13 Board Game Themes To Incorporate Into Your Next Game Night

Board Game Themes

As avid board gamers, our shelves are packed with many different shapes and sizes of board games. However, the physique of a board game is just one characteristic of some of our favorite games. Each board game we own falls into a certain theme of gameplay. These board game themes are something we have come to know and love when it comes to inviting friends over for a night full of board gaming.

When it comes to board game themes, we have found that certain board games either mimic a certain subject or type of gameplay that make them a part of a larger category of games that focus around the same theme. It’s important that you don’t get the theme of a board game confused with the different types of board games.

Some of our favorite board game themes include pirate themed board games, western themed board games, and mystery board games.

All of these themes for board games can be incorporated in some sort of way when hosting a game night. You may want to host a mystery game night where all of your friends dress up as characters from the popular board game Clue. At this game night, you will probably want to make your board game theme a ‘mystery’ theme and you will play some awesome mystery themed board games.

That’s just one example, but we will go over our favorite board game themes in this article. You may also just want some board games based around something you love. Such as zombies or aliens!

Best Board Game Themes

With so many themes out there, we will go over our favorites so that you can get a better idea of what kind of board game theme will best suit your game night group or your personal preference.

1. Pirate Themed Board Games

Ahoy! One of the most popular board game themes are pirate board games. Sail the high seas on your pirate ship with your fellow pirates and go on adventures searching for treasures and fighting enemies.

These board games are great for players who love anything to do with the idea of pirates, such as treasure hunting, peg legs, swords, eye patches, and pirate ships.

Some of our favorite pirate themed board games include Forgotten Waters, Treasure Island, and Tiny Epic Pirates. Make sure to check out our complete list of the best pirate board games.

2. Scary & Spooky Board Games

If you are looking for some spooky and scary board games to play during the Halloween season, then you will be happy to know that there are some great scary board games out there.

Don’t worry, these games won’t make you jump out of your seat. However, they may give you chills down your back. Spooky ghosts, creepy crawlers, and ghouls and goblins may just be a few things you find hidden in these scary cardboard game boxes.

Some of our favorite scary themed board games include Horrified, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Mansions of Madness. Make sure to check out our complete list of the best scary board games.

3. Dinosaur Board Games

If you or someone you know is a dinosaur lover, then you will definitely want to explore some of the best dinosaur board games. These themed games feature all of your favorite dinosaurs, such as the Triceratops and T-Rex.

Whether it’s running an island full of dinosaurs or working as a scientist to catch different species of dinosaurs, you will be fully transported into the world of dinos with these awesome themed games.

Some of our favorite dinosaur board games include Tiny Epic Dinosaurs, Dinosaur Island, and Draftosaurus. If you love dinosaurs, then be sure to check out our list of the best dinosaur board games.

4. Western Themed Board Games

The Wild West is such a fun and interesting concept that has became a really popular board game theme. After deciding to have a western themed game night, we chose to incorporate some of the best western themed board games that are currently on the market.

In specific, we were looking for themed board games where we could forge our way into the Wild West by gambling money, robbing banks, fighting bandits, and becoming an outlaw.

All of these things make for a great theme that you can incorporate into your next game night. It’s time to grab your horse and giddy up!

Some of our favorite western themed board games include Western Legends, Colt Express, and Great Western Trail. Be sure to check out our complete list of the best western themed board games.

5. War Board Games

The idea of war is another popular board game theme that people have learned to love. With war comes violence and lots of strategy, something that may make some ears perk up.

This theme is great for those looking to immerse themselves in intense gameplay where the end result is domination over your foes. You must plan every move and be two steps ahead of your enemies.

Some of our favorite war board games include Risk, Twilight Imperium, and Memoir ’44. Be sure to take a look at our complete list of the best war board games.

6. Mystery Board Games

If you love classic games like Clue, then you will be happy to know that there are so many other great board games like clue themed around the idea of mystery and solving crimes.

If you are a true detective at heart and love solving mysteries, then mystery board games will let you decipher clues and gather evidence with some deep, immersive gameplay.

Some of our favorite mystery board games include Letters from Whitechapel and Deception: Murder in Hong Kong. Check out our full list of the best mystery board games.

7. Escape Room Board Games

One of our favorite things to do is visit escape rooms and solve puzzles throughout the room in order to escape in under an hour. Now you can do an escape room in the comfort of your own home with escape room board games.

The theme of escape room board games are usually thrilling and exciting, working against the clock to solve puzzles and clues in order to progress further and ultimately “escape” the room, or in this case, the board game.

Some of our favorite escape room board games include Escape Room Version 3 and Star Wars Unlock! If you love escape rooms, be sure to check out our full list of the best escape room board games.

8. Adventure Board Games

Other great themes for board games are focused around adventure. Adventure board games provide a story where players with have to make meaningful decisions that will impact their character.

A lot of these games focus around the idea of “choose your own adventure” where there could be hundreds of decisions to be made and many different outcomes based on these decisions.

Some of our favorite adventure board games include Gloomhaven, Mage Knight, and Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island. Check out our article on some more adventure board games.

9. Zombie Board Games

Brains! Who doesn’t love zombies? This happens to be another great theme for board games. With zombie themed board games, players will work to survive, escape, and bring down the undead. Be sure to grab your chainsaw!

You may also find games where you will have to scavenge for supplies and find the best ways to have the strongest combat against the zombies. Fight the undead or become one yourself. Can you survive?

Some of our favorite zombie board games include Zombicide, Last Night on Earth, and Dead of Winter. Check out more on our list of best zombie board games.

10. Alien Board Games

If you love space, then another great board game theme is alien board games. Embark on an adventure beyond Earth’s surface and fight monsters from out of space with alien board games.

This theme can be a bit creepy and eerie as most of these games are dark and mysterious. But don’t let this keep you away about how fun and exciting these games can be.

Some of our favorite Alien board games include Nemesis, Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game, and Deep Madness. Check out some of the top rated alien board games on boardgamegeek.

11. Animal Board Games

Who doesn’t love animals? You will find that there is a strong presence of various animals among many different board games. Animal board games make for a great theme in the board game industry.

In a lot of games that involve animals, you will find that there are animal shaped meeples that you will use as your playing pawns and use to gather resources or perform actions on the game board.

Some of our favorite animal board games include Everdell, Root, and Agricola. Check out some of the best animal board games currently on our list.

12. Fantasy Board Games

Fantasy brings a world full of mysteries, magic, and anything the imagination can dream up. In fantasy themed board games, players immerse themselves in stories where they can embody a heroic character that has incredible abilities.

A lot like rpg board games, fantasy board games are highly thematic, fictional, and features a lot of role-playing. Players will send their heroes on adventures and quests in highly elaborate fantasy worlds.

Some of our favorite fantasy board games include Small World, Shadows over Camelot, and Terra Mystica. Check out some of the best fantasy board games.

13. History Board Games

If you’re a history buff, then prepare to take a journey through time as you discover our last board game theme, history board games. Historical board games take key events through history and transform them into a playable idea that you can bring to your table top.

From Ancient Rome to Medieval Europe, history board games provide a great way to transport players into their favorite historical eras. They can also teach you a thing or two!

Some of our favorite history board games include Castles of Burgundy and the Republic of Rome. Be sure to check out our full list of the best history board games.

Board Game Themes Final Thoughts

We hope you were able to gain some insight on some of the best board game themes out there. If you are interested in learning more about board games, then be sure to check out our article on different board game types.

Looking for more board game ideas? Get ready to host your next game night by exploring the best game night games to add to your gaming shelf.


Hillary is a 28 year old board game enthusiast from New York who specializes in hosting game nights.

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