Family game night is a time-honored tradition that dates back to the early 1800s. In Victorian England, families would gather around in their best clothes after dinner to play games and have fun together. Here we review some of the best games you can play with friends and family.
Nowadays, the family (or friends) game night) night often takes place at the kitchen table or in front of a TV screen with friends and family gathered around for a few rounds of Scrabble or Monopoly.
For best results, we recommend playing one of the best games on this list!
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Best Board Games for Game Night
If you’re looking for the best board games to play at family game night, here are a few of our favorites. These practically guarantee hours of fun for all ages!
Monopoly is the classic real estate trading game that has delighted families and friends since 1935 when it was first invented by Charles Darrow. It’s not surprising that Monopoly remains one of the best-selling board games on Amazon today. The many versions, each of which adds new twists like collectible cards, player versus player action, and faster-paced play with shorter turns. There are also versions that include cool custom tokens including pop culture icons.
Risk is a strategy board game that was first released in 1957. The objective of Risk is to conquer the world by taking over all of its territories. Players can either play against each other or team up against the computer. With different rule sets and variations, as well as expansions that add new maps and armies, Risk offers great replay value for families and friends alike.
The Settlers of Catan, often shortened to Catan, is a German-style board game designed by Klaus Teuber and first published in 1995. Players attempt to build settlements, cities, and roads on a randomized map with resources they acquire from trading with other players. What makes Catan so popular is the strategy elements, rewarding those who best build their skills to win the game.
Game of Thrones Board Game
If you’re a fan of HBO’s hit TV show “Game of Thrones,” this will be right up your alley. Designed for two to six players and lasts about an hour per player, making it great for even large get-togethers where everyone wants a chance to play at least once before bedtime arrives. It also has some tie-ins with the television series that expand on what happens off-screen between episodes.
If you’re looking for the best board game for kids, Candy Land is a great choice. Players move their pieces from start to finish as they race around the colorful and whimsical world of Candy Land by following directions on cards based on color or shape. It remains amazingly popular with children today!
If you love trivia, you’ll love Trivial Pursuit. Players race around a spiral-shaped board by correctly answering questions from six categories: Entertainment & Sports, History & Geography, Arts & Literature, Science & Nature, People & Places. There are also themed versions of Trivial Pursuit, such as a Harry Potter edition.
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Game
The Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective game is perfefct for family and friends who love mystery stories set in the 19th century. This includes an open-ended storyline that involves players working together to solve various mysteries by gathering clues at crime scenes and then following up on leads at various locations in London.
Sorry is perfect family and friends who enjoy laughing at how others’ plans to falls apart. Players move their playing pieces by rolling dice around a track until they land on spaces requiring them to take various actions like apologizing or walking backward. It’s great fun watching other people squirm as they try to get back in the game after making a mistake!
In addition to being one of the best strategy games for adults, Life also happens to be one of the best family games. In fact, most kids who grew up playing Life remember fondly how much they enjoyed rolling the dice each turn (and sometimes cheating just a little bit). However, what made this so great back then was not always as appreciated by parents: money could disappear fast when kids started buying property on Free Parking and mortgaging everything else! Nowadays, those pesky mortgages are gone but the game is still just as much fun for families to play together.
Best Card Games for Game Night
Beyond the classics of Texas Hold ‘Em, Go Fish, War, and Rummy, if you’re looking for the best card games to play, here are some suggestions:
Uno has long been considered one of the best party card games because it’s simple enough anyone can learn how to play in less than five minutes while still being fun even after playing several times over many years. The only downside? You might want to be careful what you wish for if you play Uno with a family member or friend who’s had one too many glasses of wine.
Cards Against Humanity
If you’re looking for a card game that will have everyone in stitches, Cards Against Humanity is a perfect choice. This game is best played with four to ten players and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, making it great for game nights with friends or family. Just be warned that this game is not for the easily offended!
Kids Against Maturity
If you have kids, this game night game is a no-brainer. Kids Against Maturity will keep your children entertained (and laughing) while helping them learn how to spell and read at the same time! With 144 cards covering every situation imaginable in everyday life as a parent or child, that will have your family laughing as they try to best each other.
Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
If you’re looking for a card game that’s new, fun, and can be played by anyone regardless of age, Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is a great choice. This card game is based on the player’s ability to make up hilarious combinations of food items, making it perfect for family game night!
Another great card game that can be enjoyed by all ages is Five Crowns. This family card game is a variation of the classic rummy game and can be played with two to four players. The goal is to collect as many cards as possible until one player has either five or seven different suits in their hand, making it perfect for family game night.
This strategic game can be played with two to four players and takes about 30 minutes to play. In Dominion, players must collect different types of cards in order to build up their deck and create the best strategy possible in order to win. This card game is perfect for adults who love a challenge!
Another great card game to consider for game night is Phase 10, which was created by Alan R. Moon, the designer of Ticket to Ride. The objective of Phase 10 is to complete ten phases (hence the name), each consisting of two sets of three cards. What makes this more challenging is that players can’t just keep playing cards until they have a set of three—they also have to match the phase number or color as well. This forces players to be strategic in their gameplay and often leads to some interesting choices near the endgame.
If you’re looking for a family card game with a bit of an edge, Exploding Kittens is perfect. This card game has all the fun of kittens and explosions without the risk! Instead of being eliminated from play like in other games, players who draw exploding kitten cards can either defuse them by drawing another card or take one hit point of damage. This card game is perfect for all ages and can be played with two to five players.
Best Involvement Games for Game Night
Sometimes the best ones are the ones that get everyone involved. Here are a few of our favorites:
One of the best party games ever created, Charades is perfect for a game night because it gets everyone up and moving—and laughing! To play, one player acts out a word or phrase, trying to get the other players in their best board game and best party games to guess it. What makes this best family game even more fun is that you can play with teams of two if there are enough people at your event!
If you’re not familiar with how to play Charades, you can pick up a starter pack like the one featured here.
Taboo is so much fun because it requires players to think quickly while trying not to say any of the words on their cards. It is sure to get everyone laughing as they try to describe things like “sounds you make when you’re sleeping” without using words like “bed,” “snore,” or “dream.”
To play one of the best games of all time (that’s right—we said it!), each player receives an envelope with a list of categories on the left side. Each category has a point value on the right side. Players need to write down an answer that fits into one of the categories, avoiding any answers with repeated letters—letters cannot be used more than once in each category.
The best thing about Scattergories is that no two rounds are ever alike since players are allowed to use their own words rather than needing to use the same words as everyone else. This leads to hilarious moments and more laughter than you thought possible!
Another that’s perfect for game night is Pictionary. This can be played with two or more teams, making it great for large groups. It’s also a lot of fun to see how creative people get when they’re given just a few seconds to draw something!
This classic game can be played with two or more players and requires no special skills—just some balance and coordination!
Another game that’s great for adults and kids of all ages, Jenga is easy to learn but hard to perfect. It’s all about balance and precision and can send everyone toppling over in laughter.
The Best Games = The Best Games Night
Whether you are looking to gather some friends or family, young or old, you’re sure to find one that is perfect for your next game night from one of these!
What is your favorite? Let us know if we missed one in the comments below!