The best board games of 2016. You remember that year, the Zika virus is rearing its ugly head, the UK decides to leave Europe, the Chicago Cubs finally win a world series, Hulk Hogen takes down Gawker, It’s proven that Russian Hackers interfere with a US election, Pokemon Go fever is everywhere for a brief moment and an all-female Ghostbusters comes out. With so much going on, thank goodness great patrons out there made some amazing games. Below please find the best board games of 2016.
OR SEE THE: Best Board Games Of The Decade 2010 – 2020
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#20 | Evolution: Climate
At the tail end of our list of the best board games of 2016 is the somehwat relevant Evolution: Climate. In Evolution: Climate, players adapt their species in a dynamic ecosystem where food is scarce, predators lurk, and the climate can swing between scorching hot and icy cold. Traits like a Hard Shell and Horns can protect your species from Carnivores while a Long Neck will help them get food that others cannot reach. Heavy Fur and Migratory can protect your species from the cold while being Nocturnal or Burrowing will provide protection from the cruel desert sun. For 2 – 6 players lasting about an hour.
FOR MORE: Buy Evolution Climate on Amazon
#19 | Flamme Rouge
Another title just making the list of the best board games of 2016 is a fantastic racing game. Flamme Rouge is a fast-paced, tactical bicycle racing game where each player controls a team of two riders: a Rouleur and a Sprinteur. The players’ goal is to be the first to cross the finish line with one of their riders. Players move their riders forward by drawing and playing cards from that riders specific deck, depleting it as they go. Use slipstreams to avoid exhaustion and position your team for a well-timed sprint for the win. This hand management simulation game is for 2 – 4 and lasts 30 – 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Flamme Rouge on Amazon
#18 | Imhotep
In Imhotep, the players become builders in Egypt who want to emulate the first and best-known architect there. Over six rounds, they move wooden stones by boat to create five seminal monuments, and on a turn, a player chooses one of four actions: Procure new stones, load stones on a boat, bring a boat to a monument, or play an action card. This party strategy game is for 2 – 4 players with games going about 40 minutes. As an aside, out of all the titles on the list of the best board games of 2016, this is a big one we recommend to families.
FOR MORE: Imhotep Page | Games Like Imhotep | Buy Imhotep on Amazon
#17 | Lorenzo il Magnifico
In Lorenzo il Magnifico, each player takes is the head of a noble family in a city during the Italian renaissance. You try to accumulate prestige and fame to gain more victory points than the others. To do so, you send your family members to different areas of town to get achievements. In one location they get useful resources, in another development cards, somewhere else they activate the effects of their cards. This strategy game is for 2 – 4 players and will take 1 – 2 hours. This one was just too unique and interesting to leave it off the list of the best board games of 2016.
FOR MORE: Buy Lorenzo Il Magnifico on Amazon
#16 | Quadropolis
Each player builds their own metropolis in Quadropolis, but they’re competing with one another for the shops, parks, public services and other structures to be placed in them. This is a fun city-building one on the list of the best board games of 2016. The game lasts four rounds, and in each round players first lay out tiles for the appropriate round at random on a 5×5 grid. Some buildings are worth victory points on their own, and once players sum these values with what they’ve scored for each type of building in their city, whoever has the highest score wins. A strategy game for 2 – 4 players lasting 30 – 60 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Quadropolis on Amazon
#15 | Inis
Inis is a game deeply rooted in Celtic history and lore in which players win by being elected King of the Island (Inis). Players can try to achieve one of three different victory conditions – Leadership, Land, Religion. Careful drafting, hand management, bluffing, good timing, and a precise understanding of the balance of power are the keys to victory. This strategy game is for 2 – 4 players and will run about 1 – 1.5 hours. There is a lot going on in this entry to the list of the best board games of 2016, all good.
FOR MORE: Buy Inis on Amazon
#14 | Captain Sonar
In Captain Sonar, you and your teammates control a state-of-the-art submarine and are trying to locate an enemy submarine in order to blow it out of the water before they can do the same to you. Every role is important, and the confrontation is merciless. Be organized and communicate because a captain is nothing without his crew: the Chief Mate, the Radio Operator, and the Engineer. A thematic party game for 2 – 8 players lasting about an hour per game.
#13 | Santorini
Santorini is an accessible strategy game, a reimagination of the original 2004 classic. Each turn consists of 2 easy steps. Move one of your builders into a neighboring space. You may move your Builder Pawn on the same level, step-up one level, or step down any number of levels. Then construct a building level adjacent to the builder you moved.
When building on top of the third level, put a dome on top. If you get that you win. For 2 – 4 players, games last around 20 minutes. This might be the most adorable game on the list of the best board games of 2016 due to the tiny structures.
#12 | Yokohama
Once Yokohama was just a fishing village, but now at the beginning of the Meiji era it’s becoming a harbor open to foreign countries and one of the leading trade cities of Japan. In YOKOHAMA, each player is a merchant in the Meiji period, trying to gain fame from a successful business, and to do so they need to build a store, broaden their sales channels, learn a variety of techniques, and (of course) respond to trade orders from abroad. For 2 – 4 players, games will go about 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Yokohama on Amazon
#11 | Aeon’s End
Coming around the turn on the list of the best board games of 2016 is one of the decades best deck building games. Aeon’s End is a cooperative game that explores the deckbuilding genre with a number of innovative mechanisms, including a variable turn order system that simulates the chaos of an attack, and deck management rules that require careful planning with every discarded card. Players will struggle to defend Gravehold from The Nameless and their hordes using unique abilities and powerful spells. For 1 – 4 players, games last about an hour each.
FOR MORE: Games Like Aeons End | Buy Aeons End on Amazon
#10 | Secret Hitler
Secret Hitler is a dramatic game of political intrigue and betrayal set in 1930s Germany. Each player is randomly and secretly assigned to be a liberal or a fascist, and one player is Secret Hitler. The fascists coordinate to sow distrust and install their cold-blooded leader; the liberals must find and stop the Secret Hitler before it’s too late. The liberal team always has a majority. A party game for 5 – 10 players that lasts about 45 minutes. At the halfway point, this entry to the list of the best board games of 2016 is one of the best adult party games on the market today.
FOR MORE: Secret Hitler Page | How To Play Secret Hitler | Games Like Secret Hitler | Buy Secret Hitler on Amazon
#09 | Mechs vs. Minions
Mechs vs. Minions is a cooperative tabletop campaign for 2-4 players. Set in the world of Runeterra, players take on the roles of four intrepid Yordles: Corki, Tristana, Heimerdinger, and Ziggs, who must join forces and pilot their newly-crafted mechs against an army of minions. With modular boards, programmatic command lines, and a story-driven campaign, each mission will be unique, putting your teamwork, programming, and piloting skills to the test. For 2 – 4, games go 60 – 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Mech vs. Minions on Amazon
#08 | Sushi Go Party!
Normally a follow up would not make the list of the best board games of 2016, but where the original lacked, party has it all. We are considering this to be the proper birth of this game. Sushi Go Party!, an expanded version of the best-selling card game Sushi Go!, is a party platter of mega maki, super sashimi, and endless edamame. You still earn points by picking winning sushi combos, but now you can customize each game by choosing à la carte from a menu of more than twenty delectable dishes. What’s more, up to eight players can join in on the sushi-feast. A card drafting party game for 2 – 8 players lasting about 20 minutes.
FOR MORE: Sushi Go Party! Page | How To Play Sushi Go Party! | Sushi Go Party! Review | Games Like Sushi Go Party! | Buy Sushi Go Party! on Amazon
#07 | Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
Burgle your way to adventure in the deck-building board game Clank! Sneak into an angry dragon’s mountain lair to steal precious artifacts. Delve deeper to find more valuable loot. Acquire cards for your deck and watch your thievish abilities grow.
Be quick and be quiet. One false step and CLANK! Each careless sound draws the attention of the dragon, and each artifact stolen increases its rage. For 2 – 4 players, games last 30 – 60 minutes. Even though Clank only made it to number seven on the list of the best board games of 2016, it is one of the most played and beloved for sure.
FOR MORE: Games Like Clank! | Buy Clank! on Amazon
#06 | A Feast for Odin
Using the central board in A Feast for Odin, players have to hunt, gather basic materials, refine those materials, develop their production-buildings, build/buy ships, and raid settlements. The resulting earnings are placed on the players’ board in the best possible pattern to produce income and (later) victory points. This economic strategy puzzle game is for 1 – 4 players and will run 30 – 120 minutes. You get so much stuff with this best board games of 2016 title, so it tends to be worth its higher than average price tag.
#05 | Arkham Horror: The Card Game
In the game, you and your friend become characters within the quiet New England town of Arkham. No matter what compels you, no matter what haunts you, you’ll find both your strengths and weaknesses reflected in your custom deck of cards, and these cards will be your resources as you work with your friends to unravel the world’s most terrifying mysteries. This thematic adventure game is for 2 – 4 players and will go about 1 – 2 hours.
FOR MORE: Arkham Horror The Card Game Page | Games Like Arkham Horror The Card Game | Buy Arkham Horror Card Game on Amazon
#04 | Great Western Trail
Just missing out on a medal on the list of the best board games of 2016 is the multi-faceted Great Western Trail. America in the 19th century: You are a rancher and repeatedly herd your cattle from Texas to Kansas City, where you send them off by train. This earns you money and victory points.
Needless to say, each time you arrive in Kansas City, you want to have your most valuable cattle in tow. However, the “Great Western Trail” not only requires that you keep your herd in good shape, but also that you wisely use the various buildings along the trail. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 75 – 150 minutes.
FOR MORE: Great Western Trail Page | Games Like Great Western Trail | Buy Great Western Trail on Amazon
#03 | Scythe
Scythe is an engine-building game set in an alternate-history 1920s period. It is a time of farming and war, broken hearts and rusted gears, innovation and valor.
In the game each player represents a character from one of five factions of Eastern Europe who are attempting to earn their fortune and claim their faction’s stake in the land around the mysterious Factory. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous mechs.
For 1 – 5 players, games last about 90 – 120 minutes. Scythe could easily be number one on the list of the best board games of 2016, and would have been in other years, but the 2016 field has been one of the best in many years.
FOR MORE: Scythe Page | Games Like Scythe | Buy Scythe on Amazon
#02 | Star Wars: Rebellion
Experience the Galactic Civil War like never before. In Rebellion, you control the entire Galactic Empire or the fledgling Rebel Alliance. You must command starships, account for troop movements, and rally systems to your cause. Given the differences between the Empire and Rebel Alliance, each side has different win conditions, and you’ll need to adjust your play style depending on who your side with. This miniatures wargame is for 2 – 4 players and will go about 3 – 4 hours. Not only does this take the runner up spot on the list of the best board games of 2016, out of several, but it is also probably the best Star Wars board game of the decade.
#01 | Terraforming Mars
The top spot on the list of the best board games of 2016 goes to the robust engine builder Terraforming Mars. In the 2400s, mankind begins to terraform the planet Mars. Giant corporations, initiate huge projects to make the environment is habitable. You play one of those corporations and work together in the terraforming process, but compete for getting victory points that are awarded not only for your contribution to the terraforming but also for advancing human infrastructure. For 1 – 5 players, games last about 2 hours.
FOR MORE: Terraforming Mars Page | How To Play Terraforming Mars | Terraforming Mars Review | Games Like Terraforming Mars| Buy Terraforming Mars on Amazon
OR SEE THE: Best Board Games Of The Decade 2010 – 2020