Collectible card games aren’t just for hobby shops anymore. Now, you can play with your friends on your PC or mobile device from almost anywhere. And with card games having gone digital, you can undertake solo adventures with the same intricate rules and endless variety as their physical counterparts. Whether you want to hone your Magic: The Gathering skills or try something totally new, check out the best card games in the digital space. (Image Credit: Nejron Photo/Shutterstock)
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Android, iOS) is that rarest of species: a fun, free and fair digital collectible card game. Players take on the role of the great heroes (and villains) of the Warcraft universe such as Thrall, Jaina Proudmoore and Gul'dan, engaging in epic duels and summoning allies and minions into the fray. Hearthstone features simple, easy-to-learn rules and full cross-platform play across PCs and mobile devices.
Magic: The Gathering is the granddaddy of the entire collectible card game genre, debuting in August 1993 and ushering a new genre of card games. Magic has since gone through a number of digital iterations, the latest being the free-to-play Magic: The Gathering Arena. Featuring the core set and all of the cards in the Standard format and featuring a wide variety of game modes from Standard games to sealed deck and booster draft formats, Arena offers the full Magic: The Gathering game experience in a free to play digital format. In-game and premium currency can be used to purchase booster packs and event entries.
Take the quick-playing tactical fun of Witcher 3's Gwent card minigame and then wed it to a compelling single-player RPG story and you get Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, part of CD Projekt Red's dark fantasy universe. As Queen Meve of the twin realms of Lyria and Rivia, you'll explore war-torn landscapes and majestic vistas on your quest to defend your realms as you face tough choices and intense card-driven battles. Along the way you'll gather resources and recruits that you can use to improve your war camp and army, thereby unlocking new card choices and ways to customize your army, here represented by your Gwent deck.
Duelyst combines pixel art with collectible card game mechanics and turn-based tactics gameplay to create a quick-playing free-to-play card battler. The battlefield grid adds a wonderful layer of positional tactics for players as you not only streamline your deck design, but also jockey for position on the battlefield, deploying resources to threaten your enemy's commander unit or denying your opponent's moves with smart placement of your own troops.
The Pokémon video games also spawned a wildly successful trading card game that draws in fans both young and old with its simple but competitive gameplay. Pokémon TCG Online (Android, iOS, PC) allows players to learn the basics of play with starter decks, as well as engage in head-to-head battles with AI and human opponents in order to unlock new cards and decks. Players can eventually build their own decks, as well as apply cosmetic changes to their cards and avatars.
Pathfinder Adventures (Android, iOS) is the digital port of Paizo's Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, a curious mixture of deck-building and role-playing games. Pathfinder Adventures is a co-op deck-builder, with each player's deck representing a fantasy adventurer's weapons, gear and other special abilities. Players use these to defeat a series of themed location and quest decks. The app includes both single player and pass-and-play coop modes.
A deck-building rogue-like games that blends both Reigns and Adventure Time, Meteorfall: Journeys (Android, iOS) is a fast-playing card RPG where you choose a hero to take down the Uberlich. Each battle is a balancing act between attacking and regaining stamina and spell charges. You swipe right to play a card or left to skip your turn, regaining energy by resting. As you progress, you can unlock new cards or upgrade existing ones, while facing a variety of random challenges. With five different heroes to play, each with their own cards and playstyle as well as a host of randomized quests, challenges and combat encounters, Meteorfall offers a lot of replayability.