10 card games like Hearthstone to deck around with

Games like Hearthstone - trailer
(Image credit: Blizzard)

There are so many great games like Hearthstone out there if you're looking for something similar to play. Blizzard Entertainment first released back Hearthstone back in 2014, but it still continues to be one of the biggest strategy card games out there. Using World of Warcraft lore to build up its world with a free-to-play model, we've since seen the release of other games like Hearthstone that are here to scratch your competitive card game itch. 

Whether you're after something that will reward your tactical cunning - be sure to check out our pick of the best strategy games too if that's your bag - or you enjoy deck building and throwing down cards in virtual worlds to earn your victory, there's plenty of great options out there. Read on below to discover our pick of the 10 best games like Hearthstone to get stuck into. 

10. Magic: The Gathering Arena 

(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

Developer: Wizards of the Coast
Platform(s): PC, iOS

If Hearthstone feels a bit too whimsical, why not go with the godfather of trading card games? Magic: The Gathering has dominated the real-world card game scene for over 20 years, and MTG Arena acts as the perfect gateway for virtual deck builders to make the jump to physical play or vice versa. Your cards in Arena look like, well, cards on a table, but certain creatures are literally summoned onto the board in an impressively flashy fashion. Magic is a somewhat slower game compared to Hearthstone - with mana sources taking up space in your deck - so sometimes you'll get some pretty unexciting draws when you get flooded with lands. But there are endless deck-building possibilities thanks to the many ways you can combine the five basic mana colors - each with their own distinct attributes and playstyle - and tons of Hearthstone pros on Twitch have taken a shine to the ways of MTG Arena.     

9. Slay the Spire 

(Image credit: Mega Crit Games)

Developer: Mega Crit Games
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Bored of Hearthstone and looking for something a little different? Slay the Spire is a truly wonderful game from 2019 that fuses traditional deck building together with a challenging roguelike. The result is an experience quite unlike anything else you would have played, pushing you to create unique decks to fight back against hordes of bizarre creatures. Deep, replayable, and immensely enjoyable, Slay the Spire is a singleplayer deck builder that you won't regret pouring your time into.  

8. Legends of Runeterra

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Developer: Riot Games
Platform(s): PC, iOS

From Riot Games, the people that brought you League of Legends, comes the free-to-play Legends of Runeterra. It's a tense, aggressive take on the collectible card game, but also an accessible one for those that might find games like Magic: The Gathering Arena a little intimidating. The one-on-one games start with both players holding a hand of four cards, and each round you can draw a new card from your deck. An attack token lets you know when it's your turn to go on the offensive or defend, and claiming victory means wiping out all of your opponent's 20 health points before they can do the same to you. What makes the game so popular, apart from the swift and surprising battles, is the generous rewards system that gifts players weekly chests and free battle passes that translate to crafting materials, cards, and Wildcards, which you can swap for a card of your choice as long as it has the same rarity value. 

7. Eternal 

Developer: Dire Wolf Digital
Platform(s): PC, iOS, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Eternal is effectively a hybrid of Hearthstone's polished presentation with Magic's fundamentals, from a design team full of pro Magic players (including beloved Hearthstone caster Brian Kibler). As in Magic, the mana you use to cast spells comes in different colors and takes up space in your deck (called Sigils here instead of Lands). Eternal's in-game aesthetics are similar to Hearthstone, with card art featuring crisp, colorful portraits inhabiting a detailed game board. But there's no limit to how many combatants you can summon on your side, so you can go wild with a Magic-esque army of tokens if you so choose. Eternal also borrows a brilliant page from the Magic: Duels of the Planeswalkers playbook by including clever puzzle scenarios, which help you master basic mechanics and train you to look for the kind of tricky card combinations that win matches.

6. The Elder Scrolls: Legends 

Developer: Bethesda
PC, iOS, PS4, Xbox One

The Elder Scrolls: Legends development has been put on hold, but the game is still playable and absolutely worth checking out. It's the perfect card game for anyone who's spent hundreds of hours roaming the worlds of Skyrim, Oblivion, and Morrowind. Its defining feature is the way it divides the board into two separate lanes, so the way you place your forces is crucial. Do you go all-in on one side and hope the enemy can't establish proper defenses in time, or do you play the odds and fortify both sides of the battlefield? There's also the unique mechanic of runes: automatic card draws that trigger, when you're reduced to certain life totals, which can potentially result in free casting costs, should you pick up a card with the Prophecy keyword. If you're partial to the thrills and upsets inherent to that kind of RNG, Elder Scrolls: Legends offers a lot of interesting card synergies to build around and a solid single-player story. 

5. Yu-Gi-Oh: Master Duel 

(Image credit: Konami)

Developer: Konami
Platform(s): PC, iOS

Yu-Gi-Oh: Master Duel is one of the biggest games of all-time on Steam since its launch in 2022, and for good reason. This is the definitive edition of a competitive card game that's been steadily evolving over the last 20 years, allowing for fact-paced Duels against players all over the globe. With a wide variety of events and tournaments, over 10,000 unique cards to draw from, and an endlessly deep lore to get your head around Yu-Gi-Oh: Master Duel is a fantastic game to play if you're looking for a break from Hearthstone. 

4. Shadowverse 

Developer: Cygames
Platform(s): PC, iOS

If you love the Japanese high fantasy stylings of popular mobile games like Rage of Bahamut and Mabinogi Duel, you should definitely check out Shadowverse. With monsters and waifus as far as the eye can see, this is essentially an anime spin on Hearthstone. Shadowverse's defining twist is the ability to evolve your minions (called Followers here) as you enter the later stages of a match, buffing them up with increased stats or powerful new effects. It's also a great opportunity to appreciate a pleasing visual flourish that's popular in Japanese card games: tweaking the art's color palette and/or costuming to give evolved Followers a completely different feel. Like Yu-Gi-Oh, Shadowverse has some shockingly powerful card combos, so expect quicker matches than you might otherwise be used to.

3. Faeria 

Developer: Abrakam Entertainment
PC, PS4, Xbox One

Positioning is important in Faeria as your cards turn into units on a map - but there's even more complexity to consider here. Before you can summon your creatures onto the hexagonal tiles of the game board, you need to build out the actual terrain that'll bridge the rift between you and your opponent. The layout and type of terrain you choose will ultimately shape your plan of attack, creating an interesting push and pull as both players jockey for board control across an ever-shifting battlefield. Of all the card games on this list, Faeria feels the most like a living board game as well - and it boasts some lovely visuals and tons of single-player content to conquer. Faeria recently switched from a free-to-play model to a $25 upfront cost with cosmetic microtransactions beyond that, but the core game is still the same.

2. Card City Nights 2 

Developer: Ludosity

Card City Nights 2, is a thoroughly charming cardventure set aboard a space station full of delightful oddballs to duel. The bright colors and cute character designs evoke Steven Universe and OK K.O., and the soundtrack is smooth like butter with its soothing synths and ambient beats. CCN2 is all about positioning your cards on a simple gridded board so you can trigger the links between your own cards while denying them from your opponent. It's the only game you'll find here without a free-to-play option, but the cheap price tag is well worth it for all the pack-opening and deck-building you'll be doing across the expansive, humorous single-player campaign.

1. Gwent

Games like Hearthstone - Gwent

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Developer: CD Projekt RED
PC, iOS, Android

The Witcher 3 mini-game so good it got a standalone release. The presentation in Gwent is unparalleled, with gorgeous card art that looks alive thanks to silky smooth animation, complemented by a clean, easy-to-parse UI. Gwent's gameplay is distinct in that each side's cards are played across two separate rows (down from the original minigame's three) representing their range of attack, and each match is a best-of-three, so you always need to keep strategies for the long game in the back of your mind. The theming is all pitch-perfect Witcher, with five factions to choose from when building your deck, and the game makes the most of its incredible source material with every illustration.

Rachel Weber
Managing Editor, US

Rachel Weber is the US Managing Editor of GamesRadar+ and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She joined GamesRadar+ in 2017, revitalizing the news coverage and building new processes and strategies for the US team.

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