So you’re looking for the best board games, right? Well we’re here to help! You see, I to found myself searching the good ole interweb one day trying to find the best party board game for an upcoming get together I was having.
Unfortunately, I learned very quickly that this was no easy task. Most of the sites I found were either trying to sell me something, listed mostly classics that I already knew about, or were created by board game aficionados who would recommend games that were a little too complex for what I was looking for.
I found myself bouncing from website to website and finally decided on one that “most” people recommended.
And so, I decided to create a comprehensive, interactive list of the best board games available on the market today. The goal is to help others like me who not only want the best, but also want to compare and review the most popular options available – all in one place. We all have our personal preferences and want something catered to meet our specific needs, but with thousands upon thousands of options to choose from it can be a chore sorting through the mess.
The lists on this site are all created based on our research and ALL include the highest rated, most popular, best selling top board games on the market today. All of which are Amazon rated 4 stars (out of 5) or higher – by everyday people like you and me. Hopefully you will find one that you, your family and/or friends will all Enjoy!
|The Best Board Games||Category||Age (yrs)||Players||Playtime||Rating 1-5 (stars)|
|Qwirkle Board Game||Family||6+||2-4||45 min||5|
|Ticket To Ride||Family||8+||2-5||45 min||5|
|HedBanz Game||Kids||7+||2-6||30 min||4.5|
|The Settlers of Catan||Family/Strategy||10+||3-4||90 min||4.5|
|Rory's Story Cubes||Kids/Party||8+||1-12||20 min||4.5|
|The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game||Kids||3+||2-4||15 min||4.5|
|Apples to Apples Party Box - The Game of Hilarious Comparisons (Family Edition)||Party||12+||4-10||30 min||4.5|
|Blokus Classics Game||Abstract||5+||2-4||20 min||5|
|Betrayal At House On The Hill||Fantasy||12+||3-6||60min||4.5|
|King of Tokyo||Family||8+||2-6||30min||5|
|Cards Against Humanity||Adult||17+||4-8||30min||5|
|Resistance The 2nd Edition||Party||13+||5-10||30min||5|
How To Find a Board Game That Meets Your Needs
As you can see there are multiple categories that make up our list. From party, to strategy, to adult, finding the right one to meet your specific needs is not always easy. Furthermore, of the many we have listed above and throughout this site, there still may not be any that interest you.
That’s what I hope to help you with. The fact is, there are so many different types of board games available that trying to find the absolute best is near impossible – simply because it’s all subjective. What I mean by this is, if I were to ask my 9 year old nephew what he believes the best is, I would get a completely different answer then if I asked my Mom that same question. It’s like trying to find the answer to “What is the best movie?”
That being said, like movies, I’ve found the easiest way to find one that’s right for you, your family, or whatever other reason – is to break down your options by genre/category.
We’ve created our list above based off of the most popular categories and created options and criteria to help you make the appropriate buying decision. Click on the genre below (or in the category section above) for more info and our specific recomendations per category
Reviews By Category
As you can see, all of which we have listed above are great choices, however what kind of board game bloggers would we be if we didn’t point out our absolute favorites of the bunch. Below you will find our top picks and our overall favorites in their particular category along with a more detailed review of each.
PARTY – Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is one of the rare titles that is equally fun for both kids (12 and up) and grown ups. I’ve never had anyone dislike playing it and that’s saying a lot.
One of the things that makes Apples to Apples so great is how simple it is to play. Players are dealt seven red cards which have nouns like “Oprah Winfrey,” “Chicago,” or “diabetes,” on them. They then compete to pair one of their cards with a single green card supplied by the designated judge. The green card contains an adjective or description like “ugly,” “scary,” or “beautiful.” The judge then awards points based on which red card he thinks pairs best with the green. What makes the game so fun though, is that the judge usually picks the most hilarious or unpredictable pairing. So “scary” might go with “diabetes,” but the funnier, more popular card would probably make “Oprah” the winner.
Each player get’s to take their turn as the judge, which leads to the overall unpredictability and fun. Some judges choose to award points for the most logical match, while others will choose the most ridiculous. This unpredictability makes for great conversation which adds to the overall appeal of Apples to Apples.
Apples to Apples is loaded with cards and has virtually unlimited play. It has enough variations and blank cards – to add a player’s name, for example, to the noun list – to keep things interesting for multiple sessions. Apples to Apples has won numerous awards, including Games Magazine’s Top 100 award and a special citation from Mensa.
If your interested – Watch the video below to get a better idea of what play is like in order to help you decide if Apples to Apples is right for you.
For KIDS – Hedbanz
Kids Love Hedbanz!
Mostly because it’s fun and partly because they get to put on a headband and play dress up. The object of Hedbanz is to place a picture above your head and try to guess what it is without seeing it. The picture will be visible to everyone but you and you have a certain amount of time to ask questions to guess your identity. The other players are only allowed to answer: “Yes”, “No”, “Could be” or “I don’t know” to any of your questions.
Playing is simple and can be played by kids younger than the age recommended. Kids have a fun time coming up with imaginative questions trying to guess what they are. It may seem a like an over hyped version of twenty questions, but for some reason any time the kids in my family play Hedbanz, they end up laughing uncontrollably.
Hedbanz is not only a hit with kids, but with Parents as well. This is because Hedbanz is actually good for language development, which makes it educational as well as fun. Also, it is a rare kids game that doesn’t get boring too quickly for adults while playing with children. Which is why it tops the list for our favorite for kids. I have absolutely no problem asking my nephew “Can I be eaten?” or “Am I heavy?” Funny stuff!
For ADULTS – Cards Against Humanity
Okay, this technically isn’t a board game but I couldn’t ignore the fact that this has been the best selling game on Amazon since it was released, or the fact that almost every time we have a group of people over (that are of age) this is what we play. As long as you are playing with a group of people who don’t take themselves too seriously, there are countless hours of fun to be had.
Cards Against Humanity is similar to the extremely popular Apples to Apples. They both require players to play a card with a noun or nouns on it and try to best match the card played by the appointed “judge”. The biggest difference though, is that the cards used in Cards Against Humanity have adult themed nouns, adjectives, descriptions, and questions.
Let me just say, Cards Against Humanity is not for the feint of heart. I can almost guarantee that everyone at the table will be offended at least once at some point during play. That’s half the fun.
The video below will give you a better idea of what you can expect and help you decide if this is right for you
STRATEGY – Game of Thrones
When it comes to Strategy board games it’s tough to pick a favorite. Like I discussed previously, this category is one that really is personality specific. So I decided to go with the one that is my current favorite, has an awesome theme, is highly rated on boardgamegeek.com and like others listed – has been a hot seller on Amazon.
Like most in the Strategy genre, Game of Thrones does have a learning curve and will take some time to learn all the nuances and rules. The 25+ page rule book will no doubt be referenced frequently during your first or second play through. Though I can assure you that once you get the hang of it, you will marvel at it’s EXCELLENCE.
That being said, the complexity of Game of Thrones is what makes playing it so GREAT! I personally believe Strategy games should be focused on strategy first – and really the more options you have in a strategy game, the better. Right?
Anyway, what separates Game of Thrones from others is the simultaneous planning phase at the beginning of every turn. This always offers a very nervous and fun decision making affair. Forming alliances with other players, then betraying them is all part of the strategy involved. There are numerous ways in which the adventure and scenarios can unfold and you never have the same experience twice.
The video below is a tutorial and should give you a better understanding of how to play, which should help you decide if it is right for you.
FAMILY – Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is another game on my list (Apples to Apples) that may be known and loved by most board game aficionados, but for some reason, there are still many who have never played it. Ticket to Ride is great in its simplicity. Ticket to Ride can be taught to a newbie within 3 to 5 minutes which is a must for a family game where people tend to lose interest quickly.
Although Ticket to Ride is simple, there is lots of strategy that can be used to help lead you to victory. What makes playing this so great is that it caters to every play style – you can play laid back or cutthroat it’s up to you. Whether it be blocking your opponents route just because you can or trying to make the longest route possible for your own personal win.
The video below will give you a better idea of what Ticket to Ride is all about. I will also be providing a more in depth review in the near future. In the meantime, if your looking for a terrific family game that is easy to learn and fun for all ages. You can’t go wrong with Ticket to Ride.
Now that you have seen the options and reviewed our top picks, its up to you to choose the ones that are right for you… Enjoy!