My Top 100 Games of All Time (2018 Edition)
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Another year, another top 100 board games! Stick around to the end, and I'll post some interesting statistics (and also note the games that fell off the list!).

Enjoy!
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1. Board Game: Welcome to the Dungeon [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:924] [Average Rating:6.66 Unranked]
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#100

2017: #100 (+0)

Welcome to the Dungeon is an intro game I frequently use during game nights.

Players will take the role of a hero set to go into a dungeon, and will take turns either increasing the difficulty of the dungeon, removing equipment from the hero, or pass. The last player who doesn't pass is forced to go into the dungeon with what equipment they have!

Welcome to the Dungeon landed at #100 last year, and kept its place this year, and I don't see it changing anytime soon.
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2. Board Game: XenoShyft: Onslaught [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:892] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
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#99

2017: #83 (-16)

Xenoshyft: Onslaught is a cooperative deck building game taken right out of the classic Starship Troopers. Big guns, lots of bugs, very difficult!

The game features two tracks: One where enemies will be placed, and the other where you'll be placing your items and weapons to defeat said enemies. You then reveal these cards, and do your best to make it through the line in one piece.

This game has fallen a few places since last year, and that's simply because I haven't had the chance to play it as often as I'd like. Still, a great game!
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3. Board Game: Stellar Conflict [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2749]
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#98

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Stellar Conflict is a space battle game for two to four players. Players will spend points to make armies, represented as a deck of cards, and then, in a set amount of time, place these cards on the table in any orientation they want. When the timer runs out, the battle begins!

Players use stretchy rubber pieces to trace the lasers their ships shoot across the table, and if they intercept another ship, they deal damage!

Honestly, I consider Stellar Conflict more of a party game than a serious game. Just toss some cards on the table and have fun. I do wish the scoring phase was quicker, but otherwise, I really enjoy this game.
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4. Board Game: Insider [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:1101]
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#97

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Insider is a party word-guessing game. One player will know the word, and the rest of the players will ask yes or no questions to try and figure out the word. If players can't guess the word in the time limit, everyone loses.

The twist is, one player also knows the word, and is trying to steer the other players to guess the correct answer. After players have successfully guessed the word, players will then vote on who they think was the 'insider', the player who knew the word, and if they fail, the Insider wins!

New to the list, and for good reason. I've had lots of fun, primarily using this game as an ender to game nights.
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5. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Guns (Second Edition) [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:578]
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#96

2017: #75 (-21)

Ca$h 'n Gun$ is a fantastic party game of pointing foam guns at your friends and taking loot.

In Ca$h 'n Gun$, you and your friends take the roll of gangsters splitting their recently acquired loot. However, you're in it for yourself, and you want to make sure you get out both alive and with the most loot. You'll do this by threatening your friends (enemies) with guns, hoping they back out, even though you had a blank in the chamber.

Get the most loot, be it cash, diamonds, or famous paintings, and you win! It has fallen a few spaces, but I think that's just because it hasn't had the number of plays I'd like.
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6. Board Game: Patchwork [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:64]
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#95

2017: #29 (-66)

Patchwork is a two player only game where you're using buttons to build a beautiful patchwork blanket.

It's a fine game, but it has really dropped over the last year. I don't think that's because it is a bad game, but because there are other small, abstract games that work great for two players higher on my list.
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7. Board Game: Among the Stars [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:496] [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked]
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#94

2017: #99 (+5)

Among the Stars is a game that really scratches the itch when I want a low key drafting and card placement game. In the game, you are the architect of a space station, and each turn you have a certain amount of money you can spend on buying cards that you draft.

I've played Among the Stars at least three times the last year, and I still love it. I'm interested in the expansions, so that might just move it higher next year.
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8. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:460]
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#93

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Betrayal at House on the Hill is played in two phases. The first phase, you're exploring some old mansion, collecting items and dealing with events, and during the second phase, one player (sometimes) becomes the enemy, and all other players have to work against that player to win.

I was surprised to see Betrayal not on the list last year, and kind of surprised to see it on the list this year. I've played it a few times, usually with newer games, so I guess that must be the reason. No idea if it'll hold this spot, we'll have to see!
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9. Board Game: Samurai Spirit [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1111]
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#92

2017: #66 (-26)

Samurai Spirit is a cooperative card management game where you and a group of up to seven players take the roles as powerful samurai defending a peaceful village against a gang of bandits.

The basis of the game is that each samurai has a track on the side of their player board, from 1 to somewhere in the teens. On their turn, they can choose to fight a bandit from a big deck of cards. The strength of the bandit will move you on the track on your player board. Move too far, beyond whatever your threshold is, and you're out!

The goal is to balance how many bandits your samurai takes on so as to not go over that number-- but if you land on it perfectly, you activate is super special power! And if all else fails and you start to take serious damage, you can always transform into your wild animal form!
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10. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:314] [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
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#91

2017: #76 (-15)

In Sentinels of the Multiverse you take the role of a hero and with your friends try to overcome both the environment and the big bad that's threatening, well, the world.

Sentinels of the Multiverse isn't a deck builder, but a deck chooser. Each hero has its own custom deck filled with thematic (kinda) cards. These cards will allow you to do damage (mostly) to the enemy and his minions. There isn't a whole lot of interaction between the heroes as they fight, nor a lot of difficult choices to make, but I still find it enjoyable to take the roll as a hero and fight off the bad guys.

After many plays, I think I've discovered all I can from this game. I think introducing a deck construction aspect before the game begins might improve it for me in the future.
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11. Board Game: Raptor [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:320]
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#90

(New to the list)

Raptor is a two player only game where one player takes the role of a raptor mama and her babies, and another player takes the role of scientists trying to capture the babies.

I love the theme, and it reflects wonderfully in the abstract gameplay. Players will choose a card from their hand each turn with a number on it and an action. If you play the lower numbered card, you get the action, and if you play the higher numbered card, you get the difference in action points!

Fantastic game, and one of my favorite two player only games.
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12. Board Game: Outlive [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:588]
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#89

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In Outlive, you'll take control of a group of survivors trying to gain the greatest respect in a post apocalyptic world. You'll do this by moving around numbered meeples on a main board, which will award you resources and equipment. In the second half of each round, you'll use those resources to repair your equipment, build rooms in your shelter, and recruit more survivors.

I've only gotten a couple plays of this one in, but I love how smooth and quick it plays once players know what they're doing.
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13. Board Game: Onitama [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:205]
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#88

2017: #86 (-2)

Onitama is a solid, simple two player abstract game with beautiful components. Both players will have a master and four pawns, and there are two ways to win: Move your Master to the other side of the board, into the space your opponent's Master started, or take the opponents Master by moving any of your pieces into their space.

The beauty of the game is that you play this using cards that are constantly in cycle with you and your opponent. If you ever lose in this game, it's because you gave your opponent the card that they needed, and that is wonderful.
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14. Board Game: Tail Feathers [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:2583] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
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#87

2017: 94 (+7)

Tail Feathers is a strategic miniatures based combat game where you take controls of mice riding birds! I don't play many 'measure distance, trace movement path, move groups of units' type of games (in fact, I think this is the only one), but this is one I do enjoy, and mostly because of theme.

Based on the Mice & Mystics dungeon crawl game, the theme is practically pouring out of everything you do in this game. Tilting your bird to change trajectory, riding leaves across tree branches, getting into a death spiral when two birds collide, it is all so real as it plays out in front of you. That said, there is some fiddly-ness in this game, and every time I play I have the rulebook open and ready.

One of my favorite films from childhood is Secret of Nimh, and I love the book series Redwall-- something about fantastical mice call out to me (and probably why I should play more Mice & Mystics), and you can't get much closer to those than this game of flying action combat.
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15. Board Game: Runebound (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:403]
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#86

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Runebound is an adventure style board game where you take the role of a hero in the Terrinoth universe. You'll go out and have combat with monsters, complete quests, and interact with the locals, but your primary goal is to take out the big bad, depending on the scenario you choose to play.

I love how wide open this game feels at the beginning, and how much you can customize your hero as you play. The only thing that could make it better for me is if there were cooperative scenarios.
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16. Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:96]
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#85

2017: #32 (-53)

Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a castle building, tile placement game where you and your friends will fight to create the most bizarre castle you can.

Each round, one player will be deemed the Master Builder, and they'll determine the prices for a set of room tiles that the other players can opt to buy. The Master Builder chooses from whatever remains, so they have to be careful when they price things-- price tiles high if you know a player really wants it, and make sure the tile you want is just right so you don't have to pay much for it, but no one else snatches it up either.

You'll place these room tiles for a variety of effects (mainly points), and by the end, you'll look over these crazy castles you've created and almost forget about the scoreboard.

I think the primary reason for the drop in ranking is that I've played this game to death, and I'm not sure how many more plays I can personally get out of it. That doesn't mean it's a bad game, and if you haven't played it yet, I highly recommend you give it a try!
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17. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:221]
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#84

2017: #36 (-48)

Ghost Stories is a cooperative game where you'll take the roles of powerful monks who will go across town and defend it from the ever increasing onslaught of ghosts.

You'll do this by activating tiles based on where your monk moved and by rolling dice to fend off approaching ghosts. What sets this game apart is the high level of cooperativeness. You'll be talking through an entire round, even if you don't know what the next ghost is going to be, planning every action and then going all at once and watching as your plans fall apart or wonderfully succeed.

I've played a lot of Ghost Stories, and have played almost all of the expansions, so I think I've began to reach my peak on plays. But if I want a really difficult co-op, and someone asks, I'll probably play!
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18. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:210] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
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#83

2017: #23 (-60)

Small World is a Risk style war game where you'll be moving different chits of wild races across a colorful map, trying to conquer as much a space as you can in this very small world.

Small World is a great game because of the wild variability. Each race will come with a special power and a unique bonus power too. You'll purchase a race from a row, and you'll use it until you've stretched it to its limits, where then you'll retire the race and pick a new one. The old race will remain on the board however, continuing to score you points for conquered spaces.

I've only played this game a handful the last year. When I first purchased this game, I and my game group went through a major Small World phase, where we played it at least once every game night. I'll still gladly pull it out every now and then though, and with all the expansions, I know I'll never play exactly the same game twice.
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19. Board Game: Pandemic: The Cure [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:300]
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#82

2017: #95 (+13)

Pandemic did not make the list this year, and I'm finding myself playing The Cure more and more.

ndemic: The Cure is the dice version game of Pandemic. Similar to Pandemic, in this game you'll be rolling dice, going from region to region, curing diseases, using special powers, and watching it all fall apart when chain reactions destroy all the work you've done!

Dice counting in this game is important-- you want to know how many red or green dice are left in the bag or on the board, and sometimes you might treat a region just to get some more colors in the bag.

Great game and interesting choices, and always tense when you pull those dice out of the bag and see what happens!
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20. Board Game: Mascarade [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:985]
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#81

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Mascaraed is a party style hidden role game, where the roles are constantly shifting and no one knows exactly who everyone is, even themselves.

Players can declare their role, and if no one objects, he may use that role's power, but if a player does object, they'll face a penalty if they're wrong!

Quick game, and a lot of fun as a starter or ender to a game night.
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21. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:419]
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#80

2017: #31 (-49)

Camel Up is a game where you'll be bidding on candy colored camels as they race 'round a track.

You'll be taking bid tiles if you think certain camels will end up in first or second, or you'll be gaining pyramid tiles that let you roll dice and determine how the camels move. The twist of the game is that camels actually stack, and the camel 'on top' is the camel in first place, and the camels on bottom actually carry the camels on top.

This can lead a camel in last place making it into first place if all the dice fall just right. You can never be 100% sure who is going to win!

This is one of my favorite party games, and I really wish I could play it more!
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22. Board Game: King of New York [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:507]
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#79

2017: #58 (-21)

King of New York is the big brother to the classic King of Tokyo. The idea remains the same in this game: You take the role of a giant monster, gain power cards, and terrorize a city to gain the most points.

But where King of Tokyo would end it there, King of New York expands in so many new and interesting ways. Where once there was only a single spot on the board, King of New York has many different regions, all filled with military. Destroying the military is a new way to gain points, or, if you're willing to risk it, you can go down town for as long as you can to rack up huge points.

This game is all about pushing your luck. Mixing this with the incredibly cool power cards you can spend energy to gain makes this game one of my favorites-- a fantastic balance between a party game and a gamer's game.
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23. Board Game: Mysterium [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:193]
Michael W
United States
Texas
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#78

2017: #77 (-1)

Mysterium is a party style deduction game where players will receive information from a silent ghost in the form of cards in order for players to try and determine how they were murdered.

The key in this game are the cards. In addition to the fantastic, beautiful artwork, they are all very unique, bizarre, and can be interpreted in so many ways. You'll use the cards the ghost gives you in order to try to find out the person, location, and object you were murdered with.

This game has essentially replaced Dixit for me. I enjoy Dixit, but Mysterium just makes it even more of a game.
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24. Board Game: Sheriff of Nottingham [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:292]
Michael W
United States
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2017: #10 (-67)

Sheriff of Nottingham is a party game where you take the roll of a honest (or not) merchant trying to get past the sheriff and into the city to sell all of your legal (or illegal) goods.

Each player has a bag where they can put good cards inside, but they can lie about what they actually have in the bag. It is up to the sheriff (that rotates from player to player), to either believe them and give the bag back, or open the bag and perhaps discover hidden smuggled good.

The free form nature of this game makes it the perfect party game for me. There are so many deals you can make and break. You can play innocently or lie as much as you want. And when the sheriff decides to give you back your bag filled with illegal smuggled goods-- there is no greater experience than opening the bag and seeing the look on the sheriff's face.

I feel inclined to explain the massive drop-- but I don't think I have a hugely satisfactory answer. The short answer-- I've played fewer and fewer party games over the last year, preferring meatier middle-weight games. So although Sheriff dropped in ranking, as far as party games go, it is still absolutely fantastic.
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25. Board Game: Raiders of the North Sea [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:84] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Michael W
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2017: #30 (-46)

iders of the North Sea is a game where you take on the roll of a band of vikings raiding the north for resources and glory.

The game is a worker placement game with a twist. You place a worker in a zone to do the action (be it gain a resource, gain some armor, gain another crew mate to join your raiding party), and then you choose a different worker on the board, do that action, and then take that worker to your supply.

This means that there is no set player worker pieces-- it constantly shifts.

I've found the game feels a bit samey from game to game, but perhaps when I get to play some of the expansions that have come out recently, I might change my mind!
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