— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY’s newsroom and any business incentives.
Board games are an underrated adult activity, in my humble opinion.
They’re perfect for those nights when you don’t feel like going out, yet don’t want to sit mindlessly in front of the television either. Board games are an ideal combination of fun and competitive, not to mention that there are lots of unique, addicting new games that come out every year.
So yeah, I’m really into board games, and I think you will be too if you give them a chance.
If you’re looking for a board game that will get you jazzed to play, check out these 16 popular options, including some of my personal favorites. There’s something here for everyone, no matter your age!
Codenames is a top-selling game on Amazon, boasting close to 2,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.8 stars. While the premise of the game may seem simple, reviewers say it can be quite challenging!
To play, you break up into two teams, each with a “spymaster” who gives one-word clues to help their teammates guess the identity of your team’s “agents.” Overall, it’s an awesome party game that’s incredibly addicting.
Catan is a favorite among my friends—we frequently hold “Catan nights” that inevitably get really competitive.
This popular board game has a unique design made up of 19 hexagonal “terrain” pieces, so the board is different every time you play. The object of the game is to build settlements around the island of Catan, earning “victory points” as you go, and there’s a surprising amount of strategy and alliance-making involved.
Young children love playing Let’s Go Fishin’, a simple fishing game designed for kids 3 and up. The cute multicolored fish on the board open and close their mouths, all while the base spins. The object of the game is to simply catch as many fish as you can with your rod, and whoever catches the most wins!
You probably know Clue—where Professor Plum committed the crime in the library with the candlestick. However, this special edition of the classic game brings a magical twist to the gameplay as you work to figure out who made a Hogwarts student disappear and what spell they used. Harry Potter lovers will definitely appreciate this fun board game!
It’s been around for decades, but Candy Land is still one of the top-selling board games on Amazon. This family-favorite is best for kids ages 3 and up—they’ll love all the colorful characters and sweet illustrations as they navigate around the board.
Here’s another game that people are low-key obsessed with—Sequence has more than 2,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.8 stars.
The premise of the game is simple: Place five tokens in a row on the game board by playing cards from your hand. However, there’s a lot of strategy involved, and reviewers can’t get enough of this challenging board game!
If you want to figure out who among your friends is a good liar, you should definitely play Chameleon. During gameplay, everyone knows the secret word—except for one person, who is the chameleon!
The object is to flush out the chameleon, but if they’re good at bluffing, you might not catch them. People say this game is surprisingly addicting and great for groups.
If you love Scrabble, you’ll definitely enjoy Qwirkle—a family-friendly matching game! Players draw six blocks, each with a colored shape on it, and then take turns putting down rows of blocks that have something in common. As gameplay continues, you build a Scrabble-like grid, trying to rack up the most points.
The instructions may seem overwhelming at first, but once you get the hand of 7 Wonders, you’ll be obsessed. In this game, you’re the leader of one of the great ancient civilizations, and you race to collect resources to build your city and erect an architectural wonder. It’s a great game for history buffs!
Ticket to Ride has won awards all around the world, and there are dozens of spin-offs and expansions for you to enjoy. During this popular game, players build train routes across the country, trying to create the longest route and cut off competitors along the way. It will definitely bring out your competitive side!
Oh, Pandemic. I have a love-hate relationship with this game. On one hand, I love the cooperative, incredibly challenging gameplay, but on the other hand, I hate that I’m so bad at it!
During Pandemic, everyone works together to save the world from an outbreak of diseases. You have to simultaneously slow the spread for four diseases, all while trying to find the cure. It’s addicting, yet frustrating, and the perfect game for anyone who loves a challenge.
Together, you and your friends will explore a creepy old haunted house when you play Betrayal at House on the Hill. You’ll encounter lots of spooky scenarios, and eventually, one player will become a traitor. Reviewers say this game is awesome, but it can take a while to pick up all the rules.
Don’t be fooled by the cutesy illustrations—this game is not as easy as it seems! Santorini can be played by kids as young as 8, and during gameplay, you strive to build a structure three stories high and climb to the top of it. It sounds easy, but the addition of “god cards” will keep you on your toes as you play the Greek mythology-inspired game.
As the world patiently awaits the final season of Game of Thrones, you can hold yourself over with the popular Game of Thrones edition of Risk. Just like in the regular game, you’ll need a solid strategy to conquer the Seven Kingdoms and claim the Iron Throne.
What’s even better is there are two ways to play this game, so it won’t get old anytime soon.
Love Tetris? Then you’ll definitely enjoy Blokus, a strategy game where you use Tetris-style pieces to take up as much space as possible.
Essentially, players take turns putting down pieces on the board, trying to claim territory and block their competitors. The game continues until no more blocks can be put down, and the person with the fewest pieces left in their hand is the winner. Simple, but oh so fun!
Here’s another game with an average rating of 4.8, so you know it’s got to be good! Labyrinth is super fun for anyone age 8 and up (though reviewers say kids as young as 4 can play with a little help).
To play, you have to navigate traps and shifting walls as you race around the maze collecting treasure. It’s an engaging game for young children, and it can help teach them strategy, critical thinking, and cause-and-effect to boot!
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.