Best Solo RPG Board Games – My Top 6 List

Spread the love

Everyone loves a good role-playing game, let that be a video or a board game. As such, RPG games are usually epic adventures, demanding a lot of your time, more and more board RPGs are played solo. What are the Best Solo RPG Board Games?

List below is as objective selection as I could manage, but also slightly to my taste. Games are listed by complexity, this time starting with the most complex.

By most of them, you’ll find a link to another article on my site, further describing the game. On that page, there is usually also a link to check the price.

Content

(click on a title to jump to that part of the article directly)

Best brain crusher: Mage Knight Ultimate Edition

Best dungeon crawler: Gloomhaven

Best dice-builder: Too Many Bones

Best creature generator: The City of Kings

The Best horror: Mansions of Madness: Second Edition

Best blockbuster license: The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth

Honorable mentions


Mage Knight Ultimate Edition

Best Solo RPG Board Games Mage Knight Box

You play as a mage knight, a powerful warrior/wizard. You will explore a beautiful-looking hexagonal-tiled board, filled with towers, keeps, villages and cities to interact and conquer, as well as ruins, dungeons and rampaging monsters to beat. You can even command units to help you out.

Your objective depends on a scenario and it usually ends in a massive fight; conquering a city or defeating a ravaging army of General Volkare.

This is all wrapped around predominantly deck-building mechanics (along others) to create a several hours long puzzle, guaranteed to burn out your brain.

Facts:

Link to BoardGameGeek page
Year published: 2018
Number of players: 1-5
Playing time: 120-240
Suggested player age: 14+
Complexity rating (according to BGG): 4.57/5
Average rating (according to BGG): 9/10

Main features:

  • Puzzle-solving deck-builder, wrapped in a fantasy world.
  • One of the best solo experiences of the board game world.
  • Playing it requires a lot of effort and time investment.

Best Solo RPG Board Games Mage Knight Game

Expansions/Editions:

  • Mage Knight Base Game
  • The Lost Legion Expansion
  • Dual Color Cards Expansion
  • Krang Character Expansion
  • Shades of Tezla Expansion
  • Mage Knight Ultimate Edition

Buyer’s guide:

With Mage Knight, there is only one path to follow: get the Ultimate Edition – it contains the base game plus all the expansions. Expansions enhance the base game a lot and you will want them sooner or later. Do yourself a favor and buy everything in one package. It’s also a lot cheaper this way.

Click here to read my full review of Mage Knight Ultimate Edition


Gloomhaven

Best Solo RPG Board Games Gloomhaven box

Also set in a fantasy world, Gloomhaven is focused on clearing out dungeons. It comes with 95 unique scenarios, which are tied together in a story-driven campaign. You will make decisions, that will affect the entire game world and the future of your adventure.

Every character starts a scenario with a number of action cards and it’s those action cards and how you use them, that makes most of the gameplay. Each round you can play 2 and the initiative number dictates the order of actions.

Use weaker cards, but make sure you go before the monsters? Save powerful cards or play them now? The choice is yours; jut be ready to pay the consequences. Or reap the rewards, as you will have a chance to progress your character and enhance your action deck between the scenarios.

Facts:

Link to BoardGameGeek page
Year published: 2017
Number of players: 1-4
Playing time: 60-120
Suggested player age: 12+
Complexity rating (according to BGG): 3.83/5
Average rating (according to BGG): 8.8/10

Main features:

  • Long campaign can easily take you 100 hours to complete.
  • Game mechanics are the most refined in the genre. It doesn’t get any better than this.
  • Strong story and feel of progression. You will bond with your character.

We Played A LOT of Gloomhaven

Expansions:

  • Gloomhaven: Solo Scenarios
  • Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles

Buyer’s guide:

I suggest buying just the base game. You don’t need Solo Scenarios to play solo and Forgotten Circles adds extra scenarios – which you also don’t need until you have completed the base game. Which is a huge undertaking on itself.

Click here to read more about Gloomhaven


Too Many Bones

Best Solo RPG Board Games Too Many Bones Box
Image from Chip Theory website

TMB is a unique game. It’s a dice-builder RPG. You train skills and progress your Gearloc (your playable character) with dice, which you place into a high quality neoprene character map. There are a total of 136 custom dice included.

Goal of the game is to defeat one of the seven Tyrants, but on your way to the boss, there will be lot of adventuring, building up your character and fighting other monsters.

Facts:

Link to BoardGameGeek page
Year published: 2017
Number of players: 1-4
Playing time: 60-120
Suggested player age: 12+
Complexity rating (according to BGG): 3.84/5
Average rating (according to BGG): 8.5/10

Main features:

  • Unique dice-building mechanics.
  • Top of the class components and presentation: neoprene mats, enemy tokens on poker chips, beautiful dice.
  • Solo play can be done by controlling multiple Gearlocs or by dedicated solo scenarios.
Best Solo RPG Board Games Too Many Bones Box Content
Image from Chip Theory website

Notable Expansions:

  • Tink
  • Nugget
  • Ghillie
  • Gasket
  • Age of Tyranny
  • 40 Days in Daelore

Buyer’s guide:

Too Many Bones is a very expensive game and you can only buy it from the publisher’s website. Therefore, I suggest buying only the base game and add expansions later.

Expansions introduce new characters, new encounters and enemies.


The City of Kings

Best Solo RPG Board Games The City of Kings Boxes
Image from The City of Kings official website

The City of Kings is a coop (which works very well solo) adventure board game set in a fantasy kingdom. You can choose from six different characters (once Kings from the title) with unique skill trees.

You will travel the board, explore it, exploit the land for its resources (with the help from workers you control) and find or buy weapons and items. You will need those to fight monsters you encounter on the way and those are randomly made on the fly with thousands of combinations possible.

Goal of The City of Kings is to complete a selected scenario (19 available in the base game) and it usually makes a pretty tough challenge.

Facts:

Link to BoardGameGeek page
Year published: 2018
Number of players: 1-4
Playing time: 45-180
Suggested player age: 12+
Complexity rating (according to BGG): 3.07/5
Average rating (according to BGG): 7.9/10

Main features:

  • Role playing game, using a variant of worker placement mechanics.
  • Unique and random monsters guarantee a fresh experience every time.
  • A very challenging game, recommended for seasoned adventurers.
Best Solo RPG Board Games The City of Kings Game
Image from The City of Kings official website

Expansions:

  • Ancient Allies Side Quest Pack #1
  • Ancient Allies Character Pack #2
  • Ancient Allies Character Pack #1

Buyer’s guide:

Along with promotional packs (which are impossible to get unless you already have them), there have been three smaller expansions, adding new side quests and new playable characters. They are not necessary for the enjoyment of the game, but are welcomed for experienced players.

Click here to read more about the City of Kings


Mansions of Madness: Second Edition

This is horror game, that takes place in H.P. Lovecraft’s world. In 2016, the revised Second Edition came out.

What makes Second Edition special, is the iOS/Android/Steam app, which keeps track of all parameters (like your or enemy hit points), guides you how to build the map, controls the monsters and progresses the story.

MoM is played per scenario – each with a different setting and objectives. You play as an investigator, trying to get to the bottom of a mystery. Explore the mansion, search the rooms, solve puzzles and fight monsters that get on your way.

Facts:

Link to BoardGameGeek page
Year published: 2016
Number of players: 1-5
Playing time: 120-180
Suggested player age: 12+
Complexity rating (according to BGG): 2.68/5
Average rating (according to BGG): 8.1/10

Best Solo RPG Board Games Mansions of Madness Box Content
Image from Fantasy Flight website

Main features:

  • The Best horror RPG around. Period.
  • Brilliantly implemented app makes playing smooth as butter.
  • A lot of additional material available.

Expansions:

  • Suppressed Memories: Figure and Tile Collection
  • Recurring Nightmares: Figure and Tile Collection
  • Streets of Arkham: Expansion
  • Beyond the Threshold: Expansion
  • Sanctum of Twilight: Expansion
  • Horrific Journeys: Expansion
  • Path of the Serpent

Buyer’s guide:

Numerous expansion are available. They add more scenarios, new investigators, monsters, map tiles, tokens and cards. Again, look into them after the base game content begins to feel stale.

Click here to read more about Mansions of Madness


The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth

Best Solo RPG Board Games Lord of the Rings Journeys in Middle-earth box
Image from Fantasy Flight website

Journeys in the Middle-earth is a game with a big license (who doesn’t like Lord of the Rings?). It comes from the same publisher as Mansions of Madness. It’s no wonder it is designed around an app, which is essential to the gameplay.

You will assume a role of a LotR character (Bilbo, Legolas, Gimli, Aragorn, Elena, and Beravor are available). Your journey is structured as a campaign, with each chapter introducing different map, enemies and objectives.

Chapters are tied together with a story, which is slowly being unraveled. Game is set after the events in Hobbit and before the events of the Trilogy.

Facts:

Link to BoardGameGeek page

Year published: 2019
Number of players: 1-5
Playing time: 60-120
Suggested player age: 10+
Complexity rating (according to BGG): 2.51/5
Average rating (according to BGG): 8.1/10

Main features:

  • Licensed Lord of the Rings lore.
  • App takes care of all the fiddly things, leaving you only the enjoyment of playing.
  • Engaging campaign.
Best Solo RPG Board Games Journeys in Middle-earth
Image from Fantasy Flight website

Expansions:

  • Villains of Eriador Figure Pack
  • Hunt for the Ember Crown
  • Shadowed Paths Expansion

Buyer’s guide:

The game is still fairly new, so only a fistful of expansions are available. They introduce new campaign, new playable characters, enemies, terrain and items. A welcomed addition.

Click here to read more about Journeys in Middle-earth


Honorable mentions

  • Frosthaven, Gloomhaven’s sequel, due to be released in 2020.
  • Roll Player, a cheaper version of a dice-builder.
  • 7th Continent, an adventure that starts out epic, but after a while becomes tedious.
  • Tainted Grail has similar stand-out points and problems as 7 Continent, but is set in a much darker world. It comes with great miniatures – and a hefty price.

Do you agree with my selection? Feel free to leave your opinion in the comment section below.

Vasilij

2 thoughts on “Best Solo RPG Board Games – My Top 6 List”

  1. I would be really happy to try all the games on your list because I love RPG board games. But there’s only so much free time that we have, and I find myself only playing Gloomhaven.

    It’s a fantastic game, I love the story and fighting monsters, although I’ve only played through 8 scenarios so far. Hopefully one day I will finish the game. 🙂

    Reply
    • Gloomhaven is a fantastic game, but it’s quite hard to get into. Setup and gameplay take a long time, it’s a bit fiddly and there are a lot of things to keep track of.

      I’d suggest Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion over Gloomhaven, especially for less-experienced players. It’s a slightly simplified, streamlined, cheaper, and shorter version of Gloomhaven, but it retains all the qualities that made the original so great. 

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Victory Conditions Logo

SIGN UP FOR GIVEAWAYS AND NEWS!

Don’t miss out on upcoming giveaways and newsletters and sign up here.

As a bonus, you will receive an exclusive PDF article, where I talk about my Top 7 board games.

Scroll Up