gear Solid 3 and Gran Turismo 4.

Leisure software charts compiled by ChartTrack
(C) 2005 (UK) Ltd