Legacy board games take you and your group on a unique and competitive experience with an ever-changing game that spans multiple campaign-style rounds. Although it feels rather unconventional, you will find yourself destroying game elements, tearing cards to pieces and adding stickers to your board on your path to success. The most cooperative games leave you with a distinctive end-game board unlike any other player's.
Whether you are looking for a game for 2 players, 5 players, 6 players, couples or families, you're in the right place. We've ranked a list of the best Legacy board games from Amazon, including legacy classics such as Betrayal Legacy, the Pandemic Legacy Board Game and Ultimate Werewolf Legacy, to get you started on your game as soon as possible.
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Key Points to Consider
A legacy game is designed to permanently change over multiple sessions, asking you to add to the board and tear up cards – and when a character dies, they never come back. Typically, these games don’t offer any scope to be replayed afterwards due to the lasting effects made during your crusade, but some newer games have specialised systems that allow you to use your final board for future games.
As the name suggests, the legacy element is the core mechanic of these games, but this hasn't stopped designers from incorporating some of your favourite elements to make games exciting and engaging. Whether you're a fan of tile placement, city building, die rolling or deck building, make sure to check out the mechanics to get a game that appeals.
Buckle up those seatbelts and get yourselves ready for a challenge, as legacy board games are no quick affair. It takes multiple sessions of hard work to complete the overall objective, and they're a big investment in time and socialising, so ensure everyone is prepared for the test ahead.
The full games are split into separate segments, which take you on a testing journey to keep negative lasting effects to a minimum and to work together to succeed as much as possible. Charterstone is a great example of a long-lasting game, as the developers suggest it takes around 60 minutes to complete one of its 12 chapters.
Much like board games in general, you'll find hundreds of guidelines that you need to follow to successfully play a legacy game. The popular website BoardGameGeek has easily broken down the complexity of each by including a community rating which refers to the ‘weight’ of the rule book – this ranges from light to medium-light, medium, medium-heavy and heavy.
Rule books can be confusing and time-consuming, and legacy games don't shy away from this culture. Some games start you off with core guidelines to help you play a successful contest, but blank segments hint at new rules to be added when certain in-game events happen, when cards are drawn and when games are won. Looking up the complexity level will ensure you end up with something challenging but fun!
If you like a game with a challenge, try out one of these escape room board games!
It's well known that many board games require a lot of tabletop space to fit the board, your individual playing elements and useful game pieces that need to be kept to hand. Legacy games are no exception and often come as a curse with the plethora of additional bits and bobs that keep your experience packed with excitement.
The notorious 10 kg box weight of Gloomhaven, for example, gives you some indication of what a massive and bulky game you have ahead of you. The game includes 95 scenarios, 1500 cards and a ton of plastic pieces that you need to always have access to, so making sure you have a playing surface big enough for this is key in keeping you off the floor for hours at a time.
Legacy games are a fantastic board game genre for you to pick up and play with your friends, family or gaming group. The exciting events that unfold throughout your campaign pull your team closer together as your scratch your heads to work out the best course of action to take.
While typically designed for up to four players, newer and larger games allow you to expand your team and add extra power to the adventure ahead. If you’re a solo player reading this and worrying that there isn’t a game for you, you’re incorrect! A handful out there only require a minimum of one player, so you can enjoy the epic quests without a group.
If you love cooperative board games, take a look at our top 10 list of the best!
Legacy games will take you on a long-lasting journey that can be great family fun, with groups of all ages taking position around the table and playing their part. This doesn’t always mean that games are appropriate for younger audiences, however, as there are factors to think about before picking your family's next big operation.
The theme is important to think about as some games include adult content with swearing and graphic artwork. The abundance of rules to get your head around can also be off-putting to younger people who want to focus more on the gameplay. Games are developed with a recommended age, so it's key to consider this when picking for families.
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Pandemic Legacy - Season One
Save the World From the Pandemic Over the Course of an Entire Year
An Enormous Game With Immersive Story and Strong RPG Elements
A Paranormal Adventure Legacy Game for Fans of All Things Horror
A Co-op Building Experience That Spans 12 Chapters but Is Easy to Pick Up
Thames and Kosmos
A Simple to Set Up, Award-Nominated Game With City Construction at Its Core
Plaid Hat Games
A Unique Gaming Experience to Set Sail on the Open Seas and Explore Unseen Lands
The Classic Board Game With a 15-Part Campaign That Opened the Door to Legacy Gaming
Machi Koro Legacy
A City-Building Peaceful Legacy Experience With a Re-Playable Final Board
The Rise of Queensdale
A Game of Strategic Play That Compels You to Go Head-To-Head Against Friends
Ultimate Werewolf Legacy
A Social Deduction Come Legacy Quest That Allows up to 16 Players in 2 Teams
Pandemic Legacy sees you and your team of budding scientists working together to find a cure and eradicate the deadly viruses that are destroying the world. The campaign spans over 12 months with new and game-changing elements added every step of the way to keep you on your toes.
You will be forced to make tough decisions from the get-go and will be left with unforgettable memories of the trials and tribulations when saving the world. This is a truly unique experience and we're not the only ones who think so – it has been nominated for over 40 awards, even winning the Golden Geek Board Game of the Year in 2015. Give it a go!
Gloomhaven is simply one of the biggest games out there, and it’s no surprise that it’s taken the number two spot on Board Game Geeks' top 100. In this game, you will find yourselves battling the evil forces that threaten the town of Gloomhaven by collecting cards, completing secret objectives and upgrading abilities.
The box makes a home for 95 scenarios, 75 playable classes and 1400 player cards, in addition to the mini-figures, which hints at just how humongous this experience is. This adventure is well worth it, requiring dedication, time and hard work to see it through to the end.
Based on the successful Betrayal at House on the Hill, you will begin this adventure as a family who moves into the eerie house cursed with paranormal entities. You will cooperatively explore the mansion, collect items, work through events, and gather omens.
During your playthrough, specific factors will trigger the haunt, which determines what random event ensues and assigns an individual to the traitor role, pinning them against the rest of the team. If you and your group are taken by the horror genre, this is an ideal pick to fill your night with doom!
Over the 12 chapters, you and your teams’ overall goal is a simple one – place your workers across the board to build a village. It won’t take long before you find yourself in awe of Charterstone’s beautiful artwork and components, as well as the easy-to-learn rules that will get you underway quickly.
If you are a beginner worrying about learning a hefty number of rules, then this is a perfect starting game. Rules are slowly introduced as chapters are completed, so you can get used to the gameplay before the information piles up.
When starting a game of My City, you’ll be surprised at the ease of set-up as you unfold the board and get straight into the action. Each chapter confirms the rules and goals for each of the three episodes, where the board will eventually become manipulated with permanent upgrades and effects to keep the game ever-changing.
Another brilliant aspect of the game is the double-sided board which allows you to play legacy on one side and a stand-alone game on the other! At such an affordable price, you will find yourself overjoyed with a great team campaign and something that you can pick up and play whenever.
Seafall is a unique gaming experience that gained initial popularity as one of the first legacy games to not be based on a previous board game. Starting with a leader, an island and two ships, you will find yourself embarking across the ocean in the discovery of trading resources and the grand goal of discovering new, undiscovered islands.
The box comes equipped with a detailed manual that includes around 400 stories to accompany you on your quest, as well as secret boxes and hidden pages to be revealed as you progress. It isn’t unusual to feel confused when starting the game, as the instructions can leave you at a loss, but this is soon forgotten as you delve deep into the dozen campaign sessions.
Risk Legacy can take the trophy for being the first to do it, and it’s a definite must-play for those taken by this gaming style. Using Risk core game rules and turn-based play, you will embark on a 15-part campaign ready for war with the aim to take over the world and crush your opponents.
Sealed in closed boxes and envelopes, future rules are hidden away from you until certain conditions are met – this is when game-changing rules and events will take place, offering you and your enemies a new challenge. Some may feel like elements and features are stale due to its 10-year age as a board game, but it's still a distinctive experience worth trying.
Machi Koro is a peaceful legacy experience perfect for all ages due to its easy-to-learn system and beautiful aesthetic. The gorgeous cards, board and game elements make this a pleasant experience, and the slow introduction of its new rules allow you to learn as you're playing, resulting in smooth and entertaining sessions.
Over rounds, you will find yourself constructing buildings, monuments and landmarks, then earning income with the simple roll of your dice. Once the games are complete, Machi Koro allows you to reuse the board for an alternative experience to the original non-legacy version of the game. Unfortunately, it's only suitable for small groups of up to 4 players.
Your mission here is to attempt to impress the queen of Queensdale by developing the land and building the most majestic castle in the whole of the kingdom. This euro strategy game relies on dice rolling at the start of your turn to determine which actions you can take to better your rivals.
Although the themes and story are not as in-depth as other legacy games on the market, it still has some unique elements. The ability to upgrade dice, add permanent buildings and carry over resources to future games make for an exciting occasion. The competitive nature will set you up for fun-filled sessions to prove you're the best out of your group!
If you have a large group looking to tuck into a legacy game, this is for you. Allowing up to a whopping 16 players, you'll split into two teams: the villagers who need to survive the night and werewolves who need food. The box includes a beautiful leather-bound notebook to keep track of progress and contains the story of the game to read before playthrough.
This game will pique the interest of younger audiences and families or those looking for a less intense legacy game to play. With the need for at least 9 players, you may find it difficult to organise a regular team to play with, so it's recommended to attempt as many nights as possible during each sitting!
A legacy board game is a game that is completed through a series of chapters. The mechanics, rules and components change based on the player's choices and the outcome of each chapter, meaning at the very end, you're left with a completely unique playing board.
Written and researched by Kieran Davies
No. 1：Z-Man Games｜Pandemic Legacy - Season One
No. 2：Cephalofair Games｜Gloomhaven
No. 3：Avalon Hill｜Betryal Legacy
No. 5：Thames and Kosmos｜My City｜691486
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