The game responsible for much of my gaming circle and thousands of played games. This year has had its issues, but I can now happily play Dominion Online again, so it’s not all bad.
If you find me on some interstate transportation, I probably had Codenames with me. Just a great simple amusing game for nearly any group.
3. Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization:
The new version fixed this game, which is pretty impressive given how good this game already was. An epic that feels like you are telling a story about the rise and fall of empires.
Our go to phone app game. I’ve played Splendor many times and feel like I’m very good at it. There are highly competitive players that have a completely divergent strategy from mine. That is amazing for so simple a game.
It doesn’t get played as much as it used to, but still my go to partner game. Just filled with incredible absurd moments that are talked about long after.
6. Mage Knight:
I just bought an expansion for this game despite almost never getting to play the base game. This is how much I like Mage Knight. It is a many hour slog, even with two, but oh what a fun slog is. Anyone want to play?
7. Twilight Struggle:
The game that fixed war games for me, despite not being a war game. Fighting a war by proxy throughout all the regions of the world is just fascinating.
My favorite Feld with lots of dice rolls, four billion cubes, and incredibly satisfying super turns.
9. Castles of Mad King Ludwig:/ 10. Suburbia:
Two similar games designed by Ted Alspach with different strengths. Castles is much more streamlined and results in having a castle built, maybe even with a Cheese Room. Suburbia tiles are individually thematic, and it is the more strategic affair. Both great and often flip in my personal ordering.
Accomplishes the task of giving players lots of options without overwhelming them. It has a unique auction/worker replacement combo that feels very different from game to game.
12. Pandemic Family:
Pandemic is a satisfying puzzle game that was my favorite co-op, but I’ve grown a little tired of it. Lately I’m enjoying Pandemic the Cure, as the dice rolling adds some much needed unpredictably to it. Pandemic Legacy is also a worthy experience about which I have a write-up to post.
I don’t play it much any more, but it is still a great ambassador for the hobby.
14. Mombasa:/15. Russian Railroad:
Mombasa and Russian Railroads are the two games I utterly fail at explaining. They are complex Euro games with lots going on, which don’t tend to fit into a thematic box. They are both fantastic and filled with diverse strategic options. There are always things to do, but if you don’t plan well, you will get crushed.
Strasbourg is an auction game where it is okay to not win auctions, because runner-ups gets stuff two. However, the game is maddeningly tight, so if you plan poorly and completely lose a needed item, the effect can be devastating. It is fast paced and exciting, if occasionally stressful.
17. Apples to Apples:
Apples to Apples gets a lot of flak from “real gamers,” but I still enjoy it. IT is the only game where I don’t try to win. I’d much rather get the inappropriate sarcastic remark in. Not really strategic, but still really funny.
18. Black Friday:
My favorite Stock Market game featuring the joy and agony of price fluctuations. Wish I got to play it on days other than the day after Thanksgiving though.
Couldn't tell you what it has to do with Brass, but it is another medium-heavy themeless Euro game with an enjoyable progression.
20. Risk Legacy:
Risk Legacy is an amazing achievement; it made Risk good. I might never play it again now that we finished the campaign, but I remember more moments from it than most other games on this list.
21. Ice Cool:
See you flick Penguins… My favorite dexterity game, I think because the penguins’ wobbles match my own. Just so neatly put together.
22. Mech VS Minions
The game that makes every other appear to be an overpriced piece of crap. It is just incredible. it is really silly and fun.
One of my go to games for five players, who don’t mind historical use of slavery. The game has a nice buildup, going from a short and simple first turn, to a far more involved endgame.
24. Notre Dame:
A well paced tight drafting game that is easy to teach and does any player count superbly.
25. Hansa Teutonica:
Careful with this game, cars have been known to get totaled outside during play. The game itself is great though. In a twist from most game, you really want to be attacked here, and spend a lot of time tempting opponents.