My 9 year old has recently taken to playing "Social Empires" using my facebook account. It's a great game, but the problem with facebook games is that after a while you need to put real money into them to unlock various things. I don't like feeling nickel-and-dimed over their various games. I'd rather just buy games that have an upfront cost and be able to play them indefinately.
"Age of Empires" seems to be what social empires takes off of, but it is rated "T" for Teen. Is is appropriate for a 9 year old? Too complex? This is a kid who is quite good at problem solving and figuring out these games, but he doesn't know when to quit when he gets frustrated or if something is too hard.
What other games do your older kids play? We have a Wii also, but my son has mostly used it for Lego games.
I've never played Age of Empires, but Pharaoh is in the same genre and it is rated for everyone. I'd definitely let my child in that age range play it. It is a pretty old game already, but it still plays well and is a lot of fun!
Pharoah looks pretty good, I hadn't heard of it. I just looked it up on amazon.com, and there seem to be several games Pharoah is associated with as well. When I was a kid, I loved Oregon Trail, but it's been a few years since they've put out a new edition and I doubt my computer will run the older games.
I was also looking at Sid Meier's Civilization (I remember playing that game a few years ago), also rated E for Everyone, but I've read a few reviews that make it sound more geared toward teens and adults due to advanced playing strategy.