The Best Board Games Under $50 – Review Geek

Extended family paying for a board game at home.
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Let’s face it, anything worth investing in is quality time in your sphere of influence. Board games are a powerful tool for socializing. So here are the best board games at the top end of the price list that won’t break the bank.

Best Co-op Game: Pandemic

The game box for Pandemic
Z-MAN games
  • Two to four players
  • From eight years
  • Playing time: 45 minutes
  • Three extensions

It seems that the word “pandemic” has a somewhat negative connotation thanks to 2020 and beyond. But the 2008 release by Z-Man Games was named Pandemic is nothing to overlook.

In this exciting game, you and up to three friends are on the front line against four deadly viruses threatening the world. Each player is assigned one of seven possible roles: Medic, Scientist, Dispatcher, Researcher, Emergency Planner, Quarantine Specialist, or Operations Expert. With all players working together, the goal is to discover all four cures before one of several game-losing conditions is met.

Once you get the hang of the mechanics of the game and want to add extra friends – or just want to spice up the gameplay, Pandemic has three extensions: On the abyss, in the laboratory, and Emergency, as well as a variety of spin-offs.

Best Co-op Game


Pandemic is an award-winning franchise for 2 to 4 players. Find the cure for four world-threatening viruses in this co-op adventure.

Best Party Game: canyon

The game box for Ravine
Stellar Factory
  • Three to six players
  • Age 12+
  • Playing time: 15-30 minutes
  • An extension

Many of you may have fond memories of team building exercises during meetings where you had to discuss what you would take with you to a desert island. StellarFactory Canyon, for up to six people, puts players in the shoes of plane crash survivors stranded on a deserted island. As you boldly explore your surroundings, you must search for food, start a fire, and build shelters while dealing with the possibility of going insane from the dangers plaguing the island.

Ravine is a simple non-competitive game that can break the ice in a small group or have a good time with friends or family due to some hilarious elements that take place with the madness maps. The game is well made, with sturdy cards and tokens in beautiful wood craftsmanship. If you’re ready to venture into the greater dangers of the canyon, the game offers The Spirits expansionbringing the player count to nine and adding new Foraging, Debris, Madness, and Night maps.

Best Party Game


Survive the dangers of an island where you unfortunately crashed. Search for food, make a fire and build a shelter in this co-op game. Just don’t slip into madness!

Best Single Player: unbroken

The game box for Unbroken
Golden Bell Studios
  • Age 13+
  • Playing time: 20-30 minutes
  • No extensions

The next game in the lineup has a bit of controversy. During the Kickstarter campaign for unbroken, Golden Bell Studios, which bought the rights to the game from the developer, faltered in funding the game’s shipping, which angered many backers. The company has also been accused of manipulating and exploiting content creators. These actions resulted in Golden Bell being banned from several board game sites and Kickstarter.

If you can see beyond the dramatic backstory of unbroken Distribution lets you participate in a unique and challenging solo player experience. You play as the sole survivor of a failed expedition of your adventurer group. Survival and revenge drive you as you must face the same evils that eliminated your party, armed only with items you can find on your escape route. The game plays out as a kind of “press your luck” challenge as you make life-threatening and potentially life-saving decisions.

At its core, the creators created a game that showed they really tried to provide an enjoyable experience for its players, but it was just mismanaged. unbroken survives the drama and offers you a challenging, nerve-wracking but incredibly fun experience.

Best Single Player


You are the sole survivor of a failed expedition into a dark fantasy dungeon. Can you survive and take revenge?

Best Two Player: 7 Wonders duel

The game box for 7 Wonders Duel
repos production
  • Age 10+
  • Playing time: 30 minutes
  • Two extensions

In 2010, Repos Production hit a home run with 7 miracles, which has won over fifty awards in just a few years. The company followed with our pick for Best Two-Player Game: 7 Wonders duel. As the name indicates, duel is a battle between two players to acquire cards that provide resources or advance their military or scientific development to develop a civilization and ultimately accomplish wonders.

You are victorious in three different ways:

  • Advancing your military marker onto your opponent’s capital
  • Winning six of the seven different scientific symbols or
  • Be the player with the most points at the end of the game

duel is not a lightweight of a game. Within three years he received 24 awards and honors. The game has now received two expansions –Pantheonwhich adds the help of god or goddess to your civilization, and agorain which you and your opponent fight for power in the Senate.

Best Two Player

7 Wonders duel

Increase your military might, seek scientific breakthroughs, and create wonders of the world in this head-to-head clash of civilizations.

Best map base: cont

Unpacked the game Fort and set it up on a table to play
leather games
  • Two to four players
  • Age 10+
  • Playing time: 20-40 minutes
  • An extension

There are some serious titles in this list, so let’s go back to our childhood and take a look at Leder Games’ lighthearted games cont. This game brings a new twist to Hyperbole Games SPQF. The premise is that you want to grow your friends list and work to build the coolest fortress that will attract the most kids in your neighborhood. They do this by stocking up on two things kids can’t resist – pizza and toys! By doing these fun things, you earn victory points, and at the end of the game, the player with the most points is the winner.

Fort is an easy to learn and very portable game for quick games that will make you feel like a kid again. If you want to add something cute and cuddly to the game, cont has a Cats and Dogs Expansion.

Best map based


Lure the kids in your neighborhood with pizza and toys as you build a cooler fort than your opponents in this 2-4 player Be a Kid Again Escape.

Best obscure: Potion Blast

The game box for Potion Blast
Terrible games
  • Two to four players
  • Age 14+
  • Playing time: 30-45 minutes
  • Two extensions

Ever wanted to experiment with blending ingredients to create incredible concoctions? Horrible Games give you the chance to do it safely without all the mess Potion Blast. In the game you are an alchemist student in potions class and it’s time for the final exam.

In the game, you take multi-colored marbles from the dispenser to create potions that you can drink to aid you in your challenge. When two same-colored marbles touch, an explosion occurs, allowing players to grab those marbles as well and add them to their ingredient pools to craft more potions faster. You win by getting first place for Student of the Year. Potion Explosion has two expansions—The fifth ingredient and The 6th student– available in Europe from the Horrible Guild website.

Best opaque

Potion Blast

Become an aspiring alchemist student in a race for the title of Potions Student of the Year. Combine marbles to create colorful potions that earn you points in this 2-4 player game.

Best for Younger Children: story time chess

Story Time Chess game unpacked and set up to show contents
story time chess
  • One or two players
  • From three years
  • Playtime varies
  • Two extensions

Ah, chess! It’s one of the most popular board games of all time. There are many who see it for its elegance and strategy, while many others struggle not only to learn it but also to teach it to younger audiences. story time chess tackles this dilemma in a unique and fun way that can captivate anyone aged 3 to 103. story time chess uses silly stories, vivid illustrations, custom chess pieces, and a unique chess board to teach players the basics of chess that isn’t dry or confusing. The game also has solo challenges that teach creatively the movement sets of each piece.

story time chess boasts itself as “the most awarded board game in history”, having won the 2021 Toy of the Year award, among many others, and being endorsed by countless celebrities, TV networks and educators. Once your family has mastered the basics, there are two expansions: Level 2 strategy and Tier 3 Tactics which are available on the story time chess Website.

Best for younger children

story time chess

The critically acclaimed Story Time Chess was named Toy of the Year 2021 for its unique and fun way of teaching three-year-olds the basics of chess.