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Filler board games are generally easy to learn, highly replayable, and quick to play. They’re great games to have around for the beginning or end of your game night, or any other time you want to play a game that will take 30 minutes or less to play.
Filler games are also the board games that seem to get played the most, so it’s worth having at least a couple in your collection.
Let’s get to the list! Below you’ll find some of the best cooperative filler board games available today!
10. Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island is easily one of the best gateway games around. It still hits the table every couple of months for my group even after over 100 plays. It uses the classic Pandemic system of “take a turn then bad things happen,” and it works perfectly for this type of survival game.
Forbidden Island isn’t a game that most people think of as a filler, but that’s exactly what it’s become for my group since we can now set it up very quickly and be done within about 25 minutes.
Read our Forbidden Island review
FUSE is 10 minutes of pure chaos. It’s a real-time game with a lot of dice rolling and a little bit of dice-stacking, which is a unique blend. You’re trying to defuse bombs using your dice, but you’re on a timer so the tension level is super high throughout. FUSE also takes up very little table space, so you can play it just about anywhere.
Read our FUSE review
8. The Grizzled
The Grizzled works great as a filler board game, especially as a 3-5 player game (it’s great as a two-player filler game if you also get the excellent The Grizzled: At Your Orders! expansion). In this card game you’re working together to survive until the end of the World War I. It has a unique theme and a good amount of replay value.
Read our The Grizzled review
As far as best bang for your buck goes, in my group’s collective opinion there’s only one cooperative filler game that is better than Hanabi (the #1 game on this list). We still play Hanabi regularly after all these years because it’s quick, that face-your-cards-away-from-you mechanic creates a neat team puzzle to solve, and because it’s a good challenge. It’s one of those games that everyone should have in their collection.
Read our Hanabi review
6. Magic Maze
What’s great about Magic Maze is that it works just as well as a filler game as it does as a “main course” game. You can play one of the middle levels as a one-off game or you can see how many levels you can play through before you lose. It’s one of my group’s top real-time board games and it’s one of the best filler games out there for larger gaming groups.
Read our Magic Maze review
Check out our Top 10 Co-op Adventure Games!
Both the original 5-Minute Dungeon and 5-Minute Marvel are excellent filler games. Both are real-time co-ops in which you’re trying to quickly use your heroes’ abilities to get through the different levels of enemies. It’s a whole lot of chaos and it’s so much fun to play. Even if you want to play through all of the levels, the game shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes, including setup.
Read our 5-Minute Dungeon review
Cahoots isn’t one of my group’s highest-rated board games, but it does hit the table more than most of the games on that list because it works so well as a filler game. It’s a limited communication game in which you’re attempting to put cards in a certain order based on current Goal cards on the table. It’s quick, it gives you a different puzzle to solve every time it hits the table, and it’s easy to adjust the difficulty to suit your group’s skill level. This is probably the most underrated game on this list.
Read our Cahoots review
3. Just One
Just One is a word game that can work as a multi-play party game or as a quick filler game. It has a very simple set of rules: Give one-word clues to help the guessers figure out the mystery words. It is consistently fun, can be played with gamers of pretty much all ages, and it has high replay value. It’s a great game to have around for just about any type of game night.
Read our Just One review
Codenames Duet is the best two-player filler game on this list, though you can play it with more than two. It’s a light word game in which you’re attempting to give clues so your teammate(s) flip over the correct “agent” cards while avoiding the “assassin” cards. It’s one of the best filler games out there because it is so light and quick yet it forces you to think creatively.
Read our Codenames Duet review
1. The Mind
Yeah, The Mind was an easy pick for this number one spot. It’s a simple but very challenging game in which you’re trying to get rid of all of your cards without being able to say what’s in your hands. I always have The Mind in my bag because it’s very small and it’s something that we can get out and ready to play in less than a minute. Sometimes we play one quick game of The Mind before or after our main game, but it often turns into three or four.
Read our The Mind review