Players invest in companies, trying to hold a majority of stock. Businesses grow and merge as tiles are added to the board; each game develops differently. Acquire has been published several times over the years, a testament to its enduring quality.
2. Power Grid
5. Modern ArtFor 3 to 5 players, ages 10 and up. Designed by Reiner Knizia, published by Mayfair Games / Hans im Glück.
In this auction game, players bid for paintings by modern artists. Players are constantly involved in the game; there is little downtime. Your strategy has to change depending on who you're bidding against, so no two games are the same.
Dutch auctions reign as players compete to be first or second in categories like shipping, domestic (in Holland) districts and foreign districts. The mechanical clock adds a nice psychological element to the game -- don't bid too early.
7. BrassFor 3 to 4 players, ages 14 and up. Designed by Martin Wallace, published by Warfrog / Eagle Games.
8. GenoaFor 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up. Designed by Rüdiger Dorn, published by Alea / Rio Grande Games / Asmodée Editions.
Everything can be negotiated in Genoa, which was previously released as Traders of Genoa. You have to play with opponents unafraid to make decisions, but with the right crew, Genoa is superb. Players acquire goods and fill orders to earn money, making deals all along the way.
9. MoneyFor 3 to 5 players, ages 10 and up. Designed by Reiner Knizia, published by Gryphon Games.
Perhaps the best-known of all modern board games, Monopoly is both over-hyped and under-appreciated. Most people play using incorrect rules, making it a somewhat tedious experience. But there is a solid game here involving some basic economics.