Everyone’s a Winner With The Best Cooperative Board Games
Competition is fun. Being the winner is really fun. Being the loser, however, not as fun. That’s why the best cooperative board games can be so useful and unique: if I win, you win too. If I lose, guess what? We’re all losers.
I love playing against my friends and finding ways to beat them as much as the next guy, but I really enjoy playing with my friends towards a common goal.
The games we’re discussing here fill just that need. Cooperative games are a great way to get people involved in games because they don’t feel as left out on an island to figure things out for themselves and other players are more likely to help because everyone’s success is linked to one another.
Here is our list of the best cooperative board games followed by the games I would recommend to anyone looking for that non-competitive, board game that you and your friends can play together.
Best Cooperative Board Games List
|Best Cooperative Games||Age||Players||Best For||Playtime||Rating
|Pandemic Board Game||13+||2~4||Party||45 min||4.5|
|Forbidden Desert Board Game||13+||2~5||2 player/Party||45 min||4.5|
|Eldritch Horror||14+||1~8||2player/Party||2 ~4hrs||5|
|Zombicide Base Game||14+||1~6||Party||20min ~2hrs||5|
|Space Alert||12+||1~5||2player/Party||20 min||5|
|Resistance The 2nd Edition||13+||5~10||Party||30 min||5|
|Shadows Over Camelot||10+||3~7||Party||90 min||4.5|
|Ghost Stories||12+||1~4||2player/Party||60 min||4.5|
|Lord Of The Rings: The Card Game||12+||1~2||2 Players||60 min||4.5|
|Duel of Ages II Basic Set||12+||2~8||Strategy||60 min||5|
|Wizards of The Coast Legend of Drizzt: A Dungeons and Dragons Board Game||12+||1~5||Dungeon Crawl||45 min||4.5|
|Castle Panic||10+||1~6||Strategy||60 min||4.5|
|Gears Of War||12+||1~4||2 Players||60 min||4.5|
Strategy- Battlestar Galactica
If you’re not familiar with the popular sci-fi show, Battlestar Galactica is built on the relationship between humans and cylons. Cylons are a mechanized alien race that has declared war on humans and has also recently found a way to look identical to human beings. So, in the game everyone plays a crew member aboard the human spaceship that is trying to flee the pursuing cylon fleet. But, here’s the twist, there are people in the game that are cylons, but you don’t know who.
This level of deception isn’t often found in board games, as cylon players try to secretly sabotage the efforts of everyone else playing. Cylons can, of course, be discovered and kicked off the ship. If you’re playing as a cylon, it can be nerve wracking to sit at the table with everyone else and be the only one that knows why everything is going so wrong.
This game is an absolute blast, especially if you’re a fan of the television show. But, if you’re someone that doesn’t enjoy backstabbing, collusion, and sabotage, Battlestar Galactica may not be for you. But, I am, so this game is for me.
Dungeon crawl- Zombicide
Zombicide is a perfect game for gamers out there that have been blasting away zombies on our computers and gaming consoles, but haven’t been able to scratch their tabletop zombie itch. This game started as a Kickstarter, so there is clear effort made towards satisfying the customer’s needs. In many ways, it means that this board game does a great job of simulating the video game experience in the same vein as Left 4 Dead.
Each player assumes the role of a survivor stuck out on the streets during a zombie outbreak, the game supports up to six total players, with each player taking on a character with a different set of skills. For example, the girl wearing roller skates gets a bonus to her movement capabilities. The point of the game is to work together to gather up loot and weapons, and then make it out of there alive, which doesn’t happen all that often for everyone in the game.
One thing you’ll notice when playing the game is the RPG elements. As players kill zombies, they will level up. Each character gains different bonuses the higher their level gets, but no matter who you are, when you level up you gain more attention for more difficult zombies.
There is all kinds of fun to be had in Zombicide. Working with the rest of your team to fight off hordes of zombies is a blast with your friends. One downfall of the game is that it does allow players to die. So, if someone makes a dumb mistake early on and gets eaten by zombies, they just became a spectator for the duration of the game’s 30-40 minute average play time.
Two player- Space Alert
Space Alert proves that board games can be just as hectic and tense as any other form of gaming. In Space Alert, you and up to four other people play as the crew of a spaceship that is facing an incredible amount of distress. You must navigate through space as asteroids, aliens, and spontaneous equipment malfunctions try to slow you down and get you killed.
What makes Space Alert so intense is that it is one of the few games that is played in real time. Every game lasts ten minutes and at the end of the game you have either escaped or been destroyed. This creates a remarkably fun atmosphere, and forces players to communicate efficiently and effectively. The fact that the game is so crazy may also be a bit of a turn off for some people. Inevitably, people will start shouting things at each other, not because they are mad at them, but because they really need those engines up and running so that they can escape this enemy ship that is firing lasers at them. That may not be an ideal experience for everyone.
This is one of the best cooperative games out there simply because it does such a great job of creating that tension that can only be created by the constant fear of imminent death (so to speak). The game can be played with or without the CD that it comes with, but for the sake of atmosphere I would recommend using it.
Saboteur is a hidden role game, just like I mentioned earlier with Battlestar Galactica. The theme in this game, however, is a bit more cute. You play as either a gnome or saboteur. The gnomes are excavating for treasure and are getting very close. If you’re a saboteur, you are trying to make sure that the gnomes don’t touch the treasure.
The game starts with the goal of reaching one of three cards that are facing down. One of those three cards will have the treasure, and the gnomes are trying to build paths within the mine that will reach one of those cards while the saboteurs are taking actions to slow them down.
This game is much more simple than Battlestar Galactica, so I would definitely recommend it to a crowd of non-gamers. The concept is accessible and the strategies are rather straightforward. If you’re looking for an accessible hidden role game, Saboteur is probably the best option available.