The definitive ranked list of the best Dungeon Crawler board games. It is a glorious genre, you are working with others (or semi-working with others) to traverse and epic journey to defeat all the monsters and obstacles that block your path. In case you are unaware, a dungeon crawler board game is where you alone or with partners take on an epic event (like a dungeon). You are a character with skills (maybe you are really smart, or maybe very strong) and you get in fights and solve problems that gain you things to make it better. Yes, it is an RPG, but a very specific one. And now that you know what it is, here is our list of the 10 best dungeon crawler board games.
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#10 | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past
To kick off the list of the best dungeon crawler board games, we have one based on an 80s comic that became a very unexpected worldwide phenomenon. One player takes on the vicious Master Shredder with each other playing claiming their favorite turtle. The missions are well balanced and rewarding, it doesn’t have to rely on the name, it is great on its own.
In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past, you battle your way through a series of 60-90 minute missions that develop your strengths, fighting styles, and equipment along the way to create a lasting story arc. This all takes place in the iconic Turtles world with appearances from fan-favorites like Casey Jones, Alopex, Beebop and Rocksteady.
#09 | Arcadia Quest
If you are looking for a more all-ages, cartoonish dungeon crawler board game, look no further than Arcadia Quest. The world you take on in this game is vast and rich with story and detail. It is semi-cooperative in that you need to work together to take on the world, in the end there can be only one.
In Arcadia Quest, you lead a guild of intrepid heroes on an epic campaign to dethrone the vampire lord and reclaim the mighty Arcadia for your own. Out of all the games on the list of the best dungeon crawler board games, this one may have the biggest world. Players need to accomplish a series of quests in order to win each scenario and choose where to go next.
FOR MORE: Buy Arcadia Quest on Amazon
#08 | Batman: Gotham City Chronicles
If you want a cinematic experience in a dungeon crawler, then Batman: Gotha, City Chronicles is one you should check out. There are a few games based on existing stories on this list of the best dungeon crawler board games and that should tell you something. A good game, is one with a great story, so why not turn to some of the best stories ever told.
In Batman: Gotham City Chronicles, one villain faces off against a team of heroes across multiple scenarios. You have your own character, which you spend energy to control. Things such as ranged or meele attacks or diffuse bombs, but you only recover so much so use wisely. Conflicts take place in iconic Gotham City with all is various levels of crime and corruption.
#07 | Mice & Mystics
Mice & Mystics makes the list of the best dungeon crawler board games because it checks all the right boxes (good writing, good quests, good mechanics, good progression) but it also has an interesting twist. A game where size matters. Mice and Mystics is a fantasy dungeon crawler with great storytelling and cooperative gameplay.
You take on the role of a loyalist to the king who has been turned into a mouse to escape the clutches on an evil sorceress. You are not only traversing a dangerous castle, but you are doing it as a small and meek creature. A boldly innovative game that thrusts players into an ever-changing, interactive environment, and features a rich storyline that will have everyone talking.
#06 | Nemesis
Horror survival in a sci-fi world is the game of Nemesis. The game has an interesting against the clock element. The longer you go, the stronger all the enemies become. Nemesis is a beautiful game filled with cinematic moments. This entry on the list of the best dungeon crawler board games seemingly has it all.
Nemesis pits you and your crew-mates on a must survive mission on a ship infested with hostile organisms and get back to Earth alive. Some things in your way: swarms of intruders, the poor physical condition of the ship, the other players that will have their own agendas and, sometimes, just cruel fate.
FOR MORE: Nemesis Page | Games Like Nemesis | Buy Nemesis on Amazon
#05 | Claustrophobia 1643
Ten years after the original Claustrophobia board game came out comes the “1643” version. Stakes were high as it seemed impossible to improve on that game, but they have done it. This is a little different than the other best dungeon crawler board games in that it is 2 player versus game than a group taking on the perils of a game. One team is the humans trying to complete quests and the other are the demons trying to stop them.
The game is thematic and highly asymmetric: human characters are stronger, but the demon characters are more numerous. Gameplay is very straightforward with a minimum of rules, and each game plays in an hour or less. The quests, like escape the catacombs or close a portal, run deep and the win conditions vary. If you want more of a showdown game than a constant quest, check out Claustrophobia 1643.
FOR MORE: Buy Claustrophobia 1643 on Amazon
#04 | Mansions of Madness
Mansions of Madness is a great dungeon crawler that skews more into the horror category than fantasy or sci-fi. A unique feature here is that you are mainly driven by an app, and you move through a haunted mansion instead of some of the other locales you see in these games.
You are a brave investigator ready to confront four scenarios of fear and mystery, collecting weapons, tools, and information, solving complex puzzles, and fighting monsters, insanity, and death. It will take more than just survival to conquer the evils terrorizing this town. An easy choice for the list of the best dungeon crawler board games.
FOR MORE: Mansions of Madness Page | Games Like Mansions of Madness | Buy Mansions of Madness on Amazon
#03 | Star Wars: Imperial Assault
The top “based on existing property” title on the list of the best dungeon crawler board games goes to one of the tremendous games in the Star Wars board game universe. Star Wars: Imperial Assault does not just stick a brand name on a box, this game transports you to the center of the Galactic Civil War between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire with plenty to do. This one takes the dungeon crawler category and puts it in a great sci-fi setting.
Imperial is actually 2 different games. 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, while the skirmish game has you and a friend to muster strike teams and battle head-to-head over conflicting objectives.
#02 | Descent: Journeys in the Dark
Descent is the best Dungeon Crawler board game that lets one player be the villain. You are not going to find anything unique in this one, it is just an A+ dungeon game across all levels. Even though this is one of the older games on the list (2012) it still holds up today because it is just classic and classy across the board.
In Descent: Journeys in the Dark, you and the other heroes embark on quests and venture into dangerous caves, ancient ruins, dark dungeons, and cursed forests to battle monsters, earn riches, and attempt to stop the overlord from carrying out his vile plot. A cool setting and a great amount of fun exploring it.
#01 | Gloomhaven
People like to hate on Gloomhaven because of all the hype, but it is hyped for a reason. Everyone just wants to throw shade on the best. The top spot on the best dungeon crawler board games goes to one that is the deepest of them all. Well written and great character progression.
Gloomhaven is a game of Euro-inspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives. You will take on the role of a wandering adventurer with your own special set of skills and reasons for traveling to this dark corner of the world. You must work with other players out of necessity to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins.