Once we’re finished playing our favourite games, all we want to do is tell our friends about it. And while some sessions may be tense, balanced knife fights…sometimes you just want something that gives your group an honest-to-goodness legend to pass on.

So, here are ten of our favourite games that will leave you with some great stories once the last card is played or the final D6 drops from your hands. Starting with-

10 | Descent Journeys in the Dark (Second edition) (2012)


Basically, you’re going to get two types of tale here. Your time with the dungeon crawler might be a closely fought battle that runs the length of your brutal campaign. This sees players match wits with the malevolent dungeon master as they throw monster after monster in your way. Or you get The Stompings. Where the dungeon master is light-years ahead and the smallest victory against overwhelming odds feels like a win for the ages. Or the flipside where players min-max their characters through items and upgrades – shredding their way through a dungeon with brutal efficiency. Or sometimes both. No matter when and how you play, you’ll end up with something special.

9 | Dune (2019)


When it comes to the semi-eternal Dune, the game has a key strength that few rivals manage to beat. It ties each faction’s unique player power into the mechanics that make up the game. Want to transport troops? Then you need to contact and pay the spacing guild player. Spend money? Well, it goes into the Emperor’s pockets. This makes bartering rife, with players often selling private information to the highest bidder…with no guarantee if the intelligence is even true! This makes the shifting sands of Dune the perfect backdrop for every story of lies, conflict, and that time Gary lied to everyone’s faces and took the win as a conniving Bene Gesserit. I mean Gary, for God’s sake!

8 | Star Trek: Ascendancy (2016)


If you’re struggling with the direction the franchise is currently moving in, maybe it’s time to carve your own path for the Federation. GaleForce9’s exceptional 4x game may be a bit of a space hog but finding the right table and players can transport you into one of the grand sagas from the height of the TV series. Maybe one of you will play as a reckless Kirk as he takes on the coldly calculating Borg. Maybe you want to turn the fearsome guile of Gul Dukat against the passion and integrity of Sisko’s federation? With a wealth of expansions and rules that are quick and clean to understand, it’s hard to find a mirror universe that’s more fun to visit or recount to friends when all is said and done.

7 | The Game of Thrones RPG (2008)


A potential salve for many who may have struggled with the series’ – ahem – questionable final season, this relatively unsung RPG can help you secure the ending that the fans deserved. Play involves participants rolling up their mighty house, coming up with several formative events, and then choosing how they want to play. This can involve Tyrion-level plays as you bolster your armies and push troops around the table. Or you can get in the dirt and lead your campaigns from the front – trading a pit of vipers for a dance with dragons as you give Dany an ending that makes the slightest bit of sense.

6 | Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game (2008)


Let’s be honest. Even if the show’s use of clever twists, magic realism, and space battles was fun; it was really all about the politics, wasn’t it? And this is something Fantasy Flight’s legendary adaption offers in frakking spades. Taking place during the early seasons, the game covers Galactica’s initial attempts to jump home to Earth. This puts players in the role of key characters that oversee resource and morale management as they chug along in their journey. Except, there’s a cylon onboard. This means that turns are sabotaged, materials wasted, and what is arguably one of the most dramatic moments in gaming as the wrong suspect is airlocked. Pacey, hilarious, and transcendental with the right group – Battlestar is an exceptional pick for those looking to come away from a session with a tale or six.

5 | City of Horror (2012)


As with any good horror fan will tell you, the true monsters are not the slavering undead…but the humans themselves. Or the players controlling those humans who are desperate for a win. Charging you with lasting until sun-up, this negotiation game takes place over a set number of turns and runs the risk of turning very nasty indeed. While there is minimal direct combat, if zombies attack one of the buildings housing survivors, the individuals inside are asked to vote out a player to satisfy the hunger of the horde. And, while there may be better games on this list, there is no other one that captures the hilarity of a group pointing in unison at ‘helpful’ Jeff and hurling him out to be eaten.

4 | Dread The Game (2004)


Finally finding a use for that Jenga tower everyone has in their attic, Dread simulates the horror and tension of a horror movie with…an ominous stack of wood. Replacing dice rolls with dexterity tests, each session of the horror game covers a different story that gradually rachets towards its conclusion as players regularly undertake skill checks; with each ‘roll’ becoming the removal of a block from the tower. Make the pull and set and you survive. Fail to and your character dies or suffers a fate worse than death. A delight for groups of all experience levels and the clumsier…the better.

3 | Seafall (2016)


Ok – this is going to be divisive. Arguably the most controversial of games ever produced by the mind of Rob Davieu, Seafall sets players on the path to an epic tale of exploration, conquest, and conflict. Played across several sessions, players semi-cooperatively carve out a stunning story as they move from island to island before culminating in an elegant endgame that must be played to be believed. Yet…with byzantine rules and a demanding amount of playtime required to see the story out, there is a risk that the game may not be to everyone’s taste. Thankfully, many modern copies are able to be picked up relatively cheap, letting you enjoy a tale of success or a valiant battle against the surf that ends up with you opening everything and marvelling at what you missed out on.

2 | Betrayal at House on the Hill (2004)


I mean, you’re taking your life into your own hands here. Notoriously mercurial, this classic game of two halves sees players enter a haunted mansion and – after gathering enough resources – trigger a haunt that pits the players against each other. These range from the spectacular to the absolutely bats^%$ insane, with many of the options highly dependent on the board state. This means that any hint of balance goes out the window and is replaced by our favourite friend, random carnage! So long as you know what you’re letting yourself in for, there’s no better anecdote generator on the market. But if you’re looking for something that truly tugs at your heartstrings, and the flesh at the back of your calf-

1 | Dead of Winter: A crossroads game (2014)


Engineered to tell stories, Dead of Winter lets you replicate the best parts of every zombie movie as your group attempts to survive in the cold wilderness…and tries to ignore the tread of dead feet through the snow outside your window. Massively thematic, the game encourages careful plays and resolving crisis after crisis as your camp tries to survive long enough to see the spring. This encourages thematic play with the morally right choice often proving to be the one that pulls your colony down around your ears. Whether you’re scavenging for food and items, preventing the humans from getting at each other’s necks, each of the scenarios brings a session to life. And there’s nothing better to play on a cold winter’s night and share your tales afterward…

 

Which is your favorite storytelling game? Share it in the comments below :)

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