If you're interested, you can check out the original list and the update. In both of those posts, I stated that the games you'll find here are all ones I own and have played more than once. That has still has not changed. There are a handful of games that I've played once (Heaven & Ale) or I don't own (Junk Art), that will likely make this list because I really enjoy them. However, we all need rules to live by and those are mine.
I was able to get all of my unplayed games played before the new year began. After that, the plan was to get mores plays in of the ones that only had a play or two. So far this year, that has not happened. I blame the move to the new house taking up a good portion of the time when that could have happened (excuses excuses). I'm still going to try and get back on track with that goal. I do like playing things I've never played before too, so there have been a few additions. Of those, there are at least a couple that will make next year's list I think. I've also done a good job culling down my collection and another purge will happen soon. Getting my collection down to the games I truly enjoy has been quite a process.
When I originally wrote this list, it was a straight up Top 10. However, my friend Shawn suggested something a little bit different and I really liked it. Instead of a Top 10 that pits games that are drastically different than one another, I'm breaking it down into three Top 5 lists. The categories are Card Games, Light Games, and Heavy Games. I feel like this provides a better representation of my favorite games.
This category is pretty self explanatory. Games on this list are card based, but they may have some extra components or a player board. Of the three categories, this is probably my favorite.
5. Circle the Wagons
No Thanks! I keep the extra copies in my car at all times just in case I want to play something quick when we're out. I've been able to play a bunch of games of this online because it was added to Happy Meeple, a site that hosts about a dozen light games. As I've said before, it's incredibly smart and has a great table presence. There was a lot of competition for this final spot on the Card Games list, so I don't know if it was have the staying power as I get in more plays of some newer things (Point Salad I'm looking at you).
Board Game Arena, I've had the opportunity to play with that many players at anytime of day for years now. I've done so to the tune of 211 games on their site. It's simple and is reminiscent of many classic traditional card games. The key is to know how to play your hand and sometimes get a little lucky. I'd love to be able to play this regularly with 5 or 6 players in person.
Board Game Arena so I play it there sometimes. I still need to try some of the expansions. This is hands down the best straight up card drafting game out there. It's amazing scalability keeps it at the top of that genre.
1. Star Realms
Games on this list have more components like a main board that players use or add to, their own player board or space to build, and may contain cards but they're not the main component of the game. For this category, all of the selections are equal to or below a 2.5 weight based on the complexity rating on BoardGameGeek.
Board Game Arena added this title and my plays have exploded because of that. It scales really well from 2 to 4 players, the 2 player version with the 7x7 board is amazing, and I love that it plays quick. It gives me the same "just one more game" feeling that Star Realms does.
This is another game that was added to Board Game Arena, so it has seen an uptick in plays. My copy with the new art has also been opened and played. I consider it to be a must own games for any collection. It's for that reason that I was going to bump it up on the Top 10 list, but now it will sit at the top of the Light Games list. There are a couple expansions I'll eventually pick up, but the base game is great all on its own.
A side note: upon completing this list, I noticed that all 5 games have the tile laying/placement mechanic. I guess I like what I like.
Games on this list are very similar to the Light Games list. The only real difference is the complexity, and therefore, playing times are also typically longer. For this category, all of the selections are above a 2.5 weight based on the complexity rating on BoardGameGeek.
4. This War of Mine
Steam to see if it's worth keeping the board game version or not. This is another game that I don't see staying on this list, but it probably won't leave the collection either.
Wingspan. Another thing I really enjoy about it is the different paths to victory a player can take. It ramps up so quickly towards the end as players can do even more on their turn as they change their player boards. I don't see this leaving my collection because it's my one "big game".
2. The Castles of Burgundy
Hive is the only game that fell of "the list". It could have definitely make the Light Games list, but I know it'll get knocked off next year. Also, if I had a choice I'd rather play Favelas because it plays more players and I'm better at it. Hive is a really great game that is staying in the collection.
Some games in each category that currently own and could see making next year's list if they get more plays:
Card Games - Point Salad, SPQF, The Fox in the Forest, Arboretum
Light Games - Azul, Kingdom Builder, Gold West, Warsaw: City of Ruins
Heavy Games - Heaven & Ale, Village, Torres, Whistle Stop
I really like this new format a lot better than a straight up to 10. Comparing a super light game like Kingdomino to a somewhat heavy game like Scythe doesn't make a lot of sense. Sure, this format allows me to add more games to the overall lists, but as I said, this gives a better representation of what I like. I'm all for medium heavy games in the 3 - 3.5 weight range, but my sweet spot is more around 1.75 to 2.5.
What are your favorite games? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading.