Updated: Jul 28, 2021
I am avid tabletop gamer and often people are in awe or disbelief when I tell them I own well over 400 board games. Usually the next question is, "what's your favorite one"? Like choosing a favorite kid this is really impossible. Depending on mood, company, location, time, etc. all have merit I'd like to think (games, not kids to be clear). A front runner however and usually the default answer I give regarding my favorite game is Dominion.
Created by the brilliant game designer Donald X. Vaccarino, Dominion is a deck building game set in the feudal period. All players begin with the same basic resources and take turns using the value of their cards to purchase additional actions, treasures and ultimately victory points. There are a lot of sites dedicated to teaching the game so I won't go into that but needless to say it is very well balanced, engaged and a blast to play.
Vaccarino was a computer programmer in the 90s who contributed to Magic the Gathering and after playing euro style games like Settlers of Catan decided to build his own. He shared it with friends who loved it and encouraged him to publish it. Eventually he took it to Rio Grande Games who saw the potential. They published it and the game won the coveted "Spiel des Jahres" (Game of the Year) award.
I discovered Dominion when my friend Eric H. loaned it to me. I took it to my buddy Steve's house and we played it, quickly falling in love with it. Since then they have released more than a dozen expansions each of which can be combined with the original game and many can be played as standalone on their own. When Steve was going through his divorce I would play dozens of games a day with him to keep his mind distracted. It is a very approachable game that can be learned quickly enough but yields tons of deeper level strategies.
Covid shut down a lot of our community/friend gaming but luckily there is a quality website for playing online. I highly recommend picking up a physical copy, downloading the app or playing it online. It will be well worth your time.