Top 10 Board Games of 2021 - What a Year! -

Top 10 Board Games of 2021 – What a Year!

Man vs Meeple
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It’s time for our Top 10 Games of 2021, and the whole team is here (Chit Chat style) to share their lists! We’ve taken a little more time to play a few games a little more to make sure we felt confident with our respective Top 10s. So are you ready for the rundown?!

Thanks for Funagain Games, our sponsor for Chit Chat, and our 2021 Top 10!

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FB/IG/TW: @manvsmeeple

With: Emily, Ryan, David and Jeremy

Time Stamps:
1:13 Number 10
9:25 Number 9
18:25 Number 8
25:06 Number 7
33:30 Number 6
40:15 Number 5
45:52 Number 4
53:18 Number 3
1:03:17 Number 2
1:10:20 Number 1


  1. Thank you all for this talk about your lists.

  2. Ark Nova, should have been about putting animals in natural reserves.. not in cages..

  3. Planning on playing Ark Nova again (5th or 6th time). I still don't get the absolute love of it. Feels so slow and high variance. If the first half wasn't there and the last high was less swingy and the game wasn't a race, but like X turns, and there was more hidden scoring then maybe I could see it…Still fun and I give it a 7.5, but the variance and length is what makes it fall down compared to others.I do like a lot of the systems and we're planning on using quite a few in our tableau building game though.

  4. I love Great Western Trail; I love Maracaibo, I haven’t played Boon Lake yet, but the theme doesn’t make sense to me…WHERE IS THE LAKE? it looks like rivers, that you circle around! Which also doesn’t make sense to me. I want to play it, but I need convincing about the theme.

  5. It's really the art that keeps me away from MIND MGMT. The rest of the game seems interesting enough to give it a chance, but that art…

  6. Thanks for making this list. This is gold

  7. I tend to skim through videos like this, so keeping the game title on screen while they are talking about the game or showing photographs would be super helpful. 🙂

  8. I really appreciate your videos, enjoy the discussion, and can relate to your game preferences. Great, job MvM!!

  9. I'm tired of seeing Ark Nova on YouTubers' 2021 lists. It won't be available (in the USA) at retail until February or March! That makes it a 2022 game in my book. To have played it in 2021, you either had to get a copy for review directly from the publisher, imported a non-English copy, or attended one of a couple of conventions. Ditto for Boonlake and Dune Imperium: Rise of Ix….

  10. Off topic quick question. Medium weight navegation theme: Endeavor or Francis Drake? Wich is more interactive and fun? Help me, please.

  11. Great lists (except Dune Imperium, which is a crap game)! I'm a little sad to not see Meadow or Witchstone there– especially Meadow, which I feel is a Wingspan-level nature game.

  12. I'm glad to see so many people interested in a game like Ark Nova but after spending 20 years working in the zoo and aquarium industry I have NO INTEREST in playing that game

  13. Is mind mgmt something like the old school Scotland Yard?

    And so hyped for Ark Nova, what is your thoughts on the age entry lvl?

  14. Always like this every year; however, not having the picture of the boardgame during the entire expalination/discussion makes this an painstaking task to review on Youtube with a finger on the scroll bar—even on large screen tablets. Many people like—and I doubt this the “False Consenus Effect” based on many past conversations—to go back and review their favorite trusted reviewers at end of the year. Or at the very least, review the video after just watching it. 

    This enables a consensus response to help guide/determine the purchases from the previous years plethora of games. The gaming industry has just gotten too navigate without help—hence why you and so many other reviewers exist. As “mature” gamers get over the cult of the new and rush to buy things based on hype, and after getting burned many times, many gamers begin slowing down their purchases and becoming more choosy in what they add to collections. Many will readily admit their collections are already too large will even many games unplayed. Doing this due diligence should be made easier for those attempting to watch the video again. 

    If the at the very least, more time stamps were added that would be a feasible, and useful, workaround. While my collection is finished (for extraneous reasons), my daughter’s is not; and she mentioned, she just gave up attempting to compile the thoughts, opinions, and useful experience provided beyond knowing that Ark Nova was clearly a hit and thus justified more due diligence. Time stamps for each reviewer at each number on the countdown would be a compromise if you are attempting to keep the video “cleaner” for some personal aesthetics. 

    The only other explaintion I can think of for not doing this would be if you are concerned that Youtube won’t pay as much for people quickly going through the video a second, or maybe even first, go through—which is a valid concern if you are needing that income.

  15. I made a top 5 of 2021 in December. I didn’t play Red Rising until January. It would have made the list had I played it sooner. Great game

  16. Jeremy, I so agree, and you are the first youtuber I've heard talk about how how it was to find games!!! I was beginning to think it was just me. I haven't gotten my copy of Bitoku in yet, and I am finally on a pre-order list for Meadow. I think that's a big factor in what games people who don't have access to outside resources/importing got to try. Thank you for noticing! Also, I love watching you. You are sunshine. 🙂

  17. "…instead of reading the newspaper like they did back in the day." Geez, you really know how to hurt an old newspaper journalist…. 😉

  18. Just a thought…you should leave the box cover and number on the screen during the video.

  19. How many times we have heard 'Terraforming Mars'? 😀 that game is so overhyped (I am thinking about the original, did not play 'Ares Expedition' and I do not have the desire to do so), I see it can be really good for non-gamers, but gamers? c'mon…

  20. it is a year in which Pax Renaissance 2nd edition came out. No other words are necessary.

  21. Keeping in mind that I don't get to play nearly the amount of different games that you guys do, these are my top games of 2021: 1) Euthia 2) Sleeping Gods 3) Unsettled 4) Radlands 5) Imperium Classics/Legends

  22. Hi, just want to give some feedback, when you are talking about a game, like in these lists, you could let the banner at the bottom (or top, or anywhere you want) with the name of the game for the entirety of the time you are talking about it so that people that were distracted for some reason can know what game you are talking about just by looking at the screen.
    Taking the banner from the screen doesn't accomplish anything and leaving it there (even if smaller if you want) goes a long way to help the viewers

  23. I guess I should say your welcome for bringing Riverside back from Essen!

  24. Grayson and i put out a year end video and MIND MGMT is my #2 too!!!

  25. My top 5 new to me for 2021:
    Near and Far
    Welcome to…
    Isle of Cats
    (Only one is a 2021 release)

  26. Great job! Alot of great games to look forward to this year.

  27. Marvel dicethrone.
    Mythic battles ragnarok.
    Tanares adventures and
    Tanares 5e.
    I haven't got any of them yet but I spent alot of money and hope they were worth it. Heroquest remake is amazing also specially with the app.

  28. Ark Nova is fantastic. It’s one I want to play again and again. It’s a 10 for me. I just learned Hadrian’s Wall as well, I’ve only played solo so far but I really like it. Some very interesting 2021 games to try!

  29. Great video! Was waiting for it. Thanks. Can’t wait to try Ark Nova.

  30. I'm feeling really good about grabbing Boon Lake on your kickstarter😁

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