Ready to entertain yourself without digital devices? We’ve rounded up the best board games for engaging and problem-solving playtime.

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Best Overall

Catan

Individual brainstorming, a challenging objective, and creative play make Catan our top choice for board game entertainment.

Best Bang for Your Buck

Monopoly

For a budget-friendly game pick, Monopoly is only $15 and encourages players to focus on their finance skills to become “real estate gurus.”

Best for Large Parties

Taboo

Get your squad together to play Taboo, a board game that encourages cooperation to correctly identify words under timed intervals.

Unplugging from our digital lives is super necessary at times, considering we’re always hooked on our computers, smartphones, and devices whenever we have free time. If you’re planning a small, mid-size, or large event with coworkers, friends, or family, why not take the old-school approach and play some board games? 

While board games like Clue and Trouble remain popular choices, they aren’t the only ones available for your entertainment needs. Over the years, board games have evolved from classic to more complex, as genres like mystery, sci-fi, and history continue to pop up in global culture. 

Plus, some board games even get your creative juices flowing, so you’ll have to strategically plan moves and use puzzle-solving capabilities to win. Regardless of what everyone wants to play, consider a few things: 

Number of players: How many people will participate in your epic game night? Take attendance before you set up a board game. If you have up to four people coming over, choose a game that’s good for a small group. On the other hand, if you’re hosting four to eight people, buy a game that can accomodate your large party. 

Skill level: Board games should be a little challenging, but not feel like rocket science for participants. Observe the skill level of everyone who wants to play. If you’re playing with younger kids, opt for a game that’s more colorful, encourages basic observation skills, and isn’t too hard for them to understand. For adults and teens, there’s more room for challenging objectives and pop culture references. 

Ease of use: Board games are fun, but some require a lengthy setup process. Before committing to a game, factor in how long it will take to get everyone settled and explain instructions. You’ll want to keep setup to a maximum of 10 minutes, or else you’ll miss out on playtime. 

Play experience: History buff? Word aficionado? Or, obsessed with crime investigations? There’s a board game for that. Determine what type of board games you like to play. Switch things up if you’ve been stuck with the same options, plus you can challenge yourself to think outside-of-the-box for a game that involves cognitive exercises or spatial relations. 

Whether you prefer Catan or Life, there’s a board game out there that will keep you engaged and energized. Here are the seven best board games to play with your entire crew. 


Players have control over their decisions and influence in the game • Taps into problem-solving skills to build up property and avoid hardships • Great for big and small groups

Not good for kids under 10 • Might require extra explanation for new players

Barter, negotiate, and claim the most island territory with Catan, our top board game pick for independent problem-solving skills and independent critical thinking.

1. Catan

Individual brainstorming, a challenging objective, and creative play make Catan our top choice for board game entertainment.

  • Dimensions:
    11.6 x 9.5 x 3 inches
  • Weight:
    2 pounds
  • Skill level:
    10 years and up
  • Players:
    3 to 4 players
  • What comes in the box:
    1 game board, 19 hexagonal terrain tiles, 6 coastal frame pieces, 9 extra harbor pieces, 20 wooden settlements, 16 wooden cities, 60 wooden roads, 95 resource cards, 25 development cards, 4 building costs cards, 2 special bonus cards, 18 number tokens, 2 six-sided dice, 1 wooden robber pawn, an almanac, and simple rules
Creative freedom, an engaging objective, and replay value make our top pick for a an epic board game night. 
In Catan, players have to establish settlements in Catan Island. It’s a race to claim ownership on the island, because players will have to tap their bartering skills, resource accumulation skills, and problem-solving skills to build homes, roads, and more to navigate obstacles. 
Players will make their own decisions to win the game and rule most of Catan Island’s development. The best part? You have 60 minutes or less to make the magic happen. The game accommodates three to four players, but people can double up on teams if necessary. 
There is a warranty included with this game, and you’ll have to contact Catan Studios to see what’s covered when it comes to defects in materials or workmanship. 
, an Amazon reviewer, says: 

“Beware! Don’t try this unless you plan on getting addicted. Your life will forever be altered. You’ll find yourself begging strangers to come over to play. Watching YouTube videos to improve your game, bribing your children. Your spouse will become a tricky, sneaky person you hardly recognize. While you will plot ways to take over.Side effects include: less TV watching, more under the table kicking, spontaneous maniacal laughter, and snacking while plotting the demise of your friends and family. Best fun you’ve had in hours!”

And , another Amazon customer, writes:

“I love this game and I haven’t played since college. I am having some guys over this weekend and I decided to order this to setup. The box is more sturdy than most games now a days and it is packaged very well. You have to pop out all the land pieces and sort the houses and roads. There is a very descriptive guide book with a set of rules and an almanac for looking up specific information so you don’t have to sort through the rules. The game itself has a sort of civilization, turn-based strategy sort of feel to it. There is no direct fighting, but you gather resources to build your empire and trade with other people.” 


Great introduction of board games to children • Helps build spatial recognition skills

No game board included, you’ll have to use a sturdy surface • You need your own pad and pencil to keep score for the game

Qwirkle is a great board game choice for kids, because it helps them sharpen their color and shape recognition skills and provides portable playtime whenever they need it.

2. Qwirkle

  • Dimensions:
    10.5 x 10.5 x 2.7 inches
  • Weight:
    2.45 pounds
  • Skill level:
    Ages 6 and up
  • Players:
    Up to 4 players
  • What comes in the box:
    108 wooden Qwirkle tiles, a drawstring bag, and a rule book
Keeping kids entertained can be challenging, but is a board game that provides oodles of fun and helps them recognize shapes. 
With massive in-game choices, Qwirkle hits the sweet spot for little ones. They’ll have to build lines by matching tiles based on shape or color and score points for good combinations. There are 36 possible color-symbol combinations, so kids will love coming up with different plays to win the game. 
Unlike other board games, Qwirkle does not come with an actual board, but it can easily be played on a sturdy surface. The game also comes with a portable pouch, so families can bring it with them if they’re traveling to a relative’s house or vacation. 
MindWare, Qwirkle’s manufacturer, offers a 100-day happiness guarantee for the game. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, you can request to exchange the game or receive a full refund within 90 days of purchase. 
Amazon customer says: 

“This game is amazing. It has incredible replay value, can be played by children and adults alike (even in the same game), allows for strategy while also leaving the outcome slightly up to luck, and is just plain fun! Our playing style has already started to evolve. We definitely like the travel edition; the pieces are Scrabble-sized (consider repurposing a Scrabble board to keep your Qwirkle game neat!) and a convenient pouch is included. I think the only advantage of the regular sized one would be for those with impaired mobility in their hands or vision problems, as the larger pieces would be easier to see and handle.” 

And   another Amazon reviewer, writes:

“This is a wonderful game. It’s so fun to play with peers, but it’s also something approachable for younger kids who don’t yet fully grasp the sophistication. You can dilute the rules to play with a 6 year old very easily, but you can also play a super challenging game with folks your own age. I would love for them to make a version with natural wood tiles!”


Great for small groups • “Sweet revenge” concept provides hours of play • Can build up strategy to beat other opponents

Might get frustrating to be sent back to the starting point

“Sweet revenge” never felt so good with Sorry, an exciting board game where players can interfere with each other’s journeys to the finish line.

3. Sorry!

  • Dimensions:
    1.6 x 15.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Weight:
    1.6 pounds
  • Skill level:
    Ages 6 and Up
  • Players:
    2 to 4 players
  • Warranty:
    None
  • What comes in the box:
    1 gameboard, 12 Sorry! pawns, 2 power-up tokens, and 44 cards
Having a small group over? , a board game created for two to four players, is an exciting, easy-to-play board game of “sweet revenge.” 
The purpose of this game is easy: draw cards to move game pieces around the board and be the first one to reach the final destination to win. The twist though is that other players can mess up each other’s progress by sending pawns back to the starting line. This will force players to start over again and rethink their comeback strategy to finish the game. 
an Amazon consumer, says: 

“We have two children who are slightly addicted to video games. So we have bought them nothing but board games lately and cut out video games. They absolutely love Sorry. They play this game each day when they get home and have gotten their homework done. They love it. I’m looking to get Aggrevation and Payday to add to the lot. We have Clue, Monopoly, and the original Game of Life. Sorry has been a great addition. Extremely satisfied with this game.” 

And , another Amazon reviewer, writes: 

“I really enjoy this game when playing with young kids, however, that’s about the extent of it. Too much of the game depends on raw luck and not enough of it depends upon skill or strategy.
It’s a fun party game, though, and it’s one you can talk and yell through and not have to think too hard about. I do recommend it for family fun, it’s a decent game.”


Great for big groups • Encourages teamwork to guess words • Gives you the opportunity to get creative with more than 400 card options

Not great for small groups • Might be hard to guess words depending on skill level

Invite your squad over to play Taboo, the unpredictable board game that forces you to work together to guess words and stay ahead of the pack to avoid losing turns.

4. Taboo

Get your squad together to play Taboo, a board game that encourages cooperation to correctly identify words under timed intervals.

  • Dimensions:
    2.5 x 7.9 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight:
    1 pound
  • Skill level:
    Ages 13 and up
  • Players:
    4 or more players
  • What comes in the box:
    450 cards, a buzzer, a timer, and instructions
Large parties require the best entertainment option, so why not delight your guests with , a board game that’s hilarious and encourages team-building skills to win. 
Unlike other board games, Taboo is very unpredictable. Each team has to correctly determine the Guess word listed on game cards. If the describer speaks a forbidden word listed on the card when they’re trying to help them guess, they’ll get stopped by an electronic buzzer and lose their turn. Teams keep the cards that they guessed correctly and the team that has the most cards wins the game. Taboo comes with 450 cards, so your squad can play multiple rounds without receiving the same deck each time. 
Hasbro doesn’t have a warranty for Taboo, but this fun game makes a good excuse for everyone to stop scrolling on Instagram and work together to guess words. 
Amazon customer says: 

“Always fun to play. Has been a hit with different groups of people, including most recently (somewhat to my surprise) my mom and sister who love Scrabble but have never liked any of the popular party board games. I almost took off a star because this latest version of the game seems significantly easier than older editions – our teams of two people almost always figured out the mystery word, whereas in the past a lot of words went unguessed. Despite this, everyone had a good time and wanted to play again which is what counts most.”

And , another Amazon reviewer, says:

“I had played this about 10 years ago at a party after everyone had a few cocktails and remembered how fun it was. I ordered it for when friends are over and my husband read the instructions and said “I’m going to be awful at this and it doesn’t look like any fun”. I kept assuring him he was wrong. Lo and behold, when people came over and we played it he had a blast. The fun part is in the mistakes you make when playing it’s in my opinion. Order it and you’ll see what I mean. And have some wine.”


Hones in on math skills • Allows players to rack up property and cash to rule the board • Great for big and small groups • Affordable price

Might get somewhat complicated for younger players • Set up takes longer than other board games

At only $15, Monopoly is a great budget-friendly board game that leverages math skills and allows players to increase properties and own mega real estate empires.

5. Monopoly

For a budget-friendly game pick, Monopoly is only $15 and encourages players to focus on their finance skills to become “real estate gurus.”

  • Dimensions:
    1.6 x 15.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight:
    1 pound
  • Skill level:
    Ages 8 and up
  • Players:
    Up to 8 players
  • What comes in the box:
    1 game board, 8 tokens, 28 Title Deed Cards, 16 Chance Cards, 16 Community Chest Cards, 32 houses, 12 hotels, 2 dice, money pack, and a game guide
With a fun financial theme, an interactive board, and an affordable price, makes the cut for a budget-friendly board game. At only $15, Monopoly packs in all the gaming perks, minus the fact that you can’t actually rack up all of the cool properties in real life. 
In the game, players start off with a set amount of cash and as they move on the Monopoly board, they can buy, sell, and work their way to real estate heaven. The fun part is that you can build hotels and houses on your properties and make other players pay up if they land on your area. Pro tip: Collect $200 when you Pass Go and avoid Go to Jail! so you don’t miss a turn. 
You won’t receive a warranty with this game, but for less than $20, you’ll have a ball working your way up the “real estate” ladder.  
, an Amazon reviewer, says: 

“So, my kiddo wanted this as his “Santa gift” and his wish was granted. It is Monopoly, not much has changed since I played on my mom’s board 25 years ago. Boardwalk is still Boardwalk, Chance is still the ruler of this game, and $200 (sorry M-with-lines-through-it-200) is still there when you pass go, but… you get a dinosaur, penguin, cat, and rubber ducky along with the classic Scotty dog, battleship, race car, and top hat.” 

And , another Amazon customer, writes:

“Childhood memories yeaaa! Perfect condition. I love the T-rex and duck. Great new editions. The T-rex motivated my nephew to try the game – he loves it! Yeaaaa! No devices, it was like the ‘80s childhood that I enjoyed….love this game, hidden way to teach the little ones, connects family and friends, great fun and laughs!”


Family-friendly play for all skill levels • In-game choices allow players to determine “life” path • You can be another professional, own a cool home, and make #travelgoals happen

You’ll have to double up on teams if there are more people playing

Family quality time just got easier with The Game of Life, a board game that’s appealing to all skill levels and encourages players to choose careers, a home, and lifestyle of their choice.

6. The Game of Life

  • Dimensions:
    2.2 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight:
    1 pound
  • Skill level:
    Ages 8 and up
  • Players:
    2 to 4 players
  • What comes in the box:
    A game board with spinner, 5 Spin to Win tokens, 4 cars, 24 people pegs, 12 pet pegs, 100 cards, a money pack, and a game guide
For families that need a night of fun, is a great board game that encourages multiplayer fun and allows participants to choose their path from career to retirement. 
Just like real life, the game is filled with plot-twists. Stops on the board allow players to go to school, find their dream job, build a family, and take exotic trips while earning money. Along the way, there are some not-pleasant surprises though, including lavish buys and accident debt. The game also offers a Spin to Win option, where you place numbers on a wheel and can win double the amount or collect cash from other players.  
Amazon reviewer says: 

“My granddaughter is nine and she loves this Life game….I recommend this game for the whole family to play!! Winter in Pennsylvania is freezing so games help break up the kids days….!! i grew up on this game and I am so glad to see one can buy it today!”

And , another Amazon reviewer, writes:

“My granddaughter asked for the the for Christmas and I gladly bought a board game for her to play with family and friends and watch the fun all has playing a game together not alone on phones or tablets. Bring back family game nights.”


Has multiple scenarios for thrilling play • You’ll never play the same round twice • Encourages strategic thinking to survive a creepy situation

Might not be fun for those that prefer basic board games • Not good for kids under the age of 12

If you’re over boring board games, Betrayal At House On The Hill – 2nd Edition gives you a suspenseful experience filled with betrayal, traps, and heightened thinking to survive a creepy AF journey through a haunted residence.

7. Betrayal At House On The Hill – 2nd Edition

  • Dimensions:
    10.5 x 3.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight:
    6.33 pounds
  • Skill level:
    Ages 12 and up
  • Players:
    3 to 6 players
  • What comes in the box:
    A game board, tiles, game pieces, dice, and instructions
Halloween isn’t the only time to get creeped out, and is the ultimate horror-themed board game for strategic thinking. 
Suspense and problem-solving come together for this board game, which involves players “exploring” a haunted house filled with obstacles, traps, and of course spooky spirits. You won’t be working together though. In the game, mysterious occurrences lead one player to turn on all the others, prompting the other players to figure out how to survive this eerie trip. It’s an unpredictable course that turns horror into a fun challenge. 
Amazon reviewer , says:

“My family is pretty much casual gamers- although we enjoy games like Settlers and Pandemic, we just don’t seem to have the time or endurance to learn longer, more complex games. Being a big horror fan, I’ve been wanting to get this for years, but put it off for that reason. This year, I broke down and got it, and we’ve been loving it. It’s really not that hard, and is a lot of fun. My 11-year-old daughter can’t get enough of it, and takes the betrayal very seriously.”

And , another Amazon customer, writes:

“We love this game. We’ve played it so many times, and every time is different. There are still so many haunts that we haven’t experienced yet. the replay value of this game is outstanding. Very fun to get spooked out with friends on game night. The rules are not too complicated, so it’s easy for those who are not as familiar with these types of games to get into. The interesting scenarios and unfolding story keeps everyone attentive.”

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