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Playing Top 10 board games for each genre for fun

Updated: Feb 10, 2023


We use the data source from BoardGameGeek | Gaming Unplugged Since 2000 for the ranking for the best board games, which is quite objective. BoardGameGeed is one of the largest board game communities. There are 2 ways we create the rankings: by number of voters (more voters mean more popularity.) and by Geek Rating (high ratings mean more fun). We only list the top 50 games for all genres, and we only recommend the relatively quicker games.


For dungeon-crawler game, the top 5 games of the highest voters are:

  1. Gloomhaven (2017): Gloomhaven - Cephalofair, one of the best strategy, solo and cooperative games, 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes play, age 14+. This game has a E-game version, and the link can be found on the official website.

  2. Betrayal at House on the Hill (2004): 3-6players, 60 minutes play, age 12+.

For dungeon-crawler game, the top 5 games of the highest Geek Ratings are:

  1. Gloomhaven (2017): Gloomhaven - Cephalofair, one of the best strategy, solo and cooperative games, 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes play, age 14+. This game has a E-game version, and the link can be found on the official website.

  2. Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (2020): Gloomhaven Board Game - Cephalofair, one of the best solo and cooperative games, 1-4 players, 30-120 minutes play, age 14+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by solo and family.

  3. Nemesis (2018): Nemesis - Awaken Realms, one of the best thematic games, 1-5 players, 90-180 minutes play, age 12+.


For engine-builder game, the top 5 games of the highest voters are:

  1. CATAN (1995): Welcome to the World of CATAN | Home | CATAN, one of the best family games, 3-4 players, 60-120 minutes play, age 10+. This game has a E-game version, and the link can be found on the official website.

  2. Scythe (2016): Scythe – Stonemaier Games, one of the best strategy and solo games, 1-5 players, 90-115 minutes play, age 14+.

  3. Puerto Rico (2002): Puerto Rico Deluxe Edition - Rio Grande Games : Rio Grande Games, one of the best family games, 3-5 players, 90-150 minutes play, age 12+.

  4. The Castles of Burgundy (2011): one of the best strategy and family games, 2-4 players, 30-90 minutes play, age 12+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family.

  5. Race for the Galaxy (2007): Race for the Galaxy - Rio Grande Games : Rio Grande Games, one of the best card and 2-player games, 2-4 players, 30-60 minutes play, age 12+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family. This game has a E-game version, and the link can be found on the official website.

For engine-builder game, the top 5 games of the highest Geek Ratings are:

  1. Brass: Birmingham (2018): Brass: Birmingham (roxley.com), one of the best strategy games, 2-4 players, 60-120 minutes play, age 14+.

  2. Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition (2017): Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition (fantasyflightgames.com), one of the best strategy games, 3-6 players, 240-480 minutes play, age 14+. This game takes too long time to play.

  3. Great Western Trail (2016): one of the best strategy games, 2-4 players, 75-150 minutes play, age 12+.

  4. Scythe (2016): Scythe – Stonemaier Games, one of the best strategy and solo games, 1-5 players, 90-115 minutes play, age 14+.

  5. Brass: Lancashire (2007): Brass: Lancashire (roxley.com), one of the best strategy games, 2-4 players, 60-120 minutes play, age 14+.


For campaign/legacy game, the top 5 games of the highest voters are:

  1. Pandemic (2008): one of the best family, 2-player and cooperative games, 2-4 players, 45 minutes play, age 8+. This is a very good and relatively fast game, can be played by family.

  2. Gloomhaven (2017): Gloomhaven - Cephalofair, one of the best strategy, solo and cooperative games, 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes play, age 14+. This game has a E-game version, and the link can be found on the official website.

  3. Pandemic Legacy - Season 1 (2015): Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 | Z-MAN Games (zmangames.com), one of the best strategy and cooperative games, 2-4 players, 60 minutes play, age 13+.

For campaign/legacy game, the top 5 games of the highest Geek Ratings are:

  1. Gloomhaven (2017): Gloomhaven - Cephalofair, one of the best strategy, solo and cooperative games, 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes play, age 14+. This game has a E-game version, and the link can be found on the official website.

  2. Pandemic Legacy - Season 1 (2015): Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 | Z-MAN Games (zmangames.com), one of the best strategy and cooperative games, 2-4 players, 60 minutes play, age 13+.

  3. Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (2020): Gloomhaven Board Game - Cephalofair, one of the best solo and cooperative games, 1-4 players, 30-120 minutes play, age 14+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by solo and family.

  4. Clank!: Legacy – Acquisitions Incorporated (2019): Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated - Dire Wolf Digital, one of the best strategy games, 2-4 players, 90-120 minutes play, age 13+.

  5. Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 (2017): Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 | Z-MAN Games (zmangames.com), one of the best strategy and cooperative games, 2-4 players, 60 minutes play, age 14+.


For drafting game, the top 5 games of the highest voters are:

  1. 7 Wonders (2010): one of the best strategy, card and family games, 2-7 players, 30 minutes play, age 10+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family.

  2. Terraforming Mars (2016): Terraforming Mars – FryxGames, one of the best strategy, solo and family games, 1-5 players, 120 minutes play, age 12+. This game has a E-game version, and the link can be found on the official website.

  3. Ticket to Ride (2004): Ticket to Ride – a board game by Alan R. Moon, published by Days of Wonder, one of the best family games, 2-5 players, 30-60 minutes play, age 8+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family. This game has a E-game version, and the link can be found on the official website.

  4. 7 Wonders Duel (2015): 7 Wonders Duel: the essential two-player game! - Repos Production (rprod.com), one of the best strategy, card and 2-player games, 2 players, 30 minutes play, age 10+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by 2 players.

  5. Agricola (2007): one of the best family and 2-player games, 1-5 players, 30-150 minutes play, age 12+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by solo and family.

For drafting game, the top 5 games of the highest Geek Ratings are:

  1. Ark Nova (2021): Ark Nova - Capstone Games (capstone-games.com), one of the best solo games, 1-4 players, 90-150 minutes play, age 14+.

  2. Terraforming Mars (2016): Terraforming Mars – FryxGames, one of the best strategy, solo and family games, 1-5 players, 120 minutes play, age 12+. This game has a E-game version, and the link can be found on the official website.

  3. Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization (2015): Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization « Czech Games Edition | Boardgame Publisher, one of the best strategy games, 2-4 players, 120 minutes play, age 14+.

  4. Dune: Imperium (2020): Dune: Imperium - Board Game - Dire Wolf Digital, one of the best solo and card games, 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes play, age 14+.

  5. 7 Wonders Duel (2015): 7 Wonders Duel: the essential two-player game! - Repos Production (rprod.com), one of the best strategy, card and 2-player games, 2 players, 30 minutes play, age 10+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by 2 players.


For area control game, the top 5 games of the highest voters are:

  1. Carcassonne (2000): Carcassonne | Z-MAN Games (zmangames.com), one of the best family games, 2-5 players, 30-45 minutes play, age 7+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family.

  2. Small World (2009): Small World, the fun, zany, light-hearted civilization boardgame from Days of Wonder | Days of Wonder, one of the best strategy and family games, 2-5 players, 40-80 minutes play, age 8+. This is a very good and relatively fast game, can be played by family. This game has a E-game version, and the link can be found on the official website.

  3. Power Grid (2004): one of the best strategy games, 2-6 players, 120 minutes play, age 12+.

  4. Twilight Struggle (2005): one of the best 2-player games, 2 players, 120-180 minutes play, age 13+.

  5. Terra Mystica (2012): Terra Mystica - Capstone Games (capstone-games.com), one of the best strategy and family games, 2-5 players, 60-150 minutes play, age 12+.

For area control game, the top 5 games of the highest Geek Ratings are:

  1. Star Wars - Rebellion (2016): Star Wars: Rebellion (fantasyflightgames.com), one of the best strategy and 2-player games, 2-4 players, 180-240 minutes play, age 14+. This game takes pretty long time to play.

  2. Gaia Project (2017): Gaia Project - Capstone Games (capstone-games.com), one of the best strategy and solo games, 1-4 players, 60-150 minutes play, age 12+.

  3. Spirit Island (2017): Spirit Island FAQ (querki.net), one of the best strategy, solo and cooperative games, 1-4 players, 90-120 minutes play, age 13+.

  4. War of the Ring: Second Edition (2011): WOTR001 – War of the Ring – Second Edition « Ares Games, 2-4 players, 150-180 minutes play, age 13+. This game takes pretty long time to play.

  5. Twilight Struggle (2005): one of the best war and 2-player games, 2 players, 120-180 minutes play, age 13+. This game can only be played by 2 players and takes pretty long time to play.


For dice game (roll-and-write and roll-and-move), the top 5 games of the highest voters are:

  1. Wingspan (2019): Wingspan – Stonemaier Games, one of the best strategy, solo, card and family games, 1-5 players, 40-70 minutes play, age 10+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by solo and family. This game has a E-game version, and the link can be found on the official website.

  2. King of Tokyo (2011): one of the best family and party games, 2-6 players, 30 minutes play, age 8+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family or in a party.

  3. Dead of Winter - A Crossroads Game (2014): Dead of Winter (fantasyflightgames.com), one of the best cooperative games, 2-5 players, 60-120 minutes play, age 13+.

  4. Robinson Crusoe - Adventures on the Cursed Island (2012): Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island | Board Games That Tell Stories (portalgames.pl), one of the best strategy games, 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes play, age 14+. This is not a pure dice game.

  5. Arkham Horror (2005): Arkham Horror Third Edition (fantasyflightgames.com), 1-8 players, 120-240 minutes play, age 14+. This takes too long to play.

For dice game (roll-and-write and roll-and-move), the top 5 games of the highest Geek Ratings are:

  1. The Castles of Burgundy (2011): one of the best strategy and family games, 2-4 players, 30-90 minutes play, age 12+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family.

  2. A Feast for Odin (2016): one of the best strategy and solo games, 1-4 players, 30-120 minutes play, age 12+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by solo and family.

  3. Wingspan (2019): Wingspan – Stonemaier Games, one of the best strategy, solo, card and family games, 1-5 players, 40-70 minutes play, age 10+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by solo and family. This game has a E-game version, and the link can be found on the official website.

  4. Root (2018): Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right – Leder Games, one of the best strategy games, 2-4 players, 60-90 minutes play, age 10+.

  5. Too Many Bones (2017): Chip Theory Games - Makers of premium tabletop experiences, one of the solo and cooperative games, 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes play, age 12+.


For card game (deckbuilder, deck construction or mostly card), the top 5 games of the highest voters are:

  1. Dominion (2008): Dominion - Rio Grande Games : Rio Grande Games (wpengine.com), one of the best card and family games, 2-4 players, 30 minutes play, age 13+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family.

  2. Codenames (2015): Codenames « Czech Games Edition | Boardgame Publisher, one of the best party, family and short games, 2-8 players, 15 minutes play, age 14+. This is a very good and very fast game, can be played by family or in a party.

  3. Splendor (2014): one of the best card, family and short games, 2-4 players, 30 minutes play, age 10+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family.

  4. Love Letter (2012): Love Letter | Z-MAN Games (zmangames.com), one of the best card, family and party games, 2-4 players, 20 minutes play, age 10+. This is a very good and very fast game, can be played by family or in a party.

  5. Dixit (2008): one of the best family, party and children games, 3-6 players, 30 minutes play, age 8+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family.

For card game (deckbuilder, deck construction or mostly card), the top 5 games of the highest Geek Ratings are:

  1. Arkham Horror - The Card Game (2016): Arkham Horror: The Card Game (fantasyflightgames.com), one of the best solo, card and cooperative games, 1-2 players, 60-120 minutes play, age 14+.

  2. Mage Knight Board Game (2011): The Mage Knight Board Game : WizKids Games, one of the best strategy games, 1-4 players, 60-240 minutes play, age 14+. This is not a pure card game, but combining elements of RPGs, deck-building, and traditional board games.

  3. Marvel Champions - The Card Game (2019): Marvel Champions: The Card Game (fantasyflightgames.com), one of the best solo, card and cooperative games, 1-4 players, 45-90 minutes play, age 14+. This is a very good and relatively fast game, can be played by solo and family.

  4. The Crew: Mission Deep Sea (2021): one of the best cooperative games, 2-5 players, 20 minutes play, age 10+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family.

  5. The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine (2019): one of the best family, card and cooperative games, 2-5 players, 20 minutes play, age 10+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family.


For abstract game, the top 5 games of the highest voters are:

  1. Azul (2017): Azul | Next Move Games | Michael Kiesling | Chris Quilliams (planbgames.com), one of the best family and short games, 2-4 players, 30-45 minutes play, age 8+. This is a very good and pretty fast game, can be played by family.

  2. Patchwork (2014): Lookout Spiele - Patchwork (lookout-spiele.de), one of the best abstract, family and 2-player games, 2 players, 15-30 minutes play, age 8+. This is a very good and very fast game, can be played by 2 players.


In summary, the best board games to play are as follows:


Dungeon-crawler games: Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (2020).


Engine-builder games: The Castles of Burgundy (2011), Race for the Galaxy (2007).


Campaign/legacy games: Pandemic (2008), Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (2020).


Drafting games: 7 Wonders (2010), Ticket to Ride (2004), 7 Wonders Duel (2015), Agricola (2007).


Area control games: Carcassonne (2000), Small World (2009).


Dice games: Wingspan (2019), King of Tokyo (2011), The Castles of Burgundy (2011), A Feast for Odin (2016).


Card games: Dominion (2008), Codenames (2015), Splendor (2014), Love Letter (2012), Dixit (2008), Marvel Champions - The Card Game (2019), The Crew: Mission Deep Sea (2021), The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine (2019).


Abstract games: Azul (2017), Patchwork (2014).


Solo games: Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (2020), Agricola (2007), Wingspan (2019), A Feast for Odin (2016), Marvel Champions - The Card Game (2019)


Cooperative games: Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (2020), Pandemic (2008), Marvel Champions - The Card Game (2019), The Crew: Mission Deep Sea (2021), The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine (2019)


Family games: Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (2020), The Castles of Burgundy (2011), Pandemic (2008), 7 Wonders (2010), Ticket to Ride (2004), Agricola (2007), Carcassonne (2000), Small World (2009), Wingspan (2019), King of Tokyo (2011), A Feast for Odin (2016), Dominion (2008), Codenames (2015), Splendor (2014), Love Letter (2012), Dixit (2008), Marvel Champions - The Card Game (2019), The Crew: Mission Deep Sea (2021), The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine (2019), Azul (2017)


Party games: King of Tokyo (2011), Codenames (2015), Love Letter (2012), Dixit (2008)



You are welcome to share your best board games in our forum.


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I already played Pandemic (2008), and think it's very easy to learn and also fun to play for a family. I have Ticket to Ride (Europe) and Small World (World of Warcraft). I don't think there would be much difference from the original versions. Ticket to Ride is good for a family to play, while Small World could be love of the boys. If you can get second-hand games, those are not expensive at all.

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Just tried the Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (2020), it's really a wonderful game, and my son loves it very much. The setup takes some time, and it takes some efforts to learn the rules. But once you understand the basic rules, you will be attracted to the game. This should be a love of the boys. A second-hand game just costs about $30, which is very worth the price. This game can be played with 1 player, but I don't think that would be fun. So at least 2 players.

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