April 18, 2020

#1 Best ​Legacy Board Games: ​Risk: Legacy

Risk Legacy Game

Quick board game facts

  • The classic board game, redefined
  • The first board game where choices and actions made in one game carry over into the next
  • No two games are alike
  • Locked off components can be revealed as players win multiple games
  • Winning players get to name a continent or found a major city

Players: 3 - 5

Duration: 60 - 90 mins

Why We Chose This ​Game:

There are few names in the world of board games with the same pedigree as Risk. Risk is the classic game of strategy and world domination that has enabled generations of players to experience the unbridled joy of global military expansion. The legacy version of the game, adapted by the legendary games designer Rob Daviau, is the title that kickstarted the whole legacy genre. It would be fair to say that this updated edition of a classic game is every bit as revolutionary as the game that spawned it.

One of the coolest touches to this new take on Risk is the addition of an adaptable rulebook. The rulebook comes with blank spaces, enabling players to add their own rules and adapt existing ones. In a game about global military conflicts, this mechanic enables the players to simulate their own UN. Like the real UN, laying down or modifying rules can be a way of balancing gameplay or tipping the scales in the favor of individual players. But unlike the real UN, players will actually have to adhere to the new rules that you set.

The goal of Risk: Legacy is not to dominate the world militarily, but instead to earn 4 stars, which is achieved by taking over other player’s HQs or turning over territory cards. Drawing the focus away from simple domination radically alters the nature of the strategies involved and enables players to focus much more on the story that unfolds over the course of each campaign. Fans of Risk will still feel at home, but many players who aren’t fans of the original will find that this version addresses many perceived shortcomings of classic Risk.

Risk Legacy Game

Risk Legacy Game

Risk Legacy Game

Pros

  • ​A great introduction to legacy games
  • ​Easy to pick up and start playing
  • ​Improves upon the original game
  • ​Suitable for shorter campaigns if players prefer

Cons

  • ​Replay value diminished after the first full campaign
  • ​The random combat system will put some people off
  • ​The story is a bit generic for some people
  • ​Needs at least 3 players
  • ​Requires the same players throughout for the best experience

#​2 Best ​Legacy Board Games: ​Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven

Quick board game facts

  • For 1-4 players; ages 12+; 60-120 minute playing time
  • A game of Euro-inspired tactical Combat in a persistent world of shifting motive
  • A game with a persistent and changing world that is ideally played over many game sessions

Players: 1 - 5

Duration: 120 mins - 180 mins

Why We Chose This ​Game:

If you have even a passing interest in board games, you may well have heard of Gloomhaven already, it is one of those games that is regularly cited as one of the best, if not the best, board games ever made. So, let us start by saying that, yes, Gloomhave is good. It’s really good.

This is an epic board game that truly lives up to the epic label. Everything about this game is big and bold and involved. The gameplay is about as close as you can get to a Dungeons & Dragons experience without actually playing D&D. However, unlike most D&D campaigns, Gloomhaven comes with some of the most beautiful miniatures that we have ever used with a board game.

There are 17 playable characters for players to choose from, with their character leveling up and evolving over the course of the campaign in true RPG style. An in-depth and highly-strategic combat system will appeal to players who like their gameplay to be as meaty as possible. Unlike D&D, which features die-based combat, combat in Gloomhaven is decided through the use of cards.

It isn’t just the involving gameplay that makes Gloomhaven so engrossing, however. The universe that players are thrown into is incredibly well thought out and engrossing helped in no small part by the involvement of Isaac Childres who created the game by adapting a D&D campaign.

Given the origins and DNA of Gloomhaven, it is impossible to avoid comparisons to the tabletop RPG. However, there is no dungeon master here and the dice rolls have been replaced with card-based gameplay. This fundamentally changes the nature of the game, to the point where Gloomhaven is much more than just a D&D spin-off.

Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven

Pros

  • ​Seemingly endless replay value
  • ​An immersive storyline
  • ​A rich and unique fantasy world that is a joy to dive into
  • ​Strategic card play adds new depths to the overall strategy
  • ​Truly epic in every sense of the word

Cons

  • ​Relatively expensive
  • ​Requires significant investment of time
  • ​Setting up the game and getting to grips with the gameplay is time-consuming
  • ​The steep difficulty curve will put off some players

#​​3 Best ​Legacy Board Games: ​​Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Pandemic: Legacy Season 1 (Blue Edition)

Quick board game facts

  • For 2 to 4 Players
  • 60 minute playing time
  • Shape the world, the characters, and even the diseases
  • Ever changing elements means that every game will be unique to your group
  • An epic twist on the now classic Pandemic mechanisms

Players: 2 - 4

Duration: 60 mins

Why We Chose This ​Game:

What could be better for a bit of escapism than a board game centered around the outbreak of a deadly global pandemic? In 2020, you would think that this would be the last thing anyone would want to play. And yet, it is a testament to the thrilling plot and intricate design of this co-operative-focused board game that even a very real global pandemic can’t keep us away from this game.

Let’s start with the board itself. The visual design is strikingly reminiscent of the classic film War Games, and the excellent videogame Defcon, which was inspired by the same film. The gameplay of Pandemic has nothing to do with nuclear war, but it does an excellent job of invoking that same sense of actually being involved in the outbreak of a major global event.

The original Pandemic was a smash hit and remains one of the most popular board games out there, the legacy edition builds on everything that made the original such a joy. We don’t want to spoil anything, but the story that will unfold with each session is guaranteed to keep players coming back for each subsequent session. New mechanics have been added that make the game feel fresh, even to those who have played the original to death.

Pandemic: Legacy Season 1 (Blue Edition)

Pandemic: Legacy Season 1 (Blue Edition)

Pandemic: Legacy Season 1 (Blue Edition)

Pros

  • ​A deep cooperative experience
  • ​A genuinely gripping and exciting plot that evolves as the game progresses
  • ​New gameplay mechanics set the experience apart from other similar games
  • ​Objectives are defined by the story, making achieving them more rewarding

Cons

  • ​The gameplay loop can get repetitive for some players
  • ​There’s quite a lot of admin required to set up and breakdown each session
  • ​Limited gameplay cycles make “cheating” or tweaking the rules very tempting sometimes

#​​​4 Best ​Legacy Board Games: ​​​Pandemic Legacy: Season 2

Pandemic: Legacy Season 2 (Black Ed)

Quick board game facts

  • The epic follow up to the critically acclaimed Pandemic Legacy: season 1
  • Presents a unique spin on the classic Pandemic formula, with players adding supply cubes to the board to ward off the plague
  • Embark on a Globe spanning struggle for the survival of humanity filled with dramatic twists and shocking revelations
  • Your decisions carry over to future games, creating a unique world every time you play

Players: 2 - 4

Duration: 60 mins

Why We Chose This ​Game:

Pandemic Season 2 is, naturally, similar to Season 1, but it is more than just “the next chapter.” Whereas the goal of Season 1 is to prevent the pandemic from spreading, Season 2 sees players trying to ensure that infected cities are kept supplied. This means that while Season 2 retains the same setting and story, it feels like a different experience - something that remains unique among board games.

Pandemic: Legacy Season 2 (Black Ed)

Pandemic: Legacy Season 2 (Black Ed)

Pandemic: Legacy Season 2 (Black Ed)

Pros

  • ​Builds on the fantastic experience of the first season
  • ​A great balance of card management and co-operative gameplay
  • ​A hugely rewarding and uplifting experience when you succeed
  • ​The story arc remains engrossing and detailed
  • ​Once it’s over, you feel as if you have written/witnessed a gripping story

Cons

  • ​The inducement to step outside the games’ rules is still there
  • ​Players are required to permanently mark or deface certain components, which some players will find unsettling

#​​​​5 Best ​Legacy Board Games: ​​​​Ultimate Werewolf Legacy

Bezier Games Ultimate Werewolf Legacy

Quick board game facts

  • Officially Licensed
  • Bezier Games
  • 9-16 Players
  • Ages 14+
  • 60 Minutes Playing Time

Players: 8 - 16

Duration: 60 mins

Why We Chose This ​Game:

Alongside Gloomhaven, Ultimate Werewolf Legacy is often cited as being the pinnacle of the legacy genre. It is a very unique experience, starting with the high player count. In order to play through an Ultimate Werewolf Legacy campaign, you will need at least 7 other players to join you.

However, if you do manage to scare up enough friends to embark on a campaign, you will be rewarded with an engaging and genuinely social experience. This is one of those rare games where the action is centered on the players themselves, rather than the board. At the start of each game, players are randomly divided into two groups - werewolves and villagers. The werewolves are then tasked with eliminating all the villagers without being detected themselves.

One player will also need to sit out each round in order to serve as the game’s moderator. Their role is akin to that of a dungeon master - they are there to ‘run’ each round and ensure that all the players are adhering to the rules.

Ultimate Werewolf Legacy comes with some game assets, including a beautiful leather-bound diary, which is one of the most beautiful assets we have ever seen included with a board game. There is also a really incredible story that unfolds and every decision the players take will affect the way that it unfolds, but we don’t want to spoil it at all.

Bezier Games Ultimate Werewolf Legacy

Bezier Games Ultimate Werewolf Legacy

Bezier Games Ultimate Werewolf Legacy

Pros

  • ​A truly social experience
  • ​A gorgeous leather-bound ‘Diary’ is one of the coolest game assets we have ever seen
  • ​Can be played over multiple sessions and lends itself well to adding new players into the mix for subsequent sessions
  • ​Takes full advantage of the legacy mechanic to enable players to create a truly memorable experience

Cons

  • ​Requires at least 8 players to play, which limits the opportunities for many people to play
  • ​Sessions only last around an hour, but around 15 sessions are needed to complete the story
  • ​If you want to replay the game, you will need to invest in a replay pack

Share to Unlock

We will never send you spam. Ever! Probably!

Powered by Capture and Convert

About the author 

Randy Collerman

My name is Randy and for as long as I remember my family and I have played board games, card games, video games and all sorts of games, and I always loved them. As soon as I was old enough I got my friends interested and for the last 20 years we have enjoyed gathering together and playing a variety of different games. We have played so many that I decided to start a website where I review what I think are the best ones based on my experience.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
>