Board games have been a staple of entertainment for generations, and with the rise of the modern best board games of 2016, the industry has seen a resurgence in recent years.
In 2016, the market was flooded with many new and exciting board games, each offering unique gameplay experiences and captivating themes.
Whether you’re a casual player or a seasoned board game enthusiast, 2016 has something to offer everyone.
With so many board games, knowing where to start can be difficult.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best board games of 2016, considering gameplay mechanics, theme, and overall fun factors.
From classic strategy games to new and innovative titles, these games have proven to be some of the most popular and well-loved of the year.
One of the standout games of 2016 was Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, a cooperative game in which players must work together to save the world from deadly diseases.
This game combines the thrill of a classic pandemic game with an ongoing storyline that changes with each playthrough, making for an immersive and engaging experience.
Another top pick was Scythe, a game set in an alternate-history 1920s Europe, where players must lead their factions to conquer territory and gather resources.
With stunning artwork and a unique blend of strategy and resource management, Scythe quickly became a fan favorite.
Whether you’re a fan of strategy games, word games, or cooperative gameplay, there was no shortage of fantastic board games in 2016.
With so many great options available, it’s no wonder that the modern board gaming hobby continues to grow in popularity year after year.
1. Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is a cooperative board game that builds on the classic gameplay of the original Pandemic game.
In this game, players work together to stop the spread of deadly diseases that threaten the world.
The game features an evolving storyline that changes with each playthrough, creating a unique and immersive gaming experience.
As players progress through the game, their decisions and actions have lasting consequences that impact future play sessions.
However, with challenging gameplay and high-stakes decisions, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is a must-play for fans of cooperative board games.
2. Evolution: Climate
In Evolution: Climate, players modify their species within a dynamic ecosystem where food is in short supply, predators abound, and the climate can alternate between scorching heat and bitter cold.
Your species can be protected from carnivores by having characteristics like a hard shell, horns, and a long neck that will enable them to access food that other species cannot.
Your species can withstand the cold by having thick fur and moving around, while the scorching desert sun can be avoided by being nocturnal or burrowing.
Lasting about an hour for players 2 to 6. Evolution is one of the best board games of 2016.
3. Terraforming Mars
Terraforming Mars is a strategy board game that puts players in the role of competing corporations working to make Mars habitable for human life.
Players must manage resources, build infrastructure, and develop technologies to gain advantages over opponents.
The game offers a variety of gameplay options, from solo play to multiplayer matches with up to five players.
With endless replayability and a high level of strategic depth, Terraforming Mars is one of the standout board games of 2016.
4. Flamme Rouge
Each player in the fast-paced, tactical cycling game Flamme Rouge controls a pair of riders: a sprinteur and a rouleur.
The players aim to have one of their riders cross the finish line first.
Players advance their riders by using up more cards from that deck by drawing and using cards from the deck designated for that rider.
Furthermore, avoid exhaustion by positioning your team for a well-timed sprint finish using slipstreams.
This 30- to 45-minute hand-management simulation game is for two-four players. Flamme is one of the best board games of 2016.
Scythe is a strategy board game set in an alternate history of 1920s Europe.
Players take on the roles of different factions competing for control of the land and resources.
The game blends resource management, area control, and combat elements to create a deep, engaging gameplay experience.
However, with stunning artwork and intricate gameplay mechanics, Scythe was a standout hit in 2016.
The game offers solo and multiplayer matches with up to five players.
In Imhotep, the players take on the roles of Egyptian builders who want to imitate the country’s first and most well-known architect.
They move wooden stones by boat throughout six rounds to erect five significant monuments.
Each player takes turns choosing from one of four options: acquire new stones, load stones onto a boat, bring a boat to a monument, or play an action card.
This strategy party game can be played by 2 to 4 players and lasts about 40 minutes.
Also, out of all the games on our list of the top board games of 2016, this is a significant one that we suggest to families. Imhotep is one of the best board games of 2016
7. Codenames: Pictures
Codenames: Pictures is a party game that puts a new spin on the original Codenames game.
Players split into two teams and take turns giving clues to their teammates to guess the correct pictures.
The game features a wide variety of quirky and colorful images that add to the fun and challenge of the gameplay.
Also, Codenames: Picture is an excellent choice for groups of friends or family looking for a fun and lighthearted game to play together.
8. Lorenzo il Magnifico
Each participant in Lorenzo il Magnifico assumes the role of the aristocratic family’s head in a city during the Italian Renaissance.
You strive to amass fame and prestige to surpass your competitors and earn more victory points.
You send family members to various parts of town to collect achievements.
In one location, they get useful resources, and 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 too distinctive and fascinating to omit from the ranking of the top board games of 2016.
In Quadropolis, each player creates their metropolis, but they compete to place the stores, parks, public services, and other buildings there.
This enjoyable city-building game appears on the list of the top board games of 2016.
The game consists of four rounds, beginning with players randomly placing tiles on a 55 grid for the relevant round.
The player with the highest score wins. Some buildings are worth victory points on their own, and players add these values to what they’ve scored for each type of building in their city. a 30- to 60-minute strategy game for 2 to 4 players.
In the game Inis, which has a strong Celtic history and lore component, players win by being crowned King of the Island (Inis).
Three different victory conditions—Leadership, Land, and Religion—can be attained by players.
The secrets to success are careful drafting, hand management, bluffing, good timing, and a precise understanding of the balance of power.
Also, this two to four-player strategy game lasts about an hour and a half.
This addition to the best board games of the 2016 list has a lot going on, and it is all good.
11. Star Wars: Rebellion
Star Wars: Rebellion is a strategy board game that pits the forces of the Galactic Empire against the Rebel Alliance.
Players take on the roles of iconic characters from the Star Wars universe, such as Darth Vader and Princess Leia.
Furthermore, the game features an expansive board, intricate gameplay mechanics, and stunning components.
With a deep and engaging gameplay experience, Star Wars: Rebellion is a standout game of 2016 for fans of the Star Wars franchise.
12. The Networks
The Networks is a tabletop game where players run their TV networks to earn the most viewers and become the most popular network.
The game features quirky and humorous components and mechanics, such as hiring actors and scheduling shows.
With its lighthearted tone and engaging gameplay, The Networks is a standout game of 2016 for fans of strategy games and TV culture. The Networks is one of the best board games of 2016
13. Kingdom Death: Monster
Kingdom Death: Monster is a cooperative tabletop game with a unique dark fantasy setting.
Players take on the roles of survivors in a world filled with monsters and darkness.
The game features stunning miniatures, deep gameplay mechanics, and a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere.
Furthermore, with challenging gameplay and an immersive world, Kingdom Death: Monster is a standout game of 2016 for fans of dark fantasy and cooperative games.
14. Captain Sonar
You and your teammates in Captain Sonar command an advanced submarine, searching for an enemy submarine to blow it out of the water before it can do the same to you. Every role is significant, and the conflict is brutal.
Be prepared and open with your crew, which includes the Chief Mate, Radio Operator, and Engineer.
A captain can only function with them—a two to eight-player, one-hour-long, theme-based party game. Captain Sonar is one of the best board games of 2016.
Adrenaline is a first-person shooter-style board game where players compete to defeat opponents in a futuristic arena.
Players take on different roles with unique abilities, and the game features a clever respawning mechanic that keeps the action fast-paced and exciting.
Adrenaline is a great game for fans of shooters and competitive play.
An approachable strategy game that updates the original 2004 classic is called Santorini. There are only 2 simple steps in each turn.
One of your contractors should be relocated to a nearby area.
Your Builder Pawn can be moved up one level, down one level, or any number of levels. Next, create a new building level next to the one you moved.
Put a dome on top when adding structures above the third level. Gaining that is winning. Games for 2 to 4 players last roughly 20 minutes.
Due to the tiny structures, this game may be the cutest on the list of the best board games of 2016.
17. Star Wars: Rebellion
Star Wars: Rebellion is a massive, epic board game that lets players relive the original Star Wars trilogy in a new way.
Players take on the roles of the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire and must use their resources and tactics to achieve their goals.
The game features high-quality miniatures and beautiful artwork and is a must-play for any Star Wars fan.
18. Great Western Trail
Great Western Trail is a strategy game set in the American Old West.
Players must drive their cattle from Texas to Kansas City, managing their herd and making strategic decisions.
Also, the game features beautiful artwork and deep gameplay mechanics and has quickly become a favorite among strategy gamers. Western Trail is one of the best board games of 2016.
Yokohama was once just a fishing village, but at the start of the Meiji era, it was developing into a harbor accessible to foreign nations and one of the major trading centers of Japan.
Each player in YOKOHAMA assumes the role of a merchant in the Meiji era, attempting to become famous through a successful business.
To do this, they must construct a store, expand their sales channels, pick up various skills, and (obviously) react to trade orders from abroad.
Games for 2 to 4 players last roughly 90 minutes. Yokohama is one of the best board games of 2016.
20. Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is a cooperative game that puts players in the shoes of investigators trying to stop the rise of Lovecraftian monsters.
The game combines the popular mechanics of the original Pandemic game with a dark and spooky theme.
With its high-quality components and engaging gameplay, Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is a great choice for fans of cooperative play and horror themes.
21. Aeon’s End
One of the best deck-building games from the previous decade appears on the list of the best board games of 2016.
The cooperative game Aeon’s End explores the deckbuilding subgenre through several novel mechanics, such as a variable turn order system that mimics the chaos of an attack and deck management rules that demand careful planning with each discarded card.
Players will struggle to defend Gravehold from The Nameless and their hordes using specific skills and potent spells.
Each game for 1 to 4 players lasts for about an hour. This is one of the best board games of 2016.
22. Secret Hilter
A dramatic game of political scheming and betrayal set in 1930s Germany, Secret Hitler.
Liberals or fascists are secretly assigned to each player randomly, and one player is Secret Hitler.
The Secret Hitler must be found and stopped before it’s too late, as the fascists work together to sow discord and impose their cold-blooded leader.
There is always a majority on the liberal side. A 45-minute long party game that can accommodate 5 to 10 players.
Also, this addition to the top board games of 2016 is currently ranked as one of the top adult party games available.
23. Mechs vs. Minions
For 2-4 players, Mechs vs. Minions is a cooperative tabletop campaign.
Players assume the roles of Corki, Tristana, Heimerdinger, and Ziggs, four brave Yordles who must band together and command their recently constructed mechs against an army of minions in the Runeterran setting.
Each mission will be different thanks to modular boards, programmatic command lines, and a campaign driven by a story, putting your teamwork, programming, and piloting skills to the test—games for ages 2 to 4 last 60 to 90 minutes. Mech is one of the best board games of 2016.
24. Sushi Go Party!
A sequel wouldn’t typically rank among the top board games of 2016, but Party fills in all the gaps left by the predecessor.
This is the proper beginning of the game. Also, the most popular card game Sushi Go!, has been expanded into Sushi Go Party!, a party platter of mega maki, super sashimi, and endless edamame.
You still score points by selecting successful sushi combinations, but you can now alter each game by selecting à la carte from more than twenty mouthwatering dishes.
Furthermore, the sushi feast can accommodate up to eight players. A 20-minute long card drafting party game for 2 to 8 players.
25. Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
In the board game of deck-building called Clank, burglarize your way to adventure! To steal priceless artifacts, covertly enter the mountain lair of a furious dragon.
Go deeper to find more valuable treasure. Obtain cards for your deck and observe the development of your thieving skills.
However, be swift and silent. One wrong move, and CLANK! Every careless sound attracts the dragon, and every object taken fuels its rage. Games for 2 to 4 players last 30 to 60 minutes.
Clank is undoubtedly one of the most played and adored board games, even though it only ranked as the seventh-best game of 2016 overall. Clank is one of the best board games of 2016
26. A Feast for Odin
Players in A Feast for Odin must hunt, gather raw materials, refine those materials, develop their production buildings, construct or purchase ships, and raid settlements using the game’s central board.
The best-possible arrangement of the resulting earnings is then put on each player’s board to generate income and (later) victory points.
This 30 to 120-minute-long economic strategy puzzle game is for 1 to 4 players. This best board game of 2016 title has many extras, so its higher-than-average price is justified.
27. Arkham Horror: The Card Game
You and your friend play as characters in the game’s sleepy New England town of Arkham.
No matter what drives you or haunts you, your personalized deck of cards will reflect your strengths and weaknesses, and these cards will serve as your tools as you collaborate with your friends to solve the world’s most terrifying mysteries.
This 2- to 4-player thematic adventure game lasts one to two hours. Arkham Horror is one of the best board games of 2016.
28. Great Western Trail
The complex Great Western Trail narrowly missed a medal on the list of the best board games of 2016.
In the nineteenth century in America, You are a rancher who frequently drives his herd of cattle by train from Texas to Kansas City. You gain money and victory points for doing this.
Naturally, you want to bring your most valuable cattle whenever you travel to Kansas City.
But the “Great Western Trail” also expects you to make wise use of the various structures you come across as you travel along it and maintain a healthy herd.
Games for 2 to 4 players last between 75 and 150 minutes.