modern classic team board games

The 50 Best Co-op Board Games of All Time to Enjoy Together

Unwind or enjoy a challenge with these top 50 cooperative board games

Tensions running high at the game table? Take a break from the competition and work together towards victory in the 50 best co-op board games of all time! Whether you want a light cooperative game for an evening at home or an epic, multi-hour challenge, these team board games will surely satisfy.

In a hurry? Check out a handful of the most popular co op games, covering a wide range of styles and difficulties. Be sure to read on, though… your new favorite cooperative adventure awaits!

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Best Co-Op Legacy Game

Sale Pandemic Legacy Season 1 Blue Edition Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Cooperative Board Game | Ages 13+ | 2 to 4 players | Average Playtime 60 minutes | Made by Z-Man Games

Best 2 Player Co-Op Board Game

Sale Greater Than Games Spirit Island Core Board Game

Best Cooperative Fantasy Game

Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven Multi-Award-Winning Strategy Boxed Board Game for ages 12 & Up, Multicolor

Best Team Card Game for Families

The Crew - Quest for Planet Nine | Card Game | Kennerspiel des Jahres Winner | Cooperative Space Adventure | 2 to 5 Players | Ages 10 and up | Trick-Taking | 50 Levels of Difficulty | Endless Replay

Best Co-Op Game for Solo Mode

Sale WizKids Mage Knight Board Game: Ultimate Edition

The Modern Classic Co-Op Board Game

Sale Pandemic Board Game (Base Game) | Family Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Cooperative Board Game | Ages 8+ | 2 to 4 players | Average Playtime 45 minutes | Made by Z-Man Games

The 50 Best Co-op Board Games

Ready to sink your teeth into a seriously challenging team board game? Need a light, quick, cooperative game for the family that you can pull out on a weeknight? We’ve got everything: from fully co-op adventures to traitorous semi-cooperative games rife with betrayal and secretive objective.


No matter what you like, we’ll help you find a new favorite co-op board game to keep you playing with friends and family.


So here we go! Starting with #50…

50. 5-Minute Dungeon

9 - Minute Dungeon Fun Card Game for Kids and Adults

Players: 2-5
Time: 5 Minutes
Ages: 8+
Complexity: Low
Company: Spin Master

With only 5 Minutes to play, you must work together in this high energy team board game to defeat all the monsters in the dungeon! Choose your hero with their special weapons deck, grab your team, and use your combined actions and resources to overcome obstacles and fight monsters. You never know what’s coming next, so you’ll have to think quickly and communicate well on the fly!


5-Minute Dungeon delivers hilarious dungeon crawling antics in a quick and incredibly easy to learn and play adventure, making a great cooperative game for families. More experienced gamers can enjoy 5MD too, though they may not find it terribly challenging, especially after getting to know the decks and how to balance a party. Still, it’s definitely worth a play and absolutely wins at what it is: a silly, rapid-paced, slightly chaotic dungeon crawl card game.

ProsCons
✅ Easy to learn/play🅧 Experienced gamers may not find it super challenging
✅ Hilarious fun with entertaining cards
✅ One of the best co-op board game for kids and families on busy nights!
✅ Inexpensive

49. Shadows over Camelot

Days of Wonder Shadows Over Camelot

Complexity: Medium
Time: 60-90 min
Ages: 10+
Players: 3-7
Company: Days of Wonder

Shadows Over Camelot is an often overlooked gem in the co-op gaming world, and as a lover of fantasy themed board games and Arthurian legends, I adore it. Each player takes the role of a Knight of the Round table, though loyalties remain questionable (loyalty cards given at random), and there may be a traitor in the mix, working to undermine the efforts of the team. This game works best when everyone is willing to get into the theme a bit!


The game provides a solid challenge, and you truly must work together to win as you complete quests, from gaining Excalibur and Lancelot’s Armor to waging war with the Picts and Saxons or searching for the Holy Grail, all the while defending Camelot from siege attack and the gathering darkness.


The shadows of evil grow by drawing ill-fated cards with varying degrees of destruction, so be prepared! Shadows Over Camelot is a wonderful fantasy co-op board game that deserves some recognition. I also love this because it plays better with more people, making it one of the best 5 or 6 player co-op board games available and practically the only strategy co-op that actually plays well with 7 people.

ProsCons
✅ Fantastic fantasy theme and lovely artwork with detailed miniatures🅧 Some find the luck elements of the drawn cards frustrating
✅ Challenging and requires teamwork🅧 May need to reference the rules a bit until you get used to mechanics
✅ Tensions enhanced by possible hidden traitor
✅ If it becomes too easy to win, there’s an expansion to increase the challenge!

48. CO2: Second Chance

Sale Stronghold Games 6020SG Co2: S Chance Games

Complexity: High
Time: 60-120 min
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-4
Company: Stronghold Games

Not for the faint of heart, CO2: Second Chance is the second edition of a challenging co-op game centered around creating a brighter, greener future through the production of clean energy power plants as pollution threatens to overwhelm the earth. Of course, as CEOs of energy companies contracting for the government, you’ll want to turn a profit too, so manage your resources well and learn what you can from others during the global Energy summits.


Unlike others on this list, CO2 Second Chance has both cooperative and semi-cooperative play options. Either way, you must keep pollution at bay as a group, lest you all lose, but if you introduce competitive elements, each player needs to complete a secret agenda to win.


Improve your company’s reputation through money, control of carbon emissions permits, company goals, expertise, UN goals, and the building of green power plants. This is a challenging, heavyweight game with numerous interacting mechanics and elements in play; we recommend this semi-cooperative/cooperative game only for experienced gamers.

ProsCons
✅ Quite challenging but well balanced and absorbing🅧 Can be frustrating for those that want to win each game
✅ Second edition improves gameplay, mechanics, and production value (nice wooden components!)🅧 Not for inexperienced gamers – this is very complex
✅ Excellent climate change, environmental awareness game with serious depth 🅧 Rules will take a while to get through
✅ Wonderfully integrated theme

47. The Grizzled

Sale The Grizzled Cooperative Card Game

Complexity: Low
Time: 30 min
Ages: 14+
Players: 2-5
Company: CMON

This lightweight but wonderful strategy card game hangs on the themes of enduring friendship and perseverance as you struggle to survive in the trenches of WWII until the relief of Armistice Day. In the Grizzled, you’ll face challenges ranging from battles and gas attacks to blizzards and your own personal fears or obsessions. Unlike most war games, the emphasis here lies on enduring alongside your comrades, and to win, none may fall.


As with most good co-op games, The Grizzled is challenging to win; however it’s also very easy to learn and pretty simple to play, like a small puzzle that unfolds. Teamwork is a must, as you consider actions and strategy carefully. The fact that games takes about 30 minutes makes it easy to pick up even on a busy weeknight. The Grizzled will tug at your heartstrings, and the artwork is truly beautiful, helping you sink into the theme.


This is another game perfect for larger groups; it’s one of the best 5 player co-op board games for casual gamers. If you’re looking for other great cooperative 5 player games, check out Shadows over Camelot, 5-Minute Dungeon, Zombicide, and Nemesis!

ProsCons
✅ Beautiful artwork and quality cards/components🅧 Is very difficult to win, which frustrates some
✅ Evocative war game focused on camaraderie and survival more than victory in battles🅧 2-player isn’t as satisfying; works best with 3 or more players
✅ Simple rules but increasing difficulty as game progresses – puzzly🅧 Not a lot of depth – simple gameplay
✅ Easy to learn and fairly quick to play

46. Atlantis Rising

Elf Creek Games Atlantis Rising 2nd Edition Board Game

Complexity: Medium
Time: 60-120 minutes
Ages: 10+
Players: 1-7
Company: Elf Creek Games

In an epic race-against-time, you must save the people of Atlantis as the island sinks into the abyss. Work together to gather resources to build the cosmic gate that will deliver the island’s citizens from their watery fate in this unique co op worker placement game. While spaces nearest the shore may yield the best actions/resources, choose placements wisely, as the shoreline can quickly flood, rendering the action worthless.


Beware the wrath of the gods, and use your unique councilor powers strategically as you overcome the challenges facing your sinking home. While relatively new to the board game scene, Atlantis Rising has already been nominated for multiple Golden Geek Awards for cooperative games and artwork/presentation. If you’re struggling to find the Second Edition, check their kickstarter page or the Elf Creek Games page for more details, as new releases/expansions are in the works!

ProsCons
✅ Unique and engaging theme with wonderful artwork and quality components🅧 May be difficult to find until Kickstarters for the expansion go to print
✅ New expansion underway via kickstarter for even more excitement, challenge, and new elements
✅ Great combination of mechanics: worker placement, dice rolling, push your luck, and variable player powers
✅ Second edition improves balance and allows for variable difficulty

45. Legends of Andor

Sale Legends of Andor Board Game | Cooperative Strategy Adventure Game By KOSMOS | Spiel Des Jahres Kennerspiel Winner

Complexity: Medium
Time: 60-90 minutes
Ages: 10+
Players: 2-4
Company: Kosmos

In this fantasy co-op board game, your unique heroes (Wizard, Ranger, Warrior, etc) must work together to defend Andor from dangerous creatures invading the realm. During the course of the game, you’ll have choices to make as you consider the available quests across the land and balance those against the necessary defense of the castle as the oncoming hordes creep ever closer.


Legends of Andor is a campaign style team game, meaning you’ll play through 5 connected scenarios, utilizing the legend deck to advance the storyline and impact the game. As the story’s protagonists, your choices will determine how the tale unfolds, and after the 5 scenarios, there’s also a player-created scenario. Fight battles, search the mines for gems, shop at local merchants, help heal the King, discover the witch… so many adventures await you in this wonderful (but challenging) cooperative fantasy game!

ProsCons
✅ Simple, easy to learn mechanics with dice rolling, area movement, and campaign scenarios with many choices for players🅧 Some scenarios are rather difficult to win
✅ Excellent fantasy theme and artwork with quality storytelling/narrative element🅧 Due to campaign nature, it has less replayability (without expansions) than other games
✅ Several expansions to further your exploration of this rich fantasy world
✅ Multiple difficulty levels for several scenarios

44. Sentinels of the Multiverse

Sentinels of The Multiverse Enhanced Card Game (2nd Edition)

Complexity: Medium
Time: 30-60 min
Ages: 8+
Players: 2-5
Company: Greater Than Games

Defeat the crazy villains and save the world in this comic-style fixed-deck team card game. Face off against one of 4 wacky supervillains (including the mad scientist and his evil inventions and the alien warlord bent total destruction) in one of 4 reactive, unique environments with your team of stalwart heroes!


As opposed to deck building games, where improving your deck is a mechanic in the game (think Legendary Marvel, for example), fixed deck card games utilize premade decks, in this case tailored specifically to each hero (you’ll have 10 to chose from).


The villains also have their own special decks with unique powers and abilities, and you’ll definitely need to work together if you’re to defeat them. (Sentinels plays best in a group where everyone stays involved, even if it’s not their turn!)

ProsCons
✅ Super fun and well done comic flair; if you want a comic hero feel, this is the game🅧 There can be wild swings in difficulty due to random combos
✅ Simple gameplay with tremendous replayability due to all the possible combinations🅧 Doesn’t play quite as well 2 player
✅ Easy and straightforward gameplay overall, making it a good comic card game for kids and a one of the best co-op game for families🅧 Limited options during your turn can frustrate some
✅ Companion app available for randomization and multiple expansions available for even more variety

43. Black Orchestra

Game Salute Black Orchestra Second Edition

Complexity: Medium
Time: 60-90 min
Ages: 13+
Players: 1-5
Company: Game Salute

Step back in time to the terrifying days of Hitler’s Germany and play as members of the Black Orchestra in this historically inspired co op game. Determined to save your country from within, you must carefully plot Hitler’s assassination: gathering materials, avoiding detection by the Gestapo, and working together to navigate the changing landscape of WWII.


Each player takes actions, such as moving across the board and searching for items, as they seek to gain and fulfill the required elements of plot cards that can spell victory for the conspirators. Unlike many cooperative games, one player won’t dominate the decision making in this game; you must coordinate.


Event cards move the game through seven stages of the war, each of which can alter the available board space and cause interactions between conspirators and Hitler or his deputies. While strategy is required, there’s a lot of dependence on dice rolls, and that luck element can really irritate some gamers. Still, Black Orchestra is a great co-op game for families or friend groups wanting something different on game night.

ProsCons
✅ Excellent historically inspired fully cooperative game that sinks deeply into its theme with tensions and emotions running high🅧 There’s a heavy reliance on dice rolling, which can really frustrate players that dislike high luck elements
✅ Challenging to win – requires communication, planning, coordination, and luck as well🅧 If you want to win every game, this may not be for you
✅ Fairly easy to learn, especially if you’ve some experience in modern board gams (may take a bit of time at the start, though)

42. Hanabi

Sale R & R Games Hanabi Card Game

Complexity: Low
Time: 20-30 min
Ages: 8+
Players: 2-5
Company: R&R Games

In this unique team card game, you’re working together to create fireworks by playing multiple sets of differently colored cards in numerical order (1-5). However, not only will you hold your cards facing everyone else (so you can see everyone’s but your own), but you’ll also have very limited communication, making this game fun but challenging.


Gameplay is extremely straightforward. On your turn, you may give a hint, discard a card, or play a card, but hints can only indicate color or number and are not unlimited! You must remember what information you’ve been given about your hand as you discard and draw or choose to play a card on a firework.


Hanabi is an engaging exercise in memory and interesting communication skills, and it’s more challenging than you might think to create the fireworks correctly! It’s very easy to learn and play, making a great co-op card game for families that want a different kind of challenge on game night!

ProsCons
✅ Challenging game of memory, communication, and cooperation🅧 As the strategy becomes clear and a group gets good at it, replayability diminishes
✅ Unique gameplay with extremely limited verbal communication🅧 Theme isn’t terribly engaging – it’s more about the mechanics
✅ Easy to learn and quick to play🅧 May not be as popular with younger kids due to the quiet and thinky nature
✅ Small footprint (very portable)
✅ Very inexpensive

41. Forbidden Desert

Gamewright Forbidden Desert – The Cooperative Strategy Survival Desert Board Game Multi-colored, 5'

Complexity: Medium Low
Time: 45 min
Ages: 10+
Players: 2-5
Company: Gamewright

In Forbidden Desert, your team of stranded adventurers seeks the coveted flying machine–buried beneath countless tons of sand–in hopes of escaping the endless desert and returning home. As you search, you must also survive challenges of the desert itself, like searing temperatures and destructive sandstorms


Each player has special abilities, but you must work together to search the abandoned city, removing layers of sand and flipping over tiles to discover what’s buried beneath, from wells to quench your thirst to clues to the machine’s location.


You needn’t have played the predecessor, Forbidden Island, to enjoy Forbidden Desert; in fact, we prefer Forbidden Desert because it’s got just a bit more going on. Created by Matt Leacock of Pandemic fame, Forbidden Desert is a wonderful lighter weight cooperative game for families that works well even with younger kids!

ProsCons
✅ Engaging theme and lovely artwork🅧 Has luck elements that can frustrate players
✅ Great mixture of survival and adventure🅧 You may lose several games, which can irritate some; won’t be as easy as Forbidden Island
✅ Simple to learn/play but challenging enough that you don’t win every time🅧 Won’t have the depth more complex games (like Pandemic)
✅ Lots of replay value with multiple unique characters and randomized board set up

40. Flash Point Fire Rescue

Sale Indie Boards and Cards Flash Point Fire Rescue 2nd Edition

Complexity: Medium Low
Time: 45 min
Ages: 10+
Players: 2-6
Company: Indie Board & Card Games

Play as firefighters working desperately to save lives and and control the blaze in this fully cooperative team board game. Choose your difficulty, basic or expert, and race through the building game board as you work to save 7 of the 10 victims trapped in the flaming structure.


As the fire and smoke continue to spread, blocking pathways and causing damage, players must spend action points each turn to move, extinguish fires, carry victims to safety, chop down walls, etc. Your team wins when you save the 7th victim, but you’ll all lose if the building collapses or if a 4th citizen dies in the flames.


In addition to the expert mode, there are also numerous expansions available for more variety. Flashpoint Fire Rescue is a great co-op board game for families, and kids a bit younger than the age listed can usually play this just fine too!

ProsCons
✅ Heavily thematic with nice components, including a double sided building board, tokens, cards, dice, and molded plastic firemen🅧 More experienced gamers may find the decision making here a little too simple (not as much depth of strategy and planning)
✅ 2 Difficulty modes, with expert adding new challenges and player abilities🅧 Fire & victim placements throughout the game create a very random element that some players find frustrating
✅ Clear instructions for ease of learning; great cooperative family game
✅ Inexpensive and excellent value with lots of replayability even before adding expansions

39. Just One

Sale Repos JOUS01 Just One

Complexity: Low
Time: 20 min
Ages: 8+
Players: 3-7
Company: Repos Production

Just One is a fully cooperative party word game, perfect for fans of games like Taboo. Start with 13 randomly chosen cards, each of which has 5 words on it. Then the guessing player chooses a number 1-5 to determine which word to use, and every other player writes a one-word clue on their whiteboard.


Be creative in your clue, though, as duplicate clues won’t help! With each card, the active player rotates, so everyone gets a chance to give clues and guess. Win all 13 cards for a perfect score. If you don’t guess a card, you’ll lose 1 point (card), but if you guess wrong, you’ll lose 2


Just One is an easy enough co-op game for kids, and while most adult groups enjoy it too, some find it too easy to guess all 13 correctly each time. To increase the difficulty or shake things up, you can introduce house rules: lightning games where players have so many seconds to guess, pictionary rounds where players must draw instead, etc.

ProsCons
✅ Extremely easy to learn and play🅧 some groups find it too easy to win every game
✅ Very quick word guessing game
✅ 550 words for lots of replayability
✅ Fun and simple party/family co-op board game
✅ Inexpensive and very portable
✅ Perfect for large groups: one of the best co-op games for 6 players in a party game style!

38. Ghost Stories

Repos Production Ghost Stories

Complexity: Medium
Time: 60 min
Ages: 13+
Players: 1-4
Company: Repos Production

In this beautifully illustrated and very colorful co-op game, you play as Taoist monks protecting your village from Wu-Feng, lord of the Nine Hells, and his ghostly horde. With each turn, new ghosts arrive, haunting villagers, cursing players, and otherwise wreaking havoc with their unique powers.


As the game progresses, players must move across the tiles, exorcising ghosts, seeking aid from the village, and working together to defeat the evil Wu-Feng. Strategy is certainly necessary, but dice rolls determine the success of exorcisms (though that luck element can be mitigated through the use of Tao tokens gained in play); be wary if you strongly dislike luck in a game.


With multiple difficulty levels, you’ll never lack a challenge, and while gameplay is fairly simple, winning is very difficult even on easy mode. If you don’t mind some luck, love challenging games, and enjoy the supernatural horror style board games, Ghost Stories is great fun. This really works best as a 4 player co-op game, though, or single player controlling all monks. (Could try 2 player playing all 4 as well?)

ProsCons
✅ Lovely, colorful artwork and great ghost/supernatural theme🅧 Dice rolling creates a lot of luck, which can be fun or frustrating depending on your preference
✅ Difficult to win – has multiple difficulties levels for continued challenge as you learn the game and improve🅧 If you dislike losing, avoid this game; it can be punishing
✅ Unique Taoist powers, variable village set up, and a tremendous number of ghosts creates a LOT of replayability value🅧 Doesn’t play as well without all 4 monks in play but can also be subject to Alpha Gaming/Quarterbacking, with one player dominating the strategy; know your group
✅ Very enjoyable for those that like some puzzly/thinky elements but also enjoy randomness/luck🅧 Rulebook can seem confusing; watch a video online to help learn the rules

37. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Cooperative Deck Building Card Game | Official Harry Potter Licensed Merchandise | Harry Potter Board Game | Great Gift for Harry Potter Fans | Harry Potter Movie artwork

Complexity: Medium Low
Time: 30-60 Min
Ages: 11+
Players: 2-4 (5 with Charms & Potions expansion – below)
Company: USAOpoly

Play as Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Neville as you venture through 7 increasingly difficult adventure scenarios in this cooperative deck building game. This is a team card game that’s perfect for families (provided you love Harry Potter!).


As with all deck builders, you’ll work to improve the quality of your deck throughout the game. Add character, spell, and magical item cards to your deck and use your combined abilities to battle the forces of Voldemort and save your school!


With each scenario in Hogwarts Battle, you’ll open a new box that adds new content to keep you progressing and facing new challenges. Because of its scenario based set-up, there’s limited replay value after you finish all 7 stories, but there are expansions (Charms & Potions or Monster Box of Monsters) when you want more!

ProsCons
✅ A must for Harry Potter Lovers🅧 Limited replay value
✅ Progressive scenarios move through the 7 books/movies🅧 Might not be as satisfying for experienced gamers looking for a challenge
✅ Great deck building co-op game for families

36. Mysterium

Sale Asmodee Mysterium, Multi, Standard

Complexity: Low
Time: 42 minutes
Ages: 10+
Players: 2-7
Company: Libellud, Asmodee

In Mysterium, a team of mediums gather in an old house to discover the details of the murdered ghost living there. As you connect with the spirit world, one player acts as the ghost, giving clues to the others solely in the form of dream-like picture cards for a unique twist on the cooperative detective board game theme.


This is one of my favorite lightweight coop games in large part due to the gorgeous and unusual (think beautiful surrealism) artwork, and the necessity of knowing your group and how each player thinks. Debate ensues as you work together to decipher the meaning behind the cryptic clues, debating to which weapon, location, or character card they might refer.


In the end, once all possible sets (character/weapon/location) have been decided, the ghost will give three final cards to represent the correct set, and each player casts their vote for which set is correct. If you like some puzzle solving, table talk debating, and lovely but eccentric artwork, Mysterium is worth picking up. It’s also a top co-op game for 5 players (or 6), which can be hard to find.

ProsCons
✅ Beautiful artwork, dream-like and bizarre🅧 Doesn’t work as smoothly if you don’t know other players well since you won’t know their thought processes
✅ Table talk: debating possibilities and meanings🅧 Set up takes a while
✅ Supernatural crime solving game with a little bit of puzzle feels🅧 Very end game feels a bit awkward
✅ Fun, unusual cooperative detective board game

35. Space Alert

Sale Czech Games Space Alert

Complexity: Medium
Time: 30 min
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-5
Company: Czech Games

Space Alert is a space survival co-op game with real-time high tensions and excitement, a satisfying space theme, and plenty of interaction. It’s a blast and can be both very challenging and hilarious to play through these 10-minute missions, scanning danger-ridden sectors of the galaxy with your crew.


Tracks on the included CDs (or online mp3s) alert your team to threats during the course of play. Threats can range from unfriendly ships and wacky space monsters to unexpected asteroid belts, disastrous malfunctions on the ship itself, and more. Since you only have 10 minutes to survive the threats and scan the sector, you’ll need to communicate well, move smoothly about the ship, and react quickly to the chaos.


Entire games, from set up through sector scans and to evaluation, take only about 30 minutes, making Space Alert a very quick cooperative game. It’s truly best with 4 or 5 players, though; the rules for 1-3 work ok but require players to take multiple roles, making it difficult to accomplish everything in the time limit.

ProsCons
✅ Crazy, high tension (often hilarious) chaos with real-time pressure wrapped up in a nice space theme🅧 rules can feel complicated, especially for new gamers. There’s a lot going on, but new elements are introduced gradually
✅ Great survival co-op game for 4 or 5 players🅧 The audio tracks are vital to gameplay, so you’ll need either a CD player or access to the internet to download tracks
✅ Quick (10 min) missions mean games are 30 minutes or less from set up to clean up🅧 Doesn’t play nearly as well 1-3 player

34. Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin

Exit: The Abandoned Cabin | Exit: The Game - A Kosmos Game | Kennerspiel Des Jahres Winner | Family-Friendly, Card-Based at-Home Escape Room Experience for 1 to 4 Players, Ages 12+

Complexity: Medium
Time: 1-2 hours
Ages: 12+
Players: 1-4 (can do more)
Company: Kosmos

If you’ve ever wanted to bring the thrill of an escape room home, you need to check out the EXIT: The Game series. (Not sure what that means? Learn about escape rooms in the Escape Game Blog.) In The Abandoned Cabin, you and your friends sheltered in the cabin overnight, but you awake in the morning to barred windows and a combination lock securing the door.


Solve puzzles, find clues, crack codes, think creatively, and work together in order to escape. Of course, as with a live escape room, there’s no replayability here, but it’s a fantastic co-op adventure. The components are for a single play through; you’ll mark, fold, and tear them up throughout the game. (You could make copies/trace, etc. to try to preserve components if you want.)


The Abandoned Cabin is one of the more popular games in the series, but if you like the idea of a team game escape room at home, we recommend grabbing the Season 1 Bundle, which includes Abandoned Cabin, Pharaoh’s Tomb, and Secret Lab (3 difficulty levels). You can also add more players if you like, though with a larger group, some may feel left out. We love this unique team board game for families and game groups alike!


**If you want some mystery/puzzle style elements of an escape room with a bit heavier, darker narrative concept, check out T.I.M.E. Stories on this list**

ProsCons
✅ Escape room experience at home! (way cheaper than a live escape room too)🅧 Escape room veterans might find this a little easy (maybe try Pharaoh’s Tomb)
✅ Plays well with different group sizes: One of the best family co-op board games, great game for couples, etc.🅧 Going beyond 4 players can leave some feeling left out
✅ Perfect for those that like riddles, puzzles, and code cracking🅧 No replayability – these are once and done games
✅ Many, many games in the series with several difficulty levels (start with this bundle!)🅧 Some puzzles that won’t work well for colorblind individuals

33. Burgle Bros

Complexity: Medium Low
Time: 45-90 min
Ages: 12+
Players: 1-4
Company: Tim Fowers

Pull off an epic heist in this quirky cooperative board game. Get into the secure building, get the goods, and get out without getting caught. Each character has special abilities, and you’ll need to work together to determine the building’s layout, find and crack the safes, elude the guards, and escape to the helicopter on the roof.


The Burgle Bros game board is a building consisting of three stories where you’ll place randomized floor tiles. You’ll have to flip these over cautiously; perhaps you’ll find a useful tool, but you might trigger alarms! Beware the cops, which advance at different speeds on each level and will take your Stealth tokens if they catch you; you only get three, and if you get caught without one, the game ends.


With fast play, mounting tensions, endless replayability, great components, and a 3-tiered building board, Burgle Bros is certainly one of the best co-op board games, and it’s worth checking out if your group needs some new excitement!

ProsCons
✅ Seriously fun and quirky cooperative heist game with enough complexity to keep experienced gamers having fun while still being easy enough for casual gamers to pick up and enjoy🅧 Box is a bit of a tight fit, so everything needs to go back in carefully
✅ 3-level building board and nice components
✅ Awesome, retro cartoon artwork
✅ Tremendous replayability with randomized set up and 9 characters
✅ Energetic, fast, tension-building play with a well-done theme

32. Arkham Horror the Board Game (3rd Edition)

Sale Fantasy Flight Games Arkham Horror Third Edition Multicolor, Standard

Complexity: Medium High
Time: 2-3 hours
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-6
Company: Fantasy Flight

If you want a Lovecraftian cooperative board game that draws you into a story, immerses you in theme, and gives you some RPG vibes, you’ll want to check out Arkham Horror the Board Game. Enter a dark theme with a nice mixture of horror and action adventure elements as one of 12 unique investigators working to destroy the Ancient Ones.


In your quest to remove these eldritch beings from the world, you must collect clues, defeat monstrous creatures, search for useful tools, close gates, and work together through multiple scenarios. As with most of the best co-op board games, this is a challenge to win, but it’s worth it.


This is not ideal for new gamers; there are some fiddly mechanics, and rules are somewhat involved. If you (or your friends/family) want a slightly more streamlined cooperative horror game in the Lovecraft vein that feels a bit easier/quicker and more puzzly instead of a deeper, story oriented game, check out Eldritch Horror. For a different Lovecraft adventure with miniatures, see Mansions of Madness. Both of these games are further up on this list.

ProsCons
✅ Immersive, thematic eldritch horror experience with great narrative elements🅧 Rules are more complex and will take while to learn; some fiddly mechanics
✅ High quality components (lots) and excellent artwork🅧 Set up takes a while
✅ Replayability through 4 scenario, different branching outcomes of quests, and 12 unique investigators (expansions also available)🅧 Not great for new gamers or those looking for quicker games

31. Legendary Marvel

Upper Deck Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game

Complexity: Medium
Time: 30-60 minutes
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-5
Company: Upper Deck Entertainment

A co-op deck building game made for Marvel comic fans, Legendary Marvel A Deck Building Game allows you to play with heroes like Spiderman, Iron Man, the Hulk, and Wolverine as you face off against iconic supervillains like Magneto or Dr. Doom. Due to the number of heroes and supervillains, the replayability value is significant, and with all the expansions out now, you have access to a stunning number of characters.


Created as a semi-cooperative card game, you must defeat the villains together, but each hero earns individual victory points along the way. However, many groups ignore that aspect and simply treat it as a normal team card game.


You can play solo to 5-player, making this deck builder a versatile game for many group sizes, though we often hear people like it best around 3 players. You’ll also have multiple challenge modes, should you need to increase the difficulty!


While you do have a unique hero and their special abilities, you are drafting cards to build your deck, which may end up with a mix of different heroes’ elements. If you want a fixed-deck Marvel experience where you’re more fully a single hero, read about Marvel Champions further on the list.

ProsCons
✅ Fabulous Marvel comic art and theme🅧 Reading the rules can be a bit confusing; play a bit while reading the rules to get a feel for it
✅ Immense replay value with numerous heroes, villains, and schemes (not to mention tons of expansions)🅧 Set up/break down takes a while, as with most deck builders
✅ Easy to learn, especially while playing🅧 Organization gets harder with expansions
✅ Multiple difficulty modes

30. Codenames Duet

Sale Czech Games Codenames: Duet - The Two Player Word Deduction Game

Complexity: Low
Time: 15+ min
Ages: 11+
Players: 2
Company: Czech Games

One of the absolute best word based co-op games for two players, Codenames Duet is easy to learn, inexpensive, endlessly replayable, and great for creative thinking. As with other Codenames games, the objective is to get your partner to guess the correct word(s) from the randomized grid by giving excellent clues.


Each clue is limited to a single word and number (indicating to how many cards the clue applies). For example, if you say “string 3” you might be trying to get your partner to guess Yarn, Violin, and Tightrope, but if you didn’t look carefully at all the words out there (or aren’t thinking along the same lines as your partner), they might guess Racket or Shoe instead.


Codenames: Duet plays wonderfully with its specially designed 2 player co-op mechanics (different from the two player option in the original game), and it can be combined with original Codenames for more word choices. Multiple difficulty options allow for greater challenge, and you can also follow through a campaign mode, traveling around the world with the included map!


Personally, I think this is the best co-op board game for 2 players in the lightweight category; it’s a blast, requires thinking, plays quickly, and has greater challenge with the campaign mode, too!

ProsCons
✅ Very easy to learn and play with quick set up🅧 Box lacks organization
✅ Lots of replayability (400 words included and compatible with original Codenames)🅧 Can theoretically play with more players, but you’re better off with original Codenames for that
✅ Designed specifically as a co-op board game for 2 players🅧 Original Codenames fans may miss the team interaction and conversation – debating which possibilities could be correct, etc.
✅ Multiple difficulty levels and campaign mode

29. T.I.M.E. Stories

Sale TIME Stories

Complexity: Medium
Time: 90 min
Ages: 12+
Players: 2-4
Company: Asmodee, Space Cowboys

Venture through time and space to different realities as T.I.M.E Agents tasked with protecting the very fabric of reality. This fully cooperative board game is highly narrative in nature. For each scenario (one included in the base game–Asylum–and others available for purchase), you’ll be transported to a different time and place, inhabiting the bodies of a native hosts as you work together to solve puzzles and mysteries.


You’ll get a little hit of role-playing, but you must coordinate well and act efficiently, as each action and movement will use your limited Temporal Units. Once you deplete the store of Temporal Units, your team returns to the T.I.M.E. Agency, where you’ll discuss what you’ve learned before trying again, armed with the knowledge of your previous run. Expect to need multiple runs to complete each scenario successfully.


The scenarios are run through a deck of 120+ cards that allow you to explore areas, face enemies, collect clues, retrieve items, and more. With captivating artwork and an immersive theme, you’ll be quickly drawn into the T.I.M.E. Stories; however, this definitely leans towards dark, heavy, and a little creepy. Content may not be suitable for children (many users recommend an older minimum age than listed); best as a team board game for adults.

ProsCons
✅ Fascinating, immersive, story-driven mystery and puzzle solving co-op board game often with heavier, darker themes/content🅧 Replayability is limited one you complete the scenario (though you can work to beat your time or let others borrow it/sell it, as no components are destroyed)
✅ Gives a nice combination of light role-playing concepts and the puzzle feels of an escape rooms at home or a real life point and click adventure🅧 Price may seem a bit high for a single scenario, though it usually takes many runs (usually totaling several hours) to complete (still way cheaper than an escape room!)
✅ Pause feature allows you to stop play at any point and resume at a later time
✅ Multiple expansions available for more scenarios

28. Zombicide: Black Plague

Sale CMON Zombicide: Black Plague

Complexity: Medium
Time: 60-180 min
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-6
Company: CMON Games

Sometimes you just need to blow off some steam and kill a bunch of zombies. Band together with your friends to explore the medieval dungeons, capture objectives, gather equipment, and–of course–kill a whole bunch of brain-hungry zombies in this classic dungeon crawl adventure.


Gain experience to unlock new abilities and access better weapons, but beware: as you become stronger, the zombie threat increases too. Plan your strategy as a group, considering each scenario-specific goals as well as the unique movements of each zombie type, from the lowly walker to the fast runners, stronger fatties, and terrifying abominations.


Zombicide Black Plague is a truly enjoyable dungeon romp with friends and employs the incredibly high quality miniatures and components you expect from CMON. It’s also nice to have a great co-op board game for 6 players, though I will admit, with all 6 players on the board, there’s not a huge overall challenge. I’m not sure we ever lost a scenario; if you want more difficulty, fewer players is the way to go.

ProsCons
✅ Zombies controlled through a card deck and specific mechanics, allowing everyone to players together🅧 If you want a full legacy feel, you may be disappointed in the single scenario style (EXP and gear reset with each scenario)
✅ Truly high quality miniatures and components🅧 Gameplay is long – can take up to 3 hours (but is so fun!)
✅ Extremely fun, well-done dungeon crawl zombie horde adventure🅧 Set up/tear down definitely take some time
✅ Multiple expansions available, as well as other versions (such as Zombicide Invader, for those preferring a space theme)
✅ Great co-op board game for 5 or 6 player groups (though less challenging with more characters on the board)

27. Dead of Winter

Sale Dead of Winter

Complexity: Medium High
Time: 60-120 min
Ages: 13+
Players: 2-5
Company: Plaid Hat Games

In a wonderful merging of zombie apocalypse and survival strategy, Dead of Winter emerges as one of the best semi-cooperative board games for adults and we love it. You must work together to survive the winter in your isolated colony, but to achieve victory, you must fulfill your own objectives.


Each round, players reveal a different crisis and must handle it effectively, moving around, attacking as needed, searching, etc. Then colony needs must also be met, and then more zombies are added to the board. Perhaps your personal goals mostly align with the colony objective, or perhaps not…


Are you willing to work quietly against the other survivors or even sabotage the colony for your own ends? Dead of Winter keeps you balancing the colony objectives with your own, and with so many characters and crises, the replayability value is quite high.

ProsCons
✅ Excellent strategy with betrayal or traitor elements – competitive team board game🅧 Can easily take 2 hours to play; not for you if you want shorter games
✅ Unique characters with personal strengths, weakness, and traits🅧 Game components are pretty standard, nothing outstanding: cardboard standees and markers
✅ Combination zombie apocalypse and survival horror game with a truly engaging theme🅧 If you don’t like betrayal/traitor style co-op games, skip this one
✅ One of the best semi co-op games for 5 players

26. Lord of the Rings Living Card Game

Sale Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Complexity: Medium High
Time: 30-90 min
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-2
Company: Fantasy Flight

Venture to Middle Earth and control unique heroes, each with their own sphere of influence (Lore, Tactics, Spirit, Leadership). Once you each have your deck assembled around your 3 heroes, you’ll progress cooperatively through a quest deck, adventuring to new lands, managing resources wisely, defeating foes, uncovering powerful items, and more.


While you’ll want to begin with the starter decks outlined in the rules, you’ll be able to experiment and create your own unique decks once you get accustomed to the spheres, etc. Keep in mind, this is NOT a deck builder game; you build your deck in advance then use it to play.


LOTR The Card Game is a top 2 player co-op game AND plays wonderfully single player. You’ll find yourself enthralled as you move through the 3 included scenarios. If you like the idea of a team card game but prefer Lovecraftian horror, check out Arkham Horror the Card Game later on this list.

ProsCons
✅ Highly thematic and engaging with epic fantasy art (not movie stills)🅧 Expect rules/gameplay to take a bit to learn; new/younger players might find this off-putting
✅ Base includes 3 scenarios of different difficulty levels🅧 Expect to crave the expansions for more deck possibilities and power
✅ So many expansions for more scenarios and new cards🅧 Living/Collectible card games can be an expensive, addicting hobby (perhaps more a warning than con, lol)
✅ Excellent 2 player team card game that also plays brilliantly solo (can expand to 4 players with 2 base sets, but best 1-2 player)

25. Horrified

Sale Ravensburger Horrified: Universal Monsters Strategy Board Game for Ages 10 & Up

Complexity: Low
Time: 60 min
Ages: 10+
Players: 1-5
Company: Ravensburger/Prospero Hall

You and your fellow citizens, each with your own special abilities, must band together to defeat the classic movie monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein & his Bride, Wolfman, Mummy, etc) attacking your village before the horror overwhelms you all! Each monster provides a unique challenge and difficulty, and you can easily adjust the difficulty by combining more, fewer, or different monsters together.


Horrified is a perfect team board game for families with its fun and wacky classic horror theme (movie aficionados will love the references scattered throughout the game). It’s not a dark or violent horror game and won’t be super creepy for most kids.


Keep in mind, this is lighter and has some definite luck, but it’s an excellent cooperative board game for kids and families; if you’re an experienced gamer looking for a more complex (or darker) horror experience, you might look elsewhere (Mansions of Madness or any other Lovecraft inspired game, or even T.I.M.E. Stories or Ghost Stories have more oomph).

ProsCons
✅ Fun, quirky, engaging classic horror theme that’s lighter and less scary than other horror games🅧 Components aren’t the highest quality
✅ Lots of replayability and adjustable challenge levels with multiple monsters and so many combinations🅧 Box lacks organization
✅ One of the best co-op game for families and kids or casual gaming (often kids even a couple years below the listed age do just fine with some help)🅧 Definite luck elements, which can frustrate some strategy gamers

24. This War of Mine

Sale Ares Games This War of Mine: The Board Game

Complexity: Medium High
Time: 45-120 min
Ages: 18+
Players: 1-6
Company: Ares Game

Adapted from the well known video game, This War of Mine creates a vastly different interpretation of the standard war game. You won’t play as soldiers or manage troops; instead, you must survive as civilians trapped in a land ravaged by battles. You must find necessities, like food and medicine, but you’ll also need to keep your hideout safe and livable: improving security, building beds, and more.


Work as a group to provide for your needs, protect your shelter and belongings, avoid sniper shots, and explore the remnants of your city. Along the way, you’ll interact with unique characters, each with a story to share.


This fully cop-op board game is best for adults, both due to the dark and heavy thematic content as well as the nature of the decisions you may be forced to make to ensure your own survival. Story driven and rich, This War of mine plays well cooperatively (perhaps best at 2 or 3 players for co-op or with a very engaged larger group) but is also stellar as a single player board game.

ProsCons
✅ Rich and compelling narrative-driven thematic war survival game with atmospheric components and artwork🅧 For co-op play, tends to work best with fewer players; a large groups needs to be VERY engaged and communicative
✅ Significant depth and challenge with many moral quandaries along the way🅧 Miniatures are decent but not super high quality
✅ Unique rule structure lets you hit the ground running and learn as you go
✅ Save feature lets you pause and restart at any time

23. Chronicles of Crime

Sale Lucky Duck Games Chronicles of Crime

Complexity: Medium Low
Time: 60-90 min
Ages: 12+
Players: 1-4
Company: Lucky Duck Games

Solve crimes in the modern world by using the unique scan and play technology with the downloadable app that accompanies this fully cooperative detective board game. Included in the game are an evidence board; over 100 character, evidence, and item cards; numerous location boards; and 4 forensic contacts. Each component has a unique QR code that triggers different stories or clues for each specific case.


View crime scenes on your phone with the app; then scan items to gain clues, ask questions, etc. A VR option is available for a more immersive experience, but you’ll have to purchase the glasses separately (unnecessary and some find this a bit gimmicky). In addition to the included cases, you’ll be able to access some additional future cases through the app.


Of course, once you’ve solved everything, replaying old cases won’t be exciting, but Chronicles of Crime will provide many, many hours of crime solving fun before you run through everything. Because of its inherent nature, this may not be the best co-op game for kids, as crimes can get gritty (murder, affairs, etc).

ProsCons
✅ Very unique scan-and-play technology and app integration for an immersive theme🅧 Save option doesn’t work super well; best to play each case in one sitting
✅ Intriguing, puzzly, team detective board game of decent difficulty that also plays well solo🅧 Only one device can be connected at a time, so you’ll have to pass the phone around for each person to see the crime scene
✅ Several cases included and more to be available as the app updates (will use same components); also expansions available for more cases with new components🅧 Consider carefully for young kids (dark in nature though not super graphic)
✅ Can create scenarios or even solve fan created “community scenarios”🅧 No replayability; once you’ve solved the crime, you know what happens
✅ Easy to learn and play but challenging to solve each case🅧 Cannot simply ask free-form questions; you are limited to what’s been programmed for each item as you move through the case

22. Legendary Encounters: Alien

Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game

Complexity: Medium
Time: 30-60 min
Ages: 17+
Players: 1-5
Company: Upper Deck Entertainment

Take on the role of a beloved character, like Hicks or Riply, and immerse yourself in the Alien™ movie franchise with this excellent cooperative deck building card game. This is without a doubt the best team card game for adults looking to re-experience these fan favorite sci-fi films!


The first game scenario is designed to take you through the original Alien movie; after that, you can move through subsequent scenarios to recreate several of the other films, or you can mix and match characters, locations, and objectives to create your own experience!


As you get comfortable with the game and rules, you can make Legendary Encounters Alien semi-cooperative instead of its usual fully co-op mode by having one player act as a secret traitor. This is a great co-op game for 3 players or 2, and creates a greater challenge with 4-5!

ProsCons
✅ Fully co-op or secret traitor semi cooperative options🅧 Not ready to play straight out of the box; cards must be organized first
✅ Fantastic, immersive Alien™ theme that lets you work through the movies or create your own experiences🅧 Without expansions, some players find the cards too repetitive after a while, limiting replay value
✅ Quick set up/tear down (after sorting cards the first time)🅧 solo play, while available, feels a little too easy overall (though still a great way to learn mechanics)
✅ Challenging to win, especially with 4-5 players🅧 Some rules may seem awkward and require a quick online check
✅ Expansions available for more content and replayability

21. Pandemic

Sale Pandemic Board Game (Base Game) | Family Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Cooperative Board Game | Ages 8+ | 2 to 4 players | Average Playtime 45 minutes | Made by Z-Man Games

Complexity: Medium
Time: 45 min
Ages: 8+
Players: 2-4
Company: Z-Man Games

Pandemic is one of the most popular co-op games of all time, an excellent team board game for families, gaming groups, and kids too. It’s truly a modern classic team board game and definitely lives up to its hype. It’s challenging without being punishing and has multiple difficulty levels too.


You must save the world from the 4 diseases, represented by colored cubes, terrorizing the globe. As you navigate the world map game board, you’ll need to work together using your special abilities and some serious planning to treat infections, do your research, maintain the spread, and find cures before the continued outbreaks wipe you out.


Pandemic is a wonderful strategy game with puzzly/planning elements and is wildly popular for good reason. It’s on our best 3 player board game list but also plays well with 4. For a truly incredible legacy adaptation, keep reading through this list!

ProsCons
✅ challenging without being terribly punishing and has multiple difficulty modes🅧 MUST shuffle very well between games to avoid keeping cards together and making the next round much easier
✅ great replay value with many characters with unique roles🅧 Very experienced gamers may find the game repetitive or less challenging after lots of repetition without expansions
✅ Great for player communication; everyone contributes, but players makes the final decisions for their turn (can be subject to quarterbacking, though, depending on the group)🅧 Rules might be a bit tricky for players new to modern board games; play a few rounds to get the hang of it
✅ Fairly easy to learn, and has handy player reference cards
✅ Modern classic team board game perfect for families or strategy game groups

20. Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective – The Thame Murder & Other Cases

Sherlock Holmes - The Thames Murders & Other Cases

Complexity: Medium
Time: 90+ min
Ages: 12+
Players: 1-8
Company: Fantasy Flight, Asmodee, Space Cowboys

Step out onto Baker Street and challenge yourself with 10 unique, immersive cases in the world of Sherlock Holmes. Your actions impact the direction of the case as you inspect crime scenes, hunt for clues, and interrogate suspects. Can you solve the case as well as Sherlock?


Sherlock Homes Consulting Detective is not your standard board game but is instead a challenging, cooperative, detective board game full of deduction and basically devoid of luck (no dice or random card draws, etc).


Though it can play with a versatile number of people, larger groups (5+) can sometimes feel a bit too big. This is also a fantastic option if you like to play board games single player. Once you finish the 10 cases here, more exist; pick up Jack the Ripper next!

ProsCons
✅ Challenging puzzle style game of solving cases (no luck elements!)🅧 Games are often long, requireing lots of patience and reading
✅ Works well as a solo or co-op board game🅧 Playable with up to 8 people, but better with fewer (or even solo)
✅ Your choices help shape each scenario🅧 Can be frustrating due to challenge level
✅ Very immersive; the perfect strategy game for Sherlock fans🅧 No replayability. Once you’ve solved the cases, you’re done, though there are 10 that each take a while to complete!

19. Detective: a Modern Crime Board Game

Sale Portal Games Detective

Complexity: Medium
Time: 2-3 hours
Ages: 16+
Players: 1-5
Company: Portal Games

Another in the list of co-op detective board games, Detective takes a truly modern approach to solving crime. Not only can you use the internet for information–since these fictional cases are set in the real world–but you can also search their online database, simulating the additional resources available to you as an Antares National Investigations Agent.


Work together though 5 unique but eventually connected cases that weave a compelling overarching narrative as you hunt for clues, create your mind map, and narrow down your suspects and their motivations. If you’ve ever wanted to step into one of those procedural crime dramas, you need Detective. This game is best for adults (or older teens at least) due to the nature of some crimes.


Detective and Sherlock are the best cooperative detective games on our list. If you want a modern feel (internet, FBI database, etc.), grab Detective; if you want to visit the days of London past, using newspapers and books instead of the web, pick up Sherlock Consulting Detective.

ProsCons
✅ Excellent, challenging, realistic, in-depth cases (5 included and more free ones online)🅧 Each case takes a long time (2-3+ hours) and doesn’t “save” well. Do each case in one sitting if possible.
✅ Great for puzzle-hungry, detail-oriented gamers and those that like crime/detective TV shows🅧 Not a good co-op game for kids due to the depth and nature of cases
✅ Use modern technology, including the internet and a game-specific online database representing the additional info to which a special agent would have access🅧 No replayability, but you could pass it along when you’re done since no components are destroyed.

18. Eldritch Horror

Sale Fantasy Flight Games Eldritch Horror Multi-colored, Standard

Complexity: Medium High
Time: 2-4 hours
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-8
Company: Fantasy Flight Games

Enjoy more Lovcraftian adventures, traveling across the map and working together to conquer the Ancient Ones lest they destroy the world. Each player chooses one of 12 uniquely useful investigators, and you’ll spend your turns taking actions, resolving unsettling encounters, and progressing the mystery of the Ancient One through the mythos phase.


Eldritch Horror gives you some nice dungeon crawl feels with lots of board movement, facing challenges and dealing with terrors as they come. It’s perhaps a bit lighter and more streamlined than Arkham Horror, and you’ll get less of the fully immersive, thematic story feelings that Arkham Horror evokes.

ProsCons
✅ 12 unique characters, 4 specialized Ancient Ones, and over 300 cards for incredible replayabilty in the base game alone🅧 These games are long; be prepared to spend 2-4 hours playing
✅ Another excellent Lovecraft inspired cooperative dungeon crawl horror adventure🅧 If you play with a larger group, time between turns can really stretch
✅ Can play with basically any group size (1-8!), though perhaps at its best around the middle of that range🅧 Set up is more involved and time-consuming
✅ Lots of available expansions and add-ons🅧 Prepare to spend some time learning all the rules and mechanics

17. Pandemic Iberia

Complexity: Medium
Time: 45 min
Ages: 8+
Players: 2-5
Company: Z-Man Games

If you love the original Pandemic, you’ve got to try Pandemic Iberia; it’s another fully co-op board game for adults and kids/families alike that’ll scratch the same logic puzzle itch but with some new twists. Instead of traveling all across the globe, you’ll stay in the Iberian Peninsula in 1848.


You’ll need to construct railways and purify water as you work to stem the outbreaks of dangerous illnesses, like Malaria, Cholera, and Yellow Fever. Though you cannot cure these diseases, you’ll still research and treat them.


For a greater challenge, you can play with disease modifiers in Pandemic Iberia, giving each historical disease a specific power, changing the strategies you’ll need to win. You can also play with the Influx of Patients modifier, where patients move quickly to hospitals desperately seeking cures.

ProsCons
✅ Perfect fully cooperative game for fans of the original Pandemic that want a new setting and a bit more depth🅧 Players that play original Pandemic with all of its expansions may not find this different enough
✅ Will feel familiar to original Pandemic but with added actions, new movement challenges, and multiple variants for more difficulty and challenge🅧 Some role cards seem more powerful than others (though I feel this is true of standard Pandemic as well)
✅ Plays well with just about any group size. (Many times those playing 2- player often prefer to control 2 characters each)
✅ Historical theme helps create a richer experience with more historically relevant (and unique) diseases and technological limitations that enhance depth of play

16. Aeon’s End

Aeons End 2nd Edition

Complexity: Medium
Time: 60+ min
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-4
Company: Indie Boards & Cards

Perfect for strategy gaming groups looking for a challenge, Aeon’s End delivers a top notch deck building experience with a nice shot of dungeon crawling vibes. In this fully co-op fantasy board game, you play as Breach Mages, defending your home of Gravehold against the evil Nameless and their hordes, bent on the annihilation of what remains of humanity.


Build your decks and improve your capabilities as you discover spells, seek relics, gather gems, and more. Unlike typical deck builders, you neither discard unused cards each turn nor shuffle your discard pile, allowing you a tremendous degree of control over how your cards line up in your hand.


To win, you must defeat all the nemesis cards or reduce the health of the Nameless to zero, all the while ensuring Gravehold stands and at least one player survives the fray. If you’re hunting for a good strategy couple game, Aeon’s End is one of the best 2 player co-op board games out there, though it still plays nicely at other group sizes.

ProsCons
✅ Variable turn order mimics the chaos of battle 🅧 Set up does take some time
✅ Excellent fantasy art and gripping survival/dungeon crawl elements keep you engaged🅧 2nd Edition improved quality control issues, but some still happen occasionally. Contact the company if needed; they’ll take care of you.
✅ A deck builder with drastically reduced luck (no shuffling or discarding all cards each turn)
✅ Best cooperative deck building game
✅ Multiple Nemesis decks with unique powers, minions, and abilities and multiple difficulty levels for lots of replayability

15. Marvel Champions the Card Game

Sale Fantasy Flight Games FFGMC01 Marvel Champions: The Card Game

Complexity: Medium
Time: 45-90 min
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-4
Company: Fantasy Flight Games

Unlike the Legendary Marvel Deck Building Game listed, Marvel Champions the Card Game is a fixed deck fully co-op card game set in the famous comic universe. Instead of building a deck as you go, as in Legendary, here you’ll create a deck before you begin the game and play with that same deck throughout.


To design your deck in Marvel Champions, select a hero–complete with a specific set of cards–as well as an aspect (Aggression, Leadership, Justice, Protection) with its unique cards. Then work as a team to defeat one of three villains (Klaw, Ultron, Rhino), each with two difficulty modes.


As one of Fantasy Flight’s Living Card Games (their unique brand of collectible card games–read more at FantastyFlightGames.com), you’ll have tons of new content regularly available. Of course this also means you’ll likely want to buy expansions if you find yourself hooked, and that can get pricey.

ProsCons
✅ Excellent LCG (living card game) that’s a little more streamlined and easier to navigate/learn than some of their more complex versions (see Arkham Horror)🅧 Rules might feel overwhelming to beginners.
✅ Fixed-deck co-op card game perfect for Marvel fans wanting a superhero experience 🅧 If you enjoy it, you’ll want expansions, and LCGs can get expensive as you continue collecting
✅ Quality components, fantastic artwork, and wonderfully thematic experience🅧 The insert for organization is ok but not amazing
✅ Plays especially well solo and 2 player

14. The Crew: Best Team Card Game for Families

The Crew - Quest for Planet Nine | Card Game | Kennerspiel des Jahres Winner | Cooperative Space Adventure | 2 to 5 Players | Ages 10 and up | Trick-Taking | 50 Levels of Difficulty | Endless Replay

Complexity: Low
Time: 20 min
Ages: 10+
Players: 3-5 (2 player variant)
Company: Kosmos

Work together as a crew searching for the mysterious ninth planet through 50 unique and increasingly difficult scenarios in this cooperative trick taking card game. As you work through each short (5-20 min) mission, you’ll need to communicate with other players; however, you cannot speak to one another. Instead, once per mission, each player may reveal one card from his/her hand to the other players; that’s it, so choose wisely!


While The Crew is designed for 3-5 players, there is also a two player variant that works decently well. The short play time and quick set up mean you can squeeze a game in even on busy weeknights, and with the low price point and 50 missions, this game offers incredible value.


The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine is inexpensive, simple to learn, and easy to play while still creating some thought-provoking challenges as you progress. We think this is the best team card game for families, so grab your copy today!

ProsCons
✅ Unique co-op card game of trick taking that’s easy to learn and play🅧 Still some random elements, which some find frustrating
✅ Requires strategic thinking and cooperation with very limited communication 🅧 After completing all 50 missions, players may not be interested in repeating missions (still a LOT of play for this inexpensive little game!)
✅ Difficulty increases over 50 missions
✅ Quick to set up and short game time
✅ Low price and many scenarios makes this a great value

13. Mechs Vs. Minions

Sale Mechs vs. Minions: League of Legends Board Game

Complexity: Medium
Time: 60-120 min
Ages: 14+
Players: 2-4
Company: League of Legends, Riot Games

Enter the world of Runeterra and play as one of four resident Yordles who must band together to save their home from the horde of incoming minions using their recently developed mechs. This fully co-op tabletop campaign adventure is awash in high quality components.


From incredibly detailed miniatures (including 100 minions and 4 fully painted mech figures), acrylic shards, metal trackers, and game board and player pieces all with vibrant artwork, you’ll see the production value instantly.


Mechs Vs. Minions includes ten unique missions that will require you to adapt your strategy, program your command lines creatively, and work together to conquer your foe as you move across the modular boards, roll dice, draft cards, and progress through the story line.

ProsCons
✅ Excellent co-op tabletop adventure with incredible, detailed miniatures and quality components 🅧 Setting up for each mission does take some time
✅ 10 unique missions (each taking 1-2 hours) for plenty of game time
✅ Nice organization in the box
✅ Requires strategy, communication, and planning, but is still fun, quirky, and fairly easy to learn

***Prices on Amazon have (at the time of this writing) been significantly higher than at RiotGames.com. Check before purchasing!***

12. Mansions of Madness: 2nd Edition

Sale Mansions of Madness Board Game, 2nd Edition

Complexity: Medium
Time: 2-3 hours
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-5
Company: Fantasy Flight Games

Dive into the world of H.P. Lovecraft as you and your fellow investigators explore the haunted mansions of Arkham, filled with mystery and terror. A fantastic horror style dungeon adventure and one of the best 5 player co-op board games, you’ll quickly find yourself hooked.


The game runs through a companion app, allowing all players to work together (no GM/DM needed), solving the mysteries, exploring the mansions, fighting the roving monsters, and dealing with the events and effects generated by the app.


Take care to avoid injury, and be warned: the horrors you encounter in Mansions of Madness may indeed cause insanity. As soon as a single player is eliminated, you’ll have only one more turn to complete the objective before losing entirely, so tread carefully.

ProsCons
✅ Excellent, immersive Lovecraftian horror and mystery game that plays well with most group sizes(and holds up very well as a co-op game for 5 players, which can be harder to find)🅧 Games are immersive and longer (3 hours is not an exaggeration). Not really a con; just be prepared.
✅ High quality cards and components (including miniatures!) with fantastic fantasy art that bring the mansions to life in vivd detail🅧 Only 4 scenarios included in the base game (we very much think it’s still worth it!)
✅ App driven game removes the need for a DM, allowing all players to cooperate
✅ Expansions available for extra content

11. Robinson Crusoe: Adventures of the Cursed Island

Portal Games Robinson Crusoe Adventures on the Cursed Island Board Game

Complexity: Medium High
Time: 1-2 hours
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-4
Company: Portal Games

Shipwrecked and uncertain, you and up to 3 friends not only must survive but also complete the objectives in each of 7 challenging scenarios. Forage for food, explore the island, construct a shelter, battle the beasts lurking about, discover treasures, and conquer dangers unknown!


Another game with loads of excellent pieces (wooden resources, nice cards, colorful tokens, sturdy player mats) and lovely artwork, you’ll easily sink into this theme and find yourself desperate for more.


Robinson Crusoe is one of the best solo/co-op board games for those that delight in challenge and appreciate a hard-won, puzzly victory (and don’t mind losing too).

ProsCons
✅ Immersive adventure survival game with numerous choices, options, and decisions to make (puzzly and thinky with lots of depth and strategy)🅧 Avoid this if you want to win every game; it’s definitely difficult.
✅ Beautiful artwork and quality components🅧 Rules will take some time to read and get fully comfortable with
✅ Plays well solo or cooperatively🅧 Set-up/clean-up does take some time
✅ 7 scenarios, 4 character choices, and over 250 cards allows for good replayability (or pick up the expansion!)🅧 Can be subject to one player taking over in co-op; play with a group that communicates or beware domineering players

10. Arkham Horror: The Card Game

Sale Arkham Horror - The Card Game

Complexity: Medium High
Time: 1-2 hours
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-2
Company: Fantasy Flight Games

Once again we return to the world of H.P. Lovecraft with another stellar game from Fantasy Flight, though this one is quite different from the others we’ve discussed on this page. You’re still playing as investigators with unique abilities hunting for answers to the horrifying Eldritch mysteries and desperately trying to keep a grip on your sanity while battling terrible monsters.


In Arkham Horror: The Card Game, however, all the action is card driven, as this is another Living Card Game, like Marvel Champions (but more complex, more challenging, and with a totally different theme). This fixed-deck team card game for 2 players also plays wonderfully solo (and in fact made our best solo board games list).


An encounter deck controls the game challenges, and you’ll play through campaign style adventures with 3 scenarios and 5 investigators included in the base game for a little bit of replay value. Like many LCGs, you may want more expansions (or copies of the base game) if you get hooked. If you’re searching for the best 2 player co-op board games, this and its cousin the Lord of the Rings Card Game should both be on your radar.

ProsCons
✅ Enjoyable card-driven campaign style fixed-deck co-op card game for 2 players with a great solo mode🅧 You’ll likely end up wanting to purchase expansions for more scenarios and greater options for crafting your deck
✅ Solid game mechanics and enough strategic depth and overall complexity to engage and challenge even experienced strategy gamers🅧 Less experienced gamers may find the rules challenging; Marvel Champions is more accessible for newer gamers looking at an LCG
✅ Excellent Lovecraftian horror vibe and artwork🅧 Not for those that get frustrated losing; Arkham Horror the Card Game is challenging

9. 7th Continent: Classic Edition

The 7th Continent Classic Edition - Core Box - English Version - Boardgame - Cooperative - 1 to 4 Players - Adventure - Exploration - Survival

Complexity: Medium
Time: Hours of adventure – save anytime
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-4
Company: Serious Pulp

After discovering a fascinating but unwelcoming 7th continent in the early 20th century, you find yourself cursed; now you must discover how to lift the curse while surviving the untold dangers of the island. Though it plays up to 4, this is truly one of the best solo co-op games out there. It’s also quite excellent as a 2-player co-op board game.


Adventure cards drive the game, gradually forming the board and allowing you to explore the myriad terrains (sea, desert, dungeon, forest, etc.) and dealing with unexpected events along the way. Think of this like a choose your own adventure book: your choices have consequences and shape the game going forward.


Look for clues in your environment, learn to craft items helpful for your survival, hunt and fish for nourishment, and use your experience points to upgrade your abilities as you progress. Survive the 7th Continent while solving the puzzle of how to lift your curse (play through 3 curses in the base game) in this difficult and immersive co-op board game.

ProsCons
✅ Unique Choose Your Own Adventure style cooperative or solo game of survival, exploration, and puzzle solving🅧 This isn’t for those looking for a quick puzzle-solving hit; it’s an in-depth adventure, and each curse will take hours (though you save whenever)
✅ Save feature allows you to play for as long or short as you wish🅧 May need to work out a system for filing all your cards, but once that’s done, storage is decent
✅ Challenging gameplay with clever designs forces you to think, plan, and consider your actions carefully🅧 This non-Kickstarter version has cardboard standees instead of miniatures and 3 curses instead of the Kickstarter released 4 (though expansions do exist)
✅ Very quick set up/tear down

8. Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon

Complexity: Medium High
Time: 1-2 hours per chapter
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-4
Company: Awaken Realms

If you like the idea of survival and exploration in a card-driven choose your own adventure style game like 7th Continent but want a deeper, darker storyline and a bit more complexity overall, Tainted Grail is the best fantasy cooperative board game for you. It’s epic, rich, satisfying, challenging, and puzzly all wrapped up in a grim and immersive theme that blends Celtic mythology and Arthurian legends.


As the Wyrdness threatens to consume the land and the Guardian Menhirs dim, you must survive conflict, avoid starvation, overcome illness, endure horrific weather, and so much more. As you progress, you must choose a path for your character (Brutality or Empathy? Practicality or Spirituality?), unlocking mutually exclusive abilities that open unique deck-building possibilities.


Explore Avalon, where every location and character holds mysteries and stories of its own, and gradually work together to solve the puzzles and uncover secrets, many of which require multiple plays to find. If you’re collecting the best fantasy co-op board games (with awe-inspiring miniatures), you need Tainted Grail: the Fall of Avalon on your shelf.


**Unfortunately, if you missed the Kickstarter, you might be waiting a while for a retail version. See their Kickstarter page, check out AwakenRealms.com, or follow on BoardGameGeek. It’ll be worth the wait.**

ProsCons
✅ Immersive theme with rich storytelling (use the companion app for a recorded storyteller and accompaniment music)🅧 Availability: this isn’t available in standard retail (Amazon, etc), as they are currently fulfilling Kickstarters. See the links above to follow progress and see how to get a copy for yourself
✅ Fantastic and unique combat and diplomacy system for your character that develops as you progress (and adapts your deck building options too)🅧 The box doesn’t store the cards sleeved, and you may even prefer an extra box/area for more space to place components and cards for saved games
✅ Remarkably rendered miniatures, high quality components and cards, and visually stunning fantasy artwork🅧 There’s still some confusion and vague wording in places, but the app does keep an FAQ that’s regularly updated, and BGG has a lot of answers if questions arise
✅ Over 30 hours in the base game alone (with multiple expansions available as well) with a fantastic save/progress sheet tracker to allow you pause whenever🅧 This game is challenging, and the rules are not quick and easy; this isn’t the best for beginners or for those that want to win every game (though 3 difficulty levels exist to help this)

7. Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition-Best Solo Co-Op Board Game

Sale WizKids Mage Knight Board Game: Ultimate Edition

Complexity: High
Time: 2+ hours
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-5
Company: Wiz Kids

Perfect for very experienced gamers craving a complex, deeply strategic game with elements of deck building, role playing, dice rolling, tile placement, and more. Mage Knight (like Tainted Grail) is one of the best fantasy co-op board games around, and it’s much easier to get a hold of.


Explore your world, seeking adventure and fame, and develop your character as you go. You can fight battles, overtake cities, influence others, and wield spells and artifacts in your various quests. The ultimate Edition includes expansions, so you’ll have plenty of scenarios to win; just be prepared for the challenge.


Rules are complex, and larger groups can really slow things down. If you want to play cooperatively, stick to just 2-3 players (that enjoy long, complex games), or let it really shine in solo mode. While there are tons of single player cooperative game options on this list, Mage Knight is the best co-op board game for solo game play by far; if you truly want to go it alone, choose Mage Knight.

ProsCons
✅ Very challenging, heavy strategy game with multiple well combined mechanics ideal for experienced gamers🅧 Rules are complex, and the game will take quite a while to learn; be prepared. This is NOT for new gamers.
✅ Ultimate Edition contains 3 expansions and includes co-op and competitve gameplay options🅧 Larger groups really make play feel bogged down
✅ Lots of high quality components as well as included painted miniatures🅧 Set-up and tear-down both take some time, and box organization is the best
✅ The best solo co-op board game; this truly shines single player, but it can play well with 2-3 too🅧 Expensive upfront investment, but fantastic value for base game + expansions

6. Too Many Bones

Too Many Bones

Complexity: Medium High
Time: 1-2 hours
Ages: 12+
Players: 1-4
Company: Chip Theory GAmes

Prepare to question everything you think you know about dice rolling games with this strategy-rich, complex, dice building RPG! Play as one of several completely unique Gearlocs summoned to defend your home evil Tyrants –each with their own unique encounters and epic boss battle– in this incredible fantasy co-op board game.


Unlike most dice rolling games, where luck is rampant, you’ll find Too Many Bones has serious strategic depth. Not only will you need to consider your battle tactics for each fight along the way to the Tyrants lair, but you’ll also need to explore, seek gear and treasure, level up your character, decide when to rest, and deal with the unexpected (and sometimes wacky) events thrown your way via the Encounter cards.


With 136 colorful custom dice, neoprene battle and player mats, plastic tokens, and a well organized box, the production value is sky high, and wonderful fantasy art covers everything. With 7 different Tyrants and multiple characters with unique mechanics and skills, you’ll get incredible replay value as well in Too Many Bones.

ProsCons
✅ Wonderful solo or cooperative fantasy game with unique battle system, amazing artwork, character development, stellar game components, and more. (Plays well in all groups but perhaps best as a 3 player game)🅧 Not always in stock (and sometimes only from 3rd party sellers on Amazon, who may overcharge–worth checking, though). Find info and compare prices with the publisher directly at ChipTheoryGames
✅ Fantastic new interpretation of dice rolling games that incorporates RPG elements and leans on strategy instead of luck🅧 Rules take a while to read through and learn; might take a play or two to get fully comfortable and see more possibilities. Not ideal for new gamers. Rulebook isn’t the best, and typos can be frustrating; check the FAQ online or official video links as needed!
✅ Excellent components: 136 custom dice, edge-stiched neoprene player mats, plastic tokens, quality cards, etc.🅧 This can be quite difficult to win with 2 players.
✅ Tremendous replayability in base game alone; expansions and new characters also available for even more adventures

5. Kingdom Death Monster

Kingdom Death Monster

Complexity: High
Time: 1-3 hours
Ages: 17+ (adult content)
Players: 1-4 (up to 6 with game variant)
Company: Kingdom Death

Billed as a boutique nightmare horror experience, Kingdom Death Monster prides itself on artistry, challenge, and depth, and wow does it deliver. This is easily the best tabletop fantasy horror game we’ve ever seen, but keep in mind the age range: this is a co-op game for adults only. The content is mature, the theme is dark, but the gameplay is stunning.


Set in a nightmarish world with few resources and constant struggle, you’ll venture forth in this Campaign style game through over 40+ story events and over 100 encounters, your reactions to which will shape the direction of your game. Not only do you get visually arresting and incredibly intricate miniatures and an utterly immersive theme, but you also get complex gameplay and tremendous depth.


In the settlement phase of each year, you create your civilization: construct buildings, develop technologies, train warriors, and determine your plans for survival and battle. The hunt phase involves the Encounter cards and evokes the choose your own adventure styles seen in other games (Tainted Grail, 7th Continent, etc). Once you finally catch up to the creature you’re chasing, the Showdown consist of a massive arena-style battle to the death.


If you like extreme challenge, grim fantasy/horror themes, and exceptional miniatures, Kingdom Death Monster is the best co-op board game for you, without exception.

ProsCons
✅ Incredible depth with multiple phases, civilization building, epic battles, an entire gear system for improving your character, encounters that trigger different storylines based on your decisions, and so much more.🅧 This game is very complex and, by the makers’ own admission, “brutally challenging.” This is not for new gamers, those that like shorter/easier games, or those that want something light and quirky for game night.
✅ Rich fantasy horror theme and immersive narrative and artwork; lose yourself in a truly unique fantasy horror adventure🅧 The content is dark, mature, and heavy by intention. This is one of the best cooperative fantasy/horror tabletop games for adults, but the material and miniatures are NOT intended for young audiences.
✅ 7 monsters in the base game each controlled by their specific deck and most with multiple difficulty levels🅧 As the game is being updated or re-released, you may find it out of stock. Pre-order or purchase from the publisher, KingdomDeath.com
✅ Miniatures of unparalleled quality and beauty (nightmarish or otherwise)🅧 May be able to find current or slightly older releases on eBay or Amazon, but prices likely to be substantially higher than from Kingdom Death itself
✅ Campaign follows over 30 game years in which every choice matters, from resource utilization (build a structure? Craft the gear?) to your reactions during encounters. There is a LOT of game here, and an expansion exists too.🅧 Cost: this game is expensive (even from the publisher, though it’s cheaper there by far), but the cost is fully justified by the components and content

*Always also check pricing and current release information on KingdomDeath.com**

4. Nemesis

Rebel Nemesis

Complexity: Medium High
Time: 90-180 Minutes
Ages: 12+
Players: 1-5
Company: Awaken Realms

Another excellent title by the company that created Tainted Grail, Nemesis is a semi-cooperative space-themed dungeon crawl adventure with an atypical emphasis on survival for the genre. As a crew member with your own skills and actions, you must help your crew-mates survive on a deeply damaged ship as you desperately try to figure out where you’re going and how to deal with the alien entities.


Use your player deck and move your miniature through the modular ship board as you strive to complete objectives and fight (or avoid) the monsters lurking about the ship. As a semi co-op board games, the crew in Nemesis must complete an overarching objective to claim victory while individual players work to complete private objectives that may conflict with the overall objective (and with those of other players), causing strife and tension.


Nemesis is definitely one of the best 4 player co-op board games, but it’s also really worth mentioning for 5 player groups as well. It can be very difficult to find games for larger groups, and while Nemesis might be a bit better at 4, it’s still one of the best co-op board games for 5 player groups.

ProsCons
✅ More high quality, detailed miniatures for characters and monsters alike, as one would expect from Awaken Realms🅧 Games are time intensive and can easily take 3+ hours
✅ Dungeon crawl adventure in space with a unique twist, focusing more heavily on survival as opposed to the standard: kill, loot, level up mechanics🅧 Definitely has some set up and tear down time involved too
✅ Semi co-op board game (for 4 players at its absolute best, though truly plays very well in all sizes) with tension and conflict 🅧 Not everyone enjoys the semi co-op feel, where you’re not truly working entirely together
✅ Immersive theme and quality artwork with a wonderful blend of horror, survival, sci-fi, and dungeon adventure elements🅧 Learning rules will take a good amount of time; prepare for a longer first session as you get accustomed to gameplay and learn set up

3. Spirit Island: Best Co-Op Board Game for 2 Players (Experienced Gamers!)

Sale Greater Than Games Spirit Island Core Board Game

Complexity: High
Time: 90-120 min
Ages: 14+
Players: 1-4
Company: Greater Than Games

Protect your island from invaders in this gorgeous, challenging, and deeply strategic co-op board game. You control strong magical forces, but as some powers need longer to take affect, you’ll need to plan your actions carefully.


Each turn, invaders also take an action: first exploring, then settling, and finally attacking the island, and you must keep track of each group of invaders and consider how they’ll react next, requiring serious planning and coordination of your efforts.


While Spirit Island is not easy to learn (it’s rated High complexity for a reason), it’s a wonderful cooperative gaming experience for those that like thinky, challenging games. While it gets our nod for best 2 player co-op board game (the BoardGameGeek community agrees), we still also think it makes an excellent 3 player game.


For more mid-light weight amazing 2 player cooperative games, check out Aeon’s End, 7th Continent, Arkham Horror or Lord of the Rings Card Games, and Codenames Duet!

ProsCons
✅ Very complex, deep, and challenging solo/co-op board game with minimal luck or randomness🅧 Learning the rules, setting up, and getting a handle on mechanics will take some time and patience, as is common with complex games
✅ Many high quality components and plnety of gorgeous artwork to help you sink into the theme🅧 Expect games to take 2-3 hours, especially if you play with more than 2 people
✅ Ideal for experienced gamers that enjoy thinky, serious, heavy strategy games and lots of advanced planning🅧 Not a good choice for new, less experienced, or younger players due to complexity
✅ Lots or replayability in the base game alone, but expansions also available for even more content🅧 Box organization isn’t amazing, though you can always upgrade to the Broken Token organizer

2. Gloomhaven: Best Fantasy Co-Op Board Game

Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven Multi-Award-Winning Strategy Boxed Board Game for ages 12 & Up, Multicolor

Complexity: Medium High
Time: 60-120 minutes
Ages: 12+
Players: 1-4
Company: Cephalofair Games

For an epic cooperative role playing adventure that includes more than 100 hours of gameplay, fantastic dungeon crawling adventures, modular boards, character development, and card-driven action, you need Gloomhaven, the best cooperative fantasy board game around (and the one topping dozens of lists, from dungeon crawlers to solo gaming and more.)


Play as a team of adventurers, each with a unique role/class, and work together to successfully navigate a multitude of scenarios in a game where your decisions truly shape the trajectory of the storyline. Immerse yourself in this wonderful fantasy adventure, defeating monsters and finding new adventures around every turn.


See why Gloomhaven has taken the board game world by storm and earned its place as one of the best cooperative board games ever created. (We know many people believe this is also the best cooperative legacy game, but we personally give that nod to our next game — see why below!)

ProsCons
✅ Wildly popular RPG/dungeon crawl/adventure legacy game, where your choices determine how your story unfolds🅧 Expect this game to take some serious time to learn; it’s not light, simple, or easy, so be prepared to sit down and spend the time to learn to play.
✅ Highly thematic and incredibly enjoyable game that plays wonderfully multiplayer or single player🅧 Set-up and clean-up are both involved processes; we highly recommend leaving it out on a dedicated surface if at all feasible. If not, the Broken Token will drastically improve prep time.
✅ The best cooperative fantasy game and a massive fan favorite🅧 Only plays with up to 4 people, which is disappointing for larger groups
✅ Stunning amount of content and value: 75 initial scenarios (you won’t even play them all in a single full legacy play through, and you’ll STILL be playing for dozens of hours!)🅧 As a legacy game, you’ll need to play with the same people each session, and game nights can take a few hours; make sure you think carefully about your group before beginning this adventure.

1. Pandemic Legacy Season 1: Best Co-Op Legacy Board Game

Sale Pandemic Legacy Season 1 Blue Edition Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Cooperative Board Game | Ages 13+ | 2 to 4 players | Average Playtime 60 minutes | Made by Z-Man Games

Complexity: Medium
Time: 60 min
Ages: 13+
Players: 2-4
Company: Z-Man Games

Spawned from the incredibly popular Pandemic game, Pandemic Legacy Season 1 takes the same idea of conquering viruses rampaging across the globe to entirely new extremes. As you progress throughout the game, your characters will change, gaining abilities or carrying scars from close encounters with disease.


As the storyline progresses, you’ll open secret boxes containing all sorts of fantastic new twists and additions or changes to the game, and your objectives will alter too, as you deal with the ever changing landscape of a world responding to a shifting pandemic.


We believe Pandemic Legacy Season One is the best co-op legacy board game because while it is challenging, puzzly, and requires planning and coordination, it is also a more approachable game in regards to complexity, making it a perfect game for everyone from families to the most serious strategy game groups.

ProsCons
✅ Incredibly fun, puzzly, strategy adventure requiring coordination and communication among players as you adapt to ever-changing environments and requirements🅧 As with most Legacy games, once you finish the entire campaign, the replay value is basically nonexistent. That being said, you’ll still get tons of playtime, and this game is 100% worth it!
✅ Top legacy co-op board game that’s accessible to most gamers with at least some modern board gaming experience🅧 If you take a lot of time off between game nights playing this, you’ll likely need to reacquaint yourself with the rules, as they shift over the course of the game
✅ Very challenging but without being utterly punishing; you’ll likely lose some along the way, but the game does adjust slightly in difficulty as you win or lose, which is nice🅧 Some wording in the instruction manual could be clearer. You can search online for answers if you get confused at all (but beware spoilers)! Really we think this is a very minor issue.
✅ Enjoy new experiences and changing objectives to keep you constantly excited, learning, and craving more

(There are two colors of boxes; there is NO difference at all between them, as confirmed by the creator Matt Leacock at Leacock.com. You’d only need both if you’re running two different groups.)

strategy co-op game pieces

What Are Co-op Board Games?

Unlike competitive games, where all players work to win individually, cooperative board games are team games in which all players work together to achieve a common objective. The interpretations and mechanics of modern co-op board games are practically endless, as you can see by the incredible variety in these top 50 co-op games. No matter what style of game appeals to you, you’ll find several to pique your interest here.


While all co-op games do, of course, require cooperation and communication among players, there are some variations within the genre:


Fully Cooperative Board Games

In fully co-op board games, the group wins or loses entirely as a team. There are no individual victories whatsoever: no tracking of individually earned victory points, no secret or personal objects, no betrayal: just winning or losing as a team. (Eg Spirit Island, Robinson Crusoe, Aeon’s End, Pandemic, Sherlock, The Crew, and many many more… in fact the overwhelming majority of games on this list).


If you find yourself wanting a break from the tensions between players that arise with highly competitive games, we suggest giving fully co-op board games a shot. In the best team board games, for adults or families, you’ll have plenty of challenge as you work together to beat the game; co-op games are an absolute blast and are well worth exploring, even for the die-hard competitive gamers out there (like me!).


Semi-Cooperative Board Games

Unlike their fully co-op counterparts, semi co-op board games do not rely solely on winning or losing as a group. In basically all semi co-op board games, you’ll still have an overarching communal objective that must be met in order to win (or to avoid losing); however, there’s more nuance and possible treachery or secrecy in the semi co-op world.


Individuals may have secret personal objectives they must complete in order to achieve victory, and sometimes these individual goals may not align with the group plans. This is where you get some of the betrayal or traitor aspects that some players love (eg. Dead of Winter, Nemesis).


In other semi-cooperative board games, you maintain the feeling of a fully co-op game –you win or lose as a group– while still tracking individual victory points in order to crown a single player “the best” of the winners. Marvel Legendary is a classic example of this semi co-op style (though often groups just do away with the individual victory component; to each their own).


Multi-Style Cooperative Board Games

Due to the overwhelming popularity of cooperative strategy board games, many creators have designed games in which you see multiple gaming variations in a single board game. Several cooperative board games have variations for semi co-op play, like Shadows Over Camelot, where one player can act as a traitor, secretly plotting betrayal. CO2: Second Chance and Legendary Encounters Alien also fall into this category, with rules for fully co-op and semi-cooperative game modes.


Some games even blur the lines between co-op and competitive gaming, including rules for these two very different game styles. Mage Knight, for example, includes both co-op and competitive scenarios. Even more common are co-op games with solo play rules, which we’ll dive into in more depth below.

What About Solo Co-op Board Games?

While you may think of board games as a primarily group activity, solo board gaming has become quite popular amidst this tabletop renaissance of ours, and there’s a lot of connection between solo and co-op board games. Because you work together in cooperative games, many also play beautifully single player. Oftentimes, this means controlling multiple characters while undertaking the adventure on your own, though other styles of solo co-op board games exist as well.


If you’re interested in picking up a co-op game that includes solo mode, look for games here that list a player count starting with 1. Almost two-thirds of these games have single player options, and a few more, including the modern classic team board game Pandemic, play quite well solo, even if not listed that way (you just control all players yourself).


Some of the most popular solo co-op board games include 7th Continent, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, Eldritch Horror, This War of Mine, Arkham Horror Card Game, Robinsons Crusoe, Spirit Island, Gloomhaven, Pandemic, and, of course, the absolute best solo cooperative board game: Mage Knight.

Final Thoughts on the Best Cooperative Board Games

Hopefully by now you’ve discovered several now co-op games to add to your regular gaming rotation. Trust me, even if you’re a hardcore competitive gamer, you may find you also adore cooperative games, once you give them a try! I personally love the challenge provided by so many co-op board games.


What’s your favorite co-op game? Did we miss a title you think should be on the list? Let us know in the comments below! Here’s a quick recap of a few of our best cooperative board games:

Best Team Board Game for Families

Sale Pandemic Board Game (Base Game) | Family Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Cooperative Board Game | Ages 8+ | 2 to 4 players | Average Playtime 45 minutes | Made by Z-Man Games

Best Co-Op Board Game for 2 Players

Sale Greater Than Games Spirit Island Core Board Game

Best Solo Co-Op Board Game

Sale WizKids Mage Knight Board Game: Ultimate Edition

Best Cooperative Card Game for Families

The Crew - Quest for Planet Nine | Card Game | Kennerspiel des Jahres Winner | Cooperative Space Adventure | 2 to 5 Players | Ages 10 and up | Trick-Taking | 50 Levels of Difficulty | Endless Replay

Best Fantasy Co-op Board Game

Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven Multi-Award-Winning Strategy Boxed Board Game for ages 12 & Up, Multicolor

Best Legacy Co-op Board Game

Sale Pandemic Legacy Season 1 Blue Edition Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Cooperative Board Game | Ages 13+ | 2 to 4 players | Average Playtime 60 minutes | Made by Z-Man Games

More Strategy Board Game Suggestions:

Grab your group for the top 50 team board games in 2021!

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