Friday, September 7, 2007

Top 100 games of all time

Ho! Even though the Inquest magazine has gone the way of the dodo, they're still putting out the odd article here and there.

The latest one counts down the Top 100 games of all time. Since Inquest started primarily to cover the best-selling and most-played CCG of all-time, Magic: The Gathering, I wonder if any game can dethrone Magic from finishing top on this list?

Read on...you may be surprised! And I'm sure you'll delight in seeing some games that you've played before make this list...classics.


TOP 100 GAMES OF ALL TIME
InQuest’s Definitive List of Gaming’s Greatest Hits

By the I.Q. Gamer staff

Posted September 6, 2007 1:00 PM

Over the past 150 issues, the IQ crew has played a lot of games. Fabled are the fortnights when we chucked more dice than you could shake a LARP prop at and guzzled enough Mountain Dew to kill a herd of elephants. So as we kicked around ideas on how to inaugurate our official 12-and-a-half-year anniversary, it was obvious what we had to do: Dusting off our stockpile of every game published since the dawn of man, we performed our gamer duty in a marathon session to divide once and for all the hot from the not.

Of course, to judge the worthy from the wanting, we had to come up with some criteria. Four categories summed up our rating system. 1) Impact: the game’s place in history and its popularity; 2) Quality: how elegant and engaging the game’s mechanics are; 3) Execution: a game’s aesthetics, production value and how well it follows a theme; 4) The IQ Factor: how much fun the game really is to us, which we weighed double.

In the end, sure, it was all hard work. We won’t make any bones about that. And as the 11th hour struck, there was even some sword-swinging over what deserved our stamp of approval. But playing through each CCG, RPG and board game, each CMG and CSG, we were finally able to cull it all into one definitive list. Behold, young gamelings: InQuest’s picks for the Top 100 Games ever made! Meanwhile, we’re going to creep off to the hospital and find out how serious these flesh wounds are…


100 STAR WARS CCG
(DECIPHER)
As a CCG it had its problems, like clunky rules and the impossibility of scoring key cards. But for hitting the Star Wars spot when “Episode I” was still just a rumor, this baby enters the IQ annals as No. 100.



99 FURY OF DRACULA
(FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES)
Fantasy Flight’s ’06 revamping did a lot for this classic mix of Clue and Ravenloft, making it a great choice for dark and dreary nights.

98 DRAGON BALL Z CCG
(SCORE ENTERTAINMENT)
Initially a little rough around the edges, this CCG evolved into a solid game, boasting 18 expansions and over 30 game-changing elements. Its cardinal sin was that the property went out of vogue.

97 ARE YOU A WEREWOLF? THE CARD GAME
(LOONEY LABS)
A spin-off of a psychology-lab game, this commercial version ups the stakes with about three times as many “innocents” and a gypsy “seer” to help villagers discover who’s preying on them.

96 RIFTS
(PALLADIUM BOOKS)
This loose variation on the original D&D was the first RPG to do sci-fi right. Its interdimensional rifts give players unlimited opportunities to include anything from cybernetics to psionics, or to play in beloved settings—say “Bladerunner” or “Star Wars.”

95 PIRATE’S COVE
(DAYS OF WONDER)
Though somewhat scant on strategy, nobody can argue with a game that lets you fight over buried treasure and take on a legendary ghost ship, now can they?

94 MEDICI
(AMIGO SPIELE)
Players take turns cramming booty into their ships and attempting to corner the market on silks and spices in a frenzied bidding war that’s brought us back time and again.

93 STAR TREK CCG
(DECIPHER)
Still going strong after all these years, recently streamlined rules helped gamedom’s only “customizable” card game finally warm our hearts while treading the fine line needed to keep its longtime aficionados onboard.



92 HOITY TOITY
(ÜBERPLAY)
Forget the title; this winner of the Deutscher Spiele Preis has a bluffing element that gives anyone who wants to screw over his neighbor in the name of snobby antiquarianism his chance to do so.

91 MECHWARRIOR CMG
(WIZKIDS)
Took everything right with Mage Knight and added giant, bonecrushing robots! The downside was complex rules that made it difficult to get the feel of heavy metal-combat, but an ’05 overhaul definitely caught up with its clicky brethren.

90 BLOKUS
(SEKKOIA)
The lovechild of Tetris and a Modernist painting, Blokus is all about getting rid of your 21 pieces without ever running into another player’s piece. The game has been known to turn unprepared newbs into lifelong gamers.

89 WYATT EARP, THE CARD GAME
(RIO GRANDE GAMES)
Grandmas have been teaching Rummy since the dawn of time. This game realizes that anyone who’s much of a gamer ends up trying to make the rules a bit more “fun,” and does so with cowboy bounty-hunter rules that let you lock down your neighbors’ plays.

88 HEAVY GEAR
(DREAM POD 9)
Heavy Gear is a great balance of deep political intrigue and a vibrant universe. Plus there’re plenty of massive robots to rampage with, if you’re into that sort of thing.

87 BATTLE LINE
(GMT GAMES)
Battle Line is like Schotten-Totten with a 300-style theme and a handful of rules changes that make it just a bit better than its fellow strategy game.

86 NAVIA DRATP
(BANDAI)
Bandai tried a little experiment in “complete information” gaming with limited fig runs, resulting in this rarely recognized gem. Like the original shog, it boasted bases you could flip for added powers, but collectibility added the dimension of army building.

85 APPLES TO APPLES
(OUT OF THE BOX PUBLISHING)
Some things you just don’t hear every day, like: “Margaret Thatcher is sexy” or “Convicts are squishy.” But that’s why this is our favorite party game, in which winning means saying the most ridiculous things imaginable. It’s also a great chance to tell that girl you like: “Your face is tasty.”

84 BATTLETECH CCG
(WIZARDS OF THE COAST)
More massive mechs! This one nabs our applause for its realistic presentation of driving around a bunch of big robots on a cushy set of rules that maintains elements of strategy without getting too tough.

83 PUERTO RICO
(RIO GRANDE GAMES)
Some gurus call Puerto Rico the best game of all time. Unlike most games, it relies on multiple goals including money-making, building and shipping. Figuring out when to do each depends entirely on the individual game.

82 WARLORD CCG
(ALDERAC ENTERTAINMENT)
An CCG based on the d20 System, it has the easiest rules system you never had to learn twice, with a novel phalanx-like mechanic.

81 STRATEGO
(MILTON BRADLEY)
Everyone has played this classic at least once, all the way back to ancient China when its earliest ancestor was called animal chess.

80 MALL OF HORROR
(ASMODÉE EDITIONS)
Mall could still be the best unofficial game of Dawn of the Dead we’ve ever seen. It revolves around keeping your characters within one of five uninfested locations by bargaining with other players, but you might still be eaten alive at a moment’s notice.

79 HEROSCAPE
(MILTON BRADLEY)
Heroscape—with its Master Sets that include 30 figs from every possible genre, 3D terrain, dice and history’s most simplistic stat cards—is for CMGs what Boston Market is for Thanksgiving dinner. And dang, are those roasted turkeys delish!

78 FENG SHUI
(DAEDALUS ENTERTAINMENT)
Despite its noted lack of depth, Feng Shui is a solid RPG system with a zany atmosphere comparable to gaming in “Kill Bill Vol. 1” and speedy combat that recreates opening cans of whupass in a major Hollywood action flick.

77 BATTLELORE
(DAYS OF WONDER)
We loved this game before DoW released it, since it’s a retake on Memoir ’44 featuring fantasy critters. It’s also probably the fastest-playing minis game at a total play time of 30 to 60 minutes—perfect for InQuest grub breaks.

76 PARANOIA
(WEST END GAMES)
The funniest RPG we’ve ever played, Paranoia is set in a high-tech dystopia run by an insane computer where players are secret agents bent on backstabbing and butt-kissing their way through constant technological mishaps—kind of like most peoples’ workdays.

75 DESCENT
(FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES)
Games like this exist to give MMOers some respite from monitor-induced eye strain. Unlike other games of its ilk, though, Descent’s mechanics make it possible for the “Overlord” to win by putting the kibosh on players.

74 BLOOD BOWL
(GAMES WORKSHOP)
This 20-year-old Warhammer 40,000 football board game is something of a rarity; you don’t see many sports-themed games that are actually fun. You can literally murder the QB, but the enemy coach might just reanimate him back.

73 DUNE, THE BOARD GAME
(AVALON HILL)
So heavy on rules you sometimes think you’re doing theoretical calculus, but once you learn them, it reproduces the Dune books to perfection.

72 EL GRANDE
(RIO GRANDE GAMES)
Completely doing away with luck can be a Pandora’s Box in the gaming world, but El Grande pulls it off and captures the intrigue of Renaissance Spain. Plus, it’s got a cool prison tower! That’s hard to top.

71 AXIS & ALLIES
(MILTON BRADLEY)
Critics say it oversimplifies the sociopolitical factors of WWII, but those same rules present the 20th century’s most important conflict in an action-packed battle royale.

70 STAR WARS MINIS
(WIZARDS OF THE COAST)
It’s freakin’ Star Wars! Plus, SWM earns praise for lots of gameplay ideas, including using Force Powers to let you lay the Jedi smackdown.

69 WARHAMMER 40,000: DARK MILLENNIUM CCG
(SABERTOOTH GAMES)
The first thing that hits you about a pack of Dark Millennium is all the great visuals, but multipurpose cards with battle-affecting “command lines” and randomizing dice in their bottom margins broke new CCG ground.

68 ARS MAGICA
(WHITE WOLF)
Ars Magica keeps the game’s 13th-century slant intact while adding magical dimensions. It’s also the first game to introduce property ownership and maintenance as a key element, which you might have seen in some later games—say, EverQuest?

67 YU-GI-OH! TCG
(UPPER DECK)
Millions of players worldwide can’t be wrong. What other game boasts more than 25 expansions made in five short years, for which every single card has a code for a video game?

66 THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH BOARD GAME
(MAYFAIR GAMES)
Based on Ken Follett’s best-selling novel, this game focuses entirely on building a church out of 3D blocks with tight mechanics that give players a sense of the tension between planning and speed central to constructing Europe’s great cathedrals.

65 PIRATES OF THE SPANISH MAIN CSG
(WIZKIDS)
Now your minis are light and collapsible, and when they take damage you can show it without breaking them. On the other side of the spectrum, now your cards are 3D. Brilliant!

64 WHEEL OF TIME CCG
(PRECEDENCE ENTERTAINMENT)
Few games approach epic clashes quite like Wheel of Time. Though it’s mad complicated at first, this game offers many cool army-raising mechanics aimed at dice rolling.

63 WWE RAW DEAL
(COMIC IMAGES)
Raw Deal’s elegant rule system was one of the first CCGs to utilize avatars—in the form of WWE superstar cards—effectively, and its built-in capacity for multiplayer is unmatched. And did we mention laying the smack down? Yeah, that’s sweet, too.

62 RISK
(PARKER BROTHERS)
Our hats are off to this lasting classic that’s second only to chess as the best mainstream war game ever.

61 AMBER DICELESS RPG
(PHAGE PRESS)
Dice were banned in this universe where the stress was placed on the roleplaying itself. It also sported an unheard-of auction mechanic that made players bid on attributes, thus balancing parties. We can’t wait for Diceless by Design’s rumored reprintings!

60 WALLENSTEIN
(QUEEN GAMES)
“VALL-n-STINE”? “VAL”...“N”…eh, forget it. You don’t need to know German to appreciate “Da Wall’s” easy mechanics that preserve the resource management elements standard to Eurogames.

59 CYBERPUNK 2.0.2.0.
(R. TALSORIAN GAMES)
Not only did it break ground for the burgeoning hacker crowd, it also spawned the amazing Netrunner CCG.

58 FLUXX, THE CARD GAME
(LOONEY LABS)
Fluxx works on the simple premise that rules were made to be broken. It spawned a host of subculture versions like Fluxx Blanxx, where you write the rules, and Stoner Fluxx, where you, uh…what were we saying?

57 CALL OF CTHULHU CCG
(FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES)
We © Cthulhu. Cthulhu games are seldom crap, and this baby broke new ground with domain-based resource mechanics and great integration of the requisite horror and madness themes.

56 SHADOWFIST CCG
(Z-MAN GAMES)
Similar to Feng Shui in setting and tone, this CCG outdoes its RPG cousin—and 43 other games—by token of simply being a better game. The multiplayer format is so strong it seems made for all-out brawls.

55 KULT CCG
(TARGET GAMES)
With cards like “Fetus Alteration,” “Putrefy Other’s body” and “Meat Hook,” morbid horror is the sort of thing you can expect from this grotesque game, whose mechanics are a nice hybrid of tarot and a board game.

54 DEADLANDS
(PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT)
Not only does Deadlands serve up a frightful cocktail of zombie gunmen, spell-slinging riverboat gamblers and the maddest of scientists, but it pushes the boundaries of classic mechanics using a system just as reliant on poker-style card plays as it is on dice.

53 DOOM: THE BOARD GAME
(FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES)
Doom: The Board Game packs all the wallop of its pixilated precursor while opening new dimensions to players who always wanted to be the bad guys.

52 THE X-FILES CCG
(USPC)
Whatever happened to that scandalous, scarlet-headed vixen, Agent Scully? Without this game we’d regularly be locking ourselves in dark rooms with our collector sets. But luckily, there is an X-Files CCG that, with its Clue-like scenarios, has had us locking ourselves in dark rooms with whole groups of people. Plus, InQuest once included the ultra-rare Deny Everything as a promotional insert. How cool is that?



51 PENDRAGON
(CHAOSIUM, INC.)
The best recasting of Arthurian legend into an RPG—it’s closely tied to the famous Le Morte d’ArthurPendragon translates hardly readable Middle-English poems into a basis for adventures.

50 ARKHAM HORROR
(FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES)
From visiting the Dreamlands to joining the Silver Twilight Lodge to waking up crazy in Arkham Asylum and trying to drive back Cthulhu himself, this bulky-but-fun board game plays like a wild self-GMing RPG.

49 THE SPOILS
(TENACIOUS GAMES)
There are two types of games: the ones that do something first and the ones that do it best. The Spoils happens to be the latter. It sports resource-based variability and avatar-based determinability, has scads of combo-building cards and even has kitty-cats to boot.

48 DRAKON
(FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES)
Ask any hobbit will tell you, burgling dragons is pretty straightforward: You get in, you steel the gold, you get out. Right? WRONG! In Drakon, players build the dungeon as they go, and a ton of special rooms makes it much more than a dungeon crawl!

47 MYSTERY OF THE ABBEY
(DAYS OF WONDER)
Another whodunit game, Mystery veers wildly off the beaten path by being set in a medieval monastery, then adds flavor with goofy cards like one that demands all questions be asked in Gregorian chant!

46 WARHAMMER
(GAMES WORKSHOP)
No other minis game has had the staying power of Warhammer, and quite frankly only a few reach the level of fun you’ll experience as your Skaven race across highly detailed terrain towards ranks of finely painted Bretonnian bowmen.

45 LEGEND OF THE FIVE RINGS RPG
(ALDERAC ENTERTAINMENT)
The complexities of this RPG’s setting and storyline are unmatched, and it delves into the original themes of Medieval Asian history and mythos, but the brilliance of L5R is that despite all this, it plays so smoothly you’d never notice.

44 POKÉMON TCG
(NINTENDO)
No game does as much to replicate simply and elegantly the videogame it’s based on. It’s much, much better than you’ve imagined.

43 ROBO RALLY
(AVALON HILL)
We love this lesser-known Richard Garfield game as much for its ridiculously chaotic program-card mechanic as for the assorted goodies you can slap on your ’bot to create the ultimate in tin-can carnage.

42 MIDDLE EARTH: THE WIZARDS CCG
(IRON CROWN ENTERPRISES)
Despite rules clunkier than prose in The Silmarillion, this game did what a LotR game should do: replicate the Fellowship’s epic journey across Middle-earth.

41 DIPLOMACY
(HASBRO)
If chess is the grandaddy of all war games, Diplomacy is their papa. It uses absolutely no dice and relies completely on communication—read: alliances and backstabbing—among players.

40 ANACHRONISM
(TRIKING GAMES)

Another great game for history buffs, Anachronism has almost no setup time, lets you pit Julius Caesar against Beowulf, and might be the most elegant one-on-one dueling card game we’ve played.

39 VEGAS SHOWDOWN
(AVALON HILL)
This SimCity-style game plops players down in the role of casino execs in a bidding war for the soul-sucking granny traps that will reside on their gaming floors. Turn on Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas,” get in the mood and still remain a couple thousand dollars richer.

38 COLOSSEUM
(DAYS OF WONDER)
Everybody loves “Gladiator,” but this game lets you play as the impresarios who concocted the sadistic, animal-laden romps that Rome’s heroes faced day in and day out.

37 G.U.R.P.S.
(STEVE JACKSON GAMES)
This well-designed multi-genre RPG has every possibility known to man, making it possible for Lt. Jean-François to vanish from the Waterloo, slay a dragon, hack into a mainframe and show up a century later in the middle of Nazi-occupied Paris.

36 INKOGNITO
(MILTON BRADLEY)
You start the game not even knowing which piece is yours while a madcap shaker prop that looks like a masked dude rolls out marbles to determine your actions in this game that’s so wonderfully bizarre it reminds you of playing in a dream!

35 VAMPIRE: THE ETERNAL STRUGGLE
(WHITE WOLF)
What has Richard Garfield done besides Magic? Among other games, he designed this elegant CCG that, rather than pretending multiplayer games aren’t about screwing over the guy to your left, makes it official and calls opponents your “prey.”

34 SHADOWRUN
(FASA CORPORATION)
Shadowrun has survived a slew of publishing companies as the Little Orphan Annie of gamedom. Regardless of who’s putting it out, the game itself is just plain old fun, with a delightful blend of every gaming genre and first-rate writing.

33 ILLUMINATI
(STEVE JACKSON GAMES)
We accept that we’ll never be invited into anyone’s secret society. But we can enjoy infiltrating humanity’s sacred institutions with cards like Boy Sprouts, Church of Violentology and Bite the Wax Tadpole.

32 MAGE KNIGHT
(WIZKIDS)
Before Mage Knight, nobody thought to put a fig’s changeable stats on its base, and nobody considered painting those figs before selling them. This game changed all that, leaving a succession of great ’Clix games in its wake.

31 THE TRADERS OF GENOA
(RIO GRANDE GAMES)
You auction off your whole turn and do what everyone else wants—for the best price. Everything’s up for grabs!

30 THREE-DRAGON ANTE
(WIZARDS OF THE COAST)
This awesome card game perfectly captures a table game that fantasy gamblers might kill each other over.

29 DAS AMULET
(FACE 2 FACE GAMES)
Though the Germans have kept it secret for half a decade, this great game is now coming to America under the title Wizard’s Brew.

28 CITADELS
(FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES)
Other games have you competing over the biggest tower, only Citadels lets you murder, cheat and steal to erect it in a brilliant game about guessing the identities of your opponents each turn as they change from assassin to witch to warlord, and even to king.

27 D&D MINIS
(WIZARDS OF THE COAST)
D&D Minis, like its Star Wars counterpart, is all about putting concrete versions of fan-fave folks like Strahd onto our dungeon maps! It was also the first game to do something non-clicky with collectible minis.

26 MYTHOS CCG
(CHAOSIUM, INC.)
One more killer Cthulhu game that deserves our lovin’s, this one opens up the whole of Lovecraft’s multiverse with a design ironically akin to traditional family-style card games.

25 COSMIC ENCOUNTER
(AVALON HILL)
This relatively overlooked indie game, first released back in 1977, had an innovative mechanic of cards warping rules that inspired Richard Garfield to designed Magic.

24 STAR WARS RPG
(WIZARDS OF THE COAST)
Perfect for first-time gamers, and geared toward “Star Wars” fanatics, this RPG will leave casual readers rolling with great in-book recruiting ads for the Imperial Navy.

23 BABYLON 5 CCG
(PRECEDENCE ENTERTAINMENT)
Babylon 5 explored the depths of political intrigue and demanded players use their brains to best their opponents.

22 VS. SYSTEM
(UPPER DECK)
Hands-down the best superhero CCG, Vs. was the first game to create the kind of universe crossovers we’d waited decades for. Its smooth mechanics also broke new ground by making the resource row, its equivalent to Magic’s lands, into an extension of players’ hands.

21 DREAMBLADE
(WIZARDS OF THE COAST)
Dreamblade did something unique in the CMG genre; elegantly removed the need for clunky measuring and line-of-sight rules.

20 A GAME OF THRONES CCG
(FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES)
Kicking off our Top 20, A Game of Thrones captures George R. R. Martin’s fantasy world phenomenally well, delivering a groundbreaking CCG with multiple paths to victory and rules of engagement like no other card game.

19 CASTLE FALKENSTEIN
(R. TALSORIAN GAMES)
Essentially The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in game form—and created before Alan Moore ever wrote the series! It also boasts some of the easiest, tightest RPG mechanics ever to surface.

18 CLEOPATRA & THE SOCIETY OF ARCHITECTS
(DAYS OF WONDER)
Like other building games, Cleopatra has the standard resource competition and scads of 3D temple pieces. But you can engage in shady dealings to get’er done faster, so long as Ms. Cleo doesn’t catch you!


17 CALL OF CTHULHU RPG
(CHAOSIUM, INC.)
We have nothing but adoration for a game that dares to deny PCs any and all special powers or hidden tricks, instead making them just everyday dudes…one step away from losing their sanity!

16 WORLD OF WARCRAFT TCG
(UPPER DECK)
This new kid on the CCG block doesn’t just rely on its franchise to stake its claim, but delivers a smashing game that mixes staples like avatars with easier resource management into one seamless whole.

15 OVERTHRONE
(R&R GAMES)
The IQ crew can’t get enough of this out-of-print game. Some of the rules, we’ll admit, are a bit vague. But it has everything: resource management, battle, intrigue…you name it! And it’s all wrapped in a fun 17th-century France theme!

14 ALADDIN’S DRAGONS
(RIO GRANDE GAMES)
This baby ranks as the be all and end all of Arabian Nights board games by letting you do everything the legend himself would have done, from pillaging caves to liberating the Caliph’s palace.

13 TICKET TO RIDE
(DAYS OF WONDER)
Ticket to Ride’s simple use of secret destinations and building mechanics hooks non-gamers from the get-go, while the complex jumble of tracks on limited board space offers the kind of deeper strategizing only a gamer could love.

12 NETRUNNER CCG
(WIZARDS OF THE COAST)
Netrunner had a cool cyberpunk theme where you could play either the data-hacking runner or the sinister corporation, the ability to wage virtual battles on a variety of fronts, and a whole lot of intuitive dueling.

11 VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE
(WHITE WOLF)
Topping the Gothic charts, this prime piece of undead flesh has the patented Storytelling System (formerly Storyteller System) that reaches the right balance of simplicity and depth.

10 SHADOWS OVER CAMELOT
(DAYS OF WONDER)
Yes, there are barbarians, and yes, there’s a Grail Quest. But it’s more about cooperation than competition, with most players playing against one “traitor.”

9 LORD OF THE RINGS TCG
(DECIPHER)
This TCG dug into the fan-demonium of Peter Jackson’s films and has stayed strong with its never-before-seen “pooling” mechanic that’s faithful to Tolkien’s concept of great good bringing on great evil. And the amazing depth of still shots pulled from the Rings movies made the game visually stunning.

8 LEGEND OF THE FIVE RINGS CCG
(ALDERAC ENTERTAINMENT)
L5R is one of the strongest core-gamer CCGs on the market. Not only does it have the most intriguing ongoing storyline, but other features like its tactical mechanics and alternate honor-win condition make it a game any serious player can wrap his head around.

7 CHAMPIONS RPG
(HERO GAMES)
We dug this 30-something game out of our musty cellar more to prove there are Top 10-quality games we’re sure you haven’t played. The first to generate characters on a point system, the first to do the superhero genre right and the only game to cleverly streamline powers, it’s one for the history books we can’t help playing even today.

6 DOOMTOWN CCG
(ALDERAC ENTERTAINMENT)
The only thing that kept Doomtown from reaching numero uno might have been that it’s six feet under. Suffice it to say it’s still a kickass game with a clever poker mechanic and near-elimination of luck components due to feverishly fast card drawing.

5 SETTLERS OF CATAN
(MAYFAIR GAMES)
The best board game ever, Settlers embodies everything that’s right with brettspieles. It’s got building, resource management and cooperative play; it’s even got that pesky robber to add an element of chance!

4 TITAN: THE ARENA
(FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES)
Titan ranks highest in the games-we-play-at-lunch category, not for being innovative but for perfecting an earlier game (Grand National Derby) so well. It keeps all the simplicity of Derby as a betting game but uses its kickin’ fantasy theme to give its critters special powers.

3 HEROCLIX
(WIZKIDS)
Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before this king of Clixdom pulls to the head of the IQ-ratings pack. Putting it at the 3-spot, though, we’re recognizing that it’s still just a kid finding itself in a very big gaming world. HeroClix is pound-for-pound the best superhero game we’ve ever played, not only for allowing players to cross universes beyond the standard DC/Marvel cliché, but also for featuring all the strengths of WizKids’ previous pre-painted, dialed-up minis.

2 DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
(TSR/WIZARDS OF THE COAST)
Nothing comes close to topping those once-upon-a-time hours our pimply-faced selves spent slurping down sodas and scarfing nachos as we slashed our way through evening after evening of mysteries, monsters and mages. Some of us point to the vivid fight scenes as the most memorable moments, others the intricate plots of classic modules like Queen of the Demonweb Pits and Ravenloft. But the truth is, it was everything, from alignments to Mordenkainen to the Underdark, that put this game as close to our hearts as our first bicycles.

Over the years, our all-time favorite RPG has gone through so many changes it makes a person’s head spin, but we like it all. Change is just as crucial for a living RPG as is the language it’s written in. D&D has stood this test of time elegantly, and we expect just like Monopoly, Clue or even chess, it’s going to be around for a long, long time. And now Fourth Edition is on the horizon, too!

1 MAGIC: THE GATHERING
(WIZARDS OF THE COAST)
Surprise, surprise! Yes, you might have predicted this was No. 1, but that doesn’t mean we should sabotage it from the top spot, does it? As most of you already know, it’s our favorite CCG—the original and undisputed genesis of the whole genre—and Magic has delivered more hours of strategy and entertainment than probably all the other games we’ve ever played combined.

Not even when we had our doubts somewhere around Kamigawa Block or went through the depression era of Fallen Empires did we lose faith. For every step backwards, Magic has taken 10 in the right direction, making phrases like “Black Lotus” bywords among gamers worldwide. It’s also hit a second wind with the release of masterfully constructed blocks like Ravnica and Time Spiral, heralding a second Golden Age of gaming we wouldn’t miss even if Armageddon were knocking down our doors.

HEAD COUNT
Whose mug showed up the most in our Top 100?

If the InQuest 100 were the Academy Awards, this would be our “Best Actor” category. Over the years, these examples of Gamedom’s finest have starred in game after fan-fave game, and they’re the characters to star the most in the games we’ve hand-picked as the greatest of all time. Sadly, we can only offer the winner our praise, since our bean counters still won’t let us have solid-gold trophies.

CTHULHU
Showed Up In: Arkham Horror, Call of Cthulhu CCG & RPG, Mythos
Now don’t think we’re giving the top spot to the Great Old One just because we’re acolytes in a secret society bent on raising him and taking over the world. We are, of course, but to be fair he’s also been in the most games.

SPIDER-MAN
Showed Up In: Champions, HeroClix, Vs. System
When asked what exactly “whatever a spider can” means, the star replied: “I told MJ spiders can’t do laundry, can’t cook and can’t clean, and she said, ‘Well, I guess that means you’ll be eating all the flies then, huh?’”


TIAMAT
Showed Up In: AD&D, D&D Minis, Three-Dragon Ante
Her multi-heads don’t automatically warrant her extra spots on the countdown, but D&D’s reigning reptile of terror showed up more than King Arthur or those pesky ninjas from L5R.

DARTH VADER
Showed Up In: Star Wars CCG, Minis & RPG
Maybe if our fathers all had cool outfits and neat-o theme songs that played wherever they went, we’d call more often on Father’s Day—maybe.

COUNT DRACULA
Showed Up In: Fury of Dracula, Vampire CCG & RPG
Perhaps our biggest surprise star, no other bloodsucker has garnered as much infamy as Bram Stoker’s eternal villain—and none is as uncomfortable in the spotlight, either.

ELVIS LOOKALIKE
Showed Up In: Vegas Showdown
Nominated for being the best character to play another character in a game, this great pretender has earned a big hunk of our burnin’ love…eh, sort of.


Firstly, let me express my disappointment that some of my favourite games of all time failed to make the list.

Where is the classic Monopoly and Cluedo? Isn't Monopoly the most manufactured game of ALL-TIME, even moreso than Risk? I don't see why Risk can make the list but Monopoly gets snubbed.

And where is chess and even checkers/draughts? Two of the most played games of all time and they don't make the top 100 games list?

This leads me to conclude that this piece is an OPINION piece on what Inquest's favourite games of all-time are, and have no credibility and nothing to do with what other people consider to be the best games.

After all, as well-loved as Magic: The Gathering is, surely D&D would outrank it.

No Munchkin either. I wonder if the Inquest staff have ever even HEARD of Munchkin.

Wow. Yu-Gi-Oh, for all its popularity and the amount Upper Deck has made selling cards to little kids, finishes a lowly #67. Even the Pokemon TCG ranked higher than Yu-Gi-Oh at #44. And we all know which game sold better.

2 comments:

Stacey Merrill said...

Hi there!

Just a note, #15, Overthrone, is actually still in print and available from R&R Games at www.rnrgames.com and select specialty stores.

Stacey

Blankie said...

Hi there Stacey,
Thanks for that! I've never played Overthrone before...might be a good time to pick it up since it's so highly rated!