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Clave’s List: My Top 7 Board Games of All Time

A game board with a tree built in really does inject a boost of interest to the table.

I love board games – the dicier the better. And no matter how hard I work to cull my collection, it stills feels like there are hundreds around my house. Particularly as publisher after publisher sends Nerds on Earth games to review, the games literally pile up and I really have to search my feelings to know what is true about my top board games of all time.

So, which are my favorite board games of all time? Well, we do lists of 7 here at Nerds on Earth, so see below.

Top 7 Board Games of All Time

Dice Masters

Dice Masters is not a game many people admit they like anymore, despite the fact that it was a runaway hit several years ago.

Dice Masters is nothing much more than cheap dice and cheap cards. In fact, WizKids saturated the market with 99 cent boosters, which undoubtedly instigated the present backlash against the game. That, and 99 cent boosters creates crazy storage anxiety, so many players would rather give away their 500 dice to a new home rather than drive to Michael’s to buy a bunch of plastic Plano boxes to store them.

But if someone asked me right now if I wanted to play a couple rounds of Dice Masters, I’d immediately say yes. It’s a great game! The interplay of the dice and cards works and the turn flow is smooth. In short, there is a lot of fun gameplay with those cheap dice and cards.

Plus, I love Marvel, so I’m happy to put in the work on storage. In fact, if you are looking to dump your Dice Masters (or HeroClix for that matter), look no further than your good buddy Clave!

Get Dice Masters here.


First, Everdell is a beautiful game, and if you are giving something as a gift, presentation matters, so I’m just tossing it out there that you may want to buy this one for a loved one. But most importantly, it’s an adorable game that is also a lot of fun to play. My wife and I love it.

[Get a fuller look here.]

The game features a big cardboard tree that gives the game a big presence and the artwork of the woodland creatures is incredible. It’s the wonderful combination of A+ presentation mixed with legitimately good gameplay. That’s why it pops in at #6 on my list of favorite board games of all time.

Get Everdell here.


It’s scientifically proven that painted zombies are scarier zombies.

Zombicide is a big, dumb game. And there are too many version of the game; we have zombie orcs and zombie cowboys and zombie who knows whats.

But Zombicide is super fun. Zombicide presses you between a choice of rolling your eyes at over-commercialization and thumbing your nose at rules that aren’t as deep as crunchy Eurogames vs. having an excellent time whooping on little zombie miniatures.

I choose having an excellent time and that’s why Zombicide lands in my top 7 board games of all time. I’ve played it with friends and they’ve loved it. My daughter has a great time with it. I play it with my nephews, who think it’s the best.

I’ve done a more thorough review, so I’ll point you there. I’ve also shared tips on paining the miniatures, which is a whole extra bonus to owning the game, so I’ll point you there as well.

Otherwise, I won’t belabor the point: Zombicide isn’t high art, but it’s a box full of fun.

Get Zombicide here.

Lords of Waterdeep

Lords of Waterdeep is almost a decade old at this point and it holds up as well as any game.

It is based upon Dungeons and Dragons and the lore associated with the city of Waterdeep in the Forgotten Realms. The Masked Lords of Waterdeep assign quests to players. Players assign their workers in order to recruit the wizards, fighters, and rogues necessary to complete those quests, then turn them in for victory points.

Games made in the decade since have fiddled, adapted, twisted, and finagled those basic mechanisms of placing workers, collecting items, and turning in cards for points, yet none since have done it any better than Lords of Waterdeep did it the first time, almost a decade ago.

But the thing that levels up Lords of Waterdeep is – despite everything going on with the game – it is very accessible and easy to learn. I’ve brought a lot of people into the hobby with the game.

You can get Lords of Waterdeep here.


Wingspan is a game about birds. It’s also won game of the year and countless other awards. It’s well-designed; it’s a beautiful game.

We’ve done a full review.

Of all the games on this list, this is perhaps the most “trendy” pick, appearing on a lot of folks’ “best of” lists. But I’m not a hipster, I think it’s perfectly great to sometimes like what everyone else likes. So, pretty much everyone likes Wingspan. I do too.

Get Wingspan here.

Memoir ’44

Memoir ’44 is a World War II game that is played on a hex grid using cards. The board is separated into thirds, so players must plan their card moves, as they may allow troops to move in the center, left, or right only.

It’s a 2-player game. One player plays as Axis, the other as Allies. A missions book simulates historical battles, directing the board setup, plus provides a few paragraphs of historical text, which I really enjoy.

We did a deeper look here.

It’s an absolutely wonderful game, as well as experience. If the game has a downside at all, it’s that the multitude of expansions are confusing. There isn’t a clear “buy this one second,” “buy this one third,” etc., which creates too much effort to figure out, so I just stick with the base game.

Get Memoir ’44 here.

Marvel Champions

I wish I could say I won this match.

Marvel Champions is the game for a loved one that loves super-heroic fun. It’s also my absolute favorite board game, so although I will point you to our review, I plan to continue blathering about it.

It works great as a solo game or as a co-op. The base game gives you a wonderful selection of superheroes and the gameplay is wonderful. And new superheroes are released each month as expansions, so it’s the game that will allow the gift recipient to drop down into a rabbit hole.

Get Marvel Champions here. You won’t regret it.

Click here if you are interested in the games that just missed my list.

What are your Top 7 board games? Drop in to our Boarderlands Facebook Group, which is a dedicated space for all things board gaming, and let us know!

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