The Official List of The Top Games
This topic was sparked by a tweet that I came across this morning. Our friend Drunk Irish Fan proposed the question "No cap is Left Right Center the best game of all time?" I felt the need to speak on this, as I have often pondered the question, what is the greatest game of all time? It's broken down by category, but there is obviously some overlap. You play a yard games while drinking, but the primary function is a yard game.
Very much a contender for top overall game. When I walk into a yard with a 12 pack in hand and I see a set of bags on a cornhole board, I know where I am going to be posted up for the rest of the day. It's a game that anyone can play at any time, the rules are simple, and there is no worry of spilling your drink. It is the perfect yard game.
2. Polish Horseshoes
Somewhat of a newcomer in the yard game category, Polish Horseshoes revolutionized the frisbee-based yard game. You need 2 ski poles, 2 beer bottles, and a frisbee. All of those things scream fun. Now some may argue that another frisbee game should hold this spot, I beg to differ. This is just as much about throwing the frisbee as it is about defending. High-fiving your teammate after saving a three-pointer is an unmatched feeling.
3. Beer Die
The official game of frat bros of the north east holds a special spot in my heart. Yes, it is a drinking game, but really is it? Drinking games you really don't care who wins or who loses, but I have seen fights almost break out over a game of beer die. The category is yard specific, but beer die is best played on the beach. Making a diving play for the cube or getting a solid kick to your teammate is closest any of us will feel to being an athlete at this point in our lives.
4. Kan Jam
Some will see this as disrespect. When Kan Jam came onto the scene, it was the hottest new yard game in decades. It was at every Darty, every Grad Party, every Fourth of July. Rightfully so. Everyone still remembers the first time they got a slot. You were the king of the backyard. But why do I have it at 4? If you are partnered with someone who can't throw a frisbee, it is the most brutal 10 minutes of your life. It ruins your day. You're helpless standing behind that can. At least with Polish Horseshoes, if your partner can't throw you still hold some control and play defense. With Kan Jam, you're dead in the water.
5. Wiffle Ball
I haven't played wiffle ball in years, so I actually had to go back and add it because I completely forgot about it. Playing wiffle ball as a kid was so much fun. The only reason it isn't higher is because it is a younger man's game. We stretched it as far as we could with our friends down the cape, but once you get a little older your parents start to get very mad at the balls flying up to the deck while they're drinking with their friends. But feeling like Pedro, hitting the chair on a curveball while your buddy stands befuddled at the plate, knowing he just struck out in one pitch is pure dominance.
I am affectionately calling Bocce the Al Horford of this list. Old, yet still got some legs, but needs the right environment to be successful. To play Bocce, you need at least one person over the age of 40. They don't even have to be partaking, they just have to be there to tell you "Oh what a toss, that looks good." Like cornhole, your moves swing the opponents' scores drastically. They can go from 3 points to being down 1 on the last toss. You hold the power to be a hero. Playing bocce in a yard or on a beach is fun, but playing it on an official bocce court gives a big game feel to every throw.
I like Spikeball, I don't want that to get twisted in any way. It's a fun game to play on the beach with a couple of your friends. Others will have it much higher, but it's my list so I have it below the other games. There are just too many negatives that come along with it. It is an incredibly active game. You're going to sweat. You really can't play it with a beer in hand and reasonably expect the drink to survive. It gets infinitely harder as you keep drinking. It's a great game, but not as much of a casual yard game, and that is why it finds itself at 7.
What an idea for a game. Someone came to a table with a few spoons, a deck of cards and a dream. As the cards dwindle, you have 3 of a kind in hand, know everyone else does as well, and you've passed four consecutive Queens. One eye on the card you're picking up, another on every other player, looking for ever so slight movements. Plus the last man standing aspect of it adds a satisfaction to the victory.
A lesser known game, for sure, but I have yet to find a better one that can get an entire room to play and be involved. For those unfamiliar, a word or phrase appears on screen, and the person holding the machine has to act out or describe it while everyone on their team guesses. The person holding it when the buzzer goes off loses a point for their team. It is so simple, but every time I have played it goes on for hours. It never really gets old. If you don't have one of these at your house I couldn't suggest it enough.
Another game that I think leans to an older crowd, but I would like it to be more popular amongst the younger crowd. You can play as long as you want. It gets hyper competitive. Any number of people can play it. A great time for all.
It's been memed to death, but fucking the person to your right with a draw 4 is diabolical. It is so much fun when they have 1 card left and you see the life leave their eyes. That's realistically a better feeling than winning. Not much more to say on it.
It deserves a place on the list. It sparked the debate. I respect Drunk Irish Fan's opinion. But "best game ever" it is not. To be fair, I haven't played in years. Maybe my tastes have changed. But it is strictly a chance game, and for that reason I can't have it higher.
5. Cards Against Humanity
Another game that I think people would have higher, but it gets played out. You get nonstop laughs for about an hour every six months, but beyond that is excessive. It isn't about winning or losing, just putting the most fucked up combination you can think of out there. Plus, there are too many shit cards. You pull certain cards and think to yourself "I am literally never going to use this". When you get a hand full of those cards, you are an unfunny square and it is entirely too frustrating.
Dodgeball builds character. I think we all played with the foam balls rather than the official dodgeballs from the major motion picture "Dodgeball", but the feeling is just as satisfying when you hit the weird kid in class sitting in the back directly in the fucking face. BOOM HEADSHOT you yell as the adult in sweatpants tells you that you have to sit down because headshots aren't allowed. We actually played a different version called dodgeball basketball, where you could shoot a ball from your side into the opposing basket to free everyone on your team. Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge. 'Nuff said.
2. Wall Ball
I really don't know if this was as popular in other towns as it was mine, but it was the default game. Played at recess, in backyards, before games, everywhere. I haven't played it in a long time, but I would need Tommy John if the ball got past everyone and I was the one brave enough to go get it, knowing someone would yell "reach" at me. It was a prime test of speed, power, and hand-eye coordination, all the things that made you cool in Middle School.
3. "2 hand touch" Football
"2 hand touch" is in quotations, because the teachers never let you play tackle, but it always turned into tackle. It's still fun to this day, drawing up the routes on the football in a huddle and having no one do what they're actually supposed to do, then chucking the ball as far as you can to the fastest person on the field. I think backyard football is one of the few games where someone who never once played it in an organized fashion can still be great at the game.
4. Capture the Flag
If you were lucky enough to play in a wooded area, this felt like a war. You were trying to be as silent as you could, trekking through the woods. You sent a gunner out there that could move to distract the person guarding the flag while you snuck up from behind to swipe it in broad daylight. Then it was on. You gotta SCOOT. Whole team forming a flying V around you, warding off defenders by sacrificing themselves for the greater good. Then you made it back to your side. Spike the flag. Victory.
Unlike backyard football, the basketball team dominated knockout, but there was always hope for everyone. They could miss their free throw and you can come over the top to hit a miracle shot just as theirs clanks off the rim. There is a certain etiquette involved in knockout. You know the people that had no chance. They would airball their shot and you would take your time putting your shot up, knowing full well you can eliminate them at any time. It was a delicate balance, but the best was coming out as the last man standing. Sidenote, survivor knockout is the way to play. If you want to win you have to get every single person out.
I couldn't find a picture for this, but Jackpot was always fun. Everyone had their own variations of it, there were purists that just played with points, or anarchists that played with mystery boxes and the ball was dead or alive. It turned into lord of the flies. I was in the latter group, and my friends are all assholes, so it would always be mystery boxes and they would send you to zero until they were bored of throwing.
1. Dibble Dabble/Dimmy
Another game where I have no idea where it stands with the masses, but this is very much in the running for my 1:1. It is the perfect pool game and I find myself playing it a hand full of times every summer. For those unfamiliar, someone jumps into the pool with a clear plastic bottle cap or a straw, leaves it at the bottom, then gets out. Everyone stands on the edge of the pool, and the first one to get it won the game. Only other rule: No goggles allowed. Mama ain't raise no bitch. You have to perfect on your entry to find that cap underwater. If you haven't played, give it a spin with 4 or 5 people and you'll immediately know what I am talking about.
2. Throwing a football into the pool and catching it
Not really a game, no winners or losers, just pure joy. One guy throws the football over the pool, another gets to make a diving catch. As simple as that. That ball comes up before you do, you best stay under the water until things go dark because you will get ROASTED into the ether.
3. Chicken Fights
Don't get it twisted, these people in the picture are smiling, but this isn't fun and games. When you are in a chicken fight, you are a gladiator in an arena. I am a *ahem* sturdier gentleman, so I have pretty much only experienced being on the bottom, but the warriors there are the offensive linemen of the fight. They get none of the glory, but they are setting up their teammate for success.
4. Race flip cup
Some would argue it's a drinking game, and I'll hear that argument, but when a game is played in a pool it is automatically a pool game in my eyes. Swimming down and back, chugging a half full cup, then flipping it is the perfect balance of athleticism and alcoholism.
I guess it's a variation of sharks and minnows, but this is a superior version. You yell out a category at the edge of the pool while everyone else is in the pool, everyone thinks of their favorite thing in that category, and when it's said you have to swim. You get tagged by the person standing at the edge jumping in, you're yelling the categories next. Not sure how it would hold up now, but it was a grand ol' time back in the day.
Fitting that pool follows the pool games. It is the elite bar game. Running a table means you are the man. Top dog in the room. You string together a good 3 consecutive shots, your dick is swinging between your knees. Pool exists on a different plane as the rest of these games. If you are good at any of the games listed above, it's a neat party trick. If you're noticeably better at pool than everyone else, you are A) possibly a little autistic, and B) super fucking cool.
The obvious 2. Less popular as pool, and not as cool if you're good at it, but if you get a good group of people playing darts together I'd argue it's just as fun. The only negative is there are so many variations and few people know how to play any of them, so if you do you end up being the person who has to explain the rules to everyone.
Another game that is crossed over with another category, but for some reason when I think of Jenga I think you are playing it at a brewery on a table with benches. Little skill involved, little reward for winning, high risk with being the asshole that knocks over the tower. The giant version is better, but when you play that I would say that it creeps over into the lawn game territory, and when you're playing lawn games you gotta come with something better than jenga.
When ranking these games, there is a significantly higher consideration with the goal of the game. The goal of drinking games is to get drunk. Fingers accomplishes that goal easily. I think the prime number of people for fingers is 6-8 people, but I have played 1 on 1 and that's just as fun.
2. Beer Ball
I remember when I first learned of beer ball. I walked into a party freshmen year of college and heard a typical sound. Ping pong balls hitting the floor followed by cheering. I assumed beer pong, but when I walked in I was taken aback. Infuriated even. What is this bastardized version of pong? Then I was invited to play. Since that day I have been beer ball over beer pong 7 days a week. It is so simple, yet so brilliant. And similar to fingers, it is quite efficient at getting you intoxicated.
3. Survivor flip cup
Yet another rebranded version of a classic that I consider to be better. It has the same allure of knockout. Last man standing is champion, no teams, just you, a red cup, and a table scattered about with empties. You learn who you are when you are one of the last 2. Can you step up to the plate and one flip it? Or are you going to be fumbling the cup until you get second place?
3. Beer Pong
Simple, eloquent, skillful, strategic, not much more needs to be said. I will add that it's a great ice breaker if you're looking to get some talking time with that person you keep making eye contact with at the party. "I'm up, shit wait I don't have a partner, how about you?" 60% of the time it works every time.
4. Flip Cup
Another classic. I feel as though flip cup has more shit talking than any other game listed. I'm not sure what about it causes us to turn barbaric, but god help the person who just can't figure it out. The remaining lineup waits with full glasses while each failed flip comes with a plethora of insults, each more cutting than the last. It doesn't find its way higher on the list because I don't think I've ever gotten drunk just playing flip cup, you need a side beer to get the job done.
5. Stack Cup
I like Stack cup, but it has a unique ability to get very boring very quickly. There is always one person who stinks, and they obviously get targeted, which is very fun to watch, but not as much fun to play. You end up thirsty, begging to get stacked. However, a lot of positives come out of stack cup. The whole group gets involved, you can mix it up with some different people, and of course the bitch cup. The person who gets the bitch cup rarely deserves it, but they always seem to take it with a smile on their face, no matter the concoction that was formed.
6. Ride the bus
Ride the Bus is a great quick hitter. Everyone has a good time, everyone drinks. The biggest negative is it dominates the room. It's hard to play if not everyone is playing. Best suited for a pre-game and not necessarily a party, but deserving of a spot nonetheless.
7. King Cup
Boy oh boy am I happy that the picture I found was a Natty Light because it is extremely fitting. King Cup is the standard for pregames for a reason. It's versatile, it's engaging, and it's easy. If you want things to get weird, change Ace to hot seat. Everyone gets to ask them a question and they have to answer it honestly or drink. The problem with it? It gets stale if you start playing it over and over with the same people. The never have I evers are the same, you run through the same categories, and people get disinterested. Play it once, then move on.