Greeting, loyal readers, and welcome to part one of my Top 100 Games of All Time (as of February 2017). This list was compiled using an online tool, which required me to choose between which game I prefer around 1300 times. With a change or two here or there, I now happily present to you my Top 100 Games of All Time!
Do note that these are not what I believe are the “Top 100 Best Designed” games of all time. There are some games high up in the list, for example, that I think are relatively simplistic, even basic, in concept and mechanics. Rather, this list is the “Top 100 Games That I Love”, for whatever reason that may be. It could be that I enjoy playing the game, or perhaps some of my fondest memories of gaming were had playing those games. Whatever the reason, every game on this list has a story behind it, and I will share them briefly as I go. Today, we go through 100-91, starting with:
Pandemic-light, as it’s often referred to, this little island adventure packs a lot of punch for such a simple game. It’s a frantic race to escape the island with all the treasure before it sinks on you. The mechanics do well at evoking the theme, while also creating a tense and extremely family friendly cooperative game. Some games higher on my list scratch a similar itch a little better than this one, but it’s still a game I’d highly recommend to anyone starting out on their board gaming journey.
#99: Eminent Domain: Microcosm
Don’t let the time limit deceive you; there is an absurd amount of game in this little box. In fact, this is the heaviest little box I’ve ever tried out, and it does a great job of emulating its older brother Eminent Domain in a two player microgame. As much as I love the complexity of the game, it’s a little too esoteric in appeal to see the table much, and the scoring is absolutely atrocious. I’d say the scoring takes almost as long as the game, unless you have a whiteboard handy to keep track of it during the game. If you do give this one a try, I’d suggest doing that; it also enhances the overall gameplay.
#98: Epic PVP: Fantasy
A really simple concept that just works well. Choose a fantasy race and a fantasy class, and get battling! Epic PVP has a pretty interesting resource management system in which you must balance your “mana” and your cards in hand; can you hold out on fewer cards in order to build up resources, or would you rather wait until you’ve built up enough of an economy to be able to throw out multiple attacks at once? It’s a little too simple for any deep thought, but it’s enjoyable, silly fun that only takes around ten minutes, and is chock full of replayability. Besides, who hasn’t wanted to play a Goblin Paladin and smack around a Dwarf Monk?
It strikes me as interesting that I think Elysium is an incredibly innovative and unique game with beautiful art, yet I don’t find myself rearing to play it very much. With an interesting twist on drafting, plenty of replayability and a plethora of combinations to take advantage of, I think Elysium would be higher on my list if I’d played it a little more. At the moment, however, it sits low on my list, ready to pounce up once it proves itself a hit with my playgroup.
#96: Get Bit!
Man, do I enjoy this game. A simple, silly little game where you get to pull lego men apart and have a laugh, it makes for excellent filler material, especially with a more casual crowd. I’m not a huge fan of the memory aspect of games, especially if you’re playing with a more serious crowd, but this little gem has been enjoyed by children and adults alike! After all, who doesn’t like watching as lego men lose their limbs?
Francis Drake is the first heavy euro game on my list, but far from the last. Being all the way down here is not a jab at this game of naval exploration; on the contrary, the few plays I’ve had of the game were tight and very enjoyable. What lets it down for me is the lack of unique player powers and somewhat “samey” feel of each and every game. I love the mechanic of moving through the city, much like the journey along the road in Tokaido, but sadly the game is a little too heavy to see a lot of play, and when a heavy game does see play, there are many more on this list that I’d prefer to play than this one.
I’m a huge fan of Fantasy Flight Games’s Living Card Games, something that will become more evident the further we go on in this list. A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (Second Edition) is not least among them; it’s close to the top, and definitely one of the ones I’ve played more. The flavour is wonderfully implemented in many of the cards, and there is substantial complexity to the game which makes it very interesting. Unfortunately, deckbuilding is not quite there as of yet, and luck is often a very determining factor in games, resulting in occasionally lacklustre experiences. That said, it’s far better than the First Edition, and still makes it into my Top 100; any game that reaches there is something special.
#93: Evo (Second Edition)
I’ve always been a fan of dinosaurs, and Evo was the first dinosaur game I played. A mix of area control, resource management, and some of the best auctioning in any game, Evo has been a fun time (almost) every time I’ve brought it to the table. The secret points aspect is a little bit of a downer, and some absolutely killer combos can ruin games, which makes me like it less than other games much higher on my list. I also find it strange that a player can win the game through skilful auctioning. Whilst it does reward clever play, it doesn’t feel right to win a dinosaur game through the auction house! Still, Evo is a game I’d happily take part in anytime it’s brought out.
Fantasy Flight Games really have a thing for big box games, and Forbidden Star will certainly not be the last one here. As of yet, I’ve only tried this one out two player, and given the recent split between Games Workshop and Fantasy Flight will cause the game to be a little rarer, perhaps I will never play any more than that (unless I grab my own copy). Forbidden Stars is ambitious; it takes aspects of deckbuilding and mixes it in with space combat to form a very unique game of conquest. With four very different factions in the box, and enough options for each faction to be played differently each time, Forbidden Stars is the rare Warhammer game that worked for me.
The nautical/pirate theme is one that has been growing on me lately, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Libertalia makes it way up the list a little later on. A really unique style of game, wherein each player is given the same options to make simultaneous decisions with, trying their best to secure the most booty. Libertalia‘s many strengths are, unfortunately, weighed down by the anchor of chaos the game invites. For someone who enjoys planning as much as I do, this randomness is a little too much for me. I still enjoy the game, but this does it bring it down to #91.
Thanks for tuning in and joining me as I go on my Top 100 adventure! I hope you find some interesting games here and there, and thanks for reading as always! Next time, we’ll be looking at #90-#81, and the games will only get better and better (in my opinion of course) from here. What are some of your favourite games that you think many people haven’t heard of? Let me know, and until next time, have fun gaming, wherever you are!