Board games, despite having been a bit of a niche product for the last decades, have been steadily gaining in popularity. Sure, we’ve all played Monopoly and Chess at some point, but what are truly the best board games out there? Let’s find out.
Pandemic Legacy has you act as a team of people trying to stop a worldwide pandemic from happening. You each pick a role that excel at a specific task and prevent four different kinds of viruses from taking over the world. This being a legacy board game means that everything you do will have an impact on your further games. You might even lose some of your precious characters to the virus …
Kingdom Death: Monster
Think of Monster Hunter: World, but add a bit of base building to it. You wake up in a dark, post-apocalyptic world and hunt creatures to create better armor and weapons. These then allow you to hunt even stronger creatures. It sounds simple enough, but the sheer scope of this game cannot be described in words. The only reason why it’s still not very popular in mainstream boardgaming is because it is ridiculously expensive (the core box sets you back $400 despite it having enough content to last your for years).
If you love RPG’s, this is your game. Story-wise Gloomhaven isn’t breaking any records, but the card-based tactical combat make it truly an amazing experience. And it also, like Pandemic Legacy, has legacy components in new classes that you can unlock. Probably the best tactical RPG you can get on the tabletop.
Brass is an entirely different beast: both versions (Lancashire and Birmingham) deal with trade and economy and set you up against other players. Try to use your available moves to the fullest to invest in the right product and make the highest profit by the end of the game!
The premise of this game is quite simple: you’re on Mars and you have to make sure that people can inhabit it by manipulating certain parameters like oxygen levels and water. If you succeed in making Mars habitable, the person who helped the most becomes the winner.
Scythe is a game that deals with an alternate steampunk reality. You build machines, fight other players, try to make your “engine” work. It has loads of expansions that all add a different mechanic to the game but even just the base game is a wonderful experience.
Twilight Struggle is the ultimate war game. While most wargames deal with Vietnam or Korea or any of the World Wars, this game deals with the war that lasted the longest: the Cold War. One player plays as the Soviet Union and the other player becomes the United States. The game deals with the period from 1945 to 1989, and this time you can decide who wins.
War of the Ring (Second Edition)
If you like Risk and Lord of the Rings, this is for you. One player plays as the armies of Sauron, the other player plays as the Free People. The rest of the game pretty much plays like Risk with some stuff added to it that make it more LOTR-y, but it’s such a great game.
This game is basically the best time to have if you’re with five or six players and want to spend an entire evening taking over the galaxy. You each pick a faction and will use trade, diplomacy, technology and war to become the superior race. Much like War of the Ring this game obviously has its roots in Risk, but it goes so much further – literally and figuratively.
Through The Ages: A New Story of Civilization
Sid Meier’s Civilization has been one of the most popular games for decades, and this board game is the tabletop equivalent of it. It’s the best version of the many, many attempts that have been made to transport Civilization to an offline variant.
Star Wars: Rebellion
One player is the Empire trying to find the Rebel base, the other player plays as the Rebels trying to fool the Empire. The catch is that the Rebel player can, given certain conditions, move his base to a new location, which will undo some of the Empire player’s research into its location. It’s a lovely game of cat and mouse in the best kind of packages: a Star Wars one.