Much like Marti did, I wanted to dive a little deeper into my updated Top 10. 6 games from my Top 10 last year fell varying amounts this year, one of them a good distance, and I wanted to also show my current 11-20 games. While Top 10 is fun and cool, games that fall into my top 30 really are games that I really like and would be happy to play anytime, especially when you factor in that I ranked a total of 257 games to make my new list, so showing the 11-20 games gives a better overall idea of what I enjoy playing, and how my tastes have changed a bit.
First, let’s look at my 11-20 games, as seeing what’s there (and what’s not) will help explain some of the games that fell off my Top 10 since last year.
11. Raiders of the North Sea
12. Glen More II: Chronicles
13. The Isle of Cats
15. Roll Player
17. Terraforming Mars
18. Pandemic: The Cure
Cooperative games featured heavily in my top games last year, and that is less the case this time around. I still love co-op games, but I’ve played a lot more games since last year and I think I’ve developed more as a gamer. I feel like I can enjoy competition more than I could before, which is why non-cooperative games have now broken into my rankings at higher levels (including as high as #2, if you remember from my previous article).
Also, there are a number of games in my Top 20 that I’ve only played 3 or fewer times. While they all are excellent games that I will no doubt continue to enjoy playing, time will tell how much “flavor of the month” or “ooh it’s shiny and new” affected their rankings. We’ll see how they compare when we revisit our Top 10’s again next year.
And now to discuss what is no longer on my Top 10 since last year.
Pandemic (3rd to 20th), Mysterium (5th to 24th), and Pandemic: The Cure (10th to 18th) are all still present in my Top 30. While new additions to the list have shoved them down a bit, they are all still games I like a lot and am happy to have in my collection and get to the table when I can.
Arkham Horror TCG (6th to 23rd), similar to the above, is till in my Top 30, and the same is also true for it as the 3 games above. Additionally, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was “replaced” by Marvel Champions, as both games are different enough mechanically that they can stand on their own independently and I very much enjoy playing both. But I enjoy Marvel Champions more because I like the theme more, so I think that’s why the rankings fell where they did.
T.I.M.E Stories (8th to 227th), oh how the mighty have fallen. This is an example of what happens when you fall out of love with a game, or more accurately a game system. I had only played the base game, and perhaps the first story expansion, when doing my ranking last year, and back then I was still enamored with the system and story. Having played more story expansions since then, I’ve come to realize how frustrating it can be when you’re more interested in the story than the game mechanics and it feels like the latter is holding you back. When you just want to experience the story but the game mechanics of running out of time and having to cycle back to the beginning require you to take meticulous notes and basically forces you to use a min/max style of gameplay (even if that’s not how you prefer to play games), it makes the experience less enjoyable and a lot less satisfying.
I find it rather telling that the only reason we’re even going to continue to the next story expansion is because we’ve decided to heavily house rule it so we can focus more on the exploration and story. And if that’s still not enough to enjoy it the way we want to, then we will likely quit after that rather than finishing the white box cycle. Has this been rectified with the new blue box cycle? I’m not sure. I’d be open to trying the new ones to see if the updated system has corrected the issues we have with the white box cycle. But as it stands, white box T.I.M.E stories will forever be diminished in my eyes.
Flash Point (9th to 38th), I feel, suffered from a lack of getting it to the table as much as I had in the past. It’s an excellent game, with a ton of content I haven’t even gotten to yet, but I wonder if its place in my ranking last year was due to having played it recently and it being fresh in my mind. That’s not to say I don’t still like it, but perhaps this is closer to where it should have been rankings-wise last year.
Thanks for taking this ride with me! It has been really interesting to see what’s changed from last year, including how my preferences and tastes have evolved over that time. Even though we just finished this year’s rankings, I’m somewhat excited to see how things change again next year!
Scott – The Solitary Meeple