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What are the best adult board games?

Whether you simply want to get your mind off things or find a fun activity to do with loved ones, board games are an excellent option. Not only can they keep you entertained for hours, but they will challenge your mind and improve your critical thinking skills. 

Given that a few thousand new board games are released each year, choosing one that’s right for you can be daunting. We’ve rounded up our top picks of the best adult board games, including classics like Cards Against Humanity, to make it easier to find the best options for you.

What to know before you buy an adult board game

Every board game provides a different experience, but certain general elements make a game fun and interesting no matter what its rules are. Here are some key features you’ll find in the best games.  

  • Clear objective: The game’s goal should be simple enough to state in a few words. Examples include: checkmate the other king, make the other players file for bankruptcy, be the first to reach the Candy Castle.
  • Easy to learn: Complicated rules are a turnoff and give the most experienced player an edge. For a game to be enjoyable, it should not take more than a round or two to understand how it works, and it should give everyone an equal chance of winning. 
  • Right playing time: A reasonable playing time depends on your group and how long they want to play. A small group that wants to focus on a game during their time together will find a game lasting 60-90 minutes ideal. For a bigger group, games that can be played in 30 minutes or less work well. 
  • Good balance of skill and luck: No game is fun if the best player always wins, or a hack gives a player an unfair advantage. A good game should have an element of luck involved so that even a novice has a fair shot at winning. 
  • Good pace: A game can get boring quickly if players sit around waiting for their turn to roll the dice. The best games move at a pace that’s fast enough to keep all players engaged at all times. 
  • Replay-ability: You know that you have a good game when you wouldn’t mind playing it over and over again. A good game has certain variables that get you and other players hooked and prolong the fun. 

What to look for in a quality adult board game

The main qualities that make a board game fun go beyond the inner workings listed above. You can take your board game experience to the next level when you consider the details. Keep these features in mind to find games that suit your preferences and abilities.

  • Theme: Games with specific themes appeal to a smaller audience, but that appeal will be more intense. If you’re a massive fan of Harry Potter or Game of Thrones, games that feature those characters, catchphrases and trivia will be more fun than something with broader appeal.  
  • Craftsmanship: A well-designed game made with durable materials and cleverly crafted game pieces elevate the player’s experience. Games with designs that use thin, punch-out cards won’t last for very long. 
  • Number of players: Different board games accommodate different numbers of players. Whether you’re looking for a fun board game for parties or two players, you will find that certain games are more suitable for your party’s number.  
  • Player aides: Learning aids are usually an add-on to board games, but when they are included, they are useful, especially to new players. Small, convenient reminders like “Place in discard pile after use” can make the game flow more smoothly.  

How much you can expect to spend on adult board games

The prices of board games range from $10-$50 and up. Mass-produced, card-based games with minimal accessories generally go for $10-$25. As you move into the higher price range, the games will come with more parts and pieces, including intricate figurines and 3D collectible items.

7 benefits of playing board games

  • Playing board games reduces screen time.
  • Playing board games brings family and friends closer together and strengthens relationships.
  • Playing games boost brain function and cognitive skills.
  • Playing board games reduces stress and lowers your blood pressure
  • Playing board games improves your attention and focus.
  • Playing games speeds up your reflexes.
  • Playing games strengthens your immune system. 

Adult board games FAQ

I have very specific preferences. Will I be able to find a game for me?

A. Absolutely. With hundreds of new board games popping up in the market, you can be sure that there will be a niche game that will suit your tastes. Whether you’re a fan of Disney or Downton Abbey, there’s a game for you.

I would like to schedule time for a game session. How long do board games usually last?

A. The length of the gaming session depends on the type of game you’re playing, how many players there are and how many rounds you’ll play in a session. The good news is you have full control of how long you play.

I would like to enjoy games during my alone time. Are there any games made for solo players?

A. Yes! There are many board game types and genres that are designed for one or more players. You can take your pick of games that range from logic games, such as puzzles, to board games that rely on strategy.   

Do board games have ratings like movies and video games?

A. Board games are categorized by age-appropriate levels based on two factors: cognitive skill level needed to enjoy the games fully and the choking hazards of small game pieces. For instance, the mystery game board Clue specifies on its box that it’s for ages 8 and up. 

What’s the best adult board game to buy?

Top adult board game

Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity

What you need to know: This top-rated board game is one of the best on the market. It’s an enjoyable game for those who love twisted humor.

What you’ll love: The box comes with 100 black cards that have fill-in-the-blank spaces for topics. These are accompanied by a set of 500 white cards that have crass and morbid messages to match the fill-in-the-blank black card.

What you should consider: Some customers wish the game came with more cards, but this issue has been resolved with the release of expanded decks for additional purchase.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top adult board game for the money

Codenames - Czech Games

Codenames – Czech Games

What you need to know: A fun and challenging word game best suited for teams looking for an intense game session.

What you’ll love: Players don’t need a sophisticated vocabulary to play this simple word game. The box set comes with 200 double-sided word cards for infinite replayability. The game is affordable and works well for big groups and parties.

What you should consider: Younger players might find it hard to come up with clues, making it harder for them to win.

Where to buy: Sold by Target

Worth checking out

What Do You Meme?

What Do You Meme?

What you need to know: This party game is sure to make everyone have a good laugh with its meme-centered theme.

What you’ll love: The game comes with 75 photo cards of well-known and current memes. With 360 caption cards to match the meme photos, users will find it easy to make custom themes with each round.

What you should consider: Some players complain that it can get boring after a couple of playing rounds because of the low card number.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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