Best Games on a Budget (steckman)
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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I was recommending games to a friend on a limited budget and decided to make a list of games that meet two criteria:
1) People in my gaming group recommend it
2) The game can be purchased for < $17


This entire list of 16 games could be purchased for $189.20, for an average of $11.83 per game (median of $12.49).

Various games were excluded from the list:
- Classic games like Chess which are well known and have great variation in prices
- Games like Poker, Bridge, and Oh Hell! which require little more than a deck of cards
- Games like Saboteur that we can't recommend without an expansion that pushes them over $17
- Games like Eat Poop You Cat and Werewolf that are historically just scraps of paper and rules


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1. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:392]
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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Received a Spiel des Jahres recommendation in 2005. Was the most played game at our 24 hour charity gaming marathon in 2014.

Can be acquired for $6.80
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2. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:275]
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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The Spiel des Jahres winner from 2013. A favorite when we only have 5 players.

Can be acquired for $7.00
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3. Board Game: Star Fluxx [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:1709]
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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My favorite themed version of Fluxx (1999 Mensa Select Winner).

Can be acquired for $7.50
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4. Board Game: Loot [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:1624]
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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A Mensa Select winner from 2005.

Can be acquired for $7.69
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5. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:338]
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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A solid and quick card drafting game

Can be acquired for $8.88
 
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6. Board Game: Gold Digger [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:6710]
Stephen Eckman
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Florida
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A Knizia game that is very easy to teach.

Can be acquired for $8.95
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7. Board Game: Council of Verona [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:1982]
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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This completely replaced the award winning Love Letter for me.

Can be acquired for $9.99

The Poison Expansion is worth looking at, but is by no means required.
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8. Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:462]
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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It's like BANG!, only better! Plus it has dice, and dice are always fun. A great little filler for up to 8 players.

Can be acquired for $11.99

History
Jan 20, 2015: BANG! The Dice Game replaced BANG!
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9. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:366]
Stephen Eckman
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A 1997 Spiel des Jahres recommendation and one of the games on my ideal game shelf.

Can be acquired for $12.99
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10. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:174]
Stephen Eckman
United States
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Florida
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Or The Resistance: Avalon. One of the games on my ideal game shelf.

Can be acquired for $12.99
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11. Board Game: Kill the Overlord [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:5597]
Stephen Eckman
United States
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Florida
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Not a very common game, and not one of my favorite Kickstarter projects that I backed. But two people in my gaming group named this their favorite game we played in 2013 (out of over 40 games).

Can be acquired for $13.49
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12. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:261]
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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The classic auction/bidding game. There isn't anything else to the game, but it is fast and fun.

Can be acquired for $14.99
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13. Board Game: Tiny Epic Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:969]
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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TEK has been described as a 4x game that fits in your pocket. I'm going to call it a 3x game though, as I don't really see any "explore" here. Regardless, it is a lot of fun for the price and plays very quickly.

Can be acquired for $16.00

If you go the PnP route, this is obviously much cheaper, but that's another list.
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14. Board Game: Tiny Epic Defenders [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1923]
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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Do you like Co-operative Play and Tower Defense? Well good news, because Scott Almes has distilled that down for you into an inexpensive, small box!

Can be acquired for $16.00

If you go the PnP route, this is obviously much cheaper, but that's another list.
 
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15. Board Game: 10 Days in Europe [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1596]
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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The "10 Days in" series is award winning, easy to learn, and co-designed by Alan R. Moon. Europe is my favorite version.

Can be acquired for $16.95
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16. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:316]
Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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This game defines this list more than any other. This is one of the first games I recommend to a player on a budget and is the primary reason I set the cutoff for this list at $17. Citadels has won several awards and nominations (including a 2000 Spiel des Jahres nomination) and is one of the games on my ideal game shelf.

Can be acquired for $16.99
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