No matter your budget, when you pick up a new game for your collection, you want to know that you’re getting the best deal possible. While the hobby can be lousy for expansions, stretch goals, and relaunches, there are a number of fantastic options that offer something well beyond their retail value.

So, here are some of our favourite games that offer tremendous value for money and are welcome addition to every collection. Starting with-

8 | Forbidden island (2010)

Celebrating a decade on the market, there are few cut-price co-op games that offer the same level of excitements as Gamewright’s Forbidden Island. Developed by the iconic Matt Leacock, the game asks you and your friends to work together to gather the treasures on a sinking island as it slowly slips below the waves. Combining careful decision making, variable game difficultly, and amazing production value, the game (and its beautiful tin) deserves a place on every shelf.

7 | Cosmic encounter (2008)

When Cosmic clocks in at the number nine slot, you know the list’s good. A stalwart of Fantasy Flight’s catalogue since time immemorial, the game replicates the battle of wills against warring space civilizations as they battle to colonise their opponents. Combining clever card play, strategic nous, and variable players powers; the game is a masterpiece that marries light-touch gameplay and easy to learn rules. Add the fact that the base box holds a staggering fifty alien races with their own win conditions and you’ve got a game that has legs…of admittedly variable amounts, depending on who you’re playing.

6 | Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (2020)

Ok, so this may be an ‘introductory’ set for the exceptional ‘Gloomhaven’ but trust us when we say that Jaws is a tremendous game in its own right. Offering a  feature length tutorial and a bite size (re: actually completable) campaign and you’ve got a huge amount of content in an affordable box. This includes the ability to learn as you go thanks to lovingly crafted player aids and the ability to carry your progress through into the forthcoming Frosthaven.

5 | Warhammer: Diskwars (2013)

Every fancied a 1500 point Warhammer battle without remortgaging? Then we may have the game for you. Replicating battels in the Old World with the use of cardboard discs, the game lets you save money on miniatures without sacrificing any strategic depth. Flanking, pinning, routing, and insane combat can take place on any tabletop (though we would always recommend a recessed, quality table of adequate size when it comes to any miniatures games). Despite having a generous starter set, the game is sadly no longer in print. Thankfully, picking up a  copy from eBay or private sellers is a breeze and can let you battle in comfort with ease.

4 | Dominion (2008)

As simple to learn as it is to play – Dominion is a flagship product for hobbyists looking to combine simplicity with depth. Replicating your character’s attempts to get their kingdom up-and-running again, the game is an exceptionally tight deck-builder that promises an easy on-ramp for new players and real grit for seasoned gamers. By default, the game contains a generous 25 kingdom cards to play with, with the game using small number in each session. This allows for an incredible amount of variety, either picking out favourite synergies or randomising your pick as a true test of skill.

3 | Undaunted: Normandy (2019)

While we’ve talked about eh exceptional amount of content that Memoir 44 packs into its box into previous articles, one of the latest offerings from Osprey games may have it pipped to the post. Replicating the push and pull of combat in a tiny box, the affordably priced deck builder lets you scrap against an opponent through a full campaign or take part in pitched battles. With a gentle learning curve and an obscene amount of tactical depth, this is an exceptional choice for history buffs, combat fans, or those looking for a lot of game and a tiny price-tag.

2 | Onitama (2014)

Why has the time for chess, really? Condensing all the fundamentals of the game of kings (control the centre, forking, pins, getting incredibly frustrated with yourself) into one 15 minute session; Onitama is an exceptional pick for players looking for replayability that doesn’t cost the earth. Played using a set number of move cards, these are randomised at the start of each game and limits your pieces to five options – with the move you take eventually cycling into your opponent’s pocket if they’re brave enough to pick it up. While this may sound game-breaking, the raw flexibility allows players to enjoy balanced games that revolve around aggression, clever feints, chaining your attacks, or just dropping your opponents with a few moves. Add the game’s affordable expansions and you have something that will last an age.

1 | 7 Wonders (2010)

Sometimes you just need a game that’s complex enough for multiple sessions but simple enough to break out with your pals. And, sister, do you have something special here. Condensing a game of Civilization into a 30 minutes, players are asked to compete with each other to create a people that will stand the test of time…or at least grind your opponent into the dust. Asking players to accumulate a military, economic, or cultural victory; the game offers exceptional replayability depending on your chosen wonder, economic development, and a heap of other options. And with an affordable price-point and offering 7 person playability straight out of the box…this one’s a bit of a no-brainer. Before long, your group will have their options memorised, make high-level decisions with ease, and be ready to respond to any tactics you throw at them. Or, if your player-count’s a little smaller than the recommended four and up, grabbing a copy of 7 Wonders Duel can help you get the replayability you need at an even cheaper price.

What is your favourite value for money game?! Tell us in the comments below :)

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