Board masters: the 11 best board games of 2017

Behold tabletop gaming's biggest treats of the year...

If you thought 2016 was a vintage year for board games, then this year has lifted the tabletop to new heights.

While many of our favourites have been forward-looking innovators, the biggest influence on 2017 tabletop gaming has actually been a title from 2011. It's taken six years but Risk: Legacy's inventive concepts have taken centre stage in game design.

Three of our picks pick up the legacy mechanic in which your copy physically changes as you play. You write on the board, reveal new components, tear up cards, add stickers to the rules and commit various other forms of creative vandalism. Legacy is great because it makes every copy unique and personal.

But it's not the only cool idea showcased on our list. Read on and find out how mobile apps, printed books, time travel and much else besides are influencing modern gaming.

First Martians - Best for...aspiring astronauts (£50)

Another game that builds on an older title, this time 2012 co-operative survival smash Robinson Crusoe. Instead of an island to explore, though, you've now got a whole planet in the spherical shape of Mars.

All the great stuff from the original, the variable scenarios, the cool story-building event cards, is still there. But there's plenty of new toys to play with too. For starters, it's gone space-age with an app to generate encounters and save the game state if you want a break.

That, in turn, is the basis for long-term campaign play as you scratch out a life on the red planet.