Welcome to the Meeple Like Us Top Ten Best Board Games, 2019 Edition! This is the third time we’ve done this – you can find the 2018 and 2017 editions elsewhere – but the idea of a MLU Top Ten has ceased to be something special since we’ve been doing a lot of them over the past few months. They’re fun to write, usually provoke some interesting discussions, and give us a chance to contexualise games in a variety of different ways. It’s our way of sticking a big spoon in the MLU backlog and giving it a hefty stir to see which mysterious lumps float to the top.
This then isn’t our list of ‘best games of 2019’. How the hell would we know? Nobody knows that. ‘Best of’ lists that are published the same year as the games they purport to cover are only ever ‘the best ones I played, which is a tiny slice’. Nono. We don’t do that. This is a grander list – the best games ever (that we have played, which is a tiny slice), as we believe they stand in Christmas of 2019.
2019 has been an interesting year, personally, for us. Dizzying highs, spine-chilling middles, and even a few stomach churning lows. It still seems like the grand trajectory of civilization is trending towards the entire human race ending up in a big bin. Our trajectory though? Not so much. We’re in Sweden now! It’s a bit like seeing the sinking wreck of HMS United Kingdom as it hits the iceberg. We though are permitted to watch safely and sadly from a lifeboat. We turn to camera. A single tear rolls down an unaccountably soot-covered cheek.
What a way to end a decade. When they write the official history of the past few years it’s going to have to be done by Cormac McCarthy so it has the proper tone.
We’ve covered over two hundred games for the site now. TWO HUNDOS. Last year I reported that the average game reviewed on Meeple Like Us, in 2018, had a star rating of 3.53. I’m sad to say that has shifted somewhat, down to 3.49. You can probably attribute a lot of that to Monopoly, which is a game I dislike enough to include it several times in the stats. Still, if someone held a pistol to your head and made you pick a game we’d reviewed at random, then play it, you’d have a pretty good chance of enjoying yourself. Provided you could get your mind off the fact you’re being held at gunpoint by an obviously deeply troubled geek.
Still though, if that was going to be your last game ever you’d presumably not want to waste it on merely ‘enjoying yourself’. You’d want something transcendent. Something astonishing. Something that would make every second count. Also you’d perhaps want a SWAT intervention or potentially some kind of distraction so you could wrestle your assailant to the floor and disarm them. I can’t help you with that but let’s be honest – we both know why you’re in that situation to begin with and it’s hard to think of you as the victim.
We all know what you did. This has been a long time coming.
Caveats and Disclaimers and Casual Abuse of You, The Gentle Reader
Here’s a reminder of the usual caveats for our best board games list. We’re basing this on fun and not accessibility. We have a list on that topic you might find interesting, but it’s not a factor here. We will though provide a link to each accessibility teardown for each game we’ve published so you can make your own decisions regarding whether the games are appropriate for your needs. We also have a recommender that can be used to identify games that work for complex interaction requirements. These are the best board games in our hearts, not necessarily the best board games for anyone’s particular needs.
This is, by necessity, a long post.
That’s an element of the Meeple Like Us brand but every year we unaccountably get people saying ‘Your post is too long, please condense your thoughts and write them on a nerf dart you can shoot directly into my eye’. The standard disclaimer applies – this is a site of long-form criticism for people that like to read. I don’t judge you if you don’t fall into that demographic, but I do say you’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere on the Internet. This is not a safe space for you. If you’ve arrived here by mistake I recommend you immediately plot a course for the less demanding waters of Buzzfeed
For those that don’t want a ‘slideshow article’ and can’t stand that we’ve cynically broken this page up into sections for ‘that sweet ad revenue’, I will remind you of two things.
- This is not a slideshow article, and
- There is no ad revenue associated with this site.
The list is broken up for the purposes of readability and pacing. If you are sufficiently vexed by the need to occasionally click on a link to move on, just save yourself the bother. All you’re doing is costing me CDN money. I’d prefer to not waste those pennies on the baffling people that feel as if their grudging clicks are in some way a payment for the work we put in to the site. I’ll tell you this buddy, the exchange rate of clicks to cash is a negative number.
Where we have the same games at the same position from last year, the text will be nearly identical to 2018 and/or 2017. The chat between Mrs Meeple and myself though will be as FRESH as a daisy.
I hope you enjoy our views on the best board games that money can buy in this dark winter of 2019!
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