The Canonical List of Really Good, Non-Party, Non-TV/Movie-Themed Games Published in the Last 30 Years by Maintstream American Game Publishers.
Paul Burkhard
United States
Fort Collins
Colorado
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DEFINITIONS:

"Really Good"- BGG rating of 7.0 or higher, 6.0 is acceptable, I suppose.

"Non-party"- Must not be listed in the following categories: Party Games, Trivia, Word or Music.

"Non-TV/Movie"- Must not be listed in the following categories: Movie/TV-Game Theme.

"Published in the Last 30 Years"- Must be a new title and theme, published first in the United States. We are ruling out games that were first published "overseas" and then reprinted by an American company.

"Mainstream American Game Publishers"- Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, Hasbro, Mattel, Avalon Hill. If you go into WalMart and find more than two games published by the publisher, then the publisher is a "Mainstream American Game Publisher." Hey, my list, I am going to write the rules...

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1. Board Game: HeroQuest [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:546]
Tim M-L
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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this is definitely main stream, and very good.
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2. Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis! [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:232]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
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The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
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I'm surprised this one wasn't already on the list!
 
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3. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:499]
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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In my opinion, the best game ever.
 
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4. Board Game: Family Business [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:2398]
Crypt Keeper
United States
California
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This would qualify. I remember when the edition pictured came out. At the time I was working for a game distributor. I had never heard of it before and didn't think much of it as I shipped them out (usually 2 or 3 per store.) Then we got a call from Games and Things of Berkeley asking for another 24 of them so I made it a point to grab one for myself. Had a lot of fun with it. It's interesting how varied the opinions of it are here at BGG.
 
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5. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:157] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Crypt Keeper
United States
California
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Hmm... Writing the last entry made me realize we forgot a rather obvious one.
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6. Board Game: Tank Battle [Average Rating:5.28 Overall Rank:14722]
Anthony Simons
United Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire
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The definitive hybrid; elements of Battleships and L'Attaque meld together perfectly to result in one of the most challenging 2-player themed strategy games of all time. Niiiiice!
 
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7. Board Game: Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:473]
Chris Farrell
United States
Cupertino
California
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Suprised this one hasn't been mentioned at all yet. In all honesty, I wouldn't generally consider AH a "mainstream" publisher. The largest American maker of hobby-type games for many years, but not really "mainstream" (even in it's haydey, it would fail your "2 games in a mass-market outlet" test - adjusted for the fact that WalMart wasn't what it is today). Still, I think it's fair to say that this game is as close to mainstream as your standard hex-n-counter games ever got. I've heard that it is the best-selling board wargame of all time. And it's also a great game, of course, not overly complicated - especially not by today's standards - and yet lots of decision and lots of fun. And incredibly engrossing.
 
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8. Board Game: Space Crusade [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1062]
Bryan Arroyo
United States
Old Hickory
Tennessee
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The sci-fi counterpart to Hero Quest.
 
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9. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:225] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Roger McKay
Canada
Bedford
Nova Scotia
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This should stand, if I managed to parse your list title properly.
 
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