9+ Best Party Games Ranked [Updated 2021]

Party games are a great way to enjoy time with a larger group of people. Essential to party games is social interaction. In general players participate all the time; most party games do not have distinct turns for each player, or when they do, the turns are quite short and still enjoyable for the other players. Party games usually don’t have a fixed number of players, but accommodate for a larger group of people (4+ people). A good party game resembles the spirit of a party: easy to join for new players, does not take too long, is not overly complicated, and involves a lot of enjoyable social interaction.

We really enjoy party games. Because of the easy-going character and lack of long-term commitment of most party games, they are great ways to spend your time. So here is our list of the six best party games.

Codenames Pictures XXL is our pick for the best party game to play with big groups. It’s also our favorite Codenames version

Codenames Pictures works just like Codenames in that one player gives clues to point their team mates to the correct target cards. But, the difference is that the cards contain pictures instead of words. This is actually a huge improvement, because a picture says more than a thousand words, and thus conjures up many more associations. And for an association game like Codenames, the more associations the better.

Furthermore, pictures are better for a party game, because there might be young children at the party that don’t know all the words yet, or old people that find it hard to read them. And for the old people, and big groups in general, it’s nice to get this XXL version of Codenames Pictures, which has much bigger cards.

Finally, what makes this such a great party game is that people can just join in as guessers for a few minutes, and then leave again to help make the table or what have you. So everyone at the party can join in for as long as they want to.

So Codenames Pictures XXL has everything you could want from a party game: it’s short, fun, low barrier of entry, easy and accommodating to a wide target audience. That’s why it’s our favorite party game!

Exploding Kittensis the simplest party game in this list. It’s not unlike simple card games that you could play with a deck of cards, but it looks a little nicer and easier to understand due to the graphics.

This is a great party game, especially for things like Christmas parties, where a lot of children and families show up. They can play together, or with adults as well, because the game is so simple.

Even though Exploding Kittens is simple, it’s still a chill and fun party game. It’s a shared activity and sometimes people panic a little when they draw an exploding kitten, which is funny.  So this is a good game to pick up when you’re looking for something light.

Cards Against Humanity might be the most popular party game for adults right now. It prompts players to be funny and sometimes outrageous to make each other laugh. The laughter is why people love this party game.

Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of this party game. I think it’s because I don’t drink, and my friends like to drink a little much while they play this. So I usually enjoy the first game or two, but after that they get to a level of outrageous that I can’t quite follow soberly. But, they seem to be having the time of their lives, so I can’t say this isn’t a great party game.

Chameleon is our favorite one word clue giving party game, and the simplest hidden role party game.

In our article on the best social deduction games we already dubbed it the new gold standard for simple hidden role and clue giving games. Players give one word clues about the word they all know, and try to find the Chameleon who doesn’t know the word. Chameleon is similar to Spyfall, but it’s much quicker to set up and explain.

Chameleon is fantastic for a small party of 3 to 8 players. It even won the title of ‘Best part game’ at the UK board games expo. So if you’re having a few friends over, delight them by putting Chameleon on the table.

Spontuneous is the best song based party game ever. (If you’ve seen Pitch Perfect and love the riff off, this is the best party game for you!)

In Spontuneous, every player writes down trigger words. Then, you reveal your trigger word, and the other players have to sing at least 5 words of a song containing that word, within the timer. The first player to do that gets points.

Of course, you can play this game competitively and write down ridiculously hard trigger words. But, we enjoy this game more if we play it as a light party game and we just write down moderately difficult trigger words, that people can still sing a song with. After all, it’s the shared singing that makes Spontuneous such a great party game experience.

We realize that some people might be thinking that it’s not hard to see how you could make a bootleg version of this game yourself without buying it. We always try to endorse the game publishers, so we’ll offer a reason not to do that. That’s that, a real box and dedicated game components create a stronger shared experience than normal pen and paper do, and it creates a sharper boundary between in game and out of game. This can be especially helpful for children who might be shy to sing or distracted if it isn’t clear that you’re playing a game.

Jackbox.tv isn’t a traditional party board game, it’s actually an app that contains many party games. You play it on a screen and everyone interacts with it using their phone.

The app contains many party games, so I’ll just name a few fun ones.

You have Drawful, in which each player is given a word to draw, and then the other peoples need to later guess which word it was.

And there’s a hidden identity alien game, in which everyone answers questions but the aliens get a slightly different question, so their answers are slightly weird. The players then all need to find out who the aliens are, so the aliens need to defend their weird answers by claiming that they actually make sense.

And there’s many more games, all sold in bundles. Typically, I’d say you get about 5 games for a price that might only get you one physical game, so Jackbox.tv is the best value party game package in this list.

Secret Hitler is a solid social deduction game, but of course the theme is the kicker. Set in 1933’s Germany, the fascists are trying to seize political power. It’s up to the liberals to stop them. If you want to make your friends out for Nazi, Fascist or Hitler, then this is the game for you.

We love social deduction games, and Secret Hitler is one of the more easy to join games. It’s quite easy to learn and also really fun for new players.

The game functions best with 8 players or less. Other than party games like Cards against Humanity, players really have to participate and be focussed on the game. This makes it a great game to play with a small(er) group.

30 Seconds is the best trivia party game for us. After all these years, we still play this quite a lot and it’s always a good time.

Of course, what makes this game great for parties is that on top of a trivia game it’s also a word association game. You have to give clues to your team mates without mentioning your target word specifically.

We like to play this game at parties because you learn what kind of interests the other people have. As you give clues, you’ll soon realize that someone doesn’t know anything about sports, but is deep into movies. So this helps you to talk to new people after the game.

So 30 Seconds shines in its simplicity, and its ability to help you make new friends. That’s why it’s still a great party game.

Escape Room In A Box is not a game to just throw in on a party on a whim. No, Escape Room In A Box is a game that you invite people over for. This game is the party.

If you’ve ever been to an escape room, you know what this game is about. You solve puzzles, you get the clues, you find the parts, you put them together, no no the other way around, that’s the code to open the safe! It’s puzzling excitement under time pressure with your friends as a group.

Escape room games make for great party games because the pull everyone together. They all need to collaborate, talk and interact with each other to overcome the challenge. So what we like to do is invite people over to play an escape room game that completely breaks all the ice, and then have drinks and talk the game through afterwards. This makes for fun small party nights.

Somewhere else we wrote extensively why Escape Room In A Box is our favorite escape room game. But basically, it’s just the newest and best edition, with the most creative puzzles and challenges, and the best physical components. So it makes for a fantastically immersive experience. Bring it to your next party!

Rounding Up

We hope our ranking helps you pick the best party board game for you.

If you still have further questions, please send them to us through our contact form. We’re happy to help. We also periodically review and update our posts, so any questions you ask may end up in future versions of our ranking. This way, we can help future readers decide which party game is the best for them even better 🙂