My Top 10 Favorite Games of 2019

6 years ago, I started running Stonemaier Games full time. As was the case before then–but especially after then–I play a lot of published games, both because I love tabletop games and because I have so much to learn from my peers.

I’m going to post my other “favorites” lists later in the year (movies, books, etc), but with the holidays coming up, I don’t think I’ll be playing any new games. So I went ahead and posted my video on the subject today, and I’m going to put the list in writing here.

All of the games on this list are games I played for the first time in 2019. Eligible for the list were late-2018 releases that most people (including me) didn’t play until this year.

Random Mentions

  • Favorite Expansions: Terra Mystica: Merchants of the Seas and The Quacks of Quedlinburg: The Herb Witches
  • New Stonemaier-Related Products Released This Year (I don’t pick our own games for the top 10): Wingspan, Euphoria: Ignorance Is Bliss, Scythe modular board, Tapestry, Wingspan European Expansion
  • Favorite New-to-Me Games Released Well Before 2019: Abyss
  • Best Game That Just Isn’t for Me: Marvel Champions: The Card Game
  • Favorite Game That I Can Only Play Once: Aeon’s End Legacy (there’s another on my top 10 list)
  • 2019 Release I Own that I Haven’t Had the Chance to Try Yet (that I’m most eager to try): Skulk Hollow
  • 2020 Releases I’m the Most Excited About: Namiji, Honey Buzz, The Zorro Dice Game, Fossilis, Calico, Time of Legends: Destinies, LOTS, Project L, Burgle Bros 2, Sleeping Gods, The Isle of Cats, The One Hundred Torii, High Rise, Wizard Kittens, Tidal Blades,
  • Honorable Mentions That Didn’t Quite Make the Top 10: Trogdor, We’re Doomed, Parks, Tiny Towns, Tussie Mussie, Pikoko, Hadara, Aeon’s End Legacy, Architects of the West Kingdom, and Paladins of the West Kingdom

My Top 10 Favorite Games of 2019

I’ll just post the games below–I talk about them in more detail in the main video (and in each of their respective videos).

10. Trade on the Tigris (video)

9. Clank Legacy (video)

8. Cartographers (video)

7. The Shipwreck Arcana (video)

6. On Tour (video)

5. Dice Throne (video)

4. Sushi Roll (video)

3. Q.E. (video)

2. Just One (video)

  1. The Quacks of Quedlinburg (video)

What were your favorite games of 2019?

Here is last year’s list, and here is my latest overall top 10 list. My video for this topic is below.

18 thoughts on “My Top 10 Favorite Games of 2019”

  1. Great list, Jamey! I always appreciate your top 10 and favorite mechanism videos, they have helped us find some of our favorites.

    My favorite games of 2019 include:
    1. Pax Pamir 2e
    2. Wingspan
    3. On Tour
    4. Men At Work
    5. Horrified
    6. Tapestry
    7. Seasons of Rice
    8. Tiny Towns
    9. Tricky Tides

    I suspect that Wavelength, Oceans, Cartographers, Azul Summer Pavilion, and QE will possibly enter my top 10 when we play them (around Christmas).

    My favorite new to me games this year include:
    1. Inis
    2. Scythe
    3. Root
    4. A Feast for Odin
    5. Brass Birmingham
    6. Hanamikoji
    7. Treasure Island
    8. The Quacks of Quedlinburg

    My favorite new-to-me expansions include:
    1. Scythe: The Rise of Fenris
    2. A Feast for Odin: Norwegians
    3. Tuscany EE
    4. Quacks of Quedlinburg: Herb Witches
    5. Wingspan EE
    6. Dice Forge: Rebellion

    Most anticipated 2020 releases:
    1. Sleeping Gods
    2. Calico
    3. Root Underworld Expansion
    4. The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
    5. Dice Throne Adventures & Dice Throne Season 1 Rerolled

      • I suspect you’ll really enjoy Men At Work. It’s a great dexterity game and has been a hit with everyone we’ve introduced it to.

        Pretzel Games did a fantastic production that serves to enhance the solid foundation the gameplay provides. From the perfectly fitting hard hats to the deceptively tricky beams, this game is a cornucopia of gorgeous, perfect components for stacking and balancing.

        The theme contributes to tense, hilarious, and memorable moments. Forcing the next player to clean up the site after an opponent’s accident (without causing another accident in the process) is brilliant and amusing. The contrasting incentives of protecting your safety certificates (by not causing any accidents) vs impressing the project manager (by stacking the highest objects) allow for interesting decisions among a constant internal battle between ego and survival.

        The cards provide for interesting variety as well; even when a player is given the seemingly easiest task in the world, they can sometimes play it too casually and cause a hilariously embarrassing accident. Conversely, when a player gets a difficult task and they achieve it, everyone ooos and ahhhs with wonder at their dexteritous achievement.

        I’m excited to hear your thoughts and favorite mechanisms once you get a chance to break it out.

  2. Hi Jamey,

    it’s hard to catch up on all those new titles and that’s why I appreciate that you focus on releasing only 1-2 games per year and that all of Stonemaier Games are still in print or available.
    So from me it’s only a top 5 including late 2018 releases, that we only got to play 2019:

    1. Underwater Cities
    2. Architects of the West Kingdom
    3. Wingspan
    4. Crown of Emara
    5. Quacks of Quedlinburg

    Favourite new to me games in 2019:

    1. Grand Austria Hotel
    2. Riverboat

    I am looking forward in 2020 for:

    1. Architects of the West Kingdom: Age of Artisans
    2. expansion for Grand Austria Hotel (not official yet, but I read on boardgamegeek that they are working on it).

    Happy gaming in 2020!

    • Thanks for mentioning The Shipwreck Arcana, a game that I would have ignored because I usually don’t enjoy deduction games (I am exceptionally bad at Avalon).
      Just watched Zee Garcias video on it and was surprised to find that it is about logic and numbers as well and it got me intrigued. It reminds me of Da Vinci Code, which doesn’t have the cooperative element though.

  3. But so many games coming for 2020 that I’m excited about not mentioned here:
    Animal Kingdoms, Calico, Oceans, Sovereign Skies…

  4. Hello Jamey,

    I see you have “Architects of the West Kingdom” and “Paladins of the West Kingdom” in your Honorable Mentions That Didn’t Quite Make the Top 10 list for 2019. I have played “Raiders of the North Sea” a few times and got “Architects of the West Kingdom” for Christmas (haven’t played yet). I’ve watched a couple videos on the rules for playing “Paladins of the West Kingdom” and it looks really interesting (but probably the most “complicated” of the 3).

    Which of the three (Raiders / Architects / Paladins) do you like the best and why?


    • Oh, it’s really hard to rank them. They’re all very good games. I think it just depends on your personal taste. Raiders is probably the easiest to learn and play, but all three have great flow and a nice sense of progression.


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