The Best Board Games 2023 – Here Are The Winners In The Most Prestigious Board Game Awards This Year

best board games of 2023

In our guide on The Best Board Games of 2023, we will take you on a journey through the world of tabletop gaming. We delve into the crème de la crème of board games that have left an indelible mark on the industry this year. From strategic masterpieces to family-friendly delights, 2023 has been a remarkable year for board game enthusiasts.

Here we highlight the board games that not only won the hearts of players worldwide but also earned accolades from the most esteemed award bodies in the board game community.

Whether you’re a seasoned gamer looking for your next challenge or a newcomer seeking a gateway into this diverse and engaging hobby, this roundup of the year’s award-winning board games is your perfect guide. Prepare to explore the titles that set new standards in innovation, entertainment, and design in the vibrant world of board gaming.

Here are the winners in the most prestigious board game awards in the world 2023:

1. Codenames: DuetSpiel des Jahres (Game of the Year)

The Best Board Games 2023

This award is given annually to the game that is considered to be the most innovative and enjoyable board game for families. It is the most well-known and respected board game award in the world.

Codenames: Duet Board Game

best board games of 2023

Codenames Duet retains the core gameplay of Codenames, where players hint at secret agents’ identities on the table through single-word clues. This version, however, introduces a cooperative twist where players team up to locate all their agents. The game’s premise – not knowing your agents’ identities from the start – might raise eyebrows, but that’s a story for another day.

To begin, arrange 25 word cards in a 5×5 grid. Each player views one side of a key card placed in a stand. This card shows a 5×5 grid with nine squares marked in green, indicating your agents, and a black square denoting an assassin. The assassin’s position varies on each side of the card, and three of the nine green squares on each side overlap.

The goal is to uncover all fifteen agents without accidentally revealing the assassin or too many non-agent characters before time runs out. Players alternate giving single-word clues paired with a number, guiding the other player to guess the agents. If a player successfully identifies an agent, they can continue guessing. They can stop after uncovering the number of agents indicated by the clue, with an option for an extra guess. However, if a bystander is revealed, their turn ends. Uncovering an assassin means both players lose the game.

Winners Best Board Games in Spiel des Jahres:

  • 2023: Codenames: Duet
  • 2022: Quacks of Quedlinburg
  • 2021: MicroMacro: Crime City
  • 2020: Wingspan
  • 2019: The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine

2. Sagrada – Deutscher Spiele Preis (German Game Prize)

best board games 2023

This award is given annually to the game that is considered to be the best board game of the year in Germany. It is a prestigious award that is given out by a panel of experts from the German board game industry.

The Sagrada Board Game

best board games of the year 2023

The board game Sagrada is designed for both adults and families, where players take on the role of artists vying to craft the most exquisite stained glass window in the iconic Sagrada Familia. This game is straightforward to learn and involves ten rounds of strategic gameplay. Players select dice each round, skillfully arranging them to mimic patterns on their board, akin to creating a stained-glass masterpiece with a sudoku twist.

Sagrada offers a blend of engaging strategy and visual appeal, making it an ideal board game for family fun. It’s not only visually stunning on the table but also hooks players from the first play, offering easy-to-learn mechanics and the joy of replayability.

The game comes packed with components that enhance its beauty and gameplay. Inside the box, you’ll find 90 colorful dice, 4 player boards, 24 varied stained glass window patterns, 12 tool cards for added strategy, 15 objective cards to guide your creation, a handy dice bag, a round track to keep track of progress, score markers for competitive play, and 24 glass favor tokens for an immersive experience.

Sagrada is designed for 1 to 4 players and typically plays in about 30 minutes, suitable for players aged 13 and above. Those interested in expanding the game can look for the Sagrada Expansion, which accommodates more players and introduces new challenges. Additionally, the game offers a solo-play mode, providing versatile gameplay options.

Winners Best Board Games in Deutscher Spiele Preis:

  • 2023: Sagrada
  • 2022: Architects of the West Kingdom
  • 2021: Cascadia
  • 2020: Wingspan
  • 2019: The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine

3. Cascadia – Golden Geek Awards

These awards are given annually by the website BoardGameGeek.com to the best board games in a variety of categories, including Game of the Year, Best Strategy Game, Best Family Game, and Best Thematic Game.

The Cascadia Board Game

In the Golden Geek Awards Cascadia was named the Best Strategy Game of 2023. In this game you’ll embark on an adventure through the Pacific Northwest with Cascadia, a game where your goal is to build the most balanced ecosystem. Gameplay is straightforward: choose a set of tiles and tokens and integrate them into your growing ecosystem.

Score points by meeting wildlife objectives and constructing the biggest connected habitats. Cascadia offers ever-changing scoring objectives, ensuring that each playthrough presents a unique spatial challenge for players to solve.

Winners Best Board Games in the Golden Geek Awards:

  • 2023: Cascadia (Best Strategy Game), Carcassonne (Best Family Game), Spirit Island (Best Thematic Game)
  • 2022: Dune: Imperium (Best Strategy Game), Parks (Best Family Game), 7 Wonders Duel (Best Thematic Game)
  • 2021: Wingspan (Best Strategy Game), Azul (Best Family Game), Tapestry (Best Thematic Game)
  • 2020: Wingspan (Best Strategy Game), 7 Wonders Duel (Best Family Game), Spirit Island (Best Thematic Game)
  • 2019: The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine (Best Strategy Game), Kingdomino (Best Family Game),Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization (Best Thematic Game)

4. Wingspan – Dice Tower Awards

best board games 2023

These awards are given annually by The Dice Tower, a popular board game podcast and website. They are given out in a variety of categories, including Best Game, Best Strategy Game, Best Family Game, and Best Party Game.

The Wingspan Board Game

best board games of 2023

Wingspan was this year’s winner in the category “Best Strategy Game in the Dice Tower Awards. In this engaging board game, you step into the shoes of avid bird enthusiasts, including researchers, watchers, and ornithologists, all aiming to attract the most captivating birds to your wildlife preserves.

Each bird you add creates a dynamic chain of combinations across different habitats, each focusing on various growth aspects: obtaining food through custom dice in a unique birdfeeder tower, laying eggs represented by colorful miniatures, and drawing from an extensive collection of distinct bird cards.

The game unfolds over four rounds, and the player with the highest score at the end emerges as the winner. Fans of games like Terraforming Mars and Gizmos will likely find this game a delightful addition to their collection.

The game is rich in components, featuring 170 individual bird cards, 26 bonus cards, 16 automa cards for solo play, and a generous assortment of 103 food tokens and 75 egg miniatures. It also includes five custom wooden dice, five player mats, and a special birdfeeder dice tower.

The package is completed with a two-piece custom tray for organized storage, a goal mat, eight goal tiles, a first-player token, 40 action cubes in five different colors, four clear plastic containers for resources, and a scorepad with 50 sheets. Three guidebooks (core, automa, and appendix) provide comprehensive instructions and insights, enhancing the gameplay experience.

Winners Best Board Games in the Dice Tower Awards:

  • 2023: Cascadia (Best Game), Wingspan (Best Strategy Game), Azul (Best Family Game), Codenames: Duet (Best Party Game)
  • 2022: Dune: Imperium (Best Game), Parks (Best Strategy Game), Carcassonne (Best Family Game),Unmatched: Jurassic Park (Best Party Game)
  • 2021: Wingspan (Best Game), Tapestry (Best Strategy Game), Kingdomino (Best Family Game), 7 Wonders Duel (Best Party Game)
  • 2020: Wingspan (Best Game), 7 Wonders Duel (Best Strategy Game), Azul (Best Family Game), Quacks of Quedlinburg (Best Party Game)
  • 2019: The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine (Best Game), Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization (Best Strategy Game), Kingdomino (Best Family Game), Codenames: Harry Potter (Best Party Game)

These are just a few of the many prestigious board game awards that are given out each year. These awards are a great way to discover new and exciting games, and they can also help you make informed decisions about which games to purchase.

Read more: Top Board Games for Christmas 2023

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