Best Card Games Under $25

June 25, 2015/ 0 2

Best Card Games Under $25

I recently asked the good people on the Boardgame Geek Facebook group what they thought the best card games for under $25 were, and was inundated with replies. Rather than creating a poll & populating it with options myself, I left the question open for anyone to list their favourites. From 179 nominations, there were a few clear leaders, and I’m going to list the top 8 here.I also made a Geeklist including all the games that got 3 votes or more. Anyway, here we go…

The Best Card Games Under $25

8. Saboteur (5 votes)


7. Red7 (6 votes)


6. Sushi Go! (6 votes)


5. Tichu (7 votes)


4. Fluxx (8 votes)


3. Hanabi (8 votes)

hanabi card game

2. Love Letter (10 votes)

love letter card game

1. Star Realms (10 votes)

star realms card game


It’s interesting to note that the joint winners in my wholly unscientific poll range from the extreme simplicity of Love Letter, to Star Realms, which although easy to learn, has the feel of a much heavier game. It’s also encouraging to me as a first-time game designer that a game doesn’t have to come in a huge box and take 3 hours to play in order to be wildly popular.

In the process of developing Great Scott!, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what the final form and price of the game will be. If you’ve been following the development blog I’ve been writing, you’ll know that the game has undergone a few changes in direction since work began earlier this year. These changes all have an impact on the weight of the game (both in terms of gameplay and physical size), what it will cost to produce, and what the retail price will be.

For various reasons, I want to produce a game that retails for US$25 or less; under £15 in real money 😉 I believe that the price of a game does have some indication of its ‘heaviness’, as in the number & type of components, complexity of the rules, and average time per game. Since Great Scott! is Sinister Fish Games’ first offering, I’m very wary of coming right out of the gate & onto Kickstarter with a complex Eurogame, or something that needs a hundred miniatures & weighs 5lbs. For our first time around, I’m far more interested in making something light, inexpensive, and fast to learn & play. From tiny acorns, and all that…

So which of the games in this list have you played, and do they deserve their place?

Dave Clarke


Dave Clarke is 44 years old and lives in Lincoln, England, with one dog, too many cats, and just enough humans. He is the least talented member of an unpopular punk rock band, and sometimes has dessert for dinner.


  1. Yes Love Letter and Hanabi are favourites here. Also enjoying lately: 6 Nimmt (Take 6), Dead Man’s Draw, Masters Gallery and Guillotine.

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