The Games 100
is an annual feature of Games
magazine, a United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
magazine devoted to games and puzzles. The Games 100 first appeared in the November/December 1980 issue as an alphabetic list of the 100 games preferred by the editors of the magazine. In 1981, Games
introduced The Games 100 Contest, which involved identifying pieces from games listed in the Games 100, with the grand prize being more than half of the games on that list. Games
continues to publish this list as "The Buyers Guide to Games", broken out into "The Traditional Games 100" and "The Electronic Games 100".
Lists are published in either the November or December issue. Through 1994, the lists for a year were published at the end of that year. Starting in 1995, lists are released at the end of the year prior to the year of the list. (This means that there was no list for 1995. There was also no list for 1990, because Games
was temporarily out of publication during the period when the list would have been published.) There are several categories for which "best" games are determined. The list has been criticized for having a selection process determined by very few individuals and not actually playing most of the games in contention.
The winner of the historical category for approximately the last ten years has been determine by one individual, Walt O'Hara, who runs the Historicon miniatures convention.
The categories and winners for 2011 were as follows:
- Game of the Year: Jump Gate
- Abstract Strategy: Arimaa
The objective of the game is to move a rabbit of one's own color onto the home rank of the opponent. Thus Gold wins by moving a gold rabbit to the eighth rank, and Silver wins by moving a silver rabbit to the first rank...
- Advanced Strategy: Egizia
- Family: Burger Joint
- Family Card: Jaipur
- Family Strategy: Valdora
- Party: Telestrations
- Puzzle: Anti-Virus
- Historical Simulation Game: Battles of Napoleon: The Eagle and the Lion
The categories and winners for 2010 were as follows:
- Game of the Year: Small World
- Abstract Strategy: Blox
- Advanced Strategy: Le Havre
Le Havre is a board game about the development of the town of Le Havre. It was inspired by the games Caylus and Agricola and was developed in December 2007....
- Family: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
- Family Card: Amerigo
- Family Strategy: Dominion/Dominion Intrigue (Expansion)
Dominion is a designer card game created by Donald X. Vaccarino, and published by Rio Grande Games. The game was released at Spiel 2008 in multiple languages, and voted best game of the fair by the Fairplay polls with a rating of 1.75 from 147 votes. Within two months of its release, Dominion was...
- Party: Dixit
- Puzzle: La Ora Stelo
- Historical Simulation: Fields of Fire
Fields of Fire is a solitaire tactical wargame published by GMT Games that is designed to simulate various historical campaigns of wars between World War II and now. The game is card based with two decks used to play, including a terrain deck and action decks. You must build maps for missions and...
The categories and winners for 2009 were as follows:
- Game of the Year: Tzaar
TZAAR is the seventh game released in the GIPF series and Games Magazine's 2009 Game of the Year. It is the announced replacement for TAMSK, the second board game in the GIPF Project. With TAMSK being taken out of the series, the GIPF Project series is still at its intended final number of six...
- Abstract Strategy: Ponte del Diavolo
- Advanced Strategy: Key Harvest
- Family: Pandemic
Pandemic is a cooperative board game designed by Matt Leacock and published by Z-Man Games in 2008.Pandemic is based on the premise that four diseases have broken out in the world, each threatening to wipe out a region. The game accommodates 2 to 4 players, each playing one of five possible...
- Family Card: Palast Geflüster (Palace Whisperings)
- Family Strategy: Stone Age
- Party: Go Nuts!
- Puzzle: Doris
- Word Game: Jumbulaya
- Historical Simulation: Pacific Typhoon
A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean between 180° and 100°E. This region is referred to as the northwest Pacific basin. For organizational purposes, the northern Pacific Ocean is divided into three regions: the eastern , central , and...
The categories and winners for 2008 were as follows:
- Game of the Year: Pillars of the Earth
- Abstract Strategy: Easter Island
- Advanced Strategy: Khronos
Khronos is a game for two to five players designed by Ludovic Vialla and Arnaud Urbon. In the game, players build domains by laying tiles representing buildings on three game boards, each representing the same area in three different ages. By paying one coin, players can travel between the...
- Family: If Wishes Were Fishes
- Family Card: Bull in a China Shop
- Family Strategy: Shear Panic
- Party: Gift Trap
- Puzzle: Sacred Myths and Legends Series - DaVinci's Secret: The Clue, The Equation, Legend of the King
- Word Game: Unspeakable Words
- Historical Simulation: Ran
The categories and winners for 2007 were as follows:
- Game of the Year Traditional: Vegas Showdown
Vegas Showdown is a board game for players aged 12 and above.From the publisher:Build your own hotel/casino by bidding against the other players to acquire tiles that represent slot machines, lounges, restaurants, and other casino-related places. Put those tiles on your player board, which...
- Abstract Strategy: PÜNCT
PÜNCT is a two-player strategy board game. It is the sixth release in the GIPF project of six abstract strategy games, although it is considered the fifth game in the project. It was released in 2005. PÜNCT won the Games Magazine Best Abstract Strategy game for 2007.PÜNCT is a connection game...
- Advanced Strategy: Reef Encounter
Reef Encounter is a german-style board game first published in 2004.- Gameplay :The game is played on 2, 3, or 4 separate boards, depending on the number of players, on which the players attempt to grow corals to feed to their parrotfish. Board space is limited, so the players' corals compete with...
- Family: Tricky Town
- Family Card Games: Trump, Tricks, Game!
- Family Strategy: Hacienda
- Party Games: Wits and Wagers
Wits & Wagers is a board game designed by Dominic Crapuchettes and others. It is published by North Star Games. The first edition of the game was introduced in 2005, but the more refined second edition was released in 2007 and continues to be available today.The game is played in seven rounds...
- Puzzles: Gordian's Knot
- Word Games: Parlay
- Historical Simulation: Silent War
The categories and winners for 2006 were as follows:
- Game of the Year Traditional: Australia
Australia: Aufbruch ins Abenteuer is a board game intended for two to five people. It is authored by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling, and is published by Ravensburger. It is recommended for ages 10 and over. Australia won the GAMES Magazine Game of the Year award in 2006.Players take on the...
- Abstract Strategy: Project Kells
- Advanced Strategy: Louis XIV
Louis XIV is a 2005 designer board game by Rüdiger Dorn. Players taken on roles of members of the court of Louis XIV of France.Louis XIV won the 2005 Deutscher Spiele Preis.-External links:...
- Family: Der Untergang von Pompeji (Escape from Pompeii)
- Family Card Games: Die Weinhändler (The Wine Merchants)
- Family Strategy: Primordial Soup (a.k.a. Ursuppe)
Primordial Soup is a board game designed by Doris Matthäus & Frank Nestel and published by Z-Man Games. It was first published in 1997 in Germany by Doris & Frank under the name Ursuppe and this original version won 2nd prize in the 1998 Deutscher Spiele Preis.-Theme:Each player guides a species...
- Two-Player Games: Jambo
- Party Games: Snorta!
- Puzzles: Tipover
- Historical Simulation: Friedrich
Friedrich is a strategic board game about the events of the Seven Years' War. It was created by Richard Sivél, published in 2004, and won the prize for the Best Historical Simulation by Games magazine in 2006.- Outline of the Game :Three to four players command the nations that were involved in...
The categories and winners for 2005 were as follows:
- Game of the Year Traditional: BuyWord
BuyWord is a letter arrangement word game by American designer Sid Sackson. It is published by Face2Face Games.-Equipment:* 108 letter tiles with varying numbers of pips under the letters.* 9 labelled "Wild" tiles with one pip....
- Abstract Strategy: YINSH
YINSH is an abstract strategy board game by game designer Kris Burm. It is the fifth game to be released in the GIPF Project. At the time of its release in 2003, Burm stated that he intended it to be considered as the sixth and last game of the project, and that the game which he had not yet...
- Advanced Strategy: Tahuantinsuyu: The Rise of the Inca Empire
- Family Games: Vanished Planet
Vanished Planet is a cooperative board game that debuted at the World Boardgaming Championships in 2003. Vanished Planet pits the players against a time limit; the players must succeed in a certain number of goals before this time limit is reached, or they all lose.In the game scenario, Earth has...
- Family Card Games: Victory & Honor
- Family Strategy: Alexandros
- Party/Trivia: Cranium Hoopla
- Word Games: Word Rich
- Historical Simulation: Memoir '44
Memoir '44 is a light wargame, or war-themed strategy board game, created by Richard Borg, for two players. The game can also be played with up to six players if played in teams and up to eight players in the "Overlord" scenarios that require two copies of the game...
The categories and winners for 2004 were as follows:
- Game of the Year Traditional: New England
- Abstract Strategy: Clans
Clans is a German-style board game designed by Leo Colovini. The game centers on the creation of villages.-Gameplay:At the start of the game, each player is secretly dealt a card that has one of five colors on it - red, yellow, blue, green, or black. Although each player knows their own color, they...
- Advanced Strategy: Wildlife
- Family Games: I'm the Boss
- Family Card Games: Queen's Necklace
- Two-Player Card Games: Balloon Cup
- Family Strategy: Zoosim
- Historical Simulation: Hammer of the Scots
Hammer of the Scots is a board game, designed in 2002 by Jerry Taylor and published by Columbia Games. It chronicles the Wars of Scottish Independence through roughly the time period portrayed in the film Braveheart....
- Party/Trivia: Dibs
- Puzzles: River Crossing
- Word Games: Crossword Pyramids
The categories and winners for 2003 were as follows:
- Game of the Year: DVONN
DVONN is a two-player strategy board game in which the objective is to accumulate pieces in stacks. It was released in 2001 by Kris Burm as the fourth game of the GIPF Project. DVONN won the 2002 International Gamers Award and the Games magazine Game of the Year Award in 2003.- Equipment :DVONN is...
- Abstract Strategy: Pueblo
Pueblo is an abstract strategy game which is a competition to optimally place blocks in a constrained space. The name, theme, and artwork for the game derive from the famous architecture of Taos Pueblo, but they are very lightly applied.- Equipment :...
- Advanced Strategy: Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a German board game designed by Andreas Seyfarth, and published in 2002 by Alea in German, by Rio Grande Games in English and by Κάισσα in Greek....
- Family Games: Emerald
- Family Card Games: Vom Kap Bis Kairo (From Cape to Cairo)
- Family Strategy: Mexica
Mexica is a board game designed by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling and published in 2002 by Ravensburger in German and Rio Grande Games in English. Mexica was awarded 5th prize in the 2002 Deutscher Spiele Preis....
- Historical Simulations: Wilderness War
- Puzzles: Nemesis Factor
- Manual Dexterity: Villa Paletti
Villa Paletti is a board game of physical skill designed by Bill Payne and published in 2001 by Zoch Verlag. Players compete to build the villa highest using columns from lower floors without collapsing the structure....
- Party Games: Moods
The categories and winners for 2002 were as follows:
- Game of the Year: Evo
Evo: The Last Gasp of the Dinosaurs is a German-style board game for three to five players, designed by Philippe Keyaerts and published by Eurogames. The game won the GAMES Magazine award for Game of the year 2002 and was nominated for the Origins Award for Best Graphic Presentation of a Board...
- Abstract Strategy: Morisi
- Advanced Strategy: Java
Java is a German-style board game designed by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling and published in 2000 by Ravensburger in German and by Rio Grande Games in English. It is illustrated by Franz Vohwinkel....
- Family Cards: Babel
- Family Games: Africa
- Family Strategy: Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Rings is a board game designed by Reiner Knizia based on The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The game was published in 2000 by Kosmos and Fantasy Flight Games, and won a Spiel des Jahres special award for best use of literature in a game. It features artwork by illustrator John...
- Historical Simulations: Drive on Paris
- Manual Dexterity: Space Game
- Party: Hilarium
- Puzzles: Flip-It!
- Word Games: My Word!
The categories and winners for 2001 were as follows:
- Game of the Year: Aladdin's Dragons
Aladdin's Dragons is a bidding-based board game by Richard Breese.-Game play:Each player controls a number of servants. The objective of the game is for each player to obtain as many artifacts as possible by buying them from the Caliph. In addition to being required to win, artifacts have magical...
- Family Strategy: Web of Power
- Family Games: Café International
- Advanced Strategy: Die Fürsten von Florenz (The Princes of Florence)
The Princes of Florence is a German board game designed by Wolfgang Kramer and Richard Ulrich published in 2000 by Alea in German and by Rio Grande Games in English. Players assume the roles of Florentine Princes who wish to design their own villas to allow artists to create great works of prestige...
- Abstract Strategy: ZÈRTZ
ZÈRTZ is the third game in the GIPF Project of six abstract strategy games. The game features a shrinking board and an object that promotes sacrifice combinations...
- Family Cards: Hellrail: Second Perdition
- 2-Player Card Games: Caesar & Cleopatra
- Party Games: Democrazy
- Puzzles: Lunar Lockout
- Historical Simulations: Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory: The First World War, 1914-1918 is a strategy board wargame, designed in 1999 by the six-time Charles S. Roberts Awards winner Ted Raicer and published by GMT Games. It covers World War I from its outbreak to the 1918 Armistice, or based on the progress of the game a hypothetical...
- Games of Dexterity: Carabande
The categories and winners for 2000 were as follows:
- Game of the Year: Torres
- Family Strategy: Tikal
Tikal is a German-style board game designed by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling and published in 1999 by Ravensburger in German and by Rio Grande Games in English...
- Abstract Strategy: Octi
- Family Games: Moonshot
- Family Card Games: Buried Treasure
- Party Games: Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is a party game originally published by Out of the Box Publishing, and now published by Mattel. It is designed for four to ten players and played for 30–60 minutes....
- Puzzles: Ricochet Robot
Ricochet Robot is a puzzle board game for 2 or more people, designed by Alex Randolph. The game was first published in Germany in 1999 as Rasende Roboter. An English version was published by Rio Grande Games.- Editions :...
- Word Games: Double Quick!
- Trivia: Bioviva
- Memory Games: Mamma Mia
- Collectible Card Games: Pokemon
The Pokémon Trading Card Game is a collectible card game based on the Pokémon video game series, first introduced in Japan in October 1996, then North America in December 1998...
- Games of Dexterity: Spintrek
The categories and winners for 1999 were as follows:
- Game of the Year: Fossil
- Family Strategy: El Grande
El Grande is a German-style board game for 2-5 players, designed by Wolfgang Kramer and Richard Ulrich, and published in 1995 by Hans im Glück in German, by Rio Grande Games in English, and by 999 Games in Dutch. The game board represents renaissance-era Spain where the nobility fight for control...
- Abstract Strategy: GIPF
GIPF is an abstract strategy board game by Kris Burm, the first of six games in his series of games called the GIPF Project.GIPF was recommended by Spiel des Jahres in 1998.-Gameplay:...
- Family: Montgolfiere
- Family Card: Bohnanza
Bohnanza is a German-style card game of trading and politics, designed by Uwe Rosenberg and released in 1997 by Amigo Spiele in German and by Rio Grande Games in English. It is played with a deck of cards with comical illustrations of eleven different types of beans , which the players are trying...
- Party Games: Say When!
- Puzzles: Stormy Seas
- Word Games: Alphablitz
- Trivia: Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?
- Collectible Card Games: Arc System/Jim Lee's C-23
- Conflict: Atlantic Storm
The categories and winners for 1997 were as follows:
- Game of the Year: 25 Words or Less
25 Words or Less is a party board game where two teams of players take turns bidding words back and forth, until one team allows the other to try to give that number of clues to their team to try getting five words from a card in only one minute...
- Party: Last Chance
- Family: Mole in the Hole
- Family Card: Take 6
6 Nimmt! / Take 5! is a counting card game designed by Wolfgang Kramer in 1994 and published by Amigo Spiele. The French version is distributed by Gigamic. This game allows 2-10 players who start with ten randomly numbered cards. These are played in turns onto four card stacks with the goal of...
- Family Strategy: Priceless
- Abstract Strategy: Transpose
- Strategy and Conflict: Field Command
- Word: Bethump'd With Words
- Puzzles: Deluxe Lights Out
- Trivia: Origins
- Adventure and Role-Playing: Dragonlance: Fifth Age
Dragonlance: Fifth Age is an accessory for the SAGA System, published in 1996. It uses the setting of Dragonlance, which originally was used in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game....
Hall of Fame
Part of the Buyer's Guide includes a hall of fame
A hall of fame, wall of fame, walk of fame, walk of stars or avenue of stars is a type of attraction established for any field of endeavor to honor individuals of noteworthy achievement in that field...
for "games that have met or exceeded the highest standards of quality and play value and have been continuously in production for at least 10 years; i.e., classics."
This Hall of Fame includes:
Acquire is a board game designed by Sid Sackson.The game was originally published in 1962 by 3M as a part of their bookshelf games series. In most versions, the theme of the game is investing in hotel chains. In the 1990s Hasbro edition, the hotel chains were replaced by generic corporations,...
- Axis & Allies
Blockhead! is a game invented in 1952 by G.W. "Jerry" D'Arcey and developed by G.W. and Alice D'Arcey in San Jose, California. Originally consisting of 20 brightly colored wooden blocks of varying shapes, the object of the game is to add blocks to a tower without having it collapse on your...
Bridgette is a two-player bridge game that has been popular since 1970. It features a 55-card deck: the regular pack of 52 cards plus three extra cards called "Colons". These special cards separate the pack into three groups: aces , picture cards , and spot cards . On an opponent's lead, the colon...
Civilization is a board game designed by Francis Tresham, published in Britain in 1980 by Hartland Trefoil , and in the US in 1981 by Avalon Hill. The game typically takes eight or more hours to play and is for two to seven players...
- Cluedo (Clue)
Cluedo is a popular murder/mystery-themed deduction board game originally published by Waddingtons in Leeds, England in 1949. It was devised by Anthony E. Pratt, a solicitor's clerk from Birmingham, England. It is now published by the United States game and toy company Hasbro, which acquired its U.S...
Diplomacy is a strategic board game created by Allan B. Calhamer in 1954 and released commercially in 1959. Its main distinctions from most board wargames are its negotiation phases and the absence of dice or other game elements that produce random effects...
- Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy role-playing game originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. . The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997...
- Magic: The Gathering
Magic: The Gathering , also known as Magic, is the first collectible trading card game created by mathematics professor Richard Garfield and introduced in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast. Magic continues to thrive, with approximately twelve million players as of 2011...
(inducted in the 2004 Buyer's Guide)
- Mille Bornes
Mille Bornes is a French card game. In the United States, Mille Bornes is manufactured and distributed by Winning Moves Games under license from Hasbro. It was previously produced by Parker Brothers and is commonly available in stores that sell games...
Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board shown, is actually a misspelling of the original location name, Marven Gardens. The misspelling was said to be introduced by Charles Todd and passed on when his home-made Monopoly board was copied by Charles Darrow and thence to Parker...
Reversi is a board game involving abstract strategy and played by two players on a board with 8 rows and 8 columns and a set of distinct pieces for each side. Pieces typically are disks with a light and a dark face, each face belonging to one player...
Pente is a strategy board game created in 1977 by Gary Gabrel, based on the Japanese game ninuki-renju, a variant of renju or gomoku which is played on a Go board of 19 x 19 intersections with white and black stones. In contrast to renju, ninuki-renju and Pente allow captures, but Pente added a...
Risk is a strategic board game, produced by Parker Brothers . It was invented by French film director Albert Lamorisse and originally released in 1957 as La Conquête du Monde in France. Risk is a turn-based game for two to six players...
- Scrabble Crossword Game
Scrabble is a word game in which two to four players score points by forming words from individual lettered tiles on a game board marked with a 15-by-15 grid. The words are formed across and down in crossword fashion and must appear in a standard dictionary. Official reference works provide a list...
- The Settlers of Catan
The Settlers of Catan is a multiplayer board game designed by Klaus Teuber and first published in 1995 in Germany by Franckh-Kosmos Verlag as Die Siedler von Catan. Players assume the roles of settlers, each attempting to build and develop their settlement while trading and acquiring resources...
(inducted in the 2006 Buyer's Guide)
Sorry! is a board game that is based on the ancient Cross and Circle game Pachisi. Players try to travel around the board with their pieces faster than any other player. Distributed by Parker Brothers, Sorry! is marketed for two to four players, ages six through adult...
Stratego is a board game featuring a 10×10 square board and two players with 40 pieces each. Pieces represent individual officers and soldiers in an army. The objective of the game is to either find and capture the opponent's Flag or to capture so many of the opponent's pieces that he/she cannot...
Taboo is a word guessing party game published by Hasbro in 1989. The object of the game is for a player to have his/her partner guess the word on his/her card without using the word itself or five additional words listed on the card....
(inducted in the 2001 Buyer's Guide)
TriBond is a board game distributed by Imagination Games. It asks the question - "What do these three things have in common?" Players try to guess the "common bond" between the three clues...
(inducted in the 2001 Buyer's Guide)
- Trivial Pursuit
Trivial Pursuit is a board game in which progress is determined by a player's ability to answer general knowledge and popular culture questions. The game was created in 1979 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, by Canadian Chris Haney, a photo editor for Montreal's The Gazette and Scott Abbott, a sports...
Twister is a game of physical skill produced by Hasbro Games. It is played on a large plastic mat that is spread on the floor or ground. The mat has four rows of large colored circles on it with a different color in each row: red, yellow, blue, and green. A spinner is attached to a square board...
TwixT is a two-player abstract strategy game invented by Alex Randolph. It is a member of the connection game family, along with games such as Hex, Havannah, Y, PÜNCT and *Star...
(NOTE - Not included in the 1999 and 2000 Buyer's Guides due to temporary discontinuance of production)
Yahtzee is a dice game made by Milton Bradley , which was first marketed by game entrepreneur Edwin S. Lowe in 1956. The game is a development of earlier dice games, such as Yacht and Generala. The object of the game is to score the most points by rolling five dice to make certain combinations...