What do your BGG ratings mean to you?

So officially the ratings are:

10 - Outstanding. Always want to play and expect this will never change.
9 - Excellent game. Always want to play it.
8 - Very good game. I like to play. Probably I’ll suggest it and will never turn down a game.
7 - Good game, usually willing to play.
6 - Ok game, some fun or challenge at least, will play sporadically if in the right mood.
5 - Average game, slightly boring, take it or leave it.
4 - Not so good, it doesn’t get me but could be talked into it on occasion.
3 - Likely won’t play this again although could be convinced. Bad.
2 - Extremely annoying game, won’t play this ever again.
1 - Defies description of a game. You won’t catch me dead playing this. Clearly broken.

but what does that mean in practice?

Anything that’s a 6+ may well stay in my collection long term. Looking at what I have below that, I should probably sell Chez Greek but I doubt anyone would want it; not sure where Kodama Duo has got to; Skull doesn’t grab me the way it does many people, but sometimes I’m in just the right mood for it. Trophy Buck is small and was a demo copy (three, actually), and Zombie Dice… about once a year I want to play it.

And I’m clearly not going to make the better version of Statecraft. Yours for postage. :slight_smile:

But a 6 is “I may well be in the right mood quite often”; 6.5 “might well take it to the game group”; 7 “good solid game”; 7.5 “actively like this”; 8 “I am looking for an opportunity to play it”; 8.5 “among my favourites, would instantly replace if it got lost/damaged”; 9 “a long-term favourite”; 9.5-10 “bury me with this game”.

ETA: also of course I have bouts of rating games so it may reflect “how I felt in the first flush of enthusiasm” or “how I felt a year later when I caught up on rating my played-but-unrated games”.


I think BGG ratings have suffered from ‘Video Game Rating’ syndrome. Where most people only use the top part of the scale.

Effectively I do the same. 6 stays in my collection if it has a reason to (young kids, is fun with some people etc) 7+ gets to stay, or I’ll always be happy to play. 5 and below I wouldn’t touch or play.

Mainly games get to stay in my collection by asking “who will I play this with?”


10 - Cream of the crop (translation to 5 stars: 5/5) They offer both long-term decisions and also player interaction. FCM, Tigris & Euphrates
9 - Same as 10 but with conditions like Tzolkin or Seasons (translate 4/5)
8 - Same as above. Great game but has some deficiency to be a 9 or 10. Root
7 - 6 - Good and decent games like Scythe is a 7 and the Gallerist is a 6 - this is expected threshold hence 3/5
5 - 4 - this game is okay. I won’t say no, but doesn’t excite. An example would be Splendour aka 2/5)
3 to 1 - Bad. Can be translated to 1/5

I’m only keeping 10s to 8s. But the 8s need to be a good sell for me to keep.


This is interesting because I haven’t rated many games. I am not sure of the function of rating, and god help me and my frail ego if I were ever judged on my rating. Or insult anyone with my rating.

So I have a few, done in bursts of enthusiasm, but essentially I know what I feel about the games I have. Am I being selfish? Should I encourage myself to share my hard earned wisdom with the world? Will the proletariat care?


I use the official BGG criteria to rate games, and I revisit my ratings maybe 1 or 2 times a year.

I have quite a few games that I rate 6 or lower in “my” collection, but they don’t actually belong to me, so I won’t be getting rid of them!


I think, to some degree, there’s a factor of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” in play. There’s also a survivorship bias for games that get ratings; if a game isn’t good, it might not be in my collection long enough to “earn” a rating.

That said, I do try to use the suggested BGG rating system. It’s not perfect, because certainly it depends on the people I’m playing with, the amount of time I have to play, my mental and physical energy level, etc.

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This is a problem with any scaling system that sets the center of the scale at “mediocre” or equivalent. Most games that people want to play and review are better than mediocre so get a rating of 6 or higher. If mediocre was down at 3, then you’d have more room to play with.

We really don’t need a lot of differentiation at the low end. A rating of 2 would be “this a bad game,” 1 would be “this is a trash game,” and 0 would be “Ungame.” ; )

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I have a 1.5 for Ruddy Vikings which didn’t feel like a game so much as an exercise in players drawing cards until one of them draws a winning card.

But among my 2s are TIME Stories and Space Cadets and Dead Men Tell No Tales all of which are very much enjoyed by people who aren’t me.

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My ratings are for myself and I very rarely change them. I tend to rank games soon after playing or when I literally have nothing else to do!

I’m a generous rater - something has to be really bad to get less than a 6.


Same. They are for my own benefit. I only started rating when i needed to get rid of games for the first time


I’m about to say (write) something that will make me feel like a bad friend: when using BGG Geekbuddy Analysis, I find the comments much more interesting to read than the ratings (because, well, ratings are different for everyone).

The reason I feel bad for saying that: I haven’t taken the time to comment or update my comments on my games in a long time.


I don’t know that I have a fully thought out system for my ratings. Maybe it’s close to BGGs scale? A game just feels like a 7 or feels like a 9 or whatever.

On the bigger question of rating skew…
For me a big part of the reason my ratings skew towards 6-8 with more 9s and 10s than the lower end is I have a pretty good idea of my board gaming tastes and interests and I can tell a lot about a game from information available before I’d ever play it. There are lots of games out there that if I were to play them I’d probably rate on the lower end of the scale. When they are described to me, I recognize this and I opt to not spend any of my far too limited leisure time playing those games. Sometimes I misjudge either the game based on available information or myself somehow, or a game that appears to fit in my interests turns out to just be bad, or circumstances dictate that I “must” play a game I know I will dislike going in. So I have some low ratings from those occasions. Mostly I’m self-aware and game-aware enough to just not play games I’d likely rate extremely low. Surely this is the case for most people with any time in the hobby which is likely the people rating on BGG?


Selection bias is definitely a factor.

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I don’t often find myself playing a game that I think I’ll dislike going in, but I do go to a lot of conventions (pandemic notwithstanding) and I’m more likely to play a wider variety of games that I might not usually play there. Sometimes I find some unexpected treasure, and sometimes I gain more information about what games to avoid in future…


There is also a bias that causes folks to increase the rating of games that they’ve purchased, doubly-so if they’ve Kickstarted it.


Which may be a form of Choice-supportive bias?

1-6 - Not used in practice because I would sell it and remove it from my collection (it’s weird that ratings disappear completely if you delete it from your collection - seems like that creates a sort of survivorship bias)
7 - Probably a good time
8 - Reliably a good time
9 - Certainly a good time
10 - Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective


I leave games in my “collection” but retag them from “Owned” to “Previously Owned”.


I have only rated a few of my games, mostly because for a lot of them, I am not sure I am really qualified to rate them. By that, I mean I have not played them enough. I could just do a quick judgement rating (I did this for Fury of Dracula, Inis, and Shogun), as they are accurate descriptions going by the BGG rating system, but do wonder if they’d hold up if I got to play them more often.

Similarly, I know there’s a kind of burn-out you can experience after playing a game too much. I do like to think that varies depending on the subjective quality of the game. For instance, way back when, in the mists of time, I would have rated most Munchkin games a 7 or 8. Now, they are more like 5 or 6, maybe even 4. We played them a lot, but have moved on to better games, and they have not been touched in years.

And, of course, there’s a lot of factors to go in to how much I want to play a game. Setup time, play time, minimum number of players, complexity, etc. I guess I could rate games as if all these factors were not an issue, as that is probably the purest rating, but when I only have maybe two hours in an evening, just my wife as someone to play with (if her brother is not interested), then something I really want to play like Imperial Assault or Hansa Teutonica or Firefly is likely not going to be an option. Or, if the game is new and complex, say Spirit Island, my wife may not feel up to learning it that evening. What I’m trying to get at here, is that conditions can prevent me from playing certain games regularly enough to really feel I can fairly evaluate it enough to give it a rating. Ideally, those conditions should not factor into a rating, but if it’s hard for me to get the game to the table because of my living situation, that may negatively impact any rating I would give.

So, yeah, I just don’t rate much.


When I was playing more and rating more, I had a policy that I had to add a comment to my rating, a kind of micro-review that explained my rating or put it in context.