Remember when family game nights were a thing? Before all the gadgets came out and took us away from the wholesome bonding? Drop the tech and relive the nostalgia of those days for some good old fashioned fun with the best board games for adults.
There’s a broad range of games to choose from, so it’s a good idea to figure out what vibe you’re after exactly. Whether it’s collaborative or competitive with simple or in-depth mechanics, we’ve compiled a good selection of games to keep you entertained no matter the situation.
Sticking to some easy classics along with a few new variations, check out our top picks below.
Best Board Games
Game Duration: 30 Minutes
The dice game based on poker is easy for playing solo or in a big crowd. With a goal to roll certain number combinations over 13 rounds, it’s the perfect middle ground between having a punt and a regular board game without having to crack out the cards.
Getting stuck into a puzzle for hours is a fairly cathartic release and a great way to train your mind to focus on a single task. With so much variety, there’s something to suit everyone at any difficulty level. Some of our favourites include the world’s largest puzzle, this puzzle subscription service, and a torturous all-white puzzle.
Strategy: Carcassonne Or Risk
Duration: 30-45 minutes (Carcassonne) or 1-8 hours (Risk)
If you’re after some the best strategy board games to plan your next world domination, these options provide you with battlefields to takeover.
Carcassonne hands you the reigns to medieval lands as you expand and fight for territory from the ground up. Based on a real-life fort and town in Southern France, the unique tile system allows you to control thieves, knights, farmers, and monks to build your kingdom.
Risk takes a similar concept and expands it to a global scale. With over 42 territories across 6 continents to occupy, you can choose diplomacy or conflict to best suit your playing style. Taking control of an army to seed across the world, conquest is a slow task and can take a couple of hours to complete. So set aside a decent chunk of time and become the ultimate dictator.
Duration: 5-15 minutes
A tactile game perfect for testing your touch, Jenga is a stacking board game that requires players to delicately take out blocks from a tower of 54 and place them on top to build up higher as it progressively gets more unstable. A nice pairing socially with a couple of beers, showcase that delicate sporting prowess or complete lack of coordination.
Trivia: Trivial Pursuit or Cranium
Duration: 1-3 hours
Prove you’re a walking encyclopaedia with one of these knowledge-based board games. Trivial Pursuit is the go-to classic, the undeniable originator in general knowledge games with a shockingly simple concept divided up by question topics.
Cranium is conceptually similar but focused on a wider skillset, including sketching and acting out answers. A refreshing twist on the usual, this ensures that no matter your expertise there’s a chance to succeed.
Duration: 7+ minutes
An all time classic, UNO is a fun and affordable board game that’s gone through a couple of iterations over the years, including a minimalist UNO reinvention. Winners score over 500 points by working through a deck of specially created cards, going up against what your competitor holds – don’t forget to check out these official rules before playing.
Cards Against Humanity
Duration: 30-90 minutes
A fill-in-the-blank party game, Cards Against Humanity challenges you to use politically incorrect or risqué statements to complete a sentence by matching up cards. Sure to stir the pot in any setting, the game launched with a massive backing from Kickstarter in 2011. There are no rules to winning, just have fun and enjoy the ride.
Duration: 30 minutes
Pictionary is a word-guessing game that tests your artistic skills. Team up with someone who can best interpret your scribbles, and sketch out the object from a randomly drawn card for the other person to guess under time pressure. Winning teams will be the most in sync, with the mind-reading abilities of psychics. Losers will argue over the details of stick-figure drawings.
Duration: 30 minutes
A true throwback, Connect Four lets you drop coloured disks into a suspended grid to match up a selected colour. A solved game, make the right moves from the starting position and you’re guaranteed a ‘W’.
Chess & Checkers
You know what the deal is here, we shouldn’t have to explain chess and checkers too deeply. For such easily accessible games, they can get extremely tactical and difficult depending on the level of skill involved – study up and you’ll soon be playing like this fella.
Up the ante and add in a chess clock to really put the pressure on.
Duration: 20-30 minutes
Ever wanted to play Tetris IRL? Blokus is the answer. A strategy board game, the goal is to occupy as much of the board as possible with preset plastic squares of varying shapes. The more your coloured squares dominate, the more points you rack up.
Duration: 10 minutes
Another game that tests how shaky your hands are, the ding of the Operation alarm will forever haunt your nightmares. Carefully prod and poke to remove some organs without touching the sides of the open/alarmed “wounds”. While you’re playing, spare a thought for the emotional wounds of the original inventor who sold the idea for US$500 – it’s now turned into a $40 million franchise.
Duration: 50 minutes
Think you’re truly a word wizard? Scrabble is the classic word game that puts your vocabulary and placement skills to the test. Try and beat the 392 point single-word high score for ‘cazique’ (a type of bird) to prove your status as a walking dictionary. Or at least rack up enough words to get near 300 points. Practice on some Words With Friends online to keep sharp as well.
Duration: 10-60 minutes
Pay tribute to Knives Out and solve a murder mystery based in a British manor. Figure out who, where, and how the murder went down to win the game, playing with suspects like Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum. You’ll never trust your friends again.
Give your naval instinct a go with this strategy guessing game. Played on ruled grids or with more tangible pieces, the goal is to guess where the opposition has managed to hide their fleet. Forget the terrible movie they made with Rihanna, the satisfaction of destruction is way too enjoyable to pass up.
Length: 20-180 minutes
A tribute to capitalism and the London housing market, become Rich Uncle Pennybags (the official Monopoly mascot) himself and buy up as much property as you can. Before you know it, you’ll be running the show with hotels and the works whilst stacking colourful cash in one of the best board games of modern times.