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Nice article! Can you cover the Philosophy board game by Quality Beast next? It is emerging and likely the material of legends.
Chinatown, carcassonne, coup, secret Hitler and Condottiere are some great games!
Who are these ‘experts’?
No Tokaido? Big miss.
Another list from a random blog poster that knows nothing about boardgames.
I will agree that these games are popular but any serious boardgamer would not sit down and play these.
Azul and Wingspan maybe, what do you meme/catan whilst popular no serious boardgamer would play this I run a meetup as well as my own sessions. Yes a lot of people play catan/ticket to ride but when asked they don’t recognise the other games which is why people keep playing catan.
Let’s all list our favourite games.
Here are my top 5 best games.
Dwellings of Eldervale
Lost ruins of arnak
Lords of waterdeep
Top 5 gateway games,
Ticket to ride
See my instagram below.
I value your points, and your top 5 lists are solid. I’ll caution you against statements like “no serious gamer would play…” Different strokes for different folks. That’s shaming and gatekeeping language that shuts people out/down. Have a good one.
Oh my, this list is totally bullshit. These games are gateways to board games, and definitely not the best. What about Dune? Or, if you really want to address adults, games like Kingdom Death Monster, War of the Ring, Through The Ages, Root,…?
Sorry, but this list is made by someone who isn’t familiar with board games.
You mention BoardGameGeek, but did you take a look at that site? Their rankings completely disagree with your list. Only Wingspan (26th) and Azul (69th) can be found in the Top 100.
All those boardgames are in the top 100 on boardgamegeek (Dune, Kingdom Death Monster, War of the Ring, Through The Ages, Root) except for Dune which is 198 (but 40 thematic)
You didn’t look well before writing your comment M.
To be fair, I think that comment was meant for the OP.
Gatekeeping boardgames now, are we ? These are a fine set of games that are enjoyed by many regular gamers, alongside the heavier games. There is no wrong approach to playing boardgames.
You seem to have missed the whole point of the article, which is to encourage novices to take up boardgames. Playing gateway games is exactly the right approach.
Sorry but these are some of the most popular, award-winning and successful boardgames beyond the entry-level games of Monopoly or Risk.
This isn’t a specialist gaming website, I would argue the ones listed here and perfect for someone looking for a good boardgame to play with family or friends that. Would highly recommend most of them after many great hours playing them!
Yes, there are more complex and very enjoyable games out there, that take longer to get your head around, but these here are not bad games by any stretch of the imagination. Beyond this games start to get much more niche.
No one cares about those pretensious hobby games with hours just to learn the rules. Gateway games are the only games worth playing.
This list is great. Games that are worth playing over and over without needed huge commitment to learn, set up and play. Just pure fun!
Kingdom Death: Monster is an amazingly intense game. I wish it was maybe a 1/4 of it’s price though, but my old game night group teamed up to pitch in on it.
Twilight Imperium is another cool game. And I really like Merchants and Marauders as well. As a fan of the Dune novels, I need to get Dune and give it a whirl.
We also like to include some easygoing cooperative games at the end of a session so everyone isn’t at each other’s throats (ie. forbidden island, sky, desert).
Hahaha thank you for leaving this comment. I scrolled all the way down here to say the same thing!
My favourites are ‘Stockpile’ and ‘Manipulate’.
But these games are perfect for adults too.
This list was gateway legit until #3 “What Do You Meme?” completely destroyed it. Like, what do you…?!
Tell me you don’t know s**t about boardgames without telling me you don’t know s**t about boardgames.
Catan is a well deserved number one. We’ve been playing it for almost 25 years now and never tire of it. There are many additions and scenarios to change things up a bit.
Azul is also one we like.
Our #2 and surprisingly not on the list is “Carcassonne”. A wonderful game with many layers.Our children started it in kindergarten (just placing tiles properly, no scoring) and, just like Catan, we have an entire cabinet full of the various editions.
Catan fell of any legitimate lists 15 years ago. Yes It was a mile stone. By many sites and companies gathering data from BOARD gamer. BoardGameGeek gathers surveys. Some reviewers like Dice Tower look at sales numbers.
And modern bored get gone a Loth further as a hobby.
Most of the sources you use as reference have nothing to do with board games, how are they experts? Video game related companies and NY times are not board game related. The few sources you have that are actually board game focused, you barely seem to have paid attention to.
Sure, most of these are good games, but I wouldn’t call them the best. Before anyone asks, while many of my favorites are more difficult I certainly don’t think a game needs to be difficult to be one of the best.
Try the Crew. It’s a simple card game and is amazing, or betrayal at house on the hill which is no more difficult than Catan.
As someone who has played hundreds of board games I can say these are definitely not the top 5 board games for adults! The official database (BGG – BoardGameGeek) has nearly 20,000 different games ranked and perhaps look at a few in the top 20 on there and their complexity rating and you will get a different top 5. As another reader said above – comments from video game organisations about the best board games are really quite irrelevant!
Catan – yes good game but produced in 1995, there are SO MANY better games with just as good interaction that supersede Catan nowadays. Azul (which is definitely a great game and the biggest selling game in its first 4 years) would be a good replacement or stone age.
Wingspan – definitely one to include up there for newcomers because of its popularity and theme. Jaipur is a two player only game – yes it is pretty good but again there are so many games that could feature here, why not a multiplayer game like It’s a wonderful world (or the two player version Wonderful Kingdom) – or others like Viticulture that brings the world of making wine to the games table that is thematic and designed for two players or four and easily distinguishable on the board. What you meme? Sorry that is miles down the list, many many games beat that now, Just One is a great example. Other games – thematically Obsession should be on this list, such an amazing experience that differs from other board games but not overly complex to play. And there are no cooperative games on this list that you can play together, there are plenty of them out there too, pandemic and star wars the clone wars being prime examples. Top 5’s are always subjective but there would be at least a couple I would toss from this list.
From all the games in the world you choosed five totally average games… There at least 10000 better games…
Me and my roommates recently ditched regular Catan for Catan Starfarers. Not sure why but it’s just more fun!
The best board game for adult would be Axis and Allies.
Any board game enthusiast need to try this, any variant would be fine.
lol! Avid fan of Axis&Allies all versions. I would never impose this game on any non-hardcore gamer.
Axis and Allies Global, baby!!! My favorite game, but not for this list…
Pandemic (Especially the “On the Brink” expansion). Don’t let any real world scenarios affect the way you view this game; it’s fantastic how the mechanics pit the board game against the players!
Commissioned is a very new and up-in-coming board game, so I’m here to help spread it’s status! Based on Christian Evangelicalism, it uses similar mechanics as Pandemic but instead of clearing the board of cubes your spreading them (they represent conversions). It will only satisfy a small demographic of players, but the mechanics and player interactions are still fun!
I do not agree, especially Jaipur i find borring, replace it with Dominion.
Santorini for a 2 player game.
Maybe 7 Wonders as it plays up to 7 players.
This is what 7 Wonders has earned:
2012 MinD-Spielepreis Nominee
2012 Ludoteca Ideale Winner
2011/2012 Boardgames Australia Awards Best International Game Nominee
2011 Vuoden Peli Adult Game of the Year Winner
2011 Vuoden Peli Adult Game of the Year Nominee
2011 Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel Game of the Year Nominee
2011 Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel des Jahres Winner
2011 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Nominee
2011 Lys Passioné Winner
2011 Lys Passioné Finalist
2011 Lucca Games Best Boardgame Winner
2011 Lucca Games Best Boardgame Nominee
2011 Juego del Año Tico Winner
2011 Juego del Año Tico Nominee
2011 Juego del Año Finalist
2011 JoTa Best Light Board Game Nominee
2011 JoTa Best Light Board Game Critic Award
2011 JoTa Best Light Board Game Audience Award
2011 JoTa Best Card Game Nominee
2011 JoTa Best Card Game Critic Award
2011 JoTa Best Card Game Audience Award
2011 JoTa Best Artwork Nominee
2011 JoTa Best Artwork Critic Award
2011 Japan Boardgame Prize Voters’ Selection Winner
2011 Japan Boardgame Prize Voters’ Selection Nominee
2011 International Gamers Award – General Strategy; Multi-player Nominee
2011 International Gamers Award – General Strategy: Multi-player Winner
2011 Hra roku Winner
2011 Hra roku Nominee
2011 Guldbrikken Best Adult Game Winner
2011 Guldbrikken Best Adult Game Nominee
2011 Gra Roku Game of the Year Nominee
2011 Gouden Ludo Winner
2011 Gouden Ludo Nominee
2011 Golden Geek Most Innovative Board Game Nominee
2011 Golden Geek Best Strategy Board Game Nominee
2011 Golden Geek Best Party Board Game Nominee
2011 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Winner
2011 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee
2011 Golden Geek Best Card Game Winner
2011 Golden Geek Best Card Game Nominee
2011 Golden Geek Best Board Game Artwork/Presentation Nominee
2011 Fairplay À la carte Winner
2011 Deutscher Spiele Preis Best Family/Adult Game Winner
2011 As d’Or – Jeu de l’Année Prix du Jury Winner
2011 As d’Or – Jeu de l’Année Nominee
2010 Tric Trac Nominee
2010 Tric Trac d’Or
2010 Swiss Gamers Award Winner
2010 Meeples’ Choice Award
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