My Top 100 Board Games 2020 Edition – 100 through 91
It’s that time of year again, and I’m going to talk a little bit about what I’m doing and when I’m going to try and consistently do it from here on out. We’re doing my Top 100 Board Games of ALL TIME!
Now, this is my top 100 games, not the 100 objectively best games, these are my 100 favorite games. To get this list, I go through all the games that I’ve ranked on BGG, minus a few, which I’ll get to in a second, and then using PubMeeple.com’s ranking engine, I go through and do the one versus one comparisons on the games until they are all sorted. This gives you a one to one comparison between the games and in my case was something around 1000 different comparisons. I could have done only my top ranked games, but this gives a chance for a game that I maybe haven’t rerated recently to show up on the list, even if I’ve rated it lower. So, I said this was minus a few games, and I don’t mean ones like Monopoly or Cards Against Humanity that I don’t like, those I actually rated, I’m talking about actually things like ICECOOL 2, Dice Throne Season 2, or Star Wars Destiny Two Player, because I have ICECOOL, Dice Throne Season One, and Destiny that I counted for those.
Next, when I do these lists, if the game sounds interesting to you, I want to give you a chance to pick it up. I always, and especially this year, recommend you order from your FLGS, but some of you might not have a local game store, some of them might be closed due to Covid, some local game stores aren’t friendly, and I fully recognize that sometimes you need a game, funds are tight, and online is cheaper, so don’t feel like you can use your local store, I hope you do pick them up online, more games to play, more fun options to introduce people to, no matter where they come from is great. I’m going to be linking to either CoolStuffInc or Amazon for where you can pick up the games immediately if you want.
Finally, this is obviously just my opinion. There are some games that you’ll hate that I love, almost guaranteed for some of you in my Top 10 even, and there will be some games that you love that won’t make my list, they were obviously my number 101 (all of them). And if it was on the list last year, I’m going to try and put down the number it was at before, just to see which ones move up and which ones move down and what new games have hit the list.
But, without further ado, here’s my list starting with 100 through 91.
100. Lazer Ryderz
Lazer Ryderz is a game of goofy fun as it’s basically light bikes like you see in Tron and you are racing them around, leaving your path behind you hoping someone else will run into it, and trying to get goals. You basically have to go off of feel because you decide where you start at the edge of the table with your eyes closes, when laying down your track route, once you pick up a piece and put it over the top of the table, you’re committing to it. And it’s all in 80’s neon glory looking like a big four pack of VHS. So it has that goofy feel to go with what’s a very goofy game. Good one for when you want something pretty fast and very casual to play.
Last Year: 100
This game is interesting as it’s bidding, it’s set collection and it’s push your luck. I like the bidding mechanic in it a lot as you bid you put that number into the middle if you win the bid and take the number that was there, so it’s possible late in a round to hold onto a low number in order to be able to grab a high number from the middle and change your fate for a future round. There’s also some interesting push your luck because when you’re the last person who can bid, you can always draw more and more tiles, but if you get the wrong tiles you’ll bust. The game maybe plays a touch long for me for what it does, but I like the strategy in it, and I like the bidding in it.
Last Year: Not Ranked
We’ll see a game very similar to this coming up, but this is one that I wish I had in my collection, but I want to find used. I like it for the theme a lot. I enjoy the cyberpunk setting that it’s in, and the idea of going on these runs, missions, to take down the evil corporations. It’s something that is very interesting. Plus it’s deck building, so you can specialize, but that might not always be the best because you don’t know who you’ll have to face off against next and that might not work with your skill set. But other people can help you some as well, which makes it interesting to see how that works. And it’s scenario building as well which is fun as well.
Last Year: 91
97. Legends of Andor
This is a dungeon crawl, kind of, really Legends of Andor is more of a scenario based puzzle as you try and rush to get everything done before the time runs out. And you can kill monsters, but that advances the timer, so you need to understand that is happening and figure out how to balance out killing monsters while trying to complete the mission while trying not to let the story advance too quickly so that you run out of time to complete it. The game does one thing I really like and that’s having both the male and female version of the heroes so people don’t feel like they are locked in playing a certain character because of the sex of that character. I think the one thing that might confuse people about this game is that it looks like it should be a big fight the monsters adventure, but really it’s a very tightly made puzzle where every decision really matters.
Last Year: 86
96. The Lord of the Rings: Journey to Mordor
So, first off, no link for this, it’s out of print from what I can tell and I couldn’t find it even on Amazon which is saying something. This is a little push your luck roll and write game where you are trying to get the ring to Mount Doom and by the first to throw it in. Thematically it doesn’t make sense because you can’t have one ring to rule them all and then four different groups each having the one ring, but as a roll and write, it was pretty solid fun. There are definitely others that I like better but this one was a good time and it plays fast. There is some take that to it which can be a negative thing, but it didn’t seem like there was too much and the game didn’t overstay it’s welcome to make the take that a big deal.
Last Year: Not Ranked
This game is a really cute game. Takenoko has adorable little panda figure, and you are stacking up different colors of bamboo. There’s really just a lot of fun stuff in this game. You are growing the bamboo, moving the panda and having him eat it, putting out and irrigating more tiles to grow even more bamboo all to complete different scoring base off of bamboo growth, title placement, or what the panda has eaten and you’re seeing how many you can get done before all the turns run out. This is a game that has an amazing table presence with the bamboo growing up and the panda and gardener figures, and it’s a very enjoyable game to boot without being too complex.
Last Year: 97
So this is the game that is based off of the game system as Shadowrun: Crossfire. Whereas Shadowrun is a future cyberpunk setting, Dragonfire is classic Dungeons and Dragons setting where you are taking on monsters, fighting through scenarios, leveling up your characters and doing it all over again. I think that this game has worked out some of the kinks from the original and it has definitely gotten more support with a lot of scenario packs having come out for it. This just allows you to build into more and more game play and pick the scenarios that look interesting to you. Plus, deck building is always a plus in a game for me.
Last Year: 93
Second roll and write on the list, and this is the original roll and write. I still enjoy Yahtzee today because everyone understands how it works and the rules are simple. In fact we’ll see other games on the list that use a similar mechanic to Yahtzee. But what I like is that I kind of have it down, now that doesn’t mean that I roll a Yahtzee always, but it means that I can look and see what I might want to be doing, what I’ll want to keep, what the odds are of me getting what I need, when it’s worth it to push for a large straight, when it isn’t and so on. Plus, I can play it with my parents and it isn’t as much of a game that plays itself like a lot of the more classic games that we’d play such as Uno or Skip-Bo, which are number 101 in case you were wondering.
Last Year: Not Ranked
Last year this was a fair amount higher on my list, but it’s dropped some just because of having played Legacy Season 1 twice and Season 2 once, and Season 0 is coming out soon-ish. Base Pandemic is still a good game, it just feels like the introductory cooperative game that it is. It’s easy to teach, it’s easy to play, but it can be fairly hard to win, depending on how things come up. The game is a classic game for a reason and it is one that I won’t turn down playing, though, I’m not sure it’s one I’d immediately pull off the shelf myself when it comes to introductory games at this point. I think that it really highlights, beyond being a cooperative game, is how every players part of the game can be different with the variable player powers, and I think for new players that is something that is cool and uinique.
Last Year: 50
This one also slipped for me because in some ways I’ve played it too much now. I think that this is a fun group game, and I think it’s one of a few games that plays fast and plays a large number but it isn’t just another party game. In this you are trying to be the last person on the board but you must follow the path that you lay out in front of you. And you have to be concerned about the other players as well. If you get to close, you could have to follow a path that someone else lays down, and that might run you off the board, in which case you’re out of the game, or it might hit another players pawn, in which case both of you are knocked out. So there’s some strategic avoidance but you also don’t want to stick yourself in a corner with no way out. It’s a fun game, just one that I’ve played a lot.
Last Year: 61
So we have a few movers in this section with three previously not in the Top 100 games, and two dropping a ways. Oddly enough, the very first game on the list, Number 100 was Number 100 the year before, good job Lazer Ryderz in being consistent.
Looking at this list, are there any of the games that stand out to you as ones that you want to play? If you’ve played any of the games, which is your favorite on this section of the list? Let me know in the comments on on Twitter.
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