It seems like cheap board games are getting harder and harder to find these days, especially good ones. Plus, board games are only increasing in price with the rise of plastic-heavy games.
What a lot of people don’t know, though, is that there are still a lot of excellent cooperative games that cost less than $25. There are even some great ones that cost less than $10.
I tried to pick games that consistently cost less than $25, but you never know when games will go out of print or rise in price when there are limited copies available. There are also some board games that will drop below $25 when they’re included in clearance sales, but I haven’t added those types of games here.
I’m confident that the majority of the co-op games on this page will continue to be some of the best cheap board games that you can get for years to come. Keep in mind that I would never recommend games simply because they’re “cheap board games.” All of these games are legitimately good.
Note: If you’re looking for affordable games for kids, take a look at the Best Board Games for Kids page.
Let’s get to it! Below you’ll find some of the best inexpensive board games that are out there right now!
Cheap Board Games
All of the games in this section are traditional cooperative board games, but they’re cheaper than most.
Forbidden Island has been around a while, but it is still one of the best family games out there. It has similar mechanisms to Pandemic, but it’s easier to play and most people really like the sinking island theme.
If you want a great affordable family game that can also work as a filler game, chances are you’ll be happy with Forbidden Island.
Read our Forbidden Island review
Back to The Future: Back in Time
Back to The Future: Back in Time is another excellent family-weight game that has you play through a lot of what went on during the first Back to the Future movie. It’s a Yahtzee-style dice game in which you use the dice and different powers to move around the city and hopefully help your parents fall in love.
If you’re a fan of Back to the Future and/or you really like the Yahtzee mechanic, you’ll probably enjoy playing Back to The Future: Back in Time.
FUSE is one of those games I think most people should have in their collections, especially fans of high-tension co-ops.
Read our FUSE review
Dexterity games are some of my favorite types of board games, but there really aren’t that many cooperative dexterity games yet. Slide Quest is one of just a few inexpensive dexterity games out there right now, and it works especially well as a family game.
Your goal in Slide Quest is to use levers to slide a knight around and push enemies into the holes on the board. It’s a lot of fun for gamers of all ages.
Read our Slide Quest review
Elder Sign is one of the oldest games on this list, yet it still holds up quite well (it’s also much cheaper than it used to be). It’s a dice game in which you try to use the symbols you roll to complete tasks and fight one of the Ancient Ones.
Elder Sign now has a bunch of expansions, so you could have many hours of gameplay ahead of you if you end up liking the base game.
Read our Elder Sign review
Marvel United is an excellent choice for Marvel fans who are looking for a light co-op to play. Your goal in this one is to complete missions and defeat villains by using your heroes’ powers.
What’s unique about Marvel United is that everyone is playing their cards to a collective Storyline, so you have to work together to stack your actions so everyone can have good turns. It’s a solid cooperative gateway game with a lot of great Marvel characters.
Read our Marvel United review
Quirky Circuits is a programming game, but it’s also a co-op limited communication game, which makes it quite different than other games. In this one, you’re attempting to program your robots so they move around the different maps and complete different types of objectives.
Like a lot of the other games on this page, Quirky Circuits is shockingly cheap considering all of the content you get in the box.
Read our Quirky Circuits review
One Deck Dungeon
If you look around this site, you’ll see that One Deck Dungeon shows up on quite a few of our board game rankings. That’s because it’s a straightforward, fun dice game with very high replay value. You just roll dice and use your heroes’ powers to try to get through different dungeons.
I still think One Deck Dungeon is a must-try for people who like cooperative dice games.
Read our One Deck Dungeon review
Codenames: Duet is one of the best two-player board games around and easily one of the better word games out there. Your goal is to cooperatively locate 15 agents in a 5×5 grid by giving each other one-word clues.
If you play a lot of two-player games or you just want to add a great one to your collection, I highly recommend checking out Codenames: Duet.
Read our Codenames: Duet review
Cantaloop is a cooperative adventure game that has a unique feel to it. That’s because it was designed to have the feel of a classic point-and-click game where you use codes to try to solve puzzles to move the story forward. It even has a decoder that you use to look at hidden text throughout the book.
If you like storytelling games and puzzle games, you should probably give Cantaloop a shot.
Read our Cantaloop review
Cheap Card Games
All of the cooperative games below are small-box card games that pack a punch!
The Mind is not only one of the best cheap board games out there, it’s one of the best cooperative games, period. It’s a very straightforward limited communication game in which you’re trying to play cards in ascending order without ever talking to each other. It’s awesome.
You can usually get the Mind for around 10 bucks, which is amazing to me considering how many times my group has played it over the years.
Read our The Mind review
Hanabi is another classic limited communication game (one of the first, actually) that my group has played many times. In this one, you hold your cards away from you and everyone has to give each other subtle clues so you can play the cards in a certain order.
Hanabi is yet another great co-op card game that you can usually get for $10 or less.
Read our Hanabi review
The Grizzled is a very cool war game in which you play as soldiers trying to survive World War I. You try to survive multiple missions by getting rid of your cards and by minimizing the number of negative effects your soldiers get.
I think The Grizzled is one of those co-op games everyone should try because there isn’t anything else quite like it and it requires good cooperation to win.
Read our The Grizzled review
Kites is a real-time game in which you simply play cards to keep a bunch of sand timers active. It gets crazy chaotic, though, because you never know what colors you’ll be dealt, and those sand timers seem to speed up as you play.
If you’re like me and you like to collect a lot of light card games with high replay value, Kites is one of those games you’ll want to look into getting.
Tranquility is a card game in which you’re trying to play cards in ascending order so you can get your ship back home. It has similar mechanics to other limited communication games, but it adds in a memory component that makes it feel like a completely different game.
In my opinion, Tranquility is the nicest-looking affordable card game you can get, and it also happens to be a lot of fun to play.
Read our Tranquility review
Regicide is a fantastic little hand management game in which you use your cards to try to defeat enemies. It’s a tough game to beat since you can’t talk about your hand and the enemies force you to discard cards, but it’s one of the smoother-playing cooperative card games out there and it’s very satisfying when you pull off the wins.
Regicide has a classic card game feel to it (it’s actually playable with a standard deck of cards), which is one of the reasons why so many people love it.
Bandido is a co-op card game in which you use cards to close off a tunnel system so a prisoner can’t escape. You have to work with the tunnel cards you’re dealt, so each game you’re going to create a very different map.
Bandido is a solid filler board game for kids and adults because it’s light and challenging, and it has a fun theme.
Read our Bandido review
The Crew (Honorable Mention)
The Crew is one of just a few trick-taking cooperative games out there, and it has massive replay value because there are dozens of missions to play through. Each player’s goal in The Crew is to complete the tasks (tricks) they’re given, but that’s made pretty difficult by communication limits and the random card draw.
While The Crew is not one of my favorite co-op games, plenty of people love this one and would put it near the top of their Best Cheap Board Games lists.
Read our The Crew review
Cheap Party Games
The games in this section are light party games that are easy to play and great for higher player counts.
Just One is one of the best party games and one of the top board games for larger groups, and it just so happens to be very affordable. In this game, everyone gives one-word clues to the current guesser based on the mystery word in front of them, but matching clues get canceled. It’s so fun.
Unless you really don’t like word games or party games, you owe it to yourself to play Just One.
Read our Just One review
In So Clover!, everyone is simultaneously a clue-giver and a clue-guesser, and your job is to find links between different sets of words on each other’s boards. I find this one very challenging since I’m not great at word association games, but I always have fun playing it.
So Clover! is another word game that I recommend to everyone because it has a classic party game feel, but it plays differently enough to justify owning it alongside the other great word games out there.
Read our So Clover! review
If you want a slightly more complex game than the typical word game, Letter Jam could be your… jam. It’s kind of a mix of the typical “give one-word clues” game and Scrabble. It’s pretty tough, though, because if you mess up when you think you’ve figured out a word during the game, it can throw off your whole game.
If you’re looking for a challenging word game, a great five or six-player game, or anything in between, you’ll probably end up having a great time playing Letter Jam.
Read our Letter Jam review
Cheap Escape Room Games
If you’re looking for cheap board games and you also happen to love escape rooms, you’re in luck!
Unlock! is a series of real-time escape games in which you try to solve the puzzles on the cards as quickly as you can. There is a huge selection of Unlock! games now, each having its own unique theme and puzzles. Most of these games also have some fantastic artwork.
If you like escape rooms, Unlock! would be the first series I’d recommend checking out. The puzzles are well done and it’s very easy to find a theme that your group would be interested in.
Read our Unlock! review
Exit: The Game
Exit: The Game is another series of escape room games with a bunch of puzzles you have to solve. In these games, the puzzles are on the cards, but you usually have components that you need to manipulate to solve those puzzles. There are also decoder disks that you move around to see if you get the correct answers.
If you’re looking for escape room games with good puzzle variety, some of the games in the Exit: The Game series will probably work for you. Just make sure you choose a difficulty rating that you think your group can handle.
Read our Exit: The Game review
Scooby-Doo: Escape from The Haunted Mansion
Scooby-Doo: Escape from The Haunted Mansion is one of my favorite escape room games because it nails the Scooby-Doo theme and I’m a sucker for a game with secret components in envelopes or boxes. What most people like about this system is the fact that you get different outcomes based on the characters you use to interact with the environment.
If you like Scooby-Doo and you like escape room games, definitely check out Scooby-Doo: Escape from The Haunted Mansion.
What I like most about the Deckscape series is that the designers took the time to make sure they made each game unique and very thematic. I also like that the system itself is very simple: You just put the deck on the table, follow any directions on the cards, and solve some puzzles.
I wouldn’t say that all of the Deckscape games are great (none of the escape room series are perfect), but there are some great ones. It’s best to just choose the themes you think your group will like.
Read our Deckscape review
Thanks for taking a look at our favorite cheap board games! Any that you like that didn’t make the list?
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