The 17 Best Board Games on Steam
Board games are hard to play online because it is meant to be played, well, on the board with other people. However, there are a few amazing and fun board games on Steam that go under the radar, and they are specifically curated to be easily played on the screen with other players.
Some of the biggest problems in playing board games are that you need everyone to commit to a certain time and place at the same time, but if you are able to play online, it is easier to set up the time, and you can even play with random players online.
Popular board games like Monopoly, Game of Life, and Battleships are all available for online play these days, and you can easily find other players to join in. In this list, we have chosen the 17 best board games on Steam, including games that started as a board game first and online exclusive games tagged as a “board game” on Steam.
If you are into board games, Tabletop Simulator is the best bang-for-buck board game you can get on Steam. The game is all about trying out new tabletop games to play with your friends built in the game’s unique physics sandbox. There are over 15 built-in game classics like Chess, Dominoes, and Mahjong, but the real excitement comes from the games made by the community.
Since Tabletop Simulator has its own workshop, everyone can create their own custom board games, tables, decks, 3D models, scripts, and a lot more. There are thousands of games made by other content creators that are shared through the workshop, and you can try out a different board game each time.
Some of these custom games are mirrored around real board games, so technically, you can play almost any board games out there as long as the mechanics can be implemented in Tabletop Simulator. Creating custom models might be a tough task, but you can always count on the community to create something amazing.
Gloomhaven is a Euro-inspired tactical combat board game. The game is available on Steam, and it is much easier to play than on the board. The game is more of an RPG where you take the role of a wandering adventurer and face the dark world with up to three other players in online co-op mode.
There are 17 unique mercenaries to choose from, and each one comes with its own unique set of skills and more than a thousand abilities to master. The combat system is turn-based, so you will have time to strategize each move you make to survive. Each action comes from your ability cards, and you will prepare your own deck as you explore each dungeon.
You will have thousands of abilities, perks, gear, and enhancements to unlock throughout your playthroughs, and you will be surprised at how deep the depth of the game is for a board game. Every choice you make has life or death consequences, and you will need to plan accordingly and never let your guard down.
The game has 100+ hours worth of content as long as your friends are willing to continue playing. Exploring each of the mercenaries with different playthroughs on a branching campaign of 95 story missions makes the game incredibly long.
The length is a good thing because it will take a while before you learn the mechanics of the game and explore builds with ability cards and gear. If you like this type of game, you can look into our best turn-based Steam games and find some other wonderful titles to play.
Uno is a game that needs no introduction. Even for people who have never played the game, the memes are always going to be there, and you will always remain curious about what it means. Uno is one of the most iconic card games ever. It might not fit the list, but it is usually played on the board, which is why it is tagged as a “Board Games” on Steam’s categories.
For the uninitiated, the game is really simple. Your goal is to race against other players to empty your hand by matching cards either by color or value. There are also action cards available to change things up, and this is what really breaks friendships in the end.
The game is addicting, and you can customize your experience with a variety of house rule changes and settings to try mixing things up a bit. The game’s replayability highly depends on the players you play with because the core mechanics of the game are essentially the same addicting formula, no matter how you change it.
Monopoly is probably the most iconic board game of all time. You will need 2 to 8 players to play a single game, and the goal of the game’s classic settings will be to bankrupt all the other players playing the game.
You will choose a token and roll the dice to move around the board. The board is littered with properties and actionable landing spots like taxes, Chance and Community Chest cards, and a lot more. Most of the game is based on luck, but the game gives you a lot of other options to strategize. You can trade properties with other players to complete sets and earn more profits when other players land on your property.
A single game can take a couple of hours to finish, but since most of it is based on luck, you can finish a game in under 30 minutes as well. When dealing with other players in trading situations, this is usually what prolongs the game, at the same time, destroys friendships and relationships. Always remember, Monopoly is just a game.
Monopoly Plus is available on Steam, and the “Plus” only stands for its graphic representation inside the game, where everything is turned into a full 3D city and evolves as you play. If you are familiar with playing over the board, you’ll be surprised how different and beautiful the game is played online.
The Game of Life
The Game of Life is another classic board game made popular because of social or family gatherings. The mechanics are mostly the same as Monopoly, but with less focus on strategizing and more focus on casual gameplay. The goal is to have the highest dollar amount value at the end of the game.
You will roll and land on places on the board that gives a specific action. There are job opportunities where you can get more money, meet a wife or husband, start a family, and eventually gain or lose monetary value as you go through the board. Each aspect of life has a dollar equivalent, so starting a family will not reduce your dollar amount at the end of the game.
These mechanics are all explained in the rulebook as it might get a little complicated, but the game itself is as simple as rolling and letting the dice take the wheel. Play the game and see where life takes you, and have fun with your friends and family.
Town of Salem
Town of Salem started off as a web browser game where the game is played with 7 to 15 players. The game was released on Steam offering better UI improvements and an easier matchmaking system.
A game is played where each player receives a role with a unique ability in the Town of Salem. The goal of the game is to finish your objective, and each faction has a different objective. There are usually three different factions in a game – Town, Mafia (replaces Coven roles), Neutral, and Coven (replaces Mafia roles). Neutral roles have unique objectives in order to win.
Once everyone gets their roles, players will be able to talk to each other and try to manipulate other players to complete their objectives. Each day, all the players can put on a vote on who to lynch, and keep in mind, the Town always has the majority of the players. The game’s enjoyability depends on the players playing and how they interact, and that is what makes every single game unique.
Town of Salem offers DLCs and introduces new ways to play the game by adding new factions and roles. As mentioned before, Mafia and Coven are interchangeable depending on the game mode since Coven is only available as a DLC. If there are Mafias in the game, there will be no Covens and vice versa.
Gremlins, Inc. is a strategy-type board game with a steampunk theme featuring corrupt capitalist gremlins who will compete for money, power, and prestige. The elements almost mirror your typical Monopoly game, but with a ton of extra depth to the gameplay.
Gremlins, Inc. is designed for up to 6 players. Each player has six cards in their hand, and you will use these cards to move around the field and perform different actions. The number of players changes the gameplay significantly, but you can agree on a certain score limit or a total number of rounds to complete a game.
Your main goal is to save, invest, steal, extort, and arrest until you are on top of the ranks and ladder. The game has a diverse resource system that allows every player a chance, even if luck isn’t on their side. It may take a while to learn the game, but it is an addicting board game that is well-designed to be played online. If you become better, the game also features ranked sessions where you can compete with other players to increase your world ranking.
Root Collector’s Edition
Root is a beloved tabletop board game that made its way to Steam. The game is all about adventure and war, where you battle it out with other players for control of the wilderness.
There are four factions available in the game – Marquise de Cat, Eyrie Dynasties, Woodland Alliance, and Vagabond. Each turn is split into three phases, birdsong, daylight, and evening. Each phase is detailed on each player’s faction board.
To win, you can either score 30 victory points or play and complete a dominance card. The game has a lot of mechanics to learn, but that is usually the deal with most board games. From dealing cards to placing ruins to gathering pieces and setting up factions, there are a lot of things to learn, and Roots on Steam will help you learn the game faster.
The game has two expansions, and buying the Root Collector’s Edition will save you some money. The bundle includes the game’s soundtrack, but if you are not interested in it, you will still save money by buying the bundle.
5D Chess With Multiverse Time Travel
Chess has been played ever since its invention in the 6th century AD. Yes, that is how long chess has been alive, even up to this day, with all the computers helping players play optimally. You have 16 pieces on the board, and your goal is to capture the opponent’s king. You have six kinds of pieces that move in a specific way on the board.
However, 5D Chess With Multiverse Time Travel isn’t your typical chess game. You will play the board where every move can affect the overall outcome of the game, or should I say games. Since the game is in 5D and features time travel, each move that travels back in time will create another reality.
In short, it would be like playing multiple chess boards at the same time, but you would have to defend your King on each board. Chess is a simple game that is easy to learn but insanely hard to master. There are more than a billion ways to play chess, and professionals always calculate multiple lines in their heads with the speed of light.
5D Chess adds a different dimension to the game, but the game’s UI features make it easier to understand and play. The intuitive interface makes experimentation easy, and you can visualize how your pieces move through different diagrams and views. If you are intimidated by the 5D chessboard, don’t be. As long as you enjoy playing chess, you will get the hang of this game quickly.
Axis & Allies 1942 Online
Axis & Allies 1942 Online is Hasbro’s classic board game that has been around since the 1980s. They only released the game on Steam, the digitalized version, in 2019. The game is a turn-based strategy game where players act as the World War II powers – the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union for the Allies and Germany and Japan for the Axis.
The board game is quite long and complicated, but you get notified when it is your turn, and you can command armies at your own pace. The game’s rules are similar to the board game, and since the game is played online, you will not have to deal with the setups and cleanups for playing the game.
The game features high-quality graphics, and the sound effects add to the immersion of the battles. You can easily play matches online and rise through the game’s own ranking system. The best feature about the game is that you can play anytime you want and get notified when it is your turn. You can read the history or War Diary to check out what happened when you weren’t in the game.
Battleship is another classic board game from Hasbro’s long list of family-friendly board games. The game is very simple. Your goal is to destroy the opponent’s battleship by pinpointing, deducing, and attacking where their battleship might be strategically placed.
You are both given a tile-by-tile version of a naval battlefield, and both of you will be placing your battleships on the battlefield like a Tetris block. These coordinates or placements will be unknown to the other player, and you will take turns attacking random spots on the naval battlefield.
Battleship’s classic board game is a lot different online because you have a lot of options when it comes to game modes. There is the classic mode, commanders mode, multiplayer, and arenas. They add a lot of twists to the game, such as adding more tactical variations, new core abilities, special commanders with unique abilities, and ship sizes that change the gameplay significantly.
Ticket to Ride
If you love trains and board games, Ticket to Ride is the perfect game for you. In this classic railway adventure, your goal is to be the quickest player to link up your cities and reach your destinations. The board will be filled with lines on multiple routes, and you will need to strategize your way to victory.
You can try out different tactics like blocking your competitors’ lines or quickly taking over other routes before others can claim them. Playing Ticket to Ride digitally on Steam allows you to freely get expansion packs and purchase additional maps with a whole new set of rules.
Each game will be different, and if you find this game fun to play with your friends, you can try out other maps to change things up – from Europe to India, Nordic cities, or Legendary China.
100% Orange Juice
100% Orange Juice is one of the highest-rated games (by players) on this list. While the anime-style art might turn people off, the game is an absolute joy to play with other friends. It can be considered one of the best anime games on Steam, but it feels more fitting to list the game on our best board games list.
The game is played where you and three other players start at the center of the board. Each player will create their own deck, and everyone will roll during their turn to move around the board. Once you move around the board and encounter another player, you can challenge them to a tactical battle using cards and the rolling off the dice, mostly RNG-based.
The game will teach you the mechanics, and it is quite easy to grasp, especially when played online. The objective to win a game is by collecting “Normas,” which you get by getting stars, collecting from bonus panels, or defeating other players in battle. You can also get wins by defeating non-player character bosses and enemies.
100% Orange Juice is a bit quirky, but the game has hundreds of combinations that will make each game unique and enjoyable. The game has been around since 2013, and there are a ton of DLCs that adds a ton of cards and characters that add more content to the experience.
Through the Ages
Through the Ages is considered one of the best board games ever made and ranks as the third-best board game ever, according to Board Game Geek. The game can be compared to one of the deepest 4X strategy games in Sid Meier’s Civilization but played on the board.
You will begin with a small tribe and expand your farm and mines to get your resources up. Once you have resources, you can either choose from other key factors that make up a great civilization, such as technological advancements, grand wonders, better governance, or military power.
Almost everything is mirrored around playing cards, and these cards will be the ones guiding you to build a mighty civilization and dwarf your other opponents’ progress. There are a ton of paths to victory explained in the game, and you will learn to strategize your resources carefully and lead your civilization to a victory path faster than your opponents.
The game’s depth in mechanics have been well-crafted digitally as a video game, and it is one of the best digital adaptation of a board game that made its way to Steam. If you like strategy board games with a lot of depth, you will definitely spend hundreds of hours playing this game, making it worth every penny spent.
Clue/Cluedo is a classic mystery board game where players take part in investigating a murder from a gathering of suspicious characters. You get to play different characters, weapons, and locations as you start the game.
Each player will go from room to room and eliminate people, places, and weapons. From there, the player who correctly accuses the murderer, what weapons were used, and where the crime was committed will win the game. Players will not be allowed to look at the three cards inside the solution cards envelope until they are out of the game.
The mechanics are easily learned on Steam instead of learning all the rules and set up through the rulebook. The game features a season pass where you get access to all the themes and character packs available. Clue/Cluedo is fun for everyone, and you can play online to fill up a few spots and make the games more interesting.
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
The Game of Thrones board game is based on the best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. The title has been popular for a long time because of the TV series, books, and games making it to each and every household.
If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, this game is definitely a must-try. You will be familiar with all the strategic planning, diplomacy, and military tactics involved in the Game of Thrones universe. For those unfamiliar with Game of Thrones, there can only be one ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, and each player will control “Houses” or clans that will try to take control of Westeros.
While it may seem like a game of tactical combat, the game heavily focuses on the negotiation and deception aspect of the gameplay. The board game adaptation to Steam will take you step by step into learning all the complex mechanics in the game, which will make it easier to grasp as someone who is not familiar with learning and playing board games. It is a must-try for those wanting a more in-depth strategy board game.
Twilight Struggle is a two-player board game where players will either as the US or the USSR. The events happening in the board game are actual events from history, and players must plan out their strategies in order to take control of the world.
You can change history by playing each side perfectly. You will move units and exert influence to gain allies and control superpowers. Again, the strategic gameplay and mechanics can be quite complicated, but playing it on Steam will help you learn the game faster because of all the tutorials and visuals that aren’t available on a real board game setup.