[Top 15] Best Sci-Fi Board Games That Are Fun

Set phasers to fun!

Set phasers to fun! Here are our top 15 best Sci-Fi board games to play that are fun. 


15. TIME Stories

Imagine a world in the future where time travel is an occupation. Since it would be a job like any other, you would receive assignments that you need to complete before paradoxes tear your current timeline apart. In TIME Stories, that’s what you do! 

TIME Stories is a narrative game where you and your team are given a mission to go back to a specific time period and take possession of locals to solve puzzles, search areas, and obtain items to achieve your mission. You’ll be spending Temporal Units for each run, and if you run out, you have to go back to your home base and try again from the start. 

How many attempts will you take before you solve the mystery? 

Chances are that during your first playthrough you will not succeed so you’ll have to pull a Groundhog Day and Bill Murray your way through the mission a few more times before you are successful.

Creativity is encouraged as long as it doesn’t halt the gameplay, so this is a great game that gives you the freedom of giving your character as much depth as you want. This will appeal to those that love games such as Dungeons & Dragons. And with expansions available for purchase as well as the option to create your own timeline (www.spacecowboys.fr), replay value is extremely high for the right player. 

Buy this game if:

  • You like games with a player-driven narrative.
  • You want a game with separate expansion sets. This is a good opportunity for board/tabletop game collectors.


14. Cosmic Encounter


When you think of science fiction, chances are good that the first things that pop into your head are aliens and space. And this game will give you both!

Cosmic Encounter is a strategy-based game that encourages you to take control of one of the dozens of alien races and request (or force in some cases) other races to join you as you lay claim to different parts of the universe. Each race has its own unique ability to give you an advantage when negotiating with or declaring war on unclaimed planets. 

Each player starts with eight cards that other players mustn’t see and 20 ships that match their player's color. During your turn when you encounter a planet that doesn’t match your color, you’ll decide whether to attack or negotiate there. You’ll move one of your ships afterward to your home planet for preparation and then pull a destiny card to determine which player you’ll have an encounter with and on which planet.

Play as one of over 50 alien races and dominate the cosmos!

From there you’ll work with that player to negotiate or declare war depending on the actions taken. If war is declared by both parties, then the winner is determined by the combined number of ships and ally offense and their defenses.

The first player to have five colonized planets is the winner. 

For up to six players, there is a lot going for it. And if you love replay value, then this game is for you. There are over 50 different races to choose from, so no two games are ever alike! 

Buy this game if:

  • You want each playthrough to never be exactly the same.
  • You love game boards and cards with beautiful illustrations.
  • You want a vast game with easy-to-learn rules.


13. Terraforming Mars


Remember when people were talking about going to Mars and inhabiting it? Is anyone still thinking about doing that? It seems to have lost its appeal by now. For those who are still interested but find themselves still grounded on Earth though, there is always Terraforming Mars.

In Terraforming Mars, you and up to four other players play CEOs from opposing corporations attempting to work together to make Mars inhabitable by raising the oxygen and temperature levels, introducing wildlife, etc. 

While working together, each CEO is also trying to earn additional points and ratings from their own contributions to Mars. By purchasing and playing available resource cards, you can earn these additional points/ratings, but they are costly so you must balance between buying and playing them.

Work together to make Mars livable, but try to be the CEO with the most points in the end

Once all parameters of terraforming Mars are complete, the player with the most ratings and points is the winner.

For those that want to take a glimpse into what it would take to inhabit Mars, this is not a bad way to open your mind to possibilities. For those who want to play something with a mix of gameplay elements, give this one a try.

Buy this game if:

  • You want a game with mixed gameplay elements.
  • You love space-theme economic games.


12. Scythe

In Scythe, a board game that explores events in an alternate history of 1920s Europe, you gather factions to pick up the pieces after the Great War. 

At the beginning of the game, you are given a faction that has its own abilities and bonuses. You will also have large mechs that help you carry out actions. Gather resources make economic decisions, and of course, use large mechs to fight and control your territories.

The game’s main focus is on gathering and producing resources. You gather resources by trading with businesses, sending units to different parts of the board, and sending out workers. Each player will have objectives to complete and the first player to complete six of these will end the game. The winner is the player with the most points at the end. 

Pick up the pieces of your life in the aftermath of The Great War.

I mentioned mechs a few times, so I’m sure you're thinking that there will be fighting involved. Well, yes and no. When it comes to fighting, it's only a small part of the game. In fact, you may want to avoid it as much as possible, at least until the end. When you are expanding your territory, you may come across the other players, which would then involve fighting to gain more territory and resources. 

While this is a LARGE game, it is a lot of fun and offers an interesting glimpse into what life in Europe could’ve been if the Great War went in a different direction, minus the mechs. 

Buy this game if:

  • You want a Settlers of Catan experience with mechs. 
  • You are a fan of “What if” situations and ever wondered if things turned out different in the 1920s after the Great War. 


11. Dune: A Game of Conquest & Diplomacy

Based on the 1965 science fiction novel of the same name, Dune: A Game of Conquest &  Diplomacy takes you to the desolate planet of Dune, which has nothing going for it except giant space worms and a special spice known as Melange. This spice is only produced on this planet, giving those who possess its mass amounts of wealth, political power, and a unique sightseeing ability that is important to space travel. “He who controls the spice controls the universe!”

Your goal is to take control of as much of the spice as well as strongholds as you can through stratagem with one of four factions based in the book: House Atreides, House Harkonnen, the Fremen, and the Imperium. Each has its own unique play style that can be used to gain an advantage in obtaining spices to purchase cards and in sending troops to the planet to defend your strongholds. But even as you start to gain ground, your forces may still be decimated by a passing sandstorm (which is bound to happen a lot because the planet is all sand). 

He who controls the spice controls the universe!

Overall, this is a great game for those that are a fan of Dune, whether it is the book, the movies, or both. There are a lot of strategies involved in gaining and keeping strongholds, which will appeal to fans of that gameplay, and there is a small amount of chaos involved with random sandstorms, which helps level the playing field for newcomers as well. 

Buy this game if:

  • You love the Dune franchise. You can reenact the Dune storyline and make it unique to your playthrough.
  • You love stratagem gameplay.


10. SpaceTeam

You know the saying, “In space, no one can hear you scream?” Well, this game is going to make you try your darndest to be heard, at least by your teammates. 

In Spaceteam, you and your team’s goal is to repair your spaceship as it is slowly drifting into a black hole. If you are not able to get it running before the time timer stops, then you lose.. 

To repair your ship, each of you will have blue tool cards and you’ll begin drawing from your orange deck, which includes Malfunction, Anomaly, and Systems Go cards. 

Malfunction cards will tell you what tools are needed to fix a problem, but sometimes you don’t have the tools in your hand. You then need to ask your teammates if they have it. Your teammate from the other side of the group has it, so he passes it to the player next to him, who passes it on, and so on. Sometimes you have to ask loudly for help because everyone else is trying to fix their own sets of problems as well.  

Repair your spaceship with your team using your best (and loudest) indoor voice.

Anomaly cards tell you an action that the team must complete quickly before continuing repairs on the ship. Systems Go cards are the parts of the ship that have been repaired. Find all of these cards to put the ship back together and win the game. 

This game isn’t rocket science, so anyone can pick it up and play without difficulty.  There is also a lot of replay value because of its quick game time, but it’ll make you yell at people, just as promised, so don’t play with anyone that may be sensitive. 

Buy this game if:

  • You want a quick, easy-to-learn, easy-to-play game night.
  • You have a healthy pair of lungs. 


9. Alien: Fate of the Nostromo

Based on the Alien franchise, this game brings you back to the fateful Nostromo as one of the main characters from the first film (Ripley, Parker, Lambert, Brett, and Dallas). You and your team draw objective cards to start things off and get to work. After they are completed, there is a final objective card drawn which must be completed in order to win the game. 

But you’re not alone on the ship. The Alien is silently stalking all of the players, waiting for its chance to strike. Throughout the game, encounter cards are drawn to determine the monster’s movement. If you or another player are attacked, the whole ship’s morale will go down. Once the morale hits zero, you lose the game.

Take on the role of one of the crew members of the Nostromo.

Each character has slightly different abilities, which offers players the feeling of being unique to the gameplay, such as one player can build items from scrap better than others, one is a better fighter, etc. 

Whether or not you have seen the films, this is a must-have for any Sci-Fi board game fan. For a game that’s on the cheaper side, you still get a lot of play out of it.

Buy this game if: 

  • You are a fan of the Alien franchise. 
  • You are looking for a sci-fi board game with a smaller price tag.


8. Nemesis

We just talked about Alien: Fate of the Nostromo earlier on this list, and this game has similar gameplay but cranked up to 11. 

Join the unlucky crew as one of the scientists or soldiers and complete tasks to win the game. Each character has two secret objectives, and when the Nemesis makes its first appearance in the game, the player must choose one and discard the other.

Throughout the game, the aliens make appearances, which can be triggered through noises that you’ve made in-game if you are infected, or through other means that the game explains.

Survive the alien encounters, but beware of betrayal as well! 

If running from bloodthirsty aliens isn’t enough, there is also a chance that your own teammate will betray you to achieve their own secret goals, and you won’t know if they’re a traitor until you find yourself inside a room with the creatures and your teammate closes the door and locks you in…

For beautiful miniatures and gameplay that will play like your very own personal horror science fiction story, there aren’t very many games like this. Plus the added ability to betray your own teammates adds suspense. It’ll make you think if there is an ulterior motive for when someone tags along to help you with your objectives. 

Buy this game if:

  • You played Alien: Fate of the Nostromo and want a more intense experience.
  • You are a fan of miniatures. This game contains some of the most detailed figurines you’ve ever seen. 


7. Xenoshyft: Onslaught

It's zombie survival that meets space invaders! Your job is to protect your base from the incoming alien hordes, or the “hive” as it is called in this game.

It’s impossible to destroy the hive in its entirety, but the main objective is to survive nine rounds. You and other players must work together through strategy by purchasing items, stronger weapons, and troops to survive each round. Each round will increase in difficulty, so purchase everything carefully. 

Unlike a lot of games involving waves of hordes, this game usually doesn’t have a very long game time, so even if you lose a game, you won’t feel too bad for the time that was spent. If you like deck-building games that involve surviving waves of enemies, give this game a try.

Buy this game if:

  • You like deck-building games. You can build your own deck so that you can provide a little more to the table each time you play with friends and family. 
  • You like games that offer multiple playthroughs in one sitting. Because of the shorter time to play, there are plenty of opportunities to keep going.


6. Galaxy Trucker

In the future, technology is going to be so advanced that you’ll be living on other planets and enjoying the good life. However, much like Earth, you are going to need supplies, so what do you normally do? Order it and someone delivers it to you. Well, that job of delivering items still exists with galactic travel! But what if you use the worst delivery service in the world? Put on your space suspenders and buckle up, because you’re going to find out in Galaxy Trucker. 

In Galaxy Trucker, your goal will be to make as much money as possible for delivering cargo. You will achieve that goal in two parts: building your spaceship/truck and then surviving the delivery route long enough to transport your said cargo in (hopefully) one piece. 

In the building rounds, you start with your board that has your cabin in the center. You then grab from a pile of facedown tiles that have the cargo you want as well as other space truck essentials and flip them up to attach to the cabin to make your sweet ride. Of course, your truck needs to be functional, meaning that any thrusters you find MUST point to the back of the ship, with nothing blocking their path. 

You’ll also find lasers, engines, and cabins, which you’ll want to add as much to your vehicle as possible for later, but there should be nothing built in front of the lasers. More cabin space will also mean more crew for your ship. Meet special requirements, and you’ll also acquire alien crewmen, which will boost your truck’s laser/engine power. 

Make your vehicle and hope that it survives the trip!

After you make your truck, you shove off to make your delivery. Along the way, you’ll be pulling from a deck of cards that determine your next course of action. You may encounter planets where you can grab more cargo for your ship. You may run into an abandoned ship to grab more scrap. Or you may run into space pirates that will challenge the integrity of your truck and your crew, which is why having plenty of weapons and engine power is important to have a safe voyage.

In the end, all you need is one point to win the game. That’s how much faith the game has in you completing your tasks successfully. The game is so maddening that it is confident that you will hit rock bottom every single time. But you’re a strong, independent galaxy trucker, so prove them wrong! 

Buy this game if:

  • You love silly games and love to laugh as you watch your opponent's ships break apart in space. 
  • You want to challenge yourself to be better at the game each time.


5. Empires of the Void II

Your story is that a powerful alien race destroys Earth and only a handful of survivors were able to escape and travel to the fringe of the galaxy. In this game, you must gain allies, make war, make politics, and do whatever it takes to prepare to face those that took your home and make them regret messing with you. 

You play against others as you explore and gain control of eight planets on the board. You earn victory points for earning allies, completing objectives, and building on your occupied planets. When the last card is drawn, the game is over and the player with the most points is the victor of the fringe. 

Take control of the planets and complete your objectives.

While a moderately complex game, this is a great game for veteran board gamers and newcomers alike. The rules are very clear and concise, and the gameplay is engaging with plenty to do so nobody will lose interest. 

Buy this game if:

  • You want story-driven gameplay with lots of artwork and miniatures to admire.
  • You love strategy-based games.


4. Space Alert

(Note: this Youtube video states that there will be a CD soundtrack that comes with the game that is crucial to your playthrough. The game has been updated with a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone to play the soundtrack. There is also a scenario card that can be read if no one is able to use the QR code)

In Space Alert, you and 3-4 other players must work together to meet a certain objective of the game that is presented in the soundtrack. The level of difficulty is determined by the team beforehand. 

Each turn consists of action rounds and resolution rounds. Action rounds have cards that you flip over which will determine where you need to go on the ship and what to do. Depending on the instructions on the soundtrack, these can include firing a laser, gathering energy for the next attack, or going to deal with alien intruders inside the ship. 

Resolution cards act as the “play button” for your action cards. . In short, you decide what to do in the action round, then you go and do it in the resolution round. As you move through the ship and complete actions in the action round, you will reveal the enemy's locations and defeat them if you are prepared. 

The game is won when all objectives are met by all of the players and all three sectors of your ship are still in your possession.

This is a very interesting game as it requires a soundtrack or scenario card to be played fully. If you use the soundtrack, you’ll be greeted with somewhat cheesy voice acting, but it adds depth to the game that has to be experienced at least once. And the best part is that each mission lasts 10 minutes, so there are a lot of opportunities to replay this game over and over again in one sitting.

Buy this game if: 

  • You want quick gameplay and high replay value. 
  • You want to play something with included voice acting for added depth.


3. GKR: Heavy Hitters

In GKR: Heavy Hitters, you play as a professional mech rider in what can only be described as Gundam but with paintball guns. Your goal is to gain points by tagging your logo on the buildings that are on the board as well as destroying them, but everyone else is trying to do the same. 

The combat system uses various weapons and tools (each with its own unique stats and speed) to fight your opponents or to repair your mech. Combat also uses dice to help determine successful hits from your weapons. 

After combat, you get to tag the buildings with your logos, which helps you to gain fans, which in turn gives you opportunities for upgrading your giant robot to deal more damage in combat. 

Tag or destroy the buildings to earn fans!

The winner is either the last giant killer robot left on the board or tagging/destroying four of the buildings.

Any fan of Gundam, Splatoon, or Pacific Rim is going to love this game! With a unique twist to the wargame genre, easy-to-learn rules, and really cool miniatures, this is one game that you’ll love to whip out when you have an appetite for destruction. 

Buy this game if:

  • You are a fan of Gundam, Splatoon, or Pacific Rim.
  • Love wargame-based board games.


2. Tiny Epic Galaxies 

It’s Galactic warfare in an itty bitty box! In Tiny Epic Galaxies, you have the chance to take control of your very own space empire and attempt to expand and dominate with other players. 

By keeping track of your Empire Rank, you’ll roll dice to take actions such as moving your rockets, gaining energy points that can be used to move your rockets, gaining culture points, or using the ability of one of your colonized planets. Colonized planets earn you points, and the first to earn 21 points is the winner. 

As its title suggests, The game comes in a very tiny box, which is great for travel and storage space. There is also a solo mode for fans of that sort of gameplay.

Buy this game if: 

  • You need a science fiction game that you can take in your coat pocket or backpack. 
  • You love the Tiny Epic game series.


1. Specter Ops

It’s a game of futuristic Hide & Seek where it’s a mad scramble on who can locate whom in a top-secret infiltrated lair! In Spector Ops, you either play as the secret agent or the hunters that seek out the agent. 

The secret agent’s location is unknown to the rest of the players (hence why he’s a secret agent) and his goal is to touch certain parts of the board without getting caught. The board is numbered and alphabetized so the agent has his own paper layout of the board so he can keep track of where he is at, where he has been, and where he needs to go next. If he is able to touch all of the spots that he was assigned, he wins.

Play as the secret agent or hunter!

The hunters are set to stop the secret agent from reaching all of his destinations. They each have their own special abilities, such as mind-reading, motion sensing, or sniffing (one of the hunters is a dog). Each hunter has a way of moving around the board as well, and if they catch the secret agent before he meets his objective, they win. 

It’s a simple game, but it is a lot of fun, and interactions between players can be entertaining. The character cards and special abilities are also enjoyable, so you and your friends can switch things up each time to have a different experience with each playthrough. ). 

Buy this game if:

  • You like the Metal Gear video game series. This game feels like it took elements from the series and put them into the board game.
  • You enjoy playing different characters to have a new experience each time.

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With his Wii nunchucks in one hand and a potato in the other, this Idaho-born gamer still bares the scars on the palms of his hands from his Mario Party 3 incident with pride.
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Control
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dishonored, Tales from the Borderlands: A Telltale Game Series, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

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