I don't know why it is, but it seems that some of the best board games I have ever played have hailed from German soil.
Ticket To Ride
by Days of Wonder games is yet another great German board game.
Basically you are trying to build train routes to satisfy the cards you have been given all the while trying to get the longest train route and keep anyone else from completing their goals. Sort of like Risk in the strategy of it.
The game has multiple incarnations and each new episode adds depth to an already fantastic game. You can go with the normal Ticket to Ride which is the simplest, to the Special Marklin edition which is the hardest version.
The game takes all of 15 minutes to learn and about an hour to play with three people (it took us almost two hours with 5 people). The real value of the game, however, is in how replayable it is. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we played it about 6 or 7 times in two days.
If there is a game geek in your life and you're looking to get them something for Christmas, I highly recommend this one.
~spidey, who has only won this game twice, but is getting better at it