While teaching a lot of games to my son's friend he mentioned to me that a lot of the games we play have victory points for who wins. This observation prompted me to start thinking about the games in my collection that do not use victory points to determine the winner. I've broken these up into several categories/game types to help sort this out. I decided that games that determine the winner by who has the most money at the end are just victory point games in disguise so they are not included.
Games that eliminate other players
These games are "classic" games like Monopoly and Risk where the object is to be the last player standing. I don't own many of these games and they are not bad for shorter games but generally I steer away from player elimination games. Stratego and Battleship also have this element. I would even include Bang in this category (the last team standing - Outlaws, Sheriff/deputies, or Renegade).
These are games where players try to determine who commited a crime, etc. Clue, Whodunnit, and Mystery of the Abbey are the only games I own in this category. I still need to make a deck for Deduce or Die as it is the best deduction game I've played.
These are games where the first player to cross a finish line or reach a certain space is the winner. Pure racing games like Hare and Tortoise and Snow Tails are in this category. But also games like Parchesi, Trivial Pursuit, Scene It, and Pictionary are also in this category.
These are games where the players work together to defeat the game (or in some cases another player). Pandemic, Lord of the Rings, Mousquetaires du Roy, Castle Panic, and Castle Ravenloft all fall in this category.
Unique Game Ending conditions
This is a catch all for the games that I couldn't categorize... I'll just list them.
To Court the King - this dice game ends with a final round where everyone tries to impress the King and the player who does so wins.
Lord of the Rings Confrontation - this asymmetrical game ends when the Ringbearer(Frodo) is defeated or he reaches Mt Doom.
Niagara - this game ends when one (or more) player(s) acquires either a gem of each color, 4 of the same color gems, or 7 total gems.
Blokus - the victor is the person with the fewest piece segments left to play.
Can you think of other categories?