Mercenaries stays in the game

Official ELSPA Entertainment Top 20 Software Chart (all prices) - week ending 26 February

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

With no movement at the top, those half-term favourites are still riding high - Sonic Mega Collection Plus has jumped two places to position two, while The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie is staying fast at three. No doubt the sudden entry of 2003's SpongeBob Revenge of the Flying Dutchman at 36 has more than a passing relationship with the success of the yellow fella's latest offering.

Meanwhile GTA San Andreas is stealthily working its way back into its long-standing top five home after last week's minor slip. Not so subtle is last week's new entry at 12, Ace Combat Squadron Leader, now flying high at eight.

New in at 15 is everyone's favourite plumber who is, as usual, doing anything but his job - if it's not karting with pals it's partying, golf or tennis, or Mario Power Tennis to be precise. Making an unexpected re-appearance is Prince of Persia Warrior Within. After dropping out of the top 20 for a couple of weeks, the princely warrior battles his way up 12 places to position 19.

Despite this Friday's release of their latest expansion pack, The Sims 2 University, the PC-dwelling Sims seem to be losing a few followers. Notably, The Sims 2 drops from 17 to 23, while The Urbz: Sims in the City and The Sims Bustin' Out drop 13 and nine places respectively, to 35 and 37.

The second of the two brand-new entries this week (the first being Mario Power Tennis) comes from EA's ever-popular Street series: NBA Street V3 enters at 34. And with the release of FIFA Street on 11 March, we're bound to see more from the series in the coming weeks.

After last week's software surge, this week sees a drop, with unit sales down by 20%. PS2 is king of the ailing empire though, hogging over 41% of the sales. Compared to this time last year, the software market as a whole is down 1.1% in units.

There are some long-awaited releases on their way to a store near you this week, namely Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater and Oddworld Stranger's Wrath, so next week's chart should see some high new entries.

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