Top 25 Games Played of All Time – 2022 Edition (15-11)

It’s another week so it’s time for another edition of the Top 25 Games Played (by me) of All Time – 2022 edition!

We’ve gone through ten of them so far and so far they have been very cool games!

I don’t really care if you don’t agree with me.

Ok, I do…please come back.

Anyway, there have been some major drops from the 2019 list as well as new additions to it.

For some reason, Gugong dropped off from #21 to #98. Part of that is because I haven’t played it since but I think also it’s a matter of time and me thinking I may have overestimated it back then. I had just played it recently and that experience was still in my head.

But now, when I think about playing it, I’m kind of…

I’ll do it and I’ll probably enjoy it, but it’s not something I’ve been itching to play for a while.

To be on the Top 25, it should be a game I’m always willing and wanting to play.

I guess maybe I should have put a spoiler alert on that?

Oh well.

Usual disclaimer: I’ve played a little over 400 games, so there will be some noteworthy absences.

You Food Chain Magnet fans can just go right back to your restaurants and jam a french fry into a place where it’s not supposed to be.

So on that happy note, let’s begin!

15) Pax Pamir: 2nd Edition (2019 – Wehrlegig Games)

Designer: Cole Wehrle

Artist: Cole Wehrle

Players: 1-5

2019 Rank – New (Hadn’t Played)

It’s nice to see another Cole Wehrle game on this list, after Root last week.

Pax Pamir: 2nd Edition is a game of the “Great Game” in Afghanistan in the mid-1800s.

Players are Afghan tribal leaders trying to form alliances with the British, the Russians, or the central Afghan government (which is in disarray after the fall of the Durrani Empire). Essentially, they are trying to forge a new state.

In essence the game is a tableau-building card game, but with a beautiful cloth map where you are exerting your influence.

The court of cards in front of you can then be used for actions, perhaps against other players’ cards. When placed, the cards typically allow you to put either units or roads out on the board along with potentially some other effects as well.

When a Dominance Check card is resolved, each faction is evaluated to see if one of the factions has a commanding lead. If so, whoever is allied with that faction will get victory points.

If Afghanistan is still fragmented, though, with none of the factions dominating, then players will gain victory points based on their own personal power.

The game end condition is actually pretty cool. After a Dominance Check card is resolved fully, players’ scores are evaluated. If anybody has at least a 4-point lead on the 2nd place player, they win! If not, then the game ends after the 4th and last Dominance Check is resolved.

Standing on end means units while on their sides means roads from one province to another.

The components of this game are amazing. The card art is great but I love that cloth map with the solid and differently-coloured bars that are placed on the map for each faction.

The game has a fair amount of take that as you can (for example) destroy one of their cards if you can get your spies over to them. You are also competing for influence in the various provinces, or at least you are trying to help your faction influence them.

And you can switch up which faction you support! Though you will have to start from the beginning so if you had built up a bunch of good will with the Russians, you will have to work to get the same good will with the British.

The game play in this game is just so interesting. I love all of the stuff you can do and the decisions you have to make when doing them.

I even managed to win my first game! Though I did dismally in my second game.

I really need to get this one to the table again.

14) The Prodigals Club (2015 – Czech Games Edition)

Designer: Vladimír Suchý

Artist: Tomáš Kučerovský

Players: 2-5

2019 Rank – #8

Man, do I really love The Prodigals Club.

Last time on this list, I had both this game and its predecessor, Last Will, on it.

That one has fallen off and this one has fallen a bit, but not that much considering I haven’t played it in 3 years.

The Prodigals Club is a game where you and your upper crust cronies are trying to lower your status to become more like the commoners because they obviously have more fun.

You are trying to lower your political influence, your societal status, and your wealth, bringing them as low as you can go (and maybe even negative so they will actively hate you!).

Your conservative political commentary stinks! As does your liberal political commentary. You just suck, basically

The game is played mostly with cards as you will be drafting cards that you can then play to lower one or more of your standings. Maybe you’ll publish an unpopular broadsheet criticizing the current government? Or maybe you’ll make a bunch of social faux pas that will make your friendships plummet!

The game is modular so you can play with two modules (Politics and Society, say?) or all three (go broke as well!). Some cards are used with just two modules and others are only used when you’re playing all three modules.

It really adds to the your ability to play the game over and over.

Only using Politics and Society modules in this one.

The boards are placed out depending on the modules you are using and everything is really clear.

I’m not sure what the colours mean, to tell you the truth

The Society module is hilarious because not only are you tracking your relationships with four friends (two male and two female), but you have good old Dame Beatrice talking you up and actually increasing those relationships if you don’t have your friends’ markers in the right place!

Ultimately, you are trying to score as low as possible, and your final score will be the highest of the two or three modules you are playing with.

Doesn’t matter if you tank your political reputation to -50 if your friends still like you and you score 28 points with them. Your score is 28!

The Drunken Debater will lose you friends *and* votes!

I do like how you build up your tableau of cards that will let you activate them every turn and bring those scores into a steep downhill. The interconnectedness of the modules is so fun.

It’s a big game, can hog a lot of table space, but it looks more complicated than it really is. The setup can be a bear, but once you get going, it all makes sense.

And for some reason I really seem to “get” this one, as I usually do pretty well even though I feel like I’m flailing away, not succeeding at what I’m trying to do.

I can’t believe I haven’t played this since 2018.

We will have to rectify that soon.

13) Space Base (2018 – Alderac Entertainment Group)

Designer: John D. Clair

Artist: Chris Walton

Players: 2-5 (2-7 with Command Station expansion)

2019 Rank – #16

One of my favourite games, Space Base is one of the few (and possibly only) game to actually move up in the rankings.

That’s probably because after doing the rankings, I took it to work and it was a staple of our lunchtime games for a while.

I love this game so much, I even reviewed it.

Nice art!

Space Base is a dice game where you are trying to build up the ships in your space station, deploying ships when you purchase new ones, and trying to amass 40 points before anybody else.

The cool thing (and the main thing I really love) is that your deployed ships will activate on your opponents’ rolls. Thus, you have something to pay attention to when it’s not your turn.

There’s a closeup!!!

There’s just so much to like about this game, as long as you like dice rollers. It is dice, of course, so it’s very random, though you can buy ship that will help you with that.

This is just a fine dice-chucker that makes everybody laugh, groan, and keeps people involved.

I have both expansions though I haven’t played with them.

If we can ever get a game going at lunch again now that we’re back at the office, we will get that done!

12) Wingspan (2019 – Stonemaier Games)

Designer: Elizabeth Hargrave

Artists: Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo, Natalia Rojas, Beth Sobel

Players: 1-5

2019 Rank – New (Hadn’t Played)

Wingspan just missed being on the list in 2019. I played it for the first time that January, which is after I had actually compiled my Top 300.

Which is a shame, because I’m pretty sure this game would have been on it.

Wingspan is another tableau-building game (wow, I didn’t realize there were so many!), though this time the cards are bird that you are putting into your habitat to score points.

The bird with the blue banner has an end of round ability

(yes, this is with the European expansion, but that just adds to the game’s goodness!)

Each round has a certain number of turns in it, and the turns decrease as the game goes on.

Each turn, you can do one of four actions: play a bird (if you have the food and possibly the eggs), gather food, lay eggs, or draw cards.

The fun thing is that as you play cards to your tableau, those actions get stronger.

The top row is where you gain food. When you take that action, you resolve effects from the birds that are already in that habitat. Not only that, but the more birds you have there, the more food you get! You get three food just for taking the action when you have a full row of five birds there.

At the end of each round is a goal where each player is compared as to how much they achieved for it. You place one of your turn markers on the goal, which means you have one fewer action next round.

But since the actions are stronger, that shouldn’t be an issue.

Birds are worth points. Your bonus cards are worth points, and what you scored in between rounds is worth points.

I loved this game when I first played it and I love it even more now. The app version is phenomenal (except the asynchronous multiplayer on Steam is a bit wonky with invites). It’s also very popular, if the hits on my review of it are any sign. It’s my most popular regular post by a light year.

Give this game a try. You won’t regret it (unless you hate birds or you hate cards).

11) Watergate (2019 – Capstone Games)

Designer: Matthias Cramer

Artists: Klemens Franz, Alfred Viktor Schulz

Players: 2

2019 Rank – New (Hadn’t Played)

Another game I’ve done a review of! That’s three out of five now.

Watergate is a 2-player card-driven-game where embattled president Richard Nixon is facing off against the Washington Post editors who are trying to take him down because of the Watergate scandal.

The Editors have to post evidence to the evidence board linking two informants to Nixon himself. Nixon is trying to hold off things until the end of his presidency.

Each player has their own deck of cards and they can use those cards for the event on them (which removes the card from the game) or to move tokens or evidence along the research track each round.

Nixon is trying to gain the red momentum marker. If he gets five of them (so five rounds), he wins!

The game is a push and pull back and forth, with evidence moving, maybe the initiative marker (because whoever has initiative gets 5 cards next round and places evidence first while the player who doesn’t gets 4 cards and places last).

And why didn’t the photographer put G. Gordon Liddy in the picture?

The cards are neat, with historical notes on them and pictures from the Nixon era.

It also plays very quickly, fitting perfectly into a lunch hour. If you’re fast, you might even get two games in so you can switch sides!

I love love love this game. Even my wife played it with me a couple of times.

Since I’m doing this Top 25, I’m not doing a “Top Games Played in 2021,” and if I were, I’d only be doing the Top 7 since I barely played 70 of them.

Watergate would have been #7.

So there you have it.

Another installment! I’m managing to get these out on a weekly basis.

Only a couple more to go.

What do you think of these five games?

Let me know in the comments.

Top 25 Games Played of All Time – 2022 Edition (25-21)
Top 25 Games Played of All Time – 2022 Edition (20-16)
Top 25 Games Played of All Time – 2022 Edition (15-11) – You’re here!
Top 25 Games Played of All Time – 2022 Edition (10-6)
Top 25 Games Played of All Time – 2022 Edition (5-1)

13 Comments on “Top 25 Games Played of All Time – 2022 Edition (15-11)

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    • Yeah, I know you like Pax. 🙂 I really do need to get that played again. It took me doing this post to realize I played it only a month before all of the lockdowns hit.

      Liked by 1 person

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