Remember Sheldon Cooper and his love for intricate details and spot-checking his character sheet of Dungeons and Dragons? Sounds nerdy and intelligent, doesn’t it? Well, this is exactly what a good D&D game has to offer. It immerses you into an epic fantasy board game where role-playing, strategy, and a great storyline await you.
Since its inception in the 1970s, Dungeons and Dragons has left a mark in the world of board games as it brought a fresh take on cooperation. To honor that, in this post, we’ll look at some of the best D&D board games you play.
What Makes D&D Games So Popular?
Pioneered by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, this pen-and-paper game emerged as a revolutionary option for the board games space. Here are some of the reasons why D&D games are so popular:
While gamers laid their hands on an RPG in a computerized gaming arena, this was one of the first board games that took the players into a limitless world of imagination where players assumed the roles of heroic characters and set out on a quest together with combined creativity.
Each board game can be played among 5-6 players, so the group’s collective strategy and navigation are essential to clear the levels. This game has surpassed generational gaps and is still popular today because of its ability to bring people together. In other words, it makes for an excellent family board game!
As opposed to a traditional RPG, in these board games, there’s cooperative storytelling, and the combined efforts determine the course of the game. An effective strategy and tons of brainstorming make it unique and exciting, with chances of multiple outcomes of a single move.
D&D board games encourage players to work together to overcome challenges and achieve shared objectives. From embarking on quests in haunted mansions to battling giants and dragons, you’ll be surprised at the interesting narrative each edition brings.
One of the best parts of this game is its compelling storytelling. Each edition brings a unique storyline that motivates players to test their wits and grits to seal a win through collective efforts and combined skills.
Now that we know why D&D board games are so popular worldwide, let’s dive into the list of the best ones you can add to your collection.
Dungeons and Dragons: Assault of the Giants
Designed for ages 14+ with an option to play with up to 6 players, Dungeons and Dragons: Assault of the Giants invites you to command one of the 6 types of giants and reclaim the right to rule over the giant kind.
You get to assume the role of one of the six giants, and they have to assault settlements, score points, and secure their resources to stay in the game.
Each giant has their army, unique race agenda, and a story, which means this is where you’ll tap in to lay out your strategy. Be sure to play your cards right, as different giants seek different things. For example, The Hill Giants seek abundant food to feed their massive monarch, Chief Guh, so you can manipulate that.
|Dungeons & Dragons Assault of The Giants Board Game – Standard Edition | WizKids||$69.50||Buy on Amazon|
The game comes with 12 miniature Giants, 3 giant slayers, and an injection molded in color for you to immerse in a larger-than-life experience on a board game.
Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate
Keep your friends close and enemies closer, for this game is full of surprises and twists and turns you’d not expect. As the shadow of Bhaal rises again over Baldur’s Gate, it brings monsters and other deadly horrors from the darkness, which the city is not ready for.
In Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate, you can explore the haunted mansion, its dark alleys, and its deadly catacombs, uncovering secrets and items from each place you visit.
However, here’s the twist – you’ll soon be in the Betrayal phase before you even know it. One player may turn against the group and play out one of the many scenarios available in the game.
|Avalon Hill Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate Board Game for 144 months to 9600 months||$49.99||Buy on Amazon|
There’s no option but to return to the Baldur’s Gate again and survive the madness that will split your group or lead them to victory.
Dungeons and Dragons: Castle Ravenloft
This 60-minute board game adventure is perfect for your D&D-themed party or board game night. Equipped with dungeon action and fun quests, it brings tales of horror and victory that decide which path to set your foot on.
Join the master of Ravenloft for a lavish dinner interrupted by evil lurks in the tower and the castle’s dungeons. Become the hero the situation needs and save people from the horror.
The game offers challenging questions and multiple scenarios that keep the players hooked right from the start. Build a cooperative strategy and master survival skills to escape without being killed.
Tomb of Annihilation
Tomb of Annihilation puts players into one of the most unforgiving ecosystems in the Dungeons & Dragons universe: Chult. The swamps of this region are infested with monstrosities of every kind (the cover of the board game box should give you a fair idea of what you’re getting into).
However, it also presents a more streamlined adventure than most other Dungeons & Dragons board games. That’s mostly because the makers have put more emphasis on the horror aspect, rendering this quite a detailed horror RPG.
Nonetheless, you’ll find a hefty amount of adventure with your party in the land of Chult. Of course, there’s a decent story involved as well (along with an adventure book). Your squad has to investigate Chult in order to find the elusive Tomb of Nine Gods.
|Dungeons & Dragons: Tomb of Annihilation Adventure System Board Game Standard Ed||$89.99||Buy on Amazon|
Whether you’re looking for scares, treasure, or an adventure, this is a D&D board game that will provide you with all of it in spades. Just make sure not to venture into Chult alone!
Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd Edition
With tactical gameplay and a captivating adventure, Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd Edition promises a gripping narrative experience.
Set in the realm of Terrinoth, you set out on a quest to battle monsters, venture into ancient ruins and dark caves, earn your loot, and do much more in your attempt to stop the overlord from taking over the world.
It gets interesting as out of the 5 players, one assumes the role of the lord, and the rest are the heroes who try to save the world.
Offering about 2 hours of gameplay, the most exciting element of this game is its character development as you progress into the game. It pushes the players to cooperate on scenario-specific objectives, which forces you to think and emerge victorious as a group.
It comes with nearly 50 detailed figures, 9 custom dice, 150 tokens, and much more to give you a unique D&D board game experience.
Dragonfire: A D&D Deck-Building Game
Inspired by the critically acclaimed game Shadowrun: Crossfire Engine, Dragonfire is an excellent option for children aged 13+ who are stepping foot into the world of board games. It’s a simpler choice for them as it’s a deck-based game where players face various challenges, battle foes, and aim at building powerful decks.
It’s a dynamic and evolving game that lets you create your customized deck, and you’ll have to participate in various campaigns, acquire new cards, and undergo character development by defying all odds.
|Catalyst Game Labs Dragonfire Deckbuilding Board Games||$88.52||Buy on Amazon|
Due to this nature, you can replay the same game repeatedly, which will land you with a different outcome every time.
Temple of Elemental Evil
Temple of Elemental Evil is a true dungeon crawler board game. While it features most of what D&D board game enthusiasts enjoy, it also focuses more on the combat rather than the actual narrative. So, if all you want to do is dive into haunted temples and eliminate monsters, this is the board game for you!
That being said, Temple of Elemental Evil also brings forth a campaign that ties into other D&D board games quite nicely. It was also one of the first in the series to have proper recording structures and forms to ensure that players could gather XP, loot, and level up their characters properly.
As the game focuses more on combat, it also ensures that players are challenged at every step. Monsters are difficult to defeat, adverse effects on the player last longer, and the entire board game is an encapsulation of elaborate traps.
|Dungeons & Dragons: Temple of Elemental Evil Adventure System Board Game – Standard Edition||$149.00||Buy on Amazon|
So, we wouldn’t recommend this D&D board game to first-timers. As a beginner, you’d rather understand and get invested in the campaign story than deal with some of the most difficult fights in dungeon crawler games. However, if you’re a seasoned veteran of the D&D universe, this is definitely worth buying!
Presenting you with a persistent and changing world, Gloomhaven invites you to a Euro-inspired tactical game in evolving set pieces. It has an expansive world, intricate characters, and intriguing gameplay.
With a rich lore to follow, it allows you to explore deadly dungeons, battle monsters, and unearth secrets with your mercenaries as you creatively challenge, strategize, and cooperate to win dynamic battles to glory.
|Cephalofair Games: Gloomhaven, Award-Winning Strategy Board Game, For 1 to 4 Players, 60 to 120…||$265.00||Buy on Amazon|
You’re in a world of shifting motives, and your collective decision will determine how the story unfolds.
Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep
Deep into the greatest city of Splendors and the jewel of the Forgotten Realms, whose greed has left people bloodthirsty. As a city lord, you must stop the evil lords eager to take control of the city and, eventually, the jewel for political prowess and corruption.
Force is the only way out because that’s how you can gain resources, weapons, and strength, as there’s no right or wrong, only power that rules.
Go ahead and recruit a few adventurers and send them on quests as you sit back, carefully plan your next move, and increase your influence over the city. Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep’s detailing and compelling storyline have received massive applause from the young and old alike.
There’s also a digital version of Lord of Waterdeep. In fact, it’s one of the best board games on Steam that you can play today!
Tyrants of the Underdark
Tyrants of the Underdark is set in the treacherous Underdark, where you lead Drow houses in a struggle for supremacy. Players build their decks, recruit spies, and vie for control over key locations. It combines the experience of a deck-building game with tactical strategy, which makes it a must-try combo.
|Gale Force Nine Tyrants of The Underdark (Updated Edition) – English||$37.50||Buy on Amazon|
You have to build your deck of minion cards to determine your actions and recruit more of them to deploy more troops on the map and influence your power. You can add or remove certain cards from the deck to increase your strength and eventually become the leader of the Underdark.
Dungeons and Dragons: Vault of the Dragons
Welcome back to the streets of Waterdeep, where you set out once again with your friends, but this time with a different challenge. Rumor is in the air about a secret hidden vault of gold under the city, and the one who locates it first gains power over the treasure. But little do they know that this goldmine is guarded by none other than the dragons.
As a player, you deploy people searching the vault while locating strategic key points to the tunnel to ensure no one reaches the place before you. You’ll be lucky to lay your hands on double-sided location tiles, which give the players the power to explore more places in one go.
|Gale Force Nine Dungeons & Dragons: Vault of Dragons Board Game, 14 Years||$55.49||Buy on Amazon|
Beware of the City Watch and enter a place full of competition to discover the dungeons of Undermountain and defeat the dragons.
Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon
Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon is a combination of puzzle, combat, and role-play, which is interesting enough to return to it time and again. You find yourself tangled in a heavy shadow falling across the land caused by a dark spire known for belching smoke and oozing fiery lava.
You’ll have to start by entering a cave mouth, leading to a maze of chambers and tunnels you’ll have to cross. As you proceed, you face your worst fear in the deep labyrinth – the red dragon, Ashardalon! It’s time to think critically, navigate, and find your way out to win the game.
With so many options, it can be incredibly overwhelming to figure out which one’s the best. Hopefully, the above list of the best D&D board games makes it easier for you to pick one and enjoy the epic fantasy worlds.
All of them offer a unique role-playing experience, storyline, and characters that are challenging enough to test your mettle.
So, gather your friends in this cooperative gaming adventure as you set out to rule the world using your imagination and skills you never knew existed.
If you’re looking for something slightly different, why not take a look at our list of the best war board games instead?
Adnan is a BMS graduate and a senior games writer at Sparkian. He’s a gaming enthusiast with plenty of knowledge of the gaming world, including the latest games, strategies, and epic adventures. Besides gaming, he loves to write about tech… read more