Holiday gift guide 2019: Best tabletop and board games

Looking for a change of pace in your gaming? Why not take it from the screen to the real world with this helpful guide to some of the best tabletop and board games of 2019.


While there are plenty of video games out there that friends and family can play together, sometimes you just need a break from staring at a screen. But what are you supposed to do to break up the awkward silences that are bound to follow? Fortunately for everyone looking for an analog approach to game night, we’ve got a slew of tabletop games that folks could take for a spin when they feel like stepping away from the consoles and PCs of the world. We’ve taken a moment to recommend some of this year’s best tabletop games to grab for someone special or maybe yourself this holiday season.

Trogdor: The Board Game

Burninate all the villagers in Trogdor: The Board Game
Burninate all the villagers in Trogdor: The Board Game

The world of Homestar Runner may no longer be at its peak of popularity, but that doesn’t mean it’s beyond marketability. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign, fans finally got their hands on Trogdor: The Board Game this year. Bonus surprise: the game is actually a lot of fun to play!

Up to six players join forces to burninate the villagers and surrounding countryside to ashes. Random tiles are set down along with a few guards that need to be avoided. It’s a genuinely enjoyable good time and it’s always nice to find a game where you work with your friends instead of against them to accomplish your goals. Hopefully it leads to us getting some new Strong Bad emails out of the deal too.

Buy Trogdor: The Board Game on Amazon

D&D vs Rick and Morty Boxed Set

You don't need to roll natural 20s to get schwifty with D&D vs Rick and Morty
You don't need to roll natural 20s to get schwifty with D&D vs Rick and Morty

If you’re looking for a fun way to introduce your friends to the world of D&D or if you’ve been curious yourself than look no further than this crossover between the granddaddy of all table-top RPGs and Adult Swim’s smash-hit animated series. Taking a queue from the Rick and Morty D&D comic books this boxed set comes with everything someone would need to create their own campaigns as well as a one or two prefabricated campaigns that will take them and their friend into the world of Rick and Morty then take that world into the world of Dungeons and Dragons.

Along with the introductory rule book, the boxed set contains five pre-made character sheets, a dungeon master screen, and all the dice you’ll need to take a stab at playing D&D vs Rick and Morty. Just make sure you don’t roll a one when you’re taking that stab.

Buy D&D vs Rick and Morty on Amazon

Throw Throw Burrito

Throw Throw Burrito is a game where you throw burritos at your friends and get burritos thrown at you, but it’s so much more. While the game definitely does feature some dodgeball elements involving what may be the world’s most adorable bean bag burritos, there are other elements that get you to the throw throw part.

Created by the same team that brought you Exploding Kittens, Throw Throw Burrito has you make sets of cards in order to score points, but when a burrito card gets played all bets are off. It’s probably the one time in your life that you’re going to get out of the way of a burrito being thrown at you, because if it hits you say so long to all your precious points. It’s quirky, enjoyable, and gets you off your butt every once and awhile. Just make sure there aren’t any antique vases or family heirlooms within breaking distance before you play.

Buy Throw Throw Burrito on Amazon

Enemy Weapon

Enemy Weapon is similar to Cards Against Humanity, but with less taste
Enemy Weapon is similar to Cards Against Humanity, but with less taste

If you took one part Cards Against Humanity and one part Superfight you’d probably end up with something akin to Enemy Weapon. The concept is very straightforward: There’s an enemy card placed on the table that features a brief description and goal that must be reached to consider the enemy defeated. You’ve got to take the enemy down using whatever random weapon card you’re dealt. Each round one person takes their turn at playing the judge as everyone takes makes their case for how they would most effectively stop the enemy using their weapon.

I’m personally a big fan of games where you basically just argue with your friends over who would win in a hypothetical fight. To me, it cuts through all the BS of learning how to play a board game and gets right to all the arguing that almost every game night ends in anyway. If you are gonna pick up a copy of Enemy Weapon for a friend just make sure they’re old enough to handle the humor because this one is definitely made for mature gamers.

Buy Enemy Weapon direct from the creator

Trash Pandas

Who wouldn't want to be an adorable trash panda?
Who wouldn't want to be an adorable trash panda?

A game where you play as an adorable raccoon trying to collect the most food and bright, shiny objects as you can. What’s not to like? While these burglar-masked rodents can be a pest in real life, Trash Pandas is anything but. Players roll the dice and can keep rolling if they’re bold enough, but if you hit a side you’ve already rolled, it’s all over. Depending on how many sides you activate during your turn you’ll have a chance to draw more cards, steal cards from your opponents, or put some cards in your precious stash. The Trash Panda who has the most points stashed at the end of the game is the big winner.

Buy Trash Pandas on Amazon

Hopefully some of these games will strike a chord with you or your loved ones this holiday season. If you're still not sure you've found that perfect gift for the gamer in your life be sure to check out all our reccomendations for more ideas. Fingers crossed you'll be ringing in the new year with some burritos, burnination, and maybe a trash panda or two. 

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Blake has been writing and making videos about pop-culture and games for over 10 years now. Although he'd probably prefer you thought of him as a musician and listened to his band, If you see him on the street, buy him a taco or something. Follow him on twitter @ProfRobot

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