Legacy board games have gained wide recognition in recent years and have surpassed most of the base versions. The reason for this is the ever-changing nature of these objects, along with the interactive sessions and remarkable progress at each level.
Furthermore, the diverse scenarios, different designs and themes, and above all, the complexity of an item has a great impact on its performance. Thus, this article offers you the 15 best legacy board games based on complexity, theme, mode, and replayability, along with a detailed buying guide.
Legacy Board Games Top Picks
1. Pandemic Legacy Season 1 – Legacy Style Games
Pandemic Legacy Season 1 is one of the most popular board games of all time and has broken the Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven records since its introduction into the market. Divided into two different parts, this item is goal-based which you need to accomplish over the time span of one month. Similarly, users have to complete twelve sessions within the time span of a year and win unlimited prizes.
One major advantage of the system is the ability to replay the scenarios if you are unable to complete the specified task. Thus, overall you have a time span of two years to complete twelve sessions. Highly recommended for those that love challenges and complexity, this object is designed keeping the current situation in mind.
Players are tasked to cure various viruses pre-set in the object prior to the expansion of the outbreak or before they run out of cards. In either of these situations, characters are unable to accomplish the mission and fail the session. As mentioned earlier, they have one chance to replay the scenarios and try to reverse the situation.
We highly admire the increasing challenges offered by the product as one progresses. Most common among these include the mutation of the virus, emerging hotspots, and travel issues. You need to address all these problems in order to advance to the next level and complete the mission.
- Indulging and exciting
- Takedown is competitive
Pandemic Legacy Season 1 is an exciting and highly indulging unit that does not disappoint you in any aspect. Offering you various advantages to save the world, pandemic legacy allows you to relieve your boredom and stress. Since the story is available in the form of a legacy desk, important instructions are provided to the users in the form of hints to achieve the best results.
2. Stonemaier Games Charterstone – Games Like Pandemic Legacy
Stonemaier Games Charterstone is one of the most outstanding items included in the list of best legacy board games. Different from traditional models, this one requires you to build a town and is perfect for those that prefer designing or graphics. It features a fantasy-based kingdom where the king has issued a decree to colonize a village.
The villagers are required to complete the task and possess unique skills in this regard. We absolutely love the landscapes and beautiful settings in the tool, which immediately captured our attention. Similarly, the accessories available with the main apparatus and the packaging box are completely artistic and add five stars to its appearance.
The white cotton-like clouds, coupled with the little people and other components, seem visually appealing and indulge users in a fantasy world where they work against the imperialist powers to achieve their goals. Along with this, once the village has been designed, you can further play it by customizing various other attributes.
Furthermore, you can also assign different kinds of work to the villagers depending on their individual skills. Due to its customizable nature, the product is ever-changing and can be replayed again and again as per convenience. Therefore, we highly recommend it for those that are looking for budget-friendly legacy board games.
- Solo and cooperative mode
- High priced
Stonemaier Games Charterstone features the elements of fantasy and design that encourage competition among players of diverse backgrounds. Encouraging cooperation among the selected citizens by the king to build a new town, the system allows them to control the whole situation and win additional prizes. Moreover, the beautiful backdrop and settings are visually appealing and are admired by the majority of the consumers.
3. SeaFall – Campaign Board Games
SeaFall is a widely recognized legacy board game and has gained the attention of a diverse variety of users. This unit has been the talk of the town since its advent and has received mixed reviews by critics. Available at an extremely reasonable price range, the product is incorporated with some of the best features and is comparable to some of the top-notch items of its kind.
In addition to this, this multipurpose version is based on the 4E theme, which allows players to explore their surroundings, hunt for treasures and expand their territories within the gaming scenarios. Furthermore, with the advancement in levels, you are allowed to exploit unlimited resources and unlock new skills.
This also enables you to earn extra bonus points and improve your strength and ratings. It begins with each person possessing one ship on the island, where they are tasked to trade multiple materials. Originally, you might find it as a simple trading game, but as you move on with the levels, you would find it increasingly complex.
With the inclusion of additional ships and characters, the rules also become challenging with time and grab your interest easily. While playing, we found the product extremely user-friendly and perfect for beginners due to its relatively easier instructions and interesting plot.
- Unique and refreshing
SeaFall is one of our most favorite objects on the list due to its unique setting and diverse characters. It takes place on an island and focuses on trading. Characters interact with each other to sell and buy various tools to earn points. With increasing rules, it becomes more complex and challenges your basic skills to a great extent. Thereby making you sit on your toes while playing.
4. Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven
Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven offers the best role-playing experience and falls under the category of legacy games. Integrated with diverse maps, booklets, tiles, and much more, the package is perfect for those that like to work in groups. This also makes it one of the best multiplayer games.
However, do not get disappointed if you prefer the solo version, you can also play it alone without having to cooperate with anyone. Offering you an intricate landscape and interesting characters, the dungeon-crawling adventure series is one of the few plays that have surpassed Pandemic Legacy in terms of popularity.
Furthermore, the unlimited scenarios and monsters allow you to progress smoothly from one level to another and earn bonus points. Locked items can also be availed upon slaying bosses to generate new equipment. In addition to this, the tool also allows you to customize the map inside the GloomHaven world and travel around to complete various missions.
Unlike other legacy games, this one offers alterations in the form of stickers that can be purchased separately as well. Players can purchase the stickers and carry out the required alterations in the system to achieve the best results. But, we found that the item might not be affordable for everyone due to its expensive nature as compared to others of its kind.
- Best RPG experience
- Tactical combat
- Interesting content
Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven is an extraordinary unit that is incorporated with remarkable characters and amazing scenarios. Similarly, the characters can retire within the session, and new ones can be unlocked as you complete the quest. Unique tools can also be designed with the help of limited and scarce resources that can be unlocked while advancing to different levels. Hence, we highly recommend it if you are a fan of RPG legacy games.
5. First Martians Board Game
First Martians Board Game is different from all the above-mentioned objects, and you might find it difficult to play just like us. The major reason for this is the complexity of rules and the ever-changing nature of the board game, which makes it increasingly challenging for beginners.
You would also be surprised to find out the unique theme of the system, which requires you to adjust to a new atmosphere within a limited time. Unlike the traditional dungeon-crawling or combat-centered units, this one solely focuses on the science fiction theme. The characters are stranded on a different planet, i.eMars, and need to maintain an appropriate amount of oxygen in order to survive the harsh climate.
Apart from depleting oxygen, other problems faced by the characters are the difficult survival in the extreme environment of Mars and obviously avoiding the death card. Integrated with two different campaigns, First Martins ensures an unrivaled gaming experience and can be replayed over the course of time with minor alterations to the base story.
Both normal and legacy versions are available in a similar package and do not require you to spend additional money to purchase a new one. We highly prefer packages that are budget-friendly yet performance efficient and can be played for a long time without any inconvenience.
- Science/Fiction backdrop
- Multiple modes
- All-in-one object
- Complex rules
First Martians Board Game is a series of highly challenging yet unique models that never lets you get bored. Integrated with diverse landscapes, harsh climatic conditions, and a limited supply of oxygen, the scenarios are related to Mars, and the ultimate task of the players is to survive as long as they can. This particular unit is highly recommended for fans of Science-Fiction adventures.
6. Ravensburger, The Rise of Queensdale
Ravensburger, The Rise of Queensdale, is another cost-efficient product included in the list of best legacy board games. This fantasy adventure-based tool is ideal for those that do not like the traditional dungeon styles and are looking for something new. At the same time, we found it perfect for those that are fond of management and might also help to improve your leadership skills in the long term.
The system takes place in an imaginary kingdom where the king has announced a competition for the creation of a new castle for the queen. Multiple users can participate in the contest; however, there would only be one winner in this regard. Involving the traditional element of dice rolling, it progresses relatively slowly and enables you to display your hidden artistic talent.
Furthermore, to our surprise, the dice control the movement of the players and dictate their every action. So, after rolling the dice, you would also find various opportunities to steal the beneficial attributes of your opponent. Although it is separated into various rounds, you can effortlessly transfer your resources and can work on the newly designed castle.
This enables you to overcome your setbacks and advance to the next round with full preparation to achieve success. Moreover, this particular characteristic also makes it different from its other industrial counterparts and offers it a competitive advantage over them. Thereby leading to its high market demand over the years.
- Precise instructions
- Educational advantage
- Organization issues
Ravensburger, The Rise of Queensdale, is a highly efficient product available at an extremely reasonable price across the market and is highly popular among a diverse range of consumers. Although it is not embedded with over-arching stories of combat scenarios, the game is one of its kind and is suitable for those that are interested in designing or architecture.
7. Aeons End Legacy
Aeons End Legacy might be the last item on the list; however, it is second to none in terms of performance and extraordinary scenarios. Similarly, considered as one of the best survival games, this tool is admired by a diverse range of consumers and is associated with high market demand. The scenarios are also a lot of fun and offer the best experience a legacy game could offer.
The setting involves the sudden emergence of an unknown beach in the world with the introduction of a mighty monster. The monster needs to be defeated because it keeps wreaking havoc in the surroundings and is a threat to the life of citizens. The players are tasked to remold art falling into evil hands.
Furthermore, they must hand over the power to someone who cares about the world and can create weapons for the welfare of humanity using the specified magical powers. Your basic job is to protect the city of Gravehold from the lingering danger. Moreover, we absolutely love the inclusion of multiple modes in the unit.
The system features a cooperative mode which enables us to team up and fight against the gigantic monster and safeguard the innocent citizens. However, one should be extremely careful while picking up cards as a wrong move might lead to an irreversible disaster. Apart from this, users also possess the capability to control the power mage as they progress within the system and themselves can act as mages to achieve the desired results.
- Understandable rules
- Perfect for beginners
- Engaging narrative
Aeons End Legacy is a perfect tool for beginners and features straightforward and clear instructions. The rules are also understandable and do not offer extreme difficulty to novice consumers. Moreover, it is also perfect for experts due to the increase in the complexity with each passing round and indulging narrative that does not test if you get bored.
Factors to Consider While Looking for the Best Legacy Board Games
Due to the expensiveness of most legacy board games, it is essential that you should completely understand all the components involved in the system and their impact on the performance. This will not only help you achieve the most out of the unit but will also help you spend your money in a meaningful manner. Some of such significant attributes include the theme and mode, player’s age, nature and type of play, and price. All these factors are discussed below in detail for your understanding.
Theme and Mode
First and foremost, the theme and mode of the game are of utmost significance and must be carefully considered for outstanding results. Despite your skill level, it is advised to carefully read about the theme because it will impact your whole mood and the feel of the setting. If you are an ardent fan of science-fiction, there is no use purchasing a horror-based item. It will only make you bored and will encourage you to quit.
Apart from this, the mode is another factor that most consumers consider before purchasing a tool. The reason for this is the diverse preferences of different people. Some people prefer arcade or solo mode, which lets them combat with others or play it on their own respectively. Contrarily, the cooperative mode is our most favorite because it enables us to team up with others and unlock rare items.
After the theme and mode, the age of the player is another important component in this regard. There might be some content in various versions which might not be appropriate for people of a certain age group. Such content can involve violence and other types of discriminatory items. However, it is completely objective and varies from person to person and their beliefs. But we still advise reading the contents of the tool carefully before purchasing it, especially if it is for young children.
For this purpose, you should check the minimum suitability age of different versions to identify whether you want to purchase it or not. Another reason for the identification of age is the suitability and complexity of the tasks for a certain age group. You might choose a game that is extremely difficult to complete for a user of your age, and thus, we highly recommend doing in-depth research on it before selecting one.
Nature and Type of Play
Next on the list is the type and nature of the play. We have briefly discussed the type of plays while explaining the importance of thee. The major types of play include arcade and cooperation, which allows consumers to achieve different types of results. Arcade mode is characterized by the competition between consumers.
In arcade mode, they duel against each other to increase their points and ultimate ratings inside the system. In contrast, the cooperative mode focuses on the alliances between various people to achieve one common goal and unlock hidden treasures. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages that must be taken into account before choosing them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you play a legacy board game alone or in a small company?
There is a variety of legacy board games available in the market, and their type varies greatly on their design. Thus you can play alone or with your friends depending on your preferences. However, keep in mind that fights with friends are more exciting and offer great room for learning.
What types of skills can a legacy board gamer achieve?
Legacy board games are renowned for their competitive nature, remarkable tactical arrangement, and unparalleled strategies. Hence, playing a legacy board game can inevitably help you develop some outstanding teamwork, leadership, and strategic skills, depending on the theme.
What should I look for in a board game?
For a board game, we highly advise looking for complexity, replayability, user’s age, playing time, theme and mode, and above all, the price. All these factors combine together to offer an unrivaled gaming experience that is highly admired by the majority of consumers. So, analyze these factors next time you decide to buy a legacy board game.
Legacy board games are a perfect addition to the baseboard games and offer an exciting experience to users of diverse backgrounds. We assure you that despite your skill level, you would highly enjoy playing the legacy games. After a careful analysis of the above-mentioned products, the following are our top three recommendations.
Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven for its best RPG experience, tactical combat, engaging scenarios, and hidden treasures.
Pandemic Legacy Season 1 because of its enhanced complexity, cooperative nature, unique theme, and ever-changing conditions.
Aeons End Legacy due to clear and understandable rules, suitability for both experts and beginners, interesting premises, and increasing challenges.
Thus, they are ideal for those looking for the best legacy board games in 2023.
If these weren’t enough, check out these games from Amazon also:
- The first family friendly Legacy style game. Set in the best-selling world of Machi Koro!
- New buildings, new mechanics, new gampelay! Fans of the best-selling machi koro are going to find a lot of unique elements they have never seen before. Pirate Ships that move around the board attacking their villages to friendly Turtles that help them earn money.
- Designed by Rob Daviau, the inventor of Legacy style games. Designer of Risk Legacy and co-designer of Pandemic Legacy.
- No two games will be the same! Throughout the Campaign, elements are added into the mix that will make you shriek with delight and think on yours toes.
- Contents 4 Town boards, 4 flag tokens, 2 oversized dice, 78 plastic coins, 65 starting cards, 1 legacy deck, 1 sticker sheet, 6 mystery boxes and 1 rule book.
- Designed by Valve staff, the makers of Portal & Portal 2!
- Includes a free Steam code for a copy of Portal 2!
- Fast and fun gameplay
- Modular board
- Includes miniatures of popular Portal game elements
- Shape your world -- the choices you make affect your story, your board, and your cards!
- Climb the corporate adventuring ladder in a fantastical 10+ game campaign!
- Continue your story with a unique and fully replayable post-campaign game!
- 2-4 Players, Ages 13+, 90-120 min
- English (Publication Language)
- Material Type: Paper
- For 1-6 players
- 45-90 minute playing time
- The essential edition includes the second edition of viticulture along with several elements from the original Tuscany expansion pack
- It contains 154 cards at the 44x67mm size and 78 cards at the 63x88mm size
- Includes 36 Mama & Papa cards, 18 Field cards and and 24 Automa cards
- TILE PLACEMENT GAME: Azul is a tile placement game in which players become artisans tasked with creating the most beautiful tiled mosaics. Compete for the highest score by claiming tiles and arranging them on your board to score points. Perfect for a fun family game night!
- STRATEGY BOARD GAME: Draft tiles from a central market and place them into rows on their boards. Earn extra points by collecting sets of the same color tile and creating particular patterns. Be careful - there are penalties for taking tiles that you can't use.
- COMPETITIVE AND CHALLENGING: Every tile you claim affects what your rivals can take next. Plan carefully to score big points while disrupting your opponents’ plans. You’ll have to make choices that help you without helping them too much!
- EASY TO LEARN: Strategic but simple to learn with subtle depth, Azul is a perfect gateway game for gamers new to board gaming or those looking to expand their collections. Randomized setup and drafting gameplay make Azul infinitely replayable.
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS AND AVERAGE PLAYTIME: This board game for adults and family can be played with 2 to 4 players and is suitable for ages 8 and older. The average playtime is 30 to 45 minutes.
- Compete for different milestones and awards worth many VPS
- Over 200 different projects to complete
- 1 to 5 players ages 12 and up
- English (Publication Language)
- Hasbro Gaming imagines and produces games that are perfect for every age, taste, and event
- Party it up, and surprise guests at your next event with laugh-out-loud games from Hasbro Gaming
- Nostalgic tabletop gameplay meets interactive digital content for an immersive gaming experience with many of the games
- Create the civilization with the most storied history, starting at the beginning of human-kind and reaching into the future
- Start from nothing and advance your science, technology, exploration, and military to progress your civilization, either through balanced growth or by focusing on a specific aspect
- Features 18 unique, painted landmark miniatures
- For 1-5 players
- Plays in 90-120 minutes
- Play as your favorite character to defend the wizarding world from evil forces: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and Neville Longbottom
- Gain influence to master powerful spells, recruit allies, and uncover magical items
- Enhance your abilities with over 140 cards
- 7 successive game adventures offer increasing difficulty: as you advance through games 1-7 of Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle, you will reveal progressively more challenging adventures and unlock new secrets on your journey to save Hogwarts from the Dark Lord!
- Includes: 252 cards, 4 dice, 7 game boxes, 7 game rules, 4 player boards, 8 villain control tokens, and 70 chip pieces.Perfect for 2-4 players
- WILD WEST ADVENTURE GAME: In Colt Express, you play a bandit robbing a train at the same time as other bandits and your goal is to become the richest outlaw of the Old West. The game takes place in a 3D train. Bandits can move from one car to another, run on the roof, punch the other bandits, shoot them, rob the passengers or draw the Marshal out of position. Each car is seeded with gems, bags of loot or suitcases at the start of play.
- STRATEGY GAME: Game consists of five rounds, each with two phases. In the Schemin' phase, each bandit plays 2-5 action cards on a common pile face up or face down depending on the type of the round or a player can draw three cards from her deck. In the Stealin' phase, the action cards are carried out in the order they were played. Best laid plans may not pan out due to mistakes and oversights!
- CHALLENGING AND COMPETITIVE: Exciting action-programming mechanic challenges players to plan ahead and for contingencies. Each player's character has a special power. Will these bandits hinder one another more than the Marshal since only the richest one of them can come out on top?
- FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY: Colt Express is a winner of multiple awards and honors, including the 2015 Spiel des Jahres. Easy-to-learn mechanics make this game great for children of all ages. The 3-dimensional train replaces the traditional “board” for a unqiue way to play.
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS AND AVERAGE PLAYTIME: Colt Express is a fun family game designed for 2 to 6 players and is suitable for ages 10 and older. Average playtime is approximately 40 minutes.
- EXPLORATION GAME: The TIME Agency protects humanity by preventing temporal faults and paradoxes from threatening the fabric of our universe. As temporal agents, you and your team will be sent into the bodies of beings (called receptacles) from different worlds or realities to successfully complete the missions given to you. Failure is impossible, as you will be able to go back in time as often as required.
- NARRATIVE ADVENTURE GAME: In this game of "decksploration", each player plays a character in order to live through a story as much in the game as around the table. Each TIME Stories adventure offers a unique mix of story and game mechanics, as this is a board game with rules allowing for immersion, reflection and optimization.
- CHALLENGING COOPERATIVE GAME: Players try to reach the perfect "run", solving all of the puzzles and overcome all of a scenario’s obstacles in as few attempts as possible. The actions and movements of the players will use Temporal Units (TU), the quantity of which depends on the scenario and the number of players. When the TU reach zero, the agents must restart the scenario from the beginning, armed with their experience.
- HIGHLY VARIABLE: Base box contains the entirety of the TIME Stories system and the first scenario - Asylum. Each scenario consists of a deck of 120+ cards. Players explore cards, which are most often presented in the form of a panorama. Access to some cards require the possession of the proper item or items, while others present surprises, enemies, riddles, clues and other dangers.
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS AND AVERAGE playtime: This narrative adventure game is made for 2 to 4 players and is suitable for ages 12 and older. Average playtime is approximately 90 minutes for each run.
- A Complex Cooperative Board Game For 1 - 4 Players, Age 14+, With Playing Time Of 60 – 120 Min
- Great To Play With The Family Or Enjoy As A Solo Strategy Game
- Seven Different Scenarios Provide An Exciting And Highly Thematic Experience
- Play As Castaways On An Uninhabited Island And Have A True Adventure
- English (Publication Language)
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