- What is the Internet Top 100 Games List?
- The list is a chart of games, primarily board games. The list is ordered
by a calculated 'Score' (see below), based on ratings submitted by users
of the list. Originally I generated a new edition of the list every week
and then switched to biweekly. Nowadays, with the dominance of BoardGameGeek
and its ratings, I get few enough new ratings submitted that I am only
updating the list occasionally, when there seems enough new ratings to warrant
- What is the point of this list?
- This list is intended to help give people an idea of the best games out
there as rated by their players. There are a huge number of games out there
and it is impossible to play/buy all of them (although some people try ;) ).
This list will hopefully let people only focus on the best ones. Two
particular things the list tries to achieve are:
- Provide a reasonable 'buying guide' for those not that familiar with these games.
- Highlight 'sleepers' - not well known games that are very much liked by those who do play them.
- How is the list generated?
- The list is generated based on ratings sent in by you. The
latest version of the list is always available on the web via
- Where do you get the information in the database (other than the
- Originally, most of this information comes from either
BoardGameGeek or the
games database but additions and corrections will be made as noted by the
readers and from other sources. With a list this big, there will be
errors - please
notify me about them and I will fix them.
The fields I track for each game are Game name, individual ratings, score,
average, availability status (in or out of print), year of original
production, company which originally put it out, designer, expansions, related
games, other names for the game and comments. Currently, not all of this
information is possible to get at but eventually it may be (except for the
- What games are eligible?
- Basically all board, card, collectible card, roleplaying and wargames are
eligible. Computer games are not eligible. Please rate those games
you think are bad as well as those you think are good, particularly among those
games at the top of the list. Roleplaying games will only be listed by the
overall system (ex: AD&D) and not by individual module.
- How do I get my ratings included?
- Send me (Aaron Fuegi at email@example.com)
email with an appropriate subject header (ex: Top 100 ratings).
Each line of your message should contain a rating for one game with a score
from 1 to 10 (10 being high). Ratings, if possible, should utilize the full
range and average somewhere near 5 or 6. For example:
Imaginary Game Title 4
Some Other Title 10
indicates that you thought the first game was rather poor, while the
second was excellent. When you can, please try to use the most
standard name, easiest to find by grabbing it out of this list. Also, please
send me this information in plain text form, either space or tab-delimited.
If you keep your ratings as an Excel spreadsheet, please first save this file
as plain text (.txt) before sending it to me and, preferrably, just include
the information in your mail rather than attaching it.
Ratings are of course kept permanently and used for all subsequent lists so
there is no need to send the same rating more than once. For those sending in
a new, updated list regularly, it is ok to send me the same game ratings
repetitively. The only thing I ask is please use the names I have in my
list. Otherwise I will have to correct the name every time. To get the full
list of names, see here.
For ease of participating for those rating lots of games, I have created two
simple lists of game names. One is ordered
by name and the other
by ranking (ranks may not be up to date).
The idea is that you download the list and go through it and rank all the
games you have played (and delete the others from the list, please).
Notes: 1) If you have voted before, please make a note of that - also,
it is a little easier for me if you don't send me your old ratings (that
haven't changed) again.
2) My policy is to ignore umlauts, accent marks, and similar characters. Do
not add an "e" or do similar things to replace such characters.
3) For games with multiple (significantly different gameplay) editions of the
same name please be clear which you are rating. If you are using my list
of game names, just leave them be.
4) Expansions. As a general rule, expansions (defined as those games for
which you also need the original to play) will be listed seperately from
the main game if and only if they make a meaningful change to the game. In a
cases where the expansion is minor, I won't bother listing it seperately.
Example: I don't think Illuminati expansions 1 & 2 need to be listed
seperately but I do think expansion 3 does.
This will come down to a judgment call. You can look at the
full list to
see if an expansion is listed seperately.
5) Rating expansions. The concept to me of rating an expansion is to
ask the question "Is the game better, worse or the same using expansion
X"? Depending on this answer, your rating on the expansion should be
higher, lower or the same as your rating for the basic game.
6) I reserve the right to disqualify certain ratings. Just this moment
(this was in late 1999), I received 4 emails in a row all giving 10s to
a single game and rating nothing else, all coming from AOL email addresses.
In cases like this with a minimal number of questionable ratings, I reserve the
right to unilaterally disqualify them.
7) Some people sometimes have difficulty deciding on ratings for games. Here
is a reasonable rating scale which you are
welcome to use if you wish.
8) Only integer ratings (between 1 and 10) and ratings of #.5 are accepted.
Please do not rate a game 6.3 for example.
- How are the games ranked?
- Games are ranked by 'Score'. Basically, this has the effect of
raising the rankings for those games with more ratings. Some method like
this is vital to avoid a single '10' rating from pushing a game to the top of
The 'Score' is calculated by giving ALL games on the list Five ratings of
value 3.25 in addition to all the real ratings. These numbers are NOT counted
in the Ave. or #Vot columns. For example, take a game with
four ratings of 10 8 4 2. It has a simple average of 10+8+4+2=24/4=6.
However, it's score is (10+8+4+2+(5*3.25))/9=4.47. Games with MANY ratings
will be almost negligibly affected by these five low ratings.
Note that the numbers 5 and 3.25 are somewhat arbitrarily
selected but I am happy with them and expect they will NOT change.
- Is this how the games were always ranked?
- No, editions 1-72 were ranked by 'diffused average'. I switched
to this method on April 10, 2000 at the suggestion of Graham Willis and on
the belief that it seemed to provide results which were generally more
reflective of most participants opinions.
The formula for calculating the 'diffused average' was :
NDA = Average - ((Average - Old Diffused Average) * (C^NV))
where NDA = New Diffused Average
NV = Number of Raters for that game.
C = A diffusing constant. (set at 0.99) (was set at 0.99875 for editions 1-4)
- Where did you get the idea for this list?
- The format, original 'diffused average' formula and main idea were taken
from Tristrom Cooke's Internet Top 100
SF/Fantasy List for science fiction and fantasy books. There are a number
of such lists and his, imho, seems to be the one with the best results - most
of the others are totally outrageous for one reason or another.
In terms of games, Brian Bankler on rec.games.board once compiled a list
of top games using a simple average ranking system, but ignoring games with
less than N ratings. This worked pretty well but I don't like the idea of
a huge number of games missing the list entirely. Joe Huber at one point
did a related compilation of 'top 10' lists. Also, thanks Joe and Brian for
your huge numbers of ratings to start this list off.
- The list has convinced me. I want to buy game X. Where do I get it?
- Well, if the game is listed as 'Avail'able you should be able to contact
game stores in the US and/or the country of origin and order it. If it is
listed as 'OOP', it may be quite difficult to find (or maybe not). Please
don't ask me, Aaron, as I won't be able to tell you anything more than what is
below probably. A few suggested information resources:
Also, a quick note on the above comment about 'Avail'able games. Games are
listed with the name of the first company that put them out. Sometimes a new
edition is put out much later by a different company - this might end up with
a game being listed as 'Avail'able but not from the company listed.
The full list's "Comments" field will sometimes indicate
this. Sorry about this confusion.
- rec.games.board.marketplace or the BoardGameGeek Marketplace for buying and selling games
- The Game Cabinet list of Mail Order Game Shops of the World.
- Google Groups searches of
rec.games.board or rec.games.board.marketplace
- Ebay auctions
- Is there anything else I should know?
- Yes, there are a few things which will be useful to some of you.
- For those who have participated before and want to know what your ratings
were, send me email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can give you this information. It
takes a couple of minutes to do so don't ask all the time.
- I keep all previous editions available and they are easy to access. They
are all at http://scv.bu.edu/~aarondf/Top100/edition#.txt (Std 100 edition)
and http://scv.bu.edu/~aarondf/Top100/edition#full.txt (Full edition) where
"#" is the number of the edition. Thus, the first edition will remain
- The List of Contributors page now includes the
ability to link to your pages. Email me what page you want me to link to
with your ratings or later and I will add the link.
- In general, nothing changes on the list pages except for biweekly with the
new edition. Thus, if you sent me a fix or web page link or virtually anything
else, generally don't expect to see the change until the following Monday