Board Games that Tabletop Players WIll Love

image of Kate Hughes
By |
Board Games that Tabletop Players WIll Love

Lovers of classic board games like Monopoly, Risk, and Sorry! rejoice! We are smack in the middle of a renaissance of tabletop gaming, with new and exciting games hitting the market on a consistent basis. From high energy party games to intricate and sophisticated strategy games, there has never been a better time to play. Looking for a new adventure to spice up game night? Or are you attempting to bring the next generation to the table? Look no further than our list of the best new board games.


01

Choose Your Own Adventure

Choose Your Own Adventure

Were you and your crew obsessed with those Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid? Want to relive that thrill as an adult? Gloomhaven is the way to go.

Gloomhaven is for 2-4 players and typically offers between 60 and 120 of playtime per game. Players must work together to clear out dungeons, gain experience, and expand their story, which can be built upon game-after-game. Gloomhaven uses an innovative card system to drive gameplay and is meant for players 12 years and up.

Editor's Note: This game is wildly popular and is currently out of stock on Amazon. We recommend buying it anyway and letting it ship once Amazon has more in stock. It's that good.

02

Explore New Frontiers

Explore New Frontiers

For many tabletop gamers, this is THE game of the 2018. Released just last year, Terraforming Mars offers over 200 different missions to complete for 1 to 5 players ages 12 and up.

The game takes place in the 2400s, as humans begin to terraform the planet Mars. Players must do everything from raise the planet's temperature and oxygen levels to expanding ocean coverage to make the Mars environment habitable. As the game progresses, the process becomes more complicated because more and more people will immigrate from Earth to Mars.

Players earn points for not only making Mars more habitable for humans, but for expanding civilization across the Red Planet. At the end of the game, the person with the most points wins.

03

Create a Universe

Create a Universe

The objective of this game is to become the Grand Architect of the Universe—a lofty endeavor indeed! Stellium is a game for ages 10 and up in which gamers play as the first Divinities to appear from the Chaos. As these divinities, players work to align astral bodies (in the form of gorgeous multi-textured marbles) in accordance with goal cards. Whoever earns the most goal cards by the end of the game is the winner.

Stellium is for 2-4 players and has a play time of between 30 and 60 minutes.

04

Eat In

Eat In

This fast-paced, family-oriented board game offers play for between 2 and 6 players in quick, 30-minute sessions. Players compete with each other to build pizzas with delicious ingredients while earning as many points as possible.

Every time a player slices a pizza, they also get a "Today's Special" card, that affords them special powers or points, like the ability to call dibs on a slice. At the end of a came, points are tallied and whoever has the most slices of a type of pizza wins the points.

New York Slice is for ages 8 and up and is great for parties!

05

Tell a Story

Tell a Story

In this magical kingdom, a princess, a knight, and a dragon are looking for adventure. It's the players' job to build the kingdom around them by laying down tiles to build the landscape around them. Players are able to create mountains, forests, and plains and guide the princess, knight, and dragon in accomplishing objectives written on the pages of each player's "Book." As an objective is accomplished, the player is able to read that page aloud. The first player to read their entire Book wins.

This game is meant for players ages 8 and up. Each game lasts about 30 minutes and 2-4 people are able to play at a time.

06

Get Loud

Get Loud

This chaotic and raucous game is fantastic for parties. Players scream and shout as they work together to try and repair a malfunctioning spaceship on the brink of being sucked into a black hole. Team coordination is a huge part of the game, as each player is responsible for repairing malfunctions in their own individual sectors of the ship. If one person fails, everyone fails.

Each round only lasts 5 minutes, so players have to work quick to find all the right tools to get the ship into tip-top shape.

For 3-6 players, this game can get a little intense and is best for ages 10 and up. 

07

Grow a Forest

Grow a Forest

This strategy board game has players planting and shaping an ever-growing forest, taking trees through their full life-cycle from seedling to full-bloom. Players must take care though, as they grow their forests, as trees need sunlight to grow and those left in the shade are unable to earn points.

Each player of Photosynthesis gets his or her own board. The game comes with gorgeous pieces representing 4 species each of small, medium and big trees.

Photosynthesis accommodates 2-4 players and was created for ages 8 and up.

08

Apocalyptic Survival

Apocalyptic Survival

Taking place after the apocalypse, Remnants is a survival game in which players must build a compounds and fight to survive raiders and mutant creatures looking to bring them down. Players are able to send survivors into the "Badlands" to find different resources, which are acquired by rolling dice. These resources can be used to buy weapons, defense, and special development cards. You then use resource cards to stay alive and fend off attacks.

Meant for 2-4 players age 13 and up. Each game of Remnants lasts about 1 hour.

09

Search For Gold

Search For Gold

With more than 100,000 possible board layouts, Quest for El Dorado is an ever-changing, deck-building, adventure game for 2-4 players ages 10 and up.

Players take on the role of a group of daring adventurers searching for the lost City of Gold. Throughout the game, players can accumulate equipment  to assist them on their quest. The first player to find El Dorado and cross into the city is the winner. Each game takes about 60 minutes to complete.

Players don't just love this game, it's garnered industry attention as well. It was a finalist for 2017 Game of the Year. 

10

Historic Details

Historic Details

Ok, we'll cop to it, this game was actually released a few years ago, but we put it on the list because it's one of the highest-rated contemporary board games out there. In Splendor, players work to become a Renaissance Jeweler, collecting raw gems that will then be turned into polished jewels and sold to high nobility, or even royalty!

The game is full of beautiful historic details and requires quick thinking and strategy for players to build their businesses.

For ages 10 and up, Splendor can be played by 2-4 people. It's also not overly complicated, making it a great gateway game for young gamers.

11

Make Friends...and Enemies

Make Friends...and Enemies

To win this strategic card game, players must assemble an army of seven unicorns to become the Righteous Ruler of All Things Magical. You start with a Baby Unicorn in your stable and through card-drawn upgrades, downgrades, and magic, you can build your army. Be aware, though, that cards impact other players, so it's very possible that you'll make a few enemies along the way looking to thwart your progress!

This game is best for players aged 14 and older and can accommodate as few as 2 players or as many as 8.

12

Seize Control

Seize Control

This 3-4 player game is simultaneously a bidding and area control endeavor. Using tokens, players are able to bid against their opponents to win support and get people on your side for a revolution! Support can be gained through good, old-fashioned bribery and blackmail. Each ally is worth a certain amount of points, and the revolutionary with the most support at the end wins the game.

Each game of Revolution! requires a mix of strategy and luck, and only takes about an hour to complete.

13

Sneak Around

Sneak Around

Secret Hitler is a game of political intrigue and betrayal set in 1930s Germany. The players are divided into two teams—liberals and fascists. The fascists' goal is to install Hitler into power, while the liberals aim to stop them. The majority of players are liberal, with a minority of fascists. However, the fascists know who each other are, making them an insidious force to reckon with!

Secret Hitler is a great party game, as it requires 5-10 people to play. It's also one of the more adult-oriented games on this list. No little kids for this one. 

14

Hunt Monsters

Hunt Monsters

This 10-minute party game will have your entire group of friends howling. It's really simple to play—download the accompanying free app, select your cards, and go. Players randomly draw cards to determine their character, which could be a good guy—like a witch, bodyguard, or curator—or one of the bad guys, all of which are different types of werewolves. Basically, the good guys have to figure out who the werewolves are. If they discover the wolves, they win. If they don't, the werewolves win.

This game plays 3-7 people at a time and requires very little space, making it perfect for road trips!

15

Blow It Up

Blow It Up

Touted as a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions, Exploding Kittens is a fast-paced card game for between 2-5 players (or up to 9, with two decks).

The game is highly strategic and works a little like Russian Roulette—you keep drawing cards until you explode. However, you can acquire cards that give you an edge, like diffusion cards that distract the exploding kitties or cards that let you skip your turn.

This game was the result of the most-funded game in the history of Kickstarter and features illustrations from internet favorite The Oatmeal. 

16

A Game We're Looking Forward To

A Game We're Looking Forward To

For fans of the classic flash cartoon site HomestarRunner.com, Trogdor the Burninator needs no introduction. For those unfamiliar with Homestar Runner and Trogdor, click HERE. You won't be disappointed.

Ok, now that we're all on the same page, the great minds behind HomestarRunner.com have created a board game in which up to six people can assist Trogdor in his endeavors to burninate an entire village and all of the peasants who live there. Players come up against knights and archers and must defeat them to continue on their path of destruction.

The game absolutely obliterated its Kickstarter goal of $75,000, with more than $944,000 pledged when this article was posted. It should start shipping to backers in June of next year. Learn more about the game HERE.

At The Guide, we find products that help you thrive.

When you use our links, we may earn a commission, but it will never cost you extra or impact our recommendations.


Learn More

The Guide Team