Hello and welcome to Big Boss Battle’s Best 50 Board Games We’ve Ever Reviewed list. It may not be as definitive an opinion as suggesting that these games are the best we’ve ever played, but it is a list of the best games that we’ve played through in detail, more than four or five times and, in most cases, still return to when the fancy takes us.
Board games come in all shapes and sizes (and we don’t just mean the boxes) and that’s part of the charm of board games. That makes a task like pulling together the top fifty of them an incredibly ambitious task. And, as with video games, there are some people who prefer to play certain types of games; party gaming, wargaming, and euro games are all vastly different.
So, considering that we have several groups of board gaming reviewers, who each have their own speciality, we’ve made an extra effort to try and highlight our shared favourites, and to weigh up each board game’s position here not just by individual reviewer’s opinion but by the actual stickiness of the game — the likelihood we are to recommend these games to friends just so that we can pull it down from the shelf and give it another go again.
If you’re in the market for a new game, you could do a lot worse than scan through this list for something that really takes your fancy; these are some of the best games to hold our attention over our many years of reviewing games.
Here’s rank 50 through to 41 in our countdown. You can find buttons to navigate to other pages at the bottom of the article.
Game: 8-Bit Box
In brief: 8-Bit Box claims to be the world’s first board game console and indeed, what it delivers is a set of components (including six control pads) that are used commonly across several other games. The core box includes three games, but more are sure to follow. 8-Bit Box is hugely colourful, very fast and an awful lot of fun. You can read our review here.
In brief: Where Inbetween is concerned, fans of Netflix series Stranger Things will feel immediately at home. This small box, two-player game pitches the forces of good and evil against each other for control of a small town that centres on the portal between two worlds. You can read about it in our review, here.
Game: The Grimm Forest
In brief: Whilst The Grimm Forest isn’t the most complex or deeply involving of games, it is both beautiful and engaging, with a story and cast of characters that will appeal to players of all ages. A wicked sense of humour runs through it as well, making it a great laugh when played with friends as a gateway experience. Here’s what we had to say about it.
Game: Cursed Court
In brief: With eye catching, inclusive artwork and larger than life components, Cursed Court delivers a simple betting and bluffing game that is much more than the sum of its parts. Whilst games of this genre won’t appeal to everyone, every collection deserves a game with this level of off-board interaction and engagement. You can find our review here.
Game: Dice Forge
In brief: We welcome the addition of non-traditional gateway games that challenge the tried and tested norm, and Dice Forge fits this bill perfectly. Playable in less than an hour and brimming with charm, Dice Forge is one to watch, especially for younger players. Gorgeous components and a low RRP add the icing to an already appealing cake. Here’s our review.
In brief: As a mixed-media gaming website, it would be remiss of us not to focus on board game adaptations of popular video games wherever possible. The 2016 edition of Doom from Fantasy Flight Games is one such adaption, and it’s also one of the best. This rip-roaring corridor shooter perfectly captures the pace of the modern video game and you can read more about it here.
Game: New Angeles
In brief: Few games feature open negotiation as finely balanced as that of New Angeles, which also introduces hidden objectives and the possibility of a loss for all players should they fail to maintain order within the titular special economic zone. Traditional Fantasy Flight Games build quality makes for an appealing setup that is bigger and broader than most negotiation focused games. Not one for everyone, but one of the best in its class, you can read our review here.
In brief: The debut game from long time YouTuber and blogger, Ricky Royal, Renegade is a complex and thematic area control, drafting and hand management game that is only playable solo or cooperatively. Renegade is fairly heavy, with complex rules and lots of colloquial language, but it’s worth persevering with, especially if you do appreciate a challenging puzzle to solve. Here’s our original review.
Game: Through the Ages: a New Story of Civilization
In brief: Through the Ages is Vlaada Chvátil’s magnum opus, and it has held its position in the top three games of all time on BoardGameGeek consistently since it was first released. Through the Ages is a stiflingly heavy but beautifully realised interpretation of Sid Meier’s Civilization series that plays out over three to four hours. If that sounds like your cup of tea, you can read more about it here.
Game: Railroad Rivals
In brief: If you’re looking for a fast paced, simple to learn railroad game that isn’t Ticket to Ride, then you could do a lot worse than to consider Railroad Rivals. This light, fun, stock trading and route building game is one of our favourite train games and I particularly like how it weaves just a few basic core mechanics together in a cohesive, easy to follow way. Here’s our review.