If you are new to the board gaming community and are looking to start your first board game collection, we have some tips and recommendations on the first set of games you should add to your board game collection.
When creating our list of the top board games for someone starting a game collection, we wanted to make sure we added games that are both fun and highly rated within the board game community.
Starting Your Board Game Collection
When starting your board game collection, you want to make sure you choose easy to learn board games, as well as popular games that we consider “must haves” in your new board game collection.
Here is our list of the 10 must have games when starting your board game collection!
1. Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride probably has to be one of our favorite games of all time. It is a very simple game to grasp, and once you get going, it is really fun! This is why we feel like it is a must have board game to have when first starting your board game collection.
Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. Additional points come to those who can fulfill their Destination Tickets by connecting two distant cities, and to the player who builds the longest continuous railway.
This game is downright fun and can be played with 2-5 players. The rules are simple enough to write on a train ticket – each turn you either draw more cards, claim a route, or get additional Destination Tickets. Ticket to Ride has become so popular, they have come out with many expansion packs that map out the entire world.
We feel like Ticket to Ride should be in everyone’s board game closet. So why not have it be the first game you add to your board game collection?
Carcassone is another great game to add to your board game collection as it offers a great pace and approachability for new players. Gameplay consists of turns where each player draws and places a map tile. They must choose whether or not to place one of their game piece “followers” on that tile.
Tiles can consist of objects such as roads, fields, or cities. Each tile must match up with the edges of a tile it is placed next to. There are other rules to the game, but they are very simple to learn. A new player will be able to get the hang of the gameplay after just a few rounds.
The game is scored at the end by how your “followers” were placed on different valued tiles. Gameplay can last about 40 minutes, which is the perfect duration for a gateway game.
As a board gamer, you may know that Carcassonne has many different expansions. I recommend starting new players with the base version of the game. If the player enjoys the game, then feel free to introduce them to the expansions for more variety and replayability of the game.
Carcassone serves as a great gateway game as it isn’t so dense that it will scare away non-gamers, but it’s also simple enough that you feel you have mastered the game after only a couple of rounds.
Kingdomino was released in 2016 and has made it on our list as a strong game for a board gamer’s first collection and many others in the board gaming community seem to agree.
Kingdomino is easy to learn, has a short play time, and an affordable price tag in case new gamers want to have their own copy. And trust me, they probably will want their own copy after playing.
The game also offers great artwork and gameplay. All of these aspects make Kingdomino a great game to introduce to friends or family who have yet set foot in the board gaming community.
The basic gameplay consists of each player having their own castle where they must use “dominos” with varying terrains to make a grid around their castle. These game pieces allow players the ability to create lakes, fields, plains, mines, and more. The goal is to combine similar terrains together in order to gain more points.
This game is simple to play, yet involves some strategy where you must strategically pick tiles that will enhance your kingdom or prohibit players from enhancing their own.
All in all, Kingdomino is a great game as it is easy to learn and can be played in about 15 minutes. It also has great gameplay and is strategically rewarding. I feel that Kingdomino could really be at the top of the list for one of the best games to have when starting a game collection.
4. Tiny Towns
Tiny Towns is a board game where players are tasked in planning and building up their town, one building at a time. This board game is for 1-6 players and can be played within 45-60 minutes.
In Tiny Towns, you are a mayor of a tiny town in the forest. The small creatures in the forest have crafted a civilization far from predators and need help collecting scarce resources and collecting building materials. Each player must cleverly plan and construct a thriving town within the forest.
The gameplay mechanics in Tiny Towns consists of each player obtaining a 4×4 grid that represents a town. Resource cubes are placed in specific layouts to construct buildings and grow your town. Each building that is constructed scores victory points.
The game ends when no player can place any more resources or build any more buildings. The player with the most victory points at the end wins!
This is a simple and fun game that would be great in a new gamer’s board game collection.
5. King of Tokyo
King of Tokyo is a great board game that is easy to learn and fun to play! The name does a great job of explaining the premise of the board game, as each player must fight to become the one and only King of Tokyo. Also, if you love mutant monsters, gigantic robots, and strange aliens, then you will sure love this game! You will get to play as one of these monsters, robots, or aliens.
Gameplay consists of rolling six dice, with symbols showing a 1, 2, or 3 Victory Points, Energy, Heal, or Attack. Players then must decide to keep or discard each die in order to win victory points, gain energy, restore health, or attack other players. Remember, you are working towards being the one and only King of Tokyo.
In order to win the game, one must either destroy Tokyo by accumulating 20 victory points, or be the only surviving monster once the fighting has ended. King of Tokyo is pretty simple to play game for 2-6 players that can be played in about 30 minutes.
Azul is one of the most visually pleasing board games out there, with beautiful tiles that are placed within your palace. Azul can be played with 2-4 players in about 30-45 minutes.
The premise of the game consists of players taking turn drafting colored tiles from their suppliers to their player board. Players score points based on how they’ve placed their tiles to decorate their own palace. Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets with your tiles. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
When we think of Azul, we think of three things: simplicity, elegance, and beauty, These three things make it a must have to add to your new board game collection as it is simple, fun, and easy. This masterpiece of a game can be played with anyone and will sure lead to a fun time!
7. Sushi Go!
Pass the Sushi around, because it’s time to add this great party game to your board game collection! Sushi Go is a fast paced card game for 2-5 players that can be played in as little as 15 minutes!
You are eating at a Sushi restaurant and must work to grab the best combination of Sushi dishes. Different cards can be made in different combinations to score points. Collect the most sushi rolls or make a full set of sashimi. So many different possibilities!
Choose your cards wisely and be careful as to which cards you let your neighbors take. They may be creating combinations of Sushi cards that will beat you. This simple “draft and pass” game is great for playing when you have people over, wether or not they are board gamers.
Sushi Go is a great card game to add to your first board game collection. It is easy to learn and loads of fun!
Pandemic is a great introduction to co-op board gaming, which may be a pretty weird concept for people who aren’t already involved in the hobby. I feel as though it is a great game for everyone to have because it’s cooperative aspect may be a huge selling point to new players who may be hesitant to play competitive board games against others.
The main goal of the game is to prevent the spread of deadly, contagious diseases. You must work together to stop a shared threat and save humanity. Each player has their own specific roles that grants them a special ability in the game to help the team.
Turn by turn, players move across the globe squashing diseases and working to find a cure. The game can either end when the disease is cured or the disease takes over the world and cannot be stopped. As players are working together, their end result will be either a shared loss or a shared victory.
The main reason I feel that Pandemic should be in everyone’s board game collection is because it is both cooperative and fun to play. It may take a few rounds to get new players to understand the overall concept and gameplay, but new players will pick it up fast, especially if they are playing with people who have played before.
9. 7 Wonders
7 Wonders is a board game that is quick to learn, quick to play, and addictive in the beginning as you adjust your strategy. You can play this game with 2 to 7 players, adding or removing players without losing quality of gameplay. You can typically play through the full game in 45 minutes which is perfect for our gateway game criteria.
Basic gameplay consists of players playing cards to build up their civilizations through a series of three rounds. Strategy comes in when players must manage their cards accordingly in order to play production building cards, victory point building cards, and action building cards.
Every round, each player plays one card simultaneously and then must pass the rest of their hand to the person next to them. This mechanic forces you to balance your cards between playability and cards you do not want your opponents having for themselves.
The ultimate goal of the game is to acquire victory points. At the end of the 3rd round, the player with the most victory points is the winner.
I love having access to 7 Wonders to use as a gateway game. It’s gameplay is delightfully simple, yet the variety of cards forces players to be strategic. The duration of the game is perfect for new players, and they may find themselves wanting to play more rounds.
7 Wonders will be sure to have new players and non-gamers wanting to come back for more.
10. Raiders of the North Sea
Our last “must have” game to add to your new board game collection is Raiders of the North Sea. Players must assemble and prepare a formidable crew of vikings to pillage towns and gain glory.
This board game is set in the central years of the Viking Age. As a Viking Warrior, you must work to impress the Chieftain by raiding settlements. Players need to assemble a crew, collect provisions, and journey north to plunder gold, iron, and livestock.
By raiding settlements, taking plunder, and making offerings to the Chieftain, you gain victory points. You must work and raid in order to gain victory points that will be totaled at the end of the game, The game ends when only one fortress raid remains, all Valkyrie have been removed, or all offerings have been made. The player with the most victory points at the ends wins.
Other Must Have Board Games For Starting Your Board Game Collection
There are so many other great games that we recommend adding to your board game collection, but it would be hard to list them all. The best board games to start collection can expand way beyond just these 10 games.
Here are some other great games to add to your board game collection:
Best Board Games To Start Your Board Game Collection
Collecting board games is an awesome hobby that is definitely worth getting into. If you are not sure where to start, then the board games on this list are perfect games to start your board game collection.
Looking to start out slow with your board gaming? Check out our article on the best comfort board games that are easy to learn, but hard to master.