Has there ever been a time when you played a certain board game and thought to yourself afterwards: “Man, I wish there was more where that came from.”? Well what if I tell you you’ll feel exactly like that after your first playthrough of any one of the games on this list? The better news, is that there very much is more where that came from!
So the question is what the best board game franchises are and for the answer, as usual, there’s a whole list. These are titles that are not only captivating in their classic form, but also pave the way for many more entries and expansions that can grow the game’s world into an entirely fresh yet pleasantly familiar experience.
Here is the second part of our list of board games that are always offering more to their rightful fans across multiple platforms.
George Lucas’s Star Wars revolutionized the genre of sci-fi and the brilliant writing and fantastic performances of the original movies earned this franchise a very large and growing fanbase all over the globe. Of course, board gamers got their very fair share of the feast and were presented with some great titles inspired by or taking place within the Star Wars universe.
The campaign puts one player in the role of the commanding officer of the nearly limitless imperial army and up to 4 other players have to face them and their forces as rebel freedom fighters.
As the game progresses, each side of this feud, following their own objectives and working towards their own ultimate goal, makes progressions of their own and gains new skills to utilize and tip the balance of the war towards themselves.
In the skirmish game, you and a friend will face each other in a tactical head-to-head combat and battle it out with your own unique squad of rebel, mercenary and imperial forces. It’s a great challenge to see who would command their agents better in galactic warfare.
If you like Star Wars even half as much as I do you’re sure to find this game a good time.
3. Star Wars- Dark Side Rising
This cooperative cards and dice game happens preceding and in the midst of the original movie Star Wars: A New Hope. In cooperation with each other, you and up to three other players work together to prevent the construction of the dark side’s ultimate weapon of annihilation, the Death Star.
Each player has their individual commanding officer, their own deck and their own base of operations. However, they all work towards the same goal. You may choose to control either intelligence, leadership, support or tactical cells and your team leader could be Captain Cassian Andor, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, or Hera Syndulla.
You will become one with The Force in a battle against time and the Galactic Empire as you rely on your dice, cards and mostly your intelligence to overcome the universal threat of the Death Star going fully operational.
It goes without saying that space battles have always been an inseparable part of the Star Wars action and to nobody’s surprise, they serve as a great theme for a board game.
Two players engage in a space quarrel, leading massive fleets of spaceships either on the Rebels’ or the Empire’s behalf. This battle can take up to two hours and will include a lot of unexpected surprises. In a fight of this scale, the tide of war can sometimes be altered by a single X-Wing.
If strategic combat and interplanetary warfare sounds like something you’d enjoy, this game is as good as this combination could get, with a subtle yet distinguishing touch by George Lucas’s classic trilogy.
1. Star Wars – Rebellion
Another gem amongst Fantasy Flight’s numerous entries to the Star Wars universe is Star Wars: Rebellion, which gives you control over all of the forces of either the dark or the light side of the Force. Be it starships, on foot troops or other forces, you may utilize all of them in the best possible way in order to come out victorious from this epic conflict.
Star Wars Rebellion is a strategy game which puts two players against each other as either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire. Players must gather resources, build fleets, and deploy forces to win control of key planets and systems. The game progresses through a series of rounds, with each player taking turns to deploy their forces and engage in battles.
Victory is achieved when either the Rebels or the Empire controls enough key planets and systems, or when the other side’s main base is destroyed.
It’s an absolute joy to play this competitive strategy game and if you’re a fan of the original Star Wars you’ll appreciate the general theme of this game.
Dungeons & Dragons
This one originated as a board game title until its popularity increased so insanely that it was inevitably adapted into many other forms. The Dungeons & Dragons universe is also quite vast on tabletop with a nearly endless number of different campaigns, spinoffs, expansions, etc.
This game was practically my gateway into the world of board games and interestingly enough, the most fascinating thing about the game at first sight, at least to me, was the signature D20. Therefore in my opinion, it’s almost impossible to recreate the optimal D&D experience in any other way that doesn’t require dice.
Fortunately, there are many board game entries to the Dungeons & Dragons universe and it’s more than enough to keep you engaged for quite some time.
4. Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate
Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate is a spooktacular board game set in the haunted world of Dungeons & Dragons’ Baldur’s Gate. Players take turns exploring the creepy mansion, encountering monsters and ghosts, and collecting magical items. The fun begins when players draw different room tiles, each with unique features and surprises that add to the thrill.
But beware! At some point in the game, the traitor is revealed, and players are divided into two teams: the brave heroes and the sneaky traitor. The traitor has hidden objectives, and the heroes must work together to defeat them. Will you become a hero or a traitor? It’s all up to chance!
The game can have 3-6 players, takes around 60 minutes to play, and is recommended for ages 12 and up. The different scenarios provide variety, ensuring that each game is different. Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate offers a thrilling experience for players of all levels, with a mix of exploration, strategy, and betrayal. It’s a game that will keep you on the edge of your seat, laughing, and screaming at the same time!
3. Vault of Dragons
Vault of Dragons is a hilarious and action-packed board game that takes you on a wild adventure through a dangerous dungeon filled with treasure, traps, and mythical creatures. In this game, you get to play as a daring adventurer, seeking out treasure and battling other players for wealth and glory.
As you make your way through the dungeon, you’ll encounter all sorts of challenges, from cunning puzzles to deadly traps to ferocious monsters. It’s like Indiana Jones meets Lord of the Rings, with a healthy dose of humor and strategy thrown in for good measure.
Vault of Dragons is a fast-paced and entertaining board game that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Whether you’re a fan of Dungeons & Dragons or just love a good adventure, this game is sure to provide hours of fun and laughter.
2. Lords of Waterdeep
Lords of Waterdeep is a popular strategy board game that is based on the Dungeons & Dragons universe. The game is designed for 2-5 players and takes approximately 60-90 minutes to play. Each player takes on the role of a secret lord or lady of Waterdeep, who has a team of agents to complete quests and gain control over the city’s resources.
The game has a unique combination of strategy and luck, which makes it an engaging and exciting experience. Players must carefully plan their moves and make strategic decisions to gain the most victory points. The game’s mechanics are easy to learn, but the gameplay itself is challenging and immersive.
The game’s theme and components are well-designed and fit perfectly with the Dungeons & Dragons universe. The game is a perfect way to experience the thrill of a fantasy adventure without the need for a Dungeon Master or a group of roleplaying enthusiasts. For all these reasons, Lords of Waterdeep is a highly-rated game that is sure to provide hours of fun and excitement for both casual and serious gamers.
1. Tyrants of the Underdark
Tyrants of the Underdark is a strategic board game for 2-4 players, published by Wizards of the Coast. Each player takes on the role of a drow house competing for dominance in the Underdark. The game is played by controlling different areas of the board, recruiting new troops, and eliminating enemy troops. The objective is to gain the most victory points by the end of the game.
Players start with a deck of cards representing their drow house. The game is played in rounds where players play a card from their hand, resolve its effect, and draw a new card to replenish their hand. Minion cards represent troops that you can play to control areas on the board. Each minion card has a cost in power, which is the currency you use to play them. Some minion cards have abilities that allow you to draw more cards, eliminate enemy troops, or gain power. Action cards have a variety of effects that allow you to gain power, draw cards, eliminate enemy troops, or manipulate the board in other ways. Some action cards also have a cost in power, while others are free to play.
The game ends after a certain number of rounds or when the victory point tokens are all claimed. Players then count up their victory points, which include points from controlled areas, eliminated enemy troops, and certain cards in their deck. The player with the most victory points wins the game. Overall, Tyrants of the Underdark is a fun and challenging board game that requires strategic thinking and careful planning. It offers a lot of replayability due to the variety of cards and different drow houses to choose from.
Pretty much everyone knows Dune these days, thanks to the newest cinematic adaptation and the increasing hype around it’s forthcoming sequel. However, board gamers know that there’s a lot more to the Dune franchise than it’s portrayals on the silver screen. The Dune board games have long been one of the best franchises and universes that’s been expanded in board game format.
4. Dune – House Secrets
Dune: House Secrets is a cooperative board game designed by Emerson Matsuuchi and based on Frank Herbert’s Dune. In this game, players take on the roles of characters from the novel and work together to uncover a conspiracy within the House Atreides.
Each player takes on the role of a character from the novel, each with their own unique abilities and motivations. The players must work together to complete a series of missions and uncover clues to the conspiracy within the House Atreides.
The game ends when the players have completed all the missions or when they have failed to uncover the conspiracy before time runs out.
3. Dune – Conquest and Diplomacy
Another great take on Herbert’s classic is Dune: Conquest and Diplomacy. The game allows players to take on the role of one of six different factions vying for control of the planet Arrakis. Each faction has its own unique abilities and strengths, and players must use strategy, diplomacy, and cunning to outmaneuver their opponents and claim victory.
Players must balance their resources, including spice, troops, and technology, while negotiating alliances and engaging in battles with other factions. The game features a modular board, allowing for a different game setup each time, and a variety of action cards that can be used to gain advantages in battles or bolster one’s own faction. Ultimately, the player who controls the most territory and has the most victory points at the end of the game is declared the winner.
Dune: Conquest and Diplomacy is a challenging and engaging game that requires careful planning and negotiation. Fans of the Dune universe will appreciate the attention to detail and thematic elements, while board game enthusiasts will enjoy the depth of strategy and replayability. The game is suitable for 2-6 players and can be played in 2-4 hours, making it a great choice for game night or a weekend afternoon.
2. Dune – Imperium
Dune Imperium is like a game of thrones, but in space, with sandworms instead of dragons. You play as one of the factions vying for power on the desert planet of Arrakis. Your goal is to become the supreme leader of the planet, kind of like the Sultan of Swat or the King of Swing, but with more spice.
You start the game with a deck of cards representing your faction’s abilities and resources, which is basically like a starter pack of Pokemon cards, but instead of Pikachu, you get Fremen and Mentats. You also place your workers on different spaces on the board, which is kind of like a game of musical chairs, but with more assassination attempts.
The winner Is the player who accumulates the most victory points, which is basically like getting the most Instagram likes, but on a desert planet ruled by giant sandworms. So, if you’re looking for a fun and challenging game that will transport you to a world of intrigue and sand, Dune Imperium is the game for you!
1. Dune (2019)
Dune: The Board Game (2nd Edition) is the ultimate test of your strategic skills and political insight. Players must navigate the treacherous landscape of Arrakis, where the only thing more valuable than Spice is a good alliance. You’ll need to negotiate, barter, and scheme your way to victory, all while keeping a watchful eye on your opponents and a firm grip on your Spice harvesters.
During gameplay, players take turns carrying out actions such as moving their forces, constructing buildings, and engaging in battles to gain control of important territories and resources. The game encourages players to form alliances, negotiate deals, and employ espionage tactics to gain an advantage over their opponents. Victory is achieved by earning the most victory points through controlling territories, holding Spice, and fulfilling secret objectives.
The game is packed with exciting features, including epic battles, daring raids, and nail-biting confrontations. Will you be the one to control the Spice, or will your opponents beat you to it? With stunning artwork and top-quality components, Dune: The Board Game (2nd Edition) is a thrilling adventure that captures the atmosphere of Frank Herbert’s Dune franchise as well as it can be done in board game form.
These franchises are each beloved for a good, unique reason and whichever one you decide to pick up or already have, is guaranteed to provide you with endless hours of immersive tabletop adventures as well as some great ways of exploring the universe in other forms of media, which is honestly just brilliant. What a time to be alive, isn’t it?
Was your favorite franchise included on our list or are there any others that you’d like to add? Make sure to check the First Part out as well if you already haven’t and share your thoughts down below!