Game nights are a fun, engaging way to get together with friends and family. Whether you’re working together to beat the board, or trying to sabotage your opponents, a great time is almost guaranteed.
But games can get pricey, and bills aren’t getting any cheaper. No need to fret. Set out the snacks and invite your friends over because we’ve got a list of exciting games that won’t break the bank. Here you’ll find our list of best board games under $75.
🏆 Our Top Picks for Best Board Games Under $75
In a hurry? Take a quick peek before you go.
Playing time: 60-120mins
The Industrial Revolution — an era that birthed ingenuity and rapid development for civilization as we know it today. Transport yourself to Lancashire, England, where you and your fellow entrepreneurs will be competing to develop and build lucrative networks for your flourishing industries.
There are two halves in the game: the canal and rail phases, in which players will earn victory points. Players may choose to build rails or canals, take out a loan, develop an industry, or sell cotton. Economics is a balancing act. Will you be able to utilize your resources effectively to maintain a healthy financial status while growing an industry?
This competitive Euro game fully captures the economic essence of the Industrial Revolution. Brass: Lancashire (and Birmingham) are arguably some of the best economics games on the market. Plus, with updated rules and beautifully redesigned classical artwork, this game is worth the pound sterling.
Playing time: 120mins
In the 21st century, colonizing Mars has become a legitimate hot topic. Fast forward to the 2400s in Terraforming Mars, and what was once science fiction is now our reality. In this tile placement game, you’ll quickly learn just how complicated making another planet livable can be.
The task of this game is – you guessed it- to terraform Mars. Players will take the roles of private corporations working together to make Mars habitable. Work for the common good of Mars by stabilizing oxygen levels, creating oceans, and warming the planet, but each corporation has its own interests in mind as well. Cooperation meets competition in this game. You will need to have the proper balance if you want to be the top dog who helps change the Red Planet to green.
This award-winning space-themed game is perfect for any science lover or board game enthusiast. It is truly one of the best science games out there and worth every penny!
Playing time: 60-90mins
Which animal deserves to rule the great woodlands? In Root, we’re headed into the forest to find out.
Play as one of four factions, each of which has its own objectives, strategies, and path to victory. War meets strategy meets area control in this game as each group battles to rule the forest. Each group has its strengths and downfalls.
As a cat, you’ll be ahead in the beginning, as cats have the power at the start of the game. You’ll bring infrastructure to the forest, but you’ll be viewed as “the bad guys.” The eyries — who lost power to the cats — want control back. They are strong but unstable and their plans can fall apart quickly.
The alliance wants to fight tyranny from both the cats and birds. They will be fashionably late to the game but gain importance quickly. The greedy vagabond will work toward his own goals while helping or impeding other factions in the process- whatever works to his benefit. The fate of the woodlands is in your hands.
There is so much to be excited about with this game. Firstly, it would be almost impossible to ignore the beautiful fairytale forest design of this game, complete with its cute animated miniatures. Secondly, because each faction reaches victory differently, this game is varied and has a high replay value. Root is an exciting, strategic game and is sure to deliver hours of entertainment.
Playing time: 120mins
The birth of the Industrial Revolution allowed goods to be produced and transported around the globe faster than we had ever seen before. You’ll need to utilize your entrepreneurial abilities to meet the newfound demands that followed. In this complex train game, you will build and expand your railways to maximize your profits.
Sounds easy enough, right? Well, you’ll need to manage a variety of business operations such as hiring workers for your factories, designing and extending optimal railway networks, and delivering goods to cities. Decisions made are critical for remaining competitive and maximizing your net worth. In the end, dollar signs are all that matter.
This game is challenging. There are a lot of economic and logistical factors you’ll need to take into account, so it may appeal to more serious gamers. But, if you feel like testing your entrepreneurial abilities, this is the game for you!
Playing time: 120-180mins
War. What is it good for? Actually, it’s quite the theme for a board game.
World War II is finally over. But now we see a precarious conflict arise between two global forces. Thus begins the Cold War. In this strategic 2-player game, you will either be playing the communist USSR or the capitalist USA.
Twilight Struggle is an area control game in which players take actions to build and spread their own influence while attempting to weaken that of their opponents. This influence on other countries is crucial to your victory. You will need to think and plan steps ahead if you want to come out on top. As is also true in real life, you will need to avoid reaching DEFCON 1 on the board. A nuclear crisis will be the end of the game.
This is a great history refresher, as cards are filled with historically accurate facts related to the war. It is one of the best, and most unique war games out there. And with a playtime noticeably larger than its price tag, you don’t need to second guess your decision in purchasing this game.
Playing time: 60-150mins
Whether you identify as a mermaid, witch, giant, or alchemist, you’ve found your home in Terra Mystica.
In this fantasy land, players will govern one of fourteen races, all of whom have their own unique abilities and skills. Each faction is vying to rule the greatest area of the land and will work to terraform the surrounding landscapes for their own benefit. Although building away from others will provide room to expand, you’ll be giving up extra power. All the information needed is in your hands, you just need to choose what to do with it.
Luck won’t help you in Terra Mystica. You will be required to strategize, but these efforts will be rewarded. This game is a bit complex, but once you play a few rounds, you’re sure to have a blast with it.
Playing time: 45mins
Do you dare enter the haunted grounds of Warwick Manor? If so, you better prepare for the séance of a lifetime to solve this murder mystery. One problem… the victim is a mute ghost who can only communicate with you through visions.
That’s where you and your fellow psychics’ abilities come in handy. In this cooperative game, everyone will work together to answer the who, how, and where of this case. Will the team of psychics be able to decipher the ghost’s visions to expose the murderer? The more collaborative the teamwork, the greater the chances this malicious killer gets caught!
Collaborative games are an excellent way to bring friends and family together on game night. This game has a variety of outcomes so you can be sure no two games will be the same. Plus, with a price tag that won’t scare the pants off you, you can rest assured this is the perfect game to add to your collection.
Playing time: 30-150mins
Sometimes life on the farm can be just about as boring as watching wheat grow. So, you and your spouse will spend some time improving your lives by growing your farm.
Agricola is a worker placement game that has 14 rounds and 6 stages. At the end of each of the 6 stages will be a harvest. Each turn, both spouses are allotted an action. As the game progresses, more and more actions will be available in each round.
Will you choose to grow a family? The benefits of this include receiving more actions in future rounds, but more people also equal more mouths to feed. Will you earn wealth and victory points by growing crops or livestock? Will your farm come out on top by expanding your pastures? Your strategy is up to you and the cards you’re dealt. In the end, the family with the best farmland will win!
We obviously love the farming theme of this game. Especially the cows! What’s particularly great about Agricola is that there are a family version and expansion packs that keep this game exciting and accessible to all. It’s an udderly great game that won’t cost you too much bacon.
Playing time: 60-90mins
Houston, we have a problem. Something has gone terribly wrong on this mission and your ship has made a crash landing on an uncharted planet. You are literally lost in space.
Players need to work quickly if they want to survive the piercing cold of this distant planet. With a vandalized ship with irreparable damage, your faction will need to explore the planet, scavenge for scraps, and build shelter all before sunset. First, you’ll need to find your crew members. Utilize drones to rescue your crew and recover valuable materials before your hostile competitors. Everyone is competing for survival.
Your best chance at safety is to seek shelter in the caverns near the planet’s core. Saboteurs skulk around every corner, so you’ll need to work quickly to use resources to build machinery and vehicles for efficient exploration. At sunset, this icy planet freezes over and the game ends. Will you be able to get your team to the safety of the caverns in time?
Resourcefulness is at the heart of this game. You will have a lot of choices to make and each turn is full of possibilities. Cryo is an out-of-this-world sci-fi game that won’t cut into your resources.
Playing time: 30-45mins
Journey to the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, where the sweeping mountains and crisp air rejuvenate the soul. Embrace the diverse ecosystem with verdant forests and adored wildlife. Because in Cascadia, the balance of nature is in your hands.
Cascadia is a puzzle-like tile-placement game in which you will need to create a balanced ecosystem. Players earn points by growing areas of their terrain and minimizing fragmentation in their habitats. Populate your terrain with indigenous wildlife, all of which have their own spatial needs. Working towards these goals will create a harmonious habitat for the animals who live there. After all, that is the object of the game.
This is an incredible game for all nature and animal lovers. The game is simple to play and is a less competitive option. The enchanting art by Beth Sobel is reason enough to have this game on your shelf. Cascadia is the perfect, affordable adventure for when it’s not possible to pack up the backpack and hit the trails.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best board games under $75! These amazing strategy games and cooperative board games offer hundreds of dollars of entertainment value and social fun for under $75 MSRP. The game night memories you’ll make are sure to be worth every penny.
Have you tried any of the games on this list? Did we miss any of your budget favorites? Drop a comment below and let us know about any board game deals you know about too! We’d love to hear from you.
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Kendra has always been a hardcore fantasy nerd. Growing up in the worlds of Tolkien, Sanderson, Jordan, and Abercrombie, DnD & board games just came naturally. She and her husband, Bryan, started GameCows.com in 2018 as a fun passion project that just took over their lives. An avid board gamer since childhood and chronic DnD chronicler for more than two decades, she loves to play, write, travel, and learn dead languages.