Best Video Game Inspired Board Games

If you look back through the annals of history, you will see that mainstream media and board games have always gone hand in hand.

Whether it’s movies like Jumanji and Zathura that inspired real-life board games, or established board games like Monopoly offering up special versions of their classic game, such as Mario Monopoly, Pokemon Monopoly, or Marvel Monopoly, to name a few.

It’s clear that the link between the two mediums of gaming has always been there. However, over the last decade or so, we have seen a lot more brand-new board games that have been made to appeal to fans of certain video games.

Games that offer rich lore, complex gameplay, tonnes of collectible and customizable miniatures, and provide hours of fun with friends and family.

We can’t quite pin down just why this rise of video gaming meets tabletop gaming has occurred, but we do have some educated guesses. It could be down to the rise in popularity of Dungeons and Dragons, with lots more players enjoying this TTG, or podcasts of others as they form their adventure.

It could also be down to the exponential growth of the gaming industry, which has made the decision to make video game TTGs a forgone conclusion for developers.

Or it may just be that board game developers feel that they now have the skills and resources in this modern era to finally do their favorite games justice in board game form. 

Well, whatever the reason, we are happy to have so many video game options on the board game market, and with that in mind, we thought it would be a super idea to run through some of the best and brightest within this sub-genre and point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing a board game that does your favorite video game justice.

There is something for everyone here, so without further delay, TTG fans, here is our list of the Best Video Game Inspired Board Games; enjoy! 

Selection Criteria

It wouldn’t be a board game article if we didn’t instruct you to read the rule book first. That’s right. We are laying down some ground rules to ensure that all the selections on this list meet quality standards and ensure that the picks here are the best around. So here are the considerations that we took into account: 

  • Must be a fully complete game that is available for purchase (Kickstarters will be considered) 
  • Games must have a strong link to at least one video game franchise
  • Games must have been reviewed well and be highly regarded within the TTG community
  • We will also be considering if the source material really lends itself to a board game format

Okay, it’s time to get into the action. Our campaign in search of the best video game inspired board games begins now! 

#1 – Horizon Zero Dawn

horizon zero down

  • Designer: Sherwin Matthews
  • Complexity: 6/10
  • Our Review: 7/10

We begin proceedings with a semi-cooperative adventure through the world of Horizon Zero Dawn. Many will be aware of Aloy’s exploits within the first game in the series, but the many tribes across the land were fighting a war against the machines in the background.

Perhaps that was best displayed when you attended the Hunter’s Lodge, which forms the core premise for this campaign.

In this game, you work your way through battle scenarios, taking down mechanical beasts like Watchers and Scrappers, and upgrading your characters and gear as you go.

Using the art of stealth and cunning, as well as a warrior’s instinct, you will work your way to the big final battle with the dreaded Thunderjaw! It’s a tough nut to crack, to begin with, but after a good long read of the rules, you’ll get into the swing of things and have a blast! 

#2 – Slay The Spire (Kickstarter)

slay the spire (kickstarter)

  • Designer: Gary Dwork
  • Complexity: N/A 
  • Our Review: TBA

Up next is a game that is only available via Kickstarter, but if the indie game it’s inspired by is anything to go on, this will be an instant smash hit!

Slay the Spire is an indie card-builder that is charming, addictive, and thanks to a glowing recommendation from our own Melika Jeddi, I can’t put this game down! The premise of the game is to defeat enemies, build your deck, climb the many rooms of the Spire, and eventually become the champion of The Spire. 

Well, we can only assume that the board game will follow the same principles of the game, offering players a solo, or cooperative experience as they take on a series of challenges, build new decks with each attempt, stumble upon a series of bewildering encounters, and go toe-to-toe with some rather intimidating bosses.

This is a really exciting project and one you have to check out if you love card-builders! 

#3 – The Stardew Valley Board Game 

the stardew valley board game

  • Designer: Cole Medieros 
  • Complexity: 4/10
  • Our Review: 7/10

This is one that I personally reviewed over on SdewHQ, and it’s one that I feel like I waited my whole life to play. As a huge Stardew Valley fan, I always longed for a way to showcase the charm and relaxing vibes of Pelican Town and beyond to my non-gamer buddies, and thanks to this board game version, I can do just that.

In this game, your goal is much like the main goal of the video game. You must build up your farm, and work with others to restore the Community Centre, driving out the evil Joja Co.

To do this, you will need to complete your community center bundles and your overall player goals to succeed.

This means you’ll need to befriend the townsfolk, mine, fish, forage, farm, and collect helpful items to speed things up, and with the passing of seasons going so fast, believe me, you’ll need to be efficient to complete everything in time. So put on the Stardew Valley Soundtrack and dive into this incredible adaption. 

#4 – This War of Mine 

this_war_of_mine 

  • Designer: Michal Orac & Jakub Wisniewski
  • Complexity: 6.5/10
  • Our Review: 8/10

There are some video games out there that don’t just offer a fun and addicting experience, but also deliver a profound message, and that is exactly what This War of Mine does. In this game, you are not a hero, or an unstoppable super-solider.

You are just a civilian, banded together with other average joes, just trying to survive the civil war in your home country. It’s the hardship, the impossible choices, and the pain of loss that makes this game so compelling, and the board game adaption taps right into that. 

The board game is a like-for-like adaption that sees you play as one of the characters from the base game, as you try to build a base capable of housing your band of survivors. You’ll have to scavenge, fight off illness, and overcome hardship in the form of random events.

Plus, when other civilians and raiders get desperate, you’ll have to defend yourself. It’s survival of the fittest, and a killer board game for all you indie lovers out there!

#5 – The Witcher Adventure

the witcher adventure

  • Designer: Ignacy Trzewiczek
  • Complexity: 5/10
  • Our Review: 7/10

If you are looking for a board game that can boast rich lore, then you will find a lot of joy in playing The Witcher Adventure.

This game is based on the very popular Witcher series, and released just before the ground-breaking Wild Hunt, meaning it is a unique adventure based in the universe where the events of the first two games have transpired.

In this title, you play as either Geralt, Triss, Yarpen, or Dandelion, and through deck building, you will explore the world, acquire new signs and skills, and eventually defeat the monster that you seek. 

However, the way you do that is up to you. You can be a cooperative player and lean on the skills of others. Or you can look out for number one and throw others to the wolves so you can have their cut of the gold for the head of your bounty.

It’s a fantastic game that does this incredible franchise justice, and if your character does fall, at least you can play Gwent in the interim. Give this one a go! 

#6 – Xcom: The Board Game

xcom board game

  • Designer: Eric Lang
  • Complexity: 5.5/10
  • Our Review: 7.5/10

There are some game series that just ooze board game potential, and Xcom is one such game. In the video games, you play as a series of otherworldly military operatives that have to use their tactical aptitude in battle to position themselves correctly, and use RTS to take down the baddies in their path.

It’s your typical hexagonal battle system, but it’s one of the best franchises in the business at putting together compelling campaigns with this format, and now that is true in the world of board games too! 

The Xcom board game takes the hexagonal battle system of the games, and pops that smack bang on your tabletop, with some added considerations. You’ll have to assign soldiers to missions, and manage resources effectively, all the while defending your base from an alien onslaught.

Plus, the game has a dedicated companion app that makes each turn feel more streamlined and immersive, allowing players to experience the same tension and stakes as the video game.

Plus, it helps new players learn the ropes much quicker. All in all, this is a great love letter to the source material and one for all the military tacticians out there.

#7 – The Last of Us: Escape The Dark (Kickstarter)

the last of us escape the dark

  • Designer: Alex Crispin, Thomas Pike & James Shelton
  • Complexity: N/A 
  • Our Review: TBA

We have another Kickstarter project, and this time, we are diving into the post-apocalyptic world of The Last of Us. With a new remaster available for PS4/5 players, and a new TV adaptation on the way, it only makes sense that the TTG community should get a share of the spoils. Inspired and powered by the Escape the Dark Sector series, this adaption allows the player to inhabit the bleak world of TLOU and survive with their crew, in whatever way they can. 

You’ll have a vast open world to explore, with Clickers and Infected lurking around every corner, and your goal is to explore, band together as a team, make use of the limited resources on offer, and discover secrets hidden throughout the landscape that will help you endure and survive. We are yet to see if this game will be true to the source material and provide a gripping experience, but with the Escape the Dark system in effect, we reckon this is a nailed-on smash hit. Keep this on your radar for 2023! 

#8 – Bloodborne: The Board Game

bloodborne the board game

  • Designer: Eric Lang & Michael Shinall
  • Complexity: 6/10
  • Our Review: 8/10

I had a tough choice of whether to include the Dark Souls adaption or the Bloodborne board game, but I went with the latter, purely because Yharnam, in my opinion, is a much more compelling setting, and let’s face it, Bloodborne is the best Souls game.

A bold claim, but I will die on that hill. This title loosely follows the plot of the game, as you play a hunter who must explore Yharnam to discover the source of the plague that is turning innocent folk into deranged monsters. 

This game takes on a roguelike sort of format, because, much like Bloodborne, death is as common as breathing in this game.

However, with each trip to the Hunter’s Dream, you will be smarter, more battle-ready, and you will be better equipped to take on the evil that lurks on the gothic streets. However, don’t doddle, because the hunt won’t last forever. So cleavers and trick weapons at the ready! 

#9 – Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game

portal the uncooperative cake acquisition gam

  • Designer: Jeep Barnett
  • Complexity: 4/10
  • Our Review: 7/10

The cake is a lie! We all know that, having played both installments of the Portal series, but yet we continually have Chell grind through those test chambers in the hope of getting a slice one of these days.

For those unaware, Portal is a ground-breaking puzzle game where you will have to use a Portal Gun and the power of physics to platform through a series of levels and hopefully escape Aperture Labs. But how does that lend itself to a board game format, you ask? 

Well, through using portals, of course. The aim of the game is to play god, or Glados, and teleport your test subjects from chamber to chamber before the ground gives way and the whole chamber falls into the void below.

Then as you keep your minions alive, you must guide them towards slices of cake, as this is the currency that ensures victory. When the last test subject falls, those with the most cake win. Simple, right?

Well, there are plenty of ways to trick and hinder your opponents on their quest for cake. It’s fun, chaotic, and surprisingly tactically deep. So Portal fans, grab a few friends (or a companion cube) and play this one! 

#10 – Cuphead Fast-Rolling Dice Game

cuphead fas rolling dice game

  • Designer: Patrick Marino
  • Complexity: 4/10
  • Our Review: 7/10

If you are looking for something that is a lot more simple, more accessible, and more fast-paced, then you might just love this Cuphead-inspired dice game. Why so fast-paced and frantic, though?

Well, because that’s what Cuphead is all about. Dodging the countless projectiles on screen, putting together your own string of attacks, and enjoying the vaudeville music and art style as you go. So thanks to this quick and accessible gameplay, and the need to constantly be on your toes, this mirrors the high-stakes gameplay of the video game. 

In this game, you will have to roll dice to decide outcomes and options when fighting the core bosses of the base game. You’ll have the ability to Parry, Wallop, and heal as the eight bosses included battle back with their own unique deck of moves.

It’s a board game version of classic arcade beat-em-ups, and the artwork is just as charmingly retro as the game in question. So if you want to jump into the cartoons of old and lay down a smackdown, then give this one a go! 

#11 – Cyberpunk 

  • Designer: Mike Pondsmith
  • Complexity: 6/10
  • Our Review: 8/10

For those of you who thought that Cyberpunk 2077 was something dreamt up by CD Project Red, I hate to burst your bubble, but much like The Witcher, they were working off someone else’s source material. In this case, the 1988 Role playing game Cyberpunk, created by Mike Pondsmith.

This game builds the world of Cyberpunk, which would later become a AAA video game, and allows the player to witness the faraway future of 2013. The year of the PS4, the Apple Ipad Air, and Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus. Thankfully, Mike had much more grandiose and technologically advanced visions of 2013 back in the ’80s. 

In this game, you work your way through campaigns beginning in 2013, through to the year 2045, and through the Interlock system, you will use a DND-esque stats and dice combo to determine the success of your actions. The goal here is to survive in this hostile world full of gangs and mercenaries and uncover the secrets and dirty schemes hidden in what would become Night City.

It’s a game you will really struggle to get your hands on in this modern era, as it is a real collector’s item, but if you do, you won’t be disappointed. However, if you want a suitable, if a little lackluster, alternative, then check out Cyberpunk 2077: Gangs of Night City. 

#12 – Divinity: Original Sin (Kickstarter)

divinity original sin

  • Designer: Dylan Birtolo, Josh Berksen & Thomas Gofton
  • Complexity: 8/10
  • Our Review: 7/10

Next up, we have a game that just screams, ‘make me into a TTRPG.’ Divinity: The Original Sin was a stunning RPG that saw the player explore Rivellon and push back the evils of dark magic that threaten to rip apart the fabric of time. Well, how would you like to do that but with a bunch of friends around a table? Of course, you would!

This title offers a brand new adventure in the Divinity Universe and has the players use a storybook to decide their fate in a test-based RPG sort of format. Then each new area explored is like a mini-campaign in and of itself. 

Now, I will warn you, because of these mini-campaigns, the storybook format, the acclaimed Chronicle System, the elemental combat system, and the abundance of components and moving parts, this is a hard game to come to grips with. So you might want to take a seasoned Divinity player on your travels through Rivellon.

However, if you push through the early stages, you will see that this game is deep, nuanced, and compelling. Give it the time and respect it deserves, and you will reap the rewards, we promise. 

#13 – Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia

bioshock infinite the siege of columbia

  • Designer: Issac Vega
  • Complexity: 5.5/10
  • Our Review: 6.5/10

I debated whether this one truly belonged on this list of TTRPG juggernauts, but for the concept alone, I think that it’s worth mentioning. In this game, you play as either the Vox Populi or the Founders in the civil war of Columbia, and your goal is to win the war, all the while enduring the chaos that Booker and Elizabeth are conjuring up through tears in the background. 

The format is a lot like a command and Conquer style battle where players will need to control their patches of Columbia, assassinate the key leaders of the opposing faction, and take down points of interest and strongholds to weaken the enemy’s grasp on the city.

Now, what I will say is that the gameplay is a little repetitive, and I resent the idea of having to play as the racist and genuinely detestable founders. However, if you loved Bioshock’s third iteration and want to fill in the gaps unseen as you traveled with Booker and Elizabeth, then this is a great choice. 

#14 – Civilisation: A New Dawn 

civilisation a new dawn 

  • Designer: James Kniffen
  • Complexity: 6.5/10
  • Our Review: 8/10

Remember what I said about games that are nailed on board games waiting to happen? Well, Civ is the epitome of this, and offers the players a chance to rule the world in a tabletop format.

For those unaware, with this series spanning multiple decades, Civ allows the player to take control of an ancient civilization, starting as a tribe and working their way through the ages until they eventually win the space race, thus ending the game. You can play diplomatically, or as a dictator, you can rewrite the course of history, and you can use clever tactics to conquer new lands. 

The board game is a like-for-like adaption of the Civ series, and allows you to play as one of four factions as they race to rule the world. You will have set goals and criteria for victory, and then you are let off your leash to trade, coerce, dominate, and form alliances as you see fit to achieve said goals.

There are quite a few board game adaptions for Civ, but A New Dawn is the newest, most complete option, so those new to the series will want to start there. 

#15 – The Binding of Issac: Four Souls 

the binding of Issac four souls 

  • Designer: Edmund Mckillen
  • Complexity: 4/10
  • Our Review: 7.5/10

Then lastly, we have a board game adaption of one of the most accessible and addictive indie games of all time, The Binding of Issac.

Four Souls is a card-builder game where you will start with next to nothing, and through exploring the depths below, you will find treasure, new skills, and monsters who are hell-bent on taking it all away from you. You must survive and defeat these beasts, all in the hope of collecting the four souls hidden down below, thus winning the game. 

Much like the base game, it’s an infinitely replayable game, and thanks to the co-op aspect of this game, you can play with an ally on your side that can help you when the chips are down. But beware, because your friends may stab you in the back and steal all your loot, you have been warned.

This is a super adaption of an already near-flawless game, and if you want something you can go back to time and time again, then this is the one for you! 

Honorable Mentions

resident evil 2 the board game

Sadly, there are some board games that we would have loved to include, but just fell shy of the mark. However, we would hate for you to miss out on an opportunity to play your favorite video game in board game form. So here are the best of the rest for you to peruse below: 

  • Resident Evil 2: The board game
  • Minecraft: Builders and Biomes
  • Doom: The Board Game
  • Kingdom Hearts: Perilous Pursuit
  • FNAF: Night of Frights
  • Pokemon Battle Academy
  • Sniper Elite: The Board game
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Orlog
  • Assassin’s Creed Arena
  • Gears of War: The Board Game
  • Fallout Shelter: The Board Game
  • City Skylines: The Board Game
  • God of War: The Card Game

From the Screen to the Tabletop

As you can see from the cavalcade of available titles, and the kickstarters in production, there are so many great options for TTG players that want to incorporate their love for gaming into their board game nights. It’s hard for me to choose a personal favorite as I’m a sucker for lots of games on this list. However, the one I regularly go back to is The Stardew Valley Board Game. So if you also love this quaint farming sim, consider this an endorsement on my end. I hope that this has given you some great options for your next board game get-together, and as always, thanks for reading Dice N Board! 

FAQs Section

Question: What is a Kickstarter?

Answer: A Kickstarter is a crowdfunded project where fans who want to wish this product into existence will donate to the cause, and usually get exclusive rewards and early access to the product for their loyalty and devotion to making the project a success. There are quite a few exciting board games in the Kickstarter funnel as we speak, so head over there and check them out! 

Question: Are Video Game Inspired Board Games Expensive

Answer: As a rule, yes, they tend to be sold at a higher premium than non-video game TTGs. This is for a number of reasons. One is that the games have the established IP to lean on and, therefore, can justify a higher price tag as the fanbase is already there.
Then secondly, these games tend to be much more fleshed out and complex in contrast to more common games like Monopoly and Cluedo, for example, which means you pay for what you get in most cases. However, there are a few bargains to be had, so don’t give up hope! 

Question: Can You Customise Board Game Components?

Answer: Absolutely; with reference to the games above, if you have your own dice or game pieces that you would prefer to use, then just swap them out for the existing game components in equal numbers, and that will work fine.
This tends to work best for player figures, dice, and counters. Then as for the components offered, the miniatures usually come completely unpainted so that players can take the time to paint and design the characters in a color scheme that suits their preference. 

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