Whether you're at a Christmas party or organizing a get-together with people you haven't seen in a while, board games are a terrific way to break the ice. However, with so many possibilities ranging from tactical board games to social games that require singing or painting, finding the appropriate one for you and your friends can be difficult. So we've compiled a list of the greatest board games for adults.
1) Hedbanz Adulting
This game is played as each participant wears a headband and places a card on their head, then asks questions to find out what the card says. "It was confusing at first," one player adds, "but after playing it a couple of times, we got the hang of it." "You'll be astonished at the way people describe things and the answers that people provide," another reviewer comments. This "Adulting" version is geared toward a more mature audience, but arguably the most telling sign that this is a game that adults will like is how well it functions as a drinking game: "We acquired this during the Great Stay-In, and I can't suggest it highly enough; we had some wine and played this game with my family, who were all confined inside together." "It's a good break from puzzles and card games."
Get it from Amazon for $80
2) Hasbro Clue Game
One reviewer adds, "This is a classic game that everyone should have in their wardrobe." Another person describes this as "a terrific family game," admitting that they "never played this as a kid," but that it's still fun to play as an adult, describing it as "fun for grownups." "It's a nice way to spend time with one other." "This game takes me back to my youth," said one critic who did play as a kid. I'm thrilled that I'll be able to share it with my daughter. It's a fantastic family game, and we adore it." A few reviewers who were familiar with the classic felt befuddled by the new character added to this version of the game, claiming it compromised the game's integrity, but the majority didn't mind, writing, "As long as we still have Colonel Mustard and Miss Scarlett, I'm satisfied."
Get it from Amazon for $11
3) Days of Wonder Ticket to Ride
This board game has received over 2,500 five-star reviews, with one reviewer stating, "The rules are a touch complex but make it a very interesting game to play." It has a stronghold on you. It becomes more enjoyable if you figure out some of the tactics." Another believes that part of the excitement is the fast-paced nature of the game, noting, "The game is simple to learn and moves quickly." You don't have to agonize about a strategy for 30 minutes." Many people enjoy playing this game with their families because it is simple to learn. However, many reviews agree that this game is fun to play with a group of adults. "Overall, this is a great fun game that can be enjoyed with just about any party," says one reviewer. It's clever enough to keep your attention while yet being easy enough to teach in five minutes."
Get it from Amazon for $39
4) Adult Loaded Questions
One content critic acknowledges, "This game was supposed to start a variety board game night, but we only ended up playing this for hours." "I have not played any version other than this, but the wacky, kooky replies our pals came up with had me rolling," one person says. "One edition pushes it up a notch with questions that are a straight-out adult in nature (such 'What could you do to ruin a sexual moment?') and others that could be adult depending on how you perceive them (like 'What is one lesson you had to learn the hard way?')," this reviewer continues. "Don't buy this for somebody who is a prude or a knucklehead, because it will bore them."
Get it from Amazon for $15
"It's perfect for a small group strategy game. One reviewer says, "It plays swiftly and is fast-paced for the most part." "It is an entertaining game that lasts a short time and the graphic design is wonderful," one user says. It's become a family favorite, perfect for those chilly winter afternoons spent in front of the fireplace." Another claims he didn't like it at first, but "it becomes quite addictive after a few games," adding, "Now we play game after game." The only disadvantage is that the maximum number of players is limited to four. Even so, because the games are short, you can rotate or even play as a team if you have a large family." "My family plays a lot of board games," the critic concludes. This game strikes the table harder than any other game I've ever owned."
Get it from Amazon for $12
6) Stonemaier Games Wingspan Board Game
Unlike the other board games on this list, the birding game Wingspan offers a solo mode, which several reviewers praised. One reviewer enjoys playing the game alone with numerous boards because it is "so gorgeous, fun, and different every time." Another reviewer states their daughter has played the solo version "many times and she adores it," adding that the game "plays great with 2, 3, or 4 people with minimal change in the quality of experience." Others, such as an ornithologist who enjoys playing alone and with companions, highlight the educational side of the game. According to one reviewer, who has "become a bird enthusiast" since playing it, you learn about birds' "habitats, diets, and markings."
Get it from Amazon for $52
7) Pandemic Board Game
Many Amazon reviewers disagree that this board game is too timely to play. "I ordered this as a joke for my husband's birthday because we are literally in the middle of a pandemic — I'm not sure he thought it was very amusing." Thousands of people do as well since it is a cooperative game in which "everyone collaborates to win against the game rather than against one other." "Each player has special powers that help everyone combat the diseases," another explains. All of the players must work together to coordinate their activities and devise the best strategy for preventing disease spread." While this is something you might buy for yourself to keep yourself occupied at home, one reviewer says it also makes "a wonderful gag gift during these stressful times."
Get it from Amazon for $34
8) Z-Man Games Carcassonne Board Game
This board game received great marks from shoppers looking for a tile-laying board game. One player describes it as a "fantastic tile-laying game for two to four players." "The visual side of the game, which involves building the medieval French city of Carcassone utilizing fields, highways, abbeys, water features, and fortified cities, will appeal to puzzle fans." "My wife and I got this game months ago, and it is 100% our most played game," comments another. It's the ideal mix of casual and competitive... The tiles are a lot of fun to play with, and it's fun to watch the board come together." One reviewer was so taken with the game that they created their own out of paint and bathroom tiles "when I was a broke college student who couldn't afford a $20 board game," they write.
Get it from Amazon for $34
9) Wizards of the Coast Betrayal at House on the Hill
This creepy board game is popular among horror fans because it "truly catches the B-movie horror/thriller/sci-fi mood wonderfully well," as one reviewer put it. "It's essentially a crappy horror movie in that it starts the same way every time: a bunch of people exploring areas they shouldn't go, and then the twist happens," another player explains. They do observe, though, that the game has enough nuance that "every time you play it is a different experience, and it's always exciting." One player believes it's ideal for someone with a "spirit of adventure" and has "given it multiple times and took it to several friends' homes." "I've played it with die-hard board-game aficionados who liked it, and I've played it with individuals who were new to board games and only played games like Cards Against Humanity," they write. Everyone can have a good time."
Get it from Amazon for $48
10) Scythe Board Game
"Be prepared to be engulfed in a gorgeous steampunk realm of boundless wonder," writes one reviewer, who, like many others, is taken aback by the steampunk artwork on display in this board game. "The art is fantastic and immerses the game in a gorgeous and plausible parallel universe," other comments. Scythe sets factions of power-hungry individuals against one another in a fictional, post–WWII society of practically dystopian scarcity, according to one critic. "After a time of sociopolitical instability, players adopt the roles of characters who represent various nation-states, all of which are striving for resources and territory." Players can direct the movement of their characters, choose actions to boost resource production, maximize efficiency to earn power and influence, and conquer areas. Your overall performance in various venues affects your ultimate score, and the game concludes once a player has completed six specified objectives."
Get it from Amazon for $63
11) Spontuneous – The Song Game
"Do you have a habit of humming in the shower?" Do you believe you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs and can sing them to yourself in the car? "This is your game," one critic assures. "We never laughed so loudly and argued so much about who started singing first," one person said of the game. We also debated whether or not it was a song. Of course, they were bickering pleasantly. It's one of the few games in which young children, adults, and grandparents can all have a nice time." "This game was a riot" because "everyone can play and have fun," according to a third reviewer: "Half of us aren't anywhere near excellent singers, my dad genuinely couldn't hold a tune to save his life, yet he shouted out songs like no one's business." It was a lot of fun, and we're excited to play it again."
Get it from Amazon for $30
12) Cards Against Humanity
One reviewer begins, "This is not a children's game, and this is not a game to play with Grandma." "However, if you and your pals like making fun of the darker aspects of life, art, and pop culture... This is the ideal game for your next get-together." They're one of almost 101,000 people who have given this game five stars. "I tried playing Apples to Apples again after having this for a year and it's not even fun anymore compared to this," one reviewer said, "and it's not even fun anymore compared to this haha." Although many people say this game isn't for the faint of heart, it's part of the allure. "It's vulgar, it's full of language, it's inappropriate, it's FUNNY!" one person writes. "This is the most terrible, irreverent game you will ever enjoy," claims another reviewer.
Get it from Amazon for $25
13) Catan the Board Game
"We play with folks ranging in age from 8 to 72, and it's been a lot of fun for everyone so far." "The first weekend we finally opened the package, we put in about 10 games!" adds one reviewer. Over 17,000 people have given this game five stars, with many praising how enjoyable and simple it is to play. A reviewer explains, "The approach is simple: acquire resource cards (sheep, brick, stone, straw, and lumber) to develop towns, expand highways, and finally build cities." "As you progress through the process of building the land, you can exchange resources with other players and collect awards (longest road, largest 'army'), and the first player to reach 10 points wins."
Get it from Amazon for $44
14) One Night Ultimate Werewolf
"This is a fantastic, quick-fire party game." We have this, as well as a few extensions. Our group typically consists of 5 to 9 persons. One critic comments, "Almost all of them like whipping out One Night now and then." "If you like social deduction games, you have to get this game," says another who "plays almost weekly." The game also moves quickly, so if you don't like your character, you can change it after a few minutes." Many people like how simple it is to play, especially smaller children, as one person says, "Oh my gosh, this is a fantastic game." My husband and I, as well as our three children, ages 12, 10, and 7, play together. There were so many wonderful chuckles! It's pretty simple to pick up. We had no idea some of our kids could deceive us as well as they do."
Get it from Amazon for $25
15) Hasbro Risk Game
Many reviews agree that this game is entertaining, but they caution that it takes a long time to complete. "Wonderful game. Played with my husband and two children, ages 9 and 11. We all had a good time. The game took a long time to finish, like a week, but it was still enjoyable." Another purchased it for her father, noting that she "may regret it because he will constantly want to start wars." This isn't a 'quick' game, either. He, on the other hand, adores it." Another reviewer expresses her gratitude for the fact that she and her entire family can enjoy this game, writing, "Family game night smash." This was a fantastic edition of Risk, with multiple ways to play all rolled into one. My children of all ages all had a great time sitting down to play."
Get it from Amazon for $31
16) Mattel Games Duo Two Player Strategy Game
One user comments, "This game is addicting." "It's simple to learn." If you don't have a lot of time or if you play for hours, this game is quick to play. You can replay it as many times as you like, challenging yourself to do better and get various results." This could be the board game for you if you're a Tetris fan. One consumer says, "I love this game." "I would recommend it to everyone who enjoys the strategy of Tetris yet wants to play a competitive game." Couples will like this date night game." "This is a terrific game for two people to play at home or on the go, and it's marketed for a fair price to boot," one reviewer comments of the price. "The strategy rewards critical thinking and experienced players, but it's also incredibly accessible to newcomers."
Get it from Amazon for $15
17) Rummikub by Pressman
One reviewer adds, "This has become my family's favorite game." "It's simple enough that individuals of all ages and mental capacities may enjoy it, but it can also require a fair amount of strategy for the more brilliant sorts." It appears to be the most popular among the elder generation. "After an introductory game, we were meant to have dinner together," a group of 80-year-olds said. We didn't, however; instead, we had to keep playing." "My 80-year-old in-laws play Rummikub all the time, and my family plays with them a few times a year," another reviewer adds. "Wow, they're really good." "Not only does it bring the family together without devices," writes one reviewer, "but it also keeps your mind fresh." "I'm approaching fifty, and stuff like this game that keeps my brain busy and me laughing and smiling is a terrific thing," they add. And, according to one reviewer, you won't get bored with it even if you play it over and over again for years: "It just shows me that this is the kind of game that can evolve with your talent, so it never gets dull."
Get it from Amazon for $15
18) Telestrations – the Telephone Game Sketched Out!
Several critics claim that this game will make you cry. One user comments, "By the time I finished my first game, I was crying from laughing so hard," and others say it's so much fun to play that it doesn't matter who wins. They add, "This is a fantastic 'we're laughing with you' experience." "Winning is nice, but in this game, everyone is a winner because it's just so damned fun," says the player. So, what exactly is it, you ask? One reviewer explains, "It's a mix of the old telephone game and Pictionary." "Every round, a word or phrase is taken from a card drawn, and each player has a dry-erase marker and pad. The word/phrase is then sketched and the pad is passed to the next player. They, in turn, make educated guesses about the drawing. Following the guessing, the pad is given to the next player, who must draw what was guessed. This process continues until the pad is returned to its rightful owner. You then proceed to complete the sequence from beginning to end. It's remarkable how the word/phrase evolves as it circulates."
Get it from Amazon for $29
19) Indie Boards and Cards Terraforming Mars Board Game
One reviewer adds, "Ultimately, this game is fairly complicated, with a big instruction manual and a steep learning curve." "However, because there are so many different ways to play the game, the degree of planning well transcends the initial investment, making this a really enjoyable game to learn and play." More than 10% of reviewers describe this board game as tough or complicated, but all agree that once you get the hang of it, it's a blast. According to one critic, it's essentially "a game where the players take the role of businesses tasked with terraforming the planet Mars for the future population." "Players generate resources and revenue that enable them to take actions and play cards [that] raise the temperature, build oceans, and provide oxygen to the atmosphere," they go on to say. Players are rated based on their contributions to the terraforming efforts (and some other scoring processes) to determine an overall winner while they work together to terraform the planet."
Get it from Amazon for $54