Whether you’re stuck in quarantine or simply can’t be buggered to go out into the world, at some point you’re going to start missing your friends and all the inane conversations you have while “out.” Maybe it’s time for an old school “game night?” Mike isn’t allowed in your house anymore, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still miss shooting the shit and maybe playing a little Catan together, right? Or maybe now is a good time to hit up some of your old college buddies and initiate a game of Risk? Those Saturday night gaming get-togethers were some of the best.
With tabletop simulator games, it’s now easier than ever to reconnect over some competitive fun. (And by “reconnect” we obviously mean, “talk shit and bust each others’ balls.”) Thanks to Steam, nearly every tabletop game you can think of is at your fingertips online. Of course, not all of them are offered for free. These, though, are our favorite free options.
Step into the shoes of a uniquely skilled, armed, and motivated individual. Then adventure into the world of Gloomhaven where you’ll fight and strategize to survive until the end.
Dungeons and Dragons
We know D&D is a pretty generic term, but in this instance, here is everything you need to get started playing online. Where you go from there and what specific story you aim to tell is up to you and your buds… just like when you used to play at the back of the comic book store!
Star Wars Armada
Ever wish you were a Rebel or part of the Empire? In Star Wars Armada, fans are given the chance to build their own fleet of fighters so that they can eventually rule the galaxy… or take down those who try.
Who will dominate the galaxy? Twiglight Imperium has players take on the guise of one of 17 possible factions. Next, they use politics, economics, and their military to bargain and fight their way to a win.
Is this the best game in the world? No. Is it super fun for Battlestar Galactica fans to play with each other? Yes. Duh. This semi-cooperative game allows players to take on different roles within the BSG ranks and then work to survive.
Stars Without Number
Stars Without Number is a game that can go on for as long as you like. It’s an easy to play interstellar game so if you’re in love with Star Wars, this is the game for you. This tabletop game takes place in a sandbox setting, which was done on purpose to give players the flexibility to live out whichever fantasy they choose. In stars without number, the year is 3200.
Savage Worlds is known to be an easy game to start. This narrative game includes battles, combat, dramatic tasks, chases, and interludes. in this game, it is very easy to create different worlds and adventures which makes for an interesting game each time.
Star Trek Adventure
Are you a trekky? Well, you’re in luck. There’s a table top game modeled after the Star Trak universe. You can create your own world within Star Trek and role play as anyone you like.
Strategy Tabletop Games
(Deck Building, World Building & Otherwise)
Settlers of Catan
Did anyone else spend literally hours playing just one round of this game… and immediately want to start a second game? Catan is a favorite with most tabletop gamers and now you can play it online, too.
Another favorite game that takes roughly forever is Risk. It may not always inspire a lot of laughs, but the strategy and critical thinking involved in each game is unparalleled. If Risk were a class in college, well, we’d still fail it but you can bet we would have shown up for every class.
Magic: The Gathering
Remember this wildly popular (and ridiculed) deck-building game? Now Magic: The Gathering exists as a computer simulation. We’re not suggesting you throw away your box of MTG cards. We’re simply saying that now there’s a new way to play.
Axis And Allies
We know who won the real World War II, and with Axis and Allies you could make sure the good guys prevail each and every time. First released in 1981, the game forces players to join various countries and start out playing separately but quickly join alliances and work together to advance and win the war.
You can think of Spirit Island sort of like Risk… but with magic. Each player assumes the role of a different spirit with its own unique set of powers — powers that must be used to ward off would-be colonizing invaders. History buffs, this one might be for you. Each turn represents a few years of history, so you’ll recognize plenty of actual historical colonizers (think the British colonies).
Creepy Tabletop Games
Betrayal At House On The Hill
While this game could technically fall into one of the other categories, Betrayal is just too terrifying for those. This eerie adventure game is perfect for horror fans.
Dead of Winter
Like zombies? Dead of Winter is an old school survival game that has been around since the height of the world’s zombie fascination but is no less intriguing today. Players work together to survive and individually accomplish their own goals, most of which are pretty nefarious.
In Eldritch Horror, you and your friends can become investigators and heroes set on an adventure to destroy a horrible plan to reawaken an old evil.
Betrayal Legacy is a classic horror game with a strong plot that lets players participate in haunted tales and exploits.
Mansions of Madness
Are you into Cthulhu fiction? Mansions of Madness allows you to embark on creepy Cthulhu adventures with friends through scenarios.
Murder mysteries never go out of style. In Mysterium, you can connect with suspects from the other side to help you find the killer.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Want to put your social deduction skills to the test? Play One Night Ultimate Werewolf, a game filled with death, horror, and mystery.
Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Are you an H.P. Lovecraft fan? In Arkham Horror: The Card Game, you can hunt for clues in the living card game based on his imaginations.
Just For Fun
Honestly, this is the dumbest, most fun game in the world. Some of your buddies might balk at the name. But anyone who has played Exploding Kittens will know it’s totally worth it.