My top 20 games

Here’s a top 20 list of games I like. This is based on my annual top 100 lists. I’ve been doing those since 2014, so I thought there’s some history there I could use.

Here’s the latest edition on BGG.

I scored each list: the first game gets 100 points, next one 99 points and so on. I then calculated an average score for each game since the debut appearance, and here’s the top 20, minus one game that has only appeared on the list once.

This is how the list looks like:

  1. Ora et Labora – Resource management with light worker placement and spatial puzzling. Superb with two.
  2. A Feast for Odin – Worker placement with spatial puzzling. Two-player game requires The Norwegians expansion.
  3. Fields of Arle – Two-player worker placement with a very wide array of options.
  4. Samarkand: Routes to Riches – A masterpiece of stocks and trains and player-controlled game timing in less than 30 minutes.
  5. Pax Pamir – Wild chaotic struggle for power. The 2nd edition looks stunning.
  6. Innovation – Wild chaotic struggle for civilization. Endless replayability, even without the expansions.
  7. Die Dolmengötter – Only plays with four, but those shared incentives and tactical opportunities are sweet.
  8. Root – Very interesting asymmetric war game with brilliant design and excellent art.
  9. Brass: Lancashire – One of the best economic games, for those moments where you just want to be a shameless capitalist.
  10. Great Western Trail – Deck-building, upgrading your capabilities and tactical finesse in a very well-designed game.
  11. Exit: The Game – The best escape room puzzle game series.
  12. Suburbia – Still the best city-building game. Balancing income and expenses is the key.
  13. 1846 – 18xx games are the pinnacle of economic conflict games, and 1846 is the best game in the series, because it’s so compact.
  14. Mahjong – A classic rummy game, one for the ages – but best played with the sleek, modern Zung Jung rule set.
  15. Nusfjord – With two players this is a 20-minute turbo worker placement filler with tons of combo potential from the building cards.
  16. Tarock – The Slovenian variant of tarock is the best four-player trick-taking game there is.
  17. Agricola – Classic worker placement and farm development game is in decline, but still a classic.
  18. Spirit Island – One of the few co-op strategy games I tolerate; this game of decolonial settler destruction I actually enjoy.
  19. The Great Zimbabwe – The best game from the boutique design studio Splotter. Unique, clever and fiendish.
  20. Terraforming Mars – The little engine builder that could. For once the game doesn’t stop as soon your engine starts rolling.

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2 responses to “My top 20 games”

  1. What can I say, he does good games. But I’m not a huge fan of everything he does, mostly I like the old 1990s oddball card games and these big worker placement games.