Competitive board games often bring out the worst in us, causing us to turn on our friends. Despite it only being a game, things often get heated, and someone may eventually flip the board. However, not all board games need you to play against someone; cooperative board games task you and your friends to work towards a common goal. However, that doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get into an argument.

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Whether it’s banding together for a fantasy adventure, putting your heads together to solve a crime, or fighting off Lovecraftian horrors, these board games require all players to work together in order to win. Be warned though, if your teamwork isn’t up to the mark, some of these games will defeat you.


Descent: Legends Of The Dark board game box

Descent: Legends of the Dark

Best Tile Based Board Game

When tabletop and technology collide

If tile-based strategy is your thing, Descent: Legends of The Dark is the cooperative board game for you. The mechanics are very similar to video games like XCOM and Into the Breach. The companion app does a great job in narrating the story elements and revealing the nature of the random encounters for each player.


  • Highly replayable.
  • Companion app makes everything easy and interesting.
  • Multiple variations to the board setup.

  • The game cannot be played without the app.

Why do all the hard work of memorizing the rules when an app can do it for you? Descent: Legends of The Dark, along with its companion app, is the best way to get into tile based strategy board games. Just set up the board according to the instructions on the app, and it will tell you the possibilities and encounter results.

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective board game box

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

Best Mystery Board Game

Not quite elementary

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective works almost like a ‘choose your own adventure’ game. All players must cooperate and discuss the steps they want to take in finding the suspect. Once a consensus has been reached based on all the information, you must accuse one of the suspects and check the back of the case book to see if you were correct.


  • Extremely open-ended gameplay.
  • Multiple expansions.

  • Can cause debates to erupt.
  • Each case can only be played once.

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective gives players all the tools they need to find the suspect of a crime. However, it doesn’t tell you what to do – you must discuss and decide which leads to follow and unanimously agree upon the likely suspect. Be warned though, you could be wrong.

Gloomhaven board game box


Best Tabletop RPG

A haven for advanced players

Gloomhaven is a tabletop RPG for more advanced players. It features hexagonal tiles and much deeper mechanics than many other similar game. It also features a massive map with tons of things to do. So, you can take your time with your campaign and explore the entirety of the map before taking on the final challenge.


  • Massive map and a number of quests.
  • Hexagonal tiles for advanced gameplay.

  • Beginner and intermediate players may struggle.

Unlike Descent: Legends of The Dark, Gloomhaven will make you do all the hard work. It is one of the most renowned tabletop RPGs because of its intricate mechanics and massive map. Campaigns in Gloomhaven will last multiple sessions, so you better strap in for a long adventure. This one’s definitely for advanced players.

Spirit Island board game box

Spirit Island

Best Thematic Board Game

Make your enemies fear you.

Spirit Island lets you play as an island spirit who must use their powers, along with fear, to drive away the colonizers before they destroy the land and wipe out the indigenous population. There are multiple ways to win the game, but the best way is surely to cause so much fear that the invaders crumble.


  • Using godly powers for justice.
  • Great for solo and team play.

  • Slightly complex ruleset.

Not many board games give you the powers of a god and let you instill fear into your enemies. Maybe that’s why Spirit Island is so well regarded as a cooperative board game. You must use all the powers at your disposal to strike fear into the hearts of the colonizers and save the island and its indigenous people.

Arkham Horror: Final Hour

Arkham Horror: Final Hour

Best Horror Board Game

Heed the call of Cthulhu

Arkham Horror: Final Hour tasks you to work together to stop a ritual that will destroy the world. You must do so by travelling across different locations and unearthing clues that will help you deduce the symbols on the hidden tokens. You’ll also have to fight off various Lovecraftian monsters along the way.


  • Inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.

  • No discussion is allowed in the initial phases, which is hard to enforce.

You have one hour to save the world from an apocalyptic ritual, and if the stakes aren’t high enough, Lovecraftian monsters are trying to stop you. Arkham Horror: Final Hour will have you make a mad dash across the map to try and uncover clues to stop the ritual. You are the only ones capable of stopping the rise of Cthulhu.

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 board game box

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Best Strategy Board Game

Saving the world in another way

It might remind you of the lockdown, but Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is one of the most renowned cooperative board games to have launched. You are in charge of managing a global pandemic, with each player having a specific role and having to choose their moves very carefully.


  • Each choice must be weighed carefully, risking dire consequences.
  • First in a great series of board games.

  • May invoke unpleasant memories.

It may remind you of the hard times we faced during the Covid 19 pandemic, but that shouldn’t take away from just how good Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is. The cooperative strategy board game has been lauded for its gameplay loop and mechanics, so much so, that it even has a sequel.


What makes a good cooperative board game?

A good cooperative board game is one that has gameplay mechanics that encourage and reward communication and teamwork.

Are board games good for your brain?

Board games are known to be a good way to spend time with friends and also help stimulate mental health.

Tabletop games remain as popular as they’ve ever been. In fact, the industry is expected to see a $50 million increase in revenue this year.

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