The Best Board Games for Starting Your Collection

As a staff, I think we can safely say that each of us has more than ten board games (minimum) in our personal board game collection. That’s what happens when you work in a board game store and you love your work! But even though we are far from beginners, we all remember the first game we fell in love with or that intrigued us enough to buy the next one. 

We know it can be a little overwhelming when you’re getting started, so we compiled a list of games to help you start building your board game collection. This list is a sampling, and you by no means have to buy all of them. 

Try one or two and see what you like about them. Are you into deck building games? Do you prefer collaborative or competitive? Do you hate medieval-themed or steampunk (Just don’t tell us that okay? So harsh.)? Figuring out what you love and exploring is half the fun!

5. Terraforming Mars

This may be at the bottom of the list, but remember that there are HUNDREDS if not thousands of board games out there so top-five is still a pretty fantastic game. Now this game may seem like a strange pick for beginners because it is very intense – a playthrough often lasts for over two hours. But if you can get into this, you’re going to be hooked on high-octane strategy games for life. 

Terraforming Mars is what’s known as an engine-building game. You play a corporation trying to make Mars an appealing and super cool place to live. In order to accomplish this, you have to get power, oxygen, food, etc. The great thing about the length of the game for beginners is that because there are so many turns, you have time to really grasp and practice what strategy games are all about.

4. King of Tokyo

King of Tokyo is a monster-themed king-of-the-hill game. Every turn, you roll five six-sided dice. You get three rolls to attempt to earn the dice you want. Different dice activate different actions and hilarity ensues. Because there is only one winner in a king-of-the-hill game (i.e. the king), your goal is to be the first to rack up 20 victory points or to wipe out all the other players – whichever comes first. 

This game quickly turns to all-out war, but in a really fun and cartoony way. It’s a quick, screaming good time. 

3. Pandemic

We debated whether or not to include this one on the list given that we’re writing in 2020 – The Year of Our Lord Coronavirus. But Pandemic is too satisfying and classic a game to ignore. This is a campaign game, meaning your actions in one game carry over into the next game while you try to complete various missions. This campaign game manages to be both engaging and manageable. And it’s cooperative so all you non-confrontational game nerds can play in peace!

Work together to stop the spread of an unknown virus and save the world!

2. What Do You Meme

Okay, a few of you may be rolling your eyes. It’s a Justin Bieber pun and a Meme game?? But trust us – sometimes you just want some silly fun on your shelf for parties and chatty-chill game nights. You won’t always be hanging with just your hardcore gamer friends. In this game, people take turns putting up an interesting image and your friends use text cards to caption it. Whoever is funniest (as deemed by the image holder) wins a point. Think Cards Against Humanity, but slightly more work (or grandma) appropriate. 

1. Settlers of Catan

We’re sorry, but if this isn’t in your board game collection…are you even a gamer? This game is simple to learn but difficult to master, making it fun for hours and hours of replay. There’s a lot of strategy and a lot of player interaction, so you have to stay focused to build your villages and manage your resources. This game is an icon for a reason and we cannot recommend it (and it’s six expansion packs) enough.

If you have any questions about how to build your board game collection, contact us at Game Goblins! We love nothing more in this life to talk about the games we love and debate their pros and cons until you feel absolutely certain that this is the game-baby for you!