Best Campaign Board Games: Adventure and Cooperation

Looking for the best campaign board games? I recommend Gloomhaven for the most epic adventure, but there are other games that might also appeal to you.

For your information: When you buy through links on Boards Cards Dice, we may earn a commission.

Campaign board games are played across multiple sessions, offering experiences that evolve and contribute to an overarching storyline. It’s no wonder they’re some of our favorite board games.

Most campaign games are designed for the same group across several sessions, there are some geared for shorter game times and flexible gaming groups.

In this article, you’ll find all the best campaign board games. You’ll find information about the style of play, the recommended ages, and what makes the game worth considering. Ready to get started? Keep reading to learn more.

Campaign Games: At a Glance

If you’re playing with younger players, I’d grab a copy of Mice & Mystics. It’s family-friendly and has a great theme that will keep younger players engaged.

If you enjoy movie adaptations, go with Star Wars Imperial Assault. Of course, Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle is based on a good movie.

If you enjoy playing app-driven games, you’ll like LOTR: Journeys in Middle Earth. The app acts as the game master so you don’t have to.

There are several other campaign board games beyond what I listed. Find more information below.

Campaign Board Game Reviews

Gloomhaven: Best Campaign Board Game

Number of Players: 1-4

Playing Time: 60-120 minutes

Age: 14+

Publisher: Cephalofair Games

You can’t have a list of the best campaign board games without including Gloomhaven. This beast of a game focuses on Euro-inspired tactical combat. It’s a dungeon crawler that opts for hand management instead of dice rolls.

Players take on the role of wandering adventurers, each with their own special abilities. Players must work together through scenarios as part of a larger story as they explore the city of Gloomhaven. Clear out dungeons and forgotten ruins while pursuing your own objectives.

As the game progresses, players enhance their abilities with experience and loot. They discover new locations to explore and plunder while expanding a branching campaign. The decisions they make permanently affect the story.

Build your character’s deck of cards to gain more abilities as you play. The gameplay itself is balanced and sophisticated, with enough of a challenge to engage even the most experienced gamers.

Cephalofair Games: Gloomhaven, Award-Winning Strategy Board Game, For 1 to 4 Players, 60 to 120 Minute Play Time, For Ages 14 and up

This is a game with a persistent and changing world that is ideally played over many game sessions. After a scenario, players will make decisions on what to do, which will determine how the story continues, kind of like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.

Players use cards to determine the order of play and what actions a player takes on their turn. If you take too long to clear a dungeon, you may run out of energy and be forced to retreat. With over 90 missions to choose from, there’s no shortage of variation in the game. Side quests, branching storylines, multiple levels, and loot galore all add to the possibilities.

Even though this has a legacy format, you don’t have to tear up cards or permanently alter the game, which means Gloomhaven can be played over and over again. Choose from four characters to start, as well as 11 additional characters as the game progresses.

If you’re a fan of Dungeons and Dragons, this is essentially the campaign board game version. It’s epic in scale, but also in size and price. You have to commit to Gloomhaven. But if you’re looking for the best campaign board game, it’s well worth it.

Find more games like Gloomhaven.


  • Cooperative gameplay
  • 90+ missions
  • Epic fantasy dungeon crawler
  • Story-driven campaign
  • Legacy format with high replayability


  • Expensive
  • Learning curve, complicated rules
  • Huge box

Betrayal Legacy: Runner-Up Pick

Number of Players: 3-5

Playing Time: 45-90 minutes

Age: 12+

Publisher: Avalon Hill

Based on the award-winning Betrayal at House on the Hill, Betrayal Legacy provides a different take on the classic game. Betrayal Legacy allows you to create the house’s backstory through campaign-based play.

The Legacy campaign chapters span from 1666 to 2004, with players taking on the role of a family member across many generations to shape the unique origins of your House on the Hill.

In the classic Betrayal game, you and your friends explore a house made of modular tiles. As you explore, you’ll find items, events, and omens. Eventually, you’ll activate a haunt that enables a horror scenario with its own set of rules, many of which involve turning a player into a traitor.

This legacy version expands on the basic concept. It comes with an overarching story spanning decades. The game is played over 14 episodes, and each game has actions that will affect future games, so you have to play carefully and strategically.

One of my favorite things about Betrayal Legacy is the high replay ability. Once the legacy campaign is complete, you’ll have a fully customized board game that you can play over and over again. Like the classic, your customized version offers a completely different game each time you play, including brand-new haunts unique to post-campaign play.

Avalon Hill Betrayal Legacy, Board Game

This game is not for the faint of heart, however. With three rule books to consult, it can be overwhelming. There are also some balance issues. It’s better balanced than the original game, but some of the haunts still favor the traitor or the humans. Those are the main things to watch out for.

Customers had high praise for Betrayal Legacy. They were impressed with the originality of the scenarios, but they also felt like the game stayed true to the theme of the first. That’s a tough line to walk for legacy games, so bravo to Betrayal.

If you love the original Betrayal, you have to try the Betrayal Legacy campaign game.


  • New scenarios
  • Can still play post-campaign
  • Exciting semi-cooperative play


  • Lacks balance
  • A LOT of rules

The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth: Best App-Driven Campaign Game

Number of Players: 1-5

Playing Time: 60-120 minutes

Age: 14+

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

While I’m a fan of The Lord of the Rings, the games haven’t always lived up to the name. Fortunately, The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth does not disappoint.

In this campaign board game, players enter Tolkien’s world and take on the roles of LOTR characters. Build your own fellowship from six heroes, including fan favorites Aragorn, Gimli, and Bilbo. Use their unique skills and abilities to defeat Orcs, Goblins, and more.

The game takes place in the time between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Travel through Middle Earth and battle enemies, upgrade your skills, and make brave decisions that have lasting consequences.

The campaign consists of 14 adventure scenarios. Some adventures take 2-3 hours, whereas some are faster. It depends on your strategy and the pace of your gaming group.

The free companion app guides you through the campaign. While some might cringe at the idea of an app, it’s actually quite helpful. It acts as the game master, so you don’t have to create a story or keep track of enemy health.

The Lord of the Rings Journeys in Middle-earth Board Game - Strategy Game, Cooperative Adventure Game for Kids and Adults, Ages 14+, 1-5 Players, 60+ Minute Playtime, Made by Fantasy Flight Games

The app adapts to the number of players you have, and it tells you which map tiles to put down and where. It even saves your progress so you can save the game and come back to it. It reduces the amount of table space needed to play this board game.

The quality of the game components is excellent. There are separate character packs you can buy. You also get to upgrade your characters and items throughout the game. The map tiles are detailed and varied, while the figures are sturdy. You can also paint the minis if you choose.

Customers had rave reviews for Journeys in Middle Earth. Several compared this board game to Mansions of Madness, which is also an app-driven campaign game. They loved the artwork, the epic feel, and the ability to replay the adventures.


  • Fully cooperative campaign board game
  • App-driven play, functions as game master
  • High-quality components
  • Good replay value
  • Highly thematic, detailed artwork


  • Expensive
  • Requires an app to play
  • Long game sessions

Star Wars Imperial Assault: Best Movie Adaptation Campaign Game

Number of Players: 1-5

Playing Time: 60-120 minutes

Age: 14+

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

Star Wars games are practically ubiquitous at this point, but I dubbed this one the best Star Wars tabletop RPG. Published by Fantasy Flight Games, this epic adventure campaign board game has all the elements of a great RPG set in the Star Wars Universe.

Imperial Assault is a semi-cooperative dungeon crawler where one player acts as the Empire, while up to four players take on the role of Rebel heroes. This game uses dice for combat…

Imperial Assault offers two game modes: campaign or skirmish. The campaign mode spans a series of missions. Over the course of the campaign, both the Imperial player and the Rebel heroes gain new experience and skills, allowing characters to evolve as the story unfolds.

When you’re up for a change, you can switch to skirmish mode. Complete stand-alone missions and battle head-to-head with a friend. One of you plays as a hero of the Rebellion, while the other commands limitless squads of Stormtroopers, Imperial Officers, and AT-ST walkers.

Star Wars Imperial Assault is story-driven, masterfully recreating cinematic moments from the films. The board game is also highly variable, so you can play it again and again without it feeling repetitive. Choose from one of over 30 missions to keep the play interesting and fresh.

Gameplay happens in rounds. Each round consists of two phases. Players choose actions in the activation phase, alternating between the Rebel soldiers and the Imperial army. The status phase is when the Imperial player increases the threat dial and players ready their cards.

The pacing is nice because you don’t have to commit hours and hours for game sessions. Play a few smaller missions while making progress within the larger campaign. You can paint your own miniatures and enjoy over 30 missions and modular map tiles for a unique layout for each game.

Star Wars Imperial Assault Core Set - Epic Sci-Fi Miniatures Strategy Game of Rebel Resistance vs. Imperial Forces, Ages 14+, 1-5 Players, 1-2 Hour Playtime, Made by Fantasy Flight Games

Customers had high praise for Imperial Assault. They especially liked the semi-cooperative gameplay, the cinematic feel, and the high-quality game pieces and components.

Fair warning, this game is better suited for experienced gamers than tabletop gaming newbies. The instructions can be somewhat vague in some places, and there are some characters that are only available in expansions.

But if you enjoy dungeon crawlers and Star Wars, Imperial Assault is one you have to try.


  • Great story-driven RPG
  • Campaign or skirmish mode
  • Strategic depth
  • High replay value
  • Expansions available


  • Some instructions are vague
  • Certain characters are only available through expansions

Pandemic Legacy Season 0: Best Campaign Board Game for Beginners

Number of Players: 2-4

Playing Time: 45-60 minutes

Age: 14+

Publisher: Z-Man Games

If you’ve spent any time in the gaming world, you’ve likely played Pandemic. This 2008 cooperative board game became wildly popular. It’s still a gateway game that converts people to board gaming.

Just like the original version, the Pandemic: Legacy board game features players working together to save the world from four diseases. Outbreaks occur in cities across the globe. Players travel across the world map board to treat diseases, share knowledge with other players, and use their special skills to discover cures. If the pandemic goes on too long diseases get out of control, the players lose the game.

Here’s where things differ. Pandemic: Legacy takes place over 12 months, with players adding material to the board and gaining new abilities with every game. This game is loaded with high-stakes decision-making.

This is the third installment of Pandemic Legacy. Each installment (called “Seasons”) offers different scenarios. Season 0 takes place in 1962, at the height of the Cold War. Players act as medical specialists turned CIA agents on a mission to prevent a deadly Soviet bioweapon from destroying the globe. You don’t have to play Seasons 1 or 2 to enjoy Season 0, which is actually a prequel.

Pandemic Legacy Season 0 Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Cooperative Board Game | Ages 14+ | 2 to 4 Players | Average Playtime 60 Minutes | Made by Z-Man Games

This board game is highly thematic, with passports for each character, along with customizable aliases, plastic CIA agents, vans, and safe houses. It’s truly an immersive experience.

Customers had overwhelmingly positive reviews for Pandemic Legacy Season 0. Several said they played with friends or family members new to board gaming. The fully cooperative style of play is perfect for beginners. It’s still possible to have a quarterback player who dominates, but that is largely up to the gaming group.

The biggest downside is that the legacy game can only be played one time. Unlike others that allow multiple campaigns, Pandemic Legacy games require you to make permanent additions, and cards are destroyed during the campaign.

Check out this in-depth review for more board games like Pandemic.


  • Fully cooperative gameplay
  • Great for beginners
  • Immersive, thematic
  • Strategic depth & unique mechanics


  • Can only play once
  • Still has “quarterback” mechanism

Aeon’s End Legacy: Best Campaign Deck-Building Game

Number of Players: 1-4

Playing Time: 45-90 minutes

Age: 14+

Publisher: Indie Boards & Cards

Aeon’s End Legacy is a cooperative deck-building game based on the original cooperative warlock game, Aeon’s End. This deck builder offers a full campaign, where you’ll build your character over multiple games.

Dive deeper into the story of Gravehold as you seek to protect it from the terrifying monsters that plague the last bastion of humanity. Aeon’s End: Legacy is still a cooperative deck builder like the base game, but it’s designed to be played over multiple sessions.

Instead of the original’s variable turn order, this version offers a more streamlined system, allowing players to purchase new cards, cast spells, and perform other actions that help them stay alive.

As gameplay progresses, things become more difficult. To help with the increasing difficulty, you can choose new upgrades for your character at the end of each game. Adding stickers will permanently affect the story, which only adds to the fun.

At the end of the campaign, you’ll have new characters, new nemeses, and new cards that you can play with over and over again. This is a great two-player game. Several customers played in pairs, and they enjoyed the experience.

You don’t need a copy of Aeon’s End to play the Legacy game. You can play this version as a standalone game, but the choices you make could result in a deck that can be used for the original Aeon’s End gameplay or as an expansion. 80% of the content is compatible, so it offers a unique experience.

Aeon's End: Legacy - The First Legacy Deck-Building Game - Multi-Session Adventure - Cooperative Deck Builder - 45–90 Min Playing Time – for 1-4 Players Ages 14+ - by Indie Boards & Cards

One of the few complaints was that the story doesn’t seem to be majorly affected by whether you win or lose. There are some plot twists that add interest, but it doesn’t have the high stakes of other legacy games.

In spite of that, many gamers loved Aeon’s End Legacy, with several saying they preferred it over the original. And I have to say, I agree.


  • Fully cooperative deck-building game
  • Great replayability
  • Good for two players
  • Accessible mechanics
  • Mostly compatible with original and expansions


  • Story is somewhat lacking

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle: Best Deck Builder for Younger Players

Number of Players: 2-4

Playing Time: 30-60 minutes

Age: 11+

Publisher: USAopoly

This cooperative deck builder has a lot going for it–movie adaptation, family-friendly campaign, and accessible mechanics. In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, the forces of evil are threatening to overrun Hogwarts castle. It’s up to everyone’s favorite wizard friends to defend the school and defeat the villains.

Play as Harry, Ron, Hermione, or Neville, each with their own personal deck that’s used to acquire resources. Players add new cards to their deck in the form of characters, spells, or magical items. Other cards give the players special abilities that help them fight against villains.

You must work with your fellow players to defeat the forces of evil. The game evolves as you play through the seven games. You’ll reveal increasingly challenging adventures and unlock new secrets. The game sessions will get longer as you progress through the chapters. You can complete the first game in approximately 30 minutes, but it can hit 1.5 hours in the later stages.

USAOPOLY Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Cooperative Deck Building Card Game | Official Licensed Merchandise Board Great Gift for Fans Movie artwork For 132 months to 1188 months

This game is well-balanced, and the rules are pretty straightforward. It’s great for families and beginners to deck-building campaigns. This game also has high replay value, making it one you can enjoy for a long time to come.

The production quality is definitely mixed. Some customers got better quality cards and materials, while others got cards that were different sizes, misprinted, etc. I suggest a quick once-over upon opening the box to make sure everything is in order.

Despite the quality control issues, Hogwarts Battle got glowing reviews from players. If you enjoy deck building and Harry Potter, you’ve got to try Hogwarts Battle.


  • Fully-cooperative deck builder
  • Easy to learn
  • No player elimination
  • Well-balanced
  • Great replayability


  • Inconsistent production quality

Mice & Mystics: Best Campaign Game for Younger Players

Number of Players: 2-4

Playing Time: 90 minutes

Age: 7+

Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

If you’re looking for family-friendly campaign board games, look no further. Mice & Mystics is a great storybook adventure dungeon crawler for younger players and adults.

In this campaign board game, mice are actually heroes who have been cursed by an evil queen. They race through the castle in an attempt to warn the king. They must face countless adversaries like rats, spiders, cockroaches, and the castle’s formidable house cat.

Mice & Mystics is the lightest campaign board game on the list, making it an ideal family game. Gameplay is straightforward and usually requires flipping tiles or rolling dice. There is an instructional video that helps new players learn the game from start to finish.

There are 13 chapters to the story. Each chapter includes a different number of characters. Each scenario will take 1-2 hours, depending on the group and how much you strategize.

Mice & Mystics Board Game | Cooperative Adventure | Strategy | Fun Family Game for Adults and Kids | Ages 7+ | 2-4 Players | Average Playtime 90 Minutes | Made by Plaid Hat Games

This game shines in the thematic elements. The pieces are good quality, and they come unpainted so you can paint them as you’d like. The artwork is brilliant, and the story is fun and immersive.

Mice & Mystics is not a game younger children can play by themselves. The rules are too complicated for that. It’s better if there are older players who can help explain things as they go. This cute story-driven game is one of the best campaign board games for your next family game night.


  • Family-friendly RPG
  • Combines strategy and luck
  • Story-driven campaign board game
  • Vivid artwork
  • Creative, immersive theme


  • A lot of pieces
  • Not for kids to play solo

The 7th Continent: Best Solo Campaign Game

Number of Players: 1-4

Playing Time: 60-120 minutes

Age: 14+

Publisher: Serious Poulp

The 7th Continent is an exploration campaign board game that began on Kickstarter and has now become available for everyone. This game is designed to be played solo or with up to four players in a cooperative format.

The game takes place in 1907. You play the role of an explorer returning to the newly discovered 7th Continent off the coast of Antarctica. You are attempting to lift the terrible curse that has befallen you since your previous expedition.

Just like the chapters that make up the “choose your own path” game books, you explore the seventh continent by playing numbered adventure cards that gradually make up the board. This game blends survival and exploration, so you must use strategy and wit to stay alive.

Go through various terrains, including forest, desert, dungeon, and sea. Each terrain of your adventure exposes you to dozens of random events. The innovative numbered card system makes each part unique. The game remembers your choices, so you must make meaningful decisions.

To survive the many threats on the continent, you’ll need to make items, hunt or fish for food, and spend your experience points to learn new advanced skills. It’s also important to observe your environment and learn how to use the effects of the strange plants that grow on the continent.

The 7th Continent Classic Edition - Core Box - English Version - Boardgame - Cooperative - 1 to 4 Players - Adventure - Exploration - Survival

When it comes to campaign board games, The 7th Continent has the best solo option. It has fun and exciting one-player adventures built into the game, but you can play with up to four players. This game can be played in one sitting or over multiple sessions. There are some areas that can’t be replayed, but other adventures can.

If you’re looking for the best campaign board game for single players, The 7th Continent is tough to beat.


  • Great solo-player option
  • Fun but challenging
  • Fast and easy setup
  • “Choose your own adventure” feel


  • Limited replayability

Near and Far: Most Unique Campaign Game

Number of Players: 2-4

Playing Time: 90 minutes

Age: 13+

Publisher: Red Raven Games

Near and Far is a game of exploration for two to four players. It’s a sequel to Above & Below, another adventure game by Red Raven Games.

In this campaign game, you and up to three fellow players explore different maps in search for the Last Ruin, a lost city in a strange and wonderful world of ruins.

You must recruit and manage adventurers, hunt for treasure, and compete to be the most storied traveler. Collect food and equipment in town for long journeys, taking enough weapons to fight bandits, statues, and robots.

You’ll build an amazing and memorable tale each time you play. Each game is played over 10 sessions to reach the end of the story.

Buyers agreed that the premise was neat, and this is a fun and lighter campaign RPG. It has a lot of replayability, and it’s fun for a wide range of ages and experience levels. Several wished it had more player interaction, and the storyline got mixed reviews.

Near and Far by Red Raven Games, Strategy Board Game

Near and Far is entertaining, but the one thing it lacks is a clear identity. It’s not totally story-driven, but it does have a storyline. It’s an adventure card game, but it’s still a board game. It’s not heavy, but it’s more complex than other games.

However, the components are high quality and the artwork is stunning. If you want to try something different, Near and Far is a nice change of pace from other campaign board games.


  • Great for replaying
  • Vivid artwork
  • Unique mechanics
  • Relatively easy to understand


  • Little player interaction
  • Lacks clear identity

Marvel Crisis: Best for Two Players

Number of Players: 2

Playing Time: 90-120 minutes

Age: 14+

Publisher: Atomic Mass Games

The Marvel Miniatures Game is a tactical hobby game set in the Marvel Universe. Collect, assemble, and paint detailed miniatures of your favorite Marvel characters.

Choose characters from your collection to form a dream team that will fight against chosen forces and an interactive tabletop. Complete narrative missions on an interactive tabletop, and harness incredible superpowers and coordinate amazing team-up moves.

Each game of Marvel Crisis Protocol requires strategy and boldness to achieve ultimate victory. Or at least until the next disaster strikes.

As with all trademarked campaign games, this one’s expensive. It might be worth it if you prize detailed minis of your favorite Marvel heroes.


  • Detailed minis
  • Designed for two players
  • Fun combat and storylines


  • Minis are difficult to assemble
  • Expensive

Campaign Board Games: Buying Guide

The best campaign board games have a few things in common. For starters, the best campaign games have immersive narrative-driven gameplay. Part of the fun is finding out how the story evolves and eventually ends.

Another common characteristic of campaign board games is having plenty of meaningful decisions. Will your actions change the outcomes? If so, it makes the game even more exciting.

Of course, campaigns are not fun with poor minis. The best games have high-quality game components. Sturdy, detailed minis, cards that will hold up over time, and colorful artwork all add to the enjoyment.

Lastly, great campaign board games have the potential for replaying. This isn’t always the case, but you want to get your money’s worth. Being able to revisit a game makes it more enjoyable in the long run.

Best Campaign Board Games: Final Thoughts

There are some amazing campaign board games out there. Gloomhaven is my top choice, both for its epic scale and its immersive but challenging story-driven gameplay. However, there are other games that might suit you better. For more games that are similar, check out my review of the best dungeon crawlers