Pandemic vs Pandemic Legacy (What you need to know!)

In our post about the best Pandemic games and expansions we rank Pandemic Legacy above Pandemic. In this post we explain why.

Whether you’re a first time buyer who never played Pandemic before or a Pandemic veteran: we’re here to help you decide whether to get Pandemic or Pandemic Legacy.

Pandemic Legacy is a legacy game, which means that it’s a campaign that is completed over several sessions. Every session builds off of the previous sessions and choices players make impact future sessions.

In Pandemic Legacy players journey through a story that is partly scripted and partly determined by their own choices. For example, a scripted occurrence might be the introduction of a new rule or a new character. And a player driven occurrence might be that if a city experiences multiple outbreaks in one game, it becomes chaotic and harder to travel to in future games.

There are two seasons of Pandemic Legacy, both take between 12 and 24 sessions to finish completely (depending on how well you do).

Pandemic + Story = Pandemic Legacy

Pandemic gamePandemic Legacy is still a Pandemic game, because you’re still fighting diseases in exactly the same way. But, you also get a great story to play through, including new and interesting characters,abilities, goals and challenges.

And the story of Pandemic Legacy really is fantastic. We won’t include spoilers here, but it’s got great development and plot twists. Regardless of which Season you get, the narrative is very well done.

Pandemic Legacy Is Better Than Pandemic

There’s really no question about it in our minds: Pandemic Legacy is an even greater game than the original Pandemic.

In fact, Pandemic Legacy is strictly better than Pandemic (in a mathematical sense), because you can play normal Pandemic games on the Pandemic Legacy board. So with Pandemic Legacy you can do anything that you can do with Pandemic, plus more.

So that’s our verdict. We hope we convinced you to get what’s one of the best modern board games, and even one of the best board games of all time. Have fun!

But What About... (FAQ)

There’s some questions about Pandemic Legacy that we hear a lot. Here’s our answers to them.

Can I Play Pandemic Legacy If I Never Played Pandemic?

First time buyers often wonder if they can start with Pandemic Legacy, and the answer is yes.

If you’ve never played Pandemic before, you can play 2 or 3 ‘normal’ Pandemic games to get a hang of it before you start the Legacy campaign. You can do this with the Pandemic Legacy kit so you don’t need to separately buy the original Pandemic game.

The one situation in which the original Pandemic is better than Pandemic Legacy, is when you want to play the game with different groups all the time. In that case, Pandemic Legacy is less good because nobody will be following the story.

Should I Get Season 1 or Season 2?

Season 1 and Season 2 are both fantastic games and they’re largely similar, but there’s a few key differences. You can read about them in our ranking of all the Pandemic games.

In short: Season 1 is not a prelude to Season 2, they’re separate games. So you can play them in any order you like.

In fact, Season 2 is a little better designed because the creators got better on their second try. But realistically you’re going to get both, in which case you should get both right away and start with Season 1. That way you won’t be annoyed by small design flaws in Season 1 after having played Season 2.

Which Color Should I Get? Red or Blue? Black or Yellow?

Both Pandemic Legacy games come in two colors. Season 1 comes in red and blue, and season 2 in black and yellow.

But it doesn’t matter which color you get because these editions are identical except for the color of the box. So blue = red and yellow = black.

Should I Get Legacy Or An Expansion For Pandemic?

If you already have the original Pandemic you may be tempted to get a Pandemic expansion instead of Pandemic Legacy.

There’s some great Pandemic expansions, and if you want to get one you can read which Pandemic expansion we like the most.

But, as we explained above, Pandemic Legacy is even better than Pandemic. That’s still true even if you were to get all the expansion for Pandemic.

Pandemic Legacy is just too great of a game not to get, so we recommend it over getting a new Pandemic expansion.

Rounding Up

We really hope we answered all your questions and convinced you to get Pandemic Legacy. It’s a one of a kind amazing game and possibly the best board game created so far.

If you still can’t decide whether to get Pandemic or Pandemic Legacy, shoot us a message through our contact form. We’re always happy to respond 🙂