Best 8 Strategy Board Games of 2024 to Play

We love strategy games! Here's a list of our top 8 picks that will make you think and strategize.
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Catan coverTicket to Ride cover7 Wonders cover

The 8 Best Strategy Board Games for New Players

On this list:

8 Catan

Catan cover

  • Age Range: 10+
  • Players: 3-4
  • Play Time: 60-120 minutes

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Once upon a time, we were all settlers on the island of Catan. The game of resource trading and city-building is always a hit. Each game is a new adventure because of the variable board layouts. It’s strategy at its finest without being too complex. You’ll need to negotiate, plan, and sometimes backstab your pals to win.

7 Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride cover

  • Age Range: 8+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 30-60 minutes

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Who knew trains could be so fun? Ticket to Ride combines route planning with strategic thinking. Your goal is to claim routes across the map, but watch out! Others might block you. The challenge of completing your tickets while stopping others keeps the game engaging.

6 7 Wonders

7 Wonders cover

  • Age Range: 10+
  • Players: 2-7
  • Play Time: 30 minutes

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Time to build a civilization! 7 Wonders has you drafting cards to develop your city across three ages. It’s all about balancing resources, military, and science. The quick gameplay and depth of strategy make it perfect for everyone. And hey, learning history isn’t a bad bonus.

5 Carcassonne

Carcassonne cover

  • Age Range: 7+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 35 minutes

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Carcassonne turns city building into an art. You place tiles to build cities, roads, and monasteries, and then strategically place your followers to score points. It’s simple to learn but offers deep strategic choices. Plus, it’s always fun to be a bit sneaky with your placements.

4 Pandemic

Pandemic cover

  • Age Range: 8+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 45 minutes

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In Pandemic, you and your friends are a team of experts trying to stop global outbreaks. The game’s cooperative nature means you’re all in it together. It’s intense, strategic, and sometimes brutally tough. But saving the world just feels so rewarding!

3 Agricola

Agricola cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 1-5
  • Play Time: 30-150 minutes

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Ever wanted to run a farm? Agricola lets you do that with a lot of strategic depth. You’ll be managing resources, expanding your farm, and feeding your family. It’s a hardcore strategy game, but very satisfying once you get the hang of it.

2 Splendor

Splendor cover

  • Age Range: 10+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 30 minutes

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Splendor has you collecting gems and buying cards to build your prestige. The game is quick to learn but offers many strategic paths to victory. You’ll need to balance hoarding gems and grabbing cards before others do. It’s a gem of a game (pun intended).

1 Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 1-5
  • Play Time: 120 minutes

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Terraforming Mars reigns supreme in our list! You’re helping humanity colonize Mars, but it’s a race against other players. Every decision you make affects the planet and your path to victory. The strategies are endless and every game feels unique. Plus, who doesn’t want to say they terraformed a planet?

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.