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Top games of all time.. ever! (20-11) 2024 Edition

Updated: Mar 22

It's official. I've pulled together the top games of all time, the one and only exhaustive list you'll ever need should you wish to jboq what my top games are!


I last did this list back in 2017, and the list back then was:


Top 10

#1: Five Tribes: The Djinns of Naqala

#2: 7 Wonders Duel

#3: Tyrants of the Underdark

#4: Terraforming Mars

#5: Star Realms

#6: Sun Tzu

#7: Patchwork

#8: Concordia

#9: Jaipur

#10: Targi


The question is, will any of them stand the test of time? I've now logged over 6,000 plays across 680 games, which will come out on top? (I know I've played significantly more than that, however, I've not logged plays consistently) Now I could talk through all 600, but I'd be here forever, and some games aren't worth the words!


Let's start with number 20!


Imperium Classics is a deck builder for 1-4 players, although I've never played with more than 2 players, and solo is my preferred way to play this game. Although it didn’t make any most played lists for 2023, it's a game I've never forgotten about and come back occasionally, although I don't own a copy myself. So it's one I borrow and probably should purchase to get more play time from, having exhausted Legacy of Yu. I do need a solo game back in my collection.


Coming in at Number 19 is Concordia, dropping 11 places from my previous list. Concordia brings together hand management with resource production and trading. You'll need to manage your resources and your meeples to seek area control. It's a game I don't experience enough and should get to the table more often. I've always found it a bit hit on the teach, and in my first play, we played the scoring completely wrong. However, after revisiting and returning multiple times, it's a game I've come to love.


Food Chain Magnate is next, a behemoth of a game and one that I don't have the desire to teach. Food chain Magnate has you running a fast food restaurant or two and seeking yo make the most money, you'll need to manage your hierarchy, market your goods, recruit new works and pay salaries. It's a game we sold because my partner got bored of beating me. And despite that, it's one I want to keep coming back to and trying different equally bad strategies.


Up in spot 17 is Cascadia, a wonderful puzzley tile laying game that offers a suprising amount of decision crunch in a game in which you place a total of 20 tiles. It's a perfect end of game night game, being playable in under 40 minutes, and who doesn’t like cute salmon?


Five Tribes was at one point my all-time favourite game, but it's fallen from that time and space, taking the mancala mechanism and combining it with what, at times, can be analysis paralysis hell. It's a game I'd never play with anyone remotely AP prone as the game would take all evening. My preferred way to play is definitely at two players. Why has it fallen from the top spot? It's simply a game I now play less of, but with it in Alpha on Boardgamearena, I can see this climbing the list once again.


The Taverns of Tiefenthal sneaks in at number 15, a deck builder that has you running a tavern, filling the tavern with guests and beer! But it's the additional modules that make this game shine, bringing in more stuff to allow more powerful turns. However, my iasye with Taverns of Tiefenthal is that I always find myself having to start fresh and starting with the introductory game for new players, meaning that content is locked behind multiple plays.


Castell, a rough diamond, is often overlooked, and once upon a time, it saw outing to game night 10 weeks in a row. To me that's big staying power and honestly I'd happily play Castell pretty much anytime, however, I feel that after 23 plays I've seen everything and there's almost a lack of pull to bring me back when a choice is between Castell or something else on the list. Don't get me wrong, I love Castell, but I can't help but feel that it needs an ounce more of something. Oh, and I'd love to see it on Boardgamearena.


Carnegie takes spot 13, a game I've played some 60 times and one I adore, it however, I think it is a marmite game. I've found Carnegie to be largely a hit or a miss with groups, and it means my plays are limited to Boardgamearena or conventions. Carnegie is a game I've bought twice, tried to get to the table twice, and failed both times. It's a purely resource management and actually production management game, in which you need to manage money, resources, and your people. It's probably the only game I can recall with a human resources department function and ability. As an HR professional, it warma my cold HR heart ever so slightly.


Android:Netrunner has a permanent place in my heart being one of my all-time favourite card games, and if I was still actively playing. It would, without a doubt, be number 1, and I suspect it'll conto fall down the list. However, it's been soured by the community. I attended an event back in 2016 or 2017, only to be told by a fairly prominent member of the community that I didn’t deserve to be there (as I hadn't been playing for long) so had taken a space in the event that someone else was much more deserving of. When really I'd just booked a ticket sooner than others. I realise Netrunner has been revitalised and kept going strong but its some of the same folks and after visiting the stand at last years UKGE and being largely ignored/cut off/told to come back because I was alone, I've sold off all my stuff and called time. However, as a game, it's gripping the two different rule sets, how the head to head tension builds, its an amazing card game, that for me is let down by a community.


Faraway closes out the list at number 11, and with the cult of the new, at least one new game has to make an entry! I was fortunate enough to get an early preview copy to try (and post onto another reviewer) and fell in love instantly with its clever but oh so simple rules. Yes its a card game, yes you'll only play 8 cards, but scoring them from last card played to first card played is such a twist, that I'm addicted to this on Boardgamearena and once its available more generally I'll be picking myself up a copy.


And that closes out the top 20-11 games of all time, I realise you may need to purchase these games quickly! But never fear most are available online to play in one place or another, and of course, you don't need to own every game!


Stay tunes for part 2..and when we announced what the best game ever is!

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