Every now and then, things that used to be not so cool suddenly become hip again. Board games used to be played at home around the dining table, but now they’re seeing a resurgence in the digital world. We’ve found the best virtual board games you can play on your PC to get into the action.
Board games have long been a great way to pass some time, challenge yourself and others, and just have a bit of wholesome fun. If you’ve found that your board games are taking up too much space in your cupboard though, checking out the best virtual board games for PC might be a better idea.
These games allow you to play against the clever AI participants or even battle strangers and people you know online. They breathe exciting new life into old school board games and can reignite a passion for this fun pastime. Check out the latest ones that we’ve rated the best.
If you like a bit of bug play in your board games, you’ll love the insect packed Hive. This is a hexagonal tile game that looks like so many classics we used to play in our youth. However, this one features an insect on each tile with the main aim of surrounding the queen bee with your tiles. It might sound easy, but it’s far from it. This game will take some time to get the hang of but it’s well worth it because you’ll spend days at a time enjoying it once you know how.
Blood Bowl 2 doesn’t really look much like the original tabletop version, but it’s that good we’ll let it slide. This game is like a mixture of football and Warhammer if you can imagine the pairing. Based on the original Warhammer tabletop game this is a turn-based strategy game full of your favorite types of characters like orcs and huge, scary beasts. If you’ve never really gotten into football but love Warhammer, this might change your mind.
Definitely one of the prettier board games on our list but challenging nonetheless is Tokaido. This is a Japanese digital board game that sees you venture your way around the beautiful country, making things hard for your challenges as you go. Your aim is to be the first one to the end so you have to be as ruthless as possible to ensure it happens. It looks pretty but it requires a lot of brutality, so keep that in mind.
Yomi is a card based game that seems to be even more enjoyable when playing the digital version. The premise of this game is that you’re battling others with your moves, and each player will get their own special cards with possible attacks and defenses on them. You decide how you’re going to go to battle and if you strategize right, you’ll be the victor. This fighting game might sound pansy because of the card element, but it’s anything but.
Talisman was a pretty huge tabletop game in the fantasy genre, but physically it took up too much room. They’ve managed to solve this problem and add some more stuff that makes it even better by taking it to the digital world. This is a quest game that you can easily spend hours on, either going it alone or battling others online for the final prize of the Crown of Command. Talisman is one such example of the PC version being far better than the tabletop one ever could.
Most civilization games are found on the PC so when they try to turn them into a tabletop it just doesn’t work. The main problem is lack of space for the map, but that’s all solved with titles like Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization. This game requires you to construct your empire just using cards and do battle with others or against the AI armies. As one of the better civilization board games around, you won’t be disappointed.
When you put the words ‘competitive quilting’ into a game’s description, you’re bound to have some people scratching their heads. Although it might sound lame, it’s definitely not, and you’ll quickly get competitive when playing the 1v1 board game. This is a beautiful, bright and colorful game that will please you with the graphics alone. Your goal is to beat your opponent at placing different pieces of fabric into a box, and it’s easy enough for younger children or the elderly to play as well.
The first game from digital tabletop gaming brand Days of Wonder on our list, and definitely not the last. Splendor is another great deck building game with an aim of being the first to reach 15 victory points which might sound easy, but it’s really not. The game is set during the Renaissance and you play a merchant trying to make your way through history. There are both single-player mode and challenge modes to play, so you’ll never get bored with this epic title.
This is a game for those who pride themselves on their strategic skills. Lords of Waterdeep is similar to other D&D games but with one key difference. Instead of battling against mythical creatures, you’re actually controlling the lords of the area. This means it’s up to you to hire people to kill the various dangers in the town and see your plot through to fruition. You’ll have to battle others to make sure they don’t get in the way of your plans, which is pretty damn entertaining.
If Dominion sounds familiar to you, there’s probably a good reason. This was the first ever card deck building game and it’s the one that many others are modeled on, proving just how good it was. This newer version might not be as user-friendly as the last one which closed down in 2016. However, it’s got all of the best parts still remaining as long as you can look past the basic state of it. You must build up your own deck of cards and your empire with it, and it’s a game that requires a whole lot of patience and strategy.
This game is still in its early access phase but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining, only somewhat limited. Based on the German strategy game that requires you to fight others for land and build roads and communities, this one makes it even better. If you’ve been looking for a way to play Catan you might not have much luck, as this is the only working option currently. However, it’s got all of the things we loved about the first and you’ll get lost for hours and days working on your project.
This is one of the easier games on our list and one that you could play with children if you wanted to introduce them to digital tabletop board games. Ticket to Ride is based on building railroads all across America. It’ll teach you to strategize, organize, plan, and execute, as well as offering a bit of a geography lesson as well. Ticket to Ride has plenty of expansions available and updates are always being released. You won’t bore easily with this game and you’ve got the option to play online or offline, giving a world of possibilities.
Everybody’s favorite game of world domination has a virtual version as well, and it’s just as enjoyable. Risk: Factions is just one of a few different titles in the Risk series but this one is better suited to online players and it’s more finished than the others. There are some surprising elements to this game like zombies and cats, but if you can look past that it’s got everything that made the tabletop version so great. If you ever feel like taking over the world, this game is just one click away.
You might have played this game in real life and enjoyed the 3D cardboard cutouts of trains that were part of the adventure. Unfortunately, this was part of the allure of the game and so not having that kind of takes away some excitement. However, the PC version of Colt Express is still enjoyable and you’ll get to play a train robber trying to take his next big score. You’ll need a heap of strategic thinking to do this right but it’s a fun way to escape reality for a bit and pretend to be a renegade train robber for a day.
The Witcher Adventure Game was originally based on a book series which was then turned into a tabletop board game, and now it’s a virtual board game. If you loved the series or just want a really good online game to play, this won’t let you down. The Witcher Adventure Game lets you play as one of four characters and your goal is to travel around the world completing quests and battling strange creatures. You can play alone, with AI competitors, or with real-life people around the world.
Carcassonne was a huge board game and it mixed the elements of some of the better genres in it. It was part strategy, part civilization, and part tile games, equaling a really great time. Carcassonne requires you to lay down your tile in such a way that you claim land and roads, enabling you to build up more as you go. You’ll be able to find this download in the Windows store and although it’s dated a couple of years it still provides hours of fun.
This is one of the best virtual board games around and consistently rated so. Twilight Struggle is in depth and not something you’ll pick up easily, but the time and patience you give it will pay off big time. Twilight Struggle is a war based game where you play 1v1, one player as the US and the other as the Soviet Union. When you find someone worthy of a challenge, you simply take goes whenever you’re able and people have been known to spend years on this game. It’s definitely one for people who like to strategize with a lot of thought and aren’t just looking for some quick action.
Not to be confused with the second in a series, the 2 in Small World only refers to it being the second version with the first as the tabletop one. Small World 2 is a civilization game where one must try and conquer the world. There are small victories and losses as you go, and always new challenges to defeat. This game has plenty of extras that you won’t find on the tabletop version and it’s bright and colorful as well.
The Rise Of The Virtual Board Game
As you can see from our list, the best virtual board games seem to only be getting started. This is a genre that’s growing at the moment as people realize they can get so much more out of this classic pastime when they play them online.
There are so many benefits to playing board games in the digital world, whether they’re old classics you used to love or new and exciting titles. You can challenge yourself, the computer, or players from all over the world, and it still has that nice feel of a tabletop model that made you fall in love with board games in the first place.