Updating My Top 100 Games!

It’s been just about a year since I first compiled my Top 100 Games.  So, over the last 2 or 3 weeks, I’ve been taking another look at the list and making some revisions to better reflect my current tastes.

I started by making cards for every game that I rate a 7 or higher.  I then began using Tom Vasel’s method of dealing out 6 cards at a time and dividing them into two piles.  You keep doing this until you get several piles, then start promoting and demoting games based on the result until they’re all sorted out and the list is made.  The problem is that, unless you do this a crapload of times, you can still get pockets of “better” games that stay down in the list and “worse” games that are too high.  So, I shuffled the cards back up and tried something different.

My “new” method was to deal out 10 cards at a time and arrange them in order of how much I wanted to play them.  I then integrated the individual piles together, which proved to be a lot easier and gave me a better list.  I still made a few adjustments afterwards, but here’s what it looks like:

100. Twilight Imperium, 3rd edition 
99. Zombiegeddon
98. Toledo
97. Cutthroat Caverns
96. Winner’s Circle
95. Zooloretto
94. Escalation!
93. The Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow (Werewolf in general)
92. Caylus: Magna Carta
91. Illuminati: Deluxe Edition
90. If Wishes Were Fishes
89. Telestrations
88. Basari
87. Parade
86. Sultan
85. 10 Days in Asia
84. A Castle for All Seasons
83. On the Underground
82. Patrician
81. Prophecy
80. Fresco 
79. Roll Through the Ages
78. Tier auf Tier
77. Nexus Ops
76. Bang!
75. Wits & Wagers
74. Sorry! Sliders
73. In the Year of the Dragon
72. Betrayal at House on the Hill
71. Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery
70. Cold War: CIA vs. KGB
69. Kingdoms
68. Ticket to Ride
67.King of Siam
66. Settlers of Catan
65. Revolution!
64. Blue Moon City
63. Antike
62. Top Race
61. Through the Desert
60. Carson City
59. Tales of the Arabian Nights
58. Peloponnes
57. Cloud 9
56. Dixit
55. Amun-Re
54. Space Alert
53. Space Hulk (3rd Edition)
52. Ghost Stories
51. Castle Ravenloft
50. Shadows Over Camelot
49. Mission: Red Planet
48. Balderdash
47. Puerto Rico
46. Chicago Express
45. Dream Factory
44. PitchCar
43. Liar’s Dice
41. RoboRally
41. No Thanks!
40. Cartagena
39. Castle Panic
38. Dominion
37. Cyclades
36. Vegas Showdown
35. Forbidden Island
34. Shogun/Wallenstein
33. Traders of Carthage
32. El Grande
31. Samurai
30. Small World
29. The Pillars of the Earth
28. BattleLore
27. War of the Ring
26. Cosmic Encounter
25. Tobago
24. Carrom
23. Acquire
22. China/Web of Power
21. Catacombs
20. Warrior Knights
19. Ra
18. Citadels
17. Descent: Journeys in the Dark
16. Taluva
15. Endeavor
14. Metropolys
13. Agricola
12. Struggle of Empires
11. Witch’s Brew
10. Steam
9.  Notre Dame
8.  Arkadia
7.  Fury of Dracula
6.  1960: The Making of the President
5.  Macao
4.  Tribune: Primus Inter Pares
3.  Tigris & Euphrates
2.  The Princes of Florence
1.  Pandemic

So again, this list is not about which games I think have more of some inherent “greatness” quality about them.  These are simply the games that I, personally, want to play the most.  And it’s not even saying that I will always want to play a game higher on the list before every single game below it, because situations and moods can play a huge part in those kinds of individual decisions.  And, of course, this is an incredibly subjective process, so the list I may make tomorrow may be very different (and, if you could see the first list I came up with this time, it was significantly different last week).

What do y’all think?  Anyone want to play some of my Top 100 with me???


The new king of the hill!

28 Comments


  1. For someone who lists it as their #5 game you have not played Tribune with us in quite some time; therefore I sentence you to play it at game night tonight. Brutii expansion OK? I think I have a better grasp of what to do with them and would like to give playing as those sneaky bastiches another shot.

  2. Chris Norwood

    I tried to play last week, but I didn’t want to leave Keith out. 

    We’ll see if I can fit in in tonight, though, along with the game of Castle Ravenloft (at 7pm, if anyone else is interested) I alredy have lined up, a game of Cyclades (as the GotM!) and possibly the playtest game that Tom is bringing. 


  3. LOL…Pandemic is #1 on your list. I still have not played this at game night. Maybe we can pencil it in in the next couple weeks before you go on hiatus in October? Also, I’m looking forward to ravenclroft at 7 when you get there tonight. I’ll try not to tie myself up in a long game before that one, so I can be ready to play when you get there. Maybe I can convince Chris I and whoever else gets there early enough to play GotM with me before then or Ra (Which is my number 1 right now…can’t seem to get enough of it!!!!!)

  4. Chris Norwood

    Ra is a really great game, but it suffers from the “I suck at it” problem (Chicago Express is also stricken with this terrible malady, by the way).  If I could just do better at it from time to time, I’d probably get more excited about playing it.

  5. mrsachmo

    I just recently got back into gaming, thanks to Gencon and my geek friends, so my list is VERY small compared to yours. My number 1 right now is Smallworld, followed by BattleStar Galactica, and third would be Citadels.

    I have a lot more exploring to do.

    Others include Rail Baron, Micro Mutants, Illuminati, and the WOW CCG.

  6. Chris Ingersoll

    Race for the Galaxy doesn’t make the Top 100?

    Not rated at a 7+?

  7. Chris Norwood

    It was in the pool of games (I currently rate it a 7), but it didn’t make the top 100 (there were 150 or so games that I made cards for). 

    Between my general dislike of what the expansions did to the game and then getting “left behind” by the RftG fanatics at game night, I just don’t have much desire to play it at all anymore.  I still think that it’s a really good (possibly even great) game (especially the base game alone), but this list is only about what I want to play, so it didn’t make it. 

  8. Alton

    Thanks for placing the Twilight Imperium, 3rd edition on your list; even at the 100 slot.

    However; I think that Race could have replaced “If Wishes Were Fishes” in your top 100 list. Race for the Galaxy is truly a wonderful game for so many good reasons.

  9. Chris Norwood

    I agree about the “quality” of Race as a game, but I don’t really want to play it.  With IWWF, however, I recommend it pretty frequently when Gwen and I have play opportunities.  So I don’t feel that it was a bad choice.

  10. Chris Ingersoll

    Between my general dislike of what the expansions did to the game

    I know what those words mean but that (part of a) sentence doesn’t make any sense. What did the expansions do to the game, other than add more options? The Gathering Storm is completely harmless (unless you really hate the Goals), and R vs I adds four takeover powers that can be ignored. Only the last expansion does anything radical to the core game.

    and then getting “left behind” by the RftG fanatics at game night

    You weren’t “left behind” — you were late. 😛

    80-90% of the Race games played were done as the first game(s) of the evening, often between 5pm and 6pm. Your family commitments (which are much more important, obviously) haven’t let you get there until the “real” gaming starts.

  11. Chris Norwood

    They also added in 103 or so new cards, made the game a lot longer, and (for me) dilluted part of what made it so cool; it’s elegance and efficiency. 

    I’m not saying that I was left behind intentionally or maliciously, but because of my schedule, the RftG train just left me at the station.  And I’m fine with that.

  12. Keith Carter

    Thank you for the consideration Chris in making sure I did not get left out. Sorry I missed that it caused you to be excluded from the Tribune game. If I had been paying more attention I might have opted to be left out.

  13. Keith Carter

    Nice top 100 list Chris. I give this list more weight than the top 100 list at BGG. For what it is worth after half a year with the Hypermind gamers I have only played 4 of the top 10 and 7 of the top 20. In one case, Macao, my job kept me away.

  14. Chris Norwood

    I hope not!  Plus, I also wanted to play Castle Ravenloft, and you gave me a great excuse!!!


  15. Shawn looks into his crystal ball and waves a hand over it and says: Chris N will donate any copy of RftG that he has in his posession to one of the newbies in the club named “Shawn”…lol
    And…if you do own a copy, Chris N, I’ll take it off your hands and add it to my mini collection of games that I have started. Plus, I’ll play it too 😉

  16. Chris Norwood

    You know what… you got it, Shawn! 

    You just won the super-secret “Ask GamerChris for His Copy of Race for the Galaxy” contest!!!  It includes both the Gathering Storm and Rebel vs. Imperium expansions, and I’ll try to remember to bring it with me on Saturday morning to the Hypermind sale.

    Woo-hoo!  It’s like Christmas around here!!!

  17. tomg

    A challenge for you!! Play your top 15 games by the end of the year. And see how many of your top 25 you can get in. Take that.
    I’m happy to help you with this.


  18. Wow..Thanks Chris! Holy cow…That is very generous of you. I plan on being there when she starts the sale. Thanks again…wow…this is like Christmas. You just made my week much better!

  19. Chris Norwood

    Challenge accepted!!!

    Oh wait… Do you mean by December 31?  With the baby coming in 3 weeks, that may not be possible.  But before next year at this time, certainly!!!

    Heck, I’ll pledge to play my top 50 before the next time I do this list, and see how many total I can get played!


  20. Thanks for providing such useful information. I really appreciate your professional approach.


  21. You keep doing this until you get several piles, then start promoting and demoting games based on the result until they’re all sorted out and the list is made.


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