Gift-giving is an art and can be a stressful experience if you’re not sure where to begin. When shopping for the board game lovers in your life, it’s especially tricky considering we’re all dragons at heart. We tend to hoard cardboard and dice.
No matter what kind of gamer you’re shopping for, there’s a perfect board game gift waiting for them. We’re here to help you find the best game gifts and some ideas for gamers of all types. Find gifts for birthdays and other special occasions.
If you’re looking for a gift this year, there are some classic games that belong on everyone’s shelf. We’ll make it easy to find the perfect gift with our help. These games have stood the test of time and are on this list for a reason. They either define categories of games or are universally loved, making them great choices for gifts.
Pandemic was one of the first cooperative games I ever played and it’s a great choice for a gift. The world of Pandemic is vast and has tons of expansions if you fall in love with the game, as I’m sure you will.
Pandemic is great for families and groups and is one of the quintessential cooperative games. Players have to work together to cure four separate diseases before the world is too far gone to save.
If you know they already have Pandemic, be sure to check out the Legacy versions of the game too! These are unique and intense games that take world-saving to a whole new level.
Dominion is the original deck-building game and one of our absolute favorites. If you’re unfamiliar with it you can check out our in-depth Dominion review to get acquainted.
Dominion is a fantastic gateway game into deck-builders with an incredible amount of replay value and dozens of expansions that add variety to the game. All of the thematic expansions can be mixed and matched, providing serious value for the money.
If they already own the original Dominion (Second Edition), you can help them build their collection with all of the great Dominion expansions or other awesome deck-building board games in the same vein.
There’s nothing like a big party game to spice up a get-together.
Codenames is a word game that will have you groaning and shouting around the table. During the game, one player will try to point their team members to a certain card using a simple word or phrase. The rest of the team has to decide which card they’re being led to.
It’s simple to learn and yet high energy when it hits the table. It’s the perfect gift that can be played immediately after opening up the box — a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
The original version of Codenames is a classic but certainly not the only option when it comes to this great party game! There are lots of other versions of Codenames for every fandom, taste, and group dynamic.
Who knew bird watching could be so much fun?
Wingspan is a card drafting game masquerading as a light engine builder. This means that the longer you play, the more complicated turns and strategies become.
On top of being an excellent game, Wingspan has an amazing production value and looks incredible on and off the shelf, especially with all its beautiful colors and components.
It’s relatively easy for newer players and intermediate gamers will have no problem jumping right in with their first game.
Scythe was one of the most anticipated board games of 2016, and it has been a tabletop staple ever since.
Scythe is set in an alternative history post-war wasteland where every faction is vying for control. However, one does not simply activate a bunch of robots and wreak havoc across the countryside. Supply lines, influence, and even popular opinion are all just as important as military might.
Scythe is a great gift for friends and family who you know are board game lovers. It’s a bit heavier in mechanics and strategy than the norm, but it also has been thoroughly played throughout the board game community and is proven to be a fantastic all-around game.
It’s hard to find that perfect gift for the hardcore gamer. Chances are, they already have the game you’re looking at (or they have already pledged it on Kickstarter). If that’s the case, then the best way to WOW them is with some fancy board game accessories that they’ve probably always wanted.
If their game shelf is already overflowing, why not upgrade their morning coffee or wardrobe with some sweet gamer gear? Our friends over at Meeple Design have created some awesome gifts specifically for board gamers.
Dice Tower / Dice Tray
Dice towers and dice trays are a great gift for any occasion especially for those late-night gaming sessions where a little bit of felt goes a long way to silencing the clacking of dice.
There are plenty of options as well. Some are massive castle towers that spit out your dice and others can even be folded down for easy storage and transport.
The gaming table is the envy of all tabletop gamers out there. There’s just something about a customized table made specifically for gaming that enhances the whole experience. Some people, (those far more skilled than myself) like to build their own, completely decked out with lights, hidden compartments, and felt trays.
I am not that talented and have to resort to buying one (or using the kitchen table).
Some of the best I’ve seen have hidden compartments, LED backlighting, and felt-lined for easy card pickup, and some *gasp* have electronics like chargers or tablet spots built-in.
Check out our roundup of the Best Custom Gaming Tables out there!
One of the biggest issues that results from getting into a board gaming hobby is storage space and organization. You’ll quickly run out of space in the old linen closet… and why would you want to hide your collection anyway?
Kallax shelves are a board gamer’s best friend. They fit most standard-sized board games and allow you to display your collection with pride.
Nothing says “I’m a gamer” more loudly than rocking up to a game night with your own custom dice, ready to roll.
It’s always more fun having fancy dice at a gaming get-together. Each set comes with enough dice to play pretty much any game as long as it doesn’t require special dice, like Dice Forge or King of Tokyo.
There are several cool companies out there that let you create your own custom miniature for tabletop games. It doesn’t have to be specifically for a roleplaying game, but having your own custom avatar on the board can even make Monopoly more exciting.
Heroforge minis are probably the most popular and they’re incredibly easy to make. You can export the file to your own 3d printer, or have them make it for you using plastic or even metal.
Speaking of which, you’ll definitely need to add this to your list. 3D printers have become much more affordable recently as the technology becomes more readily available. Tabletop gamers have used these to their full advantage, forging fantastic communities to bring their creations to life.
Even with a small printer, you can start printing up miniatures for wargaming, customized pieces, and terrain. The possibilities are endless, and it’s another fun way to get the most out of your game.
Gifts For Everyone
Unsure what to get? Why not check out some awesome board game themed mugs and apparel from our friends over at Meeple Design!
Gifts for Board Game Lovers
We hope you enjoyed our guide to the best board game gifts for board game lovers! These are all great options for the board game enthusiast in your life and hopefully, gave you some good ideas for birthdays and holidays. For more inspiration, check out these “best of” lists to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list!
- For the wine connoisseur: Best Wine Board Games
- For the trivia pro: Best Trivia Board Games
- For the Star Wars fan: Best Star Wars Board Games
- For the strategist: Best Strategy Board Games
- For your favorite gaming couple: Best Board Games for Couples
- For the gamer teen: Best Board Games for Teens & Teenagers
- For the Harry Potter fan: Best Harry Potter Board Games
Looking for more board game gift inspiration? Check out our best board games of 2022 video below:
Before starting GameCows with his wife Kendra, he used to teach English Language Arts in the US. He combined his love of gaming with education to create fun game-based learning lessons until he eventually decided to run GameCows with Kendra full-time. He’s known for pouring over rulebooks in his spare time, being the rule master during game night, and as the perma DM in his DnD group. Bryan loves board games, writing, traveling, and above all his wife and partner in crime, Kendra.