This article showcases our top picks for the Best 2020 Board Games. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below).
We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.
This product was recommended by Kevin Mercier from Kevin MRC
Reiner Knizia’s My City was nominated for the Kennerspiel des Jahres this year. This is a unique family-oriented game with simple rules and a short playing time. Every player has a similar set of tiles, in the same shapes and colors, and has to place them one at a time as those shapes are revealed from the game’s deck of cards, which makes the order random and new every time you play. As you go, you can add stickers to your board which makes it easier or harder to score points, and will also add more tiles to your supply that increase the challenge. The rule changes attempt to rebalance the game every time you advance to the next episode. My City has one of the simplest rule sets I’ve seen in a legacy game, which makes it the easiest one to recommend to new players.
This product was recommended by Marliis Reinkort from Code Galaxy
If you like horror movies and haunted mansions, you’ll like Betrayal at House on the Hill’s frightening atmosphere. Players take on the role of one of six different characters who, at first, are all on the same team and are tasked with exploring the board’s scary mansion. During the haunt phase, when monsters, ghosts, or other paranormal spooks enter tame, one of the players will betray the others by forming an alliance with enemies, and the other players must combat them.
The Catan board game is one of the best board games in 2020. This is a strategic game that helps you collect resources and become a good negotiator as you built your community and civilization. You need to get resources like wood brick, sheep, or wheat and you trade them with other players to somewhat build your city. It’s fun and brain-stimulating at the same time so you need to learn to be good at handling business.
I’m a lifelong Disney Parks fanatic, and my favorite attraction of all time is the Haunted Mansion, so when this game first appeared, I knew I had to have and play it. And I’ve been playing it ever since. It’s the closest that any ride or die Doombuggies fan can and will get to ride through the Mansion’s corridors without setting foot in the Parks…
This product was recommended by Hakeem Shittu from iPad Recycle
Ticket to Ride from Amazon has a broad appeal for all ages, is extremely replayable, works well with any number of people, and not too competitive. Don’t be fooled that it looks boring and all about trains, with a 5-star rating and 20K reviews on Amazon alone, this will become a firm favorite in no time. You know when you’re onto a winning game because there are many unauthorized copies being offered online, so take care to get the original.
I’m big on gaming and Horizon Zero Dawn is one of my favorite video games, so I had to try out this board game when it was released. It surprised me in the best of ways, as it can be played both competitively and cooperatively, which is great for when you want to switch things up.
I first bought this game because I liked the art on the cover, and it did not disappoint. It is all about colonizing Mars, by completing different missions in turns, and there is a lot of strategy involved, which I personally love.
I’d describe this game as having Indiana Jones vibes, as it is all about adventuring to find a lost civilization. The game uses decks, and it combines random luck with tactical decisions, so it’s a good balance.
The best social or party game of the year, Half-Truth is a trivia game with enough twists to make it work on the tabletop or even over videoconferencing. Half-Truth comprises a series of cards with a question or category on top and then six possible answers, three of which are correct. You must get at least one of those correct answers right to score in that round, but you can try to get two or even all three for more points. Most of the categories are things you will sort of know, but I found it was rare that anyone would really know all three answers on a card.
Whenever I have more than three people around I love to play psychological RPGs that absolutely pit everyone against each other and throw all trust into the dirt, games like Secret Hitler and Werewolf have dominated any wine-filled get-together in my house. In Christmas of 2020, I was very pleased to have been gifted Scape Goat, it is now one of my favorite games to whip out at any party. It is full of lies and deceit and it really makes you question whether your friends are against you or if you are just being paranoid. I really recommend it to any RPG board game lovers out there.
One of the best board games for 2022 is Sequence. It is a classic game where the objective is to get five tokens in a row on the game board. To do this, play a card from your hand and place it on the corresponding game board space. This game is so great because it can be played with as little as two people up to twelve people. It is for ages 7 and up. The game is easy to learn. It requires a little skill, strategy, and a lot of luck.
This product was recommended by Sarah Ross from CocoLoan
It’s a fantastic game! There are three game modes to choose from. A faster, easier family game, a single option, or the conventional version are all available. We’ve tried both the family and normal modes and like them both. You are attempting to capture cats and load them into your boat in this game. To get your cats to fit, think Tetris-style puzzles. Each round involves numerous phases, but once you’ve gone through them a few times, you’ll get the hang of it. There is some strategic thinking required, but it is not very difficult. The game pieces are brightly coloured and well-made, and the box is as well-made.
Ride the Rails is for 3 to 5 players where each player is investing in railroad companies while building train tracks across the USA. There is an expansion that allows players to build train tracks across France and Germany. The rulebook is just an A4 paper with text on both sides which assures you that the learning curve is not steep. The artworks also help lure people in to play as it’s quite eye-catching. One game consists of six rounds and each round has three different phases. No one is in a rush to take the first position in the first few rounds so the possibilities of people being at each other’s throats is not high. It takes about 60 minutes to finish which is another positive side of this game. As the number of rules are not that many, people quickly start picking up the pace an strategizing against each other. I usually play with people who are not into board games so the complexity, playing time and artwork really makes a difference. You won’t stop playing Ticket to Ride because of this but the stock holding aspect of the game does make a difference.
This product was recommended by Becky Usanga from Techy10
Pandemic Legacy games have been my favorite experiences. Since they can only be played through once and then go into the trash, it’s hard to rank them against more traditional games. But getting 15-20 plays for your $50 or so investment is surely worth it. And Pandemic Legacy Season 0 may be my favorite yet. It’s set roughly during the Cold War before the events of the rest of the series. Rather than battling disease cubes, you’ll be dealing with Russian agents.
This product was recommended by Sam Cohen from MyFreeOCR
The board game Horizon Zero Dawn is a cooperative board game. It is not a competitive one. The players will work together to defeat the machines and survive the post-apocalyptic world. This cooperative board game is based on the popular video game Horizon Zero Dawn. If you have played the video game, then you will know that this board game has a story that is very similar to it.
A perfect choice for strategy and roll-playing enthusiasts, Goonies: Never Say Die recreates the original Goonies movie with countless variations based on player decisions. Playable for 2-5 players, one player adopts the role of the evil Goondocks Master while the others take on the identities of the beloved heroes of the original Goonies movie. The game has a high replayable value as each time, the story shifts and progresses through 9+ adventures, each taking at least 50 minutes to play through.
Taking place in an alternate past of upheaval in 1920’s, each player (1-5 possible) represents a character from one of five factions of Eastern Europa who are attempting to earn their fortune and claim their faction’s stake in the land around the mysterious Factory. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build mechs, and activate monstrous mechs to control the game board and ultimately win the game. A game of endless replayability and numerous expansions, it’s a strategy-lovers dream
My younger son fell in love with this when he was 5. It’s Clue for the little ones. You must move around the board in Outfoxed to gather clues and, once you’ve gathered several, use the unique Evidence Scanner to eliminate suspects. You must act quickly: thesly, guilty fox is running to get away. Can you catch the tricky thief or will you be Outfoxed?
My suggestion for the best board games of 2020 is Marvel United. Marvel United is a board game where each player gets to play as their favorite Marvel hero and try to defeat one of the game’s three primary villains: Red Skull, Taskmaster, or Ultron. Gameplay is simple and easy to follow. Each turn, a card is played on the game timeline which progresses your character through defeating smaller villains and inevitably leading up to taking on one of the bigger three. Marvel United can be a great game for families because it’s simple enough to be understood by younger family members (game listed as 14+), but complex enough to engage older individuals as well.
A perfect thriller game for Crime genre lovers. Sheriff of Nottingham takes you back to Medieval England where merchants would try their very best to smuggle illegal contrabands into the marketplace. Published by Arcane Wonders, This game tests your intelligence as you’ll need to Bribe, bluff or tell the truth to the sheriff. The merchant that smuggles more contrabands and creates more wealth eventually wins the game.
This product was recommended by Steven Walker from Spylix
Plaid Hat’s fantastic Crossroads games use smart mechanisms to create an interactive narrative. Previous games featured Dead of Winter’s gloomy survival tales and Gen 7’s deep-space terrors. Both games revealed the dynamics of intricate interpersonal conflict and looming threats. Forgotten Waters keeps the fantastic branching plots and options that distinguish the Crossroads games, but it’s more whimsical and mystical. This works in the game’s favor, resulting in a lighthearted and generally cooperative adventure through an exaggerated and enchanted pirate world.
This is a great resource management game with some lovely visuals that has you creating new lifeforms under the sea, very similar to the video game Spore now that I think of it. There are plenty of cards to switch up the experience every time you play it, and even a different set of rules if you want to play it with younger players so it’s a little lighter.
This product was recommended by Wilhelmina “Billie” Zeelen from Bzice
Me and my partner love playing deck builder games, and some of my favorite board games are the big guns like Dune and Thunderstone. So when we picked up FORT, I thought it would be just another fun little deck builder that has some brilliant illustrations. I was pleasantly surprised when the mechanics of the game weren’t exactly like the average deck builder, it has a lot of great player interaction and the game focuses more on the big picture of winning than other deck builders. Even though this game comes with a good amount of rules, we picked up on the gameplay quite quickly and it became very smooth! If you are a fan of deck builders, I feel like FORT will be your marmite, but it is really worth a play because if you like it, you will love it.
Calico is a beautifully-designed game where you sew the coziest quilt and collect/place patches of different colors and patterns. This game is great for kids. families and those who prefer more strategic games. With a very easy learning curve and fun abstract theme, Calico is bound to please any type of board game player!
Azul is an award-winning, challenging board game in which the player decorates the wall of palace Dvora. In this game, players create particular tile patterns by carefully arranging accurate styles of tiles to score points. This game’s Moorish art, colorful tile pieces, and beautiful aesthetics are attractive and engaging. Azul is a competitive game that requires critical thinking. This board game is easy to learn and can be played with 2 to 4 players, suitably for adults and 8+ kids.