Board games are generally used as an outing for friends and family. But it can still be a lot of fun to play board games alone. Playing solo might take a little getting used to, but for your next gaming session, we’ll help you find the best solo board games.
Usually, taking a board game to the tabletop is not something that’s achieved alone. Many games concentrate on interaction with others, story-building, and strategy, which is enhanced by making a few of your friends play with you. That’s not possible sometimes, though. Not to mention, you won’t have to persuade anyone on what game to bring to the table with 1 player.
Most of my time playing board games has actually been solo. Setting up a time when everyone can get together is pretty hard. Fortunately, there are some great games that not only lend themselves well to single-player, but some are also fully designed as a solo experience.
We’re not talking about a single edition of solitaire (or equally drab game). There are some of the newest board games out there, and most are standout games played alone or with a party in their own right.
What’s the Best Solo Board Game To Buy?
So, what’s the best board game to be played solo? As always, the solution would be different for everyone and it will be a perfect option for all 10 of these board games.
But we think Gloomhaven is our number one pick if we take anything into consideration! There is so much to do for solo players that for months you could play the game effortlessly and not do anything.
If you want something a little different, then we love Sub Terra’s survival gameplay and horror atmosphere, too. We’re sure you’ll have fun, whatever you decide! Playing a solo board game will give you an entirely new understanding of the enjoyable board games that can be offered.
What are the benefits of playing Solo Board Games?
Your sense of independence and individuality is established. One way to remind yourself that you can be happy and content on your own is to play alone. To keep you amused and busy, it teaches you not to rely on others. As a consequence, it gives you a sense of social liberation and encourages you to feel at ease no matter where you are.
It boosts your ingenuity and imagination. Board games are born out of the imaginations of their creators. And they also stretch your imagination and bring out the ingenuity inside you when you play them. In order to tap into the power of your thoughts and resourcefulness, it can often take a lot of flexibility and solo time. There are no other individuals to tell you what to do, so
you are forced to think and find innovative yet productive solutions to problems.
It helps calm your mind and body and relax them. To alleviate whatever tension they feel at the moment, people sometimes play board games. In reality, to relieve stress and anxiety, board games have been proved by research. You are able to alleviate the tension without any extra performance anxiety from getting others around if you play alone.
It helps you feel more secure that you are alone. There are some individuals who believe there’s nothing they can do alone. They have a clear sense of dependency on others, and it makes them feel unwelcome and uncomfortable to be alone. For these people, playing board games may be a stepping stone towards freedom. It can be a gentle way of building their confidence and slowly taking away their reliance on once.
It’s time to see the best options when it comes to solo board games, now that you’ve read the advantages of playing solo. We’re going to get to them!
Read, Also 12 Best Two-Player Board Games for Weekends
Best Solo Board Games to Play in 2021
We will take a look at what we think are 10 of the best solo board games to play in 2021 in this guide.
We have always made our choices based on many distinct variables, including the popularity, strategy, innovation, and uniqueness of the game. So, let’s start with the countdown of our picks without further ado:
Gloomhaven – Solo Board Game
When it comes to solo board games, our best option is Gloomhaven. This 1-player board game takes you to Gloomhaven, a medieval town (which doesn’t sound like a place that gets a lot of tourists), which allows you to take on quests and side quests to help you advance through the game.
You return to Gloomhaven after every quest, whether you fail or succeed, to level up your character. It is almost like a sandbox video game with the sheer amount of features that come inside the game in this respect and shows itself time and time again as a price-worthy board game (it typically retails at about $140).
The experience itself is more than worth it, although the game is long, with the potential to cap out at 2 hours, and maybe more if you are still learning what the heck you are supposed to do. As far as solo games are concerned, it would be difficult for you to find something that is even similar to the magic of Gloomhaven. Its randomized activities keep you on your toes, and the sheer depth of the plot and all its possibilities mean that without encountering the same scenarios time after time, it has unrivaled replay value. A board game that is absolutely gripping, exciting, and incredible.
- Suitable for 1-4 players 12 years of age and over
- Per game, 60-120 minutes of playing time
- Best game of 2017 classified
- Legacy style implies limitless hours of play without resetting.
Indie Boards and Cards Terraforming Mars Board Game
Terraforming Mars, set in the 25th century, tasks you with, well, terraforming Mars. This is one of the best solo games available, as you take control of one of the many large corporations that are at the forefront of developing the new New World, like many science fiction movies that have focused on the prospect of moving away from our little blue dot and creating a new life on the Red Planet.
The game comes with lots of choices that help bring Mars to life, combined with great engine building mechanics. This is further accomplished by using cards that transform our new home’s drab scenery into a lush and flourishing landscape.
- Reasonable for 1-5 players aged 12 and above
- Playtime 2-3 hours
- To complete over 200 different projects
- Compete for various achievements and prizes worth many VPs (Victory Points)
Scythe Board Game – An Engine-Building
Set in an alternative history, Scythe offers the player the chance to restore your state to its former glories in the midst of a war sponsored by an organization known only as The Factory, the world is fighting unrest and disarray.
After a war that ravaged the country, the game is very much an Area Control board game that tasks you with taking over territory, enrolling new recruits, and reaping whatever resources are left. In the hope of emerging triumphant in a world that is continuously seeking to pulverize you, you will also need to win the trust of downtrodden villagers.
- Reasonable for 1-5 players aged 14 and above
- Maximum playtime of 115 minutes
- The alternate setting of history in the 1920s
- Units can not be killed or destroyed without player removal
Mage Knight Board Game
You fight to conquer cities by Mage Knight as you battle through throngs of enemies to emerge victoriously, all in the name of the Void Council. The blend of discovery and conquest makes it a very special gaming experience that is great for lovers of adventure and epic stories and stands out as one of the best solo board games.
Mage Knight offers top-quality parts made to the highest quality, which ensures years of successful and enjoyable game time, unlike other board games that might have a fantastic story but suffer from low-quality components.
The game can be complicated, and during sections that seem impossible at first glance, you can get frustrated, but once you get over the learning curve, you will find that Mage Knight provides far more than basic smash and grab dynamics. Make sure you review our guide to the best board games for Trivia for more great stuff like this as well.
- Reasonable for 1-4 players aged 13 and above
- Possibility of over two hours of gameplay
- 240 cards, 8 miniature figures painted intricately, 196 coins, 20 tiles of maps, 54 mana crystals, and 7 mana dice.
- Combines role-playing games with traditional board games and deck construction
Legacy of Dragonholt RPG – Solo Board Game
Legacy of Dragonholt, combined with a table top game, has been compared to a Dungeon and Dragons RPG, but removes the Dungeon Master dilemma, allowing you to play at home, on the plane, or even on the beach, all by yourself.
It was created with an immersive story that starts with a character development feature that is well-loved among the community of fantasy games. This doesn’t mean it’s some old fantasy board game, though. In order to make it as inclusive as possible, Fantasy Flight incorporated a sense of realism and diversity that could sometimes be ignored as important game elements of other board games.
Although you can play with more than one individual, as a solo campaign, the best experience is achieved. Here, what choices you make, how you solve problems, and which different directions are the best to take, you will have free rein. When you discover everything that the world of Dragonholt has to offer, its architecture means it is possible to play indefinitely and not end up going around in circles. Make sure you review our guide to the best board games for two players, as well.
- Reasonable for 1-6 players aged 13 and above
- Endless gameplay hours
- Detailed character design books, never the same game twice, for endlessly customizable characters
- Six thrilling and immersive quests
Sherlock Holmes Consulting: Strategy Board Game
With the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective solo board game, put your detective skills to the test. Here, to get to the bottom of these brand new instances, you help the World’s Greatest Detective solve one of ten crimes using your imagination, sleuth skills, and attention to detail.
There are four instances related to the notorious Jack the Ripper included in the game and an additional 6 related to West End Adventures, so there is plenty to choose from that will keep you on your toes and wondering all along.
This is not a game that depends on chance or luck, but rather the ability to spot items no one else has. If you enjoy a good puzzle and get the brain to work overtime, then this is the one for you among the top tabletop games. Indeed, elementary. There are more fun items like this in our handy guide to the best family board games.
- For 1-8 players aged 12 and above, suitable
- Ninety minutes plus the sum of playtime
- Ten brand-new cases to prove your resourcefulness
- Works, as well as independent game and expansion pack
Tiny Epic Galaxies
The Tiny Epic Universes, a game that is short and sweet as well as massively easy to master in just twenty or so minutes, is maybe top of the list in terms of value for the best solo board games.
It has wonderful core mechanics with regard to gameplay and is built to avoid any immediate advantages or disadvantages based on game-start choices, which is very beneficial for newbies. You can explore space in a fun and enjoyable way in the game that needs you to pay attention and combine a variety of distinct strategies to emerge victoriously. Its small size makes it quick to transport from place to place and during downtime it is a perfect little time killer.
As the winner of the previous Game of the Year, it’s going to go down in history as one of the greatest board games ever, so take a chance and explore beyond the stars.
- Reasonable for 1-5 players aged 14 and above
- Less than one hour of quick playtime that can be picked up in 20 minutes
- Excellent for gameplay for single players
- 2015 Solo Winner of the Game of the Year
This terrifying board game brings you into the world of the strange and macabre, based on the works of Master of Horror, HP Lovecraft, that you might only lose your sanity trying to win.
You have the option of fighting a variety of Ancient Ones aimed at casting the world in endless shadows, trapping you in alternate worlds, or just general global destruction, built so that no two adventures are alike. As you struggle against the elusive cosmic force that lurks just around the corner, you can find clues, try to solve puzzles and see the future.
Each and every play, Eldritch Horror takes you on an adventure and will keep you coming back for more. If you can keep your nerve, it’s one of the best adult board games you can play. Make sure you check out our guide to the best puzzles for adults for more interesting solutions like this.
- Suitable for 1-8 players 13 years of age and up
- Playtime for 2-4 hours
- Inspired by the best-selling Arkham Horror board game,
- Dedicated Mystery Decks to guarantee flexible replayability for each Ancient One
CMON Massive Darkness
If it is your thing to run through dank and dingy dungeons gathering loot, then look no further than the Vast Darkness of CMON. Here, you choose from 10 distinctive campaigns that take you on a journey that is both thrilling and demanding.
Massive Darkness, a perfect game for solo players, enables you to choose your chosen explorer and move into the dangers and possibilities that await. The miniatures themselves are professionally made and are a pleasure to struggle to make them your own unique style.
They feel more like single chapters of an overall story when it comes to quests, as the more you play, the more you’ll notice themes and references scattered between them. If you’re a dungeon crawler fan, this game is for you.
- For 1-6 players aged 14 and above, suitable
- Playtime for 90 minutes
- Story mode features 10 special campaign guests
- Detailed hero miniatures to battle over 65 miniature villains
Portal Games Robinson Crusoe Adventures
Enjoy your love of swashbuckling adventures and try your hand at the difficult (truly, truly challenging) but also immersive and fulfilling Robinson Crusoe Adventures that place players on the Cursed Island strands and fight for survival.
You’re going to fight tropical storms and hurricanes, you’re going to fight to keep the fire alight, you’re going to find yourself losing hope as easily as you lose power, and it may be too much for many. The feeling of accomplishment would be more than worth it as a Game of the Year winner, but that success is always a long way away.
If you manage to beat it (and that’s a major if) you won’t be able to quit telling everyone how you’ve played one of the greatest board games ever, but don’t expect everybody to agree.
- Suitable for 1-4 players 14 years of age and above
- Playtime 60-120 minutes
- A superb mix of gameplay in Euro and American style
- Ideal for players who enjoy a challenge
Reasons for playing board games on your own
There are many reasons for playing board games on your own that are so much more fitting than ‘I don’t have any mates…’ Here are the best:
Enjoyment – When doing something, we all want to enjoy ourselves, and getting the chance to play a board game by yourself would guarantee constant fun without coping with turn-by-turn downtime.
Learning to Play – Sometimes, it takes a few plays to fully get the game. By playing by yourself you will become accustomed to how the game works, any little nuances that you might otherwise miss, and develop a great understanding of what works and what doesn’t, without the distractions of other players.
Exploration – Some of the best board games for 1 player encourage you to endlessly explore their universe. With just one session, the joys of playing are not over, so you can come back time after time to explore more of the world you have dove into headfirst.
In conclusion, there are so many reasons why you would want or need to play board games with a single player. Fear not! Board games are strictly designed for solo players, and board games are created strictly for solo play by more companies. I hope you’ve enjoyed the post! It’s Happy Gaming!