Of course you love board games – you’re reading this article, after all – but wouldn’t it be great if board games could be a hobby you share with your whole family?
For many, the idea of “Family Game Night” summons less-than-ideal memories of endless games of Monopoly, or Candy Land showdowns that end in tears and flipped boards. But it doesn’t have to be that way – this list will take you through our top 5 recommendations for modern, easy, and (most importantly) FUN board games that will have everyone hooked before you know it.
Make some snacks, set down the TV remote for an evening, and pick up one of these games guaranteed to have everyone asking for a rematch!
Our Favorite Family Board Games
Describing itself as “A game for people who are into kittens and explosions” (and who isn’t?), Exploding Kittens is the ideal game for a family with a wide age range of players.
Quick to learn and fun to play, it will have the whole family hooked before you know it! The gameplay is a unique twist on Russian Roulette, where players go in turns drawing cards, each hoping to avoid the exploding kitten card that makes you lose the game.
It’s simple enough for the young ones to play without help, but addictive enough for the adults to enjoy as well. Pick it up right meow and watch it become a family favorite after only a couple plays – I’m not kitten you!
In the era of Covid-19, many of us have put our actual travel plans on hold. For the temporarily-grounded globetrotters, we recommend Ticket to Ride.
A game of strategy and advance planning, Ticket to Ride challenges players to claim various railroad routes and connect cities all over the world. With accurate maps featuring real cities and various versions of Ticket to Ride focused on almost any section of the world you can imagine (the United States, Africa, Europe, and Asia, just to name a few).
Your family won’t even realize they’re getting a geography lesson in disguise as they battle each other to secure routes and build the largest railroad empire. Your your ticket to family fun starts right here!
A little too on-the-nose? Some families may not be quite ready to play through this board game interpretation of a global pandemic, but for many others Pandemic has become a way to process and open up a conversation around the historic events we’re living through.
It challenges the players to work together, using their various roles and specializations to contain, research, and eventually cure various illnesses before they spread beyond control.
A perfect mix of strategy and teamwork, this is one of those few wonderful games that doesn’t pit players against each other, but rather sets the players cooperatively against the problem. You can grab Pandemic right here – no masks or hand sanitizer required! And once you get addicted to the base game, check out all the best Pandemic expansions here.
You might be under the mistaken impression that playing board games as a family means you have to carve out hours of time from your already-busy schedule.
But fear not; Blokus is the game that’s quick to learn, and takes less than 30 minutes to play! Each player attempts to fit as many of their Tetris-like pieces on the board, while also strategically blocking their opponents from doing the same.
Fast moving and challenging, this game boasts that it has only “One Rule, Endless Possibilities!” Put dinner in the oven, and knock out a round of Blokus with the family while you wait – just be warned, one round might not be enough
For large families, it can be difficult to find games that allow everyone to play together at once. Thankfully, we have Codenames, which can be played with as few as 4 or as many as…well, as many as you like!
The game divides your group into two teams, each with a Spymaster who is responsible for giving the others clues to identify the Codenames of your team’s Secret Agents via word association.
There are also a ton of awesome Codenames versions listed here from Harry Potter to Star Wars and everything in between!
Codenames is an excellent game that encourages you to think outside the box and get everyone else thinking creatively to make connections they might not have made before. I spy a game that’s sure to be a hit with families of all sizes!
The family that plays together, stays together!
Hopefully, this list has inspired you to put together your own board game night with some of the many amazing, family-friendly board games available out there. Don’t settle for another repetitive game of Chutes and Ladders, or an agonizing plod through that out-of-date Trivial Pursuit with the dusty box – does anyone actually intentionally buy that game, or does it just magically appear in the back of cabinets? Instead, grab one of these, and introduce your loved ones to the magic of board games with a game they’ll ask to play over and over again!