With the decade coming to a close, I wanted to look at my top games of the past ten years. As someone who got into the hobby in 2011, this seemed like a perfect reflection of not just the hobby, but of my decade of playing as well.
Without further ado, lets look at 2017.
My top five games are Azul, Downforce, Gloomhaven, My Little Scythe, and Twilight Imperium 4th Edition.
Honorable mention include: Bunny Kingdom, Clans of Caledonia, The Quest for El Dorado, Rajas of the Ganges, Sagrada, and Spirit Island.
Azul is a 10/10 game for me and one of the best games, of any medium, that I’ve had the pleasure to play. In almost any other year it would be my game of the year but it unfortunately gets matched up against another heavy hitter that takes the top spot. I almost wanted to go with a 1 and 1A option but I need to reign myself in. For a full review, click here.
Downforce might seem like an odd inclusion on my list but its reasoning is less for the gameplay (which I might add I highly enjoy) but more because of what its release (and the release of Stop Thief!) means to older games. Restoration Games is making their name known on taking established and beloved IP and giving them a face lift for the current era.
Gloomhaven. I don’t even know where to begin with this behemoth but it lived up to the hype (and then some) and has provided so much content that this game will be played for years after its release. It’s easily the game of 2017 and could even be argued is the game of the decade.
My Little Scythe, which I’ve reviewed here, is similar to Downforce in that I’m not so much interested in the gameplay but more in the possible future it has created. This is a game that’s clearly designed for children and offers opportunities that are not Sorry! and Monopoly. I hope this helps set a trend but who knows.
Twilight Imperium 4th Edition streamlines previous renditions of the game (for better or worse) and creates an epic saga told over three to nine hours. I’ve written about some of our initial plays here, here and here, if interested.
2017 was another strong year for games and my honorable mention section is getting out of control. Bunny Kingdom, is a personal 10/10 game for me (review here); Clans of Caledonia, I love economic games and this one has such a great design of speculation and mechanics; The Quest for El Dorado, another new age gateway game from an acclaimed designer (review here); Rajas of the Ganges, which I’m shocked isn’t mentioned more as a contemporary of Castles of Burgundy; Sagrada, an abstract that has caused divisiveness in our household over which is better when compared to Azul (review here); and Spirit Island, which wasn’t really for me but I can appreciate the design and why people enjoy it (review here).
If I were to trim this down, my two honorable mentions would be Bunny Kingdom and Sagrada, with The Quest for El Dorado holding that third spot.