It’s 2011, the Harry Potter film franchise and Oprah TV show say goodbye, legends like Steve Jobs and Amy Winehouse passed away, Prince William marries Kate Middleton in a lavish royal wedding, female-driven comedy Bridesmaids rules the box office, US forces eliminate Osama bin Laden and Charlie Sheen has a massive public meltdown. While all this went down, many board games hit the streets, some that will forever cement their place in history. Below is the list of the best board games of 2011.
OR SEE THE: Best Board Games Of The Decade 2010 – 2020
Attention Publishers: If your game appears on this list, you may use the award seal to the left in connection with your marketing and publishing of that game however you see fit. Please link back to this article as the source.
#20 | Last Will
Just making the list of the best board games of 2011 is a game of opulence. In his last will, your rich uncle stated that all of his millions will go to the niece or nephew who can enjoy money the most. How to find out which nephew should be rich? You will each be given a large amount of money and whoever can spend it first will be the rightful heir. This economic strategy card-driven board game is for 2 – 5 players and will last about 45 – 75 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Last Will
#19 | Flash Point: Fire Rescue
You might have never thought that a game about fire fighting could make the list of the best board games of 2011 but they nailed it. Players are attempting to rescue 7 of 10 victims from a raging building fire. As the players attempt to rescue the victims, the fire spreads to other parts of the building. Each turn a player may spend action points to try to extinguish fires, move through the building, move victims out of the building or perform various special actions. This cooperative adventure game is for 2 – 6 players and lasts about 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Flash Point Fire Rescue
#18 | Elder Sign
The first cooperative game on the list of the best board games of 2011 is one based on a video game property. Elder Sign is a fast-paced, cooperative dice game of supernatural intrigue. Players take the roles of investigators racing against time to stave off the imminent return of the Ancient One. Armed with tools, allies, and occult knowledge, investigators must put their sanity and stamina to the test as they adventure to locate Elder Signs, the eldritch symbols used to seal away the Ancient Ones and win the game. For 1 – 8 players and will last about 90 minutes per game.
FOR MORE: Buy Elder Sign
#17 | Blood Bowl: Team Manager
Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game is a bone-breaking card game of violence and outright cheating. Chaos, Dwarf, Wood Elf, Human, Orc, and Skaven teams compete against each other over the course of a brutal season. Customize your team by drafting Star Players, hiring staff, upgrading facilities, and cheating like mad. This thematic sports action game is for 2 – 4 players and will take about 90 minutes. after a decade, not all the games on this list of best board games of 2011 have remained relevant, but Blood Bowl continues to go strong in popularity.
#16 | Summoner Wars: Master Set
Coming around the back turn on the list of the best board games of 2011 we have an intense one. Summoner Wars is a fast-playing, action-packed card game where players take on the role of Summoners: powerful beings who harness the power of mysterious Summoning Stones to lead their race to conquest on the war-torn planet of Itharia. These Summoners wield terrible magic on the battlefield, freezing their foes in place, draining their enemies of power, and even bringing rains of fire down from the heavens. This customizable strategy game is for 2 – 4 players and will take 30 – 60 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Summoner Wars
#15 | Dungeon Petz
Dungeon Petz is a standalone game set in the Dungeon Lords universe. The game consists of several rounds in which players use unusual worker placement mechanisms (players simultaneously prepare different sized groups of imps in order to play sooner than others) to prepare themselves for the uneasy task of raising creature cubs and pleasing their different needs. It is for 2 – 4 players and will take about 90 minutes. Dungeon Petz is one of the games on the list of best board games of 2011 that really works for all different age groups.
FOR MORE: Buy Dungeon Petz
#14 | Takenoko
In Takenoko, the players will cultivate land plots, irrigate them, and grow one of the three species of bamboo (Green, Yellow, and Pink) with the help of the Imperial gardener to maintain this bamboo garden. They will have to bear with the immoderate hunger of this sacred animal for the juicy and tender bamboo. This 2 – 4 player game will go for about 45 minutes and is fit for the whole family. This entry on the list of the best board games of 2011 is not to be confused with Tokaido or other similar sounding games of which there are many.
FOR MORE: Buy Takenoko
#13 | Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan
Sekigahara is a 3-hour block game based on the Japanese campaign waged in 1600. The 7-week war, fought along Japan’s two major highways and in scattered sieges and backcountry skirmishes, elevated Tokugawa Ieyasu to Shogun and unified Japan for 265 years. Sekigahara is designed to offer a historically authentic experience within an intuitive game mechanic that can be played in one sitting. The game is very specifically for 2 players.
FOR MORE: Buy Sekigahara
#12 | Village
In Village, each player will take the reins of a family and have them find fame and glory in many different ways. There is one thing you must not forget, however: Time will not stop for anyone and with time people will vanish. Those who will find themselves immortalized in the village chronicles will bring honor to their family and be one step closer to victory. This strategy game is for 2 – 4 players and will take about 60 – 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Village
#11 | Kingdom Builder
Coming to the middle of this list of the best board games of 2011 comes one based on the ancient game Go. In Kingdom Builder, the players create their own kingdoms by skillfully building their settlements, aiming to earn the most gold at the end of the game. Nine different kinds of terrain are on the variable game board, including locations and castles. During his turn, a player plays his terrain card and builds three settlements on three hexes of this kind. Based on the classic “Go”, this strategy game is for 2 – 4 players and should go around 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Kingdom Builder
#10 | Dixit: Odyssey
Each turn one player is the storyteller. This player secretly chooses one card in his hand, then gives a word or sentence to describe this card—but not too obviously. Each other player chooses a card in hand that matches this word/sentence and gives it to the storyteller. The storyteller then lays out the cards, and all other players vote on which card belongs to the storyteller. This intriguing party game is for 3 – 12 players and will last around 30 minutes a game.
FOR MORE: Dixit Page | Buy Dixit Odyssey
#09 | Mansions of Madness
Each game takes place within a pre-designed story that provides players with a unique map and several combinations of plot threads. These threads affect the monsters that investigators may encounter, the clues they need to find, and which climactic story ending they will ultimately experience. This role-playing adventure game is for 2 – 5 players and will run about 2 – 3 hours a game. As for titles on this list of the best board games of 2011, the story-driven narrative on Mansions is as good as you are going to get.
#08 | Risk Legacy
Risk Legacy brings together the classic Risk game with a rarity in boardgaming: campaigning. Players control countries or regions on a map of the world, and through simple combat (with players rolling dice to determine who loses units in each battle) they try to eliminate all opponents from the game board or control a certain number of victory points. Legacy games continue after just one. This strategy game is for 3 – 5 players and will run 60 minutes a game. Though we would normally not put follow-ups on the list of the best board games of 2011, it is very different and it has been 50+ years.
FOR MORE: Buy Risk Legacy
#07 | The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative adventure game in which the players attempt to complete a scenario, each with three heroes of their choice and a deck of allies, events and attachments to support them. Each round, players send their heroes and allies to quest or to fight with enemies that engage them. This customizable card game is for 2 players and will go 30 – 60 minutes. The game based on the big franchise can stand on its own and was an easy choice for the best board games of 2011.
FOR MORE: Buy Lord of the Rings Card Game
#06 | A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
Three to six players take on the roles 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. Through strategic planning, masterful diplomacy, and clever card play spread your influence over Westeros! This negotiation strategy game is for 3 – 6 players and will take 1 – 2 hours. The HBO TV show has nothing on this best board games of 2011 title.
FOR MORE: Buy Game of Thrones Board Game
#05 | The Castles of Burgundy
Each player takes on the role of an aristocrat, originally controlling a small princedom. While playing they aim to build settlements and powerful castles, practice trade along the river, exploit silver mines, and use the knowledge of travelers. The game is about players taking settlement tiles from the game board and placing them into their princedom which is represented by the player board. For 2 – 4 players lasting 30 – 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Castles of Burgundy
#04 | Trajan
Set in ancient Rome, Trajan is a development game in which players try to increase their influence and power in various areas of Roman life such as political influence, trading, military dominion and other important parts of Roman culture. The central mechanism of the game uses a system similar to that in Mancala. This strategy game is for 2 – 4 players lasting about 60 – 120 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Trajan
#03 | King of Tokyo
In King of Tokyo, you play mutant monsters, gigantic robots, and strange aliens—all of whom are destroying Tokyo and whacking each other in order to become the one and only King of Tokyo. At the start of each turn, you roll six dice, which show the following six symbols: 1, 2, or 3 Victory Points, Energy, Heal, and Attack. Over three successive throws, choose whether to keep or discard each die. For 2 – 6 players in games lasting 30 minutes. As far as this list of the best board games of 2011, this one probably has the most famous game designer in Richard Greenfield.
FOR MORE: King of Tokyo Page | How To Play King of Tokyo | King of Tokyo Review | Games Like King of Tokyo | Buy King of Tokyo
#02 | Mage Knight
The Mage Knight board game puts you in control of one of four powerful Mage Knights as you explore (and conquer) a corner of the Mage Knight universe under the control of the Atlantean Empire. Build your army, fill your deck with powerful spells and actions, explore caves and dungeons, and eventually conquer powerful cities controlled by this once-great faction! For 1 – 4 players in games lasting 1 – 4 hours.
FOR MORE: Games Like Mage Knight | Buy Mage Knight
#01 | Eclipse
The top honor for the list of the best board games of 2011 goes to space odyssey Eclipse. A game of Eclipse places you in control of a vast interstellar civilization, competing for success with its rivals. You will explore new star systems, research technologies, and build spaceships with which to wage war. There are many potential paths to victory, so you need to plan your strategy according to the strengths and weaknesses of your species while keeping an eye on opponents. For 2 – 6 players for games lasting 1 – 3 hours.
FOR MORE: Games Like Eclipse | Buy Eclipse
OR SEE THE: Best Board Games Of The Decade 2010 – 2020