7 Best RPG Board Games 2021 – Review and Buying Guide

Increasing development in the board game industry has led to the formation of Role Playing Games as opposed to traditional cards and dice games. Simply termed RPG, these objects center around a narrative that is integrated with elements of mystery, action, and adventure and allows players to take up tasks and earn points.

Amazon's Choice
Thunderworks Games Roll Player Strategy Boxed Board Game Ages 12 & Up, Multi-Colored (twk2000)
Good Choice
Red Raven Games Near and Far Board Games
Don't Miss
Avalon Hill Betrayal Legacy, Board Game
Also Consider
Mage Knight Board Game
Thunderworks Games Roll Player Strategy Boxed Board Game Ages 12 & Up, Multi-Colored (twk2000)
Red Raven Games Near and Far Board Games
Avalon Hill Betrayal Legacy, Board Game
Mage Knight Board Game
Amazon's Choice
Thunderworks Games Roll Player Strategy Boxed Board Game Ages 12 & Up, Multi-Colored (twk2000)
Thunderworks Games Roll Player Strategy Boxed Board Game Ages 12 & Up, Multi-Colored (twk2000)
Good Choice
Red Raven Games Near and Far Board Games
Red Raven Games Near and Far Board Games
Don't Miss
Avalon Hill Betrayal Legacy, Board Game
Avalon Hill Betrayal Legacy, Board Game
Also Consider
Mage Knight Board Game
Mage Knight Board Game

However, selecting the appropriate RPG for yourself might be difficult if you are a beginner. Thus, this article offers some insights into the seven best RPG board Games based on replayability, complexity, operational modes, and strategic elements. So, keep reading the article below for more information.

 RPG Board Games Top Picks

1. Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven – Role Playing Board Games

Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven

 

Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven is highly popular among users of diverse backgrounds and has always remained at the top among the highly demanded board games. Featuring the scenario-based setting, this item is incorporated with 95 different scenarios and does not let you get bored easily.

We assure you will not feel bored or get tired while playing it due to the inclusion of interesting characters, monsters, and bosses. Just take out your stress on the monsters and enjoy an amazing experience in a fantasy world. In addition to this, new features can be unlocked after you have created the surroundings according to your requirements. Users are allowed to create their own characters based on the pre-set features offered by the system.

After which, they can interact with each other in different scenarios and proceed with the game, where further content and prizes can be unlocked as they advance. Unlike its predecessors, this version does not depend on dice rolls; instead, the manufacturer has focused on the cards, strategic maps, and eurogames to maintain the balance and unique experience inside the product.

Users report the increasing interest that keeps developing once they start unlocking new features and subduing monsters along their way. Another unique characteristic of the unit is the limitless scenarios that offer a variety of activities, including quests between the characters, and does not disappoint you in any aspect.

Pros
  • Highly Indulging
  • Unlimited prizes
  • In-game purchases
Cons
  • Expensive

 

Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven is an outstanding box game and is incorporated with some of the unrivaled attributes. It features multiple characters that are capable of retiring during the journey, and new characters can be unlocked as you advance from one level to another. Similarly, various quests can be fulfilled to unlock new equipment. Thereby offering you endless RPG entertainment without any issue.

2. Avalon Hill Betrayal Legacy – Fantasy Board Games

Avalon Hill Betrayal Legacy

 

Avalon Hill Betrayal Legacy is another remarkable item included in the list of best RPG board games and is highly recommended for those that prefer the adventure/thriller genre. It is one of the outstanding horror house-based storytelling games and is perfect for nighttime.

Integrated with a good balance of thriller and adventure experience, Betrayal Legacy will keep you on your toes and will not let you get bored even for a second. Featuring a household setting with mystery, the product is integrated with one main villain that is controlling the whole surroundings and scenario.

It creates a multi-session horror campaign in the player’s mind and makes them think carefully about each detail involved in the story. Thereby encouraging them to solve mysteries on their own. Along with this, we were surprised to find out the inclusion of specific instructions and hints in the package, which we were able to unlock as we progressed.

These hits need to be unlocked by the players themselves, and one wrong step can destroy these instructions as well. Thus, you need to take each step with extreme caution to avoid any mishap. Similarly, the game focuses on a group or family-based activities and allows you to make families and solve tasks together for best results and outcomes.

Pros
  • Adventure-thriller settings
  • Exceptional RPG experience
  • Lasting effects
Cons
  • Difficult rules

 

Avalon Hill Betrayal Legacy is a highly demanded RPG board game in which various generations of families live together, solve different mysteries and campaigns and then die to give way to new generations passing on their treasures and unsolved stories. Thereby offering you endless entertainment with a tinge of horror and increasing curiosity.

3. Red Raven Near and Far – Tabletop RPG Board Games

Red Raven Near and Far

 

Red Raven Near and Far is a sequel to the ‘Above and Below’ designed by the same artist. After the unparalleled success of above and below, the manufacturing team came up with far and near to offer their loyal customers an additional version to relieve their boredom and enjoy an incredible gaming experience.

This board game focuses on a spiral-bound map that is embedded with a diverse range of landscapes. These landscapes differ on the basis of topography and vignettes. Different from other RPG models, this unit is associated with adventure-based storytelling that allows the player to explore various treasures in fantasy land.

The treasures can be explored with the help of maps already designed inside the system. Since traditional games focus on combat, we found the Near and Far quite refreshing and unique due to the absence of dungeon crawling and combating attributes. Furthermore, the dual-mode of operation is the highlighting feature of the unit and allows you to play it in either arcade or character mode.

The arcade mode is characterized by one-off adventures, whereas the character model is renowned for its large scenario and settings. Last but not least, multiple sessions with hidden and locked prizes are other significant aspects of the item and adds five stars to its performance.

Pros
  • Multiple modes
  • Unique and refreshing
  • Story-focused
Cons
  • Organization concerns

 

Red Raven Near and Far is incorporated with locked prizes and abilities that can be opened with advancement to the next level. Players can hunt for treasures according to the map and travel through various lands to achieve their tasks. Each character has its own story and mission that must be fulfilled to reach the end.

4. One Deck Dungeon – Fun RPG Board Games

One Deck Dungeon

 

One Deck Dungeon is one of our most favorite items included in the list of best RPG board games. This multi-purpose and versatile model offers diverse settings for different users and is highly recommended for those that prefer changing surroundings. The product is designed by the integration of features taken from a variety of popular games in the market and does not disappoint you in any aspect.

Similarly, you can enjoy the experience of both dice and cards within a single unit as the dice-based system is designed for two players and relies on the use of a single deck of cards for various purposes. You can generate your own dungeon and slay monsters and bosses however you please.

We found this as a perfect way to relieve the daily stress and indulge in a new experience of casting spells and unlocking new equipment to upgrade from one level to another. The mechanism involves turning the cards to achieve a new task or fight a new master. Later on, dice are rolled by each player in a specific order to get new equipment at the cost of health or time.

Moreover, you can also use the defeated monsters to achieve new tools that will help you in the quest as you advance. You can also earn experience points upon defeating various bosses within a limited time and progress from one level to another. Thus, we highly recommend it for those that prefer action-adventure type RPG versions.

Pros
  • Customizable scenario
  • Multiple playing modes
  • Time-efficient
Cons
  • Complex and challenging

 

One Deck Dungeon is second to none in terms of performance and efficiency. This dungeon-based unit is incorporated with five different highly skilled bosses that are extremely challenging to defeat. Thus, it offers you a tough time and enables you to challenge your skills. Similarly, you can play it either in arcade or campaign mode and unlock outstanding prizes after every success. The basic purpose of the system is to survive the one-on-one battles and move ahead for unlimited prizes.

5. Thunderworks Roll Player – Role Play Board Games

Thunderworks Roll Player

 

Thunderworks Roll Player is different from its previously mentioned counterparts and most other RPG versions. It focuses on character creation which is often the first step in most RPG settings. However, this particular item has exaggerated the feature into a whole game where the sole task of the player is to create new characters, their background information, settings, and much more.

Different interesting and exciting characters can be created on the basis of their class, alignment, and background stories that shape their nature. The task of the player is to maximize the attributes of the characters and earn points based on the new creation—the stronger the character higher the points you will achieve for it.

We highly enjoyed generating various fighters in the settings whose main strength was fighting and killing and earned as many points as we could. We also found the RPG item extremely indulging and had a great time playing it. The highlighting part of the product is the competition among users over the scarce resources that are essential for character development.

The player fights with each other over the colors, equipment, and other tools to earn bonus points. The bonus points are awarded on the basis of the complexity involved in the newly created characters and their characteristics. Thus, we highly recommend it for those that like graphic designing or are fond of art and craft.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Simple and interesting
  • Unlimited prizes
Cons
  • Challenging to play

 

Thunderworks Roll Player is a unique system that does not involve any aspect of combat or dungeons. Instead, it relies on the development of characters using the graphics and tools already present inside the model. It offers a perfect platform to display your hidden talents and earn bonus points.

6. Mage Knight Board

Mage Knight Board

 

Mage Knight Board involves the components of both traditional and modern dungeon-style based units and does not disappoint you in any aspect. Featuring a single dungeon, the players are allowed to cast spells and slay monsters throughout a fantasy world. The fantasy world is characterized by multiple towns and villages that are infiltrated by monsters and few highly skilled bosses that you have to kill in order to advance.

Killing the monsters can help earn bonus points, while slaying bosses help unlock hidden treasures and upgrade the existing tools. Due to the inclusion of these diverse factors, the game lasts longer than others of its kind and does not let you get bored even for a second. In addition to this, the use of card rolls offers user-friendliness and allows you to cast spells and achieve the desired tasks.

The present scenario is associated with day and night time which adds a variety and color to the boring back-drop and improves the exploration activities of the players. The day and night cycle also enhance the fun in the adventure and add a tinge of mystery to your mind.

We absolutely loved the ancient ruins and mage towers incorporated in the product that encourages both competitive and cooperative modes and maintains our interest throughout our journey in the fantasy-based world ravaged by dangerous monsters. Hence, we highly recommend it for all the adventure lovers out there.

Pros
  • Long-lasting
  • Versatile
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Expensive

 

Mage Knight Board is a perfect blend of competitive and cooperative modes that allow you to kill monsters at your convenience and earn bonus points. The fantasy world-based scenario includes the elements of suspense, mystery, and adventure that allow you to retain your interest in the game while relieving your stress.

7. Pathfinder Adventure Card

Pathfinder Adventure Card

 

The Pathfinder Adventure Card, similar to its previously mentioned counterparts, is a dungeon crawling action model that is characterized by an RPG setting. It revolves around the selection of the pre-set characters from the system and their customization with the help of already existing information present in the tool.

After which adventures are selected, and tasks are assigned to the players that must be completed in order to progress from one level to another. The multiple scenarios embedded in the unit are associated with different land topographies. Each of these lands has its own specific monsters and prizes that can be achieved after slaying them.

We highly recommend this for adventure lovers that like exploring around, completing tasks, and slaying monsters. The D & D adventure incorporates all elements that are present in a traditional dungeon-based game, including dice rolling and the involvement of cards. Manufacturers also greatly focus on the user’s preferences and always try to update their technology to offer the best attributes to you.

The equipment, characters, and tasks are updated each year for the unrivaled gaming experience. Besides the above-mentioned characteristics, the multiplayer package is integrated with a storybook, various cards along with a modular core that provides a diverse range of scenarios to entertain the players and prevent them from getting bored on a daily basis.

Pros
  • Versatile tools
  • Action/adventure genre
  • Tokens for tracking
Cons
  • Limited characters

 

The Pathfinder Adventure Card is the last product on the list of the best RPG board games and is also one of the best. Unlike other RPG versions, this one focuses on the creation of significant characters and their backdrop stories and is a perfect alternative for those that do not prefer traditional combat-based units. The landscape is versatile and offers great room for improvement.

Things to Consider When Purchasing the Best RPG Board Games

img source: happierhuman.com

Multiple factors account for the success of a product, especially if it is a role-playing game. They include complexity, game type, recommended age, and replayability. All these factors have been addressed in detail below for your understanding. So keep reading for more information on how to choose an RPG board game.

Complexity

The first and foremost element in this regard is the complexity of the unit. If the play isn’t challenging, you would easily get bored and might want to look for other sources of entertainment. It is essential for beginners, especially if they have no previous background in playing such games. You should carefully analyze the complex situations and the challenges you are going to face before proceeding ahead.

Similarly, you should also look into the genre a particular item is offering and what kind of atmosphere it has to offer. If you are a fan of horror-based story-telling but have purchased an action-adventure version, you might find it difficult to comprehend and might end up losing your interest in it.

We highly recommend beginners to start from less complex games and slowly increase their appetite for increased complexity. This will not only help them retain their interest but will help them learn some basic survival skills before facing dangerous opponents.

Game Type

This brings us to our second most important factor, which is the game type. There are multiple types of gaming modes that either allow players to combat one-on-one against each other or play together to slay monsters. The two most common modes are termed arcade and cooperation mode, respectively, and are highly popular among consumers of diverse backgrounds. The mode you should select depends on individual preferences.

The majority of the players prefer competitive mode where they duel against each other and earn points. Similarly, in between these modes, some chivalrous heroes also like to cooperate with each other to kill monsters and bosses in the dungeon and earn bonus points and unlock precious items. However, there is no need to fret over these small matters. Just choose the type you like the most and enjoy the unlimited fun.

Recommended Age

The complexity and challenges offered in multiple situations are directly associated with the age of the player. Young people, especially teenagers, might find it difficult to play versions that focus mostly on tactical alignment, strategic maps, and information handling before the actual combat.

Moreover, it might not be difficult for those that have a clear background in playing such games or are in their late teens. Apart from complexity, the sensitivity and quality of the content are also of great significance. Some content is recommended for those above the age of 178, and it might not be appropriate for young people to play.

Hence, you should carefully look at the scenarios the product has to offer before purchasing it for your children. Certain items might also have an effect on the mental health and wellbeing of young people, mainly because of problematic effects or violence. Therefore, we highly advise a careful understanding of the RPG you are going to choose.

Replayability

Last but not least, the games that allow you to relive the experience while solving a specific mystery are better than those that do not. We all have an intrinsic nature of finding joy in beautiful memories. Once you have completed a quest and have resolved all the challenges, you might want to replay it. In order to satisfy the users, most story-driven RPG board games have been updated to include side characters and quests that allow you to replay the same challenge through various means by taking indirect turns.

This means that over the course of time, through different techniques and approaches, you can effortlessly complete a campaign. This will not only relieve you from underlying boredom but might also help you learn new skills and earn additional points. Hence, next time you are out to purchase such gaming tools, do keep these factors in mind for outstanding results.

Frequently Asked Questions

img source: bargames101.com

Which RPG board games are fit for two players?

There are a variety of multi-player versions available in the market. The most popular among which is the Runewars because of its exceptional scenarios and replayability attributes. This is followed by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the past and Descent: Journey in the Dark.

What should I look for before buying an RPG?

Before purchasing an RPG, it is advised to look for the replayability, recommended age, modes of operation, strategic alignment, scenarios and backstory, playing time, quality, and accessories available with the main unit. All these factors combine together to deliver an unrivaled gaming experience that is admired by the majority of the consumers.

What are the best solo RPG games?

Some of the top-rated games included in the list can be played solo. They are multi-purpose models that you can either play in arcade mode, cooperative mode, and solo mode, depending on your preferences. They include Cephalofair Games, Gloomhaven, and Mage Knight. Apart from these Dark souls, Zombicide Back Plague and Mansion of Madness are other units that can be played separately as well.

Wrapping Up

There are multiple RPG board games available in the market featuring both arcade and cooperation modes. Furthermore, designed for a wide variety of players, both dungeon crawling and character development games feature a certain level of complexity that challenges your limits and lets you develop new skills. You can also earn bonus points for slaying monsters and advance to a new level by unlocking precious items. Based on these characteristics following are our top three choices;

Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven for its diverse scenarios, complex challenges, unlimited prizes, updated equipment, and in-game purchases.

Avalon Hill Betrayal Legacy because of its adventure-thriller settings, cooperative mode, interesting scenarios, and mystery-based atmosphere.

Red Raven Near and Far due to its strategic backdrop, wonderful landscapes, adventure-based storytelling, multiple modes, locked prizes, and complex character settings.

Thus, they are highly recommended for those looking for the best RPG board games at a reasonable price range.

If these weren’t enough, check out some other picks from Amazon also:

Sale
Mysterium Board Game (Base Game) | Mystery Board Game | Cooperative Game for Adults and Kids | Fun for Family Game Night | Ages 10 and up | 2-7 Players | Average Playtime 45 Minutes | Made by Libellud
  • MYSTERY BOARD GAME: A horrible crime was committed on the grounds of Warwick Manor thirty years ago. Now the mansion is haunted by the ghost of the murdered servant and it’s up to a group of psychic investigators to get to the bottom of the mystery.
  • COOPERATIVE BOARD GAME: One player takes on the role of the victim (who is now a ghost) and the rest play as psychics. Over the course of the game, players work together to solve a mystery by psychically communicating with the victim. The ghost tries to lead psychics to the correct culprit.
  • INTERPRET VISIONS TO SOLVE MYSTERIES: Each player investigates a case assigned to them to determine who the actual murderer is. Psychics receive numerous visions from the ghost with clues. Can they determine the weapon, location and killer, or will a violent criminal pull off the perfect murder?
  • HIGH VARIABILITY: Dozens of different suspects, weapons and locations ensure no two games are the same! LOOKING FOR A NEW CHALLENGE? Expansion sets are available (Expansions require base game to play).
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS AND AVERAGE PLAYTIME: This family and adult board game can be played with 2 to 7 players. The average playtime is 45 minutes.
Trekking The World: A Family Board Game from The Creators of Trekking The National Parks | Perfect for Ages 8+ | One of The Best Board Games for Family Game Night
  • GREAT GIFT IDEA. Makes a unique and meaningful gift for kids and adults
  • EXPERIENCE NEW CULTURES. Travel the world from your kitchen table during family game night.
  • GOOD FOR ALL AGES. Whether you’re looking for fun family games, games for teens, or geography board games for kids 8-12, this game delivers. Grandparents, Adults, Teens, Tweens, Girls & Boys will all enjoy exploring the world together
  • GIANT WORLD MAP. Gorgeous art and design featuring destinations across every continent. One of the best gifts for globetrotters.
  • We are proud to be a small, independent business, founded by two people’s mutual love of the national parks. We always donate a portion of all proceeds back to nonprofits making a difference around the world.
Sale
Gatefall Board Game | Chapter One: Fantasy vs Post-Apocalyptic Miniatures Strategy Game
  • NEW RELEASE!
  • Seven HUGE figures. And one of them is a dog. These figures are around three times the height of standard tabletop minis. They are the same scale as the classic action figures from the height of action figuredom. These figures are VERY detailed and beautifully cast. Painters love these sculpts.
  • EASY TO LEARN, EASY TO TEACH, EASY TO SET UP. This game is designed to spread out and play. No complicated setup procedures or component hunting. No huge rulebook. Just streamlined simple play that offers a TON of play styles and choices.
  • THE PERFECT GAME FOR PLAYERS OF ALL SKILL LEVELS. Seasoned veterans of tabletop gaming and people new to tabletop games have both had amazing things to say about Gatefall. This is the perfect game to get your friends into tabletop. And the perfect game for your hardcore gaming friends too.
  • VERY REPLAYABLE. VERY EXPANDABLE. There are SO MANY expansions coming to the Gatefall universe. This game is the perfect official introduction to the worlds of Gatefall, and will offer unbelievable customization and personalized levels of complexity as you expand it over time.
Sale
Czech Games Sanctum
  • A thrilling hack-and-slash tabletop adventure
  • Slay demons to gain loot and level up your hero
  • Manage your resources, equipment, and abilities carefully
  • Can you build the best hero and defeat the Demon Lord?
  • 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up
Sale
Wizards of the Coast A78490000 Dungeon! Fantasy Board Game
  • For 1 to 8 Players
  • Ages 8 and up
  • A remake to a great family classic
  • English (Publication Language)
Dungeon Mayhem | Dungeons & Dragons Card Game | 2–4 Players, 120 Cards
  • Easy-to-learn card game for 2–4 players.
  • Party game for friends and family, ages 8+.
  • Games are fast, 5–10 minutes.
  • Each player chooses one of four iconic Dungeons & Dragons classes: Paladin, Wizard, Barbarian, or Rogue.
  • Use wild combos and mighty powers to smash and bash in this lighthearted free-for-all.
Avalon Hill Betrayal at House on the Hill, Green
  • Tile by tile, terror by terror, build your own haunted mansion - and then try to escape it alive.
  • With 50 blood-curdling scenarios, each trip to the house on the hill promises fresh horrors.
  • Players must work together to survive the nightmare.
  • Except for 1 player who becomes the traitor.
  • 3–6 players, ages 12 plus, 60 min per game (high reliability)
Sale
Eldritch Horror Board Game (Base Game) | Mystery Game | Strategy Game | Cooperative Board Game for Adults and Family | Ages 14+ | 1-8 Players | Avg. Playtime 2-4 Hours | Made by Fantasy Flight Games
  • THRILLING GAME OF TERROR AND ADVENTURE: Ancient evil is stirring across the globe. You and your trusted circle of colleagues must travel around the world, working against all odds to hold back the approaching horror. The end draws near! Do you have the courage to prevent global destruction?
  • SCARY STRATEGY GAME: Defeat foul monsters, travel to Other Worlds and solve obscure mysteries surrounding this unspeakable horror. The effort may drain your sanity and cripple your body, but if you fail, the Ancient One will awaken and rain doom upon the known world.
  • COOPERATIVE MYSTERY GAME: Brave investigators team up to pit their skills and weapons against the threat of the Ancient One. Together they explore the remote corners of the globe, fight the nightmarish creatures that lurk in the shadows and solve the ancient mysteries of this Eldritch Horror!
  • HIGHLY VARIABLE: Eldritch Horror is based on the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and inspired by the classic Arkham Horror board game. With four different Ancient Ones, twelve investigators, numerous monsters, and hundreds of possible encounters, every game provides a unique and epic adventure.
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS AND AVERAGE PLAYTIME: The Eldritch Horror Board Game collection of scary games for game night is designed for 1 to 8 players and is suitable for ages 14 and older. Average game time is approximately 2 to 4 hours.
Sale
Stonemaier Games Scythe Board Game - An Engine-Building, Area Control for 1-5 Players, Ages 14+, Gray
  • It is a time of unrest in 1920s Europa. The ashes from the first great war still darken the snow. The capitalistic city-state known simply as “The Factory”, which fueled the war with heavily armored mechs, has closed its doors, drawing the attention of several nearby countries
  • Lead your faction to victory, building mechs, working the land, and exploring the mysterious factory, all while protecting your territory from the mechs of other encroaching factions
  • Explore the alternate-history of 1920 plus Europe through Jakub Różalski's stunning artwork
  • For 1-5 players
  • Plays in 90-120 minutes
Herd Mentality Udderly Addictive Family Board Game
  • WANNA JOIN THE HERD? Flip over a question, grab a pencil and follow the crowd in this family strategy board game.
  • WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE ROBOT ARMS OR ROBOT LEGS? Don't know the answer? Try to figure out what everyone else would write! If your answer is in the majority, you win cows.
  • LET CATTLE COMMENCE! If your answer is the odd one out, you'll be given the dreaded Pink Cow and you'll have no chance of winning... until you can moo-ve it on to someone else.
  • WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T STAND OUT: This is a Social Deduction game to put all the others out to pasture.
  • EASY TO LEARN, QUICK TO PLAY. One of the most udderly amoosing new family board games for 2021. For ages 10+ for between 4-20 players. Ok. We'll stop milking it.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a comment

49  +    =  56