Playtime with friends is always a blast and it's even better when you can have some fun while also improving your skills.
It's time to break out the games and get your friends, family, or co-workers together for a fun night of laughs. Check out our picks of best board games for adults that you can play wherever, and whenever, and with whoever.
Our Top Picks For Adult Board Games
- Overall best board game: Betrayal at House on the Hill
- Best adult board game for large groups: One Night Ultimate Werewolf
- Best strategy board games: Catan: Trade, Build, Settle
- Best board games for parties: Adult Loaded Questions
- Best mystery board game: Clue Game
- Best board game for value: Hedbanz Adulting
- Best complex adult board game: Terraforming Mars
- Best drinking board game: Drink-a-palooza
- Best Board Game for Millenials: The Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis
- Best card game: Joking Hazard
Review Of The Best Board Games For Adults From Our Research
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Betrayal at House on the Hill is an exciting game with a dungeon crawling theme. During this adventure, you and up to 5 friends explore a mysterious haunted mansion of tricks and traps. You do not know what rooms will be explored so it's like one good scare after another!
Betrayal at House on the Hill can be enjoyed by anyone who knows how to read and follow instructions because there are no intricate game mechanics that require skill with a particular type of game or strategy.
The rules are simpler than most games but the overall premise of this game is incredibly fun to play with friends and family, which makes it a great option for frequent players, anyone who wants to get their feet wet with board games or hasn't played board games in a while.
- Playtime is shorter than other board games.
- Gameplay is both unpredictable and exciting.
- It's easy to learn the core mechanics of the game
- It also offers a variety of scenarios so you never play the same game twice!
- The game will be over before you know it!
- Some of the more challenging rooms can cause a lot of stress but also a lot of fun if you make it out alive.
- If too many players are eliminated in any one room, there is almost no chance that your team will survive the rest of the house.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a very unique social game that is great for large groups of players. The basic premise of the game is to have your team guess who are the werewolves amongst you while also keeping your identity hidden until the end.
You will be assigned a role and given a secret card that you must keep hidden from everyone else at all times.
If you have the One Night Ultimate Werewolf app (highly recommended), your phone will call each of the roles and tell them to ‘wake up’ (open their eyes) and perform their action.
- Great for large groups of all ages.
- Comes with a free app
- The game is really unique and fun!
- The simple yet effective graphics add to the tension and make it enjoyable to watch.
- The game can be a bit frustrating if you are on the losing team!
Catan: Trade, Build, Settle
Catan is a classic game of strategy that you can play with any age, it's just that some people take a little longer to learn the rules than others.
This game requires skill with both numbers and strategy while also relying on chance. It is very similar to monopoly in that there are both good and bad spaces on the board, however, there's more strategy involved than in monopoly.
- Great for family game night!
- The graphics are simple and easy on the eyes.
- Durable pieces that can be used over and over again.
- You may think other players are cheating . . . but they aren't! (at least intentionally)
Adult Loaded Questions
This game is a perfect party game for adults or any age group, it's just that some of the questions are obviously geared towards adult themes.
The questions are funnier than the other games and a lot of fun. The gameplay is extremely quick and it's good if you have people with short attention spans or for when you really don't want to pay too much attention to what you're doing.
- Great for a diverse group of people
- The cards are small and easy to handle.
- Some questions may be too offensive or personal for some players . . . but they're all optional! (so you can pick out the ones you don't want to answer)
This is a classic game that has been around for decades. If you are looking for a good mystery-based board game, then this is for you!
The gameplay itself can go on for hours, so it better be ready to play if you purchase it. It's also fun and easy to get together with friends for a night of puzzles and mystery.
- Very funny because the gameplay can be a little ridiculous at times.
- You have to use strategy and reasoning for this game to win, with no chance or luck involved.
- Can get a bit frustrating if you are on the losing team! (or if your friend is).
The game is a spinoff of the original line of Hedbanz. In the game, one person is "it." They wear a silly hat and they draw either an adjective card or a noun card at the beginning of each round.
Next, players will answer questions based on what they are wearing that relate to the two words. The questions can be anything from "how do you feel?" to "what's your favorite restaurant?"
- The cards are of high quality and the pieces stay together well.
- This game is hilarious to play with an adult group because most questions can be answered in various risqué ways.
- Some of the questions are a bit confusing, especially for younger players.
This game is complex, yet fun, even though it has a lot going on. In the game, you are responsible for terraforming Mars and transforming it from a barren wasteland into a lush world teeming with life and resources.
The game comes with an impressive amount of components, tiles, tokens, buildings, and more.
- The game is really well designed and the pieces fit together perfectly to create a fun atmosphere.
- You have a lot of choices in terms of your strategy, which means you'll want to play it several times before you manage to win.
- It takes a long time for all 12 players to complete their turns because there's so much going on at once.
- Needless to say, it's quite complex.
This is a great drinking game that you can play with up to 16 players. In the game, players are divided into two teams where they take turns drawing cards and performing challenges.
The cards are all filled with different challenges like downing specific amounts of drinks and performing silly acts for others to see. As long as you're having fun, that's all that matters.
- It's a really fun and easy way to get drunk without feeling like you're drinking too much.
- All the cards are unique, meaning there are many different ways to play through them.
- The game only works if you have enough alcohol for every player who will be participating in it.
The Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis
This game is themed after a popular television show and although it was designed to appeal to millennials, older people will still enjoy the game. In the game, you can take part in real-life scenarios like going out with friends, buying a house or apartment, and starting a family.
- There are many different ways to play the game, which means you won't be bored after just a few turns.
- It's really well designed and it does a good job of sticking with its theme throughout.
- It only has two levels of difficulty, so it can be too easy for some adults.
This is a party card game that you can play with up to eight people.
In the game, players take turns drawing cards and performing wacky acts or bringing other players into "danger" zones from which they must escape before they are eliminated via losing all their health. You can win by collecting three different types of cards, which makes it a fairly deep game.
- It's different every time you play, so it never gets boring.
- The game has a lot of replay value if you have the right players, and it's one of those games that even adults who don't normally like playing games will be willing to try.
- It takes around 30 minutes to not only learn but play, so it's not ideal for adults who don't have a lot of time to play.
Buyer's Guide For Adult Board Games
Finding the right board game for adults can be quite daunting, especially if you don't have any idea where to start.
While there are in fact multiple ways of going about it - you could either look for specific genres or use other people's opinions - here's a simple guide on how to go about choosing a board game for any occasion.
Number of Players
One of the most important things to consider when buying board games for adults is the number of players. Every game on this list can support a varying amount of players, with some games being best played alone and some supporting as many as eight or more people.
However, even if you plan on playing by yourself, it's always good to double-check the number of players that the game supports. This is because some games are best played with as few playable characters as possible, and in some cases, you may not want to play alone at all.
Another important factor in choosing a board game for adults is its genre. The best way to start is to first and foremost decide on the kind or types of game you would like to try out. The rest will follow from there.
If you are buying a board game to be played, at an event, then it must be theme-appropriate. If you are playing a party game, choose it with the theme of your event.
If your friend's birthday is next month or you're having a pre-wedding celebration, then an appropriate board game will add some fun and activity to your get-together.
The setup time of a game is also very important when buying board games for adults. Some games may need to be read through first before they are played which will surely take up some time, so you'll have to factor in that as well.
However, if you want a quick and fun game, you should choose a game that can be set up quickly and without much hassle.
For some games, the difficulty is subjective. This means that it all depends on how well you play. But in other cases, you may have to consider that the game might be hard for a lot of people to understand or challenging if they're new to such board games.
In this case, choosing an easy game would be best as beginners will surely get confused and frustrated if they have to deal with a complex game.
Standalone or expansion game
Finally, you must also consider whether the game is a standalone or an expansion game. Expansion games are not as fun because there is no ending to them.
Also, these kinds of board games can be quite complicated and even frustrating at times. Standalone games usually have a set finish which will enable players to stop playing when they feel that their exploring their options and have enough of the game.
FAQs For Adult Board Games
What are fun board games for adults?
Fun board games for adults are those that you can play with everyone in the family and friends. They usually have simple rules to follow and incorporate a theme wherein players can immerse themselves as they act out the different roles of characters in the game.
Some of the most popular board games that fall into this category include Betrayal at House on the Hill, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Adult Loaded Question, Clue Game, Codenames, and Drink-a-palooza.
Should I buy standalone/base edition or expansion/upgrade kits?
This all depends on your budget. The base edition is of course cheaper since it comes as a single package.
However, it can be quite limiting and you may not be able to experience the full potential of the game because you're missing out on other components or additions that were launched months later.
Expansion kits are also great but they can be quite expensive and there's no end to them as they keep on coming. In the long run, you may spend a lot more money if you buy expansion kits compared to purchasing the base edition of the game.
Could you buy 2 board games and combine them to add more players?
Yes, you could. Also, if the games are similar in nature, then you can combine them and add more players. For example, you could have Settlers of Catan combined with Ticket to Ride. This way, there is a huge variety of board games for adults to choose from!
Where can I get rules for my board game?
Many board games now come with a rule book that you can access online or download as an app. So do not worry about this at all!
What are the top board games?
The top board games in no particular order are Betrayal at House on the Hill, Splendor, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Catan: Trade, Build, Settle, Adult Loaded Questions, Clue Game, Days of Wonder Ticket to Ride, Hedbanz Adulting, Codenames, Risk and Pandemic.
What are the best family board games of all time?
This is pretty much a personal thing because some family board games may be great for one, but fail to impress another. For this reason, I've listed here the top 5 best family board games of all time: Risk, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, Catan, and Ticket to Ride.
What board games should everyone have?
Everyone should own at least one of the following board games: Risk, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, and Ticket to Ride. These are board games that you can play with everyone in your family because they have simple rules and do not take much time to learn. Also, these games offer great replay value which means you could keep on playing them again and again.
How long does it take to learn how to play a board game?
It depends on the complexity of the board game. Some games require more learning time than others because there are many things that you need to keep in mind before actually starting.
Others may be quite simple when it comes to how long it takes to learn how to play them. So if you're looking for a good board game for adults then choose one that's simple and does not take too much time to figure out.
How long do board games last?
It depends on the game and how well you play them. If you're playing with dice, then your game could potentially last for hours!
Whereas if you're playing modern board games like Codenames or Scrabble, then it would take much less time. This also means that some board games are better for parties while some are better for family game nights.
We have compiled a list of the best board games for adults to give you some ideas on what type of game is perfect for your next party or evening with friends.
From classics like Scrabble to more modern favorites like Betrayal at House on the Hill, we've got something that will entertain any group! Wherever your interests lie in terms of genre (adventure? strategy? trivia?) or event (birthday party? family gathering?), there's bound to be an excellent board game out there for you!
And if it gets too late at night and someone needs help sleeping after all that fun...try Wingspan. It might not be as exciting as Risk but it'll do the trick ;).