Home » The 25 Best Board Games Ever (Updated for 2019)

The 25 Best Board Games Ever (Updated for 2019)

Curious about what the best board games in the world are? Thousands of loyal fans of BoardGameGeek have voted and this is the current list of highest rated games in the world. Enjoy!

Best board games of all time

25. Orleans

Orleans board game review

Image courtesy of: LouisSparda @BoardGameGeek.

Orléans is a strategy board game set in medieval France. Besides its medieval theme it also involves religion and travel related activities. The core game mechanics revolve around deck / pool building, point-to-point movement and worker placement.

Score: 7.8
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 90 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 3.11 / 5

24. Concordia

Image courtesy of: kilroy_locke @BoardGameGeek.

Concordia is a strategy board game with a setting based in ancient Rome. It is a heavy economical based game in which you use ships to trade with distant posts. The core game mechanics involve card drafting, deck / pool building, hand management and point-to-point movement.

Score: 7.9
Players: 2-5
Playtime: 100 minutes
Age: 13+
Difficulty: 3.12 / 5

23. Star Wars Imperial Assault

Star Wars Imperial Assault board game

Image courtesy of: haslo @BoardGameGeek.

Star Wars Imperial Assault is a game set in the Star Wars universe. It is a science fiction Wargame in which you go on an adventure and have to fight your opponents. The core game mechanics are: dice rolling, grid movement and role-playing. Besides these core game mechanics you also have a modular board, can form partnerships with other players and have variable player powers. 

Score: 7.9
Players: 2-5
Playtime:  60-120 minutes
Age: 14+
Difficulty: 3.28 / 5

22. Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization

Through the ages a story of civilization board game

Image courtesy of: marticabre @BoardGameGeek.

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization is a strategic civilization building game which revolves heavily around economics. This is the 2006 version of the game which has gotten a remake since then which is actually a lot higher on this list (#3). The core mechanics involve hand management, card drafting and auction/bidding. Even tough this game has been replaced by its younger brother it still remains one of the most popular board games in the world. 

Score: 7.9
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 240 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 4.17 / 5

21. Mechs vs. Minions

Mechs vs. Minions board game

Image courtesy of: Dorhan @BoardGameGeek.

Mechs vs. Minions is a fantasy fighting game in which you fight with miniature mechs. This game heavily relies on the video game theme to bring character to the story. The main mechanics of this game are card drafting, dice rolling and action / movement programming. This game is a co-operative game with a modular board which gives it lots of variety. 

Score: 7.9
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 60-90 minutes
Age: 14+
Difficulty: 2.46 / 5

20. Viticulture

Viticulture board game

Viticulture is an economic / farming type of game. The game heavily relies on hand management and worker placement. It is set in Italy in pre-modern Tuscany. As the owner of a vineyard you just inherited you are responsible for the survival of this property through the season. 

Score: 7.9
Players: 1-6
Playtime: 45-90 minutes
Age: 13+
Difficulty: 2.94 / 5

19. Mansions of Madness

Mansions of Madness board game

Mansions of Madness is a Horror adventure and exploration game set in a haunted mansion. The game also has a modular board and can be played co-operative as well as alone! The game revolves around area movement, dice rolling and hand management to survive. The first version of this game entered the market in 2011 with the second edition coming in 2016.

Score: 7.9
Players: 1-5
Playtime: 120-180 minutes
Age: 14+
Difficulty: 2.64 / 5

18. Blood Rage

Blood Rage board game

Blood Rage is a fantasy fighting game set in a mythological world. The game features beautifully designed miniatures with which you move around. Beside moving and fighting you will be busy drafting cards and managing the cards in your hand. This game is one of the successful Kickstarter board game campaigns and even made it onto this best board games list!

Score: 7.9
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 60-90 minutes
Age: 14+
Difficulty: 2.89 / 5

17. Arkham Horror: The Card Game

Arkham Horror the card game

Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a fantasy horror adventure card game. It is based on a novel by H.P. Lovecraft. In this co-operative deck building and role-playing game you play with characters with variable powers. Core mechanics of this game are action point allowance and hand management. If you are a fan of the Cthulhu fantasies you will love this game! 

Score: 7.9
Players: 1-2
Playtime: 60-120 minutes
Age: 14+
Difficulty: 3.17 / 5

16. Mage Knight Board Game

Mage Knight Board Game

Image courtesy of: culturemind @BoardGameGeek.

Mage Knight The Board Game is a thematic strategy game. In this fantasy adventure you explore the word and fight baddies. You do can do this alone or co-operative by building a deck (drafting cards), moving around the board, rolling the dice and placing tiles. This game is a favorite single player game for a lot of die-hard board game fans and definitely deserves a spot on this list with the best board games!

Score: 7.9
Players: 1-4
Playtime: 150 minutes
Age: 14+
Difficulty: 4.23 / 5

15. Agricola

Agricola board game

Agricola is a strategy game involving farming and economics. You have to take care of your farm and spouse by taking care of the animals on the farm. You do this by card drafting, hand management, worker placement and area enclosure (for the animals).

Score: 7.9
Players: 1-5
Playtime: 30-150 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 3.63 / 5

14. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico board game

Image courtesy of: kilroy_locke @BoardGameGeek.

Puerto Rico is a strategy game revolving around city building, economics and farming. The country it is set in won’t surprise anyone, namely Puerto Rico, but during colonial times. You play as the governor of this colonial province and have to ship goods to Europe which will award victory points to you, the player.

Score: 8.0
Players: 2-5
Playtime: 90-150 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 3.29 / 5

13. Caverna: The Cave Farmers

Caverna - The Cave Farmers board game

Image courtesy of: tinwe @BoardGameGeek.

Caverna: The Cave Farmers is a strategy game set in a fantasy world and focuses on economic activities including farming and taking care of your family and animals. The core mechanics of the game are worker placement and tile placement, which makes Caverna a very diverse game to play, not two games will ever be the same. Caverna is the successor to Agricola (#15 on this list). This board game can also be played solo, what a lot of players like.

Score: 8.0
Players: 1-7
Speelduur: 30-210 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 3.78 / 5

12. War of the Ring

War of the Ring board game

Image courtesy of: fubar awol @BoardGameGeek.

War of the Ring is a thematic Wargame set in the novel-based world of Tolkien. In this Fantasy adventure game you build your territory and place miniatures (which most people who love Tolkien will love! They look so cool). The game revolves around hand management, controlling your action points and moving around the game board. There is a first and second edition available, as well as a collectors’ edition.

Score: 8.0
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 150-180 minutes
Age: 13+
Difficulty: 4.02 / 5

11. The Castles of Burgundy

The Castles of Burgundy Board Game

The Castles of Burgundy is a strategy game set in medieval France (Burgundy) and heavily revolves around territory building. You build up your land by placing tiles. You play against other aristocrats (players) who are also trying to gain more land. During the game you try to collect a set of matching tiles. Fun part about these games and a reason why so many people place it on the list of best board games is the variable phase order. There is also a less popular card and dice variant of the game. You can read my full Burgundy review here.

Score: 8.0
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 30-90 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 3.03 / 5

10. 7 Wonders Duel

7 wonders duel board game

Image courtesy of: PZS69 @BoardGameGeek.

We are now entering the top 10 best board games ever with 7 Wonders Duel.

In 7 Wonders Duel is a card game in which you draft cards and try to collect sets. You play as a civilization of ancient times and try to advance your military and scientific development to eventually build wonders. There is 1 expansion available at the moment called 7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon which was released in 2016. You can read my full 7 Wonders Duel review here.

Score: 8.0
Players: 2
Playtime: 30 minutes
Age: 10+
Difficulty: 2.25 / 5

9. Great Western Trail

Great Western Trail board game

Great Western Trail is a strategy game set in the American West. You are a rancher and move with your cattle from Texas to the city of Kansas. In Kansas City you are able to sell your cattle for a profit. During the game you are busy deck / pool building, managing your hand and moving your meeples around.

Great Western trail deserves a spot on the list with best board games ever because between 2016 and 2018 it collected more than 14 Awards & Honors.

Score: 8.0
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 75-150 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 3.69 / 5

8. Scythe

Scythe board game

Scythe is another game which was successfully funded on Kickstarter. In total more than 17.000 people backed this game for over 1.8 million dollars. This strategic territory building game involves grid movement and variable player powers. It is set in an alternate history during the 1920s in Europe. One of the best parts, and why scythe is on this list, is that the action-selection is very streamlined. There are no rounds or phases as in many other games, which keeps the game play fast.

With over 22 Awards & Honors between 2016 and 2017 Scythe definitely is one of the best can most popular games of all time!

Score: 8.1
Players: 1-5
Playtime: 90-115 minutes
Age: 14+
Difficulty: 3.36 / 5

7. Terra Mystica

Terra Mystica Board Game

Image courtesy of: duchamp @BoardGameGeek.

Terra Mystica is a beautifully designed territory building strategy game. It heavily revolves around economic activities, network building and area control. Many people like the minimal luck factor of the game which really rewards strategic play. You can also get a expansion for the game called Fire & Ice, which is very good as well!

Score: 8.1
Players: 2-5
Playtime: 60-150 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 3.94 / 5

6. Star Wars: Rebellion 

Star Wars - Rebellion board game

Star Wars: Rebellion is a thematic strategy game set in the Star Wars universe. Players play either as part of the Galactic Empire or Rebel Alliance. Rebellion is a form of Wargame in which you fight with miniatures in this science fiction setting. During the game you roll the dice, move your miniatures around the board and form partnerships to finally emerge as victor!

Rebellion was probably the most awarded game in 2016 with prestigious awards as Golden Geek Best 2-Player Board Game. With 12 Awards & Honors Rebellion could not be missed on this list.

Score: 8.2
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 180-240 minutes
Age: 14+
Difficulty: 3.61 / 5

5. Terraforming Mars

Terraforming mars review

Terraforming Mars is a manufacturing and territory building strategy game. You can read our full Terraforming Mars review here.

Score: 8.2
Players: 1-5
Playtime: 120 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 3.26 / 5

4. Twilight Struggle 

Twilight Struggle Board Game

Image courtesy of: Thommy8 @BoardGameGeek.

Twilight Struggle is one of the best board games of all time because of its perfect blend of Strategy and Wargame. In this quick-playing political strategy game you play during the cold war (1945-1989) and move unites across the world map to exert influence. If you love history and 2 player games Twilight Struggle will not disappoint you.

Score: 8.2 
Players: 2

Playtime: 120-180 minutes
Age: 13+
Difficulty: 3.55 / 5

3. Through the ages: A New Story of Civilization

Through the ages- A New Story of Civilization board game

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization is the new edition of Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (which is on position 22 on this list), with many changes small and large to the game’s cards over its three ages and extensive changes to how military works.

The core mechanics remained the same in this civilization building game and people who loved the first game will certainly love this new edition! There is also a application of this game so you can play it on your table or phone!

Score: 8.3
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 180-240 minutes
Age: 14+
Difficulty: 4.36 / 5

2. Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Pandemic Legacy- Season 1 board game

Image courtesy of: geigersplat @BoardGameGeek.

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is a legacy type of game in which you play a co-operative campaign of 12-24 missions, depending on how well you do. Pandemic Legacy: Season one is part of the larger pandemic series, including Pandemic Legacy: Season 2.

Score: 8.5
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 60 minutes
Age: 13+
Difficulty: 2.81 / 5

1. Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven board game

At the very top of the best board games of all time stands Gloomhaven. It is a Euro-inspired tactical combat game in a persistent world of shifting motives. This game is ideally played over may game sessions, as when you finish one session you can decide how the story continues. Which makes Gloomhaven a truly fantastic game and deserving of the #1 position on this list.

Score: 8.6
Players: 1-4
Playtime: 30-120 minutes
Age: 12+
Difficulty: 3.78 / 5

And this concludes our list of best board games of all time. Remember that if a game is not in this list it might still be a very good game, these games are just the top of the iceberg.