9 Best Top DIY Elements Board Games for Ultimate Fun

Unleash your creativity with our top picks for board games featuring the best DIY elements and endless possibilities.
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Forbidden Island coverPandemic coverCarcassonne cover

Hey fellow board gamers! Exploring DIY elements in board games is like delving into a treasure trove of creativity and customization. As we put together ‘The 9 best DIY Elements board games’ list for newcomers and aficionados alike, we paid close attention to games that provide a canvas for personalization and imaginative play. We looked for games where you can craft your experience, implementing various house rules or exploiting unique set-up dynamics that change each playthrough kick aside prefabrication – true enjoyment unlocks when we intertwine our stories within the game’s framework. Let’s get crafty and see which titles make the game night queue!

Games on this list:

9 Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island cover

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

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Kicking off our list for The 9 best DIY Elements board games is ‘Forbidden Island’. This cooperative, tile-flipping adventure game is a hit with us because it encourages teamwork and strategic planning. We had a blast working together to collect the island’s treasures before the tiles sank. One of the DIY elements that we enjoy is that each game layout can be unique because the island is built with randomly placed tiles, which affects the gameplay and strategy each time.

8 Pandemic

Pandemic cover

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

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Pandemic makes it onto our The 9 best DIY Elements board games list not just because of its popularity but also due to how it allows us to be front-line responders to global outbreaks. We take on different roles with unique abilities, and the spread of the diseases is a dynamic puzzle that requires a bespoke approach each and every game. Collaboration and the ability to craft a unique play strategy each time bring strong DIY elements to this tense tabletop thriller.

7 Carcassonne

Carcassonne cover

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

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Every game of Carcassonne is a new experience. Why is it one of The 9 best DIY Elements board games? Well, it’s because each session we lay tiles to build the landscape. Castles, roads, fields – it’s up to us how the map unfolds. The additional strategy of placing ‘Meeples’ to claim areas ensures a fresh look and feel every time we dive in. Carcassonne stands out for its capacity to build a totally unique world with each play through.

6 Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 3-6
  • Play Time: 60 mins

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Betrayal at House on the Hill takes the DIY aesthetic to a spooky new level. We explore a haunted house that builds as we play, with room tiles being placed down anew in each session. Each exploration presents new perils and plot twists that we can’t get enough of. The game I retain near the base supposedly holds up to 50 haunt scenarios, offering a vast array of narratives – each different depending on our house’s layout.

5 Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars cover

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

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Terraforming Mars is another big hit amongst The 9 best DIY Elements board games. As players competing to make Mars livable, we’re consistently amazed by the decision spaces and different strategies we can deploy. The evolution of the red planet differs dramatically with each play – from oceans to greenery, the final vista is something to behold. Having the freedom to craft our unique planetary environments is a deeply rewarding aspect of this complex strategy game.

4 Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 1-4
  • Play Time: 60-120 mins

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Stranded on an island, in Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, our survival is a DIY affair. Each game experience pits us against new challenges as we draw different scenarios and explore different parts of the island. We love constructing our shelter, finding food, and withstanding the weather – making it a quintessential blend of storytelling and player-driven action, hence its inclusion on our The 9 best DIY Elements board games list.

3 Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 1-4
  • Play Time: 60-120 mins

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In Gloomhaven, we tread through a rich, branching narrative filled with intense tactical combat all while crafting our own paths within its dark, expansive world. Every choice we make has genuine weight, both in immediate play and in the broader story arc – like a master class in DIY participatory storytelling. This feature alone warrants its place among The 9 best DIY Elements board games, pushing us, as players, to forge an epic story that feels distinctly our own.

2 Kingdom Death: Monster

Kingdom Death: Monster cover

  • Age Range: 17+
  • Players: 1-4
  • Play Time: 60-180 mins

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Kingdom Death: Monster is unique among The 9 best DIY Elements board games because it enwraps us in a grand endeavor of crafting not just a town but a civilization pitted against nightmarish creatures. Every game spirals into a saga of alliances, battles, and survival. The choices of how and what to build deeply affects the outcomes. Its mix of high-stakes strategy and literal DIY (assembling the miniatures yourself) ranks it high for us.

1 Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering cover

  • Age Range: 13+
  • Players: 2
  • Play Time: Depends on the match

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Reaching the summit of The 9 best DIY Elements board games is ‘Magic: The Gathering’. Arguably the most personal board/card game on our list, because each player constructs their own deck to reflect their strategy in an endlessly varied multiverse. We remember nights of deck-building strategies, then putting those decks to the ultimate test in battle. ‘MTG’ captures the DIY spirit of personalization in gaming, ensuring replayability limited only by our imagination – and for that, it stands apart as the very best.

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.