25 Best Fun Strategy Board Games Like Ticket To Ride

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By In The Playroom

There are a lot of fun strategy board games out there—and Ticket To Ride is one of the most popular.

If you want to mix things up and you’re looking for the best new board games or card games for your family game night, with a fun strategy game to bring some new challenges, then we are here to bring some fresh suggestions so you can branch out and expand your board game hobby even more.

If you love strategy board games, this is a list of some best board games like Ticket to Ride, that we think you are going to love.

25 fun strategy board games like ticket to ride

Strategy board games have been a long time favorite of mine, and the kids love to get stuck in to this type of game. Games like ticket to ride are perfect to bring together family and friends for an evening of fun, competition and lots of laughs!

ticket to ride

Ticket to ride is a great game, and you can mix things up with the expansion packs and different versions, so you may be looking for a similar game to bring the same level of fun to your gaming sessions.

If you are looking for something similar to play with younger kids, the good news is there is actually Ticket to Ride First Journey which is obviously a little bit easier and you can get started on this version with younger children from around 6+ (maybe a little younger if your child is very comfortable with board gaming) This junior version is ideal for your child’s first game of Ticket to Ride.

ticket to ride first journey

We’ve put together a list of 25 strategic board games to give you some inspiration, and help you find a tempting new board game or two for your next game nights.

These games are ones we think will appeal to the same age group, and same type of gamers who are looking for a fun new game with strategic thinking, that’s easy to pick up and play without too much of a learning curve. They are not necessarily similar games in the exact way the game is played, or a similar theme, although some of them are!

Games like ticket to ride, are easy to pick up so are considered a “gateway game” without needing to be a seasoned gamer, but they have plenty of strategy and thinking to make it exciting, and these games get more strategic each time you play.

playing ticket to ride

These games involve a certain level of skill and strategy rather than being a very simple chance based, players roll dice and move along the board game like you would play with younger children.

These games all have fairly simple rules but enough strategy to keep it interesting.

25 Board Games Like Ticket to Ride

If you like Ticket to Ride, we think you will like these too. So, let’s find your next new favorite board games!

The recommended age for these games varies from 8+ upto 14+, but we would recommend just using your own judgement depending on how interested and familiar your kids are with slightly more complex board games.

Affiliate links are included, to buy on Amazon

Settlers of Catan

catan board game

Your adventurous settlers seek to tame the remote but rich isle of Catan.

Start by revealing Catan’s many harbors and regions: Pastures, fields, mountains, hills, forests, and desert.

The random mix creates a different board virtually every game. Skills – Clever trading, strategy, tactical skill, luck. 

Buy Catan on Amazon

settlers of cation


risk board game

Take over the world in this game of strategy conquest, now with updated figures and improved Mission cards.

In the Risk game, the goal is simple: players aim to conquer their enemies’ territories by building an army, moving their troops in, and engaging in battle.

Depending on the roll of the dice, a player will either defeat the enemy or be defeated. This exciting game is filled with betrayal, alliances, and surprise attacks. On the battlefield, anything goes!

Note – There are franchise tie in versions available like Game of Thrones Risk, if your family is into that.

Sometimes playing Risk can take hours and hours (We have been going for 6 hours before) so we find playing Risk on Xbox can speed this up.

Buy Risk on Amazon

risk game board

Power Grid

power grid board game

The object of Power Grid is to supply the most cities with power.

In this new edition, players mark pre-existing routes between cities for connection rights, and then vie against other players to purchase the power plants used to supply the power. However, as plants are purchased, newer more efficient plants become available so you’re potentially allowing others to access superior equipment merely by purchasing it all.

Additionally, players must acquire the raw materials, like coal, oil, garbage, or uranium, to power said plants (except for the highly valuable ’renewable energy’ wind/solar plants), making it a constant struggle to upgrade your plants for maximum efficiency, while still retaining enough wealth to quickly expand your network to get the cheapest routes.

Buy Power Grid on Amazon

power grid game

Small World

small world board game

Small World from Days of Wonder and Asmodee is a zany, light-hearted civilization game in which 2-5 players vie for conquest and control of a board that is simply too small to accommodate them all. 

Designed by Philippe Keyaerts as a fantasy follow-up to his award-winning Vinci, Small World is inhabited by a cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs and even humans; who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth. 

Picking the right combination from the 14 different fantasy races and 20 unique special powers, players rush to expand their empires – often at the expense of weaker neighbors. 

Yet they must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory! 

Buy Small World on Amazon

small world game board


Travel around the world to different cities, working as a team to use your skills and eradicate disease before mankind is wiped out!

pandemic cooperative board game

Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out.

Players must work together playing to their characters’ strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks.

For example the operation specialist can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases. The Scientist needs only 4 cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal 5.

But the diseases are out breaking fast and time is running out: The team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while also towards cures.

A truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose.

Buy Pandemic on Amazon

pandemic board game

Pan Am

pan am board game

Pan American World Airways ruled the skies and made travel more accessible without sacrificing glamour.

Players take control of their own fledgling airlines and compete with Pan Am and others to build a business empire.

Outbid rivals for lucrative landing rights in exotic locales, buy planes with longer range to reach the far corners of the world, and use insider connections to advance your interests.

As you bump up against the ever-growing Pan Am, you can sell your routes to the company to turn a tidy profit.

It’s a game of global strategy that spans four decades of industry-changing historic events and technological developments, in which every timeline is different.

Buy Pan Am on Amazon

playing pan am

Rail Road Ink

railroad ink game

In Railroad Ink, your goal is to connect as many exits on your board as possible. Roll the dice to determine which kind of road and railway routes are available this round, then draw the routes on your erasable boards to create transport lines and connect your exits!

Try to optimize the available symbols better than your opponents: the more exits you connect, the more points you score at the end of the game, but you lose points for each incomplete route, so plan carefully!

New lands have opened up and the race is on to create the best network of rail and road lines through it.

In railroad ink, players roll the route dice and must then draw the subsequent results on their individual route boards. Players score points for having long interconnected routes, as well as connecting the entry points to their board, plus having routes through the center of their Boards.

But beware, they’ll lose points for leaving unfinished lines. In the deep blue edition, the lake and River dice add in some cool, refreshing waterways to the maps.

But in the blazing red edition, Meteors fall from the sky and volcanoes erupt from underground. It’s a challenge to keep their roads and rails from getting destroyed, and having to repair them when they are.

Or, players can combine the two for epic, 12-player games!

Buy Railroad Ink on Amazon

railroad ink blue version


carcasonne board game

Inspired by the medieval fortress in southern France of the same name, Carcassonne is a tile-laying game in which players fill in the countryside around the fortified city.

Followers can take many different roles determined by the type of tile on which they’re placed: 

  • Knights
  • Monks
  • Farmers
  • Thieves

As the map grows, so does the opportunity for players to disrupt each other’s plans. Everyone is adding to the same map and only one follower can be on any given feature at a time—so if you don’t place a follower on something, someone else probably will.

Whether blocking a city’s growth or connecting with your opponent’s road to share the points, Carcassonne provides plenty of ways to use your cunning and outsmart your opponents.

Buy Carcasonne on Amazon

playing carcasonne

Scotland Yard

Scotland Yard board game

A covert game of cat and mouse set on the streets of London 

Criminal mastermind Mister X has escaped Scotland Yard and it’s up to you, Scotland Yard’s famous detectives, to catch him!

Use travel tickets chasing him by taxi, bus, and underground, around Picadilly Circus, along the River Thames, and through Paddington Station.

Will you apprehend this dangerous criminal or will he disappear forever into the London fog? 

Easy to learn, fast paced and intense! Every turn is exciting. Perfect for family game night!

Buy Scotland Yard on Amazon

Scotland Yard board game set up


trans America board game

America in the 19th century: railroads are booming! Pioneer spirit and vision are everywhere. Everyone wants to be the first to build a railroad network across the United States.

Each player has five cities and tries to connect them with a shared network of tracks. As soon as a player has done this, the round ends.

The other players lose points. At the end of the game, the player who has the most points left is the winner. Who will be the first to connect his cities’

Is it Casey, who was the first to build through the mountains to the west’ Or Annie, who was the one who best made use of the others’ tracks’

The game is for 2 to 6 players and takes about 30 minutes to play. The author of the game is Franz-Benno Delonge.

Buy Trans America on Amazon


Callisto strategy game

Once in a while a board game arrives that combines complete simplicity with brilliant game design – welcome to Callisto.

Callisto will have everyone in your family enthralled, from young to old. It’s very easy to learn (just one small page of rules), but uses strategic skills, dexterity and a bit of luck to master.

The game was designed by the world’s most accomplished game inventor, Reiner Knizia. He has won major international board game awards, including the most influential, the Spiel des Jahr in Germany, 2008.

The object of the game is to get rid of all of your coloured tiles on to the game board.

Each tile you place must always be positioned next to another tile (or pillar) of your colour. When placing your tiles you don’t just want to cover the most area, you’ll want to block other players from doing so too.

Any tiles left unplaced at the end of the game score points based on their size and the player with the lowest number of points wins the game.


kingdomino game

Players take on the role of Lords seeking new lands to expand their kingdom.

As with ‘Dominoes’, these new lands must match the landscape tiles that have already been played.

You need to create large areas of the same landscape type. But these will only score points if there is at least one crown on a tile.

Points for each landscape type are calculated at the end of the game by multiplying these two together: so the number of squares times the number of crowns. Before this however, you’ll need to pay attention to your choice of tile, which decides the order of play for the following round.

Taking a good tile now means you’ll play later next time. Each round presents the players with new important decisions as to which tile they should take.

Buy Kingdomino on Amazon

playing kingdomino


azul game

Azul was designed by the world famous, award winning game author Michael Riesling.

Azul captures the beautiful aesthetics of Moorish art in a contemporary board game. Players compete as artisans decorating the walls of the royal Palace of Dvora. By carefully drafting the correct Quantity and style of tiles, the most clever of artisans plan ahead to maximize the beauty of their work (not to mention their scores!) while ensuring they wasted no supplies in the process.

Introduced by the moors, “azulejos” (originally white and blue ceramic tiles) were fully embraced by the Portuguese, when their King Manuel I, on a visit to the Alhambra Palace in Southern Spain, was mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the Moorish decorative tiles.

The King, awestruck by the interior beauty of the Alhambra, immediately ordered that his own Palace in Portugal be decorated with similar wall tiles. As a tile laying artist, you have been challenged to embellish the walls of the royal Palace of Dvora.

Buy Azul on Amazon

azul game tiles

Survive: Escape from Atlantis!

survive escape from Atlantis

Survive: Escape From Atlantis! is a great light-strategy game for serious gamers, as well as a fun game to play with the family! Over 1.3 million copies have been sold since it was first published over 30 years ago!

It’s early in the 20th century – a time of exploration and adventure. 

The mysterious island of Atlantis has been discovered in the middle of the ocean, and there are rumors of great riches to be found there! After reaching Atlantis, the explorers are ready to return home with treasure. But Atlantis begins to sink! 

In a panic, the adventurers try to avoid a terrible fate. The luckiest will find a boat to return home while the less fortunate will have to swim for it. Nobody is safe from the Sea Serpents, Whales, & Sharks that live in the ocean around Atlantis!

Buy Survive: Escape from Atlantis! on Amazon

playing survive escape from Atlantis board game

Century Spice Road

century spice road game

Century is a series of exciting and wonderfully addictive stand alone, mixable games.

Each title is set in different centuries, from the 15th to the 17th, and depicts the major trading systems and routes of these eras.

While quick and easy to learn, the century trilogy will fully engage even the most strategic players. Discover the beauties of the spice trading road and its colorful markets with the amazing artwork by international renowned artist Fernanda Suárez.

Wrap your mind around simple and pure game mechanics combined with a touch of deck building system that lead to endless strategies and decisions. Century Spice road is truly an outstanding game.

Buy Century Spice Road on Amazon

century spice road

Brass Lancashire or Brass Birmingham

brass Birmingham game box

Brass: Birmingham is an economic strategy game sequel to Martin Wallace’ 2007 masterpiece, Brass. Birmingham tells the story of competing entrepreneurs in Birmingham during the industrial revolution, between the years of 1770-1870.

As in its predecessor, you must develop, build, and establish your industries and network, in an effort to exploit low or high market demands.

Buy Brass Birmingham on Amazon

brass Birmingham board game

Trekking the National Parks

trekking the national parks board game

Best-Selling & Award-Winning National Parks Game: Winner Of The Mensa And Parent’s Choice Award. See the many 5-star reviews! 

Created By National Parks Enthusiasts: This couple traveled to every single national park and then worked with their son to make the game. 

Fun + Educational: It’s the perfect recipe for a family game night! Appeals to a wide range of people: outdoor lovers, board game players, and gift givers. One of the best board games for kids 8-12 and up! 

Share the Joy of the National Parks: Share your memories, and dream about where you’ll travel to next. Grandparents, Adults, Teens, Tweens, & Kids can all play 

Buy Trekking the National Parks on Amazon

what will inspire your next national parks trip

Hey, That’s My Fish

hey that's my fish game

Your job seems simple: race across a random arrangement of icy fish deposits with a colony of up to four penguins, as you attempt to seize the most fish.

But watch out! Competing penguins will try to block you off while the ice floe around you shrinks away. Grab the best fish and outmaneuver your opponents to ensure victory.

Whichever player’s penguins collect the most fish by the end of the game is the winner!

playing hey that's my fish

Buy Hey That’s My Fish on Amazon


istanbul the dice game

Are you ready for a trade competition? If so, you`ll need to acquire the coveted Rubies faster than your competitors!

Fortunately, you`re not alone: your assistants will collect goods and money for you.

Use your income wisely to invest in improved abilities or save for purchasing Rubies!

With a little bit of luck and the right strategy you`ll be victorious and become the master of the trade guild in this dice-themed addition to the award-winning Istanbul series of games!

Buy Istanbul on Amazon

playing Istanbul board game


Concordia board game

Two thousand years ago, the Roman Empire ruled the lands around the Mediterranean Sea 

With peace at the borders, harmony inside the provinces, uniform law, and a common currency, the economy thrived and gave rise to mighty Roman dynasties as they expanded throughout the numerous cities. Guide one of these dynasties and send colonists to the remote realms of the Empire; develop your trade network; and appease the ancient gods for their favor — all to gain the chance to emerge victorious! 

Concordia is a peaceful strategy game of economic development in Roman times for 2-5 players aged 13 and up. Instead of looking to the luck of dice or cards, players must rely on their strategic abilities. Be sure to watch your rivals to determine which goals they are pursuing and where you can outpace them!

Buy Concordia on Amazon

Concordia board game


saboteur card game

You and your fellow dwarves are digging for gold in a maze of mining tunnels.

But, beware! Some of the miners are saboteurs trying to foil your efforts and steal all your hard earned gold.

To find the mother lode, you must overcome cave-ins, broken lanterns and busted pick-axes. In the end, the dwarf with the most gold nuggets wins.

Buy Saboteur card game on Amazon

Airlines Europe

airlines Europe game

The age of passenger aviation has begun.

Courageous entrepreneurs establish the first airlines and compete for the few available licenses in the European air space.

The rapidly growing market and the chance for high gains attract high-powered investors.

But only the ones that use their influence skillfully and their cash wisely will turn their investments into the most profitable airlines.

Haunted Mansion Call of The Spirits

haunted mansion game

Disney’s beloved The Haunted Mansion comes to life—err, death—in this hauntingly fun family board game!

Explore all the classic rooms of the ghost-infested manor, from the festivities-filled Ballroom to the Attic and out to the Graveyard and beyond in search of spirits.

Beware, though, of the Hitchhiking Ghosts, who are notorious for “following you home” as that may spell your doom in the end!

Buy Haunted Mansion Call of the Spirits on Amazon

disney board game

Sid Meier’s Civilization

This one is a little different, it’s actually a video game not something you sit and play with a game board but I included it since my kids love this one for family game night, and it has similar strategic elements.

sid meter's civilisation game

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, winner of 15 E3 awards including Best PC Game and Best Strategy Game, is the next entry in the popular Civilization franchise, which has sold in over 34 million units worldwide, including more than 8 million units of Civilization V. 

Originally created by legendary game designer Sid Meier, Civilization is a turn-based strategy game in which you attempt to build an empire to stand the test of time. Become Ruler of the World by establishing and leading a civilization from the Stone Age to the Information Age. Wage war, conduct diplomacy, advance your culture, and go head-to-head with history’s greatest leaders as you attempt to build the greatest civilization the world has ever known.

sid Meier's civilization game play

Another great place to find recommendations for some great board games is the Spiel des Jahres list. These are awards given to table top games (board games or card games) as long as they are available in German language. In this list, you can find some really fantastic game ideas so it’s one of the best way to look for inspiration for new board games to try out.

If you have more recommendations, let us know in the comments and please share this list with friends and family. Try a few – We hope you’re going to find the perfect game and enjoy some new gaming experiences.

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Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.

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