Last Updated on October 5, 2022
If you are seeing this, you just took your first step towards a healthy new addiction — board games! It could seem pretty intimidating at first to learn a new game, but that is why you have us!
Our list of the best board games for beginners is curated to include games that are easy to learn, interesting to play, and engaging to replay in new environments. There are countless styles of board games so as you grow through the different genres and themes, you will never be left bored. Check the best board games for beginners below.
🏆 Our Top Picks for Best Board Games for Beginners
In a hurry? Take a quick peek before you go.
#1. Sushi Go! Party
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Imagine you are at a sushi buffet and you are in a sprint to grab all the best rolls before everyone else can claim them. Welcome to Sushi Go! Party!
You will be dealt a starting hand of cards with the ability to keep one and pass. Throughout the multiple rounds, you will curate and draft cards to build points while simultaneously watching your opponents’ hands in an attempt to block them.
Some rolls will seem like the best choice pointwise, but other rolls will build up as time goes on and surprise you. Don’t let your eyes out-think your stomach! Grab the right rolls for your plate to finish out the rounds in top place. It could get fishy though; keep an eye on your pudding cards so you do not end up losing points at the end.
#2. 7 Wonders
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Head back in time to the ancient world to build a civilization, establish an army, and rule your kingdom. As a ruler of one of the ancient cities, you are tasked with the responsibility of structuring your kingdom’s resources; but, with individualized game boards, you will have a special power to use to your advantage. Balance creating a solid military presence together with collecting resources to assemble your ancient wonder!
7 Wonders is a card-drafting game, play-and-pass, so you will see immediately which cards your opponents play. This might not matter to you, but as military power increases around the board, make sure you are not left defenseless or you will take a loss on points. Victory points can be achieved for money, conquests, and proper resource management.
The replayability for this game is substantial since the different cities give rulers unique abilities and switch up new strategies.
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#3. King of Tokyo
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Godzilla, King Kong, Alien, take your pick! Mutants are taking over the Japanese city and it is your objective to be the last monster standing to claim the title of “King of Tokyo.”
The game begins when you claim your monster identity, set your health points to 10, and your victory points to 0. Your decisions require you to plan for the future, but nobody can predict the dice rolls; think Yahtzee but with more monstrous effects!
You will need to choose which dice to keep and which to re-roll for more health, points, attacks, and energy. Energy can buy you mutations: a double-head for another die, harder-hitting attacks, etc.
Try to stay alive as long as possible or viciously fight to be the first monster with 20 victory points to be the true King of the city. Fun fact: This game was so popular that it was made into both a video-game and PC gaming experience too.
#4. Sheriff of Nottingham (2nd Edition)
Playing Time: 60 minutes
There is a new sheriff in town, and it is you! Prince John decided to pay Nottingham city a visit and business is booming!
In this bluffing and role-playing game, players will be assigned a token as either the Sheriff of Nottingham or street merchants attempting to sell their goods past the city gates. Times are hard and illegal goods fetch a higher cash value on the black market, but is it worth the risk if the Sheriff inspects your sack?
Put your poker faces on and declare your goods with confidence to slip past the long arm of the law. The sheriff holds the power to let you pass, inspect your goods, or confiscate your contraband. However, if you are persuasive enough, you might be able to strike a deal with the enforcer of Nottingham to hassle a fellow player instead!
Playing Time: 30-45 minutes
In southern Spain lies the beautiful Alhambra Palace. The building is decorated with an array of stained glass windows that reflect light so beautifully and gracefully that when King Manuel I stumbled upon the sight, he ordered his palace to be decorated in the same fashion.
Step into the role of a tile artist and adorn the walls of Evora Palace with such grandeur that all surrounding kingdoms will gasp at the sight. Lay tiles, build patterns, and coordinate placement on a grid to ensure your palace design will surpass the others.
In Azul, choose your colors skillfully, mapping your opponents’ actions to verify you will not be left with a surplus of one color causing you to lose points; it is a total design flaw!
Playing Time: 45 minutes
If you consider yourself a sore loser, this game is your perfect match. In Pandemic, an individual loss means a team loss. Players play against the game itself, all gown-ed up as disease specialists to cure an outbreak threatening the world as we know it.
Every player chooses a character with strengths that set them apart and make them vitally important in stopping the plague in its tracks. For example, while a Scientist role only needs four cards to eradicate a disease, an Operation Expert is only able to build research stations.
It is of utmost importance to work cooperatively to stop the spread before humankind is lost. Considering that diseases travel quickly, every turn is a chance to recover or lose control of the infections.
A turn consists of four actions: travel, treat the population, discover a cure, or build a research station. Assess your Emergency Management Plan of Action, act accordingly and cross your fingers that an “Epidemic!” card does not pop up to initiate an outbreak!
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#7. Ticket to Ride
No board game night is complete without a little friendly locomotive competition. Ticket to Ride is considered as simple as riding the train, and most first-time players can learn the game within 10 minutes.
You are assigned a train route to begin, with the chance to acquire more as time continues. Every turn is composed of two choices: placing trains/building a piece of the route or collecting colored train cars to build future tracks.
It is up to you to decide if mass-collecting or quick building is the path to victory, but if you do not act swiftly, you could lose the main track of your route, causing you to build in a longer, more annoying way.
Bonus Beginner Tip: Grab the short connections first, even if you do not need them. You’ll thank us later!Ticket to Ride
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Playing Time: 20 minutes
In Santorini, players are represented on the board with two workers each, building and moving around the board with the sole mission of building a three-level structure. You are able to move once per turn in any of the following ways: one level up, any number of levels down, or once along with the same level. It seems easy enough, but as always there is a catch!
Your opponents can block your building progress by constructing a dome on your lower-level buildings, hindering your workers, and forcing you to rethink your construction plans. You know what they say… The third level is the charm!
Playing Time: 15-20 minutes
Tsuro’s abstract gameplay design is modeled after Asian spiritualism, with an overall goal of building a “path towards enlightenment.” The artwork is stunning, and the set-up is simple and zen. A 6×6 grid adorns the table with small colorful tiles as playing pieces.
Follow your tracks carefully because wherever you place your pebble will determine your endgame. Every turn consists of laying a token nearby your original placement, running your token around the board with hopes of avoiding collisions and board runoff. Be the last pebble standing in this meditation garden to achieve ultimate wisdom and victory.
Dixit is a fusion of Pictionary, your favorite picture book, and good old-fashioned story-telling!
Take turns pulling a card from the deck, rehearsing your best story to match the depiction, and then sit back and wait for the other players to throw in their best matches for your tale.
After all of the players have contributed, a table vote is conducted to see which card best matches the teller’s depiction of the narrative. Whoever has the most votes is awarded points, and the player with the most points, wins the game!
Bonus Information: If you are one for card illustrations, Dixit is imaginative, playful, and offers stunning visuals.
Get ready to enter the amazing world of board games with these top picks for beginners! You should also check our our favorite Gateway Board Games for more ideas on how to indoctrinate your friends and family into this fantastic hobby.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best board games for beginners! Let us know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these or if you have any suggestions that we should add to the list! Wed love to hear from you.
Looking for other Board Games to Play? Check out our video below: