I began by asking a select group of hardcore gamers (mostly Eurogamers) to send me a list of their fifteen favorite games, listed in order. 65 gamers replied.
At first, I thought I would simply assign each vote a simple value based on its place in any indvidual list. First place in any given list would receive 15 points and fifteenth place in any given list would receive one point. I soon realized that this gave first place games too much weight. A game that received first place from one voter, yet showed up in no other list would fare better than a game that showed up at the bottom of 14 other lists. That would not do.
After a little tweaking & twonking on my spreadsheet (with the help of Chris Lohroff) I decided to give first place votes (in any given list) 29 points and last place votes (in any given list) 15 points. Since placement was arbitrary in many cases (based on comments/complaints I received) this seemed fair. A game that showed up on the bottom of two lists would receive one more point than a game that showed up at the top of one list. Maybe not perfect, but that's what I settled on.
You may also notice that some similar games are combined as one entry and others are not. For example, Power Grid & Funkenschlag were combined and considered as one game, whereas Memoir '44 & Battle Cry were designated as separate games and placed individually. All such cases were decided by a majority of the voters, not by myself alone.
I hope this list will inspire debate and discussion. Although no such list can eve be considered definitive (Mark: the title at the top of the page is sarcastic), it is my personal opinion that this particular list does an admirable job of showcasing excellence in our hobby. You will agree or disagree. And that is the point.