The 2021 Golden Issue Award for Best Tabletop Game

Despite a myriad of issues in the world of shipping, supply, and manufacturing, the board game industry persevered and delivered some amazing titles throughout the year. From party games that are easy to pick up and play and intricate games of resource management, to grand fantasy adventures and competitive card games, there was something for everyone in 2021. Of the many impressive entries this year, there can only be one Best Tabletop Game in this year's Golden Issues. And the winner of the 2021 Golden Issue Award for Best Tabletop Game is...


...Marvel United: X-Men!

It was a crowded field this year, as Marvel Villanous, That Time You Killed Me, Unfathomable, and D&D's Fizban's Treasury of Dragons all delivered addictive gameplay, tight mechanics, and rich storytelling in one way or another. That said, CMON and Spin Master Games outdid themselves with Marvel United: X-Men, which built upon the already stellar Marvel United.

Marvel United delivered tactical co-op superhero gameplay in a fresh way, but for Marvel United: X-Men, the team took it a few steps further, not content with just delivering the same game with some X-Men thrown in. Instead, they added the ability for a fifth player to jump in and play the mastermind — but since the X-Men's world is full of grey, they wanted to expand on that idea even further. That's why they introduced Anti-Heroes, and it made an already compelling experience that much better.

Since characters in the X-Men franchise have bounced back and forth between good and evil many times, certain characters in the game can be played as either Heroes or Villains, including Mystique, Emma Frost, Magneto, and more. Having both available to you increases how replayable the game is, especially if you got all of the characters from the Kickstarter campaign to choose from.

The subtle tweaks to the character abilities and general gameplay made an already great game even better, and the numerous options in regards to which side your characters play on increased the replayable factor tenfold. A solo mode and a new team vs team mode added even more options, and the sheer number of characters available to control is truly impressive. Sometimes sequels don't live up to the original, but in Marvel United: X-Men's case, it might have surpassed it, and that's why it is this year's winner.

Congrats to the team behind Marvel United: X-Men on their Golden Issue Awards win!

And the nominees for Best Tabletop Game are...

  • D&D: Fizban's Treasury of Dragons

  • Marvel United: X-Men -- WINNER

  • Marvel Villainous

  • That Time You Killed Me

  • Unfathomable

What did you think of X-Men United? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things tabletop and Marvel with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!