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2023 Top 100 SOLO board games review

Hi everyone, today I’m running through 2023’s edition of the Top 100 solo board games of all time, according to the BoardGameGeek 1-player guild[1].

This is a vote that happens on BoardGameGeek every year, so keep in mind that this list is not my personal opinion (and I won’t hesitate to comment on some of the games I don’t like in this list). Also, this goes without saying, but no ranking is unbiased, and at the end of the day you’re the one who decides what games you like! You should consider this list as a data point for what games you might want to play next, but there are tons of games, not in this list, that you might personally prefer as a solo gamer. As always, gather as much data as you can, then make your own opinion. With that being said, all entries in this list are undeniably solid games, and you’re bound to love many of them as a solo gamer.

By the way, at the time of publishing, it’s Black Friday and there are lots of the games in this list being discounted on Amazon and other retailers (affiliate link).

This list also exists in video format if that’s more your thing:

With the disclaimer out of the way, let’s dive right in!

100 – Earth (2023)

We’re kicking it off with Earth, a card game of tableau building in which you have to create a fruitful habitat for animals and plants. People have praised it’s low upkeep AI for solo mode, its gorgeous components, and an engaging action selection mechanism. Overall it is a relaxing game with enough strategy to keep you interested.

You might also like: If you like Earth, you might want to check out Evergreen, Framework, and Get on Board: New York & London.

99 – Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game (2018)

Create the most fruitful micro orchard, but beware of rotten fruit! In number 99, we have Orchard, a delightful small game of only 9 cards.

You might also like: Mechanical Beast, Nautilion, and Circle the Wagons.

98 – Aeon Trespass: Odyssey (2022)

Aeon Trespass Odyssey is a big box cooperative campaign game that’s been on my radar for some time now. After a very successful Kickstarter in 2022, the game went through a second printing, and it might still not be too late to jump in on a late pledge. This is a cooperative game of adventures and tactical battles against giant monsters, that claims to have more than 300 hours of content in the core box. The game has been extremely well received by the community and sits at the top of rankings for people who like solo adventure games with a nicely crafted story.

You might also like: For more games like Aeon Trespass, check out Solomon Kane, Darkest Dungeon: The Board Game, and The Isofarian Guard.

97 – After the Virus (2017)

After The Virus is a cooperative or solo deck builder in which you have to survive and complete different missions. There is a campaign of 15 missions included in the game. unlike other deckbuilders, you’ll want your deck to get bigger with time, as your deck also contains the threats of the game!

You might also like: If you enjoy After the Virus, you might also like the following games: Arkham Noir: Case #1 – The Witch Cult Murders, En Las Cenizas, Crazy Taco.

96 – Teotihuacan: City of Gods (2018)

City of Gods is a dice worker placement game in which you have to build a pyramid. The solo bot replicates a “regular” player and you have to beat their score. There is an app that makes the setup easier.

You might also like: Blackout: Hong Kong, Bonfire.

95 – Baseball Highlights: 2045 (2015)

Baseball Highlights: 2045 imagines a future in which human baseball players compete with cyborgs and robots. This is a deckbuilding game in which you have to improve your team of baseball players and compete against an AI in quick and intense baseball mini games.

You might also like: People who like Baseball highlights also recommend : Paperback, Pandemic: The Cure, Super-Skill Pinball: 4-Cade.

94 – The LOOP (2020)

The Loop is a colorful and fun cooperative game of time travel. You have to defeat the evil Dr. Faux and sabotage his machine. As a cooperative game, the turn sequence is very similar to games such as pandemic: you do something, then the game gets to do something bad, rinse and repeat! People like the replayability and humor of the game, as well as the time travel mechanics.

You might also like: Roll Camera!: The Filmmaking Board Game, Marvel: Remix, and The Hunger.

93 – Earthborne Rangers (2023)

Earthborne Rangers is a deck construction card game set in the wilderness of the far future. You begin by building a deck that reflects your Ranger’s skills and personality. Then as you progress in the game, you get to augment your deck with improved equipment and more. The game plays like a sandbox adventure game, and people have compared it to the recent Zelda games.

You might also like: For more sandbox games, check in particular The 7th continent

92 – Xia: Legends of a Drift System (2014)

Xia, Legends of a Drift system is a sandbox game of space exploration. Initially designed as a competitive game for several players, playing Solo requires the Embers of a Forsaken star expansion (although there is a great unofficial solo variant that only requires the base game). Xia is falling a bit in the ranks of favorite solo games, because we’re getting a lot of healthy competition in the space-exploration genre.

You might also like: Merchants & Marauders, Empires of the Void II, Wasteland Express Delivery Service

91 – Glass Road (2013)

Clear the land, hire specialists, build and gather to make your own trade empire. Glass Road is a game of card drafting and tile placement. As far as the solo mode is concerned, people have praised its setup time and the crunchy decision space.

You might also like: If you like Glass Road, also check out Heaven & Ale, Carpe Diem, and Riverboat.

90 – Hallertau (2020)

Hallertau is a worker placement game in which you have to Lead a small town: grow hops, improve workshops, and raise wealth to develop further.

You might also like: Newton, Lorenzo il Magnifico, Coimbra.

89 – Renegade (2018)

Renegade is another great sci-fi game that’s consistently been in the top 100 of solo board games. This is a euro style of Deck Building game, in which you play as a hacker trying to defeat an AI. Renegade is falling a bit in the rankings because it’s a bit hard to find, but rumors say a reprint might be scheduled sometime soon.

You might also like: People who like Renegade also recommend Street Masters, Hoplomachus: Origins, and Darkest Night: Second Edition.

88 – Agricola (Revised Edition) (2016)

You will find a lot of Uwe Rosenberg games in this list, let me tell you. If you’re a fan of his designs, you’re in for a treat. After Glass Road and Hallertau, here is Agricola in number 88. In Agricola, you have to help your farm to prosper, starting from very humble beginnings.

You might also like: Hansa Teutonica: Big Box

87 – ISS Vanguard (2022)

ISS Vanguard is another big box campaign cooperative game by Awaken Realms. Once again, after a massive kickstarter campaign, Awaken Realms have delivered, and the community have reacted extremely positiviely to this game of epic sci-fi adventure and planet exploration. People have in particular praised the visuals, as well as the immersive storyline by Krystztof Piskorski of Tainted Grail fame.

You might also like: If you like ISS Vanguard, have a look at Tamashii: Chronicle of Ascend, Unsettled and its very similar space exploration theme, and Lands of Galzyr.

86 – Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game (2010)

Space Hulk: Death Angel is a great short game in which you play as a team of Space Marines trying to complete a mission before being overwhelmed by Genestealers. The game is cooperative in nature and in my opinion plays even better solo. Luck of the dice can be frustratingly punishing though, and the game is heavily luck based in my opinion. It’s still a great solo game that plays quickly, but it’s very hard to find considering it’s been out of print for years. My opinion is that you should try it if you find a cheap copy, but I wouldn’t recommend over paying for it, unless you’re really into Warhammer 40k.

You might also like: If you like Space Hulk Death Angel, have a look at Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game, Gears of War: The Board Game, or Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game.

85 – Shadowrun: Crossfire – Prime Runner Edition (2018)

Shadowrun: crossfire will be great for you if you like deck-building games and want a great thematic sci-fi. People who are bad at the game will say it’s heavily luck based, veterans will tell you it’s extremely strategic. So, just get good I guess. There is a campaign setting in which your characters evolve in order to tackle stronger scenarios. There is no true solo in the game except for a few missions, but since it’s a cooperative game, people playing it solo typically control 2, or even 4 decks.

You might also like: Dragonfire, Helionox: Deluxe Edition.

84 – Kanban EV (2020)

Kanban EV is a deep strategy game in which you oversee and optimize the productivity of your car factory. People have praised the ease of play of the game (considering the actual complexity of the strategies), and the AI bot for solo game.

You might also like: Check out the following games if you like Kanban EV: On Mars, Weather Machine, and Lisboa.

83 – The Guild of Merchant Explorers (2022)

Start with a single city, then explore a new land for treasure and more, in The Guild of Merchant Explorers, a game of Nautical Exploration, which is number 83 in this year’s list.

You might also like: First Rat, Fantastic Factories, Beer & Bread.

82 – Nemesis (2018)

Nemesis is another gem by Awaken Realms, which is as close as you get to “Aliens, the board game” without using the actual franchise name. The game is immersive and feels like a cinematic experience. In my opinion Nemesis is ok solo but really shines if you can find a group to play with, in particular for the “semi co-op” mode, in which all players have a secret goal, in addition to the overal cooperative mission. Nemesis might be for you, in particular if you like the Aliens franchise, like cool miniatures, and don’t mind a slightly overproduced game. If you already know other games by Awaken Realms, you probably know what you’re getting into anyway.

You might also like: For more epic and tense games, have a look at Lords of Hellas, Tyrants of the Underdark, and The Thing: The Boardgame.

81 – Resist! (2022)

Resist is a fairly recent game that has instantly shot up to the top of solo gaming experiences for many of us. Resist! is a card-driven solitaire game in which you take on the role of the Spanish Maquis, fighting against the Francoist regime. It’s an easy to learn, hard to master strategy game with sessions of about 30 minutes. When it comes to resistance themed solo games, a few players tend to prefer Maquis. They have very different playstyles though, so if the theme attracts you, you might want to try both.

You might also like: People who like this game also like Witchcraft!, Bloc by Bloc: Uprising, and Pandemic: Fall of Rome.

80 – The Castles of Burgundy (2019)

The castles of Burgundy is a tile placement game, where you have to build your princedom into a bustling metropolis of commerce. The recently released special edition has a new Solo AI which is brilliant, according to everyone who’s tried it!

You might also like: You might also be interested in Istanbul: Big Box, 7 Wonders (Second Edition), and Port Royal: Big Box.

79 – Gloom of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game (2017)

Gloom of Killforth is a fantasy game of adventure and exploration, mostly based on cards. The game doesn’t have a story per se, but excels in emergent story telling. You have to protect your realm while gaining reputation and allies along the way. A solo session will take you roughly 45 minutes

You might also like: More fantasy games you might like include Dungeon Alliance, Shadows of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game, and Veilwraith: A Veil Odyssey Game.

78 – The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth (2019)

In number 78, we have Journeys in middle-earth. This is a modern take on dungeon crawlers, in which your party of adventurers progress on a map, trying to achieve a mission as well as potential side quests. The game is app driven, and the app is here to reveal the next components of the map as well as randomize enemy movement and actions. Although some peope dislike the use of apps in board games, it really helps with setup time. That being said, the game didn’t work for my play group, but it’s objectively a good fantasy cooperative or solo game.

You might also like: For simpler adventure games to play with your family, give a try to Mice and Mystics, and Stuffed Fables. Fallout Shelter: The Board Game is also often recommended for fans of Journeys in Middle-Earth.

77 – Grove: A 9 card solitaire game (2021)

Grove is one of those 9 cards solo games, and is often compared to Orchard. A small footprint, solo only game that’s awlays easy to bring to the table. Game sessions last 10 minutes or less.

You might also like: Waypoints, Palm Island, and Ukiyo.

76 – Jump Drive (2017)

JumpDrive is inspired by, and set in the world of Race for the Galaxy. It is arguably simpler than its older sister, and people seem to enjoy the solo mode and its campaign even more than the multiplayer game. I am a big fan of Race for the Galaxy personally, and I’m wondering if it’s worth owning both games.

You might also like: Other cool space-themed games include Space Base and New Frontiers. Fans of Jump Drive also recommend Targi.

75 – Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon (2019)

Number 75 is tainted grail, and we’re used to seeing Awaken Realms games in this list by now. Tainted grails is a grim fantasy adventure inspired by Arthurian legends, in which you have to understand why your world is falling into darkness. As often with Awaken Realms games, Tainted Grail has been praised for its narrative and art. The exploration of the map, very similar to games such as the 7th continent, is almso a strong point of the game. The card driven combat system and associated deckbuilding might or might not be your thing, but it’s also an original aspect ofthe game.

You might also like: For more medium and heavy fantasy games, have a look as Sword & Sorcery, Machina Arcana (Second/Third Edition), and Bloodborne: The Board Game.

74 – The Search for Planet X (2020)

In The Search for Planet X, players take on the role of astronomers who use observations and logical deductions to search for a yet undiscovered planet. A companion app handles the randomization of game components in this deduction game which plays great solo.

You might also like: Smartphone Inc., Cryptid, and Project L.

73 – At the Gates of Loyang (2009)

Harvest crops and fulfill orders to become the most prosperous merchant. At the gates of Loyang is a card drafting game in which you have to plant and sell vegetables. Solo players have praised the richness of gameplay and the interesting victory track mechanism, for a game which packs a lot of strategy for a reasonable time and space footprint.

You might also like: Rococo, Bora Bora, or La Granja.

72 – Cthulhu: Death May Die (2019)

The original aspect of this Lovecraft game is that as investigators, you are this time actively trying to summon the elder Gods, in order to be able to destroy them. The game plays in under 2 hours and has great table presence. People tend to appreciate that it breaks the stereotypes of lovecraftian games, and as a solo gamer, that it’s easy to manage two characters.

You might also like: Fans of Death May die also tend to enjoy Ankh: Gods of Egypt, Project: ELITE, and Carnival Zombie: 2nd Edition.

71 – ROVE: Results-Oriented Versatile Explorer (2021)

Rove is a tiny game that I personally really love. It’s one of those 9-card games designed to be solo from the ground up. Game sessions are extremely short, and the art is cute. Don’t expect deep theme in here, the sci-fi art is just here for flavor. It’s just a tiny puzzle game but an extremely satisfying one. You can get the print and play version of the game for about 5 dollars an in my opinion it’s really worth it.

You might also like: Button Shy have lots of great solo player games that fit in your pocket. If you like Rove, give a try to Unsurmountable, Food Chain Island, or Ancient Realm.

70 – Maquis (2013)

Maquis is an all time Solo favorite. It’s a clever worker placement game in which you play as a group of French resistants trying to complete a mission, while avoiding nazi patrols. Decisions are tough and strategic, missions are thematic, and there is surprising depth for such a tiny game. A print and play version exists, so you can technically play this game for free and I 100% recommend that you give it a try.

You might also like: Lux Aeterna, Aerion, Mr. Cabbagehead’s Garden.

69 – Pandemic (2008)

I don’t think Pandemic needs to be introduced at this point. If you’re into cooperative or solo board games, you’ve probably already played this game or one of its variations. You plays as a team of scientists who have to contain and destroy viruses before they take over the entire globe. The game is tense, full of interesting decisions, yet surprisingly easy to play. Always a good time with pandemic, solo or with friends.

You might also like: The following games are not solo, or even coop, but people tend to recommend them a lot if you like Pandemic: Codenames, King of Tokyo, Love Letter.

68 – Roll Player (2016)

in Roll Player, you have to Draft dice and purchase skills, traits and equipment to create the perfect RPG hero. The game is easy to play and learn but has a lot of situations where you need to stop and think to make sure you get the most out of your turn. It is a beat your high score type of game with no true win/lose condition.

You might also like: Champions of Midgard, Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North, Mystic Vale.

67 – Viscounts of the West Kingdom (2020)

Travel the Kingdom seeking upgrades in an attempt to bring poverty or prosperity in Viscounts of the West Kingdom, number 67 in this top solo ranking.

You might also like: Circadians: First Light, Pulsar 2849, Gùgōng.

66 – Arkham Horror (Third Edition) (2018)

In Arkham Horror, you have to piece the clues together to stop the horrors before your sanity shatters. This game is of course very similar in theme, art, and even gameplay, to the much more popular Arkham Horror Card game. It is still a great game, much less demanding interms of buying expansions, and will get to your table once in a while as a solo gamer. Buuut… if you can afford the countless expansions, I personally really prefer the card game at this point.

You might also like: People who play Arkham Horror also recommend the following games: Unmatched: Battle of Legends, Volume One, Dead of Winter: The Long Night, War of the Ring: Second Edition.

65 – One Deck Dungeon (2016)

At number 65 we have One Deck Dungeon, a minimalist dungeon crawler. You open doors that are symbolized by a deck of cards, fight the monsters or defeat the traps that hide behind the doors, then move on to the next room until you reach the boss. Battles are handled with dice placement. If you follow this channel or my website you know that I’m personally not a huge fan of this game. I personally find game sessions too repetitive and too long for what the game has to offer. In my experience, the game can also be unbalanced, almost impossible to finish with some characters, and conversely becoming too easy once you acquire additional abilities through the campaign mode. but there’s no denying that people like it, so here it is at rank 65!

You might also like: If you like One Deck Dungeon, check out its expansion One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows (which can be played standalone or integrated with the main game), or other solo staples such as Deep Space D-6, and Sylvion.

64 – Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game (2012)

64 is Legendary Marvel, a game that I personally really like a lot. This is a deck builder in which you select a team of Marvel heroes who will try to defeat the scheme of a villain and their minions. There are tons of expansions that add a lot of depth to the game, and even though I personally prefer Alien Encounter, Marvel is probably the most succesful game of the Legendary franchise. The game has been losing ground in the rankings though, probably because of competition from Marvel Champions.

You might also like: If you like Legendary’s mechanics, the franchise has a lot of variations that you might want to try, including Legnedary Villains (Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game – Villains), Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer, or Legendary Firefly (Legendary Encounters: A Firefly Deck Building Game.)

63 – Onirim (2010)

Onirim is a solo game of cards in which you have to discover eight “door” cards in the deck, before the deck runs out. Game sessions are short, at about 15 minutes. Notably, the second edition of the game includes several variants that really extend the lifespan of the game.

You might also like: There are many other games set in the Oniverse such as Sylvion, Aerion, and more. You might also like the following games if you enjoyed Onirim: Galaxy Trucker, The Grizzled, Dominion.

62 – Star Wars: Outer Rim (2019)

In Star Wars Outer Rim, you’re trying to make your mark on the galaxy. You’ll travel the outer rim in your personal ship, hire legendary Star Wars characters to join your crew, and try to become the most famous outlaw in the galaxy. First player to 10 points of fame wins the game. The solo (no pun intended) mode includes a deck of AI cards. The game is thematic, but sessions can be a bit on the long end of things.

You might also like: Western Legends, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu.

61 – Frostpunk: The Board Game (2022)

Frostpunk is based on the popular videogame of the same name, and is a cooperative or solo board game, in which you have to survive as leaders of a small colony of survivors in a post-apocalyptic frozen world. The game has great table presence, but is known to be very punishing.

You might also like: The Great Wall, Voidfall, Perseverance: Castaway Chronicles – Episodes 1 & 2.

60 – Oathsworn: Into the Deepwood (2022)

OathSworn in number 60 is a big box campaign game that has been gathering a lot of attention due to its captivating art, ambitious design, and engaging gameplay. It’s been a good surprise coming from a Kickstarter project that actually delivered on its promise. This fantasy board game of narrative choice and miniature combat is great solo or co-operatively with friends.

You might also like: For more heavy campaign driven games, have a look at Middara: Unintentional Malum – Act 1, Etherfields, and Stars of Akarios.

59 – Concordia (2013)

Concordia is a peaceful strategy game of economic development in Roman times. Traders compete to build the greatest empire in the Roman Mediterranean. The solo mode requires an expansion, Concordia Solitaria, which has an easy setup and is challenging enough, with three levels of difficulty.

You might also like: Troyes, Keyflower, and The Voyages of Marco Polo.

58 – Fields of Arle (2014)

Fields of Arles is number 58 in this ranking of best solo games. In this worker placement game, players develop an estate and expand their territory. The game lasts nine half-years with alternating summer and winter seasons, and each season allows or denies specific player actions. It has a great solo mode with an easy setup.

You might also like: Mombasa, Ora et Labora, Trajan.

57 – Sentinels of the Multiverse: Definitive Edition (2022)

I love Sentinels of the multiverse, even though I’ve mostly played the PC app version. The app does a lot of the bean counting for you and makes setup a breeze. With that being said, the board game itself is a great boss battler. There are lots of expansions with original villains and well designed heroes. An awesome game, solo or with friends.

You might also like: Astro Knights, Skytear Horde, and Ascension Tactics: Miniatures Deckbuilding Game.

56 – Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game (2014)

Lengendary Encounters is my favorite game of the “Legendary” Deck Building series. You have to complete missions that follow very closely the scenarios of the movie series, while hordes of Aliens come to attack you. It is an extremely thematic game, and it’s yet another cooperative game that can be enjoyed solo or with friends.

You might also like: For more cooperative games with a side of horror, check out Legendary Predator of course (Legendary Encounters: A Predator Deck Building Game), Elder Sign, and Ghost Stories.

55 – This War of Mine: The Board Game (2017)

This war of mine consistently scores well in solo board game rankings, and this year is no exception. If you can stomach the grim theme of being a civilian surviving during wartime, this game is great at emergent story telling. This is a very unique solo game but you have to be in the right mood to bring it to the table.

You might also like: Nemesis: Lockdown, Last Aurora, Aftermath.

54 – Maracaibo (2019)

Maracaibo has been on my solo wishlist for a while but I still didn’t buy it. People have compared it to another euro game by the same designer, Great Western Trail. The solo mode has been praised for how simple it is to use.

You might also like: Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun, Boonlake, Carnegie.

53 – Race for the Galaxy (2007)

Race for the galaxy is one of my favorite solo games. The rules and icons feel a bit counterintuitive at first, but once you’ve grasped them, playing is a breeze. The solo mode requires the Gathering Storm expansion, which is fairly easy to find nowadays as part of an all-inclusive expansion box called Expansion and Brinkmanship. Race for the Galaxy is a Victory point game of cards, and honestly the theme could be anything, but the sci-fi world in Race for the galaxy appeals to me. In solo mode, you play against a bot, and try to beat their score. The bot has a really intuitive but efficient mechanism that lets it behave differently depending on its starting world. I’ve found this great for replay value as a solo gamer.

You might also like: The Castles of Burgundy, Roll for the Galaxy, 7 Wonders.

52 – Tapestry (2019)

Lead a unique civilization to greatness through cultural and technological advances in Tapestry, a Stonemaier game with an AI bot from popular company automa factory. Tapestry is number 52 in this ranking.

You might also like:

51 – Turing Machine (2022)

Turing machine is to me the big surprise of this year. The game jumped from being mostly unknown last, straight into the top 100 within a year. It is a must try if you’re a fan of deduction games. Understand though that this is a pure logic game where you have to guess numbers. If the dry theme doesn’t work for you, you might want to pass. This game is certainly not for everyone, but if you like abstract deduction and logic games, you’re in for a treat!

You might also like: People who like Turing Machine also recommend Akropolis, Challengers!, or Canvas.

50 – Bullet♥︎ (2021)

We’re really getting into great games here as we hit number 50. Bullet keeps climbing the ranks for good reasons. It’s a fast paced puzzle action game that will remind you of video games such as tetris or puzzle bobble. In the solo version of the game, you play against a boss version of one of the characters. The game also has a growing list of expansions with new characters and new abilities.

You might also like: You might also like some of Bullet’s standalone expansions such as Bullet⭐, Mind MGMT: The Psychic Espionage “Game.”, or Fort.

49 – Welcome to the Moon (2021)

Welcome to the moon also keeps climbing in solo rankings. This is a sci-fi roll and write game with an 8-mission campaign. Your decisions in a mission will impact the next mission. The game can be played solo, or competitive with friends.

You might also like: Other games to consider include It’s a Wonderful Kingdom, Splendor Duel, and Paleo.

48 – Heat: Pedal to the Metal (2022)

Heat Pedal to the metal is another smashing hit from last year. It came out late 2022 and instantly made it to the top games of the year for many people. This is a racing game, and the solo automa is simple but good. Keep in mind that most people prefer it with multiple people than solo.

You might also like: Caper: Europe, Res Arcana, and The Crew: Mission Deep Sea.

47 – Viticulture Essential Edition (2015)

Viticulture is a worker placement game in which you have to manage a vineyard. The essential edition introduced a solo mode, where you have to beat the automa in 7 rounds or less. Furthermore, the solo mode inclues a mini campaign with 8 challenges, which makes the solo experience very unique.

You might also like: Furnace, Five Tribes, and Dinosaur Island.

46 – Everdell (2018)

Everdell is a worker placement and tableau building game with a gorgeous theme of forest animals. In the solo mode, you compete against an AI opponent and have to beat their score.

You might also like: Everdell fans have suggested Libertalia: Winds of Galecrest, Cubitos, and Azul: Summer Pavilion.

45 – The 7th Continent (2017)

Seventh continent is a very unique game of adventure and crafting, where you have to explore an Island and lift a curse. It takes inspiration from the old-school “Choose your own adventure” books, except the “book” here is a map that you reveal as you progress in the game. 7th continent can be brutally hard, but that is intentional: you will need to draw a map of the island as you play through it, in order to get better in your future runs. This game can be played with multiple players, but in my experience it truly shines solo.

You might also like: For more games with strong narrative, emergent or story driven, have a look at the Pandemic Legacy series (Pandemic Legacy: Season 2), T.I.M.E Stories, or Near and Far.

44 – Marvel United (2020)

Marvel United is a great cooperative game in which you fight a villain with your team of super heroes. The game has tons of replayability thanks to the many expansions. It plays great solo, but a lot of people are pointing out that it’s also a very fun game for families. It is considered a lightweight game, which is perfect once in a while.

You might also like: If you like Marvel United You might want to try more games from the series (Marvel United: X-Men). For more cooperative fights against mosnters, try Horrified. And if you like the marvel universe, Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War is also a great recommendation.

43 – Great Western Trail: Second Edition (2021)

Great Western Trail is a western themed euro game of victory points. The second edition includes solitaire rules in which you play against an AI opponent named Sam. Although this is a great game solo, a lot of people have recommended not buying it exclusively for solo.

You might also like: Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan.

42 – Sleeping Gods (2021)

Sleeping Gods is a game where you and your boat crew have to explore Islands in a mysterious land. You have to find hidden totems on the map, or die trying. The art is gorgeous and the gameplay original, in particular exploration and combat. For me, sleeping gods is proof that you don’t always have to agree with a ranking. I personally don’t like this game and it didn’t work for my play group. We found that it was too hard for our crew to get better, while simultaneously, the game wasn’t good at killing us to end our misery faster. We kept barely surviving from one encounter to the next, our boat was always barely functioning, and it just wasn’t fun. I might try it again. This is undeniably a great game but it didn’t work for me.

You might also like: For more campaign driven cooperative games, have a look at Destinies, Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated, and the Pandemic Legacy series(Pandemic Legacy: Season 0).

41 – Friday (2011)

Friday is a solitaire deck-building game based on the story of Robinson Crusoe. In Friday, you optimize your deck of fight cards in order to defeat the hazards of the island. This has been a staple of solo gaming for years, a fun and challenging game.

You might also like: For other lightweight solo games, have a look at Onirim (Second Edition), Mint Works, and Finished!

40 – Paladins of the West Kingdom (2019)

Invaders are coming from everywhere. Keep the faith and defend your homeland, in Paladins of the West Kingdom, a worker placement and victory points game with a great solo mode.

You might also like: Wayfarers of the South Tigris, Whistle Mountain, and Endless Winter: Paleoamericans.

39 – Legacy of Yu (2023)

Legacy of Yu is another game that went right up to the top of the rankings for solo gamers. People have praised the balanced complexity of the gameplay and the overall campaign of this deck building and worker placement game.

You might also like: People who like Legacy of Yu have also recommended the following games: Skoventyr, Vengeance: Roll & Fight – Episode 1, Three Sisters.

38 – Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition (2021)

Terraforming Mars, Ares Expedition is inspired by the popular Terraforming Mars game of course, with game mechanics of tableau building very similar to Race for the Galaxy. Race for the galaxy remains my favorite because it was onf of my first solo games, but it’s undeniable that Ares Expedition is a great game for solo players.

You might also like: Red Rising, Clank!: Catacombs, or Raiders of the North Sea.

37 – Anachrony (2017)

I’m amazed that Anachrony stays so high in the rankings. It’s a game that’s been on my list ofr a very long time, but that is practically impossible to find on retail! Anachrony is a worker placement game set in a science-fiction setting, with a very original mechanic of being able to borrow resources from your future self. Something that you will of course have to pay in future turns.

You might also like: Trickerion: Legends of Illusion, Endeavor: Age of Sail, Escape Plan.

36 – For Northwood! A Solo Trick-Taking Game (2021)

For Northwood is another surprise this year! The game had a very successful crowdfunding campaign last year which brought it to the spotlight, but it has been a print and play game for quite some time now. It is a bit difficult to find on retail, but the pnp version should do the trick. I haven’t played it yet, but it’s on my list for next year for sure! For Northwood is a trick-taking card game for one player. People have praised the game mechanics and the replayability.

You might also like: There are tons of awesome print and play solo board games out there waiting to be discovered. Some favorites include Voyages, Black Sonata, and Aquamarine.

35 – Dawn of the Zeds (Third Edition) (2016)

Dawn of the Zeds is a solo or cooperative game in which you have to defend a city against invading zombies. Your heroes have to look for supplies and ammo, heal, and of course, shoot zombies. The game relies a lot on dice rolls for combat resolution.

You might also like: D-Day Dice (Second Edition), The City of Kings, and Heroes of Terrinoth.

34 – Warp’s Edge (2020)

Warp’s Edge is yet another game that I have to try, which went directly to the top ofthe ranking as soon as it was released back in 2020. At the core it’s a boss battler with some bag building mechanics. You play as a spaceship that has to defeat a …well a larger spaceship and its minions.

You might also like: If you like Warp’s Edge, here are a few other solo board games that might be for you, even if they didn’t make it to this list: Proving Grounds, One Deck Galaxy, and Set a Watch: Swords of the Coin.

33 – Eldritch Horror (2013)

Eldritch Horror is a Lovecraftian cooperative game where you have to fight evil around the globe. The game is fairly difficult and game sessions can last several hours.

You might also like: Fury of Dracula (Third/Fourth Edition), Unfathomable, Fallout.

32 – Cartographers (2019)

Cartographers is a very relaxing game of roll and write, where you have to draw a map. You don’t have to be a gifted artist, and it plays more like a turned based tetris, where you have to position elements of a map in a way that will let you score higher at the end of the round. It’s a bit like Kingdomino, except you draw the map areas instead of positioning cardboard tiles. The game is very relaxing solo, the kind of game that you play with a cup of coffee. Personally I have other roll and write games I prefer such as voyages, so I don’t play cartographers that much, but it’s undeniably a great solo game. It’s also pretty cool for families!

You might also like: People who like Cartographer also recommend the Pretty clever series (That’s Pretty Clever!, Twice as Clever!), as well as Fantasy Realms.

31 – Pax Pamir: Second Edition (2019)

Pax Pamir is a game of political influence set in Afghanistan during the 1800’s. People like this Victory point game’s production value, as well as the interesting challenge offered by the AI bot in solo mode.

You might also like: Food Chain Magnate, Dominant Species: Marine, Stationfall.

30 – Cloudspire (2019)

Cloudspire has been described as a board game equivalent of Multiplayer Battle Arena games, or tower defense games. The game has many modes, including (but not only) a solo and co-op campaign.

You might also like: Uprising: Curse of the Last Emperor, Townsfolk Tussle, Roll Player Adventures.

29 – Underwater Cities (2018)

Develop future cities on the seafloor through politics, production, and science in Underwater Cities, number 29 in this ranking.

You might also like: Praga Caput Regni, Glen More II: Chronicles, Anno 1800: The Board Game.

28 – Nemo’s War (Second Edition) (2017)

Sail the Seven Seas as the hardened captain Nemo, fighting the Imperialist powers. Nemo’s war is an exclusively Solo experience with wargame aspects, set in Jules Vernes’ wolrd of Twenty Thousand leagues under the sea.

You might also like: For some more medium weight solo games that you might enjoy, have a look at Hostage Negotiator, Black Orchestra, and Unbroken.

27 – It’s a Wonderful World (2019)

In It’s a Wonderful World, you are an expanding Empire and must choose your path to your future. You must develop faster and better than your competitors. You’ll carefully plan your expansion to develop your production power and rule over this new world. This is a drafting game, and the solo mode tries to emulate that by giving you a choice of cards to pick each turn. The decisions are interesting, setup and gameplay are easy, there is a bit of card luck involved which might or might not be your thing.

You might also like: Nidavellir, Hadara, Bunny Kingdom.

26 – Nusfjord (2017)

Use your three workers to clear trees, build a harbor, and fish in northern Norway. Nusfjord is a worker placement game, one of the most liked solo experiences of popular designer Uwe Rosenberg.

You might also like: For games with similar themes or gameplay, have a look at Lowlands, Le Havre, and Grand Austria Hotel.

25 – Hoplomachus: Victorum (2023)

Hoplomachus: Victorum is a solo-only campaign game of tactical combat. The game has an in-depth, rewarding adventure with deep strategic decisions and exciting combat.

You might also like: Hoplomachus: Remastered is a standalone expansion that can be combined with Victorum. Also have a look into other games from Chip Theory (Too Many Bones: Unbreakable, 20 Strong).

24 – Scythe (2016)

Scythe is a very popular game for many good reasons. Despite it’s massive table presence and cool miniatures, at the end of the day it is a mid-weight worker placement game that has a fairly easy learning curve. I have a love and hate relationship with the solo mode. It was one of the first big games that introduced a well refined automa, and I think this is why people like it so much as a solo game. But the solo mode plays with different rules than a regular game (specifically, the bot follows very different rules) and I always found that to be a bit disappointing. It’s still always fun to get this game on the table though, and I believe Scythe and its solo mode take a well deserved spot in the ranking here.

You might also like: Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy, Rising Sun, Concordia Venus.

23 – Wingspan (2019)

Attract a beautiful and diverse collection of birds to your wildlife preserve in Wingspan, a great tableau building game that’s also a staple of solo gaming.

You might also like: For other beautiful and somewhat relaxing games, people recommend Azul, Sagrada, and My City.

22 – Hadrian’s Wall (2021)

Hadrian’s wall has been a solo favorite since it came out. I still have to try this roll and write myself. I have seen it on sale recently on Amazon, and might give it a go. Check the link in the description below for the Amazon ongoing sale for board games.

You might also like: Dinosaur Island: Rawr ‘n Write, Fleet: The Dice Game, The Isle of Cats.

21 – Obsession (2018)

Renovate an estate, manage servants, and pursue romance in Victorian England with Obsession, a game that everybody seems to love. This is a victory point game, with great components and theme. The Solo mode involves an AI opponent that’s easy to run.

You might also like: Space Station Phoenix, Crusaders: Thy Will Be Done, and Viticulture.

20 – Sprawlopolis (2018)

Sprawlopolis is one of my favorite Solo games, and it fits on a total of 9 cards. Playing Sprawlopolis is like playing a Mini sim City. You have to score points buy building your city according to some specific goals. It’s very clever, very elegant, and it plays fast. It’s also available as a print and play for typicallyless than 5 bucks, so I really recommend you give it a try.

You might also like: More great solo games from Button Shy include standalone expansion Agropolis, as well as Tussie Mussie, and Skulls of Sedlec.

19 – A Feast for Odin (2016)

A feast for Odin is a great game if you’re the right person for this Viking themed Victory point game. It did not work for me at all, but I’m assuming I’m not the target audience.

You might also like: If you can’t get enough euro games, have a look at Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar, Clans of Caledonia, and Orléans.

18 – Cascadia (2021)

Cascadia is a very relaxing game that plays great solo or with friends. You have to create a terrain and populate it with Widllife. The game has continuously stayed in the top 100 since it was released in 2021, and it keeps climbing the ranks.

You might also like: The Quacks of Quedlinburg, Calico, The Taverns of Tiefenthal.

17 – Under Falling Skies (2020)

Under Falling skies is one of my favorite solo games. The game initially started as a print and play, and that’s the version I own, but there is a commercial version which adds a campaign. This is an exclusively solo game, in which you have to contain alien invaders while figuring out the technology to destroy them. This is a dice placement game with lots of crunchy decisions. It’s also very thematic with its Space Invaders atmosphere, in particular for such a tiny game. I love it!

You might also like: A few more great solo games for you to consider if you likes Under Falling Skies: Coffee Roaster, The Lost Expedition, and Set a Watch.

16 – Lost Ruins of Arnak (2020)

Lost Ruins of Arnak is a Deck Building and Worker Placement game, with a great solo mode. It is often compared to Dune Imperium, as both games came out the same year and have similar mechanics. In my opinion you should pick one of the two depending on your theme preference. They’re both great so there isn’t a bad choice here.

You might also like: Planet Unknown, PARKS, 7 Wonders Duel.

15 – Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island (2012)

Robinson Crusoe has been in this ranking for 10 years now, and it stays very close to the top of the rankings, which is insane. In this game, you have to survive on an Island full of threats. Gather wood, craft a shelter, survive the elements and dangerous animals. Everything wants to kill you in this game, and I personally found it exhausting to not be able to catch my breath. Definitely not a relaxing game, but if you’re looking for a thematic game of survival that pulls no punches, this is the one.

You might also like: Civilization: A New Dawn, Imperial Settlers, Star Wars: Rebellion.

14 – Gaia Project (2017)

Gaia project is a heavy euro-style game with a sci-fi theme, set in the Terra Mystica universe. People have praised its Automa in the solo mode, while recognizing that it can be a bit finicky to handle. Gaia project offer lots of depth, and people love the variety of the factions in the game. Gaia project has been a bit hard to find on retailers, but as I’m making this video, not only is it available on Amazon, but it’s also on sale!

You might also like: Barrage, The Gallerist, Terra Mystica.

13 – Aeon’s End (2016)

Aeon’s End is a great boss battler that you can play either co-op or solo. You play as magicians fighting a monster and its minions, in a Heroic fantasy setting. The game is a deck builder with a shop mechanism. Aeon’s End has a lot of interesting mechanics, in particular the fact that your deck isn’t shuffled when it runs out, or its initiative mechanism which can bring chaos into your strategy. The enemies are also pretty well thought out. The only reason Aeon’s end isn’t in my collection today is that I’ve played too much of it already.

You might also like: If you like Aeon’s End, the game has a lot of expansions, including standalone ones such as Aeon’s End: War Eternal, and even a legacy version of the game (Aeon’s End: Legacy) which I’m personally not a huge fan of. Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure might also be for you.

12 – Final Girl (2021)

Final Girl was one of my favorite board games last year. I’ve cooled down a bit on it and I have yet to play the new content from season two. But it is a very unique and extremely thematic game of horror, in which you play the final girl who has to defeat a serial killer, or die trying. The game is tense and fun whether you win or you lose. There’s also lots of contents for it, with its modular system allowing you to play a lot of different scenarios and characters, based on popular horror movie franchises. Some people have criticzed the randomness of Final girl due to luck of the dice, but in my experience there are lots of way to mitigate the game events. In other words, git gud, folks.

You might also like: Vagrantsong, Horizons of Spirit Island, Wreckland Run.

11 – Gloomhaven (2017)

I have nothing but praise for Gloomhaven, although it’s probably one of those games that is so well known that your opinion on it is probably already made. Gloomhaven is the game that got me back into board games back when it came out. This is a very heavy dungeon crawler with a massive campaign. The campaign has about a hundred scenarios, 16 characters that you will all get to play, and about 300 hours worth of gameplay. But what really sets Gloomhaven apart is its elegant combat system, based on decks of cards that are very unique for each character, and that simultaneously represent your initiative, your movement, your attack and your life. There’s honestly nothing like it, except for its sequel Frosthaven, and Jaws of the Lion, which is the game I actually recommend if you want to play Gloomhaven.

You might also like: Forgotten Waters, Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game, Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition.

10 – Imperium: Classics (2021)

Well well well… I still don’t get it. Imperium classics is the game that really didn’t work for me. I found it too long, with too big of a footprint (both in time and in space) for what it has to offer, the art fell flat for me, not to mention the overall quality of the game components which Ireally found sub-par. I guess I need to give it another chance, as this civilization victory point game keeps climbing the ranks in the best solo rankings.

You might also like: Raiders of Scythia, Radlands, AuZtralia.

9 – Terraforming Mars (2016)

As we’re getting to the very top of this ranking, let me say ahaed of time that the best performers haven’t been disrupted much since last year. Which is understandable: they were considered to be excellent solo experiences last year, and that of course hasn’t changed. And so, Terraforming mars is our number 9. People love what this thematic euro game of strategy and tile placement has to offer for the solo experience, while recognizing that the components of the base game aren’t of the best quality.

You might also like: Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization, Caverna: The Cave Farmers, Alchemists.

8 – Ark Nova (2021)

Plan and build a modern, scientifically managed zoo to support conservation projects in Ark Nova, number 8 in this ranking.

You might also like: Beyond the Sun, Architects of the West Kingdom, Great Western Trail.

7 – Dune: Imperium (2020)

We’ve mentioned Lost Ruins of Arnak a few minutes ago, and here is its nemesis, haha. I’m not sure if it’s the theme that attracts more people, or if Dune Imperium’s gameplay is a bit better, or if it’s the quality expansions that get delivered on a regular basis for the game, but it seems to rank a bit higher than Arnak every single year. Dune Imperium is a game of light Deckbuilding and game worker placement. The game is great with friends, and it is awesome solo too.

You might also like: Brass: Birmingham, Twilight Inscription, Blood Rage.

6 – Too Many Bones (2017)

Toss gobs of unique dice in an epic adventure en route to a final boss showdown. Chip Theory’s Too many bones remains solidly in the top 10. This self-proclaimed dice-builder RPG was number 5 last year, and is in 6th position this year.

You might also like: You might also like other Chip Theory games such as burncycle or Too Many Bones: Undertow. For more heavy campaigns, have a look at Frosthaven.

5 – The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Revised Core Set (2022)

Lord of the rings the card game was the first Living Card Game by Fantasy flight. It’s a very, very solid game co-op or solo, extremely thematic, but also brutally hard. Famously, one of the three included scenarios in the base game is pretty much impossible to beat with only the cards in the base game. Nonetheless, once you get the hang of it, it’s one of the most thematic and crunchy cooperative board games out there.

You might also like: War of the Ring: The Card Game, Descent: Legends of the Dark.

4 – Arkham Horror: The Card Game (2016)

I have played so much of the Arkham horror card game! Of all three Fantasy flight living card games, this is probably the one which theme appealed the most to me. I know that Fantasy flight have a tendancy to recycle their art, and so if you’ve played Eldritch Horror, or the Arkham Horror board game you might get bored of it by now, but the art of the game is great (but also gruesome). The game is hard, thematic… I mean you probably know the drill if you’ve tried any of the Living Card Games by Fantasy flight. What sets Arkham Horror LCG appart, beside its theme, is that each expansion is a full campaign with multiple scenarios. Whether your team succeeds or fails at a scenario, you’ll have to move forward to the next one. The narrative arc of each campaign is pretty convincing if you like Lovecraftian horror, and this is a great game on all fronts: theme, gameplay, mechanics, you name it. Absolutely no surprise this is in the top 10.

You might also like: IF you can’t get enough lovecraftian chills, check Mansions of Madness: Second Edition and Arkham Horror: Final Hour.

3 – Marvel Champions: The Card Game (2019)

The Fantasy Flight Living Card Game series are undeniably great games. Marvel Champions is the third one in the family, after Lord of The rings and Arkham Horror. They all follow similar mechanics, but play differently enough that you might eventually want to play all of them. But if you’ve never tried any of these games, I’d say pick the one with the theme you like the most. Marvel Champion is a solo or co-op boss battler, with deck construction mechanics. You play as a super hero who has to defeat a villain. The heroes, as well as the villains, all have very different mechanics and abilities, which help keep the content fresh. There is enough content in the base game for you to have hours of fun, but if you like the game, no doubt that you’ll want to buy more heroes or scenarios.

You might also like: For more games based on popular franchises, check out Star Wars: The Deckbuilding Game, X-Men: Mutant Insurrection, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

2 – Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition (2018)

Mage Knight has been consistently in the top of the rankings for solo gamers. Although I think it was initially meant to be played with a group, game sessions are fairly long, and its become a staple of solo gaming. I do have the game, but I have yet to try it. Shame on me!

You might also like: Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion is said to have taken heavy inspiration from Mage Knight. People also recommend Imperium: Legends.

1 – Spirit Island (2017)

Unsurprisingly, Spirit Island remains number 1 in the list this year. Spirit Island Is a cooperative game in which you play as magical spirits, or gods, trying to defend your island from Invaders. The rules can appears daunting at first, but once you’ve got them, this game is phenomenal either solo or cooperative. There’s also a lot of contents in the base game with multiple spirits that play very differently from each other, and additional scenarios that ramp up the difficulty. It’s a game I’ve owned for years and that I’m always delighted to bring to the table. Just talking about it right now makes me want to play it

You might also like: If you like Spirit Island, have a look at Root, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, or in particular Mechs vs. Minions if you like planning several turns ahead.

This is it for the 1-Player Guild’s ranking of the best solo games this year. What did you think of the list? Are there solo games you would recommend, that did not make it to this ranking? Let me know in the comments! Thanks a lot for reading and see you next time!

[1] https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/324731/2023-peoples-choice-top-200-solo-games-200-1

Games mentioned in this article

Arkham Horror: The Card Game
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Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition
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Marvel Champions: The Card Game
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Spirit Island
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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Revised Core Set
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