Best Hardcore Board Games

Hardcore board games are for more non-casual players who want more of a challenge. This page lists some of my favourite serious board games that usually take a few hours to play have great replay value for the larger cost.

I call these hardcore but in reality they can actually range from very easy to play to very difficult. There are a huge range of board games in this category and I am only scratching the surface with the list below.

Game Players Cost Replay Time Difficulty Age Rating
Gloomhaven 1-4 High 10/10 90 min High 14+ 10/10
Catan 3-4 High 9/10 60 min Med 10+ 10/10
Ticket to Ride 2-5 High 8/10 30-60 min Med 8+ 9/10
Pandemic 2-4 High 8/10 45 min High 8+ 9/10
Betrayal at House on the Hill 3-6 High 10/10 60 min Med 12+ 10/10

1 Gloomhaven

gloomhaven review

Gloomhaven is the board game of this decade with its amazing gameplay and huge campaign. It’s a semi-legacy style game where each scenario impacts the overall game in small ways.

You and your team need to work together the defeat monsters and loot treasure in this epic fantasy style board game.

For the avid board game enthusiast, this will be the crowing jewel of any board game collection.

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Rating: 10/10

2 Settlers of Catan

settlers of catan review

Catan is one of the most well-known ‘hardcore’ board games. It is one of the original four European style board games that started the board game movement back in the early 2000s.

It’s fairly simple rules and resource management mechanics make it an easy game to teach, and a fun challenge to play. Catan is a classic and a much have in any board game collection.

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Rating: 10/10

3 World of Wonder Ticket to Ride

ticket to ride review

Ticket to ride is a wonderful board game experience where players try to complete destination cards.

On top of its great game play, I have also found ticket to ride a great teaching tool in helping me with geography (especially with the Europe version).

I highly recommend this game for any parent looking to find a game for older kids and couples who like to play board games together.

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Rating 9/10

4 Pandemic

Pandemic Review

Pandemic is a cooperative board game that pits the players against the board. You and your friends are tasked with trying to eradicate the diseases that are plaguing the earth, and through team work, and a healthy dose of luck you may just be able to save the human race!

Don’t be fooled though, this game can be extremely difficult to beat even on the lower difficulties.

It’s great for those to love a challenge and aren’t afraid of repeated failure.

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Rating: 9/10

5 Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill Review

Betrayal at House on the Hill is a horror themed board game by Avalon Hill.

It is both a cooperative game and a competitive game which pits the players against the traitor who reveals themselves half way through the game. This is a fantastic game for adults who like a game that is a little more complicated and has insane replay value with 52 different haunt scenarios!

If you are looking for a game to play this Halloween look no further than Betrayal at House on the Hill.

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Rating 10/10