Topic of the Week - Ranking Outrages

Looking for pairs (or sets) of games that are in the “wrong” order on BGG. What do you think everyone is wrong about? Or where has the rating algorithm failed?

Accompanying commentary of course welcome.

  • What makes the one better?
  • Why did the other achieve its rank?
  • Why are these games linked in your mind?

How should it be? Example: Nusfjord (362) over Viticulture EE (38)
Also, if there are just solitary games that should NOT be in the top 100, or should NOT be over 1,000 interested to hear. But I think things like that have already come up as tangents in, for example top 5 over 500.


In many cases I find myself agreeing with the order of the BGG rankings (I am putting the higher ranked one first)

  • Dune Imp vs Arnak
  • 7 Wonders Duel vs 7 Wonders
  • Terraforming Mars over it’s sequels (Ares/Dice). Maybe I think Terraforming Mars should be ranked simply equally to Ark Nova.
  • Die Crew 2 vs Die Crew 1 (2 is clearly better and it seems everyone knows, but 1 is groundbrakingly cool still)
  • Race for the Galaxy (78) is properly ranked higher than its sequels–is Hegemony (77) better though?
  • Blood Rage before Ankh is fine with me (I never played the “middle” one)

A few that I differ on but have no strong but maybe some feelings:

  • Spirit Island should be #1 :laughing:
  • Gaia Project vs Terra Mystica
  • Decrypto vs Codenames (but I have only really played the latter)
  • Clank! Legacy / Clank! Fantasy vs Clank! Catacombs which should be the highest ranked Clank! (it is I think the highest rated)
  • Castles of Burgundy on 16 is an actual outrage. It is not that good. AFFO is only on 23. No way this is the correct order.
  • Not having played Caverna (46) but Agricola (53) I simply assume this order is wrong (I have played Cave vs Cave)–I notice the reason might be a split in votes between Agricola and Agricola Revised…
  • Sleeping Gods (54) is simply ranked too high. Just compare it T’Zolkin (60) and it is obvious that Sleeping Gods is not in its proper place (sorry I know these can’t really be compared I just needed a game I enjoyed more than SG that is close in the rankings)

These are the ones that came up when I reviewed the Top 200 rankings.


Brass Brum and Lanc are the wrong way around, (skipping over #1 is too high anyway, because that would just be a list of most of the top 100).

Gaia Project and Terra Mystica are the wrong way around.

I’m sure there are a ton of “X and something good are the wrong way around”.


This, very much.

I cannot wait to play Birmingham to see if this is right. Just by looking at the rules, I have an inkling it might be true.

Other ranking outrages:
-How Architects of the West Kingdom has dropped so much lately. I haven’t played Paladins yet, but everybody says how it is a lot more unplayable (due to complexity).
-Ark Nova is way too high. Top ten? We’ll see in a couple years.
-Heat: Pedal to the Metal above Flamme Rouge. Heat left me a bit cold when I played it, I found it a bit silly at times, I think Flamme is definitely a better game.
-Not a rant, but it pleases me to see Concordia still holding on there.
-Repetitions: Is it really needed to have so many versions of the same game? Great Western Trail, Pandemic Legacy, Twilight Imperium, Eclipse, etc…
-Building on this a bit: too many Uwe Rosenberg games on the top 100, perhaps?
-And otherwise, are there any Knizia’s on the top 100 any more? Why not? Because of repetitions?
-Finally, I love Twilight Struggle, but is it the best one on one game ever?? Really?

1 Like

Personally I’d put Star Wars: Outer Rim above Star Wars: Rebellion, and Rebellion is the number 9 best of all time? Am I just wrong about it?

Also I didn’t get on with Mage Knight, so that seems crazily high up the list, although I only tried it solo several times. (Is it better than all except 33 games? No.)


Ha, I agree. But I have only played Outer Rim.
I guess that Rebellion is probably the better “game-game” mechanics-wise.
But Outer Rim rocks!

1 Like

You’re not wrong if you enjoy it more. However in terms of what went in to the high ranking of Rebellion I think it was the first modern one that was good. Maybe really good. So I think something like first mover advantage is helping out here. I also think Rebellion is more unique. It’s fundamentally a war game with a very asymmetric scenario, so maybe the only thing it could be compared to that’s famous is Root. Outer Rim is much closer to Firefly and Xia and a host of other sandbox adventure type games. I don’t think Root and Rebellion overlap in peoples minds so unlikely to split the vote. I’d bet that a ton of people like it but prefer Firefly or equivalent so haven’t ranked Outer Rim as highly.

Here the chatter around Outer Rim is never as effusive or as story driven as recounting tales of Xia, as a non statistically valid sample. So I think it suffers from not being obviously best in class as well. Also having not played it how different ultimately is it to something like Eldritch Horror? From the outside it seems like a fairly normal FFG game, albeit without a Cthulhu mythos or generic fantasy skin like they normally have.


I really need to do a 3-way matchup of Outer Rim, Xia and Firefly now that I–embarrassingly?–own all three. I have not played more than a few “getting to know” scenarios of Xia, only a learning solo of Firefly and a few games of Outer Rim. I feel … gut-feely… so consider this just a very personal opinion from someone who really enjoys a good bit of Star Wars: that Outer Rim is the one that is easiest to table and has by way of limiting the playing field to one long stretch of space the best interactions. But that is based on an incredibly limited amount of play. This needs some research I think. (Time for that… not right now anyway, but I want to figure out which one is best anyway)


Very different, at least for me. I own both and have a soft spot for EH. SW:OR even feels quite different to Xia, possibly because of the way the theme steers you into specific jobs, and the map is more restrictive.

SW:OR is less sandbox than any of them, but that doesn’t feel bad. Simpler, much easier to convince people to play, and with the expansion letting you travel from one end of the board to the other it’s got interesting chase mechanics but they’re not too much to handle.

I’m not suggesting Outer Rim should be way up the top 100 (it’s at 200) because it is just an approachable FFG game, but the rules steer you towards the fun and I just don’t get SW:Rebellion beating… everything else. Like Pax Pamir 2nd. Or Everdell. Or Spirit Island.


I do LOVE asymmetric 2-players. Netrunner. Santorini. Ooh, good stuff.


Twilight Struggle is at #13. If you asked a bunch of boardgamers now to rank their favourite games, I don’t think it would in the top 100, but it’s been out since 2005 and it was a lot of people’s favourite game back then. In fact:


Most of the people I know who love Firefly or Outer Rim are big fans of their respective franchises, and that’s fair enough: both games are good as giving you the feel of the setting. For myself, I can take or leave Firefly (and I’m glad it ended when it did before it could get really silly) and I prefer to avoid Star Wars (the first three were OK, but I was aged 8-14, and doing basically the same thing again aimed at a new generation of kids has nothing to say to me). Without that fillip, my favourite is probably Xia with Firefly running a fairly close second, but I’ve played Xia a lot more recently.


I agree with my learned colleagues. It’s so obviously the very best of all the board games.


Far from learned, I still have may games left to play on that list. But Spirit Island has… magic. That no other game I have played has in a similar way


I don’t have any outrages about rankings. Being a weirdo who’s into trains, you can’t really complain about these things.

I did saw Stephenson’s Rocket rated at 6.93 and that is sad. It’s perhaps Knizia’s deepest and most opaque game.

Bridges of Shangri-La at 6.88 is sad too.


Personally, I think Star Wars Rebellion is miles better than Outer Rim.

For me, SWR catches the theme of the IP (the films anyway) better than any game I’ve played (and know the IP). But it is a beast to learn, teach, set up and play and it does come down to dice. The expansion smoothes it out.

Something about OR didn’t click with us.

I think light and silly are underrepresented at the top of the BGG rankings, but I understand why they aren’t up there.

There are too many games that I love that aren’t highly ranked and too many I’m meh on that are on the top 100 to really get irritated by the rankings. Maybe Carrom should get more love as a much (in the UK). cheaper alternative to Crokinole?

Edit: having looked at the top 300ish, the one that stands out to me as being too low is Cosmic Encounter, but I know people who hate it and it’s a very old game.

I bet someone has been clever (and time heavy) enough to do it, but it would be interesting to see a list of the single game each BGG user ranked the highest.


Maybe I use BGG a lot more in research than average? Looking down my list of games I have a pretty good sense of what games they are similar to and if they are ranked “right” or “wrong.”

Catacombs & Castles (4188) over Flick em Up (1045). To be fair, I think C&C 1e didn’t quite hit the mark. But FeU required fan scenarios to be fun.

Bruxelles 1897 (1729) over Red Cathedral (197). I’ve already talked everyone’s ear off about this one. I feel strongly! Also surprising as Bruxelles received a gushing review from Quinns while Cathedral got a sort of “I kinda really like this?” from Matt. I don’t know what went wrong here.

Agricola (53) over Caverna (46) but they are essentially tied. I’ve realized I like Caverna too. Agricola is just better.

Neom (1511) over 7 Wonders (92). A rare case where a game specifically sets out to fix all the weaknesses in a popular game, and actually does so without losing what the original nailed. I think it tried to replace 7 Wonders before the world wanted to replace 7 Wonders.

Anomia (1752) over Cards Against Humanity (8901). Hey! CAH is ranked really poorly! I assumed it would be higher. It certainly sells higher. Anomia gets equal laughs but it’s like the Empire Strikes Back Dagobah cave. Inside is only what you bring with you. No third party is forcing outside thoughts and biases on you.

Great Plains (2139) over (insert two-player area control candidate here). People always ask for good two player area control. Played this yesterday. It’s quite good.

Risk 2210 (1684) over Rising Sun (126). Maybe not Rising Sun specifically. Like Neom, Risk 2210 set out to fix everything wrong with Risk while keeping that beating heart that made it a multi-decade household staple. It did that. And I’d rather play it than most other sprawling mapwars.

New Frontiers (811) over Roll for the Galaxy (145) and maybe Puerto Rico (44). I was pretty lukewarm on New Frontiers until the fourth play or so. Stuck with it due to loyalty to the designer/line. Glad I did. But crazy to think that Roll used to be next to Race in the top 100?

Silver (2029) over Cabo (1854) - that’s actually reasonably close in rankings.

Coup (645) over Citadels (522) - not the tightest comparison nor the tightest rank discrepancy. But I stand by it.

Catan (551) over Ticket to Ride (238) - TtR has really grown stale over the years. Catan does such a good job drawing in the players that it still feels fresh to me.

Forks (18943) over Sushi Go Party (256) - light intro drafting? Fork it up! Sushi Go is fine. Forks just needs to be higher, now that I’ve played it :slight_smile:

Flamme Rouge (259) over Heat (42). Forty-two? Really? Wondering where this will settle in two to three years.

Schotten Totten (421) over Lost Cities (331) - one of these is timeless

Nations (232) over Through the Ages (14) - Nations is a lot more abstract. Harder to play, harder to understand what is going right or wrong. TtA is very immediate. So I get it. But having learned both, the elegance of Nations screams at me here.

Inis (97) over Pax Pamir (41)

Isle of Skye (263) over Suburbia (218) and Mad King Ludwig (198) - Tile market, tableau with variable scoring conditions… IoS solved this puzzle.

Habitats (1317) over Nova Luna (580), Suburbia, and Ludwig - Here it’s "tiles with their own scoring criteria that have to be arranged to mutually satisfy each others’ conditions. I never really liked Ludwig. The others are ok.

I already mentioned (probably repeatedly) Nusfjord over Viticulture.

As for just games that I don’t understand the rankings, Ark Nova and Scythe are fun but I think they are more like 200 quality games. Terraforming Mars and Wingspan feel like 500 games. Lowlands should not be over 1,000 as it is.

What an odd desire it is to want the world to agree with me! We humans are puzzles. At least I know what I like.


You are clearly a fellow of impeccable taste.

Faints I take it all back



I approached Heat with great enthusiasm only to find that to my perception it took away most of the things that had been fun about Flamme Rouge_ I’ve come back to like it a bit more, but I’m still quite unlikely ever to buy it, while I’ll still pick up Flamme Rouge Grand Tour if they ever get it out. (“This year for sure!”)

I had previously been disappointed by Granerud—I bought Bloom Town purely on the basis of it having the same designer as Flamme Rouge, and while it wasn’t bad I didn’t feel enthused to play again after a test game or two and ended up selling it on. I’m starting to think that the things I love about FR are coincidences rather than explicit design goals.

On the other hand I could see that Heat was clearly very well-marketed—they got a bunch of reviews reasonably well synchronised to the release date, and I’m sure it didn’t hurt that SU&SD!Tom utterly raved about it.


If there is a KS that might make me go out of KS hibernation, it might be this… I definitely think Flamme Rouge is probably the best racing game there is. Specially if you throw weather, cobblestones and the new kind of riders from expansions.


I guess I am one of the few that enjoys Heat more than Flamme Rouge. To be fair, I am just looking at the base boxes, so when you do that, Heat has much more to offer than FR, with weather, the garage upgrades, and the championship mode. But overall, it just comes down to the gameplay, as I have not yet used any of the add-on modules for Heat, and only played a bit of expansion material for FR on our PbF game.

I find managing your heat and planning for corners more interesting than managing exhaustion, planning for hills, and trying to coordinate your two riders. Mostly because short of the boosts taking you around a corner, you are fully in control of heat. You have very limited control over exhaustion, and that is only if you have one of your riders trailing the other, where you can guarantee that you won’t be stuck in the lead of a pack with each of your riders. I also like the slipstreaming rules more in Heat, where you have two spaces where you can take advantage of it to the one for FR, though admittedly if you are far enough back and with ideal spacing, you can get multiple moves out of it in FR.

I do want to break into the garage module for Heat, as I think the deck customization will add lots of interesting features compared to everyone just having 1 extra heat, a 0 and a 5.