Ticket To Ride is a great route planning game that offers enough strategy without too much direct competition, which is why it makes an ideal family game for all ages. The feeling of saving up train cards all game just to see your neighbor buy the track right from under you is all too relatable.

Navigating the world of board games can be a little daunting, especially when you don’t really know what you’re getting into or what to look for. That’s why we handpicked this list of board games like Ticket To Ride for people that are looking for a similar gaming experience, but also want to try something a little different.

10. Airlines Europe (2011)

Airlines Europe
  • Players: 3-5
  • Time: 75 Minutes
  • Designer: Alan R Moon
  • Publisher: ABACUSSPIELE
  • Type: Investing, Route Planning

Airlines Europe (2011) is the re-imagining of the original Airlines game from 1990. The networking and route building will be familiar to those who enjoy Ticket To Ride, although this game focuses more on buying and trading stocks within the European airline industry.

Airlines Europe Board Game
image credit: mikko saari/flickr

Players of Airlines Europe act as stock investors, making smart market decisions to help airlines grow and hopefully line their own pockets. Airlines Europe has a good mixture of strategy and RNG that make it a great experience for everyone.

9. Power Grid (2004)

Power Grid
  • Players: 2-6
  • Time: 120 Minutes
  • Designer: Friedemann Friese
  • Publisher: 2F-Spiele
  • Type: Auction, Market, Route Planning

If you’re looking for a route planning game with more complexity, then Power Grid is a great choice. Power Grid puts the players in charge of their own power network, where they must supply power as broadly and efficiently as possible.

Although it offers a lot of familiar mechanics like planning routes, there’s also a lot of other elements like auctioning new technologies and managing raw materials. Overall this helps to create a more competitive gaming experience.

8. Carcassonne (2000)

Carcassonne
  • Players: 2-5
  • Time: 45 Minutes
  • Designer: Klaus-Jürgen Wrede
  • Publisher: Hans im Glück
  • Type: Tile Placement, Area Majority

Alright we cheated, this one is more of a tile-placement game than a route planning game. Often hailed as one of the godfathers of modern board games, Carcassone is a territory claiming game with fairly simple mechanics. Much like ticket to ride, it’s easy to play but offers a degree of strategy that won’t seem daunting to new players.

It might not fit this list perfectly in the same spirit of the other recommendations, but it’s still worth checking out if you’re loving Ticket to Ride and looking for something new to play. Granted, it’s an older game and Carcassonne’s mechanics have been built up and better fleshed out in newer games, but you’ve got to give it up to the classics and this one still absolutely holds up.

Carcassonne Board Game
image credit: powell (pl)/flickr

This tile placement game has players creating the landscape of the Southern french city of Carcassonne. As the game progresses, the city will slowly take form. Players place their meeples on the board hoping to claim large areas of grasslands, city space, cloisters or roads. Simple gameplay mechanics and smart placement decisions mean this game is easy to play but hard to master.

7. Takenoko (2011)

Takenoko
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 45 Minutes
  • Designer: Antoine Bauza
  • Publisher: Bombyx
  • Type: Route/Territory Planning, Action Selection
Preview Product Price
Takenoko Takenoko

Although thematically very different from Ticket To Ride, Takenoko does feel similar in terms of game play mechanics. In Takenoko, players manage their bamboo gardens in an effort to care for a prestigious giant panda bear.

Takenoko Board Game
image credit: giantmike/flickr

This light-hearted game is great for all ages. Younger players will enjoy the simple rules and adorable theme, and more dedicated players will enjoy carefully planning their next move to maximize their bamboo harvest.

This game is a borderline classic that gets a lot of love and has people replaying it for years. With a constant stream of new games hitting shelves, it really says a lot about a game that can stick around and still get pulled off the shelf and introduced to new players.

6. Brass: Lancashire (2007)

Brass Lancashire
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 60-120 Minutes
  • Designer: Martin Wallace
  • Publisher: Roxley
  • Type: Network Building, Hand Management

In Brass: Lancashire players represent competing cotton entrepreneurs during the industrial revolution. Brass is played in two unique phases representing major shifts in the industry; the canal phase and the rail phase. Networking various industries through rail lines is crucial when trying to expand your industry.

Although this game requires a bit more strategy than Ticket To Ride, payers will enjoy a lot of familiar mechanics like connecting areas and hand management. However, deciding how and when to use your money adds an element of depth to your decisions.

5. Through The Desert (1998)

Through The Desert
  • Players: 2-5
  • Time: 45 Minutes
  • Designer: Reiner Knizia
  • Publisher: KOSMOS
  • Type: Route Building, Area Control
Preview Product Price
Through the Desert Through the Desert $39.03

Rather than planning rail lines in games like Ticket to Ride, with Through the Desert you’ll be planning caravan routes instead. Players each champion a tribe of nomads looking to claim more of the desert than their competitors. Snaking their caravan trail through the harsh lands to block off areas of desert and claim oases. (that’s the plural of oasis, I had to look it up too.)

Through The Desert provides more direct competition by having players block each other off while making their routes. Reminiscent of strategy games like Go, this one has a ton of replay value as players slowly devise new strategies to claim the most victory points. It’s a lot of fun to dig in to, especially if you enjoy route planning games.

4. Age Of Steam (2002)

Age Of Steam
  • Players: 1-6
  • Time: 120 Minutes
  • Designer: Martin Wallace
  • Publisher: Warfrog Games
  • Type: Route Building, Auction
Preview Product Price
Age of Steam Deluxe Edition Age of Steam Deluxe Edition $89.95

Age of Steam takes players to the golden era of steam power, when railways were just beginning to appear across America and change the economy forever. The emerging rail market is aggressive so finding the best return on your investments is key.

Age Of Steam Board Game
image credit: volkspider/flickr

Throughout the game players are faced with important decisions that could either make or break their companies. If you’re looking for a game like Ticket To Ride that offers more head-to-head competition, than Age Of Steam has what you’re looking for.

3. TransAmerica (2001)

Trans America
  • Players: 2-6
  • Time: 30 Minutes
  • Designer: Franz-Benno Delonge
  • Publisher: Winning Moves Germany
  • Type: Route Building

Based on the similar theme and goals, this is probably the game that’s closest to Ticket To Ride on this list. The familiar objective is to connect 5 major cities by rail before anyone else can do the same. Each turn has one simple action: play a couple tracks.

Trans America Board Game
image credit: jonathan dyer/flickr

This game is incredibly simple and rounds will be over before you know it. Making it a great game for quick game sessions or new players. It’s sort of like a version of Ticket To Ride that is whittled down to the absolute basics. This game should scratch the itch of anyone who loves route planning games in general.

2. Steam (2009)

Steam 1
  • Players: 3-5
  • Time: 90 Minutes
  • Designer: Martin Wallace
  • Publisher: Mayfair Games
  • Type: Route Building, Auction
Preview Product Price
Steam Steam $26.76

Yet another successful train game by designer Martin Wallace. Steam is a game all about making deliveries through a constantly changing network of railways. Victory points are earned throughout the game by choosing the right goods to deliver to the right locations. It also comes with 2 maps for added replay value: America and Europe.

Steam Board Game
image credit: cartrunkent/flickr

Steam separates itself from other train games on the market by great graphics and by being one of the most accessible games for new players. It also offers “basic” and “advanced” rules depending on how deep of a game you want to play.

1. Thurn And Taxis (2006)

Thurn And Taxis
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 60 Minutes
  • Designer: Michael Menzel
  • Publisher: Hans im Glück
  • Type: Route Building, Hand Management

Fans of Ticket To Ride might be immediately comforted by the game board covered in interwoven routes and cities. The aim of the game is to develop postal routes throughout Bavaria and surrounding regions. Instead of planning railways and building train stations, you’ll be organizing postal routes and placing Postal Offices.

Thurn And Taxis Board Game
image credit: lulileslie/flickr

Given the many similar mechanics in this game, this one ranks as our top pick for anyone looking to play a board game like Ticket To Ride. This 2006 Spiel De Jahres winner is one of the best route planning games on the market.

What are the best board games like Ticket to Ride?

Did we miss any route planning games that you love? If we left off your favorite board games like Ticket to Ride and similar styles of games, make sure you leave a comment and let us know! It’s our goal to help people find great new games based on their current favorites because that’s one of the best ways to navigate this hobby and to ensure that you’ll love your new pickups.

10 Fun Route Planning Board Games Like Ticket To Ride