What are the best RPG board games to play?
RPG video games can be a great way to experience a new world and story by yourself, but nothing beats classic RPG board games in terms of spontaneity and engagement.
Whether you’re a veteran of tabletop games or just getting started and need recommendations, you’ve come to the right place to find your next go-to board game.
The Best RPG Board Games
To make it easier to find your next favorite, we’ve rounded up the most well-designed and engaging tabletop RPG games you can buy right now.
Here’s our list of the 10 best RPG board games:
In A Rush? Here’s Our Top Pick:
10. Stuffed Fables
Kicking off our list, we have the best RPG board game for families, and it kind of reminds us of the survival game Among the Sleep, except much less frightening and more family-friendly!
This unique RPG board game follows the story of a band of heroic stuffed animals tasked with protecting a little girl from the game’s villain, the Lord of Nightmares.
To do this, they must venture into the magical world of The Fall and prepare to battle the nightmares that threaten the child.
Adventuring across storybook pages, each player must take turns rolling color-coded dice to perform attacks, daring actions, and make other important decisions.
There are loads of unique discoveries to make throughout the world, and everyone must work together to defeat the evil Lord and win the game.
Every campaign uses an adventure book filled with maps and immersive storylines that you can play through, and a single session can last about 90 minutes, making it perfect for family game night.
There are also loads of different storylines, so you won’t have to worry about running out of engaging situations to play.
You can play Stuffed Fables with two to four players, and it is recommended for those ages seven and up.
If you do play all of the stories in the base game, there is even an expansion called Stuffed Fables: Oh Brother! where players must protect a little boy from the dark forces from The Fall.
While we think this game is perfect for families, there is something for players of all ages to enjoy.
It isn’t overtly scary or dark, but the plot is exceptionally engaging for kids and adults alike.
9. Sword & Sorcery
Fans of classic tabletop role-playing games will love this RPG board game, and it is one of the most customizable on our list.
It has loads of lore, rich character progression, and customization, making it wholly engaging for new players who want an in-depth RPG adventure.
To start, you can choose to play as one of five RPG classes, including a knight, a rogue, a ranger, a cleric, and a mage. You can also choose your character’s soul nature as either lawful, neutral, or chaotic.
These choices will have a massive impact on how you play through the campaign, influencing your style, encounters, fights, and checks. So, you’ll want to choose your setup very carefully!
The game’s main plot sees players take up the mantle of ancient heroes who must rise again to combat the advancing powers of darkness that threaten to swallow the world.
As you venture through the story, you will gain soul points from your vanquished foes that allow you to level up a maximum of seven times.
Each time you gain a level, you will become stronger and more capable, but if you are defeated yourself, it doesn’t mean game over.
Whenever you run out of health, your character will be resurrected at a shrine, provided your team has enough soul points to conduct the ritual to bring you back.
We love this mechanic, and it helps keep the action going even if you end up having a series of unlucky roles that result in your doom.
If you’re a fan of classic tabletop RPG games, we definitely recommend checking out Sword & Sorcery for its engaging story and in-depth character creation.
8. Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Star Wars has been the theme of many of the best LEGO games of all time, not to mention a whole host of other great games, such as the Battlefront series, but it also extends to the realm of board games as well.
Star Wars: Imperial Assault throws players into the middle of the Galactic Civil War, right after the destruction of the Death Star.
In campaign mode, one player assumes the role of the leader of the Galactic Empire, commanding all of their forces, while the other players act as rebel soldiers trying their best to put a stop to the Empire, no matter the cost.
As the game plays out, everyone will evolve, gain new skills, and level up to become stronger and more effective.
Every mission completed gets players closer to the final showdown between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance, and with over 30 missions in total, no two playthroughs will ever be the same.
If that wasn’t enough, there is also a skirmish game that you can play with only two players, which pits you against each other in a tactical battle to see who can earn 40 the fastest by defeating your opponent and accomplishing objectives.
Even if you’re more of a Trekkie than a Star Wars fan, there is something to enjoy in this board game, and the tactical combat system is one of the most fleshed out and robust that you will find.
While Star Wars fans will love the callbacks to the battles throughout the Star Wars Universe, everyone will love the sheer number of unique missions and situations you can stumble into while playing through this RPG.
7. Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
Pathfinder has a plot that could easily fit into one of the best free MMORPG games but is specifically designed to appeal to board game and card game lovers.
It even won the title of Best Game at the 2010 ENNIE Awards, along with many other memorable awards.
The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Core Set lets players choose from one of several pre-created character types, which you then build your deck around.
If you have ever played a card game like Magic the Gathering, the concept of deck building will come easy to you, but even if you are new to card-based games, it is really easy to pick up on the fly.
In the core game, the story kicks off with a mystery that you and the other players will need to solve, gradually unraveling clues that lead to the game’s main villain.
You and your group can stumble into loads of monsters, traps, and perilous situations, and the fun doesn’t stop if you manage to work your way through the core set plotline.
In addition to the initial set, Rise of the Runelords, there are three other expansions, Skull and Shackles, Mummy’s Mask, and Wrath of the Righteous, that you can pick up.
Needless to say, this game is extremely fleshed out, and more expansions are slated to release in the future, as well as new yearly campaigns, characters, and new equipment that you can add to your deck.
Although card-based RPG board games aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, we highly recommend giving this one a try if you’re a fan of in-depth adventure games that aren’t lacking in content.
If you decide to start playing this game, you will be hard-pressed to run out of things to do and adventures to have!
6. The Lord of The Rings: Journeys In Middle-Earth
The Lord of the Rings is one of the best-selling books of all time, and the blockbuster movies that followed only helped to turn the world of Tolkien into an even larger worldwide phenomenon.
Even if you aren’t a diehard fan of LOTR, there is no denying that Middle-Earth makes an excellent setting for an RPG and this board game highlights that perfectly with loads of procedurally generated situations that ensure no two experiences will ever be the same.
In Journeys in Middle-Earth, players can form their own Fellowship and explore the world, gaining power to help repel the dark forces amassing to threaten the lands.
This RPG board game stands out from many others because it requires a companion app that generates monsters to fight and situations to solve, all of which are generated at random for a unique experience in every game.
This app is available on PC and mobile phones and acts as a virtual character sheet that tracks character progression and equipment throughout the campaign mode.
Although fans of pen and paper RPG board games may not like this change, it helps cut down on clutter and makes cleaning up after the game a lot easier.
Furthermore, because all of your character progress is saved on the app, you won’t have to worry about accidentally losing your sheet and progress if you ever need to cut a game short.
While this role-playing game is designed for cooperative play, it can also serve as a solo RPG board game if you feel like just adventuring on your own.
A typical session lasts for about an hour, so it is a great way to spend time and unwind in a unique world that is just as fun as any of the most popular video games right now, if not more.
5. Descent: Journeys In The Dark
Created by Fantasy Flight Games, Descent: Journeys in the Dark is our pick as the best fantasy RPG board game, and the second edition is a revitalization of the tabletop RPG classic.
Set in the fantasy world of Terrinoth, players start off choosing their roles, with one playing as the evil overlord and the rest as honorable heroes fighting for justice.
Everyone must work together to battle monsters, complete quests, and earn money in an attempt to defeat the overlord, all while they do their best to put a stop to your heroic journeys.
This is an incredibly exciting board game, especially if you’re already a fan of dungeon crawls, and all of the quests are very well designed, taking players to caves, ruins, cursed forests, and more.
Every game plays out in unpredictable ways depending on the characters you’re playing as, your choices, and your luck.
Time is also a significant factor, as your characters will become progressively fatigued as your venture through dungeons, eventually requiring rest.
This mechanic makes playing feel more balanced, since you can’t simply rush ahead without sleep like many of the most popular video game characters of all time who never seem to sleep, eat, or take a break.
Moreover, you don’t even need to play with other people if you don’t want to!
Like The Lord of The Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth, this board game has a companion app that allows you to enjoy solo play against an AI playing as the overload.
We love having solo play as an option, especially since not everyone has time to get together with friends when they want to play through a campaign.
4. Mansions OF Madness
Mansions of Madness is arguably the best horror RPG board game, and it isn’t for kids under 14.
Drawing inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft, this multi-session horror campaign game immerses you in the dark and dreadful streets of Innsmouth and the mansions of Arkham; only in this world, there is no caped crusader to rescue you from the monsters and mystery.
Like the games mentioned above, Mansions of Madness requires a companion app, which allows you to choose an investigator out of the playable characters based on the skills and weaknesses you want to work with.
As an investigator, you and your party will need to explore the Arkham mansions and other dark locations across the unpredictable map to uncover strange secrets, solve complex puzzles, and battle otherworldly horrors.
To get through this game, you will need a lot more than just luck, and many of the situations really challenge you to think outside of the box to solve the mysteries that comprise many of the quests.
If that wasn’t enough, there are also insanity cards that cause characters to lose their minds to the madness, altering the game in unexpected ways that help to keep everyone on their toes.
Once you start playing, especially if you’re a fan of horror, it will be hard to move on to another board game, but fortunately, there are five expansions that you can also jump into to keep the mystery alive.
This board game may not require you to face something as hard as one of the toughest video game bosses, but the puzzles, monsters, and constantly evolving challenges make it one of the most engaging and compelling RPGs for horror fans to play today.
3. Mice And Mystics
Mince and Mystics is a fun spin on the traditional themes found in many RPG board games, and it starts with you and your fellow players — loyal followers of this fantasy world’s prince — imprisoned during a royal coup.
To escape your confinement, everyone is turned into mice to allow you all to venture into the sewers and back into the castle to strike back at the usurping witch who has taken the kingdom over.
Each of the playable characters has a specific playstyle that compliments the others, so you’ll want to be sure to pay attention to which one you choose to play as.
While there is little character progression, every player can still gain more powerful equipment as you move through the story.
The overall story is wholly engaging and plays out like a fairytale with fun components that make it fun for the whole family.
Although you can play with up to four players, we think it makes a great two-player campaign, with there is a lot of room to create a unique experience without it feeling too cluttered.
One fun thing to do with this game is to each play as multiple characters and make up different voices. The more you get into it, the more hilarious it becomes!
2. Mage Knight
Mage Knight is one of those board games that has gained an incredibly loyal fan following, and for good reason.
Not only does it come with a world full of rich lore, but it is one of the best — if not the best — RPG board games for single players.
While it can be played with up to four people, this causes a lot of downtime between plays which can slow things down and cause some frustration.
However, when playing this game solo, it really shines and has even been the inspiration for the development of many other modern solo board games.
The Mage Knight board game features many of the staple components that many in the genre utilize, including deck-building, tile placement, and character development. Still, there is a lot of room for customization and spontaneity.
Each turn allows you to perform various actions, from moving to combat or triggering special abilities against foes, and every action can influence the outcome of the campaign.
You will have to carefully think about everything you do and your action’s potential outcomes to progress down the path you want.
However, if you ever regret a decision, a reset option allows you to override your last turn.
If you are someone who loves tackling puzzles and games that make you think, Mage Knight is an RPG you would enjoy.
There are also loads of expansions you can add into the action, and playing this campaign solo is a great way to pass the time or take a break from cooperative play, even if the best multiplayer games of all time are fun in their own right.
If you are even remotely familiar with RPG board games, you’ll understand why we had to give the top spot to Gloomhaven.
This critically acclaimed game is massive and comes with 95 campaigns that will easily take you over 100 hours to complete.
While there are no expansions, it certainly isn’t lacking content in its base form!
Teamwork is the name of the game when it comes to tackling the quests in Gloomhaven, and you and your party will have to work together to defeat the evils lurking in the dungeons and dark ruins that litter the playing field.
The combat system is card-based and provides players with loads of flexibility and choices that make every quest unique.
You also won’t need a dungeon master, since all of the monsters are generated automatically, with the story being driven directly by player choices.
Speaking of characters, there is a wide variety of characters and 17 classes to choose from, all of which can be completely customized and leveled up throughout the game.
Being able to customize and invest in your character so much lends itself to making this game one of the most immersive, and it’s easy to develop a strong fondest for the character you create.
In terms of the campaign, this game has a legacy mechanic that ensures every playthrough will be different and that your choices directly affect the world you are helping to build.
This game is designed to have a lot of replayability, with the ability to retire characters as you unlock new ones as you progress to continue where you left off.
We absolutely love this mechanic, and it really saves you from falling into a boring rut since you always have an option to evolve your playstyle further and keep the gameplay fresh.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best RPG board games!
Whether you’re already a fan of tabletop gaming or just looking to dip your toes in, these games are the best on the market today, and they can each provide hours upon hours of fun!
If you haven’t yet played any of the games on our list, we highly recommend picking the one that stands out to you and giving it a roll!
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best RPG board games:
- Mage Knight
- Mice And Mystics
- Mansions of Madness
- Descent: Journeys In The Dark
- The Lord of The Rings: Journeys In Middle-Earth
- Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
- Star Wars: Imperial Assault
- Sword & Sorcery
- Stuffed Fables
What’s the best RPG board game, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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