20 Board Games to Play at Family Game Night
Family game nights are one of the easiest ways to have some frugal fun and spend quality time with the people you love most!
If your game cabinet has gotten a little stale or you just want to add on to what you already have, check out these ideas for some of the best board games for family game night! This is a list of quality games that are sure to provide hours and hours of family fun!
1. Settlers of Catan (3-4 players, more if you have expansion packs)
If I could recommend one and only one board game to add to your family’s game collection, this would be it. I have long been an avid board game player, and this game was introduced to me about a year ago. It quickly became my favorite, and I will play it over any other board game any chance I have. It has all the qualities of a perfect board game: chance, strategy, laughs, fierce competition, and ideal duration of game play. It never gets old. You will play it over and over again. And the best part? If the game should ever become old news, it has expansion packs that add on to the original game! I recommend SeaFarers or Cities & Knights. Both are so much fun and completely change the game play. You can always grab Catan Junior for the younger kids. And if you’re a complete and total Star Trek nerd like me, the Star Trek Catan is super fun. I switch up playing that version and the regular version. 😀
2. Ticket To Ride (2-5 players)
Days of Wonder creates the best overall collection of board games in existence, hands down. Ticket To Ride is an exceptional game that I have played hundreds of time with family and friends. I like it because it’s unlike any other kind of game you will play. It’s great for both kids and adults. If you get bored with it, you can pick up one of the Ticket to Ride variations. I’ve heard the Ticket to Ride Europe variation is really fun, because it adds in many new elements like ferries and tunnels (in addition to the original trains).
3. Small World (2-5 players)
This is my other favorite Days of Wonder board game. It’s reminiscent of Risk, but with more strategy, less chance, and shorter game time (everyone says hooray!). This is a board game involving conquering regions and enemy troops, but it’s all fantastical in nature. The races are made up of elves, dwarves, halflings, wizards, and more! You combine your chosen fantasy race with a special power to strategize and win the game. The artwork is beautifully done and the game play is SO much fun! And again, there are many Small World variations if you tire of the original.
4. Balderdash (2-6 players, but I’ve played with up to 10)
This is an amazing game, and one of my absolute favorite games to play with a larger group of people. If you love words and creativity, this game is for you. The object of the game is to come up with a definition, movie plot, famous person’s biography, acronym meaning, or laughable law that convinces everyone else in the game it is the original from the card. I think what I love most about it is seeing how creative all of my family and friends are! It’s incredible. It’s a challenging game that offers friendly competition and lots of laughs. It also doesn’t require too much intense concentration, so it’s a fun one to play while also enjoying conversation with a group.
5. Dutch Blitz (2-4 players)
This is a hidden gem of a card game that is fast-paced and such a blast! I like playing with 4 players best, because it moves really quickly and gets chaotic. If you like fast-paced games, this one is for you! Warning: this game can get violent when competition gets fierce. 😉
6. Parcheesi (2-4 players)
I have been playing this game since I was a little girl, and it is one of the best all-time classic board games (in my opinion). It plays similar to Trouble, but it’s more complicated and way more fun.
7. Scrabble (2-4 players) or Bananagrams (1-8 players)
Ah, another classic! What word lover doesn’t love a friendly, competitive game of Scrabble?! If you want to switch it up a little or have more than 4 players, definitely give Bananagrams a try! It’s a fun twist on Scrabble!
8. 10 Days in Asia, Africa, or Europe (2-4 players)
The 10 Days In… series of games is incredible. They are fun and educational. These are great for helping kids learn geography. I personally love 10 Days in Asia, but it looks like the only one available on Amazon is 10 Days in Europe. I would forego 10 Days in USA, as it is pretty boring (but maybe that’s just me). You can go HERE to find an online retailer or store near you that carries these games.
9. Skip-Bo (2-6 players)
This is another one I’ve been playing since I was really young. This is a sequencing card game created by the makers of UNO, but I much prefer it to UNO any day!
10. Sequence (2+ players)
This game has hidden touches of many other games (poker, canasta, rummy), and it’s a great game to play with the entire family! It’s easy for kids but challenging for adults. I always love pulling this one out on game night for something a little bit different.
11. Pictionary (3+ players)
One of my most prized possessions is my original Pictionary board game that I found at a garage sale for $2. Pictionary never gets old for me. This is a tried and true favorite in our family! It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw well — that just makes it even better and more hilarious! Over the years, we have saved drawings that were horrible just to laugh at them later. 😉
12. Dixit (3-6 players)
This is a game I picked up recently during an Amazon Board Game Sale, and it has become a favorite among my friends. It is a really unique game with absolutely gorgeous artwork on each card. This game really activates the imagination and promotes creative thinking. It’s great for kids or adults!
13. Spy Alley (2-6 players)
I played this game for the first time this past weekend, and it’s awesome!! It’s a fun game of trickery and strategy, and the four of us who played it for the first time absolutely loved it. We played multiple times in one night, and it has been added into the regular rotation for our board game get-togethers!
14. Catch Phrase (4+ players)
This is the ultimate party game for a large group of people. You only need 4 people to play, but you can play with an infinite amount of people. You just need an even amount of people, divided into two teams. You have to creatively get your team members to guess a word, while also paying attention to the timer. The game proceeds much like hot potato, and whoever is left with the device at the end of each round loses. I also love this game because it tends to appeal to all types of people — even those who are not your traditional board gamers.
15. Backgammon (2 players)
If you have a large group of people, sometimes it’s fun to divide up into groups and play tournaments of 2-player games. This is a timeless classic of a game (and my personal favorite 2-player game). I like it because it’s not as strategy-heavy as Chess, but it has a good enough does of strategy to keep it fun and challenging.
16. Othello (2 players)
A minute to learn, a lifetime to master. That’s the tagline for this game, and it is oh-so-true! This is another awesome strategic 2-player game that is so much fun. I’m still perfecting my strategy on this game, and I’ve been playing it for a couple years.
17. Munchkin (3-8 players)
If you like or have ever been curious about Dungeons and Dragons, this is a cool variation! It’s silly, hilarious, and a fun one for a large group of people.
18. Carcassonne (2-5 players)
This is one I have yet to play, but have heard raving reviews about. It is supposed to appeal to lovers of Risk, Small World, and Catan. And many people say it is superior to the others. Its value lies in the replay value and strategic fun.
19. Risk (2-5 players)
It’s been alluded to many times in this round-up, and I don’t think a board game list is complete without it! A classic game of strategy and chance. If you don’t mind a game that lasts for hours, this is one that all board game lovers have to experience!
20. Deck of Cards
No game night is complete without a deck or two of cards. I love that with a couple decks of cards, there are infinite possibilities for a couple or many players. My all-time favorite card games are Spades and Liverpool Rummy, but I’m sure you have your favorites among your family and friends!
Are there any family favorites you would add to this list? Let’s hear in the comments!
Written by contributing author Meg, who is a total book worm, animal lover, neat freak, vegetarian foodie, and wannabe world traveler. She is passionate about hiking, writing, exceptional coffee, yoga, and good music. She is also a self-labeled nerd and thoroughly enjoys all things Star Trek and Harry Potter.