Top 10 Favourite Gateway Family Board Games For New Gamers

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The Board Game Sanctuary Presents:
Top Ten Gateway Board Games For New Gamers

Note: A Gateway Game is a game with simple rules that can be taught to new / non-gamers easily in order to introduce them to the board gaming universe.

Gateway Board Games are often used as a springboard into much deeper and more complex games. Think of it as an entree to a delicious three course meal.

Board Games are a fantastic way to reconnect with family members, make new friends and simply just to have a good night in with a few close mates.

The thought of delving into the board game one can be both exciting and scary. Where do you start? what type of board games would be the best fit for me and my family or gaming group?

This video aims to give viewers a starting point in terms of where to begin when deciding to select a board game for the first time.

Whether you are a new gamer or seasoned gamer just looking for that next board game to bring to a new group of friends, this video is for you.

Start a trend, reconnect and bring the love of board gaming back to life.

The Board Game Sanctuary aims to share the hobby of board gaming with the community in a passionate, fun and light hearted way that introduces the world of gaming to newcomers.

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48 Responses

  1. Board Game Sanctuary says:

    Hungry for more Board Games? Have no fear, check out my Top 5 Must Have Worker Placement Board Games.

  2. thehotsixer1 says:

    What’s the name of that game with mice figures holding swords and a giant spider?

  3. jules gameslol says:

    No molopoly?

  4. asjeot says:

    My number one gateway game is Kingdomino. I normally follow it up with Carcassonne.

  5. Que Parker says:

    Dose anyone know what the game is at the 1:23 mark of the video with the blue dice?

  6. King Toe Games says:

    Instagram: kingtoegames

  7. Alex How says:

    Way too many cuts and edits mate – pretty much after every sentence. Had to stop watching half way through

  8. DarkSun says:

    Saw Betrayal at House on the Hill in the opening. Great game!

  9. Haldurson says:

    The game that I've found to be the absolute most successful for recruiting new players has been Splendor. But others that have worked are the Pandemic family of games (including Iberia, and Reign of Cthulhu), King of Tokyo, Carcassonne, Santorini, Star Realms, and Codenames. Ones that have NOT worked are Sushi Go! (the theme just hasn't appealed to anyone I've shown the game to), Spyfall (for some unknown reason, no one I've played with 'gets' it). I haven't used Catan as a gateway game, because it's too much time to invest for someone who may end up not liking it. Plus it has the potential problem of run-away leaders, which is mostly a problem because of the game length.

    Ironically, a game that I've found that REALLY hooks newbies (but not every time) is Cosmic Encounter. The people (including non-gamers) I've played with who were willing to give it a chance, fell head-over-heels in love with it. But that's the trick — they have to actually give the game a shot. And a straight, no-nonsense game with exactly 4 players the way to introduce it (3 players can work, but might be unbalanced, 5 or 6 players and the game might be a bit long for a newbie).

  10. Alyssa is my spirit animal says:

    why isnt there monopoly or cluedo?
    those are the 2 best board games for newbies
    maybe not cluedo cause its a bit more complex, but monopoly should have been on this list

  11. Mackerous Creel says:

    I'm afraid I don't feel many of these are gateway games. It's often hard to gauge the complexity of a game if you've been in the hobby for a while since you have many reference points for different mechanics. While we can think "drawing cards in this game is just like Ticket to Ride", newbies have to remember "there are 5 cards out and I can draw from the face up or the deck, EXCEPT for wilds, and you replace the face up card immediately". Most people are so used to only being able to draw blindly, so many forget about the face up cards. It takes up more brainspace than we think.

    I still stick with the old standbys of Carrcassonne/KoT/TtR, as well as For Sale, Lost Cities, and Jaipur. For newer games, I would say Splendor, Codenames, and maybe Lanterns.

    While Colt Express would be the first programming game I'd get someone into, programming itself is so unintuitive to how we usually play games. I also usually use Forbidden Island instead of Pandemic. Definitely easier to teach and I just really hate how trading cards works in Pandemic.

  12. perfectication says:

    Can I marry you for your board game collection? 😉 Great video, great suggestions and explanations, keep it up! 🙂

  13. Agustín Prieto says:

    Why not Carcassonne?

  14. Agustín Prieto says:

    I like just because the first game you picked was Star Wars: Rebellion

  15. JamJarGaming says:

    I'm surprised that there wasn't anything on exploding kittens

  16. Warforce17 says:

    Great choices! I am eagerly waiting for Sushi Go Party to release in Germany so I can play it with my family. 🙂
    Here are some other games which in my opinion really work well in a group of new gamers:
    Bang! The Dice Game
    Mysterium (if your group enjoys Dixit)
    Sheriff of Notthingham

  17. galaxyraindrops 17 says:

    LOL sushi go is so fun

  18. galaxyraindrops 17 says:


  19. Håkon Hallingstad says:

    What's that music around 1:20?

  20. Charlie Simms says:

    For Settlers of Catan depending on who's playing, the game can get quite nasty and I meet a couple that agreed not to play it again for the sake of their marriage

  21. Ibra says:

    fresh Intro in the Old theme boardgame… thank you subscribe from germany 🙂

  22. warhol cow says:

    Great video! Really enjoyed your suggestions.

  23. Basil Miranda says:

    No Ticket to Ride?

  24. Juan Carlos Gonzalez says:

    Which of these games play great with 2 players?

  25. Ruben de Kemp says:

    Best intro to a board game video I've seen yet 🙂

  26. Collection THX1138 says:

    Interestingly enough I saw Catan and Pandemic at Best Buy near the video games. I have a vid of an older game they've republished a couple times called This Game is Bonkers. It's fun family game but wouldn't necessarily get them into more complex games. D&D Adventure system are fun games if you like the theme and know a little about the RPG. Nice minis art and flavor but lots of parts.

  27. roombust says:

    Greetings from the USA! Your video was extremely helpful in coming up with new ideas for what I can buy to play with my friends and family who are not as into the hobby as I am. You clearly put a lot of effort into making this video, and I just wanted to let you know it was appreciated.

  28. The Boardgame Buddies says:

    great video and list Def sub!

  29. bcmaledragon says:

    I'm surprised that there was no mention of Jamaica, Ticket to Ride, Roll for it, Alhambra, or Royals. These 4 games are exceptionally simple and a ton of fun to play for new board gamers. I own all of these games and break em out not only to play with new players but also experienced players and they've all loved them so much that they've either gotten their own copies and or ask to play them every time we get together to play board games.

  30. Kestrel Manx says:

    What is the dice manipulation game at 1:23? I feel like I've seen it, but it's a mechanic I'm really into right now.

  31. Peter Mobius says:

    Do you think Onitama would be a good gateway game?

  32. tyrroo says:

    I appreciate this video, thank you for sharing your knowledge with others!

    Also, you just introduced me to Colt Express and I plan to buy it asafp, so thank you for that, too!

  33. Keindzjim says:

    do you have a video on above and below, it sounds quite complicated

  34. Keindzjim says:

    everybody loves dixit! even people who don't like boardgames

  35. JBtheFirst says:

    Great ideas. I find SmallWorld a little daunting for new players becuase of the giant 'cheat sheets,' but once they see the simplicity of actual game play they usually enjoy it. It's also a great fast paced 2 player game for experienced players. Keep up the good work!

  36. MattK52 says:

    I am just getting into board games, I wanted to start an every other Friday game night with some friends, I have a lot to learn about this subject however I am looking forward to more videos of your content.
    Also + subbed

  37. Orion McClelland says:

    I like your content, it's good, but wish the audio were cleaner. Might I suggest a cheap lapel mic to fix that? Keep at it dude.

  38. Marco Antonio Velázquez Ameneyro says:

    I wouldn't say Catan is a gateway game. That thing ends friendships.

  39. 411RangerFan says:

    I'm actually trying to get into board gaming at the moment myself, this is will be a great list to look at! The intro was the best part, good job on the video man! PS your accent is awesome! Where are you from?

  40. Dean of Games says:

    I just started a board game channel and would love new subscribers! If you get a chance, please check out my channel.

  41. Dean of Games says:

    Great intro…great video!

  42. Clumsy Dad says:

    fantastic stuff, did a brief review of sushi go myself

  43. Montage Monster says:

    Great choices but I can't seem to like Pandemic at all no matter how many times I play it!,

  44. the8ctagon says:

    Good content horribly marred by jarring editing.

  45. Maybeawriter6 says:

    I love your style! You're concise, informative, funny, and friendly. 🙂 (Also, I see your Vitruvius minifig, there, and I highly approve.)

  46. Ivo Ventura says:

    I've subscribed just after the intro 🙂 Great video and good choices

  47. jejouejeuxpartage olivier says:

    great video !
    my top ten to beginners :
    1. dixit
    2. les aventuriers du rail
    3. love letter
    4. battlesheep
    5. splendor
    6. las vegas
    7. hanabi
    8. génial
    9. tokaido
    10. augustus

  48. Alx Gonzalez says:

    great choices

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