Best Board Games: The Top 20 List

Best Board Games

 

Best Board Games: Fun for All

If you enjoy a good board game or are simply looking to get away from screen time, this is the list for you. This list of the best board games will provide a variety of different fun and exciting games to choose from. You will be able to choose from classics like Monopoly and Risk, as well as newer games like Catan, Ticket to Ride, and more.

Whatever game you decide on, though, will provide hours and hours of fun. And as I am sure you are aware, board games are a way to get everyone involved and interacting. Because while you are playing the game, you are also interacting and building memories with family and friends. And at the end of the day, this is priceless.

If you are really looking to set your game night apart, make sure you check out our list of the best snack ideas, best appetizers, and best mixed drink recipes (adults only). Having the right food and drink on hand will keep everyone happy and enjoying the night.

 

 

The Top 20 Board Games:

 

 

 

Settlers of Catan Board Game

 

Settlers of Catan (link)

Price: $43.97

Recommended Age: 10+

Number of Players: 3-4 (optional expansion pack for 5-6 players)

About Board Game: Catan (formerly known as Settlers of Catan) is a resource-based strategy game. The game board comprises different resource tiles whose placement is randomly generated at the start of the game, so each playthrough is guaranteed to be unique. Players take turns building settlements and roads to connect their settlements together. These structures are built by spending resources, such as wood, grain, and stone, which are collected through a dice roll at the start of each player’s turn. Any player with a settlement adjacent to a resource piece with a corresponding number gets to collect some of that resource. Several expansion packs and reimaginations of the game are also available (like a Game of Thrones-themed edition), which help make Catan one of the most popular board games on the market.

 

 

 

Monopoly Board Game

 

Monopoly (link)

Price: $19.97

Recommended Age: 8+

Number of Players: 2-6

About Board Game: Monopoly is one of the most recognized family board games. A classic tongue-in-cheek commentary on unchecked capitalism, some of the more nuanced socioeconomic concepts may go a bit over younger players’ heads. However, they will certainly empathize with the frustrations of excessive rent. The game’s accounting and notoriously long playing time make this one of the best board games for adults. Colorful money and an assortment of fun metal player tokens do help kids find excitement too. Ultimately, Monopoly is a classic, popular board game for a reason. Its presence has persisted on store shelves for over 80 years, and countless special editions ensure that there’s a version of the game that will make a perfect gift for anyone.

 

 

 

Telestrations Board Game

 

Telestrations (link)

Price: $25.11

Recommended Age: 6+

Number of Players: Up to 8

About Board Game: Telestrations is an amusing combination of Pictionary and telephone. At the start of the game, each player receives a list of random words and a drawing pad. A dice roll determines which word each player will draw, after which everyone passes their pad to the player on their left. The goal now is to guess what was drawn and then attempt to draw it yourself. This continues until players have their own drawing pads back, the original words are revealed, and humorous misinterpretations come to light. Players’ artistic ability can make this game easier, while a lack thereof certainly makes it more entertaining.

 

 

 

Scrabble Board Game

 

Scrabble (link)

Price: $17.97

Recommended Age: 8+

Number of Players: 2-4

About Board Game: Scrabble is the classic crossword-style spelling game. The objective of the game is simple: spell out as many high-scoring words as possible. The point values assigned to each letter determine these scores. Bonus spaces add some strategy to the game by multiplying the score for specific letters or words, but that is pretty much it when it comes to advanced gameplay. The simple rules and spelling involved are signs of a good board game for kids. Families can make a game night fun and educational with Scrabble. From simple words to long compound arrangements, the ultimate rule book for Scrabble is a simple English dictionary.

 

 

 

 

Ticket to Ride Board Game

 

Ticket to Ride (link)

Price: $44.99

Recommended Age: 8+

Number of Players: 2-5

About Board Game: Ticket to Ride is a cute and simple family game night selection. The game transports players to a bygone era of locomotive dominance, where they take on the role of a turn-of-the-century railroad developer. Tasked with building railroads to connect randomly assigned cities, players need to carefully plan their routes and move quickly. Otherwise, they run the risk of being cut off from their destination by a rival railroader working toward another city. Colored cards act as the resource for this game. Collecting enough cards to build long routes earns more points but takes extra time during which your planned route might end up developed by someone else. Different editions like Ticket to Ride: Europe and Ticket to Ride: The Heart of Africa offer additional twists in other parts of the world, so a good knowledge of geography definitely helps with this game.

 

 

 

Codenames Board Game

 

Codenames (link)

Price: $38.86

Recommended Age: 14+

Number of Players: Up to 8

About Board Game: Codenames is a secret word-guessing game that pits teams against each other as competing secret agents. The board is made up of a grid of random (though sometimes frustratingly related) words, with one member from each team having access to a key of words their team must guess. That member is allowed to give one-word clues, which may link multiple cards together. This can help their team guess all of their words quickly, or it can hurt as guessing the wrong word may help the other team (or worse, immediately end the game in an instant loss!)

 

 

 

Risk Board Game

 

Risk (link)

Price: $25.49

Recommended Age: 10+

Number of Players: 2-5

About Board Game: Risk is a game of world domination, where players battle each other to conquer countries. Players are assigned a fixed number of armies which they must strategically employ to attack adjacent players’ controlled territories. The victor of these international conquests is determined by rolling dice. Players can fortify their territories with reinforcements to improve their chances of defeating oncoming attacks. Strategy in this game allows players to form alliances with each other. By combining forces, players can work together to assure their own victory. Risk is one of the most popular board games of all time, appealing to both adults and children.

 

 

 

The Game of Life Board Game

 

The Game of Life (link)

Price: $19.99

Recommended Age: 8+

Number of Players: 2-4

About Board Game: For many children, The Game of Life is their first introduction to concepts like student loans, salaries, and retirement planning. The game begins with a classic test of delayed gratification: start working for a paycheck now, or go to college for a (hopefully) better salary later. From there, the decisions only continue as players navigate marriage and random events like winning the lottery. While some outcomes are more realistic than others, Life is one of those fun board games for the whole family. With smart gameplay, players can find themselves settled into a comfortable retirement community by the end of the night.

 

 

 

Guess Who Board Game

 

Guess Who? (link)

Price: $13.69

Recommended Age: 6+

Number of Players: 2

About Board Game: Guess Who is one of the best board games for kids to learn descriptive vocabulary. It is unique because it features two matching game boards, each with 30 different caricatures on flip cards. At the start, each player draws a secret character. The goal is to be the first person to identify the opposing secret character, using the flip cards to track non-matches. This is done by asking specific questions about individual features. Questions like “Are they a boy?” and “Do they have blonde hair?” help narrow down the search until only a few faces remain. When you think you know the secret character, it’s time to make your guess!

 

 

 

 

Scattergories Board Game

 

Scattergories (link)

Price: $37.25

Recommended Age: 12+

Number of Players: 2-6

About Board Game: Scattergories is one of the best board games for an exciting party. Players have three minutes to write down 12 words for 12 different random categories. The twist is that all words must start with the same letter. The letter is determined by rolling a 20-sided die that has a letter on each side. Fortunately, Q, U, V, X, Y, and Z are excluded. The game repeats for three rounds, with players earning one point every round for each unique word on their list. Disagreements among players about creative interpretations of each category can make for a silly and chaotic game night.

 

 

 

 

Bananagrams Family Game

 

Bananagrams (link)

Price: $14.95

Recommended Age: 7+

Number of Players: 2-10

About Board Game: Bananagrams is similar to Scrabble without the grid on a fixed game board. The game consists of simply a banana-shaped bag that holds 144 letter tiles (the “bunch”). Players start out with a number of these tiles face-down. The game starts when one player calls out, “Split!” At this point, all players try to arrange their tiles into a grid of vertical and horizontal words. The objective is to be the first player to use all of your tiles. When someone does that, they call out “Peel!” This is another great board game for kids because the spelling aspect and arbitrary board-less layout appeal to their development.

 

 

 

Scythe Board Game

 

Scythe (link)

Price: $59.99

Recommended Age: 14+

Number of Players: 1-5

About Board Game: Scythe is set in the aftermath of a fictionalized World War I that featured technologically advanced battle mechs. Players represent one of five factions of Eastern Europa who seek dominance of the resource-rich post-war territory. With a complex set of rules and dark themes, Scythe is not a great game for kids. However, it is one of the best games for adults who may be more equipped with the patience to learn the game. The steampunk-adjacent art style plays creatively with an imaginative interpretation of what life may have been like in the shadow of The Great War.

 

 

 

Sorry Board Game

 

Sorry! (link)

Price: $9.97

Recommended Age: 6+

Number of Players: 2-4

About Board Game: Sorry is a fun family board game with betrayal as a core concept. The main goal of the game is to move your game pieces around the board based on the number of spaces specified on randomly drawn cards. The game’s not-so-sincere namesake comes from the caveat that if you land on another player’s game piece, that player must start back at the beginning. There are several cards in the deck that will also allow you to reverse the progress of your opponents, making this an amusingly frustrating game for some. But there is no reason to apologize for enjoying this game night classic.

 

 

 

Clue Classic Dective Game

 

Clue (link)

Price: $16.80

Recommended Age: 8+

Number of Players: 3-6

About Board Game: Clue is the classic murder mystery board game. In Clue, players try to solve a cartoonishly gruesome murder at a lavish dinner party gone awry. Featuring an ensemble of colorful characters like Miss Scarlet and Colonel Mustard, accusations quickly span a rainbow of combinations. Players must use deduction to not only figure out who committed the deadly crime, but also where they did it and what weapon they used. Clue is a comically macabre staple of any game night. This family classic has been entertaining for years and will continue to do so for years to come.

 

 

 

 

Pandemic Game

 

Pandemic (link)

Price: $40.48

Recommended Age: 12+

Number of Players: 2-4

About Board Game: Pandemic is a cooperative game with a simple objective: save the world from several deadly infectious diseases. Players are assigned different roles, such as scientist or engineer, that give them certain advantages. The goal is to contain the spread of existing cases while pooling the resources necessary to develop vaccines. Teamwork and communication are essential elements of a successful Pandemic game. The theme and complex strategy required may not be very easy for children to pick up, but this is one of the best games for adults whose experiences may help them tackle the game’s concepts.

 

 

 

 

Azul Board Game

 

Azul (link)

Price: $28.99

Recommended Age: 8+

Number of Players: 2-4

About Board Game: Azul places players in the role of an artist working for a Portuguese king to decorate his palace in the style of Moorish ceramic tiles. It’s a visually appealing game, where players must draw and place colorfully patterned tiles on their own game boards. Points are earned for placing matching tiles adjacent to each other. This leads to beautiful patterns that make Azul an artist’s game (perfect for those who enjoy arts and crafts), with a little bit of strategy and a fair amount of luck. Kids and adults alike will find this game easy to pick up and enjoyable to play as they watch their creations fill the game boards with color.

 

 

 

 

The Resistance

 

The Resistance (link)

Price: $16.72

Recommended Age: 13+

Number of Players: 5-10

About Board Game: The Resistance is a game of secret identities. Two teams of players (the “Spies” and the “Resistance”) must identify the members of the other team in order to prevent them from successfully completing missions. At the beginning of the game, all players are given a random identity and close their eyes. The Spies then all open their eyes to know who is on their team, while the resistance keeps their heads down and is unaware of who the spies are. Players secretly vote to support or reject mission cards, with the nomination of these voting players critical to determining each player’s team assignment. The game is heavy on social deduction, which is a fun meta aspect that adds depth to any game.

 

 

 

Trivial Pursuit Game

 

Trivial Pursuit (link)

Price: $15.69

Recommended Age: 16+

Number of Players: 2-6

About Board Game: Trivial Pursuit is no doubt among the top board games in history. Designed for trivia lovers and those with a knack for minutiae, the game challenges players’ knowledge of pop culture by presenting general knowledge questions on each turn. Answering the questions correctly allows the player to continue and, in some cases, rewards them with a colored game piece. The objective of the game is to collect all of the pieces. Depending on the knowledge set of you and your competitors, this game can either be over quickly… or drag on as players struggle with esoteric knowledge. Different editions (like Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit) can make the game easier by tailoring the questions to a specific subset of pop culture.

 

 

 

 

Watch Ya’ Mouth Game

 

Watch Ya’ Mouth (link)

Price: $19.99

Recommended Age: 8+

Number of Players: 3-10

About Board Game: Watch Ya’ Mouth is an odd secret-word game. To start the game, the player who has gone the longest without brushing their teeth puts on a large dental contraption (you can also decide who goes first in another way as well). This game piece holds the player’s mouth open awkwardly, making speech difficult. The incapacitated player must then read a random word to their teammate. If the teammate can understand the reader and guess the word or phrase, that team wins the round. This is one game night where you may want to skip the onion dip.

 

 

 

Rummikub Tile Game

 

Rummikub (link)

Price: $13.99

Recommended Age: 8+

Number of Players: 2-4

About Board Game: Rummikub is a set-making game that draws elements from rummy and mahjong. Given a set of tiles, players must play their tiles in matching groups or runs. The first player to play all of their tiles earns points, while all other players must subtract the values of their remaining tiles from their score. The rules for this game aren’t overly complex, but there is certainly an element of luck in finding enough sets to use all of your tiles. Ultimately, Rummikub is sure to please any fan of similar set-building games and make a great addition to any game closet.

 

 

Best Board Games Conclusion

Whether it is a weekly game night or a family get-together, this list of the best board games is sure to deliver. With the right game, you will have everyone involved and enjoying the night. And, even if it gets a little competitive at times, there will still be plenty of fun and laughter to go around.

The other great thing about these board games is that they are an excellent way to save money. Rather than going out and spending money, you can enjoy a fun night in at home, or switch up who hosts and have a fun game night at a friend’s house. Either way, you are enjoying a great night with friends while also not regretting your spending at a restaurant or bar the following morning.

Some of these board games would also make excellent gifts for family or friends. Whether for their birthday, a stocking stuffer, or whatever, these board games are perfect gift ideas. And, the best part is, you will also be able to use the gift when you are able to play the board game with them. That is what is called a win-win.

 

 

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