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Top 10 Board Games of 2021

2021 has come and gone. It had some ups and downs as all years tend to do. With that, it’s always fun to look back and see some of the highlights of yesteryear. Today we’re looking at some of the best board games to come out in 2021. We looked at expansions, new IPs, and everything in between to see what tickled our fancy in 2021. 

So get ready and let’s dive in. 

#1. The Crew: Mission Deep Sea

Mission Deep Sea is the spiritual successor to the original Crew. The Crew’s trick-taking mechanics have upped their game with Mission Deep Sea. If you’re a fan of the original, chances are, you’ll love the sequel. 

The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
  • Cooperative strategy game--win or lose together!
  • A new twist on classic trick-taking card games
  • Difficulty increases as the game progresses, making it a good...

The Crew is one of the few trick-taking games that’s actually cooperative, making it rather unique. It plays almost identically to the original, but the upgraded mission cards and rules have streamlined and refined the whole series. It’s definitely worth checking out and has an insane amount of replayability for such a simple yet wonderful game. 

The Crew: Mission Deep Sea
  • A follow-up to the Kennerspiel des Jahres winner, The Crew, with...
  • The Crew: Mission Deep Sea has the same innovative cooperative...
  • Work together to win the right tricks at the right time.

#2. Cascadia

In the wake of the trekking board game, Cascadia looks to nature for its theme. Cascadia puts players in charge of their own wildlife preserve. How you place your tiles and how you fill them with wildlife is the meat of the game. 

Each animal scores differently and can only be placed on certain types of tiles. The combinations of tiles and wildlife offer a huge amount of replayability in a rather pretty setting. It’s one of the easier games to get into, especially with a beginner variant of the rules that simplify scoring. This makes it easier for everyone to jump right into the action.  

  • Take A Journey To The Pacific Northwest As You Compete To Create...
  • 1-4 Players
  • 5 Minute Setup Time

#3. Sleeping Gods

Red Raven Games came out with another gorgeous box and artwork, but it’s also one of the best games to come out of 2021. Red Raven is responsible for the wonderful Above and Below and they’ve assumed the same style as Sleeping Gods

They’ve amped up the storytelling elements to create a beautiful experience where players go on a journey on the steamship Manticore. 

Sleeping Gods
  • Explore A Massive, Open World In A Game Atlas Of Connecting Maps...
  • Includes A Novel-Length Storybook To Read As You Explore, Filled...
  • The Cooperative Play Allows Players To Jump In Or Out With Ease,...

#4. Ark Nova

Ark Nova puts players in control of their own modern zoo. Players have to balance sponsors, conservation projects, staffing, enclosures, and all the aspects of managing a successful zoo. 

I’m personally not a fan of zoos, but Ark Nova does a fantastic job of bringing the theme to life. It’s not all about simply having animals, but managing all the responsibilities that go along with it. 

Ark Nova
  • Build Your Zoo Your Way - With The Ultimate Goal Of Owning The...
  • Over 250 Unique Cards - At The Heart Of Ark Nova Are Cards...
  • Smooth And Fast Gameplay - With 5 Core Actions To Choose From...

#5. Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition

Terraforming Mars is one of the best Sci-Fi board games out there, and Ares Expedition takes it to a whole new level. Ares Expedition is a brand new stand-alone game added to the series. 

Ares Expedition brings the mission to Mars back, but this time it’s in card form. 

Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition
  • Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition is a faster version of the...
  • For 1-4 players
  • Ages 14+

#6. Ankh: Gods of Egypt

Who doesn’t want to become a god? Ankh brings to life the ancient Egyptian gods in another spectacular production from CMON, who’s known for its amazing miniatures and production value. 

In Ankh, players take the role of Egyptian gods and have to manage the people, monsters, and other deities. It’s beautifully done, but also one of the more fascinating games of 2021.

Ankh: Gods of Egypt
  • BECOME AN EGYPTIAN GOD: Assume the role of an Egyptian god as the...
  • STRATEGY BOARD GAME: Fight for the adoration of the populace by...
  • UNIQUE ACTION MECHANIC: Players perform two actions per turn,...

#7. Destinies

I was really excited for Destinies to come out. I’m a huge fan of story-driven games, and Destinies pushes the boundaries.

Destiny plays like a traditional pen and paper RPG but replaces the Dungeon Master with an app. In Destinies, all players have their own goals and destinies and are trying to push the narrative in their favor. It’s incredibly cool and perfect for those looking for more story-driven gameplay. 

  • Two ways to enjoy the game in solo play with an open relaxed...
  • Destinies is for 1-3 players and comes with five unique scenarios
  • Easily taught in just a few minutes and 2-2.5 hour tabletop...

#8. Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile

Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile is an interesting new take on legacy-style games. Players influence an ancient land through the ages. As players progress, the history (previous games) will affect future gameplay. This creates an impressive narrative and a completely unique world.

The interesting part is that the game can be reset at any time and used again and again. There are no permanent game-destroying mechanics, giving it much more replay than a traditional legacy game. It’s something completely unique that I’ve never seen anything quite like it. 

Oath: Chronicles of Empire & Exile
  • Retail Edition
  • Colorful Stitched Neoprene Playmat
  • Card based setup and quickstart walkthrough will get you started!

#9. Meadow

Definitely one of the prettier games to come out in 2021, Meadow is a gorgeous set collection game where players take the role of explorers as they journey through new lands. 

The game itself is filled with watercolor illustrations of wildlife. Players collect sets of different types of wildlife and plants to gain the most victory points. It’s worth a look, especially if you appreciate good art in your games. 

  • NATURE-THEMED STRATEGY GAME: In Meadow, you and your friends set...
  • CHALLENGING & COMPETITIVE: Meadow is a drafting game where...
  • FUN FOR ALL AGES: Meadow’s elegant design is easy to learn....

#10. Cubitos

I didn’t quite know what to expect judging from the box art of Cubitos but I was pleasantly surprised. Cubitos is a weird-looking racing game where players are trying to win the Cube Cup. 

Each player has a racer on the board and a handful of dice as their support team. Players roll the dice and use the results to gain more dice, move up the board, or even use special abilities. Seems simple enough, but there’s a blackjack element where you can go bust, making it fast-paced, although not as simple as it looks. 

  • Be Fast or Be Last!
  • 2 to 4 Players
  • 5 Minute Setup Time

Find the best board games of 2022 below:


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