Board games are one of the best ways to spend your time with friends and family. Though physical boards and cards are the ideal method to play, experiencing these games in a digital form is a great alternative too. Board Game Arena is a website that has many classic board games for players to enjoy. Every board game that you’re used to is available here, and you will discover many that you have never seen before too.
What sets Board Game Arena apart from everyone else is that they include both free and paid games. So, the developers of these board games are allowed to distribute them in the way they want. And in turn, you won’t have to compromise in terms of the quality of these games.
All that you need to do is to go on Board Game Arena and pick a game to play. Then invite your friends or enjoy them with strangers on the internet. And last but not least, only one of you needs a Premium account for the paid games and this gives access to your friends who wish to play with you.
Since there are more than 500 games available on Board Game Arena and over 8 million active players – there is a lot to choose from. And whether you’re indecisive of just curious, it can end up taking a lot of your time to decide what to play.
Fortunately, we’re here to save your time with the 10 best Board Game Arena games to play in 2023 with friends, family, and even strangers!
The 10 Best Board Game Arena Games
Everyone has a different taste and fortunately Board Game Arena is very diverse with its options. We’ve handpicked some of the best games in our list and there is something for everyone with different genres and themes.
Santorini is a unique two-player board game that is incredibly easy to learn. Each player has two builders, and the goal of the game is to reach the third floor. You can place a building down and make your way up. But of course, your opponent is doing the same thing and they must reach the top before you do.
What mixes things up is that players can block each other from reaching the top. And with how quick every round is, there is a sense of intensity too despite the fact that Santorini is a relaxing game. Last but not least, there are powers for players to use which change things about the game, since you play as different Gods after all.
It’s one of the best games on Board Game Arena and thanks to the website’s 3D layout – it does not feel like an inferior version of the physical game.
2. The Crew: Mission Deep Sea
The Crew: Mission Deep Sea is one of the most creative board games that you’ll come across. It’s a cooperative experience that supports from two to five players, and it can prove to be quite challenging. The goal of every player is to search for the lost continent of Mu.
However, the communication between players is limited. And most of the times, the player doesn’t know if they’re helping their friends or creating obstacles in their way. It’s a trick-taking game, so every player takes their turn and the highest number wins at the time.
It’s up to the players to share their knowledge with each other through minimal communication. And if your team manages to work things out – victory will be yours. Just don’t expect it to be easy – as the complexity is what makes it one of the most compelling games on Board Game Arena.
There are other versions of The Crew too, such as one that is about astronauts exploring the outer space. And they have to complete multiple missions to win, which keep getting harder with time. Thus, if you’ve had enough of the underwater version – you can try the space one.
Splendor is a game that supports 2 to 4 players and it’s played competitively. The goal of this board game is to achieve the highest number of prestige points and it puts the player in the role of merchants.
The merchants collect gems, shops, means of transportations – and this builds up their financial status. The players who become very wealthy end up getting visited by nobles, which further helps their standing within society. Though it’s not a complicated game, it still requires an effort from the players to outdo each other.
And since it’s set in a time with merchants, gems, and nobles – it has a unique atmosphere that sets it apart from other games on Board Game Arena. Like most other games, it did start as a deck of cards – but the digital version is just as fun to play with people you know.
4. Railroad Ink
Railroad Ink is one of the most unique and laid-back games that you can play on Board Game Arena. The concept of Railroad Ink is that the players roll four dice, and everyone draws tracks based on what the dice gives them. To win the game, the player has to connect as many tracks towards an exit as possible. And of course, you have to avoid dead ends, otherwise you’ll waste the board.
Since it’s such a relaxing game to play, it does not matter if you win or not. The creativity of the players is the best part to see because your competitors might figure something out that you did not. And last but not least, the game features a very beautiful color scheme that is pleasing to the eye – though this is different based on what version of the game you’re playing.
Carcassonne is the perfect board game for those who like building kingdoms, whether in games like Age of Empire or Sim City. From 2 to 5 players can play at the same time and the goal is to place down tiles to create land, which is then appropriately populated. One of the best parts about the game is that it’s up to the player whether they want to be cooperative or not.
For example, you can work together with others to build cities and paths. But at the same time, you can try to steal from them too. One thing that the Board Game Arena version has over the physical variant is that the game tells you where you can place tiles. So, it speeds up the learning curve a lot.
6. Love Letter
If you’re looking for something a little romantic, then Love Letter is the way to go. It’s a lighthearted game where all players compete against each other to get their love letter delivered to the princess. Though several people can play this game on Board Game Arena, it’s preferable to stick to smaller numbers for a better experience. Each player has two cards per turn and must decide which one they should use first. The cards come with unique powers that can influence other players – which is a way to eliminate your competition.
Victory is gained by being the last person in the game or having the highest number of points. And in the lore, that means they will earn the favor or love of the princess, while the others have to turn away in shame. It’s a fun game that does not require too much thinking.
7. Stone Age
If you like inventory management or playing games that are set in historical periods – then you’re going to love Stone Age. On top of being a fun game, you don’t need a Premium Account to play it on Board Game Arena. That means you can use this as a way to test the site, and for having fun without spending a single penny too.
Two to four players can play it, and it lasts around 60 to 90 minutes per game. The goal is to play as a group of hunters and gatherers, who must contribute towards their tribe. Once you have enough huts and resources, you must make sure your limited resources don’t run out. And of course, your rivals might have goals that go against yours too, which adds a bit of necessary tension to the experience.
Pandemic is a game that has extra meaning after the world has gone through the covid-19 virus. As the name implies, it’s about a world that is plagued by a virus and it’s up to the players to save the world. Each player receives a role card, and they have to use their expertise to help with saving the world. Up to 4 players can participate, and each get their own role.
One of the best things about this game is its unpredictability. You might be close to solving one thing, but some unexpected obstacle might come up that forces you to rethink your strategy. And there are many expansions and standalone spin-offs of Pandemic, which you can play if you want something different. The unique theme of this game sets it apart from everything else, in the best way possible.
9. Lost Ruins of Arnak
Lost Ruins of Arnak takes us into the shoes of explorers who find the traces of a lost civilization. The players lead an expedition, in which they face many threats such as guardians, traps, and uncover exciting secrets. The game combines deckbuilding with worker placement, and you have to deal with things like resource management. You get one action per turn, so it’s very important to make it count.
So, it’s all about strategy and teamwork. And the concept of figuring out secrets of a forgotten civilization is a truly fascinating thing. Especially since this is one of the best-looking games on Board Game Arena with its beautiful artwork.
What’s better than going on an adventure with your friends that will change the world forever?
If you’re looking for a bit of deception in your games, then Coup is what you need. And fortunately, Board Game Arena even has one of the expansions of this game called Reformation – which lets you have extra players and more options. So, if you ever want to spice things up, you should use the expansion.
You can eliminate enemy players by removing their influences and there are multiple ways to do that. Since players have powers, they can bluff regarding what they truly have and trick others into trusting them. But even though this sounds similar to the Bluff card game – it’s quite different.
The real fun begins when players start accusing each other of lying. If they are right, the liar has to leave. However, if the accusation is false – it forces the accuser to lose an influence instead. And a player who loses both influences, whether through trickery or otherwise, is eliminated too.
It’s a great game that requires a fair amount of thinking and a good poker face. Coup’s style feels very sophisticated and unique too, which makes it a great choice for those who prefer serious games. And it frankly works beautifully in the digital form, unlike some game which feel slightly better when played under the same roof.
That’s it for our list of the best Board Game Arena games that you can play in 2023. Whether you like silly games or those with a lot of challenge, our recommendations have something for everyone.
And even though many of the premium games on Board Game Arena are great, you’ll find a few options in this list are available for free. Last but not least, do make sure to keep an eye out for expansions as many games have them available on Board Game Arena. If you ever feel a little bored of a game, you can mix things up with the additional options.
While certainly hope you enjoy these games with your friends, family, and strangers. And while you’re still here, check also: