My Top 10 Favorite Games (as of September 2022)

Every six months I update my top 10 favorite tabletop games list. For this list, I looked back at most of my top 10 videos over the last few years for games that were ranked 1 and 2 multiple times (for any type of list, most of which focus on a specific mechanism), and I ranked those games for this list.

There are many great games from other publishers that won’t make the list even though I’m fond of them, and Stonemaier Games products aren’t eligible due to extreme bias on my part. I also don’t include campaign games in this list–as much as I love those experiences, this list is specifically focused on games I’m eager to get back to the table over and over again.

The previous list is here. I tend to cycle through favorites, hence why I do this every 6 months, but that also means that there are previous favorites that may completely drop off the list for 6-12 months.

Honorable mentions: 7 Wonders Duel, Azul Summer Pavilion, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Fantasy Realms, Hanamikoji, Just One, Lords of Waterdeep, Mysterium Park, On Tour, Parks, Patchwork, Scotland Yard, Shards of Infinity, Sleeping Gods, The Crew, The Mind, TIME Stories

10. Magic the Gathering: I sometimes forget to include Magic in these lists because every set feels so fresh and new (and completely off the radar of most hobby game content creators I follow). But I continue to love the game, and I’m really excited to try the new set, Dominaria United.

9. Ra : This is my favorite auction game and one of my favorite push-your-luck games. The tension in Ra is palpable, and I love the risk-reward of waiting to bid on a giant pool of tiles versus grabbing just a few tiles at a great price.

8. The Isle of Cats: The only polyomino game currently on this list, The Isle of Cats is a whimsically themed game about collecting cats on a boat using fish. I love the draft, and I love that you just get a big supply of fish for free each round. I enjoy this game at all player counts.

7. Russian Railroads: This engine-building, worker-placement game wasn’t on my previous top 10 list, but I’ve really enjoyed it for years. The Board Game Arena online implementation is excellent, as it takes care of the scoring calculations for you.

6. Tzolk’in: This worker-placement game has such a clever twist: The longer you leave your workers on the board, the more powerful the benefits are when you reclaim them. It’s one of my heavier favorites that I’ve returned to over and over again.

5. Terra Mystica: The asymmetry in this medium-heavy Euro game has made it return to my table so many times over the years. In fact, I designed a faction for it that may appear in a future expansion!

4. Clank: When I think about deckbuilding, my mind always goes to Clank, perhaps because the game is just as much about running through a dungeon picking up cool stuff and getting out in time as it is about creating a unique deck. I had a blast with the legacy version too.

3. Dune Imperium: I knew nothing about Dune before playing this worker-placement, deckbuilding game, and it does such a great job at incorporating the world with the mechanisms that I read the first book after my first few plays of the game. I continue to love the game (and the expansion).

2. The Quacks of Quedlinburg: This potion-brewing game combines so many things I love: bag building, push your luck, engine building, simultaneous actions…it’s an amazing elixir that’s fun whether I win or lose. I’ve played one of the two expansions.

1. Ark Nova: This heavy game about building a zoo has wowed me with its brilliant action-selection system, sheer variety of cards, and interesting choices throughout every game. It’s a game I want to play over and over again.

What are a few of your favorite games that you’ve consistently ranked among your favorite games?

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