Top 10 Gateway Board Games -

Top 10 Gateway Board Games

Tantrum House
Views: 63741
Like: 1196
Melissa and Kevin share their favorite gateway board games.

Century Spice Road
Splendor Board Game
Lanterns Board Game
King of Tokyo
Las Vegas Board Game
Camel Up
For Sale Game
No Thanks Game
Dominion Board Game
Harry Potter Board Game
Toy Story Board Game
Star Realms
Pandemic Board Game
Forbidden Island
Potion Explosion
Sugar Blast
Azul Board Game
Sushi Go
Ticket To Ride Board Game
Silver and Gold
Diamonds Game
Asking For Trobils
Parks Board Game
Hanabi Board Game

0:00 – 1:22 Introduction
1:22 – 3:39 Number 10
3:40 – 5:15 Number 9
5:16 – 7:31 Number 8
7:32 – 10:24 Number 7
10:25 – 12:38 Number 6
12:39 – 15:48 Number 5
15:49 – 17:30 Number 4
17:31 – 19:41 Number 3
19:42 – 21:47 Number 2
21:48 – 24:47 Number 1
24:48 – 29:12 Honorable Mentions


  1. I find micro games are good for introductions. In addition to Sushi Go which you already mentioned, I also like Love Letter, Roll For It, 12 Days and Fluxx. But . . . it’s a little weird that we’ve gotten to this point, isn’t it. In the pre-Catan era, you didn’t need specific games to introduce it to people. If you wanted to play checkers, you just set up the checkers.

  2. Citadels is one of the best gateway board games imho

  3. Absolutely love this list. I have used a few on your list to introduce friends and family to gaming, and I will check out a few on your list I'm wasn't familiar as well (especially 2 of your children friendly game choices). Thank you.

  4. Oh, wow! I'm surprised (and glad!) you mentioned Las Vegas. I bought it from Walmart a couple years ago for my roommate and I when I was just starting my game collection. We haven't played it in a while, but I most definitely like it.

  5. On the 'bear note', did you guys know that despite the name, koala bears are not bears.

  6. Airlines Europe is also a good gateway board game. Dragon Castle is another good gateway game.
    Good list, by the way.

  7. I love the format for this. I would probably choose some different pairs of games for my own list, but the idea here is great. Many awesome games featured here. Love it.

  8. Awesome list! Looking forward to more of your videos. Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, and Forbidden Island were our first games when we started boardgaming. I don’t think my husband will ever play Carcassonne again. 😭

  9. Great video. I could probably dive right into Mage Knight and just muscle through it, but my family needs to be gently warmed up to game types. This is something I have a hard time remembering.

    I own Splendor and I was thinking of it immediately when you described Century. I feel like gems are more interesting than spices, for sure.

    I'm going to have to get Kingdomino. I guess 'domino' in the name should have been somewhat of an indicator. The closest game I have to this is Carcassonne, and I HATE Carcassonne. Carcass. is so boring because there is little to no strategy involved. Its just draw a tile, place a tile, place a meeple, and hope for the best. Odd that you picked it for a pre-game for Baren Park, which I have never played.

    Love KoT. Its always a hit and even though the rules seem very complicated, I have taught it to 8 yr olds with success. Surprising its so low scored on BGG, given how well its always received when introduce it.

    We have For Sale. Super easy game, but not too exciting. We have only played it 2-3 times and have yet to come up with a strategy for buying vs selling. Definitely adding Camel Up to my short list.

    Dominion has been on my list a while. I love deck building games. One of my favorite family deck building games is Marvel Legendary. I look forward to getting Dominion, because so far all your suggestions look fun…except Carcassonne.

    Pandemic, and other strategy Co-op problem: the 'smartest' person playing kinda dominates the decisions. It can be a bit disappointing for children to play with adults because they are constantly being overruled. Fun game, but you have to try hard to make everyone feel important. We also have Forbidden Desert. Exact same problem. Someone always feels like they are constantly being overruled because their own ideas are 'bad'. One time my wife flipped over an oasis while the rest of us were not on the tile, forgetting the mechanics, and we all died of thirst soon after. Ruined the game for while, for us. We have never beaten Forbidden Desert, where as we never lose Pandemic.

    Potion Explosion also on my list for family games. Just never pulled the trigger.

    Azul… what to say? So much hype but, for me, such an uninteresting game. Maybe its because a strategy has yet to click with me, so it just seems like randomness. When I win, its purely accidental. Kids like the bag of tiles, but otherwise, it falls short for me. We also have Sushi Go!. One of our first games. It was fun for 5-10 games, but it rarely gets played now. Learning about sushi was the most interesting part 🙂

    Ticket to Ride!?! NO!!!! I HATE this game!! It always leads to arguments and really is about as strategic as Monopoly ie. It doesn't stimulate my brain at all. I actually hid Monopoly, Life and Ticket To Ride from my family, because I hate playing them.

    We have Hanabi. I think its kinda fun. I thought people into party games would like it more, but they didnt. When we play, we enjoy it, but its hard to convince people to play it. It falls short on presentation, even if the theme is original.

    QUESTION1: What is the follow up game for each? Id love to find a KoT-like game that is more complex; for example. Please respond.
    QUESTION2: What about intro to the top 3 ranked games: Scythe, Terraforming Mars, and Gloomhaven? I personally have a hard time convincing myself that worker placement or engine building CAN be fun. Gloomhaven is just so complex that most casuals wont make it past the rule book.

  10. I like that you own a Game Toppers topper. Generation 1 Waverly. I have a Gen 1 Holmes. Is yours the same model? Kinda hard to tell from the short side. Watson?

    I started out years ago with Acquire (Avalon Hill; 1976 edition) and Rail Baron (again, Avalon Hill; 1977 edition).
    Thanks for the video. Very informative.

  11. Was there a thunderstorm going on in the background?

  12. Great video! Really great suggestions for entry level and just good games in general too.

  13. You had me at Zander! (Name of my eldest boy). Now curious to see how many of these 10 I already own… rats. Not the first one.

  14. i cant find SUGAR BLAST anywhere…. it must be out of print…. so sad !

  15. Well done on getting as many games into a top 10 as possible! I really like your “suggest an alternative” method. I’d love to hear what your kids think of these games. Btw it is koala bears that aren’t bears. They are super cute Aussie tree dwellers 🐨

  16. My wife and i love to pull out Parade, Welcome to, Fluxx (Math), 13 Clues, and Grim Masquerade as our gateway games for friends and family. My introduction to modern games came as Splendor.

  17. Great list. I'm surprised you didn't match Reef with Azul, but perhaps it's because they're made by the same company. Ticket to Ride was in fact the gateway board game for me. Now I'm hooked.

  18. is there any player interaction in century spice road? i played century golem and it was boring and had no player interaction.

  19. what made you pick dominon ? its not simple, i have two friends in my board game group, both love it and have many expansions for it, each card that has a special action on it or a special rule on it changes the game. also ascension and thunderstone are simpler and better games, they are simpler because once you understand it, you have got it, you are done but dominon changes with each special card.

  20. dominon is not friendly, if it was a person i would have murdered it already.

  21. ascension is simpler than thunderstone, why not pick it?

  22. These are too expensive for me…. can you do a number of games within $20..

  23. Awesome choices. Could you guys in your future videos make more remarks about age? I am really interested if the games play well with younger kids, 6yrs and above

  24. I don't know if you'll see this, or if anyone will, but do you think it's okay to only ever play gateway/entry level/simple games? I largely play with people with memory and focus issues (severe ADHD) and I, myself, get frustrated easily due to disability (autism) and so complex games aren't fun for us. Can we still call ourselves part of the hobby if all our games are simple, like Carcassonne, Sushi Go, and Ticket to Ride?

  25. I own a lot of these ! Great list. Love to see parks here . My favorite is Azul . I like it better than ticket to ride especially since it is better for 2 players.

  26. I'm thinking a good gateway game is Horrified. Great theme, easy to learn/easy to teach, the flow of play, not to mention a great place to teach the little ones about the classic horror monsters. I could play this game over and over again, with a group or by myself in the solo mode

  27. Fabulous list. Many of these games are favourites of mine!

  28. This was very helpful. I love splendor and Jaipur! Trying to find games similar

  29. A fantastic game me and my family started with was roll for adventure. A game that is easy to learn and play and is brilliant fun but rarely seems to get a mention anywhere.

  30. Great list! For me, Ticket to Ride was an opener, so was Tsuro and Qwirkle 🙂

  31. sorry but you mixtup Koalas and Pandas in the Bärenpark segment. Pandas are Bears. Koalas are Marsupials.

  32. Prepared, professional, entertaining without waffle, thoughtful, systematic, interesting and useful. Good list and great to idea give a simpler 'equivalent'. Many thanks for the help getting kids (and their friends) to the table!

  33. All great gateway games🖤✌ Azul works better for adults and not kids and King of Tokyo works better with kids and not adults😎👊

  34. The only game I feel I would add to your list is Skull🖤✌😎

  35. So i have 2 questions, one about las vegas game (cause im into the gambling theme and all) but i could only find the royale version, or is that the actually game? xD also, for the games that have specific notepads and writing, can you get replacements?

  36. Awesome list … Thanks I've just recently got my wife to play games with me as I was going insane during this pandemic. This is the first list I've seen with some different options that I might check out to add to the simpler games list of my collection.. Imotep, Karuba, Barenpark, Parks, Asking for Trobits… And based on comments below The Crew and Quest for El Dorado… The one game that my wife understood right away and loves is Stone Age so that would be a good one too for this list.

  37. Fantastic list! I really enjoyed this one. Lots of great suggestions for people. Point Salad is another nice gateway game. If people are familiar with trick-taking, the cooperative nature of The Crew makes it a good choice.

  38. I own Ticket to Ride , Pandemic , Forbidden Island , and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle and I enjoy all of them.

    I used Forbidden Island as a gateway game and played the absolute shortest game of my life. "Fool's Landing" was one of the initial six tiles to start sinking. Nobody was able to shore it up, and we got a "Waters Rise" card at the end of the first turn. Naturally, "Fool's Landing" was one of the tiles to sink, ending the game. We all laughed about it and put the game away (obviously it was not the time to play it and we were there to role-play). We pulled it out again at a later date and enjoyed a full game of it.

    I think Small Worlds was my first introduction to the hobby, though I do not own it. My first purchased game was Machi Kuro which we continue to play (and usually one of us wins one move before the other one would have). I consider this to be a good gateway game as its rules are likewise pretty simple.

  39. Awasome selection and I specially like the "alternatives". You should try implementing this in all your TOP videos. Great work!

  40. In INDIA even this games costs very high for a middle class people like in INDIA even this is an expensive hobby for people like us.😢

  41. My gateway board game was Villainous. I assumed it was nothing more than a cash grab by using Disney's and Marvel's name. But than I actually played it and there was much more depth to the game than I expected. I recently fell in love with Icarus by renegade game studios (I guess it's technically not a BOARD game).

  42. Awesome list, and great presentation of each game! I own 6 of those, and I totally agree with everything you said about them. So you just earned a subscriber! Well done guys

  43. I haven't played Parks yet. But, I absolutely LOVE Trekking the National Parks. To me, that one along with Ticket to Ride are a couple of my must plays.

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