There's a number of games that are good enough to get pulled out every
year. For recent releases, this isn't saying much, so let's look at those that have been played in at least 7 out of the past 11 years.
10 out of 11
- RoboRally. This has been played every year, except I missed in 2004. This is the game that really got me into board gaming.
- Call my Bluff. This still gets played every year, going on 10 years since I discovered it.
9 out of 9
- Basari. This was a wedding present and while it doesn't get a ton of play (only 13 plays) it gets pulled out consistently, year after year.
- Ra. One of my all time favorites, and I expect it to stay on the 100% list for a while.
- Apples to Apples. A party game that is successful with all but the most curmudgeonly.
8 out of 8
- Medici. One of the greatest "pure" auction games ever.
- Can't Stop. It's quick and approachable and likely to stay on the list for a long time.
- Speed. At 60ish seconds per game, I make sure to play this on New Years' Eve if I haven't already that year.
- 6 nimmt!. Another regular winner, in no small part due to its effective accomodation of 6 players.
- Igel Argern. Fast fun filler.
- Battle Line. One of my favorite 2-player games of all time.
8 out of 9 or more
Ricochet Robot and Samurai both somehow missed 2006, but have been played the other 8 of the last 9 years.
En Garde missed 2006 and 2004, but I've been playing it since 1998, so it makes the 8+ list.
Euphrat & Tigris has been missing the past couple of years and it will hopefully hit the table again in 2008, but for whatever reason I have not had the same yen for it I have in the past and while it had a good 8 year streak, it looks like 2006's omission wasn't just a fluke.
7+ out of the past 11
The 100% club for the past 7 years is: Knockabout, For Sale, Zirkus Flohcati, Crokinole, Princes of Florence, Electronic Catchphrase.
7 out of the past 8: Carcassonne, Cartagena, Flinke Pinke and missed this year for the first time: Vinci, Traumfabrik, Lord of the Rings.
Take It Easy had a 7 year streak from 1999-2005 and hasn't come back since, but it's likely to be back in 2008.
Set has been intermittent, missing 1999, 2001, 2004, and 2005, but being one of the "old" games, it's gotten to 7.
Overall, I continue to like the "year metric" and the "MonthMetric" as measures of gaming quality and longevity.