The Best Family Games for Game Night

This is the ultimate list of captivating, fun, and mentally stimulating family games that will keep everyone looking forward to game-nights!

The Importance of Family Game Night

If you’re looking for inexpensive ways to spend time with family, establishing a family game night is an excellent start.

Way back in time (pre-iPhone years) board and card game were a popular way to entertain at parties, with friends or after dinner. Hands up for everyone who remembers Yahtzee and Monopoly tournaments!

And there’s a reason we enjoyed them, interactive games create stronger bonds within the participants (family/friends) and provoke lots of laughter. Even better, kids who play interactive board games develop strong motor skills, are more successful in problem-solving and benefit in academic performance, and that’s research!

Don’t know where to start? I’ve got you covered with over 30 games to appeal to all ages and interest. So clear off that dining room table and make room for lots of fun!

Classic Family Games

It’s only appropriate we start with the classics! You’ll recognize these from your younger years, and I promise they are still just as fun.

Monopoly

A household classic game in which kids and adults can purchase property, go to jail, arrest, and make all of life’s big decisions. As long as your Monopoly games don’t end up in turned over tables and heated arguments, play on!

Clue

Take on the role of a mysterious character such as Miss Scarlett or Professor Plum and work with the rest of the Clue players to uncover who murdered Mr. Boddy in his own mansion.

Life

The game of Life is a simplified version of adulthood but a fun way to give kids a preview of the real thing. Let them enjoy it while it lasts.

Battleship

An interactive “battle” that appeals to both kids and adults for its strategic thinking and competitive energy. In addition to the classic battleships, this version ups the ante with additional aircraft carrier pieces.

Pay Day

True to its name, this simple and quick game helps its players learn how to make it from payday to the end of the month. Pay Day makes excellent practice for their college years.

Mouse Trap

For ages 6 and up but it never gets old. Set the trap, and catch the mouse. Mouse Trap is that easy…and that hard!

Mastermind

The Codemaker sets a secret code that the codebreaker (you) is responsible for uncovering with logic and deduction. If you like puzzles, Mastermind is perfect for you.

Risk

No better way to conquer the world than from your living room floor. Players will build armies, move troops, and engage in battles all in the name of victory. Risk is good for up to five players.

Best Family Board Games

From medieval fortress building to top-secret spy skills there’s something for everyone in this collection of family board games.

Carcassonne

Good for 2-5 players, ages 7 and up Carcassone is a game inspired by the medieval fortress in southern France. Followers can take on the roles of knights, monks, farmers, and thieves to score points and lay cities, roads, monasteries, and fields around Carcassone.

Or My First Carcassone for younger kids. The original remade for ages 2-4, so no one misses out on the fun.

Qwirkle

An excellent game option on a rainy day because it takes 45 minutes or more to play. It’s easy to learn and can be set up virtually anywhere. Qwirkle teaches pattern creation and recognition, but it’s highly strategic and super-fun for adults too!

Spy Alley

Don’t let the easy-to-follow rules despise you, Spy Alley captivates it’s players attention with code books, disguises, keys, and passwords.

7 Wonders

At the start of the game, each person will become a leader of one of the seven great cities in the ancient world. From there, you must carefully gather resources, affirm your military supremacy, and build an architectural wonder that will stand for ages. 7 Wonders is an epic game that your family will want to play again and again.

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride provides a fun option for kids to play and get schooled in American geography. Players must collect train cards to claim railroad territory and win points for connecting major cities and building railways across America. And when you’re done with the States, there’s a European version too!

Catan

Harbors, pastures, fields, mountains, forests, and desserts this one board game is can turn into a different game each time you play. The team will need tactical trading skills, luck, and a taste for adventure as they aim to settle the rich isle of Catan.

Temporum

This game shows the possible paths history can take and the actual path it currently takes. In Temporum, players can change history, time travel, and visit historical points while scoring points to advance their power through history.

Puerto Rico

Each participant will utilize different rolls- mayor, captain, settler, trader, craftsman, or builder to score points and build their colony on the island of Puerto Rico.

Cooperative Family Games

Best way to build strong teamwork skills and have a blast? Any of these family games! Unlike regular competitive games, cooperative games require the participants to play as a whole and share the outcome, whether it’s a win or loss.

Pandemic

As members of a disease control team, you must keep deadly, world-threatening diseases at bay. In Pandemic, uou’ll work as a team to travel across the globe to treat infections and discover a cure for each condition.

Forbidden Island

For all your adventure loving kids, the Forbidden games will give them a thrilling fix. Your fearless team will embark on a mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of a forbidden island.

Forbidden Desert

A flying machine buried deep in an ancient forbidden desert, and your team must coordinate and find it. You’ll need problem-solving skills, teamwork, and sunscreen- just kidding.

Castle Panic

Work together as a team to map out defense tactics, slay monsters, and protect your castle. Castle Panic be played with up to 6 people or solo if someone wants to sneak in some extra practice.

Interactive Family Games

While some games have your working on your own, these games keep everyone talking, playing and laughing together all night long! You’ll solve puzzles, give clues and race one another in these amazing interactive family games.

Codenames

This word game involves two spymasters who know the secret identity of 25 agents; the rest of the team must compete to see who can discover all of their agents first using their Codenames. You’ll give cryptic but sometimes hilarious clues to one another to see who can discover their whole spy team first!

There’s also a picture-only version of this game if you have family members who can’t quite read yet.

Taboo

This game is perfect for older kids and larger parties. To play Taboo, players form two teams in which players must guess the hidden term on a card. If the guesser uses a forbidden word, they lose a turn. Players keep the cards that they guessed correctly and the team with the most cards wins the game.

Cranium

A blast for kids and adults as players team up to complete various activities such as wordplay, acting and sketching. Cranium is definitely a keeper.

Pictionary

Can’t draw to save your life? Perfect! Pictionary will be even more fun as participants will have to draw their clues while the competitions try to guess what they are.

Watch Ya’ Mouth

Players will wear a mouth guard while speaking phrases and their teammates must guess what they’re saying. Make sure your phones’ charged so you can get all the footage while you play Watch Ya’ Mouth!

Loaded Questions Jr.

If your kids like asking questions, this one’s for them! No trivia or right or wrong answers only 200 hilarious questions and good times.

What Am I?

Each player will attach an unidentified card to a headband adjusted around their head and ask the other players questions to help identify what the item is. What Am I is the perfect game for young kids and adults and plays up to 6 people.

Scattergories

This one’s super fun and fast-paced! All players are given seconds to rack their brain for items that fit the given category. Scattergories is perfect for anyone who loves a good challenge and hates slow-paced board games.

Bananagrams

The traditional game of scrabble gets an upgrade with Bananagrams! You’ll race against one another to make your own crossword grids in this fast-paced word game.

Card Games for Families

We know of Go Fish, Spads, and Spoons but these aren’t your ordinary card games. Any of these decks promise a good time.

Uno Minecraft Edition

Two beloved games made into one fun and addictive activity for kids and adults. It works just like UNO but with Minecraft characters, images.

Dominion

A card game in which players will compete to civilize small bits of land to create their own Dominion.

Pit

Fast-paced and energetic, PIT isn’t for the faint of heart, as players openly bid for commodities or raw materials. There are no turns in this game so it can get loud, but it’s lots of fun and keeps everyone thinking fast.

Phase 10

If you have experience playing rummy, you’ll find Phase 10 to be similar; however, the object of the game changes with each round. To be the winner, you’ll have to complete all 10 challenges (phases) before the other players. These challenges could be collecting multiple cards of the same value, cards of one color, or a combination.

The Game of Things

Read a topic then write down a response. Once the responses are shuffled players must guess who wrote what! The Game of Things is ideal for large groups and ages 14+.

Does your family have a favorite game to play together? Share in the comments so we can keep our list of the BEST board games ever, going!!!

August 17, 2019

2 thoughts on “The Best Family Games for Game Night”

  1. Chris Hansley says:

    Hi Laura, You indicated that Monopoly was not for week nights. I’d rethink that feeling. When I was considerably younger and in elementary school, when summer vacation started my Mom set up a card table in the corner of the living room. On the first day of vacation we’d start playing a game on Monopoly. She’d set a kitchen timer, when it went off, that was the end of playing for the day. Sometimes it was as little as 15 minutes, and sometimes as long as two hours. It all depended on what else was planned for the day. Also on the first day of vacation we would start an on going game of 500 Rummy. We ignored the rule of when someone reached 500 points the game was over. We’d usually play a hand or two right after lunch. Last game was on the last day of vacation. Mom had two great reasons for playing. #1. We were having fun. #2. She kept my mind going on math while on vacation. I was the score keeper.

    1. Laura Fuentes says:

      I mean, given that we set at timer we can totally play monopoly at night. But… my kids like to see who “wins” and this takes a while on a school night 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *