One of the most persistent arguments in the board gaming hobby is over which games deserve to be “must plays.” With thousands of new games released every year, how would someone new to the hobby know where to start and what best represents the current state of the hobby?
There could be no more subjective question than this, but it’s a fun one to throw out every now and then to see what people are playing most frequently, what they would use to introduce new gamers, and honestly, just how insular the hobby is at times.
With that in mind, our question of the week this week is: What games would you consider part of the modern hobby board gaming “canon”? Must plays that should be on everyone’s table.
A couple of caveats (as there often are) for this question. First, there is no such thing as “canon” in the sense that everyone must or must not play certain things. BUT, there are games that we collectively label as great starting points, gateways, or otherwise representative games of the hobby. Consider this question an exercise in exploring those games, not in gatekeeping. At the same time, feel free to ignore or disagree with everything listed here. By nature, these are subjective recommendations.
And with that, on with the games that our listeners and readers labeled as the must plays and must try games of the hobby in its current state.
Catan, Carcassonne, Puerto Rico, Race for the Galaxy, Agricola, Terraforming Mars, Gloomhaven, Wingspan
— Prayerborne (@prayerborne) July 30, 2022
7 Wonders, Favor of the Pharaoh, Jamaica, Jet Set, Kingsberg, Lords of Waterdeep, Steampunk Rally, The Networks, Valeria Card Kingdoms
— RedMeepleRyan (@redmeepleryan) August 2, 2022