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The 10 Best Dice Games, Ranked

Dice games are compact, simple and often very easy to learn. They beat out board games on many fronts, from portability to accessibility. If you're growing tired of your old, dusty game of Yahtzee, pick up one (or ten) of these dice games for variety and addictive fun.

There's a reason that dice games have become increasingly popular for all ages and skill levels - if an advanced gamer wants to pick up a dice game and throw down some serious strategy, kudos to them. If you prefer to roll away the afternoon and chill without getting too competitive, these are great light, fun games to do that with as well. These are the best dice games, ranked from good to greatest, for their art, theme, mechanics and general fun level.

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10 Nations: The Dice Game

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This is a quicker and simpler version of the original Nations, the historical board game that travels forwards in time from the Prehistoric Era to the beginning of World War I. Nations fight each other while trying to foster their own growth and protect their land from neighbors and nature.

Players roll dice to build and produce while attempting to create the strongest, most advanced civilization. This faster version has a solo mode option as well, for rainy nights in. The game works for 1-4 players, with about 10-15 minutes of gameplay for each person. All of the familiar challenges of Nations are included in this game, in a more condensed, simple version.

9 Pirates Vs. Ninjas

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This is a quick, 15 minute game for two players. Pirates vs. Ninjas is the second game created within the AvA series that began with Army vs. Aliens. This set works on its own, or can be combined with other AvA series games to create a larger game with more variety.

Each player takes either Pirates or Ninjas, and rolls 9 dice. They then use their dice to either attack their opponent or use their special powers. Powers are different for each crew, and require different strategy. This is a fun, light game that is very portable and easy to pull out at any time.

8 Zombie Dice

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Zombie Dice is for 2 players, aged 10 and up. Gameplay is 15-20 minutes, great for a quick game to decompress, or a fun mini-tournament with a group of friends. In this zombie adventure, players take on the roles of zombies, while the dice act as your human victims.

Rolling the dice reveals brains (eat them for a point), footsteps (chase them and reroll), or shotgun blasts (careful, roll three and you are done). Zombie fans love this little game as it's a relaxing, simple, probability game. The player who is the best undead gambler and scores the most brains wins.

7 Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men

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The Uncanny X-Men starter set of Marvel Dice Masters features characters such as Wolverine, Magneto, Cyclops and Iceman. Players compose teams of superheroes, each with their own special abilities and rules for die rolls, listed on a character card.

Once you get the hang of the game, booster packs can be added, to get more character reference cards and add some variety to the game. Dice are used to collect energy, battle with opponents and recruit new superheroes to a team. This is a 2 player starter set with all the equipment you need to begin playing: 44 custom dice, 38 cards, 2 dice bags and a rulebook.

6 Elder Sign

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Elder Sign is a longer dice game. Gameplay lasts for 1-2 hours, in contrast to many dice games which are designed to be quick and easy. This is a cooperative game for 1-8 players, with supernatural themes. Players act as investigators, preventing the return to our world of monsters called The Ancient Ones. The narrative takes place within and nearby a museum and is full of adventure.

As a longer, fast-paced game, this has a few more complicated strategy demands as well as more interesting dice mechanics. The struggle to stay sane is woven into the game as investigators use their resources of tools, allies and their knowledge of the occult. A countdown mechanism makes the game time-sensitive and charged with urgency.

5 Ninja Dice

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In Ninja Dice, how and where the dice land determines the outcome of a player's roll. The game is for 2-5 players and gameplay lasts about half an hour. A set of house dice is rolled at the beginning of a turn, to determine challenge combos that must be beaten.

Then, a player rolls their skill dice to devise ways to overcome the challenges - skills include fighting, lock-picking and stealth. Players can also boost their dice by rolling fortune faces, but they only apply if dice have landed in a specific position on the surface. This last curveball makes this a very unique and interesting way to play with dice.

4 Pandemic: The Cure

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Pandemic, the original board game version, is an incredibly fun cooperative game where players fight off diseases that threaten the continued existence of humanity. In this dice variation, the board is gone and players are armed with dice.

Upon rolling, players can choose to use available actions to help keep hotspots under control before the pandemic takes over. Actions include travel, treatment, sample collection and exchange of knowledge between players in the group. Players take on different roles with individual capabilities, such as Dispatcher and Medic. Break this out to stop the outbreaks before they bring the world population to extinction.

3 Roll for the Galaxy

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In this 2-5 player, 45 minute game, the objective is to build space empires, creating the most prosperous empire to win. Dice are rolled to represent your empire's population, who can then be managed to make technological developments, ship goods and explore and settle in new locations.

This is a dice version of the larger board game titled Race for the Galaxy, with a little simplification and a quicker playing time. The general feel of the original game is preserved in Roll for the Galaxy, with a new narrative to engage in. This is an exciting fantasy game that has enough play time to leave players just as satisfied as if they'd played a full board game.

2 Las Vegas

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A fun, easy game to pick up and play, Las Vegas is an interactive, highly social game where players bet on their luck and try to dominate with the most rolls of any given number.

For 2-5 players, gameplay lasts about 30 minutes and players who dominate numbers receive the largest payout in-game money. Each number corresponds with a casino card, representing a different casino. Dice are placed on the cards to attempt to beat out other players. This is an easy game for a group of all ages, who want to interact with each other while still meeting a challenge...and getting rich.

1 King of Tokyo

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The story of this game is too much fun to ignore - monsters, aliens and robots are all attacking the city of Tokyo. They are competing with one another to push each other aside and become the one and only King of Tokyo.

The creator is Richard Garfield, who is also responsible for Magic: The Gathering, so you can trust that the strategy is engaging and the narrative is clear. Players roll dice to determine whether they will choose victory points, gaining energy, healing or attacking. Players can purchase cards to gain extra heads, body armor or nova death rays and add to the stakes of this exciting game.

NEXT: 10 Best DC Board Games, Ranked

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