The Disney Villainous expansions, ranked - which ones are worth getting?

Disney Villainous expansions
(Image credit: Ravensburger)

Sometimes it's good to be bad, and someone's obviously cottoned on to that with the Disney Villainous expansions. We're glad they did; the Disney Villainous board game was excellent to begin with, so we won't complain at getting an encore.

Or many encores, for that matter. A wealth of Disney Villainous expansions have hit shelves over the last few years, and these introduce three new characters each that can be mixed and matched at your leisure. Because many of those baddies have been highly sought-after since the original Villainous' release back in 2018, these add-ons create plenty of justified buzz. Scar? Check. Hades? You bet. Gaston? Present and correct. They're all fine additions to what you could argue is one of the best board games out there.

Do they live up to the original, though? It's fair to worry that bonus sets won't be as clever as the OG Villainous. That's why we've got the lowdown on all of the current Disney Villainous expansions below.

The best Disney Villainous expansions

Disney Villainous: Bigger and Badder

(Image credit: Ravensburger)

1. Bigger and Badder

The best Disney Villainous expansion overall


Characters: Syndrome, Lotso, Madam Mim

If you're worried that the Disney Villainous expansions won't live up to the original game, Bigger and Badder should put you at ease. Besides being arguably smarter than its predecessors, it feels like it was an opportunity for the designers at Ravensburger to stretch their legs. Sure, it's a fair shake harder. But it's more strategic too.

Featuring Syndrome from The Incredibles, Toy Story 3's Lotso, and Madam Mim of Sword in the Stone fame, Bigger and Badder's lineup is eclectic. Yet it's also an engrossing mix once you get them on the table. Each character results in gameplay that feels genuinely unique, and although we've always had a soft spot for Villainous (it tops our list of board games for 2 players, in fact), this add-on reinvigorated our interest in the game thanks to more complex tactics than we'd anticipated.

While Syndrome leads the charge with enough cunning maneuvers to make his movie counterpart proud (he must defeat and improve on his superhero-slaying robot to win), it's Lotso and Mim that prove to be the real highlights. The former is a tricky one to handle but boasts mechanics that capture his mafia boss-personality perfectly, and Mim offers a fun rock paper scissors-style duel that's unlike anything we've seen from Villainous thus far. Both have particularly brutal Fate decks for other players to capitalize on as well, so any match featuring them becomes a real battle of wits. It's an essential purchase for veterans who've mastered the original game.

Disney Villainous: Despicable Plots

(Image credit: Ravensburger)

2. Despicable Plots

A great Disney Villainous expansion for more experienced players


Characters: Gaston, The Horned King, Lady Tremaine

Despicable Plots is the perfect example of what a good expansion should be: more of the same, but with some left-field ideas that shake things up just a little. The result is a challenging new puzzle for veterans to figure out, and its characters feel genuinely different to everything else Villainous has tried until now.

The Horned King demonstrates that factory-fresh feel. As well as being an unexpected addition to the roster (The Black Cauldron is an often-forgotten relic from Disney's past the company seems happy to leave behind), he handles very differently to his nefarious peers by virtue of raising the freakin' dead. Yup, this bad boy is a necromancer whose allies are moldy old bones he must place and then resurrect with a special item. Predictably, well-placed Fate cards can reduce them back to dust. That makes forward-planning essential.

Gaston and Lady Tremaine are equally impressive. They opt for a sense of push and pull that allows them to make progress quickly, but this also means they can be undone every bit as fast. Accordingly, Despicable Plots lives up to its name and provides a welcome challenge for more experienced players that have gotten used to core Villainous.

3. Perfectly Wretched

The best Disney Villainous expansion for beginners


Characters: Cruella De Vil, Mother Gothel, Pete

It may not feature the most recognizable baddies on this list, but Perfectly Wretched is probably the best Disney Villainous expansion for anyone still new to the game. That's because they're straightforward without being dull, and it'll take a while to master each one.

Cruella is markedly different from the original characters, for instance; she has to collect randomly numbered puppy tokens that add up to 99 after drawing them out of hiding (all while holding off those dratted Heroes). Similarly, Tangled's Mother Gothel is constantly trying to keep Rapunzel confined to her tower… or giving her a comeuppance when she slips away. 

Even a deep-cut like Pete - from the original Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie - demonstrates how well Perfectly Wretched acts as a beginner-friendly breath of fresh air. Thanks to four objectives that are randomly drawn from a pool of five, each game with him in it is slightly different. As with the other villains from this expansion, he provides an accessible spin on the formula that'll draw you back in.

4. Evil Comes Prepared

An excellent Disney Villainous expansion that cuts loose


Characters: Scar, Yzma, Ratigan

The second Disney Villainous expansion is where the development team seemed to really let their creativity go wild. Who on earth expected Ratigan to feature in this pack? Powered by a couple of left-field choices that feel like they were chosen because they bring something genuinely unique to the game rather than for their fan-favorite status, it's a worthy addition to your collection.

Unlike the first add-on, those characters don't push the boat out too far in terms of complexity either. All three are easy to understand with simple elevator pitches, and each one does something completely novel. Whether it's Yzma hunting for the Emperor in different Fate decks or Ratigan's bonus objective that activates if the first one fails, they're a welcome change of pace.

Basically, it more than justifies a purchase by shaking up the existing dynamic. In fact, some of these villains are arguably better than those featured in the original game. 

5. Wicked to the Core

A good Disney Villainous expansion... if you've got patience


Characters: The Evil Queen, Hades, Dr Facilier

The first Villainous expansion is a tale of two extremes; where Hades is one of the game's most compelling additions, Dr. Facilier might be its most confusing. Wicked to the Core isn't 'bad' by any means, but it is a little uneven.

Drawing from nearly 70 years of Disney history, it offers the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to go with more recent additions like The Princess and the Frog's Dr. Facilier. And although each character has a unique selling point that sets them apart from the original game's cast, you'll get more use out of some than others. Namely, the Queen and Hades offer fun new wrinkles to gameplay without overwhelming players. Meanwhile, Dr. Facilier sits at the other end of the scale. Despite having the most novel mechanics of this set, they're incredibly difficult to understand. Even after using the character multiple times, we're not sure we could explain his rules in full.

That isn't to say you should skip Wicked to the Core, though. Rather, we'd suggest proceeding with caution - especially if you're a beginner. Each villain within the box adds engaging new layers to the game, but some require more work than players may be willing to give.

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to the latest Lego news. I've been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.