Away with the days when there were limited options to pick from when you thought of recreation and relaxation. Today, the market swims with a plethora of games. So many are the options that some people do not even know what the legendary board game Ludo is. Very few people even remember what Clue or Uno are.
Now, whatever your preference, there are board games for adults to meet your needs. Whether you are into building games or strategy games, there are options to choose from. If you are a horror movie fan, there is the ‘Betrayal At House On The Hill’ board game for your pleasure.
If you love to show off your singing prowess to your friends, ‘Spontuneous’ is just one of the many options available. And when you are feeling mischievous and want to spread the feeling, ‘Cards Against Humanity’ might be the answer.
In this article, we will be considering some of the best of board games available for adults to play.
After looking at the benefits of playing board games, the next section has a comparison table that contains a list of our best adult board games. If you are in a hurry and want quick information, that table should give you what you need. However, specific details of each board game for adults follow the table.
Why Play Board Games?
There is more to a board game than fun and good use of time. Let us consider some benefits of playing board games.
Depending on the complexity and scope of the board game you are playing, you will be mandated to apply some level of rational thinking. So, playing a board game can help to develop reasoning and logical skills.
Playing board games helps to develop memory formation, cognitive skills, and problem-solving. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have been linked to a decline in cognitive responses. So, keeping the brain utilized and stronger by playing these games is beneficial, regardless of your age.
Reduced blood pressure is another benefit of playing board games. How does this work? As you play for a few hours, you are simply relaxing and enjoying yourself, doing nothing strenuous. Plus, it affords reduced stress levels.
Generally, playing board games has immense benefits for your health.
Besides, they provide an avenue for the whole family or friends to come together to enjoy some spirited competition. You are likely to develop team spirit as you learn to work with others.
Trust, camaraderie, appreciation, and empathy are not left out as the things that you guys can enjoy together.
Let us quickly point out that, while some of these games can be enjoyed with every member of the family, there are some like Cards Against Humanity that is strictly for adults. You will soon see why.
Best Adult Board Games — Comparison Table
|Board Game||Brand||Number of Players||Price Category||Rating|
|Ticket To Ride||Days Of Wonder||2 to 5||$42||Best Overall|
|What Do You Meme? Party Game||What Do You Meme?||3 to 20||$29.99||Best Card Game|
|Pandemic||Z-Man Games||2 to 4||$29||Best Cooperative Game|
|Cards Against Humanity||Cards Against Humanity LLC||4 to 20||$25||Best Dark Humored Game|
|Codenames||Czech Games||2 to 8||$26||Best Word Game|
|Azul||Plan B Games||2 to 4||$31.49||Best Puzzle Game|
|Betrayal At House On The Hill||Avalon Hill||3 to 6||$35||Best Horror Game|
|7 Wonders||Asmodee||2||$35||Best Two-player Game|
|Risk: Game of Thrones||Hasbro||2 to 5||$68.86||Best Long Duration Game|
|Spontuneous||Spontuneous||4 to 10||$35||Best Party Game|
Ticket To Ride Board Game – Best Overall
You will not get tired of playing this fun-filled game night staple over and over again. This game has our best overall rating.
It is a cross-country adventure board game with a train theme set in North America. Players use playing cards to travel across North America and claim possible railroad routes. Points are gained when you connect destinations and create longer routes.
The game is played among 2 to 5 players for a duration of between 30 and 60 minutes.
In the game, you can force competitors into taking longer routes as each player can cut others off.
Immediately a player has two trains or less — after making use of the other 43 trains to claim routes — the other players get to take one more turn, and then the game comes to an end.
The winner is anyone with the highest points after the value of any uncompleted routes has been subtracted from the total.
It is a game of strategy with somewhat complex rules. However, once you can figure out some of the strategies, the game becomes more fun, and kind of grows on you.
What Do You Meme? Party Game – Best Card Game
This is the ultimate mood-lightener for adults. This highly popularized game will have almost everyone in your party upbeat within a minute of commencement.
The game comes with 75 photo cards and 360 caption cards, together with bonus rules and an easel. This board game typically tests your knowledge of the meme culture.
It is suitable for 3 to 20 players aged 17 years and above. Each player is dealt 7 caption cards to match to a chosen picture card.
The winner is selected by a rotating judge who picks the funniest or most ridiculous meme, as long as it relates to the photo card.
This game involves some level of strategy, especially with regards to the rotating judge. If you pick captions based on the judge’s sense of humor, you are likely to emerge as the winner.
This strategy encourages players to bond with each other to understand what each person likes.
Although this game is full of millennial slang and is not suitable for a mixed company only for friends and family, the stylish designs of the cards will draw even the most hesitant member of your party.
Plus, it helps that this game is incredibly easy to play and an intense humor-booster.
Pandemic Board Game – Best Cooperative Game
This has our best cooperative rating. In this game, everyone comes together to save humanity from a rapidly spreading epidemic of four deadly diseases.
This game teaches collaboration, as everyone has a common goal they are working towards. And time is of the essence as human lives are involved, lol.
This game is suitable for 2 to 4 players aged 13 years and above. The duration of each round is between 45 and 60 minutes.
You and the other player(s) will draw cards and use four actions for each turn to overwhelm the diseases by building research stations for disease treatments, knowledge sharing, and cure discovery.
If any player draws an epidemic card, the scope and speed of the disease spread will increase.
To win the game, the four deadly diseases have to be cured. However,the team loses when many more outbreaks occur, there are no more cards in the player deck, or when players run out of disease cubes to place on the board.
This game is great for group participation and interaction as players must work together to choose actions, knowing that it is easier to lose this game than to win it.
Also, it challenges the thinking of the players. Pandemic teaches and encourages cooperation and not competition.
Cards Against Humanity – Best Dark Humored Game
The manufacturers of this game describe it as “a party game for horrible people.” With such a description, you must already know that Cards Against Humanity is not a game for people with a high level of propriety, who easily get offended, as it comes with a sense of humor for deviants.
The game is made up of 100 black cards bearing questions and 500 white cards bearing answers.
Your task is to provide a white card that best answers the question on the black card that was picked. Of the 4 to 20 people that can play this game at a time, no kid is allowed. This is an adults-only game.
As the game accommodates up to 20 players, it is very suitable for parties and whenever you have a game night. Once everyone in the game plays a white card with an answer, the person with the best answer wins the round and the game proceeds.
Cards Against Humanity can be played multiple times without anyone having to repeat cards. There is a large number of cards available.
As with most games that involve a large number of people, this game comes with its own rules contained in a booklet. Not surprising is the fact that there is another set of alternate rules for those who seek more adventure with this game.
Codenames: Deep Undercover – Best Word Game
Codenames is a word-guessing game set around a secret agent’s theme, where the players are split into two teams. One member of each team acts as a spymaster.
The spymasters know the real identities of 25 secret agents and give their team members one-word clues that point towards words already on the table.
The aim is to work together to uncover the real identities of the secret agents with just their code names and then go ahead to contact them first. You have to do all these even as you try to avoid the assassin, bystanders, and opposition’s words on the table.
This game involves 15 minutes of intense heated discussions, laughs, and mild frustration. The players have to be at least 14 years old.
Words have to be chosen carefully so as not to tip off the other team. This game is perfect for after dinners, family game nights, and parties, as it is highly entertaining, easy to set up, and learn.
In addition to a full rule book, the game also comes with 16 agent cards in two colors plus 1 double agent card.
Azul – Best Puzzle Game
Let us start with how gorgeous this game looks. That’s not surprising as it is about laying tiles in a Spanish palace, hence, the palatial look.
This game is a tricky puzzle and not merely a laying of tiles wherever you feel like on the board. This game is designed for, at least, two players and at most 4, of 8 years and above, and designed to last for 30 to 40 minutes.
Azul encourages creativity and competition.
Players select a pile of tiles from the center of the table and place them on the board to score points. You can rack up bonus points when you match the tile pattern and complete specific sets of tiles.
However, when you waste tiles, you don’t remain at the same level, instead, you lose points. This is usually the point where competition and the display of creativity come in. This game can be regarded as a crossroad puzzle of colors.
Betrayal at House on the Hill – Best Horror Game
In horror movies, you mostly expect bad things, and so, you are not carried away by the good stuff. This game has our best horror game rating for a good reason. This is surely a spooky movie.
Except you have a heart for horror movies, do not play this game at night with the lights down. This game starts as collaborative, as you see everyone work together to explore a haunted house. However, one player is working hard to betray the team. This game is suitable for 3 to 6 players aged 12 and above. And it involves 60 minutes of suspense-filled fun.
Like other role-playing games, this is a very engaging game. It is unique every time you play it, although it starts off the same way every time. The rules have been found by some to be tricky, and need getting used to. However, the excitement from the experience in the haunted house makes the rules worth learning.
7 Wonders: Duel – Best Two-player Game
This is a high-level strategy game. It is a civilization-building card game played perfectly by only 2 players. The aim is to use your skills and strategy to gather your resources and erect an architectural wonder that outlives the present system.
There is a total of 18 turns that help you develop the civilization of the three Ages and earn points. The cities in the game produce resources that give discounts on future purchases and can also be traded with neighbors.
The game is developmental as some cards have immediate use, while others are saved so they can be utilized later either as bonuses or upgrades. A random draw of a card can abruptly change the course of your game.
Just as you will encounter many challenges in this game, there are various strategies for winning in this game. At the end of the three Ages, the player with the most points wins. And just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, 7 wonders board game takes a great deal of time. But winning this game is worth the time spent.
Risk: Game Of Thrones – Best Long Duration Game
This is a world-renowned military-style game of strategy. It is based on the epic Game of Thrones series. Just like the movie, this game is all about strategic conquest, chaos, and war, in a battle for ascending the Iron Throne.
There are 4 different mission game modes to play, namely, Secret Mission, Classic, Risk for 2 players, and Capital modes. The game is suitable for 2 to 5 players aged 10 years and above.
We need to warn that this game takes a pretty long time to complete. Imagine cramping the epic series with all its seasons and episodes into one single board game. That is why this great game gets our best long duration rating.
This game features over 650 improved figures including sculpted pieces representing 7 armies, 2 fabulous custom-designed game boards displaying the known world, and 5 war crates for easy storage.
It also features 7 exclusive player boards fit for the finest commanders, and 28 specialized character cards with special abilities.
With armory like this, it is no surprise that Risk: Game of Thrones is the most expensive game on our list. But in all, get ready to have intense action-filled fun during the next game night.
Spontuneous – Best Party Game
One way to get everyone involved at a party is through music. So, if you want to get people involved in a game, then a singing game is a great place to start.
In Spontuneous, one player says a word and then every other person part of the game joins the race to sing a song containing that word. It provides so much fun for an extremely easy game. It is suitable for 4 to 10 participants.
This game can serve as an alternative to karaoke. Because no singing talent is required to thrive in this game, there is usually a lot of laughter to go around.
The fast-paced nature of the game makes you hardly notice that a good amount of time has gone. At your next party, when you want your guests to interact with one another, introduce this is the game.
What We Considered When Picking The Best Adult Board Games
Having seen the lineup we have put up, let us now look at the following things we took into consideration to determine which board game qualified to be on the list.
1. Easy To Learn
Whether a game’s strategy is more complex than normal, the rules should be easy to learn. Whatever game you intend to purchase should come with a rule book that is well-written and straightforward.
As you notice an improvement in your skills, you can upgrade to more challenging games. There are also a lot of online rule-explainer videos that you will find helpful. Plus, many of these games have accompanying applications.
A game can be enjoyed by a lone player. However, when more than one player is involved, the game must be able to engage all the players. This interaction can be in the form of competition, cooperation, trading, or building.
Also, if it is a game that admits many players, it should not eliminate players early on such that they are forced to wait for a long time for everyone else to finish that round. This can quench their desire for going on with playing.
3. High Replay Value
The games with the best reviews are the ones that players could come back, again and again, to play without getting tired with the familiar scenario. These games were found to be so engaging that people did not mind coming back for more.
4. Strategically Balanced
Playing a game that is entirely based on luck or chance can be somewhat tiring, because your best shot may not give you the result you desire.
It’s all right when you don’t perform so well and still win one round, but you tend to get cranky when you give your best and lose a game that your opponent didn’t do so well in.
The best games are the ones that strike a good balance between strategy and luck. The best games also have multiple strategies to get to win that players can learn, instead of just one dominant approach. It might take a great deal of time to master the strategies, but one strategy learned is worth the time.
5. Scalable player count
Playing a board game is more fun when other people are involved. The best games are the ones that remain engaging irrespective of the number of players in it. That means if 8 people play a particular game and enjoy it, 4 people should be able to enjoy it when they do not have 4 additional people to join them in playing.
Having looked at the benefits and our selection of the best adult board games, we believe you will no longer be clueless as to what to present as a relaxation game at the next family night, party, or game night. You can now make an informed choice regarding the board game that suits your particular class of friends.
All the recommended games mentioned will provide you with the satisfaction you need. Your team members will learn collaboration by playing some, your timid friends will learn the right way to be competitive, as they become strategical in their thinking, and you, of course, will not be left out.
Now that you know the best adult board games, if you want to know the best places to purchase them, click here.