Playing cooperative board games is great way to engage with friends, family, and other gamers. Given how much time everyone spends staring at screens these days, a good way to connect with others is through gaming! Choose some of the best cooperative board games from our Top 10 list.
1 – The Mind
Though the rules are simple and the game itself is easy to learn, this cooperative game is a healthy dose of challenge for any group. It’s one of those – ‘how does this not exist already?’ type of games and one I wish I came up with. Props to the master designer Wolfgang Warsch who is interviewed by Opinion Gamers here.
Grab 2 or 3 friends, and deal out cards that run from 1-100. Players have to figure out who has the lowest number without communicating anything about their cards to other players. Once you play, you will understand what all the fuss is about. Check the price – The Mind.
2 – Pandemic
In 2008, Matt Leacock designed a game which would go on to become the undisputed king and one of the best cooperative board games. Pandemic allows players to fight a worldwide disease outbreak and save humanity. Players comprise of a team of disease fighting specialists whose job is to research cures for four diseases and treat hotspots before the situation gets out of hand. Players travel to major cities across the world to treat infected patients, and must be tactical in their play. And, of course, cards that accelerate and spread the disease can be triggered unpredictably making humanity that much harder to save, which oddly seems more relevant now than ever. Check the Price – Pandemic.
3 – Hanabi
This is the definition of cooperative game, and a classic. You can read the full review of Hanabi. Easy to learn, players are dealt 4 or 5 cards (depending on the number of players) and cards are held facing out, so every player can see everyone else’s cards except their own. Players must place the cards of the same color in consecutive number order by giving hints to other players about their cards. While the game doesn’t have any bells and whistles, the objective is pure, and sparks will fly. Check the Price – Hanabi.
4 – Mysterium
In this game, one player is singled out as the ghost and everyone else a medium. The ghost tries to solve a crime with the help of the mediums by remembering details from the night of the murder. There are locations, suspects, and other murder weapons cards that the ghost assigns to each medium in hopes of solving the murder. These cards present the mediums with some sort of a vision. Can the mediums figure out what the ghost is trying to tell them before the 7th hour? An award winning board game for those interested who like story-telling with social deduction like gaming wrapped in a murder and mystery to solve. Check the Price – Mysterium.
5 – Spirit Island
This complex and exciting board game, ranked an 8.4 out of 10, on Board Game Geek, allows players to form coalitions with the aim of defending their sacred land from invaders. Extremely thematic, players take the form of various land spirits, with unique elemental powers. For additional thematic games, I recommend Yokohama or Clans on Caledonia which you can find on our best strategy boards games. Use your powers to assemble the local population and rally them to work together to keep the invading settler out of your sacred land. Foreigners will exploit and invade your land, and build cities and settlements, subjecting the natives to attacks and eventual blight. Defeat these invaders to win, conquer, and experience the magic. Check the Price – Spirit Island.
6 – Sub-Terra
One of the best newer cooperative board games out there, this game takes you and your friends into the deep underground of a terrifying cave system. All players work together and use their special strengths to explore and survive the cave system fleeing from floods and catastrophes. Every player has a special skill which allows him or her to help the rest of the team. The game has a limited deck of cards and cards reveal different features and challenges. Reality card reveals the depth of your situation. Utilizing all your skills and special tactics, escape with fellow tunnelers before time runs out. Check the price – Sub-Terra.
7 – Burgle Brothers
Have you ever wanted to rob a bank? Burgle Brothers is a challenging and dynamic cooperative board game that ran on Kickstarter where you attempt to pull off a successful heist across 3 floors of a high security building.
Armed with guards, systems, and traps that may rip you up, use your tactics and stealth tokens to navigate through the obstacles to get loot on al three floors, and make it to the roof where a helicopter is waiting.
If a player is caught by a guard, without a stealth token, the team loses. However, if the heist goes to plan and the team escapes via helicopter, you win. Check the price – Burgle Brothers.
Betrayal at House on Haunted Hill was published by Avalon Hill in 2004, and it still one of the most popular popular cooperative and adventure style games on the market, perhaps because the horror and haunted aspect. Players create and design different levels of their own haunted house and may select new room tiles to further the exploration and their agenda.
There’s a lot more to this story-driven and role-playing game of 2 phases (Exploration and Haunt) including action through dice rolls, zombies, vampires, and a betrayal by one of the players. Come hither for an engaging time and experience the Betrayal at House on Haunted Hill. Check the price!
9 – Arkham Horror
Arkham Horror is a cooperative game not for the faint of heart as the game can take up to 6 hours and with a steep learning curve. Become immersed on the streets of Arkham as every character has his or her own reason to be a part of the mission, and each player has a customized deck of cards which helps him in his quest to unravel the mysteries of the game.
As players move ahead in this involved and immersive fantasy game, they have to make certain decisions which affect the overall game play. Arkham Horror is the best game for adults who like role playing games, so don’t take it as another card game, though as luck would have it, an Arkham Horror card game is now available. Check the price – Arkham Horror.
10 – Cat Rescue
Cat Rescue is a fun cooperative game where players work together to rescue cats from the street or a foster home and send them to their new homes! Ta-Te Wu is the designer of the game and players create a 4×4 grid while drawing cards and moving cats around in the space in order to meet the criteria for a successful Cat Rescue! A colorful, fun, and intriguing game that feels homey, you feel good after playing because you know you’ve done good and found some adorable kittens a home.
Play this cooperative game with friends, and work together to score points. Score 25+ points and you are the official Cat Whisperer, 30+ points and become the Cat’s Meow. Check the price – Cat Rescue.
BONUS – Pandemic Legacy
Pandemic Legacy and now Pandemic Legacy 2 is on everyone’s radar (with the latter recently winning the Special Prize from the Spiels des Jahres in 2018). The game is divided into 12 to 24 campaigns, and thus your same team of disease fighting specialists will meet as the story unfolds to play each chapter. In other words, you could be playing this game for half a year. While Legacy might have the same general storyline as Pandemic, there are twists and turns and surprises to challenge and enhance the game play.
There is also a special narration element and feature to the game and build up over time which increases the intensity and satisfaction of playing. A must play, and one that is our our list of best family boards games, with a great through line and a one-of-a-kind experience. Check price – Pandemic Legacy.