Top 10 Best Board Games Based on Video Games

Tags: #boardgames ,   #boardgamegeek ,   #Fallout ,   #Doom ,   #TheWitcher

Dan N. Scarborough

Dan N. Scarborough

Last updated:  2023-05-30 07:56:07

For a long time, video games and board games didn't have much in common. However, these two realms have become increasingly intertwined thanks to the growing number of video game board games. Although there are noticeable differences between the two mediums, they rely on immersion and entertainment through play. The best video game board games showcase the highlights of both mediums, as we'll see on our top ten list.

10. Betrayal at Baldur's Gate 

Horror mechanics work well in Baldur's Gate world

Baldur's Gate games are certainly some of the best role-playing titles ever made. Set in the Forgotten Realms, they tell a story of a mysterious individual related to the enigmatic god of death, Bhaal. The board game took the original idea of Baldur's Gate and combined it with a horror board game, Betrayal at House on the Hill. 

This unexpected mixture turned out to be a great idea. While it plays like the original Betrayal at House on the Hill, it's set in the world of Baldur's Gate. The players would meet strange individuals, items, and events linked to Bhaal. The horror elements fit perfectly into Baldur's Gate world, putting this one among board games for adults.

9. Street Fighter Deck-building Game 

Building your deck for good old decking

Street Fighter is quite an overreaching franchise, consisting of countless video games and movies, animation, and many copycats. However, board games were the only unconquered medium for the franchise. That changed in 2014 when, along with Ultra Street Fighter 4, the Street Fighter Deck-building Game also arrived. This board game plays in the story mode in the original games. Therefore, each player begins the game with a basic deck of ten cards. 

The goal is to use power to buy cards from the markets and build their decks. The cards represent various elements from the Street Fighter games: heroes, villains, powers, and locations. Street Fighter Deck-building Game mirrors the video game experience by focusing on momentum.

8. The Witcher Adventure Game 

Just don't overdo with potions

Although the latest Witcher game was published in 2015, the franchise has never been more popular, mainly thanks to the Netflix series as one of the best video game TV shows ever. These titles are open-world RPGs with grand overarching storylines and character arcs. The prominent element of The Witcher are the choices made by players. Thankfully, the board game focuses on the elements mentioned above. 

This game features favorite characters and drags them into a world filled with monsters to kill. The players face off with equally terrible creatures and people, solving conflicts and quests with diplomacy or combat.
Character development includes choosing unique abilities from different paths. Furthermore, many will surely appreciate plenty of chances to be mean to each other.

7. Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game 

The cake might not be a lie after all

The Portal games will not only be remembered for their unique gameplay mechanics but also because of one of the most iconic quotes in video games. "The cake is a lie" is a part of pop culture. However, the game itself is equally impressive. The main character is a young girl Chell who has to escape a rogue AI called GLaDOS through a maze of lab rooms equipped only with a portal gun. 

The Portal board game is also centered around the allegedly false promised cake. You and your friends are unnamed test subjects who must navigate the various rooms. The goal is the famous cake, a goal worthy of sacrificing your friends for. The cards you play can move your character, other players, and even pieces of cake around the map. The game is highly competitive and encourages unruly behavior toward your co-players.

6. This War of Mine: The Board Game 

If you ever wanted a less fun warzone simulator

This War of Mine is an example of a game that could tackle serious matters. Set in a war-torn town, it follows a group of ordinary citizens trying to survive in a very harsh environment. The main game mechanics were managing the resources and crafting. Soon after its release, This War of Mine got the board game version. 

Although it still revolves around resource management and crafting, this edition also brings the experience of playing the game with your friends. While you can play it solo, This War of Mine supports co-op. Various challenges threaten your survival, such as hostile groups, runaway soldiers, traders, etc. This game is not always fun, but it's a sobering and thought-provoking experience.

5. XCOM: The Board Game

In space, no one can hear your screams of frustration

XCOM is a classical video game franchise that has seen a revival in modern times. At its core, it's an unforgiving managerial/strategic challenge that puts you in the shoes of the leader of the XCOM organization. The original XCOM games were frustratingly tricky, which transferred to modern remakes and even the best board games. 

The players take control of the XCOM organization as a last hope against the alien invaders. Instead of leading the ground forces directly, the players issue orders on the whole organization level. That includes sending units, exploring new technologies, and managing resources. Additionally, the companion app comes with the XCOM board game. The app shows aliens' attacks and public reactions to your combat against them.

4. Resident Evil 2: The Board Game 

Escape from the Racoon City

The first couple of games in the Resident Evil franchise proved that our imagination is the most significant aspect of horror. It took a lot to overlook the blocky visuals of the first few Resident Evil games. Although they got impressive remakes, the board game still sticks in players' minds to conjure the terrifying atmosphere.

The Resident Evil 2 board game also takes place in Raccoon City. Players assume the roles of Leon, Claire, and Tofu as they try to escape the zombie-infested city. The board game has several scenarios borrowed from video games and locations the players will recognize. The main attraction of Resident Evil 2: The Board Game are monsters trying to eat or kill players. There is a lot of variety and scenarios here, so the replay value is high.

3. Fallout 

Take a tour over the Wasteland

Fallout is one of the legendary games from the 90s that got a revival in the new millennium. The new titles made the Fallout franchise one of the most popular gaming brands. The Fallout board game is an exact adaptation, including the 1950s visuals and tropes. 

However, the game is a surprisingly deep insight into the world of Wasteland. The players can choose between various characters from Fallout games and try to survive the post-apocalyptic American landscape. Nevertheless, the Fallout board game is not co-op. Each player has individual quests and factions they can join or oppose. This is an excellent opportunity for all Fallout fans to experience The Wasteland without investing hundreds of hours.

2. Doom: The Board Game 

Rip and tear the board

Doom remains one of the most popular first-person shooter franchises. It is also a title hard to imagine as a board game. Despite that, the first Doom board game appeared in 2004, and it was rebooted along with the franchise in 2016. The adventures of a lone Marine affectionately called "The Doom Guy" are transferred to the tabletop game pretty well. 

The Doom board game features both Marines and demons as playable characters. Up to four players are going against the one controlling the Hell forces. The players also go against each other, as they have different goals. Concerning the factions, demons want to eliminate every marine on the board. At the same time, Marines try to restore power to the facility or go directly to Hell. Like the video game, the tabletop Doom's main feature is a clash between demons and Marines.

1. Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn 

Try not to provoke Gandhi into nuclear war

This long-running strategy franchise is one of the most appropriate candidates for turning into a tabletop game. Interestingly enough, Sid Meier's Civilization video games were inspired by the namesake board games from the 80s. Therefore, the circle is now closed. So far, there are several tabletop iterations, the latest being inspired by Civilization VI. 

A New Dawn is a significant improvement compared to the previous entries because it upgrades the strategic gameplay into a more streamlined and easier-to-learn experience. Like every other Civilization game, A New Dawn lets people play as various national leaders. Each faction has a victory card with three winning conditions. The first player who accomplishes one of these becomes the winner. The Civilization board game adds the element of interactivity between players into an already addictive formula.

There are tons of board games based on video games that deserve your attention. However, you might be surprised that among the best board games are Doom and Street Fighter. That only proves how much tabletop gaming can be creative in making the gameplay elements work. Overall, board games are here to stay for a long time, as video games don't threaten them.

What's your favorite board game based on a video game? Which board games would you like to add to this top ten list? 

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SmoothOperator Says:

I wish there was a decent Mortal Kombat board game - I love the characters and the mythology of the series.

October 19 at 08:26:26 AM

Josh Dullin Says:

Street Fighter is much better than I expected :D Bought it really cheap.

June 10 at 01:39:37 PM

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