What Are Card Games Like Magic: The Gathering Called?

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By Ralph Torres

If you’re a fan of card games, you’ve likely heard of Magic: The Gathering. This popular game has been around since 1993 and has spawned countless imitators.

But what are these types of games called? In this article, we’ll explore the various names for card games like Magic: The Gathering and what sets them apart.

Collectible Card Games

The most common term for games like Magic: The Gathering is “collectible card games” or CCGs for short. As the name suggests, these are games where players collect cards and build decks to compete against each other. Cards can be obtained through booster packs, starter decks, or by trading with other players.

CCGs typically have a fantasy or sci-fi theme and involve players summoning creatures and casting spells to defeat their opponents. The gameplay can be complex, with many different mechanics and strategies to master.

Trading Card Games

Another term used to describe games like Magic: The Gathering is “trading card games” or TCGs. This term is similar to CCGs but emphasizes the trading aspect of the game. In TCGs, players are encouraged to trade cards with each other in order to complete their collections and build stronger decks.

TCGs can also refer specifically to games where cards have monetary value. Some rare cards in Magic: The Gathering can sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the secondary market.

Living Card Games

A more recent development in the world of card games is the “living card game” or LCG. These are similar to CCGs in that players collect cards and build decks, but there are some key differences.

In an LCG, all cards are available in fixed expansions rather than random booster packs. This means that players can buy exactly what they need without worrying about getting duplicates or missing out on rare cards. LCGs also tend to have simpler rules and mechanics than CCGs.

Digital Card Games

Finally, we have “digital card games” or DCGs. These are card games that are played entirely online, either on a computer or mobile device. While some DCGs like Hearthstone and Gwent have physical counterparts, most are digital-only.

DCGs offer some unique advantages over traditional card games. They can be played anywhere with an internet connection, and players don’t need to worry about shuffling or keeping track of physical cards. However, some players feel that the lack of physical cards takes away from the experience of playing a card game.


In summary, there are several names for card games like Magic: The Gathering depending on their specific characteristics. Collectible card games (CCGs) and trading card games (TCGs) are the most common terms, while living card games (LCGs) and digital card games (DCGs) are newer variations. No matter what you call them, these games offer hours of entertainment for players of all ages and skill levels.