The original Ticket to Ride famously helped usher in the board game renaissance of the early 2000s — a glorious and fruitful period that’s still going strong. (Trust me, kids, there was a time when board game options were limited to ancient standbys like Monopoly and Life; those years were boring).

Ticket to Ride: Europe was an early followup that shifted the setting overseas and introduced a few smart tweaks to the gameplay. Now that this standalone offshoot is turning 15 years old, publisher Days of Wonder has released Ticket to Ride: Europe 15th Anniversary Edition, a complete, oversized, and utterly gorgeous new version of the game. And you know what? Turns out this strategy game is still as fun and satisfying as it ever was.

While there’s nothing new here in terms of content, Ticket to Ride: Europe 15th Anniversary Edition represents the definitive version of this game. It includes everything that came with the original, plus all of the expansions. But each physical piece — the board, cards, train pieces, etc. — has gotten a thoughtful, high-quality upgrade. This edition is a sight to behold.

The board itself is huge — it’s basically the size of a bath towel. It measures 38 by 25.5 inches, and it takes up the lion’s share of my kitchen table. It looks phenomenal. While the routes remain the same as the original version, the art is all new, with vibrant colors and much more topographical detail. The board itself is made of thick, high-quality material. I have no worries about accidentally ripping as I fold or unfold it.

This edition is a sight to behold.

Great as that is, though, such titanic dimensions come with a few downsides. The board so big you can’t easily (or at all) reach items on the far side of it. During my play sessions, everyone was constantly asking each other to place train pieces for them or draw cards. This wasn’t a big problem, but it’s worth taking into consideration, particularly if your tabletop gaming space is limited.

The board isn’t the only upgraded piece of hardware in Ticket to Ride: Europe 15th Anniversary Edition. The destination cards are also more colorful, and all of the cards sport more detailed art. Also, the train pieces and train stations are significantly more intricate. Each train color is fully distinct now, illustrating what type of cargo it carries. Brown trains haul logs, for instance, while blue trains carry those newfangled things called automobiles. Each train set is housed in its own great-looking tin.

As for the game itself, it remains unchanged. The board is a map of Europe at the dawn of the 20th century. All of the cities — bearing names from their native era and languages, which isn’t ideal as it can make them hard to find — are connected by various train routes. Your primary job is to claim these routes as your own, based on the destination ticket cards you draw.

This might not sound like a blast, but it really is, in practice. The rules don’t take long to learn, and you’ll discover new strategies as you play. It’s an extremely well balanced game that rewards smart, strategic play. If you’ve played any version of Ticket to Ride, you’ll know basically what to expect.

Basically, if you’re looking for the premier version of Ticket to Ride: Europe, this is it. Each piece looks and feels phenomenal in its own right. When you’re playing, everything comes together nicely. If you have the space and can afford the premium price, this edition is an easy recommendation.

Where to Buy It

Ticket to Ride: Europe 15th Anniversary Edition retails for $99.99, but can often be found for less at various retailers.

Source: IGN Video Games All

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