The Best Trading Card Games You Can Play Right Now


Are you ready to get back to playing games in person with your friends? If so, you might be sick of playing computer card games like Hearthstone and Legends of Runeterra. While these games are great fun, they don’t quite capture the magic of playing with paper cards at real tables in game stores.

Today, we’re going to talk about some of the best TCGs you can play with your friends right now. All of these games have active followings and are still producing new sets. Whether you’re a fan of traditional board games or a big lover of anime, you’re certain to find a game you’ll love on this list.

Flesh and Blood

Flesh and Blood is the latest TCG to take a stab at Magic’s top spot. As the name implies, the game is meant to be played in person–it’s all about flesh and blood! The game is centered around a hero, which serves as the centerpiece of your deck. Players can edit their decks with their favorite cards to alter their playstyles.

Flesh and Blood allows players to start the game with their chosen hero and weapon in play, which means that it somewhat resembles Magic’s Commander format. The game is quite popular among competitive players, so anyone looking for a serious TCG that will get their strategic thinking skills going is in for a treat.

Digimon Trading Card Game

If you love the iconic anime Digimon, you should check out the titular Digimon TCG. This fast-paced, stylish TCG gives players a chance to collect and play with their favorite characters from the show. The newest iteration of the Digimon TCG launched in 2021, and it’s proven to be quite popular among fans of Bandai’s other games, like Dragon Ball Super and One Piece TCG

Players can include their favorite Digimon in their decks and can “Digivolve,” raising smaller creatures to higher levels. The goal is to attack the opposing player and reduce their “security stack,” the cards representing their life total, until they’re out of cards.

Dragon Ball Super Trading Card Game

Dragon Ball is one of the most popular media franchises ever, and fans can get involved with the trading card game if they aren’t content with just watching the show or playing the licensed video games. In the TCG, players can create a deck using iconic Dragon Ball characters like Goku and Vegeta and square off with their opponents in tense one-on-one matches.

The Dragon Ball Super TCG does a great job of replicating the feel of the anime by making each battle a back-and-forth affair in which players trade blows at lightning speed. The cards are also stunning, with some iconic card art and gorgeous foil treatments making the cards a joy to interact with.

Cardfight!! Vanguard

Cardfight!! Vanguard is both an anime and a trading card game, but it’s a bit unusual in that regard. The game came first, and the anime is a tie-in that is centered on the characters playing the game in-universe. This makes it comparable to Yu-Gi-Oh, but it’s got completely different gameplay.

In Vanguard, players choose a hero card to represent them and can “call” minions to their aid. When they attack their opponents, players reveal the top card of their decks to see if they reveal a “trigger,” which can add bonuses to the attack. It’s a unique game that features an extremely stylized art style and appeals to players who like thematic gameplay mechanics and anime-inspired art. 

One Piece Trading Card Game

One Piece is the biggest anime in the world, so it’s no surprise that it has a card game now. The newly-released One Piece TCG is a fun, short game that has similar rules to the Dragon Ball Super and Digimon TCGs. Players make a deck of 50 cards and slowly accrue resources called “Don!!” cards as turns go by.

Players choose a leader card, typically a powerful pirate from the vast world of One Piece, who determines the “color” and playstyle of their deck. From there, they pick cards to augment their playstyle, whether they want to go for an aggressive strategy with the Straw Hat Pirates or a control-based build using the Animal Kingdom Pirates, or anything in between.


Many young anime fans got into TCGs after watching Yu-Gi-Oh, an anime centered around a fictional card game called Duel Monsters. Konami, the anime’s publisher, wasted no time creating a real-world analog to Duel Monsters, giving the once-wacky game a defined set of rules and creating one of the world’s longest-running TCGs.

Players in Yu-Gi-Oh create a forty-card deck of cards and use their monsters and spells to try to reduce their opponent’s 8000 life points to zero. You can build a deck themed after your favorite character from the show or show off your strategic skills by trying to make a bespoke deck of powerful cards. 

Pokemon Trading Card Game

If you were a kid in the late 90s or early 2000s, you got into TCGs by playing Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokemon. Those are the rules. The Pokemon TCG is a fun game, but many youngsters who get into it have no idea how to play–they just like looking at the gorgeous card art and collecting their favorite monsters.

That’s a shame, too, because the Pokemon TCG is a really fun game. It replicates the feeling of a tense Pokemon battle by allowing players to only have one monster “active” at a time, allowing them to duel in a fast-paced showdown. You can evolve your Pokemon and power them up by equipping them with “energy” cards that unlock their strongest moves. 

Magic the Gathering

The grandfather of all TCGs, Magic the Gathering, is still kicking 30 years after its release. Magic isn’t just lumbering along due to inertia, either–it’s as good as it’s ever been. There are dozens of formats in which you can play Magic, with newcomers diving into “limited” game modes like Draft and Sealed and veteran players preferring formats like Modern or Legacy.

If you’re interested in getting into a TCG with your friends, Magic is a great choice because it’s got such a deep well of players. If you drop into any game store, you’ve got a good chance of finding a group of Magic fans playing the social Commander format. It’s also fun to build a deck when you can pull from 30 years of history!