#8. The Settlers of Catan ($35 @ Amazon.com)
Collect resources and barter with your opponents as you race to rule a bizarrely octagonal island. The bigger your empire grows, the more points you earn. The game’s concept is simple, but winning is not. The best part of the game is bartering with fellow players in order to get the scarce resources you need to rule. Negotiations can get heated — especially if you and your trade partner have consumed too many flagons of mead.