Board games make for an easy way to have a fun night, and there are so many options to choose from. Card games, deck-building games, worker placement games, cooperative games, strategy games, role-playing games... there's something for everyone.
If you've really jumped off into the deep end of the tabletop world, there are even games that can take the best part of a whole day to play. These are the titans of the board game world, and they demand your attention. Clear your schedule, make sure your friends are enthusiastic enough (they're in it for the long haul too) and dive right in. Here are some of the best, most time-consuming tabletop games around.
Last updated: November 29th, 2019 to reflect the latest additions to the array of long-lasting board games.
It should come as no surprise that Gloomhaven features here. Your campaign can take over 100 hours to complete, so your gaming group can easily spend an entire day with the game and not make a dent in the story the giant box contains. One to four players can jump into this experience together, and it will not be a disappointment.
There is so much content available to check out. This cooperative game will force players to coordinate against monsters and obstacles that oppose them as they seek to complete their quest. Make sure you have ordered food. There's no time to take a break, either.
14 Twilight Imperium: 4th Edition
Probably the most recognizable of the strategy games from Fantasy Flight Games, Twilight Imperium has undergone numerous revisions over the years, and it's better than ever. The fourth edition has streamlined a lot of the mechanics and improved the quality of the game.
The many expansions and boxes of the third edition have been condensed into one complete package. Unlike Gloomhaven, cooperation in this space opera is optional, and the best player will emerge victorious at the end of an arduous but rewarding journey.
13 Forbidden Stars
Enter the world of Warhammer for an experience that will leave you angry at your friends and shifting between ecstasy and agony. Forbidden Stars features four asymmetric races that demand unique strategies. Their units and their combat decks function nothing like each other, so you're not learning one game. You're learning four.
It will take multiple playthroughs to understand how to maneuver and fight with each race. The Orks, the Chaos Space Marines, the Ultramarines, and the Eldar all have separate paths to victory. The best tactician and strategist will be the victor.
12 Star Wars: Rebellion
Recreate the original Star Wars trilogy in an awesome game where the Empire and the Rebellion clash in galactic conflict. Star Wars: Rebellion suggests either two or four players for this tabletop drama, but two is more practical. You don't want to share strategic plans with another person.
One player controls the outnumbered Rebel forces while the other wields the vast resources and reach of the Imperial forces. The Imperial player must locate and destroy the Rebel base within a certain time limit, and the Rebel player must maneuver and survive. It's a tense struggle, but wholly entertaining.
11 Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Sometimes,- traditional tabletop role-playing experiences are intimidating to the uninitiated. That's where games like Star Wars: Imperial Assault come into play. A RPG-in-a-box, this board game provides the stories, the characters, and the maps for a seriously fun campaign. All you and your gaming group have to do is open up the box.
No preparation. No character building. Just reading the rules. There are a lot of expansions as well, so once you've successfully finished a campaign, many more stories are open to you. The galaxy needs saving, and your party of Rebel soldiers is the only hope.
10 Mansions of Madness: 2nd Edition
If you like the idea of a campaign with friends, but you'd prefer that it end with the loss of sanity and death, then Mansions of Madness is right up your alley. Lovecraftian horror takes center stage in this second edition of the popular board game.
An appealing aspect of Mansions of Madness is the inclusion of a companion app that takes some of the mechanical burdens off of the players. You play as investigators who are trying to unravel the mystery of a terrifying place where demonic monsters and cultists threaten the safety of the world.
9 Pandemic Legacy
Pandemic Legacy is the best version of the board game classic. Players are transported into a world that is under siege from diseases, some more threatening than others. Anywhere between twelve and twenty-four individual games are tied together into one narrative.
Each game affects the next and the board will suffer devastating changs as the world collapses. Players assume the roles of medical and government personnel who all seek to avert global disaster. It will be a difficult journey, but the emotional highs and lows are so worth it.
Coming off the success of games like Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, this modern crime board game has been updated for the new age of investigative work. Detective incorporates narrative elements similar to the Sherlock Holmes games, but it also relies on technology.
Players will utilize an online database to collect evidence and peruse files. It takes time to accurately read and assess the information presented during a case, and only the cleverest of detectives will be able to piece together what's happened. The case is afoot.
7 The 7th Continent
Most games give an average playtime to be expected when opening up the box and playing with friends. For The 7th Continent, that range goes from five minutes to 10,000. Absurd, right? That's because the game is an exploration adventure that can take hours to finish.
It includes a save feature that will allow players to pause their journey at any time. That also means that you can play for a ridiculously long amount of time before stopping. Since your last expedition to the new world, you've been cursed. How long will it take you to sail back and lift that curse? Find out in a game of The 7th Continent.
6 Dungeons & Dragons
This classic remains one of the best ways to spend hours with your friends around a table. Bring some food. Share some drinks. Lose yourself in a role-playing adventure.
Dungeons & Dragons is a joy to play. Create a character and invest in their stories. Campaign with a motley crew of adventurers. Everything about Dungeons & Dragons is designed to be an escapist narrative with endless possibilities. The only limits are the creativity of the group and the Dungeon Master. Sessions can take as long as you want. The whole day, if needed.
5 Europe Engulfed
This tabletop block-game dates back to 2003 and focuses on the entirety of World War II, from 1939 right up until 1945. The Europe Engulfed makers proudly claim that "The entire campaign is playable in a single 10-to-14 hour day."
There are some shorter campaigns, which are a mere 2-6 hours each, while the main campaigns are estimated at 10 and 14 hours playtime each. In total, the campaigns stack up to an impressive 44 hours of game time.
The game promises fast play, innovative rules, and strategic warfare. Just make sure you cleared your schedule before you begin. The game rates highly but will be a huge time investment.
The Munchkin box will tell you that this game lasts a couple of hours. That's a straight-out lie. Unless you lower the level goal down from 10 you will be likely backstabbing each other all day.
It's a card game of sabotage as each player attempts to gear up, level up, fight monsters and grab some treasure. Since you can lower your opponent's levels, this game often lasts a very, very long time. Especially if you begin arguing over the rules, which you will. It's great fun though, so don't discount it on that front.
3 7 Ages
Another world history game, 7 Ages covers 4000 BC/E to 2000 AD/CE. Players are in charge of different dynasties that decide what happens to the world. Multiple civilizations can be played at once, but the game time is still long. You can create interesting and alternative histories and play them to completion.
The makers estimate it at around 4 hours but experienced players have reported games that have spanned several gaming sessions. While you can set a time limit and stop much sooner, where's the fun in that?
2 Warhammer: Various
Games Workshop's Warhammer has evolved a lot over the years. The latest version of the tabletop miniatures game, Age of Sigmar, is much shorter, taking around 2-4 hours to play. However, if you have some older rule books especially then you need to set aside at least 3 times as long as this.
Even the newer game can last much longer if you have larger armies and especially if you are new to the game. It's an epic tabletop battle after all and these cannot be rushed.
1 Monopoly: Longest Game Ever
Hasbro have just announced the release of Monopoly: Longest Game Ever. Just in case you didn't think the original took enough time, between the squabbling, the cheating accusations, someone getting cross when they are bankrupt and flinging the board across the room this version feels like the ultimate troll.
The board has transformed into a 2 layer effort and now contains a whopping 66 properties. The winner must own every single purchasable square in the game to claim victory. To make this task even harder there is only 1 die to limit movement and even bankruptcy won't let you sit out. Set aside at least a week to complete this monstrosity.