Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you
find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!

The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to board games:

Legacy Games

Legacy games are board games played over multiple sessions, typically with the same group of players. Each play of the game can create permanent changes to the game affecting future plays. These changes occur in a variety of ways, such as opening envelopes to reveal stickers to add to the board, additional cards, and/or additional rules/powers.

Legacy games often include a story told over the course of the sessions. Most Legacy games can only be played through one time. Some games give players the opportunity to buy a refill pack to make the game replayable a second time.

There are also some games that once you finish the campaign, the game is playable using the rules the Legacy portion finished on for future regular games. One example of this is Machi Koro Legacy. It has ten different games over the course of the campaign with the eleventh and subsequent games repeatable as a “regular” game. However, most games are not playable again once the last session is complete.


Game designer Rob Daviau is credited with creating the Legacy Style game. The first game published with this mechanic was Risk Legacy in 2011. He also designed Machi Koro Legacy, and codesigned the Pandemic Legacy series with Matt Leacock.


  • Pandemic Legacy (Seasons 1,2, 0)
  • Zombie Kidz
  • Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

So, what do you think? Do you like the idea of a game that can only be played through once, or would you rather have the option to replay it multiple times? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll keep this discussion going.

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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By Linda Wrobel

Managing Editor: Board Games Mother, Educator, and Board Game Editor.

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