Top 20 Best Board Games Like Catan Ranked & Reviewed

If you loved Settlers of Catan (now, Catan) and have already played through all of its expansions, you may be looking for new options to spice up your game nights. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite board games like Catan to grow your library and expand your board game repertoire.

🏆 Our Top Picks

In a hurry? Check out our favorite board games like Catan before you dash off.

Best Worker Placement

Viticulture Essential Edition
Catan may not be a worker placement game but the strategy involved in running and developing your own vineyard falls in line with Catan. If you’re looking to trade in your dice for a worker placement mechanic, this is it.

Best Fantasy

Terra Mystica
Terra Mystica offers a lot of variety and replayability within its fantasy setting. It has multiple races with unique powers that offers a ton of gameplay in a single box.

Best Overall

Agricola (Revised Edition)
Agricola keeps a lot of the themes from Catan but refines everything to a solid hardcore strategy game. It’s one you shouldn’t miss if you’re a fan of Catan.

What Makes Catan so Popular?

Catan is an incredible game that has gained immense popular appeal. There’s no denying that it has become a household name and there are several reasons for that.

First of all, it was one of the first mainstream board games to offer something different. Instead of a Milton Bradley/Parker Bros rage-inducing table flipper, Catan offered gamers a new way to play that wasn’t entirely dependent upon who got a hotel up first. 

That’s not to say it’s without its flaws but it’s solidly cemented itself into the hearts and minds of the board game community. 

After a while, however, you may find yourself thinking, “What’s next?” 

Catan makes an excellent gateway game and, quite honestly, it’s probably responsible for most players’ initial interest in the hobby.  So, today we’re sharing with you the best board games like Catan or games that you may like if you’re a Catan fan.  

#1. Agricola

Agricola 3-Player Board Game

Agricola is the next logical step after Catan. In Agricola, each player takes on the role of a humble farmer, and what they do with their land is entirely up to them. You can focus on livestock, crops, and building up facilities on your farm. 

It’s a rather intricate game that offers numerous options with never enough time to complete everything. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

If this was a survey, Catan would check the box for “Eurogame” with a pencil, whereas Agricola hits that box with a sharpie so hard that it bleeds through the paper. 

If the Euro aspects of Catan and the agricultural trading side are what drew you into the game, then Agricola is the next step up. It offers zero-conflict gameplay with a rabbit hole of strategy that will keep you busy for a long while to come. 

Agricola (Revised Edition)
  • For 1 to 5 players
  • 120 minute playing time
  • Fun, family game

#2. Terra Mystica

Terra Mystica Board Game

Terra Mystica is a fantasy territory-grab in which multiple unique fantasy races rush to grab up the most territory. Not just any ol’ piece of dirt will do, though.

The fishmen are clearly not going to go for the desert. No, they’re going to try and gobble up all the sea spots… but what happens when there’s not enough? Well, a swamp is pretty “watery” so why not terraform it all the way?

Terra Mystica offers an incredibly in-depth strategy game that pushes players to the limit.

How it’s a board game like Catan

If the iconic island of Catan and it’s “This town ain’t big enough for the both of us” feel is what drew you to the game, it may be time to look at Terra Mystica for your next jaunt. 

Terra Mystica offers a large world with variable powers that forces players to expand on a limited map without ever having to directly attack your fellow players. The focus is more on your own borders and strategic blocking than say, the dice-fest of a game of Risk

Terra Mystica
  • Fun strategy game with a simple game principle and very little...
  • Govern one of 14 factions trying to transform the landscape on...
  • Large number of possible games keeps it entertaining every time

#3. The Castles of Burgundy

Castles of Burgundy Board Game Box and Boards

The Castles of Burgundy is (unsurprisingly) set in the Burgundy region of medieval France.

Players are part of the ruling aristocratic class, trying to develop their area of the region to be more prosperous than their rivals. Players have to plan ahead to ensure they’re princedom is worth the most amount of points while simultaneously keeping track of their opponents’ moves. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

The civilization-building in Catan is weak compared to a lot of other board games out there. You’re not going to get the same depth as something like Through the Ages or 7 Wonders but Castles of Burgundy would be the next logical step before you hit the big leagues.

The Castles of Burgundy
  • FUN PLAY EXPERIENCE – In The Castles of Burgundy, players...
  • HIGH QUALITY COMPONENTS – This board game comes with 164...
  • GREAT REPLAY VALUE – Playing time is 30-90 minutes, for 2-4...

#4.Viticulture (Essential Edition)

Viticulture Essential Edition Single Player Board Game

Viticulture swaps out your struggles on the fictional island of Catan with running your very own winery. Viticulture is split into two seasons where players build, grow, and manage workers to become the most profitable vineyard in Tuscany.  

How it’s a board game like Catan

Viticulture pits players against each other through worker locations. It still feels like the land grab of Catan because there’s simply not going to be enough spaces or workers to do everything. It’s similar to how nobody will ever get all of the 8 or 6 spots in Catan. It’s a fantastic game and branches out into other mechanics for the fledgling gamer. 

Viticulture Essential Edition
  • For 1-6 players
  • 45-90 minute playing time
  • The essential edition includes the second edition of viticulture...

#5.Concordia

Concordia Board Game Art

Let’s take a trip through history with Concordia. The Roman Empire usually conjures up images of legions and military might. However, an empire doesn’t stay an empire through conquest alone.

Concordia explores this concept through trade within the Roman Empire. There are no legions to be found here, but you’ll have to deal with food, wine, cloth, and trade routes to keep the empire from collapsing in on itself. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

Concordia relies on a supply chain to win. During a game, you need to pay attention to every move a player makes as well as planning your own moves in advance. This ups the ante for strategy when compared to Catan and if slamming down a road and blocking your opponents is the high point of your Catan game, Concordia is definitely worth a try. 

Concordia
  • For 2-5 Players
  • 90 minute playing time
  • Historical strategy game

#6. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Board Game Box and Components

Do you want to be governor of your own colony? 

Puerto Rico is an economic game of colonialism where players take control of the production of their own little slice of Puerto Rico. They’ll need to share ships but the crops and buildings they grow determine their output and ultimately, their overall production for shipping. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

Puerto Rico shares a similar theme to Catan with its focus on the economic expansion of an island, but the mechanics of the game are much more in-depth and require a lot more strategy when it comes to what buildings and products each colony produces. 

If the purely random dice rolls of Catan aren’t enough for you, Puerto Rico offers a much more fleshed-out economic experience. 

Puerto Rico
  • 3 to 5 Player Game
  • 90 Minutes to play
  • High quality farming and economic themed board game

#7. Power Grid

Power Grid 6-Player Board Game
Power Grid helps define the entire genre of Eurogames. Players compete to create a well-oiled infrastructure of power plants. The player with more interconnected regions with the most power wins, but it’s not that simple. As players buy new power plants, better technology becomes available, but the requirements and resources to run them go up as well.  

How it’s a board game like Catan

Catan introduces the basic principles of a Eurogame, but Power Grid is a whole other beast of the genre. Agricola is the Euro that most closely resembles Catan but Power Grid is simply a powerhouse in the Eurogame world. 

Power Grid: Deluxe
  • 2 to 6 Players
  • 90 minutes playtime
  • For ages 13 and up

#8. 7 Wonders

7 Wonders 6-Player Board Game

Become the leader of one of the great ancient civilizations of the past. 7 Wonders is one of the best civilization board games out there. It’s chock full of theme, strategy, and exciting gameplay. Players compete to build up their civilization through the ages and complete the wonders of the ancient world.

How it’s a board game like Catan

Instead of developing your settlements into cities, 7 Wonders uses a card-drafting system to build up your civilization. There’s a lot less random chance thrown in, and winning and losing is more dependent upon the cards you choose to keep and pass. This adds a different type of strategy that may appeal to Catan aficionados. 

7 Wonders
  • For 3-7 Players
  • 30 minute playing time
  • Great strategy game

#9.Pandemic

Pandemic Board Game Featured Image

Pandemic is a cooperative board game in which the world is under siege by four simultaneous viruses that threaten humanity as we know it (Maybe a little too close to home?). 

Players have to work together against the clock or risk the extinction of the entire human race as we know it. Pandemic also has a ton of great expansions to keep the pressure on for years to come.

How it’s a board game like Catan

Pandemic isn’t a whole lot like Catan. I wasn’t sure whether to add this or not but decided to anyway. The core gameplay mechanics are completely different and the cooperative nature of the game is vastly different from Catan’s robber and monopoly cards. 

It is, however, one of the defining gateway games. If you’ve played Catan and absolutely loved it, then trying out Pandemic will give your table exposure to a game that helped put cooperative games on the map. It’s also not a bad way to pass time in quarantine. 

Pandemic
  • For 2-4 Players
  • 60 minute playing time
  • Updated version of the popular co-operative game

#10. Istanbul

Istanbul Board Game

Welcome to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar where a shrewd merchant can find anything they might possibly want or need… for a price. 

In Istanbul, players compete to become the most successful merchant by managing their workers, buying goods, and upgrading their own resources. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

Istanbul offers a different style of trade network to its players. Instead of just building roads, players will need to gather resources using a merchant and his workers. 

Good help is always hard to come by, so instead of simply sending workers out, the merchant needs to escort them to resource-collection points and leave them to their tasks. To get the worker back, though, the merchant needs to go back to retrieve them. It advances the economic theme from a macro point of view to a more personal, microeconomic setting. 

Istanbul
  • Highest quality components with wooden bits and beautiful red...
  • Created by famed game designer Rudiger Dorn
  • Gorgeous artwork by Andreas Resch

#11. Stone Age

Stone Age 3-Player Board Game

Travel back in time and take control of your own tribe of early humans in Stone Age. Stone Age is a worker placement economic game in which players build up their tribe through agriculture, tools, and sheer numbers. 

Players need to use workers to gather resources, hunt for food, build, and trade. Stone Age offers such a wide variety of strategies to victory. I’ve played it dozens of times, and it’s still one of my favorites. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

The base mechanics may be different but the economic structure of Stone Age can give Catan fans an entry point into worker placement games. It requires dice rolls to successfully gain resources but the randomness of the rolls can be mitigated with either tools or the number of workers you have. It’s a lot less random than Catan and that can be a plus if you’ve angered the dice gods

Stone Age
  • STONE AGE, A FASCINATING ADVENTURE IN THE PAST
  • 2 to 4 players
  • 60 minutes playtime

#12. Dominion

Dominion Board Game

Dominion is the original deck-building game. Each player starts with an identical hand of cards but as the game continues, each player will customize their deck of cards to their particular strategy. No two games will ever be alike and as far as variety and replayability go, it’s hard to beat Dominion. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

Admittedly, the core mechanics of Dominion and Catan couldn’t be farther apart. They do mesh well together, however, when it comes to planning. Both games require careful preparation and strategy to be successful. If you start dropping roads willy-nilly, you’re simply going to lose and if you start picking up random cards in Dominion, you won’t be able to get the combos to work. 

Try Dominion (or one of its expansions) if the tactics and planning aspects of Catan tickle your fancy. 

Dominion (Second Edition)
  • 2nd Edition features updated cards, artwork and streamlined rules
  • Tactical game for 2-4 Players
  • 30 minute playing time

#13. Splendor

Splendor Board Game Box and Card Setup

Splendor is a simple collection and tableau-building game in which players set up their supply chain for the gem industry. The smaller cards build up resources that allow players to afford the more expensive and valuable cards. It’s a simple game that is very family-friendly and relatively quick to play. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

This is another game that falls into the gateway category. If your player group is full of newbies and completely blown away by Catan, but aren’t quite ready to jump up to Agricola or one of the other heavy games on the list, you can always try out another simpler game that introduces some newer concepts while still being family-friendly

If you’re looking for another no-conflict game that offers a fun experience Splendor may be your diamond in the rough. 

Splendor
  • Ages 10 and up
  • Number of Players: 2 to 4
  • Game Time: 30 minutes

#14. Archipelago

Archipelago 4X Board Game Logo

Historically, the Caribbean region contains a wealth of resources and valuable trading opportunities. In Archipelago, players have to explore and build that trade network.

Also, the Caribbean already had inhabitants prior to the arrival of explorers, so simply coming in and taking everything without considering the native populations, results in riots and revolts. That’s not good for anyone. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

Christophe Boelinger, the designer of Archipelago, wanted a much more interactive version of a Eurogame with 4X mechanics and a theme that actually means something. Catan’s theme is great but like most Eurogames, can easily be replaced with a different one. Check out Star Trek Catan or Game of Thrones Catan if you don’t believe me. 

Archipelago offers a similar style of economic buildup but with much more interaction between players. On top of that, each player will have a different objective, so somebody making a trade with you could be helping you but could also be trying to steal victory away at the very last second. 

If you’ve ever thought you wanted more player interaction than, “Who wants this sheep?” Archipelago may fill the void. 

Archipelago
  • Modular game with vast possibilities
  • A semi-cooperative game by Christophe Boelinger (Dungeon Twister,...
  • The possibility of choosing the length of your game - from 30...

#15. Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride: Anniversary Edition Board Game Box and Trains

In my opinion, Ticket to Ride takes the title of the best family-friendly board game away from Monopoly. Players draft cards to match the color-coded routes on the board. My favorite part is that literally until the final scoring nobody truly knows who the final victor will be. It’s a tense game through and through. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

The family-friendly factor of Ticket to Ride can’t be overstated here. It’s perfect for all ages and even if the kids are a little younger, there’s a simpler version that’s designed specifically for the younger crowd. 

If you’ve hit Catan and are looking for the next big thing for family game night, Ticket to Ride (or any of its many versions) offers a lot of strategic fun that the whole family can get in on. 

Ticket to Ride: 15th Anniversary Edition
  • Celebrates the 15th anniversary of the classic game
  • Includes 5 exclusive sets of clear plastic trains
  • Features a 4 page retrospective booklet featuring the history of...

#16. Century: Spice Road

Century: Spice Road Board Game Box, Cards, and Blocks

The Century series is fantastic. Each game focuses on a different mechanic to bring this small world to life. 

In Spice Road, players tackle the challenge of trading on the Silk Road to make a fortune selling spices throughout the world. Players must establish new trade routes and harvest spices all for profit. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

Century: Spice Road offers a fun trading and economic system that is much more in-depth than Catan’s. If you find yourself enjoying the struggle of pawning off your massive flock of sheep for the ever-scarce ore, you might really enjoy the trading system that Spice Road offers. 

Century: Spice Road
  • Introducing century, a series of exciting and wonderfully...
  • Each title is set in different centuries, from the 15th 17th,...
  • Century: Spice Road is the first title in the Century series of...

#17. Carcassonne

Carcassonne Board Game

Carcassonne is most players’ first stop in the tile-laying board game world. It’s a classic game that forces players to manage their meeples effectively. As players lay down tiles, they can also set a meeple down to hopefully score some big points. If the feature is never finished, the meeple doesn’t do anything other than sit there and waste space. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

The simple tile-laying game with a ton of great expansions is another great starter game for fans of Catan. It adds strategy without the rage-inducement of Catan and is, in general, much friendlier while still offering strategy and blocking. 

Carcassonne
  • Completely redesigned rulebook to make learning the game easier
  • Introduces the Abbot mini-expansion and a new version of the...
  • Game and expansions have sold over 10 million copies worldwide

#18. Chinatown

Chinatown Board Game

Chinatown is a development game. Players build up their little section of Chinatown with whatever shops they can and the most profitable player after 6 years (in-game), wins. The twist, however, is that chains of the same shops and layout affect the profits. Bigger is always better, right?

How it’s a board game like Catan

Chinatown uses a pretty serious trade and negotiation system. After upkeep, players have free reign to trade whatever they want: buildings, money, favors, threats, whatever. It’s my favorite aspect of the game and depending on who you play with, the most fun. 

Chinatown
  • Great for social gatherings and family play; 2 to 5 players
  • 60 minutes playtime
  • For ages 14 and up

#19. Alhambra

Alhambra Board Game

Alhambra is a fortress in Andalusia, Spain. In Alhambra the board game, players get in on the ground floor of production and compete for control of the most shops and buildings within the fortress complex. There’s only so much room, however, and the player with the most impressive structures built at the end of the game wins. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

Alhambra is another economic development game that also adds card and set collection to the mix. Similar to Catan, players will need to build up their empire while focusing less on dice and random chance, and more on planning and strategy. 

Alhambra (Revised Edition)
  • Officially Licensed
  • Revised Edition Including new Game & Scoring Board, Tile...
  • Best Game in France 2003 / Best Game in Finland 2005 / Best Game...

#20. Machi Koro

Machi Koro Board Game

Machi Koro is a fast-paced city-builder that looks absolutely adorable. To win, players need to build their landmarks before anyone else. 

Each building added to your part of the city grants bonuses throughout the game and ultimately leads to victory. 

How it’s a board game like Catan

Machi Koro uses a similar dice mechanic to Catan. As players build up their cities, they’ll be able to add new buildings to their part of the city. When the dice match up to a building they own, they’ll be able to use the ability on the building. 

It’s very similar to how players get resources in Catan. This will help transition beginners from Catan to yet another game they can fall in love with. Did I mention the artwork is adorable? 

Machi Koro
  • Same smash hit Evergreen gameplay that has been a Breakout hit...
  • All new 3D molded Custom Coins in 3 sizes and colors - no more...
  • Brand new 20mm chunky dice

Wrap Up

Well, there you have it! We hope you enjoyed our list of board games like Catan.

What game did you play after being introduced to Catan? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.