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Gloomhaven is no longer the best board game ever, says BGG

After five years as the top-rated board game on BoardGameGeek, Gloomhaven has been overtaken by strategy tabletop game Brass: Birmingham

Gloomhaven Brass Birmingham ranking - miniatures from Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

February 22 2023 This article has been updated to share statements from Isaac Childres and Cephalofair.

According to BoardGameGeek, Gloomhaven is no longer the best board game of all time. The industrial strategy game Brass: Birmingham has now nabbed the top ranking on the tabletop database. “Congrats to Gavan Brown, Matt Tolman, Martin Wallace, and Roxley Games for the new #1 ranked game”, BoardGameGeek tweeted on February 18.

Gloomhaven is an enormous legacy board game / dungeon-crawler that also has elements of tabletop RPGs and eurogames. According to designer Isaac Childres, Gloomhaven had “the longest reign of any game” as BoardGameGeek’s best game, holding onto the title for “around five years and two months”. Childres also congratulated the team behind Brass: Birmingham, tweeting his “huge congrats” on Saturday.


“Having Gloomhaven be the #1 game on BGG has always felt very surreal to me”, Isaac Childres tells Wargamer. “I’m not exaggerating when I say that having a game in that spot was a life goal of mine, so to achieve that, and have it stay in that spot for longer than any other game, it’s just really nice!”

When asked if he has similar hopes for Gloomhaven’s follow-up, Frosthaven, Childres adds, “Regarding Frosthaven, I’d like to think that it could rise to similar acclaim”. I think it is a significantly better game than Gloomhaven, and so far it seems like the people playing it agree, but there are all sorts of other factors that go into how many ratings your game gets and when. Only time will tell!”

“I am a big fan of Brass”, Childres says. “It is an incredibly well-designed game that provides a wealth of interesting choices and interaction among players, and Roxley’s reimplementation of it is just beautiful and so well produced.” “If we had to get overtaken, I can’t think of a more universally appealing title for the BGG crowd (except maybe Jaws of the Lion!).”

Cephalofair released a full statement on February 20, congratulating Brass: Birmingham on the rank.

The new champion of board games, Brass: Birmingham, is a strategy board game set in the UK during the Industrial Revolution. You play as competing entrepreneurs, developing cities’ canals and railways as well as industry.

Brass: Birmingham was nominated board game of the year at the 2018 Golden Geek awards, hosted by BoardGameGeek. It also won the Golden Geek for best strategy game that same year. It seems Wargamer might need to update its best board games list.