The basic concept of the RPG board game is you will be playing a significant character or role in a board game. This is mixed up with a theme mostly featuring a fantasy world. And a story will develop as the game progresses.
Here we will give you all the information regarding the best RPG board games 2020 right now. But before we proceed to that you will surely need to know what to consider before buying an RPG board game.
Let’s dive right into that.
Best RPG board games Comparison Chart
If you are looking for a legacy-based dungeon crawler board game then this is the one. Gloomhaven is a game that offers the players to take roles in choosing a character. And then develop them throughout the game play.
Gloomhaven gives the players an immersive experience of the dungeon world for about 100 hours. It features quite a lot of exploration and discoveries. It has got about 95 campaigns, so you won’t be needing an expansion pack anytime soon.
Because of its exceptional storytelling capability players often get addicted to the game. Moreover, they get to make choices determining the course of the game play. Every gamer likes to have this freedom in a game.
⇒ Gloom haven offers you with some following benefits-
⇒ It offers two areas. The city of Gloomhaven where you upgrade the characters. And the dungeon area where the main story takes place.
⇒ Card-based action system. Each turn lets the players use two cards.
⇒ There are many strategies involved while choosing the cards.
⇒ Great room for exploration and discoveries. These give you access to hidden items, envelopes, character packs and many more.
⇒ It offers individual hero quests that can unlock new characters. These bring variation in the game.
This game has decent artwork. The places and characters are well designed. The cards are also easy to read and use. Overall design-wise you won’t have any complaints.
This is a complete package for anyone interested in board games. With a big immersive world and a unique combat system, you will simply can’t get enough of it. As the rules are pretty to understand you will love the thematic and fun experience.
#2. Descent Journeys
If you are looking for a realistic experience from a board game then this is it. The descent is the game that provides you a fun, creative environment full of engagements.
It features up to 5 players where one of them becomes the overlord or dungeon master. Whereas the other four take up the role of heroes. The main goal is to stop the overlord from doing his evil deeds.
The quests found in the game offer a great experience in terms of exploration. They are very planned and thorough in the progress of the story line. With each quest, it provides a different experience.
The game offers unpredictable scenarios throughout the game. This makes the game much more exciting than usual.
⇒ This game has the following specifics-
⇒ Two different ways of playing the game. Individual scenarios and complete campaigns.
⇒ Campaigns have dynamic and evolving story lines
⇒ Scenarios are dependent on the fight of the overlord and heroes
⇒ Uses dice mechanics to fight battles
⇒ There are additional quests in the game you can go through.
⇒ You can avoid unnecessary battles.
This game is designed really well. The miniatures and cards are very much detailed. They all have amazing artwork. And the dices are also very much satisfying based on looks. It comes with double-sided modular board pieces. It surely feels like value for money.
The game plays really well if you have got competitive players. The game can be very long so you will need to make sure you move fast. You will need to be strategic about choosing the battles you engage in. So, you get it all here.
#3. Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
If card games are your choice then there is nothing better than this one. It offers you the best deck building strategy with RPG elements.
Players fight evil in the land of Varisia. They act as the heroes to liberate the land from all kinds of dark and deadly magic. Up to five players can play the game at a time.
The game contains a number of scenarios to make up an adventure. These adventures can also be connected to create depth in the storytelling of the game.
In every turn, a character gets to explore and discover the locations and cards it contains. The characters can be customized immensely. There is a lot of room for making customizations in the characters.
Aside from the in-game adventures there many additional packs available for the game. So, once you start enjoying the game it can get longer through those extension packs.
⇒ This game has some offers some unique qualities you can ask for-
⇒ Has many characters to choose from. Such as wizards, slayers, magus, arcanist and many more.
⇒ Every character has their own set of skill set and different levels of strength.
⇒ There is room for exploration. They lead in finding items, villains and places.
⇒ Lets players to exchange items and share blessings. Also, add boost checks.
⇒ The players join in at the ending of the game for the last battle.
The artwork of the game is a bit questionable. The whole gameplay is without a doubt one of the very best. But the artwork available in the game isn’t much satisfying. It could have been a lot better.
If you are looking for a card-based RPG game then there is nothing better than this one. This performs really well and you will really enjoy playing this one if you are casually gaming. Maybe not much suitable for the hardcore RPG gamer. It doesn’t involve much strategy so if you are into those then you won’t like it that much.
#4. Star Wars
Star Wars has always been a popular trend among youngsters. It has its own legacy. So, if you are a fan of Star Wars then surely you will want this one.
The game is the continuation of the story after the destruction of the death star. This gets you into the war of the Galactic Empire and the Rebel alliance. Where you can be either the galactic empire or rebel alliance.
There is quite a good room for character development. Every battle offers rewards. If you can win the battles you will be able to get the rewards for sure. But the losing side also doesn’t go empty-handed.
It’s a turn-based game where the players get two actions to perform in each turn. These actions can be spent on attacking, interacting, resting, moving or other special actions. As the game progresses you will get more cards. These give you additional actions to perform. This opens a door for more strategic game play.
- ⇒ The specifications of the game are as follows-
- ⇒ Smart and engaging combat system. This puts more attention on the defender than the attacker.
- ⇒ You can have control over unlimited resources.
- ⇒ You can build a map of your own.
- ⇒ The game mechanics offer a lot of twists and turns throughout the game.
- ⇒ Captures the whole Star Wars essence beautifully.
The one drawback is that the game might not have colorful miniatures. Apart from this the design is very well executed. You will surely get the Star Wars vibe as you play the game.
Anyone who likes strategy-based board games will enjoy playing the game. Even if we take away the Star Wars theme or the fan base this game is still enjoyable to the core. Because of the balanced combat system, it gives you more competitive fighting experience. And if you are a Star Wars fan then there is no alternative to this one for you.
#5. Mechs vs. Minions
A game to take you to the same world of the league of legends. Mechs vs Minions while it may sound like a game for kids but it isn’t.
This game bases on cooperation from the teammates. Putting together the abilities of each of the characters the prime goal this game serves.
The game is time-driven which makes it very much intense. While you play the game there is a sand timer put on one side of the game. Players get a 40 second time to pick the cards they will need for progressing throughout the game.
As time goes by in the game the complexity of making decisions increases. This leads you to make more and more mistakes.
⇒ There are many unique qualities you get with this game. Such as-
⇒ The game difficulty increases as you progress in the game.
⇒ It has a secret box and envelops to be opened when asked. This causes suspense and a little bit of tension in the game.
⇒ Your character levels up through killing enemies.
⇒ Time driven game play makes it very intense.
⇒ You get good control over the mech environment of the game as you create modular boards and command lines.
The game has excellent artworks. The components are really well designed and durably made. The whole setup is really well made.
The game play is very fun and hilarious mixed with a bit of intensity. It’s not difficult to learn at all. But if you are one of those Braininess people then you might not like it that much. As it involves lots of action rather than strategies.
#6. WizKids Mage Knight Board Game
If you have the time to wait and play a game for hours then you can choose this one. Mage Knight is a game of patience and action at the same time.
Playing this with other players can get frustrating as you will need to wait quite a lot before you can make a move. But the tables completely turn if you choose to play solo. This can be called the foundation of solo board games because of the high-quality solo game play.
This game captures the Mage Knight universe very well. It combines quite a lot of board game mechanics such as card drafting, deck building, role play and many more. But while doing all that it doesn’t get messy at all. In fact, you get a complete experience in every game.
⇒ There are few this game offers its players. Like-
⇒ The complete experience of every kind of board game.
⇒ Winning in the game really takes a lot of thinking and making the right decisions.
⇒ All the actions taken in the game are interrelated. Which means one action affects the other. So, you will need to be careful about your actions.
⇒ Enables character level ups to provide a long-lasting RPG experience.
The design of the game is quite good. The miniatures come in the box painted. This gives the game a dynamic environment. Along with that the design beautifully captures the Mage Knight universe.
This game is surely not for the amateurs. You will need to know quite a lot of complex rules to play this game. The group game play can really give you a tiring time all over. But the solo gameplay is exceptionally good. In fact, this is one of the best solo RPG board games out there. This isn’t for everyone as it requires a lot of patience and dedication to finish the game.
#7. Cool Mini or Not Arcadia
If you are looking for variety in your RPG board game then maybe it’s time to stop. There isn’t much variety in RPG games. But you can get a whole new experience of RPG in Arcadia Quest inferno.
This game offers you RPG experience incorporated with PVP actions. This affects the gaming experience quite a lot. Although it still keeps the traditional RPG elements intact. Such as quests, classic combat style with dice rolling.
The enemies in the game don’t attack unless they are provoked. The campaigns have just enough narratives so you don’t feel empty. Also, it allows the players to carve their own story line by deciding the quests they want to take.
Corrupting monsters and other players are a unique feature to this. This adds much more fun and unpredictability to the game.
⇒ It has got some unique set of features. Such as-
⇒ It allows players to get greedy in the story. They can initiate life and death arguments and get all the loot at a time.
⇒ Turns in the game are quite short and fast. So, the downtime between turns is quite low.
⇒ The heroes can get resurrected instantly. But dying too many times earns a curse for the character.
⇒ It provides character development opportunities in the scenarios.
⇒ It has a PVP action set incorporated with RPG game play.
The game is beautifully designed. The artworks are really attractive. It makes the game look much alive and interesting. Along with that makes it enjoyable to play.
This game is a great way to get into the RPG gaming world. As the battles are fast-paced and entertaining it really holds the attention of the player. This is one of the best RPG board games for kids. The ability to make an argumentative death battle adds intensity and more fun element to the game.
#8. Darkest Night 2nd Edition
If you are done with the fun part and want something serious then this is it. Darkest Night gives you more of a dark and emotional experience.
No other game can portray the dark fantasy adventure better than this one. It’s a complete package of great design beautiful artwork, serious game play, and an in-depth story.
Throughout the game, you will find keys that unlock the various mysteries of the holy relics. These are required to defeat the evil Necromancer who has taken over the kingdom.
Specifications of the game are
⇒ Contains five amazing extension packs
⇒ It’s a complete package with premium components.
⇒ Features 29 different classes of heroes with a unique experience for each one.
⇒ Unravel the mysteries by finding out keys.
⇒ Smart time mechanic involved in the game. This creates intensity while playing it.
This game has one of the best artworks of any board game. Without a doubt, it feels premium and good to look at.
If getting out of the dark mysteries interests you then this is your choice. It performs great with the detailed artwork and that intense time pressure. It will surely keep you on your feet while you are playing the game. It doesn’t involve many strategies though. So, you won’t be needing a big brain to play it.
#9. Shadows of Brimstone
Looking for a horror-based game? Then go for this one. As it offers fast-paced, cooperative action in campaign mode.
In the game, players take the role of adventurers. These travelers go to the various dark environment to reveal secrets. There they encounter monsters and creatures of every kind.
This game offers various kinds of a dynamic environments with unique missions. Just like other RPG games this one also features character development throughout the game.
The game is pretty easy to understand. It doesn’t involve much complex actions or strategies. It’s very simple in character movement.
⇒ Some specifics to notice about the game are-
⇒ It offers a dynamic gaming experience. With different worlds connected by portals.
⇒ You get to do a lot than the main objective itself.
⇒ It provides many side activities such as resting, gambling, buying gears, etc.
⇒ Even after being a horror-themed game it gets fun and hilarious at times.
The design of the game is pretty good. The monsters are well designed and detailed. The environment also contains excellent artwork.
This game is a casual RPG game without involving too many strategies. It features a fun and exciting experience with a horror theme. It mainly focuses on cooperative gameplay rather than solo achievements.
#10. Ares Games Sword & Sorcery
The game Sword and sorcery gives the most complete experience of an underworld setting. There are a lot of RPG games based on underworld setting but this beats all.
It is set up in an underworld setting where the heroes have also risen up from the dead. The game is pretty violent in nature. You won’t need to be much strategic about the game approach. It is based on combat.
This game offers a decent story line with great thematic engagement. It has got some unique set of rules. Also, it lets you make different kinds of choices. This gives the players a sense of freedom.
⇒ This game has some distinct features you should be aware of. Such as-
⇒ You get to choose your own soul nature in the beginning. This affects the gameplay quite a lot. There are three types of soul natures to choose from.
⇒ As you move along the game you discover new events.
⇒ Heroes can be resurrected from checkpoints.
⇒ It offers five classic RPG hero classes.
The game is really well designed. It has got very sturdy construction and well-made components. The whole board also makes the underworld feel more real than any other board game.
This is undoubtedly one of the best RPG board games for adults. It features an exceptionally well underworld-based story line. The game plays really well with a few unique game dynamics. But not for the people who love to make strategic movements.
Buying guide for RPG board games
Before you buy an RPG, board game there are some things you will need to go through. Because you will be spending about $50 to $200 on each of these games. So, you will need to make sure it is worth the money. Below are the factors you should consider before buying an RPG board game-
The fun element
The best part of any RPG game is that it comes with a lot of fun elements. You are able to get yourself in imaginary situations with real-life intensity. They force you to think and commit at the same time.
As you will be playing the character of a story you will find yourself in various situations. Such as combat, negotiations with other players, wandering around the fantasy world, etc.
Sometimes you will need to make quick decisions keeping all kinds of procrastination aside. This will help you in your personal life as well. So, it’s not only about fun it comes with a learning purpose too.
You should buy a game that offers you these things. If the story interests you, you will surely have fun playing the whole game.
Type of games
You will need to consider what type you are going to buy. There are two types of RPG board games you can get. They are combats and strategies. Combat offers a series of battles with opponent players throughout the story. And strategies require you to solve mysteries solo or with your team.
If you are someone who enjoys constants conflicts and action then go for the combat types. And if you like to think and progress choose the strategic ones.
Number of players
There are different kinds of games based on the number of players. Some games ask you to play it solo. For example, Dark Souls. Some require several players to complete the story of the game. There are also 2 player RPG board games offering you a good time with your sibling or your beloved one.
Choose the one based on the number of people you have to play with you. One tip is, team games are much more fun than the solo ones.
Ease of understanding
This is a very crucial point before buying any board game. You will need to make sure you understand the rules of a board game. If the rules are hard to learn you will not enjoy the game that much. Also, you will need to determine the difficulty level of the game. Buy the ones that suit you and your team members’ abilities.
There is no specific age of playing these games. You can play them as adults or as kids doesn’t really matter. Judge the content of the game before you buy it. If the content suits your kids then you can buy them for sure.
Does the game involve using complex strategies or simple ones? This is a question you should ask yourself. If you want to challenge yourself then you should go for the complex ones. Otherwise, choose the simple ones. Because if you fail to use those complex strategies you might give up on the game and stop playing it completely.
This is something many people want in a board game. Games having a continuous progression of character and story are preferred more than other games. Also, this quality makes a game worth the money.
You should buy a game based on your time. It’s totally up to you if you want shorter games or longer ones. Shorter games run for about 45 minutes to an hour. And longer ones can last up to 5 hours.
The component quality greatly affects the gaming experience. So, if you have a concern with the design and sculptures of the game then you should go for a game with better design. Many old RPG board games come with a crappy design but a great story. You will need to choose what suits your needs.
Many games come with additional items. Before buying a game look for these add-ons. These are able to increase your game experience a lot. Choose the ones you are satisfied with.
Now we will take you through some of the best tabletop RPG board games available. We will tell you why they are worth trying. Let’s get right ahead.
Benefits of playing board games
There are many benefits to playing board games. It affects both health and personal relationships. Some noticeable benefits of board games are-
⇒ They bring people closer to strengthening their relationships.
⇒ It increases brain functions.
⇒ It teaches to be patient and make the right choices
⇒ It is great for reducing stress.
⇒ Helps in making quick decisions
⇒ Increases adaptability to situations.
⇒ There are many benefits to go through, to be honest. These were some of the noticeable ones.
Board games vs video games for kids
Board games are way better than video games without a doubt. As they let you connect with your kids better. Also, video games can have a negative effect on your kid whereas board games come with a lot of benefits. Video games can affect the eyesight of a kid whereas board games make their brain sharper. Board games are way more educative than video games. There are a lot of things you can learn through a board game. So, without a doubt, board games are way better for kids than video games. There is no argument in that.
There you go our Topical talks experts provided a complete guide on the best RPG board games review available in the market at the moment. They all have their distinctive qualities and offer different stories. Also, they have different types to offer so you will need to choose the one that meets your needs.
But still, from many articles and reviews done by other people, we got some favorites from these ones as well.
Gloom haven appears to be the best overall board game available out there. It is the choice of many people. It’s easy to understand which makes it entertaining for beginners. Also, hardcore gamer enjoy playing this due to 95 in-game campaigns. All of them offering a different kind of adventure.
So, buying this one is highly recommended. You will surely enjoy playing this one. Also, the other ones are quite good as well. Then again, the choice relies on your personal preferences.