On nearly the opposite of the spectrum compared to the last entry on the top 100, Eclipse is a big meaty game of space exploration, expansion, exploitation, and extermination. Each player will start in their own corner of the galaxy working to branch out into unknown space to acquire resources in the form of wealth, research, and building materials. If players know how to play the game well then each player can be a different species with different knowledge and abilities at the start of the game to make things even more interesting.
At the core of the game is much more about building up your civilizations economy then defeating your opponents. So those looking for constant space battles throughout the game might want to look at some of the other space 4x games. We however really like the idea of building up our civilizations more than just constant conflict. Eclipse has an inventive action point system and the exploration system make it so no games are precisely the same. Each players action track is covered with small discs. For each planet a player claims or action they take in a round they remove a disk from that track. At the end of the round the player will need to pay the largest amount uncovered. So you can take as many actions or claim as many planets you want but you need to make sure you can afford to pay those costs!
There are lots of different ways to score points. You get points from building up your presence in space, for researching deeply into specific fields, and lastly for being a part of combat. So you will likely want to get involved in some space fights eventually even if it isn’t the main focus of the game! When you are getting into combat each player will likely by the end of the game have very different ships which is another part we love about Eclipse. When you research weapons, engines, shields, or power generators you can equip them onto your ships assuming they have room. So while some players might build powerful but easy to destroy ships others will build less powerful but almost invincible fleets.
Customization is what makes Eclipse such a great game and better than some of the other games you play in space. Especially if you play with different aliens to begin with they all have different powers and different knowledge at the beginning of the game. The game can take a rather long time to complete so you need to be prepared for that but if you are looking for a game that simulates building a vast empire in unknown space this would definitely be one of our first suggestions!