It’s 2014, a few states legalize recreational pot while even more legalize same-sex marriage, George Clooney marries a beautiful European politician while Kim and Kanye get hitched in Europe, Ellen takes a record-breaking selfie at the Oscars, the internet is captivated by the ALS ice bucket challenge and Jimmy Fallon takes over the tonight show. Even with all this change, the one thing that remains is great board games were put out. Below please find the best board games of 2014.
OR SEE THE: Best Board Games Of The Decade 2010 – 2020
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#20 | One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Just making it on to the list of the best board games of 2014 is a quick social deduction title. One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a fast game in which everyone gets a role: One of the dastardly Werewolves, the tricky Troublemaker, the helpful Seer, or one of a dozen different characters, each with a special ability. In the course of a single morning, your village will decide who is a werewolf…because all it takes is lynching one werewolf to win! This party game is for 3 – 10 players and lasts a quick 10 minutes each.
#19 | Panamax
Another title just making the list of the best board games of 2014 is a tycoon one of sorts. In Panamax each player manages a shipping company established in the Colón Free Trade Zone. Companies accept contracts from both US coasts, China and Europe and deliver cargo in order to make money, attract investment and pay dividends. At the same time the players accumulate their own stock investments and try to make as much money as possible in an effort to have the largest personal fortune and win the game. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 100 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Panamax
#18 | Patchwork
It took a lot for a two-player game to make the list of the best board games of 2014, but they did it. In Patchwork, two players compete to build the most aesthetic (and high-scoring) patchwork quilt on a personal 9×9 game board. On a turn, a player either purchases one of the three patches standing clockwise of the spool or passes. To purchase a patch, you pay the cost in buttons shown on the patch, move the spool to that patch’s location in the circle, add the patch to your game board, then advance your time token on the time track a number of spaces equal to the time shown. Games last 15 – 30 minutes.
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#17 | Kanban: Driver’s Edition
Kanban: Automotive Revolution takes place on an assembly line. Players are ambitious managers who are trying to impress the board of directors in order to achieve as high a position as possible in the company. With promotions come advantages at the factory, such as more space to store precious materials and greater prestige to accelerate your ascent. Through solid management, you must strive to shine next to your peers. This economic strategy game is for 2 – 4 players and takes about 90 – 120 minutes. A great option on the list of the best board games of 2014 for the racing enthusiasts.
FOR MORE: Buy Kanban Driver’s Edition
#16 | Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America
Normally a deluxe version that just has some additional pieces and modes would not make the list of the best board games of 2014 but Power Grid came back in a big way so respect. The goal of Power Grid is to supply the most cities with power when someone’s network reaches a predetermined size. Players mark pre-existing routes between cities for connection, then bid against each other to purchase the power plants that they need to power these cities. As power plants are purchased, newer, more efficient plants become available, which can be dangerous. Games are for 2 – 6 players and last about 120 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Power Grid
#15 | Xia: Legends of a Drift System
Each player starts as a lowly but hopeful captain of a small starship. Players fly their ships about the system, completing a variety of missions, exploring new sectors and battling other ships. Navigating hazardous environments, players choose to mine, salvage, or trade valuable cargo. Captains vie with each other for Titles, riches, and most importantly Fame. One captain will rise above the others, surpassing mortality by becoming Legend! Games are for 3 – 5 players and last about 1 – 3 hours.
FOR MORE: Buy Xia Legends of a Drift System
#14 | La Granja
In La Granja, players control small farms by the Alpich pond near the village of Esporles on the island of Mallorca. Over time, the players develop their farms and deliver goods to the village. Players are vying to earn the title of “La Granja” for their country estate! Over the course of 6 game rounds, players will expand their farm by adding fields, farm extensions, market barrows, and helpers. For 1 – 4 players, games run for about 90 – 120 minutes. The list of the best board games of 2014 would not be complete without a little farming.
FOR MORE: Buy La Granja
#13 | Arcadia Quest
In Arcadia Quest, players lead guilds of intrepid heroes on an epic campaign to dethrone the vampire lord and reclaim the mighty Arcadia for their own. But only one guild may lead in the end, so players must battle against each other as well as against the monstrous occupying forces. This entry in the list of the best board games of 2014 but all good stuff. This campaign-based game for 2 – 4 players and games last about an hour.
FOR MORE: Buy Arcadia Quest
#12 | Castles of Mad King Ludwig
In the tile-laying game Castles of Mad King Ludwig, players are tasked with building an amazing, extravagant castle for King Ludwig II of Bavaria…one room at a time. You see, the King loves castles, and now he’s commissioned you to build the biggest, best castle ever. Pieces are drafted amongst all players in this building competition game for 1 – 4 players. Games last about 90 minutes each. Over the years this game has become a staple and is certainly one of the more iconic games on this list of the best board games of 2014.
FOR MORE: Buy Castles of Mad King Ludwig
#11 | Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
Right in the middle of the list of the best board games of 2014 is an offshoot in the Legendary series. Legendary Encounters is a deck-building game where players must cooperate in order to survive against hordes of aliens. Taking on the role of protagonists such as Ripley, Dallas, Bishop and Corporal Hicks, players take turns recruiting cards for their deck from a central selection in order to improve their deck and defeat Xenomorph cards that are added to the central game board. For 1 – 5 players, games last about 30 – 60 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Legendary Encounters Alien
#10 | Star Realms
Star Realms is a fast-paced deck-building card game of outer space combat. It combines the fun of a deck-building game with the interactivity of Trading Card Game style combat. As you play, you make use of Trade to acquire new Ships and Bases from the cards being turned face up in the Trade Row from the Trade Deck. You use the Ships and Bases you acquire to either generate more Trade or to generate Combat. Built for two players, games last a quick 20 minutes each.
FOR MORE: How To Play Star Realms | Games Like Star Realms | Buy Star Realms
#09 | Sheriff of Nottingham
In Sheriff of Nottingham, players will not only be able to experience Nottingham as a merchant of the city, but each turn one player will step into the shoes of the Sheriff himself. Players declare goods they wish to bring into the city, goods that are secretly stored in their burlap sack. The Sheriff must then determine who gets into the city with their goods, who gets inspected, and who may have their goods confiscated! This exciting party game is for 3 – 5 players and will last an hour. This top game on the list of the best board games of 2014 is no Robin Hood adventure.
FOR MORE: Sheriff of Nottingham Page | How To Play Sheriff of Nottingham | Sheriff of Nottingham Review | Games Like Sheriff of Nottingham | Buy Sheriff of Nottingham
#08 | Alchemists
In Alchemists, players compete to discover the secrets of the mystical art of potion-making. Points can be earned in various ways, but usually earned by publishing theories and therein lies the problem. The game is played in six rounds. At the beginning of the round, players choose their play order. Those who choose to play later get more rewards. Players declare all their actions by placing cubes on the various action spaces, then each action space is evaluated in order. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 2 hours. In regards to this list of the best board games of 2014, if there are any magic or Harry Potter fans out there, this game is for you.
FOR MORE: Buy Alchemists
#07 | Roll for the Galaxy
Roll for the Galaxy is a dice game of building space empires. Your dice represent your populace, whom you direct to develop new technologies, settle worlds, and ship goods. The player who best manages his workers and builds the most prosperous empire wins! This deck building and dice rolling strategy game is for 2 – 5 players and should last about 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Roll For The Galaxy
#06 | Istanbul
In Istanbul, you lead a group of one merchant and four assistants through 16 locations in the bazaar. At each such location, you can carry out a specific action. The challenge, though, is that to take an action, you must move your merchant and an assistant there, then leave the assistant behind. Planning ahead and strategy are key. For 2 – 5 players, games last about 40 – 60 minutes. A slam dunk for the list of best board games of 2014.
FOR MORE: Buy Istanbul
#05 | Five Tribes
Five Tribes builds on a long tradition of German-style meeple games. Here, in a unique twist on the now-standard “worker placement” genre, the game begins with the meeples already in place – and players must cleverly maneuver them over the villages, markets, oases, and sacred places tiles that make up Naqala. How, when, and where you dis-place these Five Tribes of Assassins, Elders, Builders, Merchants, and Viziers determine your victory or failure. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 40 – 80 minutes.
FOR MORE: Games Like Five Tribes | Buy Five Tribes
#04 | Splendor
Splendor is a game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops—all in order to acquire the most prestige points. With only a few action options per turn, the gameplay is easy but mastering a strategy is nearly impossible. This strategy game is for 2 – 4 players and lasts a quick 25 minutes. This is a game on the list of best board games of 2014 that is the most simple yet robust.
FOR MORE: Splendor Page | How To Play Splendor | Splendor Review | Games Like Splendor| Buy Splendor
#03 | Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Imperial Assault puts you in the midst of the Galactic Civil War between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire after the destruction of the Death Star. The campaign game pits the limitless troops and resources of the Galactic Empire against a crack team of elite Rebel operatives as they strive to break the Empire’s hold on the galaxy and the skirmish option game you and a friend to battle head-to-head over conflicting objectives. A strategy board game of tactical combat and missions for 2 – 5 players, games last about 1 – 2 hours.
FOR MORE: Buy Star Wars Imperial Assault
#02 | Orléans
During the medieval goings-on around Orléans, you must assemble a following of farmers, merchants, knights, monks, etc. to gain supremacy through trade, construction and science in medieval France. You can take trade trips to other cities to acquire coveted goods and build trading posts. You need followers and their abilities to expand your dominance by putting them to work. This worker placement strategy game is for 2 – 4 players with games running about 90 minutes. The best board games of 2014 list would not have been complete without this historical game.
FOR MORE: Buy Oreléans
#01 | Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
The top spot on the list of the best board games of 2014 goes to this stylish and story-filled game of avoiding death. Dead of Winter puts players in a small, weakened colony of survivors in a world where most of humanity is either dead or diseased, flesh-craving monsters. Each player leads a faction of survivors with dozens of different characters in the game. A meta-cooperative psychological survival game, players are working together toward one common victory condition but also a secret goal of their own. For 2 – 5 players, games last about 1 – 2 hours.
OR SEE THE: Best Board Games Of The Decade 2010 – 2020