2018 is coming to a close, and it's time to look back on some of our favorite games, whether they're digital or otherwise. This year, ComicBook.com has expanded its Golden Issue Awards to include video games and tabletop games in order to cover one more form of entertainment that makes us smile.
The tabletop game industry has grown larger and larger as more and more people look for ways to connect with others in person. There's something about rolling dice, strategizing against your friends, and sharing a few laughs that can strengthen the bonds of friendships in unexpected ways.
There were a lot of great tabletop games this year, but there can only be one winner.
And the winner is...
Dungeons & Dragons!
It might seem unusual to name a 44-year-old game as this year's top tabletop game, but Dungeons & Dragons is experiencing a renaissance thanks to its Fifth Edition ruleset and the growing popularity of liveplay streams.
2018 was another banner year for D&D, both in terms of sales and content. Wizards of the Coast released four new publications that expanded the game in multitudes of different ways. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, for example, was a lore-heavy bestiary, filled with inspiration for new characters and campaigns and plenty of terrifying new monsters. Instead of releasing one new adventure this year, D&D released Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, a low-level urban adventure, and the megadungeon crawl Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage.
But the biggest surprise was this fall's Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, a crossover with Magic: The Gathering that added a brand-new campaign setting to the game's multiverse. Wizards also released Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron, a digital publication that updated the steampunk noir world of Eberron for the current edition of play. Mordenkainen, Ravnica, and Eberron all added new playable races to the game, giving D&D fans more options than ever before.
In addition to the new publications, Dungeons & Dragons has continued to grow its brand, expanding outward in new ways. Between the fantastic Art & Arcana book that hit the New York Times Bestsellers' List, Joe Manganiello's line of Death Saves streetwear, and the Rick & Morty/Dungeons & Dragons crossover, it seems that the game is becoming more and more "mainstream." You can even pick up a D&D Starter's Kit in a Target or Wal-Mart!
It once seemed like Dungeons & Dragons was the gaming equivalent to a secret handshake: a game that you told no one about publicly. Now, the game is the equivalent to a fist bump or high-five in the streets, something very public and very fun to do.
Check back with ComicBook.com as the rest of the winners are announced throughout the week, then be sure to share your own favorites with us!
List of Nominees:
- Dungeons and Dragons [Winner]
- Betrayal Legacy
- Fallout: New California
- Rising Sun