10 Best Fantasy Board Games

Best Fantasy Board Games
Best games to live out your highest fantasies

If you’re like me, you grew up on tales and stories of high fantasy. Dragons and orcs, princesses and goblins, and an array of heroes out to complete an ancient quest. If you’re also like me, you’ve been drastically let down by what the real world has to offer. Never fear - there exists a whole host of board games designed for people just like you and I. 

10. Legacy of Dragonholt

Role-play your way to success in this quest-based game. 

Legacy of Dragonholt is an immersive, narrative based role-playing game. Players will have the opportunity to build a character who will embark on a quest together with their companions. Players have the choice of six different quests. The narration follows a very realistic set of events - for example, you may have to visit certain locations at certain times of the day because otherwise they are closed. The choices you make along the quest will affect how the game will progress. The game ends when the players successfully complete their quest. 

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Character Creation; Legacy of Dragonholt comes with a whole slew of character types and races for you to decide what character you want to play with. This allows for more creativity than other games that offer pre-set character determinations. 
  • Narrative Roleplay; Legacy relies more on narration, character building, and interactions with the quest than on battle sequences. If you’re not sold on rolling die and taking damage, you may prefer a game like Legacy
  • Quest Choice; In Legacy, you choose which quest you would like to complete, in contrast to other games where the quest is randomly assigned. 

9. Eldritch Horror

Battle ancient monsters to save the world. 

It’s the end of the world as you know it. You and your trusted group of heroes must band together to save the world from an ancient evil. Players work together to solve clues, figure out mysteries, and protect the world from the Ancient One. Players pick one of four Ancient Ones to have in play, which will determine how the rest of the quest will proceed. As rounds proceed, players draw cards that have tasks and mysteries for them to solve. The goal of the game is to banish the Ancient One from Earth. 

Choose This Game If You Like...      

  • Pre-Set Characters; Each player can choose an “investigator” character to play that will determine their character features. With twelve to choose from, there’s still enough variety to have fun choosing which you want. 
  • Variable Decks; Eldritch Horror features a wide array of Ancient Ones, Card Decks, Investigators and so on that makes each round you play a unique experience. 
  • Ancient Monsters; The Ancient Ones of Eldritch Horror feature well-known creatures of mythology. If that’s your thing, you should give this game a try. 

8. Mage Knight

Play with friends or duke it out every-man-for-himself style in this magical game. 

Mage Knight features your choice of four mage lords in the Atlantean Empire. As the game progresses, you can build armies, conquer land, collect spells, and more. Characters come equipped with pre-set dials that specify the mage lord’s stats, expediting game play. There are a total of eleven scenarios that players can choose from, each with a different goal to winning the game. Each round, players can take a variety of actions, such as buying spells, plundering land and more, to work towards completing their goal. 

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Collaborative or Individual Game Play; Mage Knight gives the option of choosing routes that involve collaborating with your fellow players, or playing each person for themselves. 
  • Combat; Mage Knight is a more combat focused game where you need to pay attention to your stats and gained features. 
  • Complex Game Play; Mage Knight can be complicated for newbies, and if you enjoy sinking your teeth into a new game and figuring out the best way to make it tick, this is for you!

7. Terra Mystica

Terraform, grow, and develop your land - even at the expense of your neighbors. 

Terra Mystica features fourteen different groups who each dwell in a different land, with its own features. The goal of each group is to terraform the land around them into something inhabitable for their peoples. This puts them into direct competition with the players around them, as everyone strives to collect the most land for their own group. 

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Strategy; In Terra Mystica you have to balance your resources, what actions you want to take, and your proximity to other players in order to gain land effectively without putting yourself at risk. 
  • Resource Allocation; As mentioned above, players have to be careful about how they spend their resources. If you like games like Catan, where resources will make or break your success, this may be the game for you. 
  • Land Building; Terra Mystica does not have the combat typical of the genre, and instead focuses on cultivating land through a few different means. Build, trade, or upgrade houses to advance in Terra Mystica.    

6. War of the Ring

Live our your Lord of the Rings fantasies and fight for good - or evil. 

War of the Ring is a strategy game based on The Lord of the Rings. The game is designed for two players, and can be played with up to four if playing with teams. One player controls the “shadow peoples” and tries to conquer Middle-Earth or corrupt the Fellowship’s ringbearer. The other player controls the “free peoples” and tries to hold back the shadow to allow the Fellowship to reach Mount Doom. 

Choose This Game If You Like…

  • The Lord of the Rings; This may be an obvious point, but one worth making. War of the Ring features an adventure story centered around the plot to the Lord of the Rings and featuring an array of familiar characters. 
  • 1v1 Gameplay; War of the Ring is designed for only two players, with a maximum of four if the players team up. 
  • Long Gameplay; War of the Ring can last several hours so best buckle in to defend Middle Earth (or destroy it).    

5. Gloomhaven

Wander, plunder, and dungeon crawl your way to loot aplenty

In Gloomhaven, players take on the mantle of wandering adventurers, each with their own characteristics and backstories. As gameplay develops, players will be able to “level up” and gain skills (and loot!). Players will be faced with a number of scenarios, which they will need to work cooperatively on to decide their next step. Gloomhaven is a dungeon-crawler game where players have to play cards to win in encounters and gain loot. Run out of cards, and you’ll be forced to retreat. 

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Replayability;  That feels like a made-up word. With 17 playable classes and 95 playable scenarios, you can replay Gloomhaven to your heart’s content. 
  • Dungeons and Dragons; Gloomhaven mirrors much of the set-up and goals of any good Dungeons and Dragons campaign, while giving your hard-working DM a well deserved break. 
  • Loot and Combat; In Gloomhaven you will engage in combat and have the opportunity to loot dungeons for spoils. If these things appeal to you, give Gloomhaven a go. 

4. Munchkin

Play as increasingly ludicrous heroes in this Dungeons and Dragons spoof. 

Munchkin is a card based “spoof” game. Battle monsters, help your friends, then stab them in the back and steal all of their stuff. Players have character cards with their base characteristics, and can gain items, weapons, and perks as the game progresses. If you encounter a monster, you have to defeat it in battle. Your fellow players can choose to help you, perhaps in exchange for some treasure, or they can sic extra monsters on you. Come out successful in these encounters, and level up. The first player to reach Level 10 wins!

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Humor; Munchkin was formed as a spoof on some of the more ridiculous Dungeons and Dragons and fantasy-genre staples. Weapons are equipped with ridiculous names set to defeat even more ridiculous monsters. 
  • Surprise Combat; In Munchkin the monster you meet is completely randomized. This means you may be meeting a level 8 monster when you’re a measly level 1. And yes, you can die, knocking you out of all future rounds. 
  • Betraying Your Friends; Team up or abandon your friends - or, even better, collect monsters and sic them on your friends to knock them out of play. The world is yours. 

3. Lords of Waterdeep

Collect resources and complete quests as the Lord of your town. 

In Lords of Waterdeep, players take the mantle of a Lord striving to complete quests and gain points. Each Lord gets different perks for completing certain quests. On the board are different tokens that players can claim by placing one of their meeples on the requisite place. Quests are completed when players amass the correct amount of colored tokens or coins necessary. Coins can also be used to purchase “buildings”, which have special features to afford the owner extra resources. 

When players complete quests they earn victory points. At the end of the game any extra points are added up to determine the winner. 

Choose This Game If You Like… 

  • Resource Allocation; If you like a good economics or trade game, and enjoy collecting resources to complete a goal, you’ll like Lords of Waterdeep.
  • Simple Gameplay; I find the rules of Lords of Waterdeep easy to pick up and understand. Where the game thrives is in players starting to figure out how best to strategize their resources and quests in order to gain the most points at the end. 
  • Quests; If you tend to stray away from narration and story based games, but still like the idea of completing quests in order to win, then give Lords of Waterdeep a shot. 

2. Betrayal at the House on the Hill

There's a traitor amongst you - but who will it be?

In Betrayal, players choose from a range of characters, each with different strengths and weaknesses, and set about exploring a haunted house. As players explore, they build the board from a number of tiles. There’s a basement, ground floor, and attic, with a number of unique rooms that could only be found in a creepy, old, abandoned house (the Crypt being one such example). As players explore, they find a number of omens, and will eventually trigger “the haunting”. 

The player that triggered the haunting becomes the “Traitor”. There is a different haunting depending on what room and with what omen the Traitor started the haunting. Each haunting will have a different goal for the Traitor versus the rest of the players to win the game. 

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Spooky Mansions; Betrayal has a whole host of rooms for players to build the abandoned property of their dreams. 
  • Pre-set characters; Betrayal has set characters, each with their own starting stats (that can be raised or lowered throughout the game through different actions). Sometimes character creation can be too much of a head-ache or burden, and Betrayal does the work for you. 
  • Variable Game Play; Since the haunt and the goal of the game depends on both the room of the house and the omen that was pulled, it is very rare to get the same haunting twice in a row. Over the numerous times I’ve played, I’ve yet to repeat a haunting - and even if you do, there’s no guarantee to how it will go, making replays still as thrilling as the first time.    

1. Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate

Amp up your traitorous tendencies in this high fantasy rendition of Betrayal. 

From the creators of Betrayal at the House on the Hill comes Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate. Instead of building a house, you’re building a city, and instead of satanists and witches and ghouls, you’re being “haunted” by classic Dungeons and Dragons characters such as a mind flayer. 

Baldur’s Gate takes Betrayal and adds an extra high fantasy element that earns it the top place on this list. 

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Betrayal; For obvious reasons, if you liked Betrayal at the House on the Hill, you’re sure to love this DnD twist. 
  • Dungeons and Dragons; This one may also be obvious from the above, but Baldur’s Gate is really as if Betrayal and DnD had a baby, and that baby enjoyed board games. Players of Baldur’s Gate can enjoy a classic DnD setting filled with familiar characters and monsters. 
  • Variable Game Time; Depending on when the “haunt” is triggered, games of Betrayal and Baldur’s Gate can last well over an hour, or be wrapped up within as much time. 

You may also be interested in:

Born to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Julia spends her days collecting sea shells, walking barefoot, and pretending if she tries hard enough, she can still become a mermaid one day.
Favorite Genre: RPG
Top 3 Favorite Games:, ,

Latest Comments

1 Gamers Commented on this game. ADD YOURS.

You must login to post comments.
500 characters remaining

All Comments (1)

Gof5550's picture

Gof5550 10 months 1 week ago

Lords of Waterdeep is really fun! Flamecraft is another pretty solid fantasy board game. It's easily become one of my favorites.