Cooperative board games like the ones shown in the top 10 below are the games that connect people. Human players cooperate to fight together against the game itself, not against each other as they usually do in most board games.
I can recollect a couple of cases when my friends were truly disappointed after I snatched the victory when it was so close to them. Nobody likes to be a loser, at least to be the only one who’s lost. However, if you play a coop board game, there will be no winners and losers. Everybody of your friends or family members will be happy to gain an ultimate victory together with you. And even if your friendly team can’t win the game, nobody will feel offensive.
The top 10 cooperative games below are made based on my preferences. However, I guess these games can be suitable for any kind of company.
Top ten Cooperative games
10. Mage Knight
1-4 Players • Ages 14+ • 150 minutes to play
Mage Knight is a universal board game. You can play Mage Knight competitively, cooperatively and even solo as a hero who dares enter the ancient and mysterious Atlantean Empire. You can be a hero or an antihero, rely on magic spells or battle skills, discover new lands and artifacts alone or recruit a powerful army: everything depends on you. If you like fantasy and mysteries like I do, this game is for you.
9. Flash Point: Fire Rescue
1-6 Players • Ages 10+ • 45 minutes to play
Have you ever imagined yourself as a hero running into the burning house to save people? Flash Point: Fire Rescue gives you an opportunity to play for one of the firefighting teams putting out the fire in the same building! All of you should face an unpredictable and nimble enemy: the fire. Three different difficulty levels make this game interesting for all the ages including children. Two rule sets and five expansions with new maps are available.
8. Eldritch Horror
1-8 Players • Ages 14+ • 120-240 minutes to play
In this cooperative tabletop game, you are a member of a group of the brave people trying to stop the ancient evil from the pages of Lovecraftian horror. Don’t let the evil destroy our planet! Most people compare it to Arkham Horror. Some people prefer Arkham Horror. Some people prefer Eldritch Horror. Both of these games take place on my shelf. Eldritch Horror is easier to understand. If you have played no one of these games, I would recommend you to start with Eldritch Horror.
7. Sentinels of the Multiverse
1-5 Players • Ages 8+ • 30-60 minutes to play
It’s a cooperative card game where 10 heroes fight 4 villains in 4 different and dynamic worlds. Each of the Sentinels of Universe has his unique set of abilities and skills to stand against the dark powers together.
6. Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
1-5 Players • Ages 14+ • 45 minutes to play
Legendary is the best option for the fans of Marvel, Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine and all that jazz. Though I’m not the one, I can appreciate the possibility to choose both your heroes and hostile villains. Every villain has his own action plan. So, your action should be different when you play against a new villain. Great co-op card game!
1-6 Players • Ages 13+ • 60 minutes to play
One more plot about zombie apocalypse where the survivors become the headhunters and kill zombies on and on. It’s a real Zombicide. The game has two boards, a beginner one and an expert one. So, you can play the game either 20 minutes (beginner) or about 3 hours (expert). It’s pretty universal and playable in any way from solo to 6 player game.
1-8 Players • Ages 12+ • 120-240 minutes to play
Arkham Horror is rather complex but interesting as well. We can highly recommend this board game to everyone who likes the games like Eldritch Horror. People get lost in Arkham, a little town in Massachusetts, USA. Each round of the game some new monsters are awakening in the most unexpected parts of town. Sixteen characters of the game are simple people of American twenties. They will face unseen monsters and dangers. Each of them may not only die but also go mad. Only together they can send all the monsters to hell. This game is just like a stick-jaw: if you have started, your will be unable to stop, so get ready that it will make your day.
3. Forbidden Desert
2-5 Players • Ages 10+ • 45 minutes to play
It’s a very interesting and atmospheric adventure game of Gamewright. Make your way across the Forbidden Desert into the forgotten city. A few parts of the famous ancient flying machine lie somewhere in the city. Every time these parts will be located in the unique way. There is only one way to stand all the surprises of the desert: get together with your friends and help each other.
2. Forbidden Island
2-4 Players • Ages 10+ • 30 minutes to play
It’s another adventure game of Gamewright. It reminds the previous one but provides absolutely another experience. You will have an Adventure Card with a number of characteristics. Every card has its own advantages. Collaborate with other players and find four ancient treasures. Each treasure controls one of four essential elements. The scene of action is no man’s land of the Forbidden Island lost somewhere beyond the ocean. One more thing makes the game extremely breathtaking to the last minute. The island is sinking every moment. You may own all the treasures and leave everyone behind. But you can never feel safe until you get into the helicopter and take off. This coop board game is good for couples.
2-4 Players • Ages 8+ • 45 minutes to play
Pandemic is one of the most famous and time-tested cooperative games developed by Z-man Games. However, if you have never played it, you really should. It’s quick, challengeable and can be played by four people or less. You will be one of the people who can save the world from the infection. It may be a scientist, a medic, a researcher, a dispatcher or an engineer. Try to find the reason of the pandemic and cure it. Or help other players to do it building labs and arranging charter flights. Each character has his own abilities. The game has some interesting expansions. However, even a standard version of Pandemic will never be boring.
Well, here are my favorite top ten co-op board games. What’s about you? Maybe, I’ve missed a game that you really like? Feel free to write about your favorite games in comments.
1-4 Players • Ages 14+ • 90-180 minutes to play
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island was created by Ignacy Trzewiczek, who is also famous by Stronghold. This time, players have arrived on the uninhabited island where they will find amazing adventures as shipwreck survivors. They will need to build a shelter, find food, to fight wild animals and protect themselves from weather surprises. Moreover, they are going to build walls around their shacks, to domesticate the animals they’ve been fought with and craft weapons and tools from what they can find on the island and etc. There are a lot of options of what players will do during the game play. For example, if they manage to find a pirate treasure or the underground city? These are the questions you will need to answer in this one of the hardest cooperative board games!
2-4 Players • Ages 12+ • 90 minutes to play
The T.I.M.E Agency was established to protect humanity from time faults and paradoxes which are the threat to the universe harmony. The agency will send you and your team into the bodies of creatures from different worlds and realities to accomplish the missions given to you. It is possible to get back in time as many times you want to succeed. T.I.M.E Stories is a new cooperative board game with narrative element of “decksploration”. It means that each player is able to give their character a “role” as deep as possible. This provides a chance to live the whole story in a full way, but don’t forget about the rules which will demand reflection and optimization of your actions.
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition
1-5 Players • Ages 14+ • 120-180 minutes to play
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition provides a fully cooperative dungeon crawl board game experience for everyone. Moreover, it has an app which helps to take the players even deeper in the board game of horror and mystery where one to five players will experience the haunted houses and mansions! The action takes place in the same universe of Eldritch Horror and Elder Sign. The app guide will lead you through the dark streets of Innsmouth and the spooky corridors of cursed Arkham mansions as you need to find the answers. Eight courageous investigators are going to reveal the mysteries in four scenarios where they will need to collect weapons, tools and information. This will help them to solve difficult puzzles and fight monsters, insanity and death itself. It’s time to open the door and get inside the Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. And remember, that survival is not enough to win in this battle with Evil!
2-5 Players • Ages 14+ • 45-210 minutes to play
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game presents us a meta-cooperative psychological survival game genre. It means that players are united to reach the common victory condition, but individually, each player has a secret objective he must accomplish to win. This secret objective could be a little psychological issue that can be harmless enough to most of the other survivors in the colony, a mad obsession which can be risky for the main objective, a desire to sabotage the mission or revenge against the whole colony! Some of the games could end with all the varieties like all players win or some win and some lose… even all players lose! Work as a team in this one of the most popular and thriving cooperative zombie board games to get the group’s mission, and watch your back because there is always someone who’s looking for his own interest!
1-4 Players • Ages 12+ • 60 minutes to play
Ghost Stories is a cooperative game, where players need to protect the village from the evil lord of hell whose name is Wu-Feng. Wu-Feng brought his legions of ghosts who are haunting a town and trying to recover the ashes which will allow returning the Evil Lord to life. Each Player takes a role of a Taoist monk and you will need to work as a team to prevent the dark forces from the annihilation of your village. By using teamwork, you will have to destroy the ghosts that appear during the game play. At the beginning of the turn, a player brings a ghost into the game play and places it on a free place. Note, that more than one can come in at the same time! The ghosts all have special abilities which can affect the Taoists and their powers and some of them can cause to roll the curse die for a random effect or some of them are haunting the villager tiles and blocking the tiles special actions.
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