There are a lot of great board games out there. Out of all those games out there, though, there are some that just stand out from the rest.

For some, it’s because they are classics that have withstood the test of time. Others are memorable because they started an entire genre. And some games are just so good at what they do, it would be a shame to miss out.

So, here is a list of ten games that everyone needs to try at least once:

Glory to RomeGlory to Rome

If any game screams “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” it’s Glory to Rome. I chose this little-known card game for two reasons:

  • It’s better than two very popular games with similar mechanics: Race for the Galaxy and San Juan. All three games are centered around selecting roles that affect what players can do during the round. In my opinion, Glory to Rome does it best.
  • Glory to Rome is easy to dismiss based on its artwork and packaging. But beneath the cheesy exterior lies a surprisingly deep game that’s just an absolute blast to play

Unfortunately, Cambridge Games Factory seems to have lost interest in publishing more copies of this game. However if you have a chance to get a copy of this game, be sure to take it. You won’t be sorry!

The Settlers of CatanSettlers of Catan

What was the first “euro” game you played? If you ask most gamers this question, chances are they will name Settlers of Catan. For that reason alone, if you for some reason you haven’t had the chance to play Settlers, you owe it to yourself to at least see what the fuss is about.

Magic: the GatheringMagic: the Gathering

The original collectible card game is still the most popular by far, and with good reason. Magic: the Gathering features a great core ruleset, and provides an ever-changing experience thanks to the release of new cards every few months. It’s often criticized for being addictive and expensive (earning it the nickname “cardboard crack”). However, it’s actually possible to get into Magic rather cheaply if you’re careful about the way you play.


Pandemic is unusual because it is one of a very few cooperative games, where instead of playing against each other, they are working together in an attempt to “beat” the game system. In this case, four diseases are spreading throughout the world, and it’s up to the players to find the cures. Each player has a different role that allows them to help in a specific way; whether it’s the Dispatcher who can move the other players around the board, while the Scientist can actually find the cures more easily. Pandemic is a must-play because of the great sense of satisfaction that comes with working together to accomplish a common goal. (This is a particularly good game to play with your spouse; if anything it’s good practice in working together!)

Blood BowlBlood Bowl

If they played American football in the world of Dungeon & Dragons, it would probably look something like this. Blood Bowl pits teams of orcs, amazons, undead, and other fantasy creatures against each other in a sport that looks a lot like football, except without all of those pesky “unnecessary roughness” penalties. And how many games let you use an ogre to throw a goblin ball carrier over a team of rat creatures for the game-winning touchdown? (Well, game-winning for you. Career-ending for the poor goblin…)


Even though it’s been around since the late 1800’s, Euchre isn’t nearly as well-known as other card games like it. While it’s very popular in some regions of America, but virtually unknown in others. (Where I’m from, I have a hard time finding anyone to play unless I play online.)

There are many trick-taking card games out there, but everyone needs to try Euchre at least once. It offers the same types of strategic decisions as other games — like Spades, for example — but its fast pace makes it easy to play multiple games in a session.


I originally tried this game simply because it was ranked #1 of all board games by the BoardGameGeek community, and I can see why it’s ranked so high. In Agricola, players try to use limited resources to build up their farms with fences, livestock, crops, and stables. While doing all this, they also have to make sure there is enough food to feed their families at each harvest. It’s a bit more complex than most games, but it provides a great deal of depth and replayability. Agricola also appeals to more than hard-core gamers, because even if you lose it’s just plain fun to watch your farm go from nothing to thriving business by the end of the game.

Beyond BalderdashBeyond Balderdash

Of all the party games I’ve played, this one never fails to get the entire group laughing. One player reads an obscure word, movie title, or person’s name, and everyone else must describe the thing that was named. Then everyone tries to guess which description is real. It’s rare that anyone actually knows the right answer, so the responses can get just downright ridiculous at times. Even if you don’t normally like party games, give Beyond Balderdash a shot at your next family get-together.


While Dominion hasn’t been around long enough to be called a “classic” yet, it already seems to be showing signs of longevity. There have already been two expansions, with two more coming this year. It has also inspired a similar game called Thunderstone that was released earlier this year. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so that can only be a sign that Dominion is definitely worth playing.


Not many games have lasted as long as the game of Go. Over four thousand years old, it’s been regarded as one of the most difficult games to master for many centuries, even though rules are even simpler than Chess. While not very well-known in the West, Go is very popular in Asia, even inspiring an entire Japanese manga series entitled Hikaru no Go about a boy learning to play Go under an old master’s instruction.

So, that’s my list of must-play games. What about you? What games do you know of that I may have missed? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know!