10 Biggest Board Games

Tabletop board games come in all shapes and sizes. Big-box games filled to the brim with components and marked with a hefty price don’t just dominate shelf space, they dominate the market, too. Most tabletop games that are funded through crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter are often packed with miniatures and extras that bloat their boxes.

Although bigger is not necessarily better in the world of tabletop games, not all big-box games are needlessly large. Some of the biggest games, even if they’re not the greatest games on the market (though some are), manage to justify their price and size.

10 Pandemic Legacy (Season 1) board and pieces of Pandemic Legacy

Building on the success of the smash-hit Pandemic, Pandemic Legacy (Season 1) is one of the earliest “Legacy” games, and one of the best. In Pandemic Legacy, players work together through an overarching campaign designed to be played between 12 and 24 sessions, depending on the skill of the players.

Pandemic Legacy is extremely similar to the game it’s based on, but takes place over several “months.” During this time, players must complete specific objectives, getting only two chances to succeed. Throughout the campaign, which takes place over a year, new rules and components are added and/or removed. In certain cases, this can be unique to the group that’s playing. By the end of Pandemic Legacy, one group’s copy can be completely different to someone else’s. Due to the game’s “Legacy” nature, the box is large, and packed with secret components that can be unlocked further down the line. This adds a level of complexity to the game that justifies its large size.

9 A Game Of Thrones: The Board Game A Game Of Thrones: The Board Game box

Attempting to squeeze the expansive world of Westeros into a cardboard box is no small feat. It’s no surprise that A Game Of Thrones: The Board Game is as big as it is. This war game differs itself from others by (in true keeping with George R. R. Martin’s novels and the hit television show) incentivizing diplomacy, deduction, and most importantly, betrayal.

The game’s box contains over 100 plastic units, 81 large cards, and over 250 cardboard tokens among other components. However, A Game Of Thrones: The Board Game might not be for everyone. Its social deduction and frequent moments of betrayal can cause disagreements among some player groups.

8 Too Many Bones Too Many Bones patches character sheet

Filled to the brim with heaps of dice, this “dice-builder RPG” is a 1-4 player co-operative game (with options for solo play). It has over 100 unique dice that belong to different unique classes.

The game’s box contains a whopping 139 dice, along with a plethora of mats, cards, and chips. Too Many Bones has an impressive score of 8.4 on Board Game Geek, and despite its size, a game of Too Many Bones only takes approximately 1-2 hours. Players work together to battle through several enemy encounters before taking out one of various “Tyrant” boss enemies.

7 Gloomhaven Gloomhaven Box art

With a Board Game Geek score of 8.6, Gloomhaven is one of the most beloved games in the tabletop scene, and for good reason. The game has an elegant design based around card playing and deck-building that keeps it engaging throughout its long campaign.

Gloomhaven’s massive box is packed with cardboard components, including tiles, characters, enemies, and various other tokens that the game’s variety of scenarios make use of. Despite the size of the game’s box, many scenarios in Gloomhaven don’t take up too much table space, though that isn’t true in all cases.

6 Star Wars: Imperial Assault Star Wars: Imperial Assault Gaarkhan (Hero)

This Star Wars adaptation of the hit tabletop dungeon-crawler, Descent, is arguably one of the best Star Wars tabletop games. Its box contains over 30 high quality plastic miniatures, over 50 double-sided map tiles, custom dice, over 250 cards, and over 150 tokens. These components fit into a hefty box, but the game’s various scenarios, which make up a larger campaign, are simple and easy to set up.

In the game, one player will take control of the Empire, while the other players take control of individual Rebels. The game’s rules are fairly simple, allowing for fast and immersive action that brings players into the Star Wars universe. For fans of the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars: Imperial Assault is worth the price.

5 Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy Eclipse: Second Dawn For The Galaxy title

This second edition of the 4X strategy sci-fi game builds on what fans loved about the original and streamlines the experience to make it more accessible. It’s a sprawling war game taking place on a large, hexagonal map, and featuring countless plastic miniatures and tokens that pack into its comically large box.

Eclipse’s 108 plastic player ships are at the heart of its gameplay. Players will be agonizing over the design of these ships throughout the game; developing new technologies, amassing fleets, and upgrading their ships to counter other players. This intricate and tactical construction and combat system is at the heart of Eclipse’s fun, and is a large part of what makes it unique.

4 War Of The Ring: Second Edition cover of War of the Ring Second Edition

For fans of The Lord of the Rings, there’s arguably no other big-box game that better captures the excitement and adventure of Middle-Earth. With one player taking control of the sprawling Shadow Armies of Sauron and the other controlling the ever-dwindling forces of the Free Peoples, this behemoth of a game uses its size to depict thematic battles across the expanse of Middle-Earth.

For fans of Tolkien’s fantasy world, players who love war-games, and/or veterans of heavier games who don’t mind long playtimes, War Of The Ring is worth the price and the space it takes up on the shelf. However, War Of The Ring’s big box brings a lot of mechanical crunch that might be too much for some players.

3 Twilight Imperium Twilight Imperium box art

Similar to Eclipse, Twilight Imperium offers a 4X sci-fi strategy experience on an epic scale. Although it’s highly subjective which one is better, Twilight Imperium is older (originally releasing in 1997 and now in its fourth edition), and is arguably more iconic than Eclipse. Furthermore, Twilight Imperium has heaps of components, a box that only seems to grow (especially with expansions), and a combat system that focuses on dumb, dramatic fun over the meticulous counter-playing of Eclipse.

Twilight Imperium is a piece of modern board gaming history, and its massive size (both with its box, and with its board that threatens to overtake even larger than average dining tables) works in tandem with the game’s sci-fi theme and 4X mechanics. It draws players into the game and keeping them immersed throughout its lengthy playtime.

2 Frosthaven frosthaven box cover

Somehow even bigger than Gloomhaven, and not by a small margin, Frosthaven is a wildly ambitious big-box game that contains so many components that it comes with a manual for sorting them.

For owners of Gloomhaven, there aren’t many fresh ideas in Frosthaven to make it worth its expensive price. But for those that have somehow exhausted the content of Gloomhaven and want more, or if fans want a standalone experience that’s bigger than Gloomhaven, Frosthaven might be worth a look. Regardless, there’s no arguing that Frosthaven is one of the biggest board games to have been released, and it’s admirable that the game’s core design has not suffered as a result.

1 Western Empires Western Empires box

Western Empires is so big that it requires at least five players to play, and can even be played with up to nine. The game takes place over several time periods throughout history, with players taking control of their own civilization as they guide them through several Ages. A single game of Western Empires can take up to twelve hours to finish, but its core mechanics, and its combat system in particular, are brilliantly simple and easy to learn.

Western Empires requires a ridiculous amount of table space to set up, let alone play, making it a squeeze for most people even with lower player counts. Western Empires is, arguably, not the best game on this list. However, it is a large, lengthy, tactical game that may please fans of games that take up the entire table.

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