It’s hard to imagine playing what we’re told is the best trading card game and not having a good time. But it happens frequently enough that there’s a whole subculture of people who play other games designed around collectible cards. You can buy trading card games, or TCGs, in stores and on the web. Here are ten of the best trading card games that aren’t magic.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Speed Dueling
Almost everyone has heard of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the world’s most popular trading card game. It’s played in stores, at tournaments, and online, and its eSports competitions are growing faster than any other competitive collectible card game. Players build decks of different types of cards to use in duels against each other. The game has been around for over 20 years, with several updated versions on the way.
Pokémon Trading Card Game
Pokémon is another long-running franchise with a game that appeals to children and adults alike (though they are probably under the misconception that they caught them all). It’s a cooperative game where two players take on the roles of Pokémon trainers who must band together to defeat powerful foes. The card game is simple, with quick games and an intuitive ruleset.
Keyforge is a game that combines collectible cards with physical board games. It’s a unique experience, keeping the collectible card game aspect but adding a board game element that makes it more similar to dice games. The players take on the role of characters within the Star Wars universe, fighting to become masters of the Force. In fact, the decks themselves have been labeled sigils, and each one has a single digital card that unlocks the ability to play it in the game.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Another popular TCG is Hearthstone, which is set within Blizzard’s Warcraft universe and is based on a variety of characters from it. Players build decks around specific classes or hero types in head-to-head battles with other players online or against computer opponents. It’s the first time this has been done with a trading card game because it’s the first time Fantasy Flight has gone from one to two players. The players will have to use their abilities from the cards to gain victory points while also trying not to lose health points they must keep track of
Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game
The Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game is another fantasy dueling card game where players act as samurai who owe allegiance to different clans. They build their own decks, taking advantage of their clan’s strengths as they fight against each other in tactical duels. It’s relatively new and challenging but has already won loyal fans because it rewards players for doing what comes naturally, correctly reading situations, with good gameplay.
Doomtown is a western-style trading card game that combines late 19th century wild west conflict with static strategic elements. The cards have no actual value, instead of representing resources that players can use during the game. They are divided into three classes: main characters, location, and support. The main character is worth more than a location but less valuable than support. Players bring the most powerful characters first into duels and upgrade them to match their opponent’s cards, basically making sure they’re playing with inferior cards to their opponent.
Game of Thrones: The Card Game
Game of Thrones is a resource-oriented card game based on the popular HBO series. Players have to master the politics of their own houses and the foreign houses of Westeros. They battle with other players to become more powerful and gain more resources to upgrade their buildings and armies.
Star Realms/Hero Realms
Star Realms is a 2-player sci-fi spaceship trading card game. Players construct their own deck and draft cards to move their fleet through hyperspace to victory points. There are no monsters or creatures in this game, just starships, so it’s all about strategy. You’ll need to carefully plan the movements of your star cruisers.
Final Fantasy Trading Card Game
Final Fantasy is famous for its video games and anime, but it’s also got a trading card game based on the franchise. Players can play characters from Final Fantasy IV to V. The game uses a lot of different elements from the franchise, including summons and world fracturing. The artwork for the cards is beautiful, which makes them look more like works of art and less like games. It’s a bit complex but rewarding to learn and play, with several card types making it difficult to master.
Digimon Card Battle
While it’s no Pokémon, Digimon is still a well-known franchise that has seen plenty of video game adaptations. And this trading card game is one of them. The cards have unique art as they represent Digimon monsters that players can use to battle each other. Each player chooses three monsters and uses them to unleash devastating attacks on the opponent. It’s roughly based on the current anime series, so younger players might find it more exciting than many other card games that are based on older franchises.
All these card games have several things in common, great artwork and interesting themes, making learning how to play them all the more fun. They’re also very challenging, which is great for veteran players seeking something new to play.