Here is our list of the 10 best board games based on books. Based on books is a very interesting category because it can span so many different things. Usually what we find, is that the best properties for books are epic adventures with deep character and story. We are not ranking the best book properties, we are talking great games that happen to be based on great books, and use that story to their advantage.
#10 | Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
Do not take this lower position on the list of the best board games based on books, as a slight against Harry Potter. It is a great co-op deck building game, there are just better out there. This game makes the list, however, because If you really want to be immersed in the Harry Potter world, in a team setting, then this is the board game to do it with.
It’s up to four students to ensure the safety of the school by defeating villains and consolidating their defenses. In the game, you take on the role of a Hogwarts student: Harry, Ron, Hermione or Neville, each with their own personal deck of cards that are used to acquire resources. By gaining influence, you add more cards to your deck in the form of iconic characters, spells, and magical items. Other cards allow you to regain health or fight against villains. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 30 – 60 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle
#09 | Disney Villainous
This entry on the list of the best board games based on books is actually and amalgamation of many different books and other media from Disney. Villainous, in case you can guess, is based on all the villains from the Disney stories and crams them into a movement adventure game with hand management and a little take that.
You get your own villain deck, fate deck, player board, and 3D character. On a turn, you move to a different location, play a card (take an action) and then refill your hand. Cards are allies, items, effects, conditions, and curses. You need to use your cards to fulfill your unique win condition. That is just the core though, there is a lot more going on with the interaction of villains. For 2 – 6 players, games run 50 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Disney Villainous
#08 | Sheriff of Nottingham
Sheriff of Nottingham is one of the iconic villains of the beloved Robin Hood tale. Do not be fooled, this is no Robin Hood or kids game, it is actually an interesting strategy and communication bluffing game. It does a great job of blending set collection and pressing your luck with a mechanic that is all about knowing the people you are playing with.
You are a trader trying to make money by bringing your goods into Nottingham to sell at the market. The problem is that the evil sheriff outlawed many goods and stands in your way to getting them in. Each turn players take turns being the sheriff and everyone else is a trader as usual. The trader puts a number of cards in a sack and then declares what they are taking in the with the Sheriff having the option to look. You can lie, with great financial rewards, but if you get caught you pay a penalty. For 3 – 5 players, games last about 60 minutes.
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#07 | Dune
Most people agree that Dune is one of the best sci-fi epics ever written, and that is exactly the type of thing that will lend itself to a great board game. Imagine you can control the forces of a noble family, guild, or religious order on a barren planet which is the only source for the most valuable substance in the known universe. What you get is a great entry to the list of the best board games based on books.
In Dune, you become the leader of one of six great factions, vying to control the most valuable resource in the universe – melange (space spice). And without melange space travel would be impossible. Only by ingesting the addictive drug can your Guild Steersman continue to experience visions of the future, enabling you to plot a safe path through hyperspace. A constant balance. For 2 – 6 players, games run about 2 hours each.
FOR MORE: Buy Dune
#06 | Fury of Dracula
One of the few centries old stories on the list of the best board games based on books goes to the most famous vampire of all time, Dracula. There has been so many great stories and different media to come out of this story, it is wonderful to also see a great horror movement and deduction game.
Rounds are broken into day and night, with hunters taking actions during both and Dracula only at night. Combat is streamlined and decisive, but beware, rumor tokens allow Dracula to mislead hunters and extend the terrible reach of his influence. Count Dracula triumphs if he advances his influence track to thirteen; if the hunters can defeat him before then, they save the continent of Europe and win the game. For 2 – 5 players, games last 2 – 3 hours.
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#05 | A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
A relief for everyone was when the Game of Thrones board game was actually its own great, unique thing as opposed to just a generic copy of something with a name brand plastered on it. The game introduces new mechanics and great gameplay that make this a great stand-alone game, but they do a great job with the theme of immersing you in the GOT world.
You take on the role of one of the great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, as they vie for control of the Iron Throne through the use of diplomacy and warfare. Game of Thrones is an epic board game in which it will take more than military might to win. Through strategic planning, masterful diplomacy, and war, you will achieve greatness. For 3 – 6 players, games last about 2 – 4 hours.
FOR MORE: Buy A Game of Thrones The Board Game
#04 | Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
One hundred thirty-two years. That is how long Sherlock Holmes has been the most famous detective in the world. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective makes the list of the best board games based on books because it does this property justice and successfully brings you into the mix.
In Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, you are presented with a mystery to solve, and it is then up to you to trace the threads of evidence through the byways and mansions of nineteenth-century London. You will interview suspects, search the newspapers for clues, and put together the facts to reach a solution. For 1 – 8 players, games run 1 – 2 hours.
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#03 | Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
The bar for family-friendly adventure stories was set by Robinson Crusoe so it is so nice to see a matching board game that is equally fun. An easy choice for the list of the best board games based on books because it has unique characteristics that make it a stand-alone game, but then everything about it feeds into and works with this great story. So very fitting.
You take on the role of one of four characters from the ship crew (cook, carpenter, explorer or soldier) and face the adventure as a group. Use your determination skills to help your teammates, discuss with them your plan and put it into practice. Debate, discuss, and work on the best plan you all can make. You will build a shelter, palisade, weapons, you will create tools like axes, knives, sacks, you will do everything you can to… to survive. You will have to find food, fight wild beasts, protect yourself. For 1 – 4 players, games last about 1 – 2 hours.
#02 | Eldritch Horror
The Eldritch Horror universe is probably the most unknown property here so think about how great it had to be to climb this high on the list of the best board games based on books. There are many books and there are also board games. The two Arkham Horror games, also based on the same property, could have easily made this list but we kept it to one.
Eldritch Horror is a cooperative game of terror and adventure in which you and other players take the roles of globetrotting investigators working to solve mysteries, gather clues, and protect the world from an Ancient One. For 1 – 8 players, games last 2 – 4 hours each.
FOR MORE: Games Like Eldritch Horror | Buy Eldritch Horror
#01 | War of the Ring
Everyone can agree that the Lord of the Rings world is one of the most epic and rich novel properties ever created, so it is only fitting that a game set there tops the list of the best board games based on books. This is a miniatures action-adventure fighting game. There are actually many great LOTR games but we kept it to one so had to make this hard choice.
In War of the Ring, one player takes control of the Free Peoples and one the Shadow Armies. Moving across a large world, victory can be achieved through outright military action or by getting the ring to mount doom. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 150 – 180 minutes.