Ladies and gentlemen, here we are, the top ten. We hope you have found some new games to try, and some old ones to renew. So, without further ado, here are our top ten (with pictures!):
#10: Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (WotC)
I love D&D (it was my first game), and this edition does everything right. The classes and races are well done, and the game has eschewed the idea of “balance”. It feels a lot like playing 2e with a functional rules set. It does rely heavily on the world of Forgotten Realms, and it is a shame. Overall, you are missing out if you refuse to come in and play this one.
#9: Star Trek (Last Unicorn Games)
This is the best Star Trek game out there. The books are divided up by the eras (Original Series, TNG, and DS9), and they do a great job emulating the world. The system is rather nice, and the starship rules are awesome. I like that the rules don’t go into enemies too much (the standard enemies are there). They instead give good rules for creating everything from enemies to races to planets. The drama die can be weird, and it needs a few houserules, but overall this game is really good!
#8: Vampire: The Masquerade (White Wolf Games)
This game was defining game for a lot of players in the 1990s. A lot of people think of this as a game for want-to-be goth kids, but it can be really awesome. It deals with some really adult themes, and can be used to explore some things that won’t be able to be explored elsewhere. The rules are good, but not without flaw. The rule of 1 sucks, to be honest and high die pools tend to be punished. That being said, I love this game, and I think it takes a lot of hate it shouldn’t.
#7: The One Ring (Cubicle 7)
This game is great, and I love it. I also know that it has a very divided support base. There are a lot of players out there who aren’t big fans of the system, but it is highly functional. The travel rules are great, and really highlight the feel of Tolkien in the game. The die pool mechanic is simple and approachable. The combat system isn’t very friendly, and it does hurt it. Overall, I enjoy the game and think you can get over the quirks.
#6: Mage: The Ascension (White Wolf Games)
Another oWoD entry, and one that I truly love. This game deals with the concept of “What is reality?” It also has some deep methodologies and fun execution. The open magic system is great, and the morality of the game is all based in modern occultism. It suffers from similar problems as Vampire above, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth playing.
#5: Dungeons and Dragons 2e (TSR)
This is another one I am sure to be blasted for, but I don’t care. I still hold a special place in my heart for my first game. The game is complex and the rules are wonky as all hell, but it was so much fun. Combine that with the plethora of worlds that were available, and boom!, you got one of the best parts of the 1990s for me. I still find myself running 2e every blue moon.
#4: Star Wars (Fantasy Flight Games)
Here we are, the Star Wars RPG that has made me love Star Wars gaming again. FFG did a great job of making me love it. The special dice are mean (insomuch as they are “needed”), and the rules are not newbie friendly. That being said, once you get a handle on the rules, the game is so much fun. It is simple to understand the mechanic, even if the application can be harder to get. The narrative nature of the game itself it much more fun. Overall, this game is worth the price tag.
#3: Star Wars (West End Games)
I know that everyone was wondering when this was going to show up. I love this game as much as I do FFG Star Wars. This was my second RPG, and I still love it. The rules are simple, and the game is really well supported. The splat books alone are worth having. It is surpassed by the newer versions, but I will still play this one at the drop of a hat.
#2: Leverage (Margaret Weis Productions)
This is one of the best games I have ever run. It does a great job of emulating the caper, and does it with rules that support it. It doesn’t hurt that you get to play bad guys, either. The Cortex+ system got its first run here, and the game uses a basic system to resolve everything. There is a distinct lack of problems with it. You should go and watch our “No Excuses…” video on it, available on our Youtube channel.
#1: A Song of Ice and Fire (Green Ronin)
This is the top dog. I have rarely found an RPG that captures the feel of the world it is emulating so well. The game does that, and it does it with and eloquent yet simple game system. The Chronicle System is a die pool system while also being a roll and keep system. It gives me the best of both worlds. The books are made well, and the art is great. The splat materials are wonderful, and really detailed. They are not pumping out materials for it, and the few they have are sickeningly well done. The Night’s Watch book alone is worth it. This game cannot come more highly recommended.
Okay guys, there you go. Our top 50 games we have played, run, or read. We hope that we gave you something to look into, and maybe even something new to try. Give us suggestions for games we may have missed (we know a few we left off). As always, don’t be a dick.