We think board games are for everyone. That’s why we’ve made our list of Games of Forever for Everyone over here. A part of us couldn’t help but make this list as well though – a list of our favourite games for the connoisseur.

Those games that do require strategy and some patience to learn. If you are someone that is willing to invest the time then these games will reward you with some of the best experiences you can have with cardboard and some friends.

10. Cosmic encounter

How many games will truly stand the test of time? Cosmic Encounter is about to turn 40 and yet can still feel fresh to veterans and newcomers alike.

Yes, it’s about aliens, flying saucers and space battles, but please stick with us. Honestly, this bad boy is still able to surprise even the most ardent fans of a game that’s four decades old. The joy isn’t the simple way you fight for planets and beg people to help your cause. It’s about the particulars of the alien race you happen to be playing as.

There are 50 different types of alien you could be (with many more expansions on top), and each one has a unique impact on how the game is played. Some might simply tip you towards a certain play style, but others dramatically change the game and quite often two aliens will together create a surprising new mechanic.

In one game, Best Play’s Marcus was “The Filch” – an alien whose special power is to cheat until they’re caught. This isn’t revealed until you catch him for the first time, leading to the hilarious over the top amount of cheating we had all started picking up on – but of course we were too British and polite to comment on until it was overbearingly obvious.

An old but somehow fresh classic that every serious collection deserves.

Buy it here and support Best Play


9. Agricola

We asked Reddit which game people have always wanted to play, but had never got round to it. Agricola was seemingly the most common response.

It was also one of Best Play’s first forays into serious games a few years ago. You’re each trying to craft a farm, making Agricola a generally peaceful and enjoyable game. The twist is that no two players can take the same action each round, making it painfully frustrating when you spend ages building your dream sheep enclosure, only for some other farmer to grab all the sheep.

In fact, sometimes it makes sense for you to deliberately harvest your vegetables or take some other action that doesn’t benefit you – just so that your opponent can’t take the thing that they’re desperate to do. It certainly upsets the girlfriends of Best Play when we do it, anyway.

Buy it here and support Best Play


8. Archipelago

What would happen if you combined pretty much every single game element into one mega game? You’d get something like Archipelago, undoubtedly one of our all-time favourites.

You assume control of an unnamed colonial power in pirate-era Caribbean waters. You’ll have to harvest resources, grow the population and build towns. Although there is a single public objective for all to see, in order to win you can also achieve your secret objective. You’ll each be wary of one another, copying their moves to attempt to disrupt hidden plans, and laying red herrings to throw the others off the scent.

There are two more dynamics that make Archipelago an instant classic. Firstly, there are periodic crises that affect everyone, and will require unusual generosity and collaboration between otherwise competitive players in order to collectively survive.

The other trick is that one player may or may not have the secret objective to disrupt the colony, sabotaging it for everyone. Add these two ingredients together, and accusations, war, mistrust and cagey alliances become inevitable.

Buy it here and support Best Play


7. Twilight Imperium

This is an epic in every sense of the word. Our first game took over nine hours to play and the second wasn’t much quicker. It’s certainly not a family game for the Christmas period, that’s for sure.

It takes such a long time because the game is more like three or four games rolled into one. You are building out a galaxy, colonising planets, trading goods, having epic space battles and trying to use your diplomacy to change things in the senate.

It’s a game that gets into your head, and it’s played as much off the table as it is on it. Your lunch (and probably dinner) breaks become time to unwind and relax for a moment … at least in theory. Canny players will continue to try and win favour, taking the moment Joel gets up to get another drink to tell you their theory on how he will betray you. On his return Joel’s also bought over your favourite snacks and a slight squeeze of your shoulder lets you know he’s your friend. He wants you to trust him. But do you?

Full review here.

Buy it here and support Best Play


6. Twilight Struggle

Twilight Struggle has sat atop Board Game Geek’s list of games for half a decade. Only until 2016’s Pandemic Legacy was launched did it lose its tight grasp on the top spot.

With good reason. Twilight Struggle is an insanely well-balanced two player game that takes place during the Cold War. You’ll control as either the US or the Soviet Union, and just like in real life, battle is waged at at a distance. Proxy wars in Africa, underhand coups in Latin America and ‘re-alignments’ in the Middle East are the kinds of tools at your disposal.

You’ll also be duelling to beat one another in the space race and dancing around the awkward potential for mutually assured destruction, which is made more real by the game’s choice to include scores of well-researched historical events. These include the Warsaw Pact, the Olympics and The Suez Crisis, each designed to take place in approximately accurate stages throughout the lengthy playtime.

It’s truly remarkable how intelligently these events have been woven into the fabric of a game that sees players rewrite history and play the role of superpowers.

With a dozen ways to win, Twilight Struggle demands every ounce of your concentration and brain power to out-think your opponent.

It simultaneously makes you feel very stupid for failing to notice and anticipate their every move, and hyper intelligent just for being able to participate in this puzzler of impressive depth.

Buy it here and support Best Play

Next week we will unveil our best game of forever for everyone & for you connoisseurs.