X-COM: Apocalypse is certainly the best XCOM game to start with if you are new to the franchise. Earlier XCOMs are doubly confusing, (though Apocalypse is still just as strange to a new player), but this entry eases that pain. With less aliens to deal with, a concentrated area to defend, and an interesting array of human enemies to fight, there are many pluses as to why Apocalypse is a great title. This is why I enjoyed it so damn much.
-Internal intrigue amongst the human factions in the city are so, so fun. Building relationships with arms dealers, police, service providers and infastructure moguls makes for a very different play through every single time. Really cracking down on the alien cult? Well their weapon providers won't like you much. Blowing up a Diablo gang block? The police may just pat you on the back. Having an organization supporting you makes things easier, but not much
-Premade alien portals made stationing your defense just a little bit easier. Granted, further on the game your Hovercars are going to be taking a big alien ♥♥♥♥, so its a little stressful. You never truly know whats going to happen with alien assaults, and that does get a little bit annoying. I was taking out a UFO incursion, and a stray missile of mine took up an entire block. Needless to say, I had to deal with enemy Hovercars and UFOs (though it was humerous when a UFO destroyed the enemy fleet!).
-Actual alien incursions are fun, challenging, and very thrilling. Searching for your opponents in giant Hab blocks, shopping malls, and warehouses makes for an exciting chase, and once you get down to the firefight, a brutal battle ensues. What makes XCOM: Apocalypse so unique is its combination of face-paced turns, and really amazing physics (especially for the time). Other similiar titles, like Jagged Alliance 2 and Fallout, don't have gigantic, map changing explosions, massive destruction, and just so much death. Its also very balanced. Like the former two references, you can't take on a huge alien incursion with just 4 guys unless you really plan your ♥♥♥♥ out, while in JA2, if you have 4 high level Mercs, you can take out entire bases. Expect a challenge!
-Tech development and organization managment is really fun. Equipining and specializing your operatives makes for some fun team ups. I personally never tried PSI, but I do love putting heavy weapons on my androids. Nothing says 'burnt as ♥♥♥♥ alien' then an Android firing incendiary with his Megapol Autocannon! Different armours, jump packs, stun guns, and other fun items leaves for interesting tactical situations. You can take aliens alive to study, capture alien weapons, or just Duke Nukem everything not human. Vehicles are varied, with all sorts of different armaments, and can be equiped for many different roles. I like to have a hovercar with heavy anti-structure weaponry, just to give a big 'Screw you' to any cults that may try to attack my base.
In closing, XCOM is a great strategy game for a moderately experienced player who enjoys turn based games. It is challenging, but rewarding, and the memories I've had with this game are truly remarkable. A must buy for any fan of JA2, the Fallouts, or even more conventional RTS fans looking to branch out.