Board games have evolved a lot since Chess, Checkers, and Monopoly, so much so that they have specific types, genres, and categories. To not find this information overwhelming new enthusiasts should understand that all of these board game types are tied to a particular game characteristic.

For example, a worker placement game refers to playing board games that use the worker placement mechanic. Another example could be deck building which refers to a card game mechanic that allows you to build decks during the game.

A further distinction between board game types could be their theme: farming, war, abstract, civilization, or euro games. Finally, board games could also be categorized by their components, like the famous miniature games that everybody wants.

Now that we have briefly explained the board game types, it is time to explain each type separately.

Abstract Board Games

Abstract board game type

Abstract board games were the first games ever created by people, dating as far back as 4,600 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. Some consider The Royal Game of Ur the first board game, but other ancient games like Nine men’s morris, Mancala, and Senet might be of that period.

Furthermore, as time passed, more modern games evolved, like chess, checkers, and backgammon, that are still played today. However, the most noticeable fact about these games is that they are entirely deprived of theme and tend to focus on the logical or puzzle-solving aspect of the game.

Although board gaming has evolved much through the ages, abstract board games still come out regularly. Here are some games of this genre that we recommend:

  • Azul
  • Blokus
  • Patchwork
  • Quoridor
  • Hive

Bluffing Board Games

Bluffing board game type

Bluffing board games are mostly card games that involve a bluffing element with the intent to guess a card or cards that a particular player has. The card can be in their hand or played face down, at which point other players must reveal the correct one.

Another example of a bluffing game could be guessing the traitor in the group. This mechanic is closely related to the co-op games and turns the whole experience into a team play instead of going against the game itself.

Without revealing too much about co-op games at this time, we can say that many players love the traitor mechanic. Here are some of the best bluffing games that we recommend:

  • Shadows Over Camelot
  • Sheriff of Nottingham
  • Enigma Beyond Code
  • The Resistance
  • Bacchus’ Banquet

Campaign/Legacy Board Games

Campaign board game types

This board game type is unique because it allows the players to continue their progress even after the game session. So the next time they open the box, they can continue their adventures with new challenges and goals, usually more challenging than the previous scenario.

Some of these board games go even one step further by permanently modifying game components like putting stickers on the board or tearing up old cards and unpacking new ones. These are called Legacy games and are very popular among D&D players.

Unlike abstract games, legacy games ooze with themes allowing the players a sense of world-building experience, making each campaign very different. Although veteran players claim that they are a one-time experience, many can be reset and played from the beginning. Here are our recommendations:

  • Gloomhaven
  • Charterstone
  • Return to Dark Tower
  • Pandemic Legacy

Card Games

Card games

The term card games is a vague term for describing a board game. Plenty of card games branch off to other categories like deckbuilding, card drafting, TCG, and others that can be categorized as card games. But essentially, they are all different.

However, some games do not fit any of the described categories above, so we can say that they are the perfect fit for this type. Essentially, many of these games are some sort of variation of another more complex board game, such as Arkham Horror: The Card Game, a considerably shorter version of the monstrous Arkham Horror.

A card game could also contain other components besides cards, but as long as the main mechanic is playing cards, it is still considered a card game. Here are our top picks:

  • Splendor
  • Wingspan
  • Everdell
  • Citadels

Civilization / Territory Building Games

Civilization & Territory games

The one thing we can say about Territory Building Games is that they are not for the fainthearted. Indeed, these games are monstrous engine-building machines that usually comprise many board game mechanisms.

The players usually start small, with few options available, but as the game goes on, the whole experience becomes a massive puzzle that they need to manage through planning 2 or 3 turns.

Many of these games have a map that the players need to explore, colonize and gather resources. Another common feature is some sort of progress track or even multiple tracks that mark each player’s progress. Setting the time-consuming factor aside, this is the best board game type, and we recommend that new players try one at least. Here are some suggestions:

  • Anno 1880
  • Shogun
  • Twilight Imperium
  • Through the Ages

Children Games

Children board game type

What is the point of hobby games if you can’t share it with your loved ones? Fortunately, you can now with some family or children’s board games.

Family games tend to be quite the opposite of Civilization games. Instead of managing multiple game mechanics, players’ moves are primarily based on luck. Some use dice, others luck of the draw, but the whole experience boils down to being the luckiest player with very few strategic moves.

Surprisingly enough, many games of this type tend to be a fun and enjoyable experience, and some of them can also be just as thinky as a regular game and can still be enjoyed by kids. Some of these games throw in a dexterity element. Here is what we think is best for your kids:

  • Agricola family edition
  • Settlers of Catan
  • Kingdomino
  • King of Tokyo



Technically this is not a board game type or a board game for that matter, but it is good to know a few things about collectibles since they are closely related. The first thing that comes to mind when we think of collectibles is funko pop dolls. They are sold in most board game stores, and some are even related to board games.

There are also other types of collectibles like key chains and other merchandise, but we will not go any deeper because there is another collectible that we want to discuss.

What we consider to be a true collectible is special editions of board games that have limited copies, like anniversaries or deluxe versions. Here are some that we think are worthy :

  • Dune Imperium: deluxe upgrade pack
  • Dungeon Lords: Happy Anniversary
  • Pandemic 10th Anniversary Edition
  • Magic the gathering 4th edition

Cooperative (Co-op) Board Games

Cooperative board game type

Cooperative Board Games have flipped the switch on the whole board game experience. Since the time of the most popular co-op game, Pandemic, they have been in high demand. Instead of the usual race to the finish line or gathering the most victory points, co-op games offer something entirely different, and that is all players can win or lose as a team.

Even though this might sound a bit confusing at first. For example, one might think do players need to use a phone app? Well, the answer is yes and no. Although some co-op games use AI apps to guide the whole process, most don’t need it. Usually, that is done in some cleaver game mechanic like flipping cards or rolling dice. Here are our suggestions for coop games:

  • Pandemic
  • Shadows over Camelot
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Forbidden Desert

Deck Building Board Games

Deck building board games

One of the more highly reputed board game types is deck building. Of course, every board game enthusiast on the planet loves to play an excellent deck-building game from time to time.

The reason for that is simple; deck builders are fast-paced card action games that usually make you: draw five cards from a simple deck, take your turn and buy another card from a communal market of cards at the end.

The fascinating aspect of deck-building games is that you can build your deck however you want, and you do that by spending temporary currency given to you by the icons on the five cards you drew. Besides having the money icon, these cards can also have other icons like increasing your attack or movement. Here are our top choices:

  • CLANK!
  • Hero Realms
  • Legendary: Marvel
  • Dune Imperium

Deduction Board Games

Deduction board game type

Remember playing Cluedo as a kid? Well, Cluedo is a deduction board game. Based on limited information at a time, players need to figure out who did it in which room and with what weapon. The first player that solves that wins the game.

Fortunately, social deduction games have evolved a lot since Cluedo, and some clever creators managed to slip in some other exciting mechanics like one player that knows what the goal is, and his task is to hint the information with a single word or drawing. More advanced deduction games also include cards with abstract illustrations that players can use to determine their goals.

Although most of these games are abstract light games, some have a strong theme. These are the ones that we recommend:

  • Codenames
  • Enigma Beyond Code
  • Mysterium
  • Ultimate Werewolf Legacy

Dexterity Board Games

Dexterity board games

Younger enthusiasts mostly prefer dexterity board games. Rather than thinking of your next move, you should think fast and use your agility or alertness if you want to be good at these games.

The most famous dexterity game is Jenga which is played by pulling out wooden blocks from a tower and requires that the players have steady hands; otherwise, they might topple the tower and lose the game.

Another example of a dexterity game is Flick’ Em Up, where players need to flick wooden discs and try to knock out the opponent’s meeples.

Finally, who could forget their childhood favorites like operation or twister? If you feel the need to rest your brain and get physical, these games are for you. Here are our suggestions:

  • Jenga
  • Paku Paku
  • Klask
  • Flip Ships

Dice Games

Dice board games

The earliest dice game was found in 5.000 B.C. as knucklebones, and dice games themselves can be traced back to 500 B.C. That makes dice games one of the oldest genres still popular today.

Many board games use dice to resolve a part of their action, but they are not all considered dice games. For a game to be classified as such, its main mechanic should be rolling and manipulating dice. Furthermore, this usually happens over two or three rolls. Some of the dice are set aside before each consequent roll after the first.

Finally, the player resolves their dice at the end of the turn, and the game continues to the next player. If luck is your forte, then we have a selection for you:

  • King of Tokyo
  • Sagrada
  • Troyes
  • King of New York

Drafting Board Games

Drafting board game type

The term drafting refers to the primary mechanic in a board game where a player takes one thing, which can be a card, tile, meeple, or another component, and passes the rest to the next player. Then, naturally, they receive the next set of components and repeat the process until there are none left or the game makes some other restrictions.

Many drafting games have interesting combos that guide the player towards a particular strategy, such as collecting all of the green cards or having the most sword icons at the end of the round.

Although they were not among the most popular board game types, drafting games rose in popularity because they have many advantages, like higher player count and simultaneous turns. Here are some of our best picks:

  • 7 Wonders
  • Sushi Go Party!
  • Blood Rage
  • Wonderful World

Economic Board Games

Economy games

The most noticeable feature of all economic board games is that they are not simple games. Instead, many of the economic games are world builders. They have a massive collection of intertwined game mechanisms, forming a complex economic system. Consequently, this is huge compared to the other board game types, with one or possibly two core game mechanics.

These games are generally heavy, complex games and are reserved for seasoned enthusiasts, but there are some that newbie players can enjoy, especially if they like the theme of the game.

Even though economic games can be very cut-throat and competitive, many players claimed they enjoyed the economy-building part more than devising a clear winning strategy. Check out our top picks:

  • Twilight Imperium
  • Brass: Birmingham
  • Through The Ages
  • Gaia Project
  • Great Western Trail

Educational Games

Educational board games

What is more fun than playing a board game? It is playing a game and learning something new with educational board games. This board game type includes games that let you learn so much, from how to spell with scrabble up to learning all kinds of interesting facts like what is the wingspan of a peregrine falcon.

There are many educational board games, but Cashflow stands above all of them. The game uses real-life economic tools like income statements and balance sheets and teaches you how to manage your budget in real life too. Indeed, this is something that real accountants would charge you a hefty sum.

Finally, some games reenact historical events, or some are logical games, but that is another category. Here are some educational board games worth playing:

  • Cashflow
  • Wingspan
  • Evolution
  • Mariposas

Farming Games

Farming board game type

If you ask a gamer what draws you to board games? Some might say a chance to be a part of a great adventure like rescuing the princess or slaying the dragon, but essentially, they will discover a good farming game that they want to play all the time. Heroes got to rest too.

Thanks to Uwe Rosenberg, farming board games have risen since he created Agricola. This game captivated the hearts and minds of many people because of how simple yet strategic it was and with great replay value.

Since Agricola, many farming games have entered the market, from managing wineries to overseeing plantations or even holding feasts with your fellow Vikings. There is something primal in each of us that makes these games desirable. Here are our favorites:

  • Agricola
  • A feast for Odin
  • Puerto Rico
  • Tzolk’in
  • Viticulture

German-Style (Euro) Board Games

German-style board game type

Eurogames have been around for a long time and are among the most common board game types. Every board game enthusiast has played at least a couple of euro games at some point.

They got that name because they are most popular in Europe or Germany. What is characteristic about these games is that they focus more on the building element and scoring victory points rather than player interaction. Some people claim they have a weak theme and call them dry euros, but we tend to disagree.

There is nothing more satisfying than opening up a game night with a medium-length euro game. Here are our top choices:

  • Five tribes
  • Le Havre
  • Lords of Waterdeep
  • Montana
  • Stone Age

Memory Games

Memory games

This genre is pretty self-explanatory. Memory board games use a memory element as their core mechanic. Usually, that element is remembering a card and its location in the play area. Then, the card is revealed at the right time, and the player who guessed correctly will get the points.

However, the memory element might be accompanied by other game mechanisms like bluffing, card manipulation, or secret voting, making these games more fun than usual. Also, some games like cortex combine multiple brain skills like eye coordination, quick thinking, and alertness with the memory element to deliver a new and exciting experience. Here are some good ones that we think you will like:

  • Cortex
  • Confusion
  • The Resistance: AvalonMemo
  • Codenames
  • Enigma: Beyond code
  • Sideshow Swap

Miniature Board Games

Mini board games

When buying a new board game, players usually look for the theme, price, or game mechanic, preferably all three. However, another deciding factor recently entered the equation: whether the game is a miniature board game or not.

Since 3D printing, people have gone crazy with “minis,” miniature figurines that could represent a hero, a weapon, or some other object of importance. The minis alone do not add new features, but they give a lot of immersion into the story, so naturally, people adore them.

Another popular activity that came along with the minis was painting them. We at Board Games Land also have a weakness for miniature board games, so here are some of our favorites:

  • Star Wars: X-Wing
  • Star Wars: Armada
  • Santorini
  • Rising Sun
  • Memoir ’44
  • Fury of Dracula
  • Dead of Winter

Negotiation Board Games

Negotiation board game type

Negotiation is always fun, so the same is true for negotiation board games. But, of course, they could be any other board game type, from economic to farming games, that supports a negotiation mechanic.

Usually, players must make deals and alliances or even offer bribes to get ahead in the game. The only exceptions to this rule are perhaps euro games with stringent rules for managing resources.

Another critical fact that players should know about negotiation games is that they tend to go on for much more than is written on the box. Especially if two or more players go into a bidding war over something, they all need it. Here are some that we think are worthy :

  • The Resistance: Avalon
  • Ca$h’ n Guns
  • Sheriff of Nottingham
  • Cosmic Encounter
  • Twilight Imperium
  • Paydirt

One-vs-Many Board Games

One vs. many board game type

Competing against your friends in a board game is as much fun as playing cooperatively against the game itself. However, this is not the only experience that players could get. In fact, some of the best games are one-vs-many board games.

Games that support ganging up against a player are not one-vs-many board games to clear up the confusion. To be classified as this board game type, a game must have a core mechanic which allows one player to play against all others right from the start or at least change its allegiance, usually pledging it to the dark side.

Playing a one-vs-many board game is a unique experience, and we advise that every enthusiast try it at least once. Here are our selections:

  • Shadows Over Camelot
  • Fury of Dracula
  • Betrayal at House on the Hill
  • Not Alone

Party Board Games

Party board games

Party board games are straightforward games usually based on favorite childhood games or activities. Some hardcore players might not consider these tabletop games at all. However, creators are putting more themes and mechanics in party games, so there are some “good ones.”

Although party games are repetitive and do not have much to offer besides their main mechanic, they are quick, reliable, and fun, and also the rules take only a minute to explain. For that reason, they hit the table much more than we hardcore gamers like to admit. Another benefit that a part game has is a larger player count, so it is a group activity that includes all of your friends. Here are some of them that we think are the best:

  • Codenames
  • Secret Hitler
  • Concept
  • Dixit
  • Decrypto
  • Ultimate Werewolf Legacy
  • Mysterium

Press Your Luck Board Games

Press Your luck board game type

Press Your Luck Board Games are real nail-biters. The closest thing that we compare this experience to is Black Jack. It usually goes like this; players can open up cards or other components to receive a benefit on their turn. Then, they can stop at any time or open up more, but the catch is that they may bust and receive nothing at all.

Many board games of this type have a damage mitigation effect, but at the end of the day, players with more luck tend to win at these games. However, some advanced games allow you to build your drawing components during the game to have more chances to draw well. If you enjoy testing your luck, then this list is for you:

  • Quacks of Quedlinburg
  • King of Tokyo
  • Biblios
  • Port Royale

Print and Play Games

Print & Play board games

Print and play game board is hardly a type but rather a path the creator took to promote their game. They can be downloaded electronically as a PDF file and taken to the local copier for a print. Most of them are on Kickstarter.

After you print them, you need to cut out the components and cards and assemble the game as instructed. There is not much we could say more about Print & Play games, except one of the best board games started as a Print & Play. It is called Root, and as soon as it was released, people began demanding advanced copies. It quickly became a hit in 2018, at which point a solid company version was released. Here are some that we think are worthy of your time:

  • Root
  • Rolling Realms
  • Corinth
  • Secret Hitler

Puzzle Games

Puzzle games

Puzzle Games are another straightforward board game type. Usually, they provide the player with jumbled-up pieces, Tetris-like or not, and the goal is to make them fit somewhere or construct another object.

However, some puzzle games require exceptionally competitive skills where you have to outthink your opponent. The best that we can compare this experience to is chess. In fact, chess itself is a puzzle game. Even though no other game could reach that kind of fame, most of them have a similar two-player game experience.

Finally, some puzzle games lead you on an adventure and have a strong theme. The most popular of that kind are the series Exit and Unlock. If you like to challenge your brain, then this list is for you:

  • Exit: The Game
  • Unlock!
  • Azul
  • Patchwork
  • Bärenpark
  • Ubongo
  • Blokus

Racing Board Games

Racing board game type

When it comes to racing board games, We should consider two things. First, is the game’s theme about racing, or does it have a race mechanic. Usually, they are both true, but there are some exceptions.

For example, if a new monopoly is re-themed with race cars, it is still a monopoly game, not a racing game. On the other hand, games like Istanbul and Montana have nothing to do with racing cars, bikes, or any other vehicles, but they are racing games because of their core mechanic, which is who can finish first.

Likewise, to explain further, a typical race game has some objectives. For example, collecting five gems, and the player who does it first wins the game. Here are our best picks for this type:

  • Istanbul
  • Montana
  • Camel Up
  • Snow Tails

Real-Time Board Games

Real-time board games

This board game type relies more on your quick reflexes and fast thinking. Usually, real-time board games have a sand timer that allows players to take their actions as fast as possible to achieve their goals. Usually, this is done by appointing one person responsible for the timer notifying the other players, or each player has their sand timer and must warn the others that their time is up.

Many real-time games are puzzle games that need to be solved before the time runs up. However, there are also some games like Pendulum that look more like worker placement games. If you like to test your reflexes and think fast, then check out our top picks:

  • Galaxy Trucker
  • XCOM: The Board Game
  • Pendulum
  • Captain Sonar

Resource Management Board Games

Resource management board game type

Resource management games are our favorite type. Why? Most of them are essentially euro games with resource trading mechanics. Although some players still consider them “dry euros,” we do not share that sentiment.

Every time we play a resource management game, we immerse ourselves in the theme so much that we assign ourselves roles, for example, “you have a lot of wood, so you must be the lumberjack.” Another story might emerge when players are trading resources “I’m trading these three stones for food to feed my family….”

Resource management board games have resource trading, usually to gain victory points at the end, and are mostly four-player games. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Ora et Labora
  • A feast for Odin
  • Agricola
  • Le Havre
  • Groves
  • Concordia
  • The Red Cathedral

Role-Playing Game (RPG)

RPG board game type

We talked a lot about game themes and how they are related to the game mechanics in most board game types. Well, role-playing games ooze with themes. In fact, they sometimes cross the line into acting.

Ever since the first tabletop games were created, people gathered in their basements to take roles of brave adventures and complete quests. Some might say wait a minute! All this sounds very familiar. Are you talking about video games, perhaps?

Well, no! Actually, the first RPG video games were inspired by the “Dungeons & Dragons” universe. Most role-playing games are built upon the D&D system, where one player is the dungeon master guiding the players through the adventure. Here are some that we like:

  • Vampire the Masquerade v5
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Shadowrun
  • Gloomhaven

Storytelling Board Games

Storytelling board game type

We have mentioned games with a theme many times now, but some go beyond that. For example, storytelling board games have a strong theme and consider storytelling an integral part of the whole experience.

Compared to most other board games where the goal is to win, storytelling board games focus more on storytelling, and victory is not that important. They also have vague rules and fuzzy goals. Not because the creators were lazy but simply because they left much room for interpretation and imagination by the players.

Storytelling board games are closely related to RPG games. However, they seldomly sprawl into campaigns and are finished in one take. Here are our choices that you might like:

  • Betrayal at House on the Hill
  • Once Upon a Time
  • The King’s Dilemma
  • Fog of Love

Tile Placement Board Games

Tile placement board games

If euro games test your logic, RPG games test your creativity, then tile placement board games test your esthetics. These games are designed to build beautiful pictures at the end, like a mosaic, by placing tiles and matching them accordingly.

The most popular tile placement game is Carcassonne, in which players draw and place square tiles and try to match them with the correct terrain, at which points they may claim one type of terrain and score points.

There are plenty of tile placement games with different rules, but the core mechanic remains a tile must be placed and matched with a similar tile to score big points or something similar, like drawing missions and fulfilling them. Here are our recommendations:

  • Carcassonne
  • Takenoko
  • Cacao
  • The Castles of Burgundy
  • Quadropolis
  • Between Two Cities

Trading Card Game (TCG)

trading card games

Trading card games are probably among the earliest games that precede modern board games. Some might say that it is a whole different hobby. TCG players might not be board game enthusiasts and vice versa.

The history of TCGs begins with Magic: The Gathering, a game that spawned a cult of fans counted in millions all around the globe. A usual TCG game will have a starter deck of cards that players can use to battle each other with spells and monsters in duels or two versus two.

However, after a while, the game becomes stale, and players are provided with an option to buy upgrades called booster packs that give more potent and more exciting cards at random. Here are some of the most popular TCGs and our favorites:

  • Magic: The Gathering
  • YU-Gi-OH!
  • Pokémon Trading Card Game
  • Keyforge

Travel / Exploration Games

Travel board games

Exploration Games, or 4x games as they are sometimes called, are games that usually have an unexplored map of tiles or cards. Players explore these tiles or cards by flipping them and dealing with the consequences. Sometimes there might be benefits, but players will be forced to lose something at other times.

The theme of most of these games is some adventure, for example, exploring the jungle or surviving on a desert island. Exploring space is also a popular theme at which point players discover planets instead of more land.

Depending on the game, the exploring mechanic might be accompanied by other aspects like resource trading or event reading. If you are ready to 4x: Explore, expand, exploit, exterminate, then these games are for you:

  • Gloomhaven
  • Lost Ruins of Arnak
  • Twilight Imperium
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Betrayal Legacy
  • The Lost Expedition

Trivia Board Games

Trivia board game type

Trivia board games are hardly considered party games let alone board games. However, based on the particular group of friends, they could be fun. For example, if you have a favorite TV show you watched together sometime in the past, then a trivia game of that show would be incredible entertainment.

Trivia Games have a simple rule: to draw a question card, at which point the first player that answers it correctly wins the score. In all fairness, trivia games have evolved more by making players use cards or other components to provide their answers.

The great thing about trivia games is that you can play them with a massive group of people, and they take zero time to set up. Here are some good ones:

  • Trivial Pursuit Master Edition
  • Pictopia Family Trivia Game: Disney Edition
  • Half-Truth



Wargames, as the name suggests, are strategy games with a war theme, and their mechanics are also closely tied to waging war by moving troops, attacking, conquering, and so on. As a result, they are some of the most sought-after games, especially if the players are big fans of the theme.

Wargames can include anything from fighting on a large map up to fighting small battles here and there, usually coupled with the most effective tools of war like espionage or sabotage.

The most famous wargame is Risk which portrays World War, and your goal is to conquer certain territories. Each time on your turn, you deploy your troops and march them to take control of other players. Wargames are always in high demand, so here are some that you can check out:

  • Risk Legacy
  • Star Wars: Armada
  • Scythe
  • Twilight Imperium
  • Cry Havoc
  • Dune: Imperium

Worker Placement Board Games

Worker placement board games

Worker placement board games are simply magical. Whenever we play them, we need to tell a little story when taking action. Furthermore, the famous term meeple is for a wooden piece in a shape of a human derived from a worker placement board game.

The core mechanic of a worker placement game is that every player has some meeples that they may use to send them on different action spaces, which provide that player a specific benefit. Consequently, this could be gathering wood, farming, fishing, or building.

There are many popular worker placement games, but Caylus is considered the oldest one that provides the pillars. Lords of Waterdeep is another worker placement that is also considered a classic. Here are our favorites:

  • Agricola
  • Caylus
  • Lords of Waterdeep
  • Ora et Labora
  • Village
  • A feast for Odin