Playing board games is a time-tested bonding activity for friends and family. Board games encourage conversation, friendly competition, and creativity, and provide hours of laughter. With our screen-obsessed culture, taking an evening away from the virtual and having a good old-fashioned game night can be extremely refreshing! If you are looking for something easy and fun for you and your crew, here’s our list of the best board games to play with friends. From wholesome, classic games to card games specifically made for terrible humans, there is something on this list for every group of friends!
50+ Awesome Activities to Enjoy With Friends
Our scratch-off books are expertly crafted and full of exciting activities, designed to deepen bonds and add some adventure to your routine. If you and your crew are looking for something new to do, snag a copy of Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition, and get scratching! Make this your go-to book when you want to get together with your besties.
The Best Classic Board Games
This section is full of oldies but goodies. Perhaps you haven’t played these since you were a kid, or maybe you missed out on their heyday altogether. It’s never too late to pick up a good thing though, and you will fall in love with the long-standing awesomeness of these classics!
This classic wheeling and dealing business game challenges players to buy, sell, and scheme to build their personal fortunes. Become a railroad tycoon, a landlord, or a hotel owner. Oh, by the way, you might also end up in jail. When you play Monopoly, it’s all a roll of the dice!
Test your vocabulary against your buds with the board gamer’s original word game, Scrabble. Pick your random letters out of the bag and build upon previously laid words to collect points and prove your thesaurus mastery. It’s an easy game that you can play all night, with simple rules, and plenty of arguments over whether that is or is not a real word!
Players: 4 or more
Taboo is a great game for large groups, as you can have as many players as you want in this cooperative game. Break up into teams and draw a card. Your job is to get your teammates to guess the word on the card without using any of the forbidden words. There are over 640 guess words in the stack so you can play for a long time without repeating words. Race against the timer to add some suspense, or use the Game-changer dice to change up the rules a little. It’s the game that keeps on giving! You get a point for each guess word you get within the timer, and you lose a point if you accidentally say any of the forbidden words. The team with the most points wins.
4. The Game of Life
Spin to win in The Game of Life. From Start to retirement, your spin and choose to determine your fate. Will head to the workforce or take on major debt to go to college? Will you get married? Have kids? What risks are you willing to take? At the end of the game, the person with the most money in the bank wins. The Game of Life allows you to take risks you probably wouldn’t or didn’t in real life and find your wealth, even if it is just on the board. With a four-player limit, it is the perfect game for a low-key night with your besties or a double date night.
5. CATAN (Formally Known as Settlers of Catan)
CATAN is a classic game of trade, build, and settle. You will set out on a quest, guiding your settlers on an epic adventure of building your future while avoiding attempted monopolies by other players and robbers on the trail. It’s a strategy board game where you will have to be smart about how you use or hoard your grain, wood, and lumber. The game is simple to learn, and playtime generally is about an hour. However, every game is different, so you can play it several times in one party if you like.
6. Ticket to Ride
Another classic small group game, Ticket to Ride has trains, and who doesn’t love trains? Hop on the train and head across the country as you collect train cards and enable them to buy up railroads, connecting your way across America (or Europe if you get that version). In what seems contradictory to efficient public transit, the goal is to build the longest railroad. The longer the route, the more points you earn. You can even launch Ticket to Ride through Alexa, with sound effects and music. It’s actually a pretty fast-paced game and can be tackled in 30 minutes. There are many different versions of the game, so if you get sick of America, move on to a new location, or add boats!
Players: 2 and up
Yahtzee is a classic party game that can be played with two or more players. There is no board for this one, so it’s really a tabletop game. You just need a place to roll the five dice. The point is to roll high-scoring combinations, and the person with the highest score after 13 turns wins. It’s easy, and with 100 scorecards, you can pretty much play with any number of players. Yahtzee has stood the test of time because it is just a fun game!
Players: 4 and up
Pictionary is a classic and one of the funniest games around. Players use the given markers to draw their best version of the clue on the card. Their team members are tasked with the sometimes difficult job of guessing what the first player is drawing. It’s been a classic since 1985, and it is still one of the best games for large groups. It’s even more fun if you have had a few drinks.
It’s time to call out your friends on their BS. That’s basically the gist of Balderdash. Definitions have never been so fun. In this multiplayer game, you will choose a word from one of five categories. Each player will then make up an answer to the question or definition of the word on the card. The Balderdasher will write down the correct answer. Then, they will read off all the answers and players will vote for the answer they think is true. You earn points when your answer gets the most votes. There are a few more ways to earn points, but that’s the gist. The fun comes in when you realize how hilarious and creative (or dirty!) your friends are. The answer to these simple questions give you a lot of insight into your friends and are sure to keep you laughing all night long.
10. Trivial Pursuit
The iconic trivia game allows friends to show off their brilliance and dominate in a little competition of smarts. The Classic Edition of Trivial Pursuit includes a retro player board and the time-tested gameplay you know and love. With 2,400 questions in six categories, you roll the die, land on a category, and if you can answer the question for that category correctly, you collect the colored wedge for it. The first player to collect all six wedges and answer the final question correctly wins the game and the title of trivia master. Once you have conquered the classic, Trivial Pursuit also has Harry Potter, Friends, Sports, Decades, and many more versions, all available on Amazon. You might as well get them all!
The original murder mystery game, Clue is the ultimate whodunit. There is one murderer and six suspects. Gather in the Tudor mansion and decipher the clues to find who did it, where they did it, and what weapon they used. The first player to correctly deduce all three aspects of the murder wins. Clue has evolved with the times, with new versions of the game including the ghost of Mrs. White, played by Alexa.
The Best Board Games for College Friends (or the young at heart!)
This section gets a little silly and sometimes a bit raunchy too, depending on your friend group. While they may be appropriate for older teens, these games are the most fun with a few drinks and a few weird and rowdy friends.
12. Cards Against Humanity
Players: 4 and up
This insane card game made playing cards fun again. Cards Against Humanity is certainly not your traditional family board game, but it is hilarious and perfect for a group of adults who are feeling a bit saucy. It is self-described as a party game for horrible people. The concept is simple, player one asks a question by laying down a black card. The rest of the group answers the questions with a white card from their hand, picking the card that they think is the funniest answer to the question. Player one votes on whose answer wins, and that player gets to keep the cards. The player with the most sets at the end of the game wins. At least that is the original game, but there are plenty of ridiculous alternative rules to spice it up. Buy the expansion packs for more preposterous cards when your originals get old. The questions are absurd. The answers are even more ridiculous, but the game is legendary!
13. Exploding Kittens
Exploding Kittens is basically Uno but with exploding cats, goats, laser beams, and all manner of other preposterous playing cards. Draw from the deck. Sabotage your opponents, and try to stay away from the Exploding Kittens which you make you dead, and out of the game. It’s easy. It’s weird. It’s super fun with a few beers, and if you have somewhere never played it, we are sure it will be your next favorite!
14. Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
No, it’s not just a list of the most awesome things on earth—Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is a fabulously funny and addictive game! It’s a basic slapjack-like matching game. When you think you see a match… SLAP! But, be careful, your mind might just trick you!
15. Telestrations After Dark
This adult-only version of Telestrations is all about miscommunication. It’s basically the old telephone game where you pass something through your friend group and see how it changes over time except with drawings instead of words. These 1200 prompts in this version are adult only, so be prepared for hilarious and inappropriate.
16. What Do You Meme?
What Do You Meme? is great fun! Compete against your crowd to create the funniest memes. Pick a photo card from the deck. Each player answers it with a caption card from their hand. The judge chooses the funniest meme, and the winner keeps the card. The player with the most cards wins the whole shebang. Mature content plus funny friends lead to some wild combinations and lots of hearty laughs.
17. Escape Room: The Game
Escape Room: The Game works just like the coordinated escape room that you probably have in your city except it can all be done in your own home. Set the timer to 60 minutes, bust open the game, and use your teamwork skills and creativity to make your exit from the designated room by solving the clues given. It’s full of clever riddles and puzzles
18. Unstable Unicorns
Ever wanted an army of sparkly unicorns? Well, today is your day! Unstable Unicorns is a strategic card game where you collect unicorns in your stable instead of points. Use Magic and strategically played cards to trip up your opponents. It won the People’s Choice Award for Toy of the Year in 2019, and it’s still a magical blast for any group of friends who love a little game of betrayal… and unicorn armies
19. Beat That!
Dare your crew to 240 whacky challenges. Wager a bet on a personal skill, or challenge a friend to a duel. Beat That! is a true competition with all players attempting the same challenges for the ultimate bragging rights. It’s easy to learn and provides hours of hilarious fun!
20. Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is a pretty popular party game that is easy to play with a medium to a large group. Deal the cards, and select one from your hand that you think best describes the card played by the judge. If the judge likes your answer the best, you win the rounds. It’s kind of the same premise as Cards Against Humanity, except for slightly better people.
The Best Board Games for Couples’ Game Nights
Players: 2-4 couples
A new turn on The Newlywed Game, Spouse-ology is the ultimate test of your relationship. How well do you know your spouse? Roll the die to pick a category. Match your spouse’s answers, and earn points. You’ll either go home a winner or argue all the way home then make up when you get there. With 240 hilarious questions, win or lose, you will leave with some new insight into your spouse and your buds.
Voted “the be-all-end-all of party games” by IGN, Monikers is really funny! Monikers is played in rounds. Round one, you can say anything to get your team to guess who is on your dealt card. In round two, you can only use one word. Round three is charades only, with no words. With a few good friends and a little wine, this one will keep you giggling all night long.
23. 7 Wonders: Duel
7 Wonders comes in several versions, including the two-person duel and architects, but the original is still great for a small group of friends. You’ll travel back in time to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. You are the city’s leader, and it is your job to gather the resources to build not only the wonder itself but the city around it. It’s a strategic expansion game like many others on the list, but with an ancient twist!
24. Fog of Love
Fog of Love is your second chance at a new beginning with your partner. Create your characters. Meet and fall in love, and then tackle some serious relationship challenges. You’ll have plenty of awkward conversations along the way and lots of tough decisions along the way. Choose wisely!
25. Blank Slate
Blank Slate is all about your ability to predict your friends and their thought processes. Pick a cue card, then write in the word that you think best fills in the blank. You also want to match another player’s answer, so you have to think strategically. It’s an easy game to learn and works great for large groups as you can pair off and add more players pretty easily.
26. Taco vs. Burrito
The basic gameplay is easy, but this simple game is surprisingly strategic. Taco vs. Burrito was created by a young man (when he was just seven years old!) and turned out to be one of the most successful gaming endeavors on Kickstarter. While it sounds a bit childish, the game is actually quite strategic, as you fight to build the most valuable meal (taco or burrito) and sabotage your friends along the way. You may even start a food fight.
27. Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island will have you working together as a couple to race against disaster. Your island is sinking, and you and your teammate must take risks and find all the hidden treasures. You must also make some very brave decisions to make it out in time, as the island is sinking. It’s an intimate game for a double date, but it gets intense!
The Best Virtual Board Games
While in-person games are always better, sometimes you just need a game night with your besties across the world, and thanks to technology, you can now do it with some of your favorite classic games.
28. Let’s Roam’s Virtual Game Night
Did you know that Let’s Roam hosts epic virtual game nights? Log onto our amazing virtual platform, and pick your poison. We have geography games, general trivia, drawing games like Pictionary, emoji decoders, and much more, so you can host a different game every weekend of the month! Also, check out our huge list of in-home scavenger hunts!
Scattegories challenges players to create words that fit within a set of categories and begin with a chosen letter. The game is great for distance relationships because it can easily be played over Zoom or other video chat platforms. One player will pull up the game on scattergoriesonline.net and share the screen with everyone else. The site will choose a letter and issue the prompts, as well as keep the timer.
Players: up to 7
Warwick Manor is home to a haunting, the ghost of a murdered servant from 30 years ago, and you must get to the bottom of the crime. One player will be the ghost, and the rest are psychic investigators looking for answers. Work together to solve the mystery and get answers from the deceased. The suspects, victims, and weapons change every time you play, so there is always new excitement. Play Mysterium online through their website or app
Boggle is a simple word scramble game. Shake the letter cubes, lift the lid, and flip the timer. Players compete to write down as many words as they can from the shaken cubes in 90 seconds. The player with the highest number of unique words wins. Boggle can easily be played online too! Choose your format and send the pin code to as many players as you want. It’s free to play!
Risk is a classic strategic conquest game where players compete to conquer enemy territory by building an army and battling it out. The first player to complete their secret mission wins. The gaming platform, Steam, offers a digital version of the game called RISK: Global Domination and the original version is free to play online. Just choose the multiplayer mode. Call up your besties on your favorite video share app, and begin the battle.
The popular board game Pandemic has more variants than the COVID virus itself. The original Pandemic Legacy 0 Cold War era game is fraught with CIA and soviet spies, but you can also choose from European Hot Zone, Experimental Labs, and Contagion, among many many more! The game requires teamwork, as the object is to work together to conquer the worldwide epidemic. Pandemic is available online on several platforms and is adapted to video game consoles and smartphones.
A Few More Fun Board Games to Play With Friends
34. Say Anything
Say Anything is a hilarious game for a group of close friends. Grab a question card and choose a question to ask the group. Each player will write down their answer, trying to be as witty or heartfelt as possible. Player one secretly chooses their favorite, and then everyone else places their bets with tokens on which answer Player 1 chose. Gameplay lasts 12 rounds and usually takes around 35 minutes.
35. The Game of Things
The Game of Things is a hilarious party game that gives you major insight into the warped thinking of your friends. Read a topic card and everyone writes down whatever response comes to mind. There are no right or wrong answers, you just pop off your first thought. All responses are read aloud and players try to guess who said what. As you can imagine, things get pretty crazy with this simple little game, and plenty of laughter usually ensues.
36. Chinese Checkers
Chinese Checkers is a classic, originating from Germany in the late 1800s. There are various ways to play the strategic marble game, but basically, the gist is to get all your marbles across the board and onto the opposing triangle by following the moving rules and blocking your opponent. It’s a quieter game for when you are feeling like a chill evening of conversation.
Codenames has a simple premise, but it can pose a real challenge! Two rival players take on the role of spymasters. They hold the identity to 25 hidden identities of other undercover agents. Teammates only know the agents by their codenames. The spymaster will give one-word clues to their teammates as they try to decipher the hidden identities and avoid the assassin.
Celebrate the 20th anniversary of this class tile-laying game with a new and updated edition! Carcassonne is a strategic building game. Players compete to medieval fortresses while blocking others from completing their tasks. It’s a cunning game of creativity and sabotage that features a beautiful landscape and well-crafted tiles.
39. Trekking: The National Park Board Game
This ingenious game is a combination of exploration and trivia that outdoor lovers and travelers will fall in love with. The concept came from an adventurous couple who achieved their goal of visiting all the U.S. national parks. They then worked with their grown son to build a board game representing their challenge. It’s still a family-run business that gives part of all profits back to nonprofit organizations and environmental endeavors, so it is a game you can feel good about purchasing!
40. Poetry for Neanderthals
Poetry for Neanderthals comes to you from the makers of Exploding Kittens and has a similar structure to Taboo. Because you are neanderthals, you may only use one-syllable words to get your point across. Give clues to your team to help them guess the phrase on your card, but keep it simple. For instance, if your word is television, you might say “big box you watch for fun.” This is an easy one, but many of the concepts are extremely complicated to explain with the simplest of terms. If you break the rules and bust out multiple syllables, the other team gets to whack you with a giant inflatable club, and you lose points.
Alright friends! That’s a wrap. We hope you found the perfect board game for you and your crew. Let us know in the comments which one you are going to try, or fill us in on a great game that we missed! We are always looking for new games to play with friends. Make sure to check out our Scavenger Hunt App for hundreds of in-home and city hunts all over the world. Our hunts include bar crawls, urban art walks, and customizable hunts for bachelorette trips or birthdays!
For more excellent party ideas, check out “25 Fantastic Party Games to Play With Friends.”
Need a good date night at home? Forget the phones. Turn off Netflix and bust out one of our recommendations from The Best Board Games for Couples Looking for Fun.
Frequently Asked Questions
Add some laughter to your party with hilarious board games like Poetry for Neanderthals, Blank Slate, or What do you Meme?
If you are looking for fresh ideas on hanging with friends, check out Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition, a complete book of adventures focused on friendship!
Popular party games for adults include Codenames, Cards Against Humanity, and classics like Scattergories.