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Thoughts on the People's Choice Top 200 Solo Games - Part 2


Those of you who know me are aware that, like Chris , I am a solo gamer.  For us gamers with a strong solo focus there is no greater resource than the annual list from the 1 Player Guild on BGG. Each year when the new list comes out there are 200 games that solo gamers love that inspire other solo gamers to open their wallets and check out some new games.

Chris had a great post earlier this week that went through the games on the Top 200 that he has played. His post inspired me to do my own breakdown and analysis of the games in my collection that are on this list.

I own a wopping 26 games on this list and I am itching to get more! Let's jump in!

144. #Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure I have to admit that I've only played this game once. I enjoyed it, but it got pushed to the back of my board game shelf and it's languished back there. I resolve to get this out and play it more! 

132. #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 This one is unplayed in my collection. I can't decide if I should play it solo or wait until I can play with a group. I'm sure I would love playing it solo, but do I want to horde that experience for myself or share it with some friends? Regardless, it seems like an amazing game and I look forward to enjoying it someday.

131. #The City of Kings This is a very recent addition to my collection and I did a review post for it. I quite enjoyed my time with this and I look forward to many more plays of this one. Definitely a more puzzle-style game than a pure dungeon crawler, with worker placement type mechanics thrown in. A great game and I'm surprised to find it so low on this list.

126. #Star Wars: Outer Rim A good-to-great game that desperately needs more content. Being a FFG product one would think content is en route. Despite this, it is a great multiplayer game and a fun solo experience. Another game that I think should be higher up.

99. #Star Wars Imperial Assault This game is incredible. Multiplayer and solo. Definitely needs to be WAY higher. Really captures that essential Star Wars-ness and slams it into a board game. Another FFG product with tons and tons of extra content to purchase. Which I have almost collected. Scary.

97. #7 Wonders Duel This game is rising up rapdily due to a recently released official solo mode from the publisher. The AI opponent looks really clever and I need this one to hit my table soon. The 2 player game is fantastic and the addition of an official solo mode seems great.

86. #Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North Another game climbing up the ladder - and for good reason. A cool take on the Imperial Settlers game with pre-built decks leading to really interesting play and a cool rondel mechanism to boot. 

67. #Root Yet another game climbing up - most likely due to the release of the #Root: The Clockwork Expansion that adds official versions of the very popular fan-made AI bots. This game is a great solo play and comes close to capturing the feel of a multiplayer game of Root.

65. #Baseball Highlights: 2045 I won this game from a contest and to be honest I stuck it on my shelf and kind of forgot about it. I need to play it as it seems quite cool.

48. #Everdell This game is talked about all the time on these forums - and for good reason! It's a great game with amazing components. Fun gameplay that doesn't take too long.

44. #Maracaibo Huge riser and will continue to climb next year. I predict that this one will be in the Top 25 soon. I've barely played one game of this but it's definitely incredible. Look for me to publish a review for this one soon.

34. #Paladins of the West Kingdom Mmm now this is a crunchy, delicious solo game. Honestly not at all different from the multiplayer version. The interconnected tracks, the constant struggle to maximize your turns. This game is wonderful, brain-burning, pure fun.

31. #Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game One of the first games I brought to my game group. It's a good game but honestly I think it's a bit overrated now. I would imagine this will continue to slide slowly down the list as newer games begin to overtake this.

30. #Race for the Galaxy I own this but have not played it. I bought it for my game group but they just aren't ready for it yet. I would like to grab the expansion that makes solo play possible. It's on the list.

25. #Pandemic A fun game but one that I don't really want to solo. I don't think it should be this high. It's fun to play with newer gamers though.

24. #Underwater Cities Another game that is super incredible. You only get 30 actions in the entire game and you have so much to accomplish each game. did an awesome review of this one and he is absolutely right about it.

15. #Nemo's War (Second Edition) Oooo talk about a thematic adventure style game. I've played this one exactly once and it was a great time. The theme and story-telling just drip from this game. A pure solo game too - not one that's been desgined for multiplayer and then has an afterthought solo mode. Look for my first impressions review for this one at some point.

14. #A Feast For Odin I have this one with the expansion and it is amazing. The solo mode is so clever with it's system of you playing two colors and blocking your own action selection. It's a delicious solo game. Can't recommend this one enough.

13. #Wingspan The newest game in my collection! I've played once and loved it. Not sure where it falls on my rankings (Right now I wouldn't put it in front of the two prior games on this list) but it deserves all of the hype and more. Lovely art. Lovely components. Satisfying gameplay. A good solo game.

12. #Gaia Project Wow I love this game. I need to play it more. The huge variety in factions is incredible. The variable setup is amazing. The gameplay is so tight and delicious. AND it features one the absolute BEST AI systems I have ever played. Truly an amazing accomplishment.

8. #Scythe I played this one a bunch after Christmas last year. It's a great game with an incredible AI opponent. The #Scythe: The Rise of Fenris expansion is incredible and really adds a significant amount to the game. Honestly I would rank it around 20-15 so it is a little overrated as a solo game but it is fantastic.

7. #Gloomhaven This game is amazing. Stunning. The amount of agonizing decisions you make each scenario is incredible. The thrill of uncovering new content is so satisfying and playing solo allows you to experience the game at your own pace without waiting for others to find time to play it. I calculated one time that if I were to wait for my group to play this it would take us 7 years to play all the scenarios. Thats a lot of content. I think this one should be ranked second on this list.

6. #Arkham Horror: The Card Game A game that I picked up and am all excited to play... until I learned that the core set is really just a tutorial for the rest of the game. AND that to play one of the campaigns you have to buy this many different packs. It really dampened my interest in the game and I have yet to dive into it.

5. #Aeon's End: Legacy Wow I am 3/4 of the way through my playthrough of this one and it is incredible. I can definitey see what all the fuss is about with this one. I don't know if I would place it ahead of the other games but its quite good. The legacy aspect is really fun in this one too.

3. #Terraforming Mars There are so many good solo games! This one is incredible. Sure, the art on the cards is hit-or-miss but wow the theme is incredible. The gameplay is amazing and satisfying. Each game plays out totally differently. And your engine and tableau is so unique each playthrough. If you haven't played this one and you are just a tiny bit interested in the theme - try it. You won't regret it.

2. #Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition I'm still angry that this game isn't ranked number one overall. This is a beast of a solo game. There are so many scenarios to explore. So many cards to add to your deck. So much adventure to be had. It has bad rulebooks. The miniatures are kind of mushy and blah. But the art is good. And the gameplay is absolutely sublime. And that core gameplay overrides all of it's warts and it's why it's the best solo game of all time.

1. #Spirit Island One of only two games that I've ever sold from my collection. On paper I should love this game. But despite multiple tries I just couldn't get into it. I can understand what people see in it. But it just didn't click with me for a solo game. Maybe it would've been better multiplayer but my group just isn't to the point where this is an option to play.

What games do I want to add to my collection?

Only a few...or a dozen... or more.

#On Mars

#Circadians: First Light

#Too Many Bones


#Space Empires 4X

#Leaving Earth

To name just a few. Hopefully I'll be able to add at least one of these to my collection during the Christmas season.

What do you all think of my solo collection? What is it missing? Any thoughts on the games that I listed there that I'd like to add next?  

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Owner2 months ago

That's still a ton of games you've checked off so far! (I own or played half as much)

Seeing these lists is always dangerous. Games I hope to acquire in Q1 2021 are: #Nemo's War (Second Edition) and #Too Many Bones. Unfortunately, these two alone with eat up like 75-90% of my budget for the year lol

Supporter2 months ago

Lol. Yeah#Too Many Bones seems amazing. It's on my list too. I actually got#Nemo's War (Second Edition) for a surprisingly decent price from my LGS. 

Premium User2 months ago

Lists like this are almost too dangerous haha. I really need to know your secrets regarding sticking to a board game budget. I'm hopeful I can slow my spending next year.

Premium User2 months ago

Just getting around to checking out the full list now. It's really proving there are so many games out there!

I have played/own 29 of these. Most of which I have never played solo. In case anyone cares:

#The Networks - pretty sure I've tried this solo but I much prefer it even with 2 players for the competition for shows and ads.

#Chronicles of Crime - never tried it solo and it doesn't interest me to try at all lol.

#Patchwork - wait there's a solo mode?!

#Orléans - okay now this is getting ridiculous. How many more of my games could be played solo? I'm seriously intrigued..

#Suburbia - just acquired in a trade. Still haven't tried it out yet but I will be getting to it solo Tuesday at the latest.

#Barrage - similar to Suburbia, just got this from my GameNerdz hold. I don't think solo will be my first play though.

#The Gallerist - just tried this for the first time solo! Really crunchy and can't wait to try it again to try to improve and maybe actually win lol.

#It's a Wonderful World -  a little surprised this is in the top 200. I didn't find it all that great.

#The Castles of Burgundy - the guy I got this from in a trade printed solo rules and included them in the box. Still haven't tried it out but it's inclusion on this list makes me want to!

#7 Wonders Duel - see my thoughts on Patchwork lol.

#Burgle Bros. - I didn't really enjoy this one and ended up trading it away.

#Agricola & ditto for#Welcome to... - only played this once and definitely not solo.

#Raiders of the North Sea - I guess playing on the Switch counts as solo?

#Imperial Settlers - okay I've officially played more games than I thought. I thought the solo of this was just okay, but then again the game wasn't the biggest hit for us in general.

#Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion - I would definitely play this solo if I didn't think I'd completely ruin it for myself as I'm in the middle of playing with my fiancée.

#One Deck Dungeon - got the app when it was on sale thanks to. Pretty fun game!

#Teotihuacan: City of Gods - here we go! Excellent solo game I would play again and again.

#Paladins of the West Kingdom - following it up with another great solo experience. This one I'm pretty terrible at so far haha.

#Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game - only played with 2 or 5 players at least from what I recall. I could see this being pretty similar solo.

#Race for the Galaxy - only ever played on board game arena. Didn't much enjoy it.

#Pandemic - I guess you could say I played solo on the Xbox? Kind of shocked this made it this high on the list.

#Underwater Cities - only including this as I think I technically own it? Super vague but hopefully more on this a little later! :)

#Friday - Just one play on TTS. Found it to be pretty boring honestly.

#Wingspan - of course I've tried this solo! I still have to give it a shot with the expansion.

#Scythe - I guess you could consider my approximately 1/2 play as having played this game haha.

#Gloomhaven - still need to get back to this with my friend and his wife. Kind of wish we had started with Jaws of the Lion though..

#Terraforming Mars - never tried this solo. Guess I better get moving.

#Spirit Island - well deserved number 1 on the list. I love this game!

Supporter2 months ago

Thanks for sharing your list! I agree with a lot of your opinions! Definitely try TM solo. It's really fun!

Premium User2 months ago

I'll definitely have to give it a shot. I've been itching to get it to the table recently

Supporter2 months ago

Interesting list.

I do own a few games on the Peoples Choice Top 200 that I either haven't had a chance to play yet, or that I have only played multiplayer. The highest on the list that I own and haven't played yet is #Gaia Project. I don't know for sure when I will get a chance to play it..... But, I am looking forward to it.

I am really looking forward to your report on #Nemo's War (Second Edition). That is a game that is high on my "need" list.

#Space Empires 4X is a game that keeps climbing higher for me. I think that there is a good chance that it might be the next big box game I acquire. For a long time, though I was interested, the aggresively ugly components turned me off. However, as I recently wrote, art is becoming less and less of an issue for me.

I would like to give #Leaving Earth a try, I really do. But, I think that #High Frontier 4 All will fill a similar hole in my collection, that is why I havn't picked up Leaving Earth.

Oh Arkham..... I haven't ever played you or any other LCG. But, the reports I have heard from you make and so I probably never will.

I hear more and more good things about #Circadians: First Light. There are a lot of people that think it is Garphill's best game. I am sort of intrigued by it.

Supporter2 months ago

Wait. You own#Gaia Project? Since when?!

Supporter2 months ago

Since May 8 2020. LOL

It was a GameNerdz deal of the day, $59.97. And, for that price, I couldn't pass it up. But, I just haven't had a good opportunity to bring it down here yet.

Supporter2 months ago

Cool. It's a really great game. I think you will really enjoy it. 

Supporter2 months ago

I do think I will like it, I just don't know If I will be able to get to it before next May or not.

Supporter2 months ago

Bummer. That's a ways away yet. 

Supporter2 months ago

Yes, but, I am not too worried. Actually, I have other games in the states that are even higher priority for me. And by the time May rolls around, I will probably have even more..... Fortunately, while I don't have my whole collection here, not even close, I do have a pretty deep section of my collection here. That does a amazing job keeping me satisfied.

Premium User2 months ago

Feeling the same about Circadians. Looks really interesting 

Premium User2 months ago

So many games from this list you have owned! I'm kind of surprised you have so many unplayed. Quick question and likely a stupid one lol: the games you have listed as wanting to add to your collection, are those on the top 200 as well? I haven't looked at the list yet but plan to once my streak of days I'm working is over. Ugh responsibilities! Lol

Supporter2 months ago

Yes, all of those that I want to own are in the list too. And yes I have a lot more unplayed than I thought. 

Premium User2 months ago

Cool!#Circadians: First Light caught my attention from's top 100 video. I don't exactly know how to explain why I thought it looked cool but I really want to try it out

Supporter2 months ago

Yeah I want to play it quite badly. 

Supporter2 months ago

Board Game Snobs LOVE Circadians. They say that this is a vastly underapreciated game in the modern boardgaming community.

2 months ago

Lol, yeah we do.  A lot of people seemed to hate the art, but those who have tried the game seem to overwhelmingly speak well of it. 

Supporter2 months ago

LOL I am glad to see you taking the title of snob, I too consider myself a snob..... However, I was talking about the Boardgame Snobs Podcast.

2 months ago

Lol, didnt know they were a thing :)

Supporter2 months ago

LOL. They are interesting and discursive. 

Supporter2 months ago

Honestly I don't mind the art at all. It's very unique.