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10 Best Tabletop Games Based On Videogames You May Have Not Heard Of – Screen Rant


  • Some great tabletop games capture the essence of video game sources, creating unique experience for fans & newcomers.
  • Tabletop RPGs translate interesting game worlds to a cooperative campaign experience.
  • Some board games offer intense survival challenges, while others are less stressful.



From Assassin’s Creed to The Witcher, a surprising amount of franchises have received board game or tabletop RPG translations. It’s not uncommon for video games to come out of the tabletop space, but what’s particularly interesting is when things go in the other direction. Despite a few breakout hits, these titles generally attract much less cultural attention than their video game counterparts, but many are strong in their own right.

The best tabletop versions of video games carry over memorable elements of their source material without feeling completely bound to what came before, inviting both fans and newcomers to enjoy. The things that make a tabletop game fun are fundamentally different from the ones that make video games tick, but careful design can make them feed into each other well.

10 The Dragon Age RPG Isn’t Just A D&D Clone

Dragon Age soldier holding a sword and shield with a dragon in the background.

DnD might be ruling the video game RPG space again with Baldur’s Gate 3, but for a time, the most natural successor to that legacy was the Dragon Age series. The Dragon Age RPG brought that world back to tabletop RPG play, offering an experience that’s fast to learn for anyone trying to enter the tabletop space with it. Although the classic fantasy flavor might be harder to distinguish from DnD at first glance, diving in shows how much is significantly different.


Dragon Age: Best Class To Pick In Each Game

There are three primary classes to choose from in every Dragon Age game, and each one comes with unique drawbacks and benefits to keep in mind.

It’s worth noting that the Dragon Age RPG is generally considered much stronger at lower levels, so a campaign that ends up running for a long time might need to look at some tweaks for high-level play. It’s certainly a cool way to dip into the world of Dragon Age, however, and the tabletop system reflects a lot of lore and character concepts relevant to the games.

9 This War Of Mine: The Board Game Hits Hard

This War of Mine cover art showing civilians crouched behind a wall as soldiers fire guns on the other side.

Plenty of video games focus on war, but few attempt to cover its darkest and saddest sides in the way that This War of Mine does. It’s a challenge to pull this off well in video game form, and doing it in tabletop form is even harder. This War of Mine: The Board Game somehow manages it, however, making for an experience that’s unlike anything else out there.

Players in This War of Mine: The Board Game take on the identity of civilians in a besieged city, which sets up tough choices and punishing resolutions to encounter. Survival is the objective, but it isn’t focused on the joy of winning like most games out there. Instead, it’s all about what happens along the way, and even making it through a game can come with sacrifices that weigh heavy.

8 The Sea Of Thieves Roleplaying Game Is Pirate Silliness

A pirate ship docked at sunset in a screenshot from Sea of Thieves.

There’s something about pirates that just makes for great tabletop RPG play, and they have a real habit of sneaking into DnD games whenever things get coastal. There are also some TTRPG options for dedicated pirate play, however, and one such product is the Sea of Thieves Roleplaying Game. This uses core concepts like trading company factions and skeleton captains from the piratical video game, but its general appeal should go well beyond fans of its source material.

The Sea of Thieves Roleplaying Game is most likely to be appreciated by those wanting a simple and silly experience, as its ruleset and flavor aren’t intended to be grueling. Those wanting a darker flavor might be better off looking to Pirate Borg, but if the lighthearted adventure of the Sea of Thieves Roleplaying Game sounds appealing, it’s certainly easy to jump into.


Pirate Borg Review: Heavy Metal Buccaneering In The Dark Caribbean

Pirate Borg is a brutally fun tabletop supplement that uses Mörk Borg rules for high-seas adventures and naval combat in a dark fantasy world.

7 Dishonored: The Roleplaying Game Has Fun In Dunwall

Corvo stands holding his sword in front of a bleak, plague-ridden steampunk, city in Dishonored's promotional art

The world of Dishonored offers some prime material for a tabletop RPG, with a unique aesthetic, interesting characters, and a tangle of politics that’s still simple enough to be approachable. It’s no surprise that it ended up being one of the main inspirations for Blades in the Dark, a TTRPG published in 2017 with a similar setting and a criminal bent. Less widely known, however, is the official Dishonored: The Roleplaying Game, which was released in 2020 by Modiphius Games.

Modiphius is also responsible for Fallout: The Roleplaying Game, one of the more well-known adaptations of a video game to the TTRPG space.

Dishonored: The Roleplaying Game features an Assassin archetype to play as, of course, but it also has options like Inventor, Miscreant, and Scholar. It should be fairly accessible to those who haven’t actually played the video games, as the book includes reference materials for the setting and other key elements, but those who have already fallen in love with Dunwall and Karnaca will likely get the most out of it.

6 Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood of Venice Offers Cool Campaigns

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Of Venice art showing two Assassins in robes.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood of Venice is a cooperative miniature board game, which puts it somewhere in between a standard board game and the campaign orientation of a TTRPG experience. There’s also plenty of video game influence like a save system engineered to make chaining adventures called “memories” together with different players easy. Everything from secret hideouts to synchronization shows up in Brotherhood of Venice, so it’s something that longtime Assassin’s Creed fans can really appreciate.


It’s Weird That Assassin’s Creed Never Repeated Its Best Ezio Trick

The Ezio Trilogy had some of the most memorable games of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, but Ubisoft hasn’t tried the same approach since.

As the title makes clear, Brotherhood of Venice takes place what’s arguably the most iconic Assassin’s Creed setting, with the included tabletop elements making it possible to build up small Venetian scenes for play. The challenges that Assassins take on here focus on stealth in a way principally focused around puzzling out movement during a round, with the overall scope of progression ramping up both the challenge and the tools to address it.

5 The Pillars Of Eternity TTRPG Is A Great Work In Progress

Pillars of Eternity 2 soldiers in a collage with a skull in the background.

Pillars of Eternity follows in the tradition of classic computer RPGs like Baldur’s Gate and Fallout, so bringing it back around to the genre’s tabletop RPG roots makes a lot of sense. The Pillars of Eternity TTRPG has more in common with Burning Wheel and Darklands than Dungeons & Dragons, however — which, for the uninitiated, means there’s a fairly different approach to character and skill progression. Like the upcoming video game Avowed, it’s an interesting way to have a different experience in the Pillars of Eternity universe.

There’s one catch with the Pillars of Eternity TTRPG, and that’s that it isn’t a finished printed product. The player guide from 2019 can be found online for free, however, so that’s not much of a barrier to getting started. Designer Josh Sawyer still seems to iterate on its ideas in his spare time, so there’s always a possibility of an update in the future.

4 Gears Of War: The Board Game Exceeds Expectations

Gears of War cover art showing bulked up characters with guns at the ready.

Gears of War might not seem like the most obvious choice for a board game adaptation, but back in 2011, it received one that turned out to be surprisingly successful. In Gears of War: The Board Game, players work cooperatively to deal with invading Locust hordes. Like Brotherhood of Venice, it makes use of miniatures and modular layouts, although it doesn’t have as much in the way of larger progression elements.

In its essence, Gears of War: The Board Game manages to effectively convert cover shooter concepts to tabletop play, with positioning being a significant factor in survival. Managing resources also matters a lot, however, and it can be a surprisingly difficult experience overall. This could be a bit harder to find than the other games due to its comparative age, but anyone lucky enough to stumble across a copy should consider picking it up.

3 The Witcher TRPG Brings A Great World To Tabletop

A Griffin attacking in The Witcher 3 alongside Geralt with his sword unsheathed
Custom Image by Brad Lang

The Witcher is much more than just a video game franchise, finding its roots in the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski and a freshly expanded audience in the Netflix series. The tabletop RPG, however, is specifically based on the games. The complex setting of the Continent and the clever way that The Witcher rethinks classic fantasy tropes makes for an appealing package in just about any form, and The Witcher TRPG might be one of the most natural fits.

The Witcher TRPG should be easy to pick up for veterans of the Cyberpunk series of TTRPGs, as there’s a decent bit of basic similarity in how they function. Combat has a particularly engaging set of rules for those interested in learning how things operate, but there’s enough to enjoy even for those who don’t focus on battle. The biggest thing to watch out for is some innate class imbalance, which could definitely throw off newcomers.

2 Frostpunk: The Board Game Is Survival Strategy

Frostpunk board game close-up showing a tile-based system in play.

Frostpunk is from the same developers as This War of Mine, which might help explain how both ended up being translated to the tabletop space. Frostpunk: The Board Game is another survival-focused experience, but in a less intimate way. In this case, it’s all about managing a colony in a harsh setting, and there could well be a civilian cost to figuring out how to prosper.

Frostpunk: The Board Game isn’t the only tabletop translation of a video game to offer solo play as an option, but it’s one of the few to make it particularly appealing. Although up to four players can join in on play, it might be easiest to keep it to one or two. Frostpunk: The Board Game is also a beautifully designed physical product, effectively conveying the strong art design that characterized the video game.

1 Dorfromantik: The Board Game Provides Relaxing Fun

Dorf Romantik board game showing tile-based design.

The indie game Dorfromantik is all about growing a village by placing tiles, a concept that translates exceptionally well to tabletop form. Dorfromantik: The Board Game could be a significantly less stressful alternative to Frostpunk: The Board Game, as it still deals with population requests but without the harsh survival aspects. Instead, it’s all about creating a satisfying layout that meets certain core requirements, scratching both a creative and strategic itch.

Dorfromantik: The Board Game also offers a campaign experience, which unveils more complexity and growth as games progress. It’s consequently easy to pick up for the first time despite ultimately having some sophisticated options, further highlighting its approachability compared to many other tabletop adaptations of board games. This may not have any gestures at high-octane action, but it fills its more comfortable niche quite well.


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