11 Best Legacy Board Games 2022
If you don’t know what a legacy board game is then it is a game that typically can be played for only so many times and then you can’t play again. This doesn’t sound like a good game to play but the rewards are often a completely unique experience that you can share with your friends that no one else has experienced.
You will also have strong storylines that will carry through the entire game that will have surprises and new challenges that will be a pure delight to play. As you play through legacy games they change in that items and mechanics may be introduced but also there will be things removed. Yes, even cards torn up and boards written on.
This sounds scary but actually what it does is invest you more into the game and make this game yours and yours alone. For example, you may name a character, monster, or even a place on the board. No other board game will have that name.
With many of the Legacy games the actual events and things that happen within the game are part of the fun. With this in mind I will refrain from giving away any of the actual storyline spoilers.
Most of the legacy games mentioned are for ages 12 and upwards. So I have included a section at the end recommending some great legacy games that are ideal for families that have younger players from 7 up who can join in. If you want to introduce a legacy game to your kids then definitely check that out here.
With all that said let’s get into some great legacy games and first off is Clank! Legacy: Acquisition Incorporated.
For those of you in a rush and find this article is TLDR; – Too Long Didn’t Read! Then here is a table of recommendations to save you time.
Table of Contents
- Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated
- Pandemic Legacy
- Aeon’s End: Legacy
- The King’s Dilemma
- Betrayal Legacy
- Best Legacy Board Games for Families
- Zombie Kidz/Teenz Evolution
- My City
- Machi Koro: Legacy
Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated
If you have played Clank! then you will know what a great deck building game it is. The basis for Clank! is that you are a burglar and need to stealthily make your way into the dragon’s lair and steal precious artifacts.
Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated is based on the D&D book Acquisitions Incorporated and follows the ironic humour this book creates. You will also have some elements such as you will be starting up your own Acquisitions Incorporated franchise and have your own HQ.
It is still a deck building game at its heart and so you collect more cards as you progress developing your skills and giving you more resources to increase skill, swords or boots that can then be used in the game.
Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated is a legacy version of this brilliant game.
It has all the aspects of a legacy game in that it changes as you play through depending on decisions you make. However, there are a few differences over other legacy games that could be a real advantage.
The first difference is that you can play this again once the game has been completed unlike Pandemic that we will discuss next which, once played, is finished.
The other difference is that Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated is a competitive game whereas most legacy games are collaborative.
This is one of the best legacy games you can buy on the market and is very popular. If you like to compete in a game then this game could very well be the best choice for you. If you enjoy the Acquisitions Incorporated style humour this is another plus and will bring plenty of levity into your sessions.
This game has a great and rich storyline that is funny and really enjoyable to play. The game has all the great components of Clank! like the raging dragon and the clank mechanism.
If you like deck building dungeon crawlers and have not tried a legacy game before then this is my recommendation to introduce this great genre to your friends at your next gaming session. They will thank you. You can buy Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated at Amazon here.
First up, this is a series of legacy games and so I will discuss them together. Non legacy Pandemic is a very successful game in it’s own right and the legacy versions are some of the most popular in the legacy genre.
Pandemic Legacy is a collaborative game series so you work together to win the game. There are three legacy games divided into seasons.
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 0
Season 0 was the last released but is a prequel to 1 and 2. Each game is standalone and does not require you to have played any of the others but the story does flow through nicely.
However, I would still play the games in the order they have been released.
Whilst Pandemic Legacy Season 1 bares the most resemblance to Pandemic, all three seasons are significantly different in their themes to keep your interest. They are all similar but the designers have learnt at every stage and tried to improve them with each new season.
These games are truly legacy in that once played you will not be able to replay unless you buy another set. There is a conclusion to the games.
This season follows Pandemic most closely and as such your group are disease specialists attempting to defeat four viruses that are infecting cities across the globe. Just like the base Pandemic game, if the infections in a city increases to a certain level then this will trigger an outbreak and infect connected cities.
Season one is played over 12 months with each month being a single game. Actions, decisions and effects that take place in a month are carried through to the rest of the months.
If you do fail your objectives in a particular month then you will be able to play that month again but only once. This gives you a possible 12-24 games to play.
If you have not played non legacy Pandemic then I would recommend you play through a couple of times first as this teaches you the basic mechanics of the game and makes playing the legacy easier. You can do this on the Season 1 board so you don’t need to go out and buy the non legacy version.
The second season of Pandemic Legacy shows that the game designers wanted to stretch the legacy genre further. It takes place 71 years after Season 1 and a devastating plague has spread across the world.
The game starts with three offshore cities called havens and from these you work to supply the 9 remaining cities. The end of humankind is imminent unless you can prevent this from happening.
Pandemic Legacy Season 1 the board had the world including all its continents.
In Pandemic Legacy Season 2 the board is limited to the Atlantic Ocean and a few points on surrounding land masses where there are cities. The rest of the board is blacked out symbolising the plagues devastating impact.
There are oodles of things that will change during each game with additions and deletions. You will start off with naming the three Haven Cities and creating your characters which straight away involve stickers and character characteristics.
The game follows the 12 month period as per Pandemic Season 1, however, in Season 2 there is a prologue game that you can play multiple times without any changes or bad things happening. This will teach you how to play the game and become familiar with the mechanics before jumping into the first month.
This is a great follow on to Season 1 and if you completed and loved Pandemic Legacy Season 1 then this is a great follow up.
As a prequel Season 0 is during the Cold War era and takes place in 1961. As medical students you have been recruited into a government program only to find out it is actually the CIA.
Trained as a field operative you travel the world investigating threats. There are rumours of a deadly virus the Russians are trying to weaponize and you are sent to investigate. Locked into the world of espionage against the Russians, you are working to neutralize their agents. Whilst working towards specific objectives you must set up CIA teams to help you with your tasks.
Season 0 is significantly different from Seasons 1 & 2. As in Season 2 it comes with a prologue that you can play to learn the new rules and mechanics. So this will make things easier once you start the game itself.
There is even a QR code you can scan in that will take you to zman games website. There you will find a video and listen to the initial briefing from your handler to get you into character.
With some nice touches to the game like each character has their own passport. You will also create aliases for your character as the game progresses.
This is a great finale to the series which wraps up the story nicely and continues to deliver a great story within the game.
The three Pandemic Legacy games are a great series to play through with the pre-apocalyptic Season 1, post-apocalyptic Season 2 and the Season 0 prequel, you have three great and varied legacy games to enjoy.
Pandemic Legacy Season 1 really brought the legacy genre to the forefront, get this game and you will see why. If you really enjoy Season 1 then there are two more fantastic Pandemic Legacy Seasons to get stuck into. Each of them evolve into a different and intricate game that will keep surprising and challenging you all together.
I recommend you try Season 1 with your friends and see if you can ensure the safety and security of the entire planet then you can buy Pandemic Legacy Season 1 at Amazon here.
Ps. Season 1 comes in two boxes: Red or Blue – they are exactly the same.
Aeon’s End: Legacy
Aeon’s End is another cooperative legacy version based on the base game Aeon’s End. This legacy version is more of an adaptation of the original game. This results in some of the original games’ Mage skills having been stripped out for you to gain as you build your character into a mighty and powerful Breach Mage.
You are initiated into the lower ranks as an adept mage and so you can’t possibly have the skills that a character you play in Aeon’s End would have. Similar to Aeon’s End, you are defending Gravehold against the nemesis and their minions.
There are 12 chapters for you to defend Gravehold, each of which is 1 game and together makes up the entire campaign. Once you have completed these you will have created a totally unique character Breach Mage.
Along with the chapters comes 12 stop decks that will add cards to your character and drive the storyline forward. You will also have 7 pages of insights which will be stuck to the rule book, characters and foe and finally 4 boxes in which to open.
I think this game is a little bit of a marmite game in that you either love it or hate it. So which of these are you going to be? Well, the two types of people that will really enjoy this game will be those who have not played Aeon’s End or those that love Aeon’s End and want to build themselves a totally unique Breach Mage whilst having some fun in the process.
If you haven’t played Aeon’s End
This is a great introduction to the game as it starts off with the basic mechanics. Then as you progress through the chapters you build your character and more is added to the game.
You also end up with a Breach Mage that, if you enjoyed playing Aeon’s End Legacy, then you can continue to play with in the normal game.
If you have played Aeon’s End
On the other end of the scale. If you have played Aeon’s End to death and absolutely love it. The only way to improve it is to have a different character to play and Aeon’s End Legacy will provide that for you. You will get a perfectly unique Breach Mage all your own to wow your friends with next time you play Aeon’s End.
Once completed you will be able to add the cards and use your characters to the normal Aeon’s End so that is quite a bonus. If you want to play through this legacy game again then you can buy a reset pack at Amazon here. So you don’t have to buy the whole game again.
This is a good game and you get a reward at the end which will enable you to take something unique into the base game of Aeon’s End. If you want to wow your friends with a unique Breach Mage or just have a new character to play in the game then you can purchase Aeon’s End at Amazon here.
The King’s Dilemma
Ever wondered what it would be like to rule a kingdom? Well the King’s Dilemma gives you the opportunity to do just that. In this legacy game each player represents an influential house and a member of the King’s council. The King always put great trust in the council and so the real power to rule lies with you.
However that may not be as easy as you think. This great game leads you through a storyline that gives you dilemmas and outcomes that will change the path of the game. In order to succeed you must choose wisely.
A dilemma card is picked and the council must then discuss, bargain and decide on which action to take in order to solve the dilemma and determine the fate of the kingdom. Once the decision has been made it may trigger more dilemma cards to be added to the game.
It is a politically motivated game in that each member of the council must work together to ensure the kingdom remains prosperous and safe whilst also working to further your own house’s power and esteem.
The objective is for your house to gain the most agenda points and so win the game. So, you must always draw a fine balance between working in the Kingdoms interest and your own house in order to win the game.
The King’s Dilemma has a rich storyline and excellent writing. The dilemmas are difficult and will often put you in difficult ethical positions. This is all part of the fun of exploring what it would indeed be like to have to make decisions of power.
If you and your friends are up for a game that will challenge you ethically and generate great conversations, viewpoints and surprising outcomes then The King’s Dilemma will be a really fun game for you to play. You can buy The King’s Dilemma at Amazon here.
Betrayal Legacy is an amazing legacy game based on the Betrayal at House on the Hill game. Betrayal at House on the Hill finds each player is an explorer and starts in the lobby of a haunted house where they must explore.
Betrayal Legacy keeps this same style of play with some modifications which becomes the main game you play. As you play through the game you discover new rooms by laying tiles of random rooms drawn from a room deck. Betrayal Legacy also adds an outside that you can explore too and so expands on its predecessor. This gives variety to the house and ensures that it will be different on every play through.
However, the legacy part is played over many games and so the explorer is now a character from your family and will change as you play through time. Each character is succeeded by following generations. So rather than playing one character you are playing the family throughout the story’s timeline.
Each of these characters have traits which are speed, might, sanity and knowledge. These traits can go up or down in each game. Before the haunt no trait can be as low as the skull and so will not decrease. However, after the haunt this changes and the traits can drop to the skull. If any of the traits are lowered to the skull then this character dies.
This is a great storyline and works well and is played out through a legacy deck that will lead you through each game.
As with Betrayal at House on the Hill it is also, as the name suggests, a betrayal game. This means at some point during each game the haunt will happen and one of the players will become the betrayer. This significantly changes the game where the explorers become the heroes and attempt to survive whilst the betrayer will try and kill the heroes.
As you play through there are mechanisms that really change the game depending on your decisions. A good example is the ability to heirloom items. You can do this up to 9 times during the whole campaign. This is a one time deal and once you have picked up an item and chosen not to heirloom it then that’s it. If you pick that item up again you will not be able to heirloom it. This heirloom will then carry forward in your family during the whole game.
If you are looking for a game to play with your friends that will get you invested in your character and enjoy betrayal style games then this will be a great game to play with your friends. You will be discovering new locations, omens, items and events and will enjoy revealing the next part of the story as you play through.
If you have not tried a legacy game before and are familiar and love Betrayal at House on the Hill then this will be a great game to introduce to your friends. The story will carry through to each gaming session and keep you talking about what might be next. You can buy Betrayal Legacy at Amazon here.
So, here are the best legacy games on the market at the time of writing. Any of these games will be a great choice. If you can’t decide which is best for you then go with Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated. It is a superb game that will thoroughly enjoy playing through.
You have the additional point that this legacy game is competitive so there will be competition and a winner. At the end of the legacy campaign you will have a great game that you will be able to replay.