Tag Archives: Top 100 Games

Top 100 Games of All Time (10-1)

Top 10! Wow. A lot of things on the list so far could easily flow up-or-down 20 spots based on my feelings today. The top 10, for the most part, are solid. Especially the higher you go up the list. I own all but one of them and the only reason I don’t own it is the main place I play it has a copy…though it is on my list to buy first. On Facebook I do a semesterly “most wanted games” list to share with people which games I am most interested in acquiring at that particular time…the game I don’t own stays in the top 10 and will eventually be purchased.

The other thing about this list…My #1 will surprise no one. However, I would guess a lot of games on this part of the list may be surprises to some people as I would guess, if you asked a thousand regular tabletop games to list their 10 favorite games there are at least a few of these that would not show up on any one’s list. I could be wrong but…there are some here (and especially one) that are, to some, off the wall choices.

Before I get to the list, however…I want to update the list of new games I’ve played since I started creating the list with comments on those games.

Machi Koro Legacy – This was easily the quickest, shortest legacy game I’ve played. We played the 10 games in 3 sessions (3, 3, & 4 games) with a total playtime of five hours and 14 minutes. I’ve played Risk Legacy, Pandemic Legacy Season 1, Charterstone (twice), Seafall, and am currently in Gloomhaven and Betrayal Legacy games. While I enjoyed the people I played MK Legacy with…I would actually rank this one last as far as my ranking of legacy games.

The Shining – I got it because I’m a huge Stephen King fan but I’ll admit-I didn’t expect much. I do enjoy Prospero Hall so knew there was a chance it was good. I was pleasantly surprised. This hidden traitor game won’t take the place of the larger, bigger ones (BSG, Dead of Winter, Shadows over Camelot) but is fun, quick (30-45 minutes), and SIMPLE. This is one of the better games to teach hidden traitor games. Simple but fun.

Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons – Theme had me knowing I wanted the game. One key mechanic made me think I would enjoy it. This is a cooperative game (which I’m not a huge fan of) that doesn’t allow quarterbacking (which is my biggest problem with co-ops.) This is a cooperative programming game…however, you have limited information for discussion and get more info when it is time to program so plans get thrown out and you can’t have one person running the table. Really fun game.

How to Rob a Bank – Third straight mention of a Prospero Hall game and I played them all in the same day. This is a 1 vs all robbery game…think smaller, one floor Burgle Bros. Fun game but I’d play Burgle Bros 10/10 times between the two. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a good game (it is) or that I wouldn’t play this again (I gladly will.)

Wavelength – This is a party game that was a play-and-win for RECON donated by Meeple People Comedy. It was a party game. A lot of people love it and it is the hotness in party games right now. But I rarely choose to play a party game given the choice and this will fall in that category. It would be a good one to own for people to play if they come over…but not one I would ever suggest.

Dungeon Academy – This is a roll-and-draw (though you don’t really ROLL the dice) dungeon crawl. It was good but not one I would choose over the others I have played.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – We purchased this for a friend and finally got to play it. Was a ton of fun (and kind of made me want to try Marvel Champions. Really enjoyed this game and will gladly play more.

A game of Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons. Image from boardgamegeek.com

10. Zooloretto
Z-Man Games
Designer: Michael Schacht
Owned: Yes
Times Played: 14

Why it is on the list:  I get to build my own zoo? And try to choose what goes in said zoo? I can have monkeys and cheetahs and all the animals of my choosing? Sold. This super cute, amazingly simple game is a ton of fun. Most of the time the game is very laid back and fun but with the opportunity to have a bit of take that.

Who may like it:  Do you like the zoo? Do you like cute animals? This is definitely the game for you!

A zoo being constructed in Zooloretto. Image from boardgamegeek.com

9. Lords of Vegas
Mayfair Games
Designer: James Ernest, Mike Selinker
Owned: No. Eventually.
Time Played: 15

Why it is on the list: This game has been exciting every time I’ve played whether I lost by a lot or came close to winning. (I have actually won 3 of the plays.) There is a lot to do in this game and just like with Vegas a lot of luck needed but this game has fun area control mechanics where you can challenge the owner of certain casinos and depending on a dice roll take over…or lose it all. There is a lot of fun mechanics to this game.

Who may like it:  Do you like gambling, casinos, or simply area control? This may be the game for you. Simple to learn but a bit more complex to be good.

8. Great Western Trail
Stronghold Games
Designer: Alexander Pfister
Owned: Yes
Times Played: 6

Why it is on the list: Want to be a rootin’ tootin’ cowboy trying to be the most successful in the Old West? This is a lot in this game and now I never want to play without the expansion (though I would) this is a great game with a lot of options and a fun theme. Makes me want to try Maracaibo as well.

Who may like it:  Fans of westerns.

7. Xia: Legends of a Drift System
Far Off Games
Designer: Cody Miller
Owned: Yes
Times Played: 11

Why it is on the list: For a while I said “I’m not sure which I like more…Twilight Imperium or Xia.” The more I played, the more I realized it was Xia hands down. Not that they are the same game at all. They are both space epics where you need the most points to win…that is where the comparisons end. This is a much more variable exploration game with tons of paths to victory and different play styles that let you experiment with how you want to proceed for possible victory. Do you want to play a pick-up-and deliver game? Explore as much as possible? Do you like combat? Do you like to do different missions? This game has so many options for things you can do and ways you can play the game. It is also the game that proved a roll-and-move game can be a great game.

Who may like it:  If you like space and exploration-this is easily the game for you.

A game of Xia in progress. I was busy exploring the universe and shaping it to my liking.

6. Batman: Gotham City Chronicles
Designer: Frederic Henry
Owned: Yes
Times Played: 16

Why it is on the list: This 1-versus-all miniatures game lets you play as Batman, his ally’s or his rogues gallery in a series of missions. With support such as an upcoming create-a-mission editor and excellent mechanics based on the Conan “river” system this game is an awesome scenario based game. I enjoy being the overlord but also have fun when I’m one of the heroes and working to take the villains down. It is worth noting: most scenarios are hard for the heroes to win…especially as the overlord is typically the more experienced player.

Who may like it:  This is Batman in a box. You feel like you are the characters in Batman working on different situations as they happen in Batman. You like Batman and don’t mind some complexity? This is the game for you.

Nightwing is good in Batman: Gotham City Chronicles. REALLY good.

5. Ticket to Ride
Days of Wonder
Designer: Alan R. Moon
Owned: Yes-to US, 1910, and Europe, at least
Times Played: 24

Why it is on the list: I love this game. The 24 listed don’t include the hundreds I’ve played on my iPad or PC. This is a great game and one of the new classics and one of what I think are the two best gateway games to get into modern gaming (the other being Carcassonne.) This is a very simple game but a lot of fun and one I enjoy getting the opportunity to play.

Who may like it:  Do you like trains? Route-building? This is the game for you.

4. Scythe
Stonemaier Games
Designer: Jamey Stegmaier
Owned: Yes
Times Played: 31

Why it is on the list: This area influence game is amazing. I know at least one person (hi Chris!) that thinks this and Terraforming Mars and…well…a lot of the top ranked games in BGG are overrated but this is an awesome game. Variable Player Powers. Different options to win. A campaign. AMAZING components. BEAUTIFUL aesthetics. AWESOME mechanics. This is a great game. Truly a work of art as far as a board game goes-all around fantastic.

Who may like it:  Fans of the cold war…as this is NOT a war game, despite the mechs. While there will be skirmishes this isn’t a war game. People who want an immersive experience in their game.

3. WWE Raw Deal
Comic Images
Designer: Mike Foley, Barron Vangor Toth
Owned: Yes. Not everything but a lot of it, yes.
Times Played: Hundreds, but most were before I had BG Stats to keep track

Why it is on the list: A friend convinced me we HAD to get this new CCG he found back in 2000. I tried to refuse as I know that CCGs are money pits…but we decided to buy a deck each (Chris Jericho for me, The Rock for him) and just play. And, well…it didn’t stop. I have literally 10s of thousands of cards and would still play this daily if I had people to play with. I want to buy all the things I don’t have for this long out-of-print CCG as well.

Who may like it:  Wrestling fans who want an awesome experience.

2. DC Comics Deck Building Game
Cryptozoic Games
Designer: Matt Hyra, Ben Stoll, Nathaniel Yamaguchi
Owned: Yes
Times Played: 309

Why it is on the list: DC Comics is my choice over Marvel any day…but that wouldn’t lead to this being SO FAR above Legendary on the list. I love the system. I love the variants of game play. (Would you like to play Rebirth or Confrontations or Crisis or standard or…). I love the characters. I love the mechanics. This is a game I just love playing at all times. There have been times I’ve played this more than any other in a given time period and I’ve never gotten tired of it.

Who may like it:  Fans of DC Comics and fans of deck builders with simple but elegant mechanics. Fans of variety.

1. Battlestar Galactica
Fantasy Flight Games
Designer: Corey Konieczka
Owned: Yes
Times Played: 32

Why it is on the list: I love a game where you can tell stories after. I have many of the games of BSG I remember well and I can tell stories of “this happened this time I played BSG.” The experience playing this game is always fantastic. This was the last game I ran at SGC this semester knowing that we were about to close down and have no student gatherings. The theme is fantastic. No other game comes close to how well this is done with the hidden traitor. It is, for me, basically a perfect game. As you’ve seen from other games I love epic games…and this game is the most epic.

Who may like it:  That said I’ll admit a sometimes 4-5 hour epic where from the start of the game you are miserable and know you are going to lose experience…where it only gets more draining from there…isn’t for everyone. However, for me this is everything I want in a game.

Things are going to go very poorly for this assault raptor. Image taken from boardgamegeek.com

So! That is it! As of Spring 2020 my top 100 games of all time list! I’d love to hear your comments and maybe what your top 10 are!

Top 100 Games of All Time (20-11)

Top 20! The games from here on out are games I will gladly play 90% of the time I get the option. This list has 3 games from my favorite Publisher which is interesting and I own 8/10 of them. Truly some great games that really the order of preference in this is the flip of a coin. Depending on the day my 19 could be my 11…so at this point it could go either way.

20. Euphoria
Stonemaier Games
Designer: Jamey Stegmaier
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list:  There is a very good chance this is the first worker placement game I played and it blew me away. Not just the game, but also the production, the resources…everything. A friend of mine (one of the designers now of Malifaux (Third Edition) brought it to play and I am sure I was horrible but loved the idea of worker placement, as you can see throughout this list. Not sure what the next one I played was but was slightly disappointed at NOT using dice as my workers because that whole mechanic was amazing. (Of course I’ve since also played Alien Frontiers and other worker placement games, but this one is still one I love.

Who may like it:  If you take the Board Games Motivation Profile test one of the areas is aesthetics. As with any Stonemaier Game…the aesthetics and components are top notch. Also fans of dystopian futures.

19. Wingspan
Stonemeier Games
Designer: Elizabeth Hargrave
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: When Jamey Stegmaier announced he was publishing another game from a new designer I knew I would give it a chance but wasn’t sure what I would think. After one play of this engine builder I thought “I personally don’t care about the theme but love that it is a different theme…but the game is just so good I need to order.” It has quickly become a “easy-ish to learn, difficult to master” game for a number of people and has already transcended just modern game fans into greater society. Hopefully games like this: beautiful games with unique themes and with women design teams become more the standard that unique.

Who may like it:  Bird enthusiasts, fans of extremely mechanically solid games, or…well…just about everyone.

Components of Wingspan. Noticed the diagram of how to put the game in from the side of the box. Image taken from boardgamegeek.com.

18. Sid Meier’s Civilization (2010)
Fantasy Flight Games
Designer: Kevin Wilson
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: See: previous entry for A New Dawn. I have played more Sid Meier’s Civilization on computer than any other game. This game feels a lot like the computer game. Exploration, choice of the victory you go after, the tech tree, etc. This is a great Civilization game.

Who may like it:  Fans of the computer game.

17. The Castles of Burgundy
Designer: Stefan Feld
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: This is one of Jennifer’s favorite games and is an excellent game. There are people who aren’t happy with the look of the game. However, this is an excellent tile placement game with a form of dice worker placement. There is a lot going on and (and I love this) you don’t always know who is going to win. I’ve had someone ahead by 40+ points when the game ends and they lose in final scoring. Jennifer enjoys playing most games…this game she plays to win and is unhappy when she doesn’t. In games she’s played with me…she does win, as she has won 57% of the games of this we’ve played.

Who may like it:  Fans of building your own kingdom with a ton of options to get the points you need and tons of buildings with different abilities. We’ve played 24 times and I still have to look up what different buildings do.

16. Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)
Fantasy Flight Games
Designer: Dane Beltrami, Corey Konieczka, Christian T. Petersen
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: I played TI3 4 times. Four awesome, fun, LONG games. (Average play time: 9 hours, 22 minutes PER GAME.) A friend came to me who needed to run a playtest for a game and said “could you find people to help me playtest?” I said sure…what game? His response: “a new edition of a game called Twilight Imperium…you heard of it?” I was excited and jumped right back in as the Yssaril (who are not nearly as good in TI4 as they were in 3) and fell in love with the changes that totally fixed some of the problems I had with TI3…to the point that, while I won’t say I would NEVER go back I wouldn’t be nearly as likely to play TI3 again.

Since that time I’ve played 9 games of TI4 (average play time: 5:58…so much shorter than TI3) and have loved it. I even won a game…once. This game is epic in all of the right ways and is something that could easily be MUCH higher for me. It flows from top 20 to about here for me depending. The thing I constantly asked myself was “do you like this TI4 or a different game better?” As I played them I decided, given the choice, I would play the OTHER space epic game roughly 9/10 times given the option…so it is the higher of the two. How high? #7 on the list…though I have flipped things a few times in the top 10 since I started so it could be anywhere from 5-9 depending on the day and when I get there.

Who may like it:  Space epic. Playing one game a quarter of a day. If those things appeal to you…let’s play TI4. If not…this game is NOT for you. This isn’t a fun casual sit-down with friends. This is a commitment you make.

A space battle about to commence in Twilight Imperium (4th Edition). Image from boardgamegeek.com

15. Viticulture
Stonemaier Games
Designer: Jamey Stegmaier
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: A bit about me: I have never drank, smoked, done drugs, etc. Many in my family have a problem with alcoholism and drug abuse and I decided at an early age that I could not get involved in any of that. So while I love Jamey Stegmaier’s games and heard great things I was slow to try this game because of theme. I won’t lie: I still don’t care about the theme…but this game is so good the theme really doesn’t matter. This is an amazing (one of the best ever) worker placement games, especially when you add Tuscany in.

Who may like it:  Fans of wine, wine making…but more fans of an excellent, elegant worker placement game with a ton of options.

14. Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization
Designer: Vlaada Chvatil
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: I’ve talked twice about loving Sid Meier’s Civilization. THIS is the best civilization game on the market. It would probably be higher but I’ve only played it twice (with plans to play it a third time tomorrow.) That is how many times I’ve played the actual physical game. The app? I’ve probably played 100+ games of Through the Ages. Primary reason? The two plays I’ve had of the game have averaged 6 hours. One game on the app? 30 minutes. However, this is an awesome game…just with a lot of fiddly bits.

Who may like it:  If you like civilization building, especially in something like Sid Meier’s Civilization video games…this is the game for you. It is, like a Civilization game SHOULD be an epic and you have to be prepared for that. Also…you can have Sid Meier as an Age III ruler.

13. Valeria Card Kingdoms
Daily Magic Games
Designer: Isaias Vallejo
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I remember the first time I played Machi Koro. I was mesmerized and wanted to play again and again. I had to buy it immediately. Last year at Origins we needed to find a game to play to sit down and stumbled upon a company we had never heard of with a game we had never heard of but were like “we will try it.” Now (and I say this while near the end of a Machi Koro Legacy game) I never care if I play base Machi Koro again. This game does almost everything Machi Koro does…and does it all 100 times better.

Who may like it:  Fans of Machi Koro (or other dice rolling engine builders) who don’t mind switching their game of choice to this excellent game.

12. Terraforming Mars
Stronghold Games
Designer: Jacob Fryxelius
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: This engine builder is currently the #3 game of all time on boardgamegeek.com. This is an amazing game that I fell in love with from play #1 and that hasn’t changed. I love the base game and though I own one of the expansions I have never played with any of them. And I’m not worried if I do. This is an excellent game.

Who may like it:  This is the #3 game on BGG…a ton of people love it.

11. Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Fantasy Flight Games
Designer: Justin Kemppainen, Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying
Owned: Yes….some of it. But I really want the parts I don’t have.

Why it is on the list: Another Star Wars in a box game. Moreover: This is an excellent story-telling/campaign based game. I prefer it with the app over playing with a human overlord but both are fun. The minis are fantastic, the story they have developed is great and I enjoy going through the side missions and how the app handles everything.

Who may like it:  Fans of Star Wars will love this, as will fans of narrative and storytelling.

This game has Wookies, including Chewbacca. Is it possible NOT to enjoy a game with Wookies? Image from boardgamegeek.com

As I prepare for my last list soon, a few interesting numbers:

Top Game companies:

Fantasy Flight Games: 9
Stonemaier Games: 8
Pandasaurus Games: 6

Top Designers:
Jamey Stegmaier: 5
Corey Konieczka: 4

Boardgamegeek.com Ratings:

Highest Rated: Gloomhaven (1)
Lowest Rated: IT: Evil Below (10,193-mainly because of number of ratings)

Top 10 is all that is left. Hopefully I get to knock that out early next week. Most of them will have people nodding in agreement at the games…2 or 3 may surprise some people.

Top 100 Games of All Time (30-21)

30-21. Wow. In this list we hit the top quarter of my list of games. In this segment are some amazing games….two of the top 10 games of all time according to boardgamegeek.com. Another game each from two of my favorite designers. Possibly the most fun pirate themed game ever made. Looking-this chunk of games is REALLY good. And seeing as there are 20 higher on the list than this…this is an impressive list of games.

30. Dead of Winter
Plaid Hat Games
Designer: Jonathan Gilmour, Isaac Vega
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list:  I love the Crossroads system. While the mechanics of this game are great, the Crossroads system is what makes it standout. While I haven’t played Gen7 (another Crossroads game) The system where the person to your right has a card and if something on it triggers they stop you and an event happens-that is awesome. I love events that change the game and this is one of the better ways to implement it. This game would actually be a lot higher if it wasn’t for what is my #1, which I will play every time given the choice between the two games. Also-while I love a horror theme zombies have never been a top monster to me. When I get the two expansions this may jump higher…I really want to try warring colonies.

Who may like it:  Do you like The Walking Dead? Or zombies in general? This is the game for you. Also…there is sparky. And you want to play as Sparky.

Don’t roll the tooth…you don’t want to get bitten by the zombies. Image from boardgamegeek.com

29. Gloomhaven
Cephalofair Games
Designer: Isaac Childres
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: I have started this game twice with the same group of people-one of the groups I most enjoy playing with. However, the first time we started I hated the experience. There was a ton of quarterbacking and things that stopped me from playing how I play. I like to experiment, explore, and do weird things. There was a lot of “don’t do that…it isn’t an optimal play and we will fail.” Just made me not enjoy the game. The second time was much better-a ton of fun discussions and a chance to just enjoy the game. I really want to play this as a solo game also as it seems like a ton of fun.

Who may like it:  This is a story driven campaign based game. It is also really tough with a high likelihood that you WILL fail.

28. Tapestry
Stonemaier Games
Designer: Jamey Stegmaier
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I’ve only had the opportunity to play Tapestry four times but have fun playing an experimenting in this game. Haven’t had a chance to play since October, but really enjoy this game and want to play more. It is a civilization style game. It also has a bit of chaos which I love. There are times you can potentially break parts of the game.

Who may like it:  People who enjoy civilization building games but are find with chaos and unbalanced combos being possible. Things can happen that may swing the game heavily in one direction…you just have to smile and congratulate someone for finding a fun combo.

Technologies from Tapestry. Image from boardgamegeek.com

27. Dice Masters
Designer: Eric Lang, Mike Elliott
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I can easily be sucked into collectible games (I do have one MUCH higher on the list) and enjoy how this one allows for some fun combinations of characters. Would you like to form a team with Iron Man, Nightwing, a bard, and Seth Rollins? This is the game for you. It is much more than just a collectible card game-the dice add something and the mechanics are extremely solid.

Who may like it:  I don’t like Smash Up….but in a way with the different IPs ahtat are part of this game this is sort of smash-up for different IPs in a collectible game.

26. Shadow Hunters
Z-Man Games
Designer: Yasutaka Ikeda
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: As I’ve mentioned party games aren’t my favorite…and while I LOVE hidden role games I hate some of them like The Resistance because i just don’t get to play…people just don’t trust me. This is, at heart, a hidden role party level game that is actually a lot of fun. It has generated a ton of memories and stories and is one of those games where players have a lot of options and different ways they can approach the game.

Who may like it:  Artistically this game is interesting and definitely anime inspired. It is a relatively short game that features player elimination and you have to be ok with that.

25. Villainous
Designer: Prospero Hall
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Take the Scythe action selection mechanic, add in a Disney theme and allow the players be the villain trying to live out their evil scheme. Make it fully asynchronous with not only different abilities, different card decks, different win conditions…that makes this game fun. The base game gives six top tier villains. The expansions have one and two lesser known/lower villains. Next up: Marvel Villainous…which sounds exciting until you realize Marvel’s villains are kind of bad, especially compared to DC’s villains.

Who may like it:  Are you a fan of Disney, and in particular the evil side of Disney? In this game you can be Prince John trying to get money…or Jafar trying to get the lamp…or Cruella de Ville trying to kill and skin puppies. Wait…what?? But Disney (and soon Marvel) fans LOVE this game.

Components of Disney Villainous. Image from boardgamegeek.com

24. Libertalia
Designer: Paolo Mori
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: Everyone starts with an identical hand of cards. Each turn someone plays a card and actions happen based on the cards in the order of numbers on the cards you play. After several rounds of this you all draw the same new cards…but you no longer have the same cards as different people chose to play different cards through every early round. Now suddenly things are slowly changing. This make for, while not the most authentic pirate experience in a game, what may be the BEST pirate themed game.

Who may like it:  Everyone. I’ve never had anyone who doesn’t enjoy this game. This is a weird one where EVERYONE who has played it loves it but only one person I know owns it.

23. Star Wars: Rebellion
Fantasy Flight Games
Designer: Corey Konieczka
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: The Empire JUST needs to find the Rebels secret base and wipe it out to end the “threat” of the Rebels to restore their rule. However, operatives from both sides are doing missions, completing objectives and working against the other side. This game is the closest you can get to retelling the story of the original Star Wars trilogy. Important note: DO NOT play the game without the expansion. It fixes the main issue (combat) that was a problem in the base game.

Who may like it:  Do you like Star Wars, especially Rogue One and the original trilogy? This is the game for you. This is Star Wars in a box and is always a close, engaging game.

22. Discworld: Ankh-Morpork
Mayfair Games
Designer: Martin Wallace
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Rincewind. The Librarian. DEATH. All here as you visit the chaos and comedy that is Ankh-Morpork. While I’ve heard Martin Wallace has released this game with a new theme since the license is gone…I don’t want that. This game is Discworld (or at least the Ankh-Morpork part) and I love it for that.

Who may like it:  Fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series would love it…if they could get their hands on it. The problem with games based on IPs….and this list is full of them…is that once a license expires the game is gone.

21. Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn
Fantasy Flight Games
Designer: James Kniffen
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Sid Meier’s Civilization is my favorite and most played computer game of all time. 2, 4, 5, and 6 I have played 1500+ hours each. So a Sid Meier’s Civilization board game is right up my alley. I received the opportunity to playtest the beta of this a few years ago and gave my feedback…which was that it didn’t feel like a Sid Meier’s Civilization game. It felt like civilization game, just not a Civilization game. However, over the past 6-8 months with some new plays and some new experiences, this game has climbed on my list and will, likely, climb a bit higher soon.

Who may like it:  Fans of civilization building games who aren’t expecting the full computer experience.

Red and blue in a battle for territory. However….it appears blue illegally placed one of their cities….uh oh…. Image taken from boardgamegeek.com

One thing I’m working on now-which designers and which companies appear most frequently in games I list. One of the top companies/designers will come as no suprirse to people who know me/have followed the list.

Top 100 Games of All Time (40-31)

Time for my next chunk of favorite games of all time! Next is 80-71. This year I have played two of my top 10 all-time games once each…including the number one game…well, technically earlier today. We played until almost 7am…Anyway…to the list!

Also-worth reminding the last list number 81 was Between Two Cities. I may have a reason that is worth mentioning.

40. Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle
Designer: Forrest-Pruzan Creative, Kami Mandell, Andrew Wolf
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list:  A well done, campaign style deck builder with a Harry Potter theme. There is no part of that sentence I dislike. This is an excellent deck builder where you play through each book of the series (and four more chapters in the expansion.) It is a solid deck builder (although it took to the expansion for the ability to add a “destroy cards” mechanic.) Solid, difficult-this is a great cooperative deck builder.

Who may like it:  Fans of Harry Potter will adore this game. Add in people who have a regular small group who can play through-this is extremely well done for many people.

39. Alien Frontiers
Game Salute
Designer: Tory Niemann
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I played this after Euphoria but the concept of a dice/worker placement game is still not the most common and is extremely well done. I enjoy worker placement as a mechanic (side note for those who have been reading regularly…I have played Caverna again now and it is as good or better than I remember) and the concept that the number you roll impacts what you can do is good. I have discovered I DISLIKE this game at 2 players (it is really mean at two) but overall I really enjoy this game.

Who may like it:  Fans of space theme, cool components and worker placement. Of note…Starting with my second list I started wishing i hadn’t put this part (who may like it) because…well..it is pointless. However…I started, I finish.

38. Burgle Bros
Fowers Games
Designer: Tim Fowers
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: A friend who now designs games for Wyrd Games pulled this one out and it kind of blew me away. The concept of the modular rooms, the cooperative Ocean’s-esque heist, the variable player powers, the awesome mechanics…this game was a home run for me from the start. Since that time I’ve played the physical game a handful of times and the app version of the game dozens of time and have a great time. This IS a co-op I think I fully prefer to play solo, however. It is fun with others…but I just enjoy this one by myself.

Who may like it:  Have you ever wanted to pull off the heist of the century and escape with all the loot? This game is for you.

A multi-story game of Burgle Bros. Image from boardgamegeek.com

37. Tiny Epic Galaxies
Gamelyn Games
Designer: Scott Almes
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: I mentioned I think Quest is second and Kingdoms is third…anyone who knows the Tiny Epic games knew this would be the best. Universally praised as the best of the series this space colonization game has been great every time I have played. Keeping all of the Tiny Epic trademarks (following others actions, etc.) this game feels good while playing even if you don’t win.

Who may like it:  Fans of good, solid mechanics and space colonization.

36. T.I.M.E. Stories
Space Cowboy
Designer: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: Quantum Leap, the board game. NOTE: I have NOT finished this campaign style game; we have only played through the first four cases. However, the concept of Quantum Leaping back in to bodies to solve a mystery in a limited amount of time is awesome. I would say more about why I like this game, but SPOILERS.

Who may like it:  Fans of time travel, campaign games, and AWESOME narrative.

35. Wasteland Express Delivery Service
Pandasaurus Games
Designer: Jonathan Gilmour, Ben Pinchback, Matt Riddle
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: The last game was Quantum Leap…this one is Mad Max the game. This post-apocalyptic pick-up-and-deliver is over the top in an amazing way. We sat down at Origins to demo and I was very impressed with the fun mechanics, asynchronous drivers, varying missions to get points…and was sold when I learned the game trays come WITH the game. Game Trays (and anything that helps with quick set-up and great storage) are a bonus and this game has it all.

Who may like it: This game is over the top but with strong strategy…and dice that can make or break your game. For real one player was ahead and kept getting stopped by the dice to deliver a nuke and it cost him the game…so your fate isn’t always in your hands.

34. Alchemists
Designer: Matúš Kotry
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: When I was in elementary school I was put in the gifted program. It was, for the most part, pointless. We played Oregon Trail and did Logic Problems. The thing I take from the program…I really enjoy logic problems. They are fun to figure out. While a lot of the games I mention (including in this list) are “this IP, the board game” Alchemists is “logic problems: the board game.” That is what this game boils down to. The theme is fun (but not as important) but this is a good game of logic and deduction.

Who may like it:  Do you like to think A LOT and sit while people figure things out? This is the game for you! For real-this may be the most thinky game on the entire list.

33. Five Tribes
Days of Wonder
Designer: Bruno Cathala
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Five Tribes is the 4 player game with six Tribes. None of that necessarily makes a ton of sense but the game is excellent, strategic…and one of the games where you stare at the board, have a plan…only to get it ruined by your opponents. The AP is real in this game but it also an amazing mancala game with a fun theme on top.

Who may like it:  Fans of having a strategy, planning ahead…and then adapting on the fly when your strategy is utterly wrecked by others.

32. Seasons
Designer: Régis Bonnessée
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I remember the first time Jennifer and I played this. It was at a monthly game night and Chris Beeman taught us. It was rather late (1 or 2 am) and he was…a bit intoxicated. The draft didn’t go well for Jennifer or I as we knew nothing but quickly the draft, the dice rolling, the resource gathering…every aspect of this game just clicks. We need the expansions because we now know the cards we want, the cards we hate and what to ignore. And the dice are so chunky.

Who may like it:  This game has BEAUTIFUL artwork that lures people in and, with the 3 years/4 seasons approach a good chance to plan early but change things on the fly.

A game of Seasons in progress. Image from boardgamegeek.com

31. Shakespeare
Ystari Games
Designer: Herve Rigal
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I was a theatre minor and love going to the theatre. Shakespeare is awesome. So this action point based game of putting on the best play is right down my alley. I enjoy the theme, the game is fun, the references are great-all around just a wonderful experience to play.

Who may like it:  Fans of the theatre and in particular of Shakespeare who will get the references on the cards.

Top 100 Games of All Time (50-41)

We’ve made it to the top 50! Well…the first chunk of the top 50, anyway.

Also-worth reminding the last list number 81 was Between Two Cities. I may have a reason that is worth mentioning.

50. Death Eaters Rising / Thanos Rising
Designer: Death Eaters: Patrick Marino/Andrew Wolf Thanos: Andrew Wolf
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list:  So…I am NOT cheating. First…this is virtually the exact same game with a different theme. Second…I’m not saying they are definitely BOTH here. I just haven’t determined which I liker better. They had to change one small mechanic for the theme switch but really they are the same game. This is a card drafting/dice rolling co-op where you are trying to match symbols to recruit heroes or defeat villains. Fun co-op. Just depends: do you prefer the Harry Potter or Marvel theme?

Who may like it:  Fans of the two properties. People who want a simple but occasionally challenging co-op. People who are ok with the level of chance of incorporating both dice AND cards to add those elements into games.

49. IT: Evil Below
Designer: Sean Fletcher
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: You’ll float down here. YOU’LL ALL FLOAT! Also…two co-ops to start this part of the list? WHO AM I? There will be even more in this part of the list…not sure what is happening! Regardless, on to the game. A well-made game based on my favorite book of all time (more accurately: made on a movie made about my favorite game of all time if you want to be technical) this is another dice rolling/get symbols/defeat the baddie game. Wow….until typing this I didn’t realize this is ALMOST another version of the last games…but with a lot more mechanics and twist. But at the core…role the dice, defeat the villain. So…

Who may like it:  Not Jennifer….that is for sure. Well…Mechanically she would but she will not play this. So next to that…There is a very good Stephen King game out. Any fans of his (or co-ops or evil clowns) should give this one a go.

The cover the IT: Evil Below from boardgamegeek.com

48. Ascension: Deckbuilding Game
Stone Blade Entertainment
Designer: John Fiorillo, Justin Gary, Brian M. Kibler
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: Star Realms, as I think I mentioned, was the first deck builder I played. This was also very early and there are a ton of things I like about this one. I like having both buy and attack power (which is different than my favorite deck builder.) I like the VP pieces with the game. I like the various things (many from expansions) such as events. I like the “you always have this one guy to beat on.” Overall just a solid deckbuilder.

Who may like it:  Fans of deckbuilding games that are a bit more complex.

47. Tiny Epic Quest
Gamelyn Games
Designer: Scott Almes
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: What I think is the second best Tiny Epic game. This game can be boiled down to “The Legend of Zelda: The Board game” in the simplest sense. It has all of the Tiny Epic hallmarks (following actions, oversized cards to make the board, meeples of some sort (Itemeeples introduced here) and more. At the center of the whole thing: it just feels like playing an 8-bit Zelda game.

Who may like it:  Fans of the old school Legend of Zelda (or other adventure/RPG) games or just that basic concept as a whole. (Going on quests)

46. Azul
Plan B Games
Designer: Michael Kiesling
Owned: No

Why it is on the list: I held off on playing Azul for a while…the main reason being everyone played it quickly and it ended up with always 3 experienced players offering me a spot in the game. I didn’t want to slow them down to only have to teach me-so I always said no. Finally I grabbed a copy and had Jennifer just teach me the game. Tile placement laying/figuring out a puzzle/pattern-I believe all things I have mentioned I like in games. I am NOT good at all at this game.

Who may like it:  Fans of aesthetics in game who don’t really care about theme. Realistically the theme, in as much as there is one, is pasted on. Theme isn’t what brings you to Azul.

45. Suburbia
Bezier Games
Designer: Ted Alspach
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: However the theme is strong and great with this one. Continuing to boil it down to something similar: this game can most closely be compared to SimCity in some ways. You are trying to build the city with the largest population. Tile placement & building games are things I’ve mentioned a lot (and listed several games) and this (especially the anniversary edition) is one of the absolute best ever.

Who may like it:  Urban planners. People who can keep track of 17 things at once.

The components of the Suburbia: Collector’s edition. Image from boardgamegeek.com.

44. The Networks
Formal Ferret Games
Designer: Gil Hova
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Let’s see…what is on TV tonight? The Wacky TSA Agent? Who stars in that? That guy who dies in everything? I have to watch that! In The Networks you are a top Network Executive taking over a horrible TV station and trying to get the most viewers for your network. This game is really a genius game of managing a tv station. For as deep and strategic as the game is it also has amazing humor.

Who may like it:  I knew Jennifer would enjoy this game because of her love for TV. Humor and TV fans will enjoy this game.

43. Dinosaur Island
Pandasaurus Games
Designer: Jonathan Gilmour, Brian Lewis
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Basically Jurassic Park the board game with no license. this dice rolling rile placement worker placement game is a ton of fun. You are trying to build the best (and maybe safest dinosaur theme park. Balancing money, DNA, and more to have the most exciting and best park while minimizing the number of eaten visitors and avoiding the hooligans.

Who may like it:  RAWR. (And fans of Jurassic Park and all things retro.)

Some of the Dinosaur Island dino-meeples. Image from Boardgamegeek.com

42. Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
Portal Games
Designer: Ignacy Trzewiczek
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: Extremely difficult co-op. Amazing solo experience. Fun theme. Very tense. This isn’t really a campaign game…it comes with a lot of scenarios you can play and suggests you play in order but they aren’t tied to each other or part of a continuing story. However, this is an excellent cooperative experience. It also includes exploration and a TON for you to do in the game. I love exploration.

Who may like it:  Fans of classic literature. Fans of major challenge in games.

41. Betrayal Legacy
Avalon-Hill Games
Designer: Rob Daviau, Noah Cohen, JR Honeycutt, Ryan Miller, Brian Neff, Andrew Veen
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I’m about halfway through. This is one of my favorite Legacy experiences yet. I don’t want to say much here but the group we have is amazing and the story and mechanics are very well done. There are some cool things and some stories are better than others but this is an excellent legacy game and a must if you enjoy Betrayal. NOTE: This game is limited to 5 players, not 6 like all other Betrayal games.

Who may like it:  Fans of Betrayal at House on the Hill as well as fans of horror or haunted houses.

Top 100 Games of All Time (60-51) (Plus a bonus: Games I’ve played for the first time since the list started!)

Time for my next chunk of favorite games of all time! Next is 60-51.

60. Carcassonne: South Seas
Z-Man Games
Designer: Klaus-Jürgen Wrede
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: Bethany’s (my course co-creator) favorite game is Carcassonne. She gets a ton of the versions to play. This one I think is the best of the group I’ve played so far. I really enjoyed South Seas. I clearly like tile laying and building games from this list so far.

Who may like it:  Fans of Carcassonne naturally, but also people who enjoy a slightly different/possibly more strategic twist.

A game of Carcassonne: South Seas in progress from boardgamegeek.com

59. Shadows Over Camelot
Days of Wonder
Designer: Bruno Cathala, Serge Laget
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: I enjoy the theme. I enjoy the mechanics. I love the traitor. It would be MUCH higher on my list…except no game can do all of those things better than my number 1 game on my list. I really enjoy that there are a ton of different options you have for what you do next and people can be out on different missions. I love the traitor. I love the sword system for measuring success or failure. I would LOVE to play this more…if it wasn’t for I would rather play what I have at #1 and would play that 10/10 times if given the option between these two games.

Who may like it:  Fans of variable player powers, traitors, King Arthur, or games where A LOT is going on but it is so simple everyone can understand.

58. Vast: The Crystal Caverns
Leder Games
Designer: Patrick Leder, David Somerville
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Quite different than Shadows Over Camelot….there is a lot going on and it is easy to get lost and not understand what is happening at all in this game. The beauty of this game is also the problem with this game for many people. If you are playing a 4 player game of Vast, you are technically playing four different games all at once. Picture a band where one player is playing guitar, another is banging on a trash can, one has a kazoo and the other is reading a book and you will get a general idea of the chaos and disjointed nature of Vast. I like to play the cave. I only want to be the cave. This takes asynchronous game play and moves it to the maximum level. Every person is playing a different game with different mechanics and different win conditions. That is a lot for some people. I just enjoy being the cave.

Who may like it:  Fans of total chaos and understanding 7 different things at once. Big multitasks.

57. Terra Mystica
Z-Man Games
Designer: Jens Drögemüller, Helge Ostertag
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: This was, for a long time, at the top of the BGG list of top games. It is still, at this time 14th….and that drop is largely because of Gaia Project. Variable player powers (I clearly like that.) Tile laying/building. Lots of things I like about games in this. I think if I got to play more this would be much higher on my list. I’ve played 5 times and the most recent was in 2016. I’ve never really come close to winning. But I have really enjoyed every time I’ve played.

Who may like it:  Fans of Fantasy, DEEP strategic board games and planning ahead. In other words…this is a John game.

A game of Terra Mystica in progress from boardgamegeek.com

56. Keyforge
Fantasy Flight Games
Designer: Richard Garfield
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I don’t know.

Ok…seriously…when Keyforge came out I played it 31 times from November 2018 to May 2019. That is a decent amount. Since May 2019 I haven’t played at all. I really like the game. But it was like a 6 month furry of playing and then…nothing. I have a few untouched decks. I think part of it was the constant rules changes and such…but I haven’t even taken my Keyforge stuff to a game night. Maybe I will play again soon. Or maybe Keyforge will drop out of my thoughts forever and leave the list. This one was hard….I know I like the game. Or liked. Who knows. I guess we will see when and if I ever play again…

Who may like it:  First…in my mind this game is over the top. It ISN’T as serious as some people make it. With the no customizing decks this is GREAT for someone who wants to play a card game against others but DOESN’T like deck building. This game is actually the opposite of a deck builder…they were created for people who love building decks for CCG…this is for people who like PLAYING them but hate building the deck.

I really need to play again to see if I want to play again. I like it enough for it to be this high or higher…but it was the most difficult game to place….I considered everything from in the 10-20 range to not being on the list.

55. Takenoko
Bombyx / Matagot
Designer: Antoine Bauza
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Cute pandas. Fun mechanics. Great strategy. Cute pandas. Fun expansion. Great theme. Cute Pandas.

For real the main thing is I really do like the mechanics of the game. The action selections and die to roll for abilities leads to a lot of fun.

Who may like it:  Fans of cute themed properties. Honestly a ton of anime fans.

54. Sagrada
Floodgate Games
Designer: Adrian Adamescu, Daryl Andrews
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: I saw the game and thought “oh, Jennifer will love this game” (which she did) but what i didn’t know immediately was that it would be one of the best brain teaser games I’d played. So strategic, big puzzle to get what you need-this is a great game.

Who may like it:  Fans of BEAUTIFUL games, stained glass windows…but more so of a good, AP inducing puzzle.

A board from Sagrada taken from boardgamegeek.com

53. World’s Fair 1893
Foxtrot Games
Designer: J. Alex Kevern
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: This is an area control/set collection game basically…with a theme on it that it is the World’s Fair. The game is super simple to teach (drop a cube, play famous people and do their action, take cards, refill cards. It is that simple. However the strategy to win and counter the moves of your opponents is great. Also, as someone who loves longer games (I almost always pick a 3-5 hour epic game over a 30 minute party game) this is a great good filler between bigger games.

Who may like it:  Fans of a game with good strategy but virtually no stress. This game isn’t one that is going to cause many hard feelings or you to be stressed-you’ll have fun win or lose.

52. Caverna: The Cave Farmers
Mayfair Games
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: This is easily the highest game I’ve only played once on the list…it is just that good and I remember loving it and wanting to play more. I really enjoy worker placement games and I didn’t want this one to end. I would love to play more. Maybe even this weekend…but I know this was a worker placement I really liked.

Who may like it:  Fans of good looking worker placement games with a lot going on if I remember. I don’t know why this game sticks in my head as hard as it does but I really liked it.

51. Burger Up!
Greenbrier Games
Designer: Matthew Parkes
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Tom Vasel frequently says the most underdone theme in games is food. I tell Jennifer all the time “I’m big on hamburgers” and she points at my stomach and says “yes…I know.” This is a game where you are filling gourmet hamburger orders to have the best burger restaurant. It is as simple as that and I love it.

Who may like it:  The Hamburgler. Or people who like the app based games where you are filling customer’s orders to have the best restaurant.

I wouldn’t eat it but here is a burger from Burger Up’s expansion. Cut the onions and Sauerkraut and I’m in. Image from boardgamegeek.com

Finally, as we are not to the top 50, I want to add a brief interlude. Here are a few games I’ve played for the first time recently (after I created the list.) Who knows-if I do this again they could appear on the list:

Harry Potter Death Eaters Rising – I’ve added this on the list tied with Thanos Rising…you will see it very soon…not sure which I like better but mechanically there are just slight differences. More on this next time…

Resident Evil 2: The Board Game – I love Resident Evil and this year have played Resident Evil Zero Remake, Resident Evil Remake and am now on the Remake of RE2 to prepare for RE3 this spring. I really enjoy the board game and hope to get all the expansions and play through it all eventually.

Uno: Teen Titans – Uno with a slight twist (new Robin rule). Very colorful.

Point Salad – Just the name itself makes me smile but the game was surprisingly solid and I rather enjoyed it. Good filler game…that we played 3 times to lead off a game night because people kept wanting to play it.

One person’s salads/tableau from a game of Point Salad on boardgamegeek.com

Liguria – Good pick-up-and-deliver game. Not the best but it was good.

Captain Marvel: Secret Skrulls – Reskinned Bang: The Card Game with a few twists. Expect that you are playing Bang. Don’t expect to see Bang on my list, so…

Museum – I REALLY liked this game. Although…the game itself lasted 90 minutes and then the PRE-Scoring rearranging took another 30 minutes. I do like the game and want to play a lot more.

Welcome To… – As I believe I’ve mentioned we’ve been playing a lot of roll/draw and write games and as this is considered a top one now I had to give it a try. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to playing more to form a solid opinion.

Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant – Despite some rules confusions and mistakes we really enjoyed this Martin Wallace game (hint…you will see one of his games in the top 20) and am excited to play it more since I messed up and did HORRIBLY my first game.

Mapmaker: The Gerrymandering Game – This game was designed by a trio of siblings to explain the problems of Gerrymandering…and they did a tremendous job at doing so. We ended up playing 4 games (in a very short time) and John (who has co-taught the class) was SO MAD and loved the game so much. It was a great game. John’s political pet peeve is gerrymandering and this game demonstrates it amazingly well. John lost the first game and then said “Oh yeah….I need to be unethical and mean…” and went on to beat me the next three. “This game is so great….I hate this…it makes me SO ANGRY.” Great job to the designers.

A game of Mapmaker from boardgamegeek.com

Top 100 Games of All Time (70-61)

Time for my next chunk of favorite games of all time! Next is 70-61.

70. Sheriff of Nottingham
Arcane Wonders
Designer: Sérgio Halaban, André Zatz
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list:  I’ve got ONE APPLE! Ok…only a handful of people will get that but that was one of the more memorable games of Sheriff I’ve played. Sheriff is a fun bluffing game that will frequently create a lot of good laughs.

Who may like it:  It has a great theme, so if you’re a fan of Robin Hood you may enjoy. Or a fan of bluffing or not bluffing when people think you will. Jennifer, my wife NEVER lies and wins the game.

Sheriff of Nottingham game displayed on boardgamegeek.com

69. Specter Ops
Plaid Hat Games
Designer: Emerson Matsuuchi
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: As mentioned I enjoy hidden movement games. I mostly only enjoy them if I am hiding. This one adds a traitor mechanic at 5 players which is also fun. It ALSO is part of the Dead of Winter mythos which I enjoy.

Who may like it:  Fans of spy stories, corporate espionage, or larger stories. We still intend to play all of the games in this family in one long play session.

68. Betrayal at House on the Hill
Wizards of the Coast
Designer: Bruce Glassco, Rob Daviau, Bill McQuillan, Mike Selinker, Teeuwynn Woodruff
Owned: YES

Why it is on the list: Who doesn’t love a good haunted house story? While the game isn’t perfect (for example…I practically NEVER get to be the traitor no matter how hard I try) the game is still a ton of fun and a great time. It is part of the class and typically goes over well there.

Who may like it:  Fans of haunted houses, light horror themes and utter chaos…and shoddily written rule sets.

67. Survive! Escape from Atlantis!
Stronghold Games
Designer: Julian Courtland-Smith
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: Take that games aren’t always fun. This one is always fun. I think it is because it is less serious than other ones…but this is a take that game where no one ever seems to really get upset and everyone just enjoys themselves while playing the game.

Who may like it:  People who like screwing over their friends in a fully unoffensive way you can all laugh about.

A game of Survive! Escape From Atlantis in progress. Image from boardgamegeek.com

66. Say Anything
North Star Games
Designer: Dominic Crapuchettes, Satish Pillalamarri
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: No secret: party games are not my jam. I would rather sit and play a deep, intensive strategy game that is miserable and I KNOW I’m gonna lose from turn one (see: #1 on the list when we get there) than a fun, social game where we sit around and laugh 10 out of 10 times. HOWEVER, if I’m GOING to play a party game, my favorite ones are where you get to know the other people. ALSO: this is one that is EASILY modifiable by writing your own question for other purposes. I write my own questions to make this people answering student org questions and it works well.

Who may like it:  This game definitely lends towards more social people who want to get together, laugh, and get to know each other better.

65. Roll Player
Thunderworks Games
Designer: Keith Matejka
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: This is a game I want to add to the class. I just have to get the funding to buy enough copies of it. Frequently, one of the most fun things with role playing games is building your character. So this game…all you do (in the base game) is roll-up and build a DnD character. Trying to get your rolls to fit your class, background, etc. And it is done EXTREMELY well.

Who may like it:  Fans of Dungeons & Dragons or other Role Playing Games.

64. Tiny Epic Kingdoms
Gamelyn Games
Designer: Scott Almes
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I mean…it is Tiny AND Epic…and some of those games are great and some are REALLY bad. This is a really fun Tiny Epic area influence game. It follows a lot of the things that are familiar in Tiny Epic games such as, well..following. This one set the ground for future games like Galaxy and Quest and is a fun, simple area influence game.

Who may like it:  Fans of fantasy games and surprisingly deep strategy games.

63. Duelosaur Island
Pandasaurus Games
Designer: Ian Moss
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: When we got Dinosaur Island during the second kickstarter our decision to also get Duelosaur was “why not?” We’ve played it and it is a very strong 2 Player game. It feels like a scaled down Dinosaur Island. It definitely is smaller and not as full featured as DI…nor should it be. It is a shorter, excellent 2 Player game.

Who may like it:  Lovers of Jurassic Park or all things dinosaurs and who want a smaller game. For real…Dinosaur Island has a huge footprint-this much less so.

In progress game of Duelosaur Island; image from boardgamegeek.com

62. Hero Realms
White Wizard Games
Designer: Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: The first deck builder I played was Star Realms…in a manner it isn’t meant to be played. (3 player). Star Realms is a very fun game…but the 4 player nature of this game with some other twists makes this a much better deck builder to me. It isn’t by far my FAVORITE deck builder (that’ll be in the top 5…I love deck building) but it is a very solid deck builder.

Who may like it:  Deck building and fantasy fans. Fans of star realms who want to play more than 1v1.

61. Steampunk Rally
Roxley Game Laboratory
Designer: Orin Bishop
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: What happens if you take some of the greatest inventors or scientists of all time and tell them to create crazy contraptions to compete against each other in a race…but the materials they need will be chosen in a draft? You get Steampunk Rally-an amazing drafting/racing/building game. Just like many building games often the contraptions built are part of the wonders of the game-but this is an excellent, fun, over the top racing game.

Who may like it:  Fans of history and people who can see things from A LOT of different angles. There is a lot of “if I add this I’ll need this and to add this but then I’ll need…” that happens in the game…and it works fantastically.

A machine for racing. Image from boardgamegeek.com

So that is the next 10 games on the list! Hope you’re enjoying this countdown of games!

Top 100 Games of All Time (80-71)

Time for my next chunk of favorite games of all time! Next is 80-71. This year I have played two of my top 10 all-time games once each…including the number one game…well, technically earlier today. We played until almost 7am…Anyway…to the list!

Also-worth reminding the last list number 81 was Between Two Cities. I may have a reason that is worth mentioning.

80. Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Bezier Games
Designer: Ted Alspach
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list:  When I was a kid way back in the last century, there were a handful of computer games I remember enjoying…Carmen Sandiego, Oregon Trail…but the two biggest with Sid Meier’s Civilization and SimCity. I’ve always enjoyed building games. This is an extremely fun game of building a castle. The most fun part of the game is often not the process of playing, but the funny things that happen with placement. “So I have the mold room near the pantry…”

Who may like it: People who like building and designing with things like SimCity or other design elements.

79. Tsuro
Callope Games
Designer: Tom McMurchie
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: This is a super simple, very quick game where you are dragons zipping around trying to avoid other dragons while placing tiles to set-up routes. This game zips by most of the time and is a great filler game.

Who may like it:  People who like fast, simple party games or are looking for something to do between two larger, more complex games.

Image of Tsuro from boardgamegeek.com where someone is placing a tile to eliminate both opponents.

78. Last Night On Earth
Flying Frog Productions
Designer: Jason C. Hill
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: If you take this game as a super serious strategy game…it MAY still be fun. However, if you take it as a silly, old B-movie as it is designed this game can be a lot of good, silly fun. As those who know me know that isn’t the top thing I look for in games…but this one does it so well it is excellent.

Who may like it:  Fans of old, over-the-top horror movies.

77. Planet
Blue Orange Games
Designer: Urtis Šulinskas
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Uniqueness. I received this last year for Christmas from Bethany and have played it 4 times so far. Clearly it just clicks with me because I’ve won all 4 times. However, the player board and mechanics are so unique (as Blue Orange Games is known for) really puts this a step above.

Who may like it: People who are interested in animals, the environment, or unique board games.

Partially built planets. Image from boardgamegeek.com

76. Charterstone
Stonemeier Games
Designer: Jamey Stegmaier
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I enjoy worker placement games. I enjoy legacy games. Jamey Stegmaier is one of my two favorite game designers. So this one was sure to hit well with me-and it did. I’ve played twice. This may be higher but I haven’t played with either completed board after we completed the campaigns. I know you CAN…and I’ve heard it is fun. For me the fun was playing the legacy game-building a charter, etc. I need to try where that isn’t the focus.

Who may like it:  Fans of worker placement games. This is a very well designed one but adds the legacy component.

75. Last Will
CGE Games
Designer: Vladimír Suchý
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: What if Brewster’s Millions was a board game? It would be Last Will. In Last Will you inherit a bunch of money from a rich uncle…but to get the true fortune you have to be able to spend all of your initial inheritance first. This, like a game much higher on the list, was found by accident at Origins. At a time we needed to find a place to just sit down and take a break we stumbled upon this game.

Who may like it:  This game takes a very serious game mechanically and puts a good amount of humor and fun on top of an excellent mechanical game.

74. Letters from Whitechapel
Fantasy Flight Games
Designer: Gabriele Mari, Gianluca Santopietro
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I enjoy hide-and-seek the board game style games. This is an excellent one. You are either the police working to catch Jack the Ripper, or Jack the Ripper killing the ladies of the night. Excellent hidden movement game.

Who may like it:  Fans of hide and seek? Fans of history?

73. Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Stonemeier Games with Bezier Games
Designer: Matthew O’Malley, Ben Rosset
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list: Remember at the top when I mentioned in the last list I ended with Between Two Cities…and earlier here I mentioned Castles of Mad King Ludwig? What happens when you take the mechanics of those two games, mix them together from two top game companies? An excellent tile placement building game.

Who may like it:  Fans of the other two games who want to take the next step to a better implementation of either.

72. Formula D
Designer: Laurent Lavaur, Eric Randall
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: One of the best (and probably the second most fun) racing game I’ve played. This one is great, silly fun and you press your luck…do I shift up and risk overshooting the corner and getting destroyed or do I shift down and risk being passed? Hint: I always shift up. Also: I never win.

Who may like it:  Racing fans, fans of risk taking.

Image of a turn from Formula D from boardgamegeek.com

71. Can’t Stop
Eagle-Gryphon Games
Designer: Sid Sackson
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: This game is from 1980 but I didn’t play if for the first time until 2012 at NASAGA. This risk taking game is a top of fun and one of the better simple risk taking games around. Theme is pretty much non-existent but the game itself is a lot of fun.

Who may like it:  People who like risk taking…or who enjoy beating people who take too many risks. Fans of dice rolling who don’t care about theme.

It has been a while but there is my next 10. Feel free to leave comments and try to guess games from my top 10 as I prepare for the next list.

Top 100 Games of All Time (90-81)

Time to dive back in. Many people who know me already know my #1 game of all time so that won’t be a surprise to anyone (and there is a hint as part of the class blog.) However, how we get there is the interesting part for many. Without further ado-let’s dive in!

I look forward to seeing your comments and commentary!

90. Cursed Court
Atlas Games
Designer: Lee Moyer
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list:  As I will mention a lot: I’m not a big party game fan. However, add in bluffing and I’ll be more interested. Remove targeting (which I mentioned always happens to me in games like the Resisitance or similar games) and I will be at least willing to give it a try. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this game in the few times I played it.

Who may like it:  Fans of gambling and bluffing. This is a fun game of “what do they ACTUALLY know and are they faking me???” which adds a good level of strategy to what is mostly a party game.

A game of Cursed Court in process showing the bottom half of the board.  Image from BoardGameGeek.com

89. The Game
Pandasaurus Games
Designer: Steffan Benndorf
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I considered three of the Pandasaurus small deck games-The Game, Illusion, and The Mind. All three are good (although The Mind is almost more of an activity than a game in some ways) but I prefer the Game. Both are very different-two co-op games with limited communication, the other a nice art game. What it boils down to-which would I prefer to play, and it will be The Game practically every time. I even use this more to teach from. (Bethany and I used it as an example when we presented at Origins last year.)

Who may like it:  Fans of The Mind but who may want a little bit more of a game. Fans of challenging, short cooperative games.

88. Sentinels of the Multiverse
Greater Than Games
Designer: Christopher Badell, Paul Bender, Adam Rebottaro
Owned: Yes (not all expansions, but some)

Why it is on the list:  I can play solo? It is a fun challenge. It is superhero based. I realize for as much as I say I don’t like co-op games I have a lot on my list…really it isn’t I don’t like co-ops…I don’t like some people that you can play co-ops with. This is a superfun superhero game where you have a villain you’ll be challenging and pick your heroes and location and battle it out. I don’t play this often but every time I do I want to play more.

Who may like it:  Superhero fans who don’t care about IP. You aren’t going to be Superman…you will be “Sentinel” but it is one of the best superhero games you can play.

87. Lords of Waterdeep
Wizards of the Coast
Designer: Peter Lee, Rodney Thompson
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list:  This is the entry point in many ways to worker placement games. Simple, a ton of fun. The Dungeons & Dragons theme is what originally will draw a lot of people in but it is an excellent game that will get people more interested in other board games. Definitely a gateway game to many other games. I prefer to only play with both modules from the expansion-they are, to me, essential-though not to the point I refuse to play without them. I just don’t have nearly as much fun without them. However, unlike a lot of gateway games this one still holds up and is fun after you’ve played a ton more games…which is the sign of an excellent gateway game. One that both experienced and new players can enjoy.

Who may like it:  Fans of Dungeons and Dragons. Fans of fantasy settings. People wanting to learn what a worker placement game is.

86. Incan Gold (Diamant)
Eagle-Gryphon Games/IELLO
Designer: Bruno Faidutti, Alan R. Moon
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list:  Fun, short, big-group risk taking game. Would be worth adding to the class, I believe. You are trying to get the most treasures while avoiding hazards like snakes, fire, and zombies. It typically will take 15-30 minutes so a fun filler around other bigger games.

Who may like it:  Fans of press-your luck exploring games. Or in the case of Jennifer (my wife) fans of NOT taking risks and laughing while others take too many risks allowing you to win…

85. Raxxon
Plaid Hat Games
Designer: J. Arthur Eliis
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list:  It started with a brilliant marketing plan. It is a game that ties into the Dead of Winter universe (with Specter Ops, etc.) The marketing campaign drew me and a bunch of others in. Sure it was a gimmick-but it got attention for what is a solid co-op game. I’ve enjoyed every time I’ve played this one.

Who may like it: Fans of the Dead of Winter storyline, zombies, co-ops or risk taking, as that is all present.

84. Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
Paizo Publishing
Designer: Mike Selinker, Chad Brown, Tanis O’Connor, Paul Peterson, Gaby Weidling
Owned: Two of the base sets: Skulls & Shackles and Wrath of the Righteous (though not complete on either)

Why it is on the list: I enjoy playing role playing games…but don’t get to play them nearly enough. That is partly by design…just like the best pro wrestling characters are often a person’s own personality jacked up to 100, the best role playing characters also often are. Most people have trouble taking me at normal…much less jacked up to an extreme level. However, this game feels like a role playing game and is a fun cooperative adventure.

Who may like it:  Fans of role playing games and board games. This feels like playing an RPG in card game form.

83. Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Indie Boards & Cards
Designer: Kevin Lanzing
Owned: Yes, the base game

Why it is on the list:  This feels like a huge chunk of co-op games in one section. For real: I only have 25 even semi-co-op, one-v all, or full co-ops on the top 100 and I keep talking about them here…and the next one also is. This is a fun game where you are firefighters working to save people (and more importantly a puppy and kitty) from a fire ravaging a building.

Who may like it:  People who want to be a firefighter but without the risk. Fans of fun cooperative games with asynchronous player powers.

82. Last Friday
Ares Games
Designer: Antonio Ferrara, Sebastiano Fiorillo
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: You are a bunch of camp counselors at a summer camp. Suddenly, you discover their is a “maniac” at the campground killing the campers…perhaps one with a machete and wearing a mask…maybe even a hockey mask…now it is up to you (and your fellow counselors) to survive this 80s slasher movie. Fun Hidden movement game where, as opposed to most, it plays out very different for each of the four rounds. Who is hunting who? That goes back and forth each round.

Who may like it:  Fans of Friday the 13th and other 80s slasher movies. People who like hidden movement games but want more of a back-and forth with a better chance for the seekers to win.

81. Between Two Cities
Stonemeier Games
Designer: Matthew O’Malley, Morten Monrad Pedersen, Ben Rosset
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I also consider this a gateway game. While understanding the scoring is a lot for some people, I actually think this is a simpler drafting game to understand for many people that 7 Wonders (though not as simple as Sushi Go). This is a fun city building game that people always seem to enjoy. Of course…if you combine it with another game you will get an even higher game on this list… 

Who may like it:  Fans of drafting, city building, SimCity, or simple games where you get to work with others to learn and play.

Well…that is the next 10. Coming soon will include our next list which will include a legacy game, two games hinted at in this blog, another hidden movement game and much more!

Top 100 Games of All Time: 100-91 (plus honorable mentions)

At the Dice Tower it is time for their Semi-Annual listing of the top 100 games of all time to coincide with their annual Kickstarter. So on their YouTube channel you can now watch their Top 100 countdown.

It got me thinking “with the work I do for/in/around games people ask me frequently for game recommendations, my thoughts on games, my favorite games, etc. Could I create a listing of my top 100 games of all times? The answer: Yes. So the next question that came up was: will anyone care to read it? The answer? I guess we will find out soon.

So without further ado…the bottom 10 for my list. Some of these are prospects I’ve only played a few times, others are good but just weren’t quite enough to make the list. But first, let’s start with a quick listing of 10 Honorable Mentions in alphabetical order:

Colt Express – Fun, old west programming game.
Crokinole – Dexterity/disc flicking game
Kingdomino – Tile placement/pattern building game
Ladies & Gentlemen – Card Drafting/Set Collection Game you can read a lot about in past blogs
Photosynthesis – Action Point tree growing strategy game (I’ve only played once…could get higher or drop if I play more)
Pirate’s Cove – Pirate themed pick-up-and-deliver game.
Qwirkle – Tile Placement/Pattern Building Game
Sunflower Valley – Roll and Draw/Village Building game
Tussie Mussie – Card drafting/bluffing game
Witches of the Revolution – Cooperative Deck Building

100. Qwinto
Pandasaurus Games
Designer: Bernhard Lach, Uwe Rapp
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Jennifer (my wife) and I have been playing a lot of roll-and-writes lately. This, for now, is the top of my list. We have played more of Qwixx, but I prefer Qwinto because I think it adds a bit more strategy to the game than Qwixx does.

Who may like it: fans of similar games of course. People who like simple roll-and-writes but with a bit more strategy. Fans of abstracts.

99. Ca$h ‘n Guns (Second Edition)
Asterion Press
Designer: Ludovic Maublanc
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: It is no secret: I am not a big party-gamer. The top partly party-game on my list is number 24…and there aren’t a ton on the list total. In this game you are returning after a heist and need to split the loot. The problem: you’re still all armed. Using foam guns you determine who is the challenge and who you want to go after? This is a simple party game-easy to teach, fun to play…but also with good strategy. I’ve rarely played a bad game of this…although (and this is one of the reasons I rarely play this, The Resistance, etc….I am one of those players that is always targeted by everyone so it makes it less fun for me.

Who may like it: Fans of the Oceans Movies. People who like to have a silly time and aren’t offended by the silly foam guns. This is a serious concern. Will someone have issues with the guns? Will they cause an unwanted trauma? Are you in a place where people won’t get upset? All legitimate issues you may need to consider.
Image of the components to Ca$h 'n Guns including cards, guns, and character standees

98. Machi Koro
Pandasaurus Games
Designer: Masao Suganuma
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I remember the first time I played Machi Koro at a friends house. I immediately wanted to play again and again and wanted to buy the game. That doesn’t happen often. At the same point, I had an immediate issue with the game…which was fixed in the first expansion. (I did not like the set-line-up of cards.) We have Machi Koro Legacy we plan to start soon so we will see how that goes. This would potentially be higher…but this year I found a game with similar mechanics that does almost everything better than Machi Koro that makes this game drop to where it is…and at risk of leaving the list altogether. But you won’t see that game until #13…

Who may like it: People who like building a tableau. People who enjoy building a city. People who don’t mind that randomness will really control your game.

97. Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
Upper Deck
Designer: Devin Low
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I love deck builders. I remember the first one I played (Star Realms, actually) and I was hooked. One based on Marvel characters? Definitely intrigued. This is a great semi-cooperative game that is just held by back a few issues from being much higher. Set-up and tear down is a beast and often take as long as the game. Also the “semi-cooperative” part. I won’t play the game that way. “We work together but if we succeed we total points and only one of us wins” isn’t fun to me. I like it as a strict co-op. The other issue…it is Marvel themed and not DC. (hint for something to come…but not for a long time…)

Who may like it: Marvel fans. Deck building fans.

96. Code of Nine
Z-Man Games
Designer: BakaFire
Owned: No

Why it is on the list: This is a fun anime-esque sci-fi game. I don’t know what it is with this game…I’ve played twice and it just clicked with me. I did great both games and really enjoyed the experience.

Who may like it: Anime fans. People who like puzzles and strategy.

95. Lanterns: The Harvest Festival
Renegade Game Studios
Designer: Christopher Chung
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: It is a gorgeous tile placement/set collection/pattern building game. I really enjoy tile placement it seems. It is more of a filler to me but a ton of fun.

Photo of the game Lanterns and game components

Who may like it: People who love pretty games. People who enjoy pattern buildings, games like Bejeweled, etc.

94. Santorini
Designer: Gord!
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: The top person I play games with is with my wife, so great two player games are awesome. I like games that force you to think, plan, and think of what others are going to do. I’ve only played a couple of times but seems like one I will enjoy playing against different people.

Who may like it: People who like Chess.

93. HeroQuest
Milton Bradley
Stephen Baker
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: All you need to know is what the best part about Hero Quest is….and why HeroQuest is so great.

Who may like it: Fans of nostalgia. Fans of RPGs who are willing to be silly and have fun. Is it the best game mechanically? No. Can it be a ton of fun still? YES!

92. Spirit Island
Greater Than Games
Designer: R. Eric Reuss
Owned: No

Why it is on the list: I’ve played it once…and am not usually a huge co-op fan. The easies way to describe the game? Reverse Catan. In this game you are the island fighting back against the pesky settlers who are trying to invade you. This was a great time the one time I played and I look forward to playing more.

Who may like it: Fans of hard strategic cooperative games.

91. Citadels
Fantasy Flight Games
Designer: Bruno Faidutti
Owned: No

Why it is on the list: I like city/town building, even if it is based on cards. I like variable powers and hidden information. Also: this game’s money looks like butterscotch. What isn’t to like? Fun every time I’ve played…the best part of the game is the drafting and revealing of the roles and what they do over the actual building of the buildings.

Who may like it: Fans of bluffing and deduction games or city building.

So that is the bottom 10 for today. Next 10 coming in a day or two. Feel free to comment your thoughts on any of these/this list! Also-I would love to see both your top 10 and people’s guesses of what may be in MY top 10! Leave them in the comments!