7 great Star Wars board games to play on May the 4th

Here's seven great Star Wars board games to immerse yourself in galaxies far away.
star wars villainous best board games

Star Wars Day is once again upon us: the hallowed day where Star Wars fans get together, celebrate their favourite franchise, and toss around as many “May the Fourths Be With You” as can be delivered. While there are plenty of ways to celebrate Star Wars Day and what the series means to you, we’d recommending hitting the tabletop for the best and most immersive celebrations.

There are plenty of fantastic Star Wars board games, card games, and tabletop adventures around, with each embodying a worthy aspect of the long-running franchise. There are plenty where you can show off your heroic skills, and a surprising amount of villain-themed experiences, too. No matter your flavour, there’s a Star Wars board game for you.

Here’s all the Star Wars board games we’d recommend on international Star Wars Day, aka May the 4th.

Star Wars: Villainous

star wars villainous best star wars board games
Image: Ravensburger

Players: 2-4

Star Wars: Villainous is a Disney Villainous spin-off starring iconic Star Wars villains – so if you’ve played that board game, you’ll know what to expect here. If you haven’t, you’re in for a real treat. In this game, you will embody a classic Star Wars villain (Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, General Grievous, Moff Gideon, or Asajj Ventress) and attempt to achieve your secret goal by making moves on the battlefield.

Each player has access to unique mechanics, and you’re essentially playing your own version of the game. Your goal is to focus on your territory, maximise the effects of your cards, travel through various locations, block opponents as they advance, and then manoeuvre your way to victory. What is most satisfying about the Villainous series is that each villain’s mechanics are so different from the others, you can play the game over and over, and never get bored.

Star Wars: Outer Rim

star wars outer rim best star wars board games
Image: Fantasy Flight Games

Players: 1-4

Star Wars: Outer Rim rocks a similar premise to upcoming spacefaring adventure game Star Wars Outlaws: you are citizen of the dark underbelly of Star Wars, looking to make a name for yourself. You’ll travel the Outer Rim in your own ship, and attempt to carve out a legacy by building a crew, warring with factions in space, taking down targets, and eventually becoming a “living legend.”

The best part of Outer Rim is that your moves are all choice-based, and you can pick your alignment – indulging in villainy, taking on bounties, or guiding a group of ragtag would-be heroes. A layer of story over the top ties the whole thing together, for a moreish and sleek Star Wars adventure.

Star Wars: X-Wing (2nd Edition)

star wars x-wing 2nd edition
Image: Fantasy Flight Games

Players: 2

If you’re ready to live out your dreams of piloting a TIE fighter, then Star Wars: X-Wing (2nd Edition) is the board game for you. This tactical strategy game for two players is all about manoeuvring spacecraft in dogfight battles, using each ship’s unique abilities to dodge and weave, and survive another round.

It should be noted that X-Wing is a dangerous investment, because while the core set will serve you well, there are a plethora of game expansions to spend your money on, each promising new ships and new tactical abilities. It’s a slippery slope here, so be mindful. But then again, if you enjoy your miniature battles and you don’t mind the cost of expansions, this game could be your next brain-tickling obsession.

Star Wars: The Deckbuilding Game

star wars deck building game
Image: Fantasy Flight Games

Players: 2

Another great Star Wars game strictly for two players is Star Wars: The Deckbuilding Game which, as you’d guess, is a strategy-based deck-building card game. One player will be the Rebel Alliance, the other will be the Galactic Empire, with both working towards victory by strengthening and playing hero or villain cards in pursuit of a singular goal: to destroy enemy bases.

The game ends when one player destroys three of their opponent’s bases, but it’s the chase to get there that’s the real thrill. For every card you play, you’ll need to watch its effects, monitor your resources, and attack under the most ideal conditions – without leaving yourself open for a devastating counter-attack. Plan well, and you’ll find victory at hand.

Star Wars: Unlimited

star wars unlimited deck game
Image: Fantasy Flight Games

Players: 2

For another spin on Star Wars deckbuilding, check out the newly-released Star Wars: Unlimited. This game, again for two players, is quite similar to Star Wars: The Deckbuilding Game but with tweaks to mechanics, new art, and a fresh focus on strategy. It’s the newer of the two games, and publisher Fantasy Flight Games is keen to support this release with ongoing content – so if you’re looking for a longer-term hobby, then Unlimited could be a goer.

In the GamesHub review, we gave Star Wars: Unlimited the full five stars, with reviewer Jam Walker calling it “an elegantly crafted game system with really snappy back and forth flow … A good game of Unlimited feels strongly akin to a good game of Star Wars: Battlefront with soldiers and ships fighting and dying around iconic heroes. For a Star Wars fan like myself, the vibe is absolutely sublime.”

Star Wars: Unlock!

star wars unlock best board games
Image: Space Cowboys

Players: 1+

The Unlock! adventure series comprises a range of card-based story adventures where players must solve puzzles and mysteries as they attempt to survive to the end. To complete each challenge and advance, players must read through cards, search revealed locations, then run through logic puzzles and/or combine items, with these results confirmed by an app.

The Star Wars: Unlock! games, all contained within a single box, take you through Hoth, Jedha, and an Imperial spaceship, with each adventure containing a plethora of Star Wars-themed brain teasers, riddles, and puzzles to work through. If you’re keen to indulge in some lighter-touch Star Wars immersion, this Unlock! spin-off is fantastic.

Star Wars: Rebellion

star wars rebellion board game
Image: Fantasy Flight Games

Players: 2-4

Star Wars: Rebellion is one of the more traditional board games on this list – it comes with an actual board! This game for 2-4 players sees you commanding space ships and troops in large-scale battles, as you embody either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire. Each crew has their own play style and armies, so you’ll need to lay out a strategy, and then modify it to suit each battle as it arrives.

The base box of Rebellion is massive, and there’s over 100 plastic miniatures included, so you’ll spend a lot of your time with this game manoeuvring tiny pieces, and creating a very visual, dynamic arena to stage your dogfights. The game is hefty (and pricey) but for the right person, it’s an absolute gem of a strategy-infused tabletop experience.

If you’re looking for more board game recommendations, check out the following GamesHub lists:

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Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.