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The best cooperative board games

What’s better than winning alone, you ask? Winning together, of course! The best cooperative board games have you and your friends coming together to accomplish something great wherein you will share in sweet victory or bitter defeat.

The best cooperative boardgames should ideally be playable several times over without feeling too repetitive or predictable. Having an element of randomness in cooperative games also performs wonders to prevent “quarterbacking,” or when someone with a greater understanding of the rules essentially takes everyone’s turns for them.

Even more board games

(Image credit: Fantasy Flight, Avalon Hill, Z-Man Games)

Best board games
If you want a more competitive experience, check out our recommendations for the best board games you can play in 2019.

In the age of digital distribution board games can be a difficult sell, especially when you consider some of these can cost the equivalent of potentially several digital titles. But we believe that MSRP is a small price to pay for even a handful of unforgettable evenings with friends. 

There are a handful of factors that make board games a favorite around the office, and we love ’em here at PC Gamer. The quality of the components in any board game can not only sell you on the experience but also allow you to enjoy the game longer as a result. Pair that with a vivid theme and art style, and you’ll have no trouble rounding up three or four adventure buddies.

Not all of these games are fully cooperative, as some of them see teams of three or four people working together against each other, which helps raise the stakes a little. Accomplishing a task to meet your own ends can be fairly challenging, and doing the same with others can be even more taxing. But when you and your friends surmount those trials together, you’ll all be better for it.   

Board games are tons of fun but can be damn expensive. If you’re looking to fill those vacant shelves at home with something other than books, our Black Friday deals will let you grab some board game staples for a bargain.View Deal

We’ve collected our favorites and a few reasons why we like them on our list below. If you’re still looking for more gaming of the analog variety, take a look at the best Warhammer 40K starter sets. And for more adventures of the digital variety, check out our list of the best RPGs on PC. 

Best cooperative board games

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(Image credit: Z-Man Games)

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1. Pandemic

Curing the world, one block at a time.

Players: 2-4 | Difficulty: Hard | Time to set up: 10 minutes | Time to play: 45-60 minutes | Age: 8+

 Encourages teamwork

 Superb tension 

Hard

An undisputed classic of cooperative gaming, Pandemic’s battle against a worldwide outbreak isn’t going anywhere any time soon—and thank goodness for that. This is a masterpiece of prioritization, communication, teamwork, and thinking up clever solutions to problems before you all die. Horribly, I might add. This game is brilliant, but it’s also damn hard. 

Various diseases have broken out across the globe and your only aim is to cure them. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done; although each character has a special ability to help their team, each turn brings more infections with it, the occasional epidemic, and a general sense of “oh crap, we’re screwed” as you race against the clock.

Better still, there are several flavors of Pandemic available now. Pandemic: Iberia is a great twist on the original game with a new map, historical setting, and fresh diseases to fight. Meanwhile, Pandemic: Legacy is the long-term version. It’s a game that has you fighting disease in an evolving campaign that sees cities annihilated, characters killed, and deadly infections given permanent (probably silly) names. It’s now in a second season, so you can play some 24 games in your own evolving world.

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2. Mysterium

What Clue would look like… if one of you was a ghost.

Players: 2-7 | Difficulty: Moderate | Time to set up: 5 minutes | Time to play: 30-45 minutes | Age: 10+

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