cover image for article listing the best board games released in 2023

Holiday Buyer's Guide: Best Board Games to Get | Released 2023

Holiday Buyer's Guide: Best Board Games to Get | Released 2023

Ah, 2023! The year of flying cars, telepathic texting, and... oh, wait. We're not there yet. But, hey, we got some crazy fun board games - that were released in 2023 (or late 2022)!

If you're hunting for the best board games to gift (or sneakily play before wrapping them up), you're in the right spot. Whether you're a casual player or a board game connoisseur who sniffs game boxes like fine wine, this list is for you!

Full disclosure, we have not played all of the games listed here, so it is not a review, but a wishlist of the freshly released games that caught our eye.

Small Box Board and Card Games as Christmas Stocking Stuffers

In the festive season, the tiniest gifts often bring the grandest joy. Tucked snugly into a Christmas stocking, a small box board, and card games promise hours of laughter and challenge without taking up much space. Delightful in design yet compact in size, these games are the unsung heroes of holiday gifting.


Dive into the festive frenzy with "Splito" – the pocket-sized game that's BIG on fun! Unwrap a world where strategy meets party chaos, perfect for ages 7 to 77.

At just $20, it's the stocking stuffer that'll have Grandma strategizing like a pro and little Timmy shouting for a rematch! 

Dumb Ways to Die

Unwrap the giggles this Christmas with "Dumb Ways to Die"! Tucked neatly into any stocking, it’ll whisk players away to the nutty town of Dumbville where Beans are, let’s be honest, not the brightest baubles on the tree.

Based on that viral tune you've probably jingled to, this game’s a festive frenzy for 2-5 players aged 12+. Whether your Bean decides to carol in space without a helmet or munch on a very un-festive glue stick, chuckles are wrapped and ready to go!

Tell Me Without Telling Me

Unleash the laughs this festive season with this new card game. Tucked into a stocking-sized box, this game challenges you to mime, rhyme, and drop one-syllable wonders. But be warned, with its cheeky content, it's the ultimate icebreaker for the grown-up crowd! Ready to tickle your funny bone and test your charades prowess? 

p.s. this game was released in the distant 2021, so it is kind of an exception on this list, but we could not find many small box games released in 2023, so we'll let this slide.


New Board and Card Games between 20 to 50 USD

Navigating the realm of board games can feel like a quest in itself, especially when seeking a blend of quality and affordability. Fortunately, the 20 to 50 USD price range offers a trove of engaging board and card games that are both entertaining and wallet-friendly.

Dive into this sweet spot where value meets enjoyment, and discover the gems that prove you don't need to splurge to gift a memorable experience.

Spheres of Life: Mythical Forest

Step into the enchanting realms of "Spheres of Life: Mythical Forest" and let the magic unfold! Battle mythical creatures, harness magical abilities, and immerse yourself in a card game that's dripping with strategy and charm.

Whether you're a card game aficionado or a dark fantasy fanatic, this game is for you! It promises fun gameplay pulling you into epic adventures and laughter-filled game nights – all in one mesmerizing deck.

Games Workshop Space Marine: The Board Game

Based on the popular game "Warhammer," the Space Marine is a survival game packed with miniatures and a rulebook with backstory. 

Although it has mixed reviews, it can be a good gift for your Warhammer loving friend!

Hickory Dickory

Dive into the whimsical world of "Hickory Dickory," where cunning mice are racing against time – quite literally! While it may sport a charming nursery rhyme name and delightful mouse meeples, don't be fooled; this game has a competitive edge that'll keep everyone on their toes.

Priced perfectly at $48, it blends strategy and fun, making it an absolute steal for the holiday gift season. Gift "Hickory Dickory" and watch as Christmas gets a dash of mousey mischief and cutthroat clockwork fun!

The White Castle

The White Castle is a Euro type game with mechanics of resource management, worker placement and dice placement to carry out actions, like defending castle or progressing in the social ladder.

Given that the game was released in 2023 and already have more than 1000 positive reviews, it is a pretty safe gift for you or your board game loving friends!

Board and Card Games between 50 to 100 USD

As we venture into the 50 to 100 USD territory, the board and card games world unfurls in richer detail and deeper strategy. This bracket is a treasure trove for those seeking games with intricate mechanics, immersive themes, and components that ooze quality.

For those willing to invest a bit more for a premium tabletop experience, this range offers masterpieces that can become the crown jewels of any collection.


Evacuation is a game where you try to save everyone from a burning planet! During the game you will have to move a functioning economy form one planet to another. 

This board game can be a great gift for the sci-fi fans! If you can get it - because we found only a few websites selling it.

City of The Great Machine

All aboard the steam-powered rollercoaster ride that is "City of the Great Machine"! For just $61, plunge into a steampunk showdown where you either become the mighty Great Machine or join the rebellious heroes. Are you scheming to perfect mankind or igniting a revolution to save it? Whichever side you pick, this game promises electrifying strategy, twists, and tons of "steamy" fun – a perfect splash of excitement for this festive season!

Ark Nova

Lights up on the board game where you're the zookeeper with a vision! For a price that snugly fits in the category, dive into the wild world of zoo design where elephants, eagles, and enclosures need your expertise.

From masterfully illustrated cards to strategic action planning, every move you make resonates with the thrill of wildlife conservation. Mathias Wigge's genius shines through in every gameplay, guaranteeing your holiday gatherings will echo with roars of fun and repeated calls for "one more game!"

So, gift "Ark Nova" and watch your gaming nights evolve into a zoological masterpiece! And yes, Ark Nova was released in 2021, but in 2023 they released a well received expansion - Marine Worlds.

The Last of Us: Escape the Dark

Gear up for a riveting journey with "The Last of Us: Escape the Dark," set to launch in Q1 2024! Dive deep into Naughty Dog's iconic universe, navigating challenges with up to 4 allies by your side.

From eerie quarantine zones to the promise of Jackson, strategize, face fearsome foes, and craft a unique survival story. A perfect Christmas gift in the $50-$100 bracket for board game buffs and franchise fans alike.


Ready to save the planet from the comfort of your living room? Preorder "Daybreak" now, set to ship in November 2023! Dive into this engaging cooperative board game where players unite to halt climate change. Wrapped with hope and envisioning a brighter future, it's not just a game, but a mission where you craft innovative solutions to heal our Earth.


Big Board Games Over 100 USD

Stepping into the domain of big board games over 100 USD is akin to entering the grand hall of tabletop gaming. Here, games aren't just pastimes; they're epic sagas, lavishly detailed and designed to provide hours of immersive gameplay.

For the true aficionados, this category promises not just games but experiences that are bound to leave a lasting impression on the players.

Hoplomachus: Victorum

Got a board game enthusiast on your Christmas list? Hoplomachus: Victorum is the grand gift they've been dreaming of! Dive into an epic world where heroes rise to prevent the end times, assembling a team of gladiators to challenge Pluto himself.

With its seamless blend of easy-to-learn mechanics and rich strategic depth, this solo-only game by Chip Theory Games is a masterpiece of tactical gameplay. The premium components and wide variety of battle scenarios ensure that it's not just a game, but an experience. Perfect for those who adore big-ticket board games and solo adventures! 

Blood on the Clocktower

Lights, camera, suspense! "Blood on the Clocktower" is not just a game; it's the $145 ticket to the most epic drama in board gaming.

Dive into a world where bluffing meets Broadway, and even the ghosts get to gossip. With unique powers for each player and lavish packaging that screams Gothic glam, every game night turns into an Oscar-worthy performance. Gift this, and brace yourself for standing ovations at your holiday gatherings!


The Massive Board Games Over 250 USD - For the Enthusiasts

The echelons of board games priced over 250 USD are where luxury meets passion. These are not just games; they're sprawling epics, intricately designed masterpieces that resonate with the heartbeat of a true enthusiast. Entering this realm is a testament to one's dedication to the art of tabletop gaming, promising experiences that are as grand as their price tags suggest.


Calling all board game aficionados! If you thought Gloomhaven was epic, brace yourself for its bigger, bolder sequel: Frosthaven. Journey north to frozen landscapes, dive deep into mysterious tunnels and face brand-new encounters in this massive RPG board game.

But there's a twist: amidst combat and exploration, players also get to play architect, crafting and managing a base in the unforgiving wilderness. A perfect splurge for enthusiasts, Frosthaven is the ultimate Christmas gift for those who crave expansive adventures and cherish games with immense depth and detail.


Gone are the days when the only card games for Christmas were 'Go Fish' or 'Uno.' This holiday season, dive into the fantastic world of board games, from pocket-sized delights to monumental adventures. So, if you're wondering where to buy board games that'll light up eyes brighter than the tree, just check the links above. Remember, it's not just about the game but the memories you'll create playing them.

Happy gaming, and may your dice always roll in your favor!

In the meantime, feel free to explore what Joyful Games has to offer - from other board game tips to fun board and card games.

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