Here at Mox we see hundreds of thousands of board games pass through our stores every year. While Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Monopoly are all games that we love and cherish, there are a ton of board games out there that may not get the credit they deserve. We took a look at the data, and here are our all-time favorite board games (according to our sales numbers).
Best Kids Games
A great way to bring the family together is with board games. Secretly, these games are just as popular with grown-ups as they are with kids. If you’re looking to incorporate some learning into playtime make sure to read our blog post about educational board games for the whole family.
Set is a wonderful quick card game, where the object is to find patterns in the cards. This game is under $20 but has a ton of replayability, portability, and easy rules. Best of all, people of all ages enjoy playing it, which is why it’s a must for taking over for family dinners, and get-togethers.
Rhino Hero is one of our go-to recommendations for a reason. It’s fun to play, challenging to win, and has enough strategy to keep you coming back for more. Unlike other dexterity games, this one is lightweight and travels very easily. If your kids enjoy games like Jenga, or Suspend, give Rhino Hero a try.
Perfect for those with young ones that aren’t quite ready to read, this is another popular choice in our lending library. Roll dice, collect crystals, and race to the finish line in Unicorn Glitterluck. With a very cute theme and clear rules, Unicorn Glitterluck is a hit with any young one. Not a fan of unicorns? Try Dragon Rapid Fire, which has the same rules with a slightly different theme.
- Gonuts for Donuts
- Animal Upon Animal
- Dr Eureka
Best Coop Games
Some people feel that board games are better when you work together! If you and your game group are totally over flipping your game table at the end of the night, give these cooperative games a try.
Work together to fix a fireworks display before it goes off. Communication is key to winning this cooperative card game. You can’t see your own cards and must rely on other player’s clues to figure out what card to play next. This simple card game is a blend of deduction, memory, and working together makes it stand out against other board games, and perfect for a picnic. It’s also the winner of the 2013 Spiel des Jahres award, and our hearts.
Yup, it’s 2020 and we can’t keep Pandemic on the shelves. Despite what the title suggests, it’s a very fun and strategic game for the whole family. You assume the role of experts working together to stop the spread of the 4 deadly viruses plaguing the world. With multiple expansions, Legacy versions, and even a beautiful anniversary edition with upgraded pieces, this is a new classic board game to add to your collection.
Work together to discover the treasures, before the island sinks. This board game is a perfect way to introduce your gaming group to a cooperative game. We tend to hand it out from our lending library quite a bit, and people love to take it home with them. You can make each game a bit more challenging, and the changing tiles keep the game interesting each time you play.
- The Mind
- Arkham Horror
Best Two Player Games
Two player games is one of the most popular game categories in our store. We’ve written a couple of blog posts that dive into these wonderful games that play in under 30 minutes and that play between 30 minutes and an hour. Check out our all-time favorite two player board games, and see if one peaks your interest.
Uwe Rosenburg’s Patchwork is a classic two-player game. Take turns grabbing Tetris style pieces to add to your quilt, as you do you earn buttons which will help you win the game. Patchwork is an excellent game to introduce someone to board games for the first time. Even as a simple board game it still has plenty of strategy that makes it fun for those who play a lot of board games.
Race around the world and back again in this quick card game for two. Odin’s Ravens plays quickly, contains strategic decision making, and is a local favorite to hand out for those looking to play a game over lunch. This game makes a perfect stocking stuffer or a great gift for gamers and non-gamers alike. Also, it has beautiful artwork and theme. What’s not to love?
Another fantastic card game by Richard Garfield, Keyforge is a game like no other. To play, you only need two Keyforge decks and some tokens. The decks are pre-built, unique, and random every time you buy a sealed deck. The fun part about this game is that you can not add or take away cards from these decks. Use what you have, and some strategy, to beat your opponents. This card game combines easy entry into the game, the satisfaction of opening a great deck, and a low price point that makes it very popular. Grab a deck or two to try out yourself!
- Jaipur (You can read more about Jaipur here)
Best Deduction Games
Deduction games are an interesting and fun challenge to bring to your table. They are usually light, quick, and have a lot of replay-ability that people love. The best part about deduction style games is figuring out some mystery, whether it be what your opponents are hiding, or what information is needed to advance the game. Check out some of our best selling deduction games.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
If you’ve ever played Mafia or Werewolf with a deck of cards and a group of your friends, you will love One Night Ultimate Werewolf. This secret identity game pins werewolves against the townsfolk. No moderator needed, and each game is about 10 minutes. With a high player count (3-10 players), endless expansions, and a whole lot of replay-ability, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a must have for most collections.
This is another special game that you can grab for under $20. It’s a great one to get the game night started or play over and over again. People love this game because it adds an element of strategy to a traditional deception game. Different roles in the game can take different actions – but the only way for someone to verify what role you actually have is to call your bluff and potentially expose themselves. A game typically takes 10-15 minutes and has easy rules to rope in your non-gamer friends.
Can you deliver the love letter to the princess? This quick card game plays in 5 minutes and is all about figuring out what cards people hold and using the right action at the right time. Love Letter was nominated and won many awards, such as the 2014 Origins Award for Best Traditional Card Game, and has been asked for by name on multiple occasions at Mox.
- The Resistance
Best Party Games
There is no better way to bring people together than board games. If you have more than 4 people over, it gets a little challenging to find a great game that will keep everyone engaged. These board games are perfect for parties, large family gatherings, or after-work happy hour.
This board game can accommodate up to 12 players and is great for those who like guessing games like Charades. In Concept, you will take turns giving your team hints to figure out a word. Place your markers along the board to signal clues as your team tries their best to put them all together. We love this game because you can gain points whether you are guessing, or giving clues. It keeps every single player in the game engaged, and the big board makes it easy for everyone to see the action.
Find the perfect clue to connect your words in this team vs team party game. Codenames is for 2-8 players and is perfect for team building and family gatherings. With different editions, fantastic themes (like Marvel, Disney, and Simpsons), and even a two-player version, there is a little bit of something for everyone. If you like Codenames, check out some of CGEs other great games.
Do you remember that telephone game we would play as kids, where one person would say something, and it would get passed down the line in a whisper? Take that game, mix it together with Pictionary and you get a hilarious and fun game of Telestrations. Telestrations is a great game to hit the nostalgia of family game nights, but add a unique twist to keep everyone engaged. You can also buy the party pack, and it goes up to 12 players!
Best Medium Strategy Games
Looking to level up your game night? These board games have a little more strategy and take a little longer to play, but really stretch those critical thinking muscles. These are perfect games to bring to your table for a night of fun.
Congratulations! You are now the mayor of Machi Koro. First things first, you need to build up the town and make the upgrades people are demanding. How do you do that? By collecting income, and hoping the dice roll in your favor. This cute city building game has a lot of strategy, and a little bit of luck, which makes it a great game to take the next step up from Catan.
7 Wonders is a great way to have a more strategic game with up to 7 people. You draft cards over 3 rounds and build up your civilization to gain victory points. With interesting drafting mechanics, tableau-building, and quick rounds, 7 Wonders is perfect for groups with different skill levels. Make sure to check out the newest edition, with updated artwork and graphics that make it easier to play.
Small World is a game all about conquest and control for up to 5 players. Remember the thrill of Risk where you take control over more and more territory? Well Small World is a lot like that, except there is a comeback mechanic. If you start to lose you can just choose to go into decline and then come back into the game from the edge of the map with a whole new crew! This game is highly thematic and the zany crews add fun humor to any game night.
- Betrayal at House on the Hill
Best Heavy Strategy Games
Looking for games that have deep strategy, multiple avenues to victory, and can take a few hours to play? We’ve got you covered with our top 3 best heavy strategy games.
Build your galactic empire in Twilight Imperium. The entire galaxy is up for grabs in this heavy strategy game. You play as an alien faction, and figure out how you want to conquer the galaxy. You can negotiate, explore, and battle your way to victory. What people love about this board game is the very unique playthroughs, different routes to victory, and how the theme effects gameplay. If you are looking to pick it up, make sure to set a day aside to play, it does take quite a while to fully experience this board game.
Scythe is a deeply thematic game with stunning art. The great war is finally over leaving behind its war machines and factories. Players assume the roles of European style factions and work to rebuild their empire. This game can be played and won in several different ways as there isn’t just one way to earn the most victory points. There are many different mechanics at play to complete objectives including resource management, combat, worker placement, and area control. The replayability of this game is high and no two games will be the same.
Use your resources and draft cards to terraform Mars. This strategy board game has been on “The Hotness” list on Board Game Geek.com for quite a while, and a very popular title to level up your board game collection. Terraforming Mars is a great way to introduce players to deeper strategy, with room to make mistakes, and expansions to keep it interesting. This is definitely one of the all-time favorite resource management board games.
- Mage Knight
Best Board Games for Your Group
We have looked at a number of board games that have sold a lot of copies at our store. But, just because a game is popular, does not mean it is the right fit for your gaming group. Stop by Mox Boarding House and our expert staff will match the perfect board game for your next game night. Read all about our safety precautions here.
Feel like we missed a game? Tag us on Twitter ( @MoxBoarding ) and include #bestboardgames2020 to send us your list.
-See you at Mox