From whiling away a lazy afternoon at home to adding a competitive element to a house party, board games are a great way to spend time with your friends and family. Whether you want a two-player head-to-head or a game that a full group of friends can get involved in, it's a great alternative to online gaming or watching a movie (although there's a lot to be said for those, too).
From Mousetrap to Monopoly, lots of the most famous board games are aimed at kids and family-friendly board games remain enduringly popular, especially the best board games that are based on movies. However, there are also plenty of great board games that adults can enjoy without kids muscling in on the fun.
10 Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is a modern classic. Branding itself a "card game for horrible people," this game has ushered in a generation of crude card games played by millions of people worldwide. The game is essentially a grown-up, darker version of Apples to Apples. Choose the card from your hand that fills in the blank with the funniest answer. Whoever's is deemed best wins that round and keeps the card. The person with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
Cards Against Humanity celebrates those with a dark sense of humor — and works especially well if the other participants share a similar sinister wit.
9 What Do You Meme?
A card game for the social media age, What Do You Meme? is essentially Twitter in board game form. Just match the captions with the photos to create the most relatable meme, and let the judge decide the winner.
As the name suggests, this game is heavily inspired by social media — but those who don't spend much time online can still enjoy it. As with all memes, the idea is that the caption and photo are relatable to pretty much everyone, making this a great game to play with offline friends and family.
Scrabble is a classic board game everyone must own. Simple but effective, it's the perfect game for whiling away a rainy afternoon. Players can beat their opponents with obscure word knowledge and well-placed tiles, or land a triple word score for serious bonus points.
Scrabble is one of the best games for playing with a small group of friends, so it's a great option for quieter contests (rather than bawdy multiplayer games). Kids can play, but for a more competitive match, it's better played with older teenagers and adults.
7 Wits & Wagers Vegas
Wits & Wagers Vegas is an expansion of the Wits & Wagers Party edition of the game and expands on the original game to make it playable by up to 20 people. In this game, what players lack in trivia knowledge they can make up for in well-placed bets.
This game is all about making a bet on who's likely to know the answers to the questions put in front of them. With a massive double-sided playmat and lively questions, the Vegas edition of Wits & Wagers is one of the best board games you can get for a party.
6 Joking Hazard
Like Cards Against Humanity and What Do You Meme?, Joking Hazard uses a similar card format with a judge deciding the winner of each round. In Joking Hazard, however, players have to create mini comic strips using cards designed by popular webcomic creators, Cyanide + Happiness.
The deck is full of darkly funny drawings, as you'd expect from Cyanide + Happiness, so this game is definitely not one for the kids to get involved in.
5 One Night Ultimate Werewolf
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a great party game for grown-ups. Consisting of fast-paced 10-minute rounds, it's playable with 3-10 players — but the more people who play, the more frantic the fun. Each player draws a secret role, and players then have to guess who the werewolf among them is.
While the game says it's suitable for ages 8+, it requires serious bluffing skills, so it's best played with people who can keep their poker face going for a full round. If you're looking for a good game for when you have a group of friends coming over, and you've played almost everything else, this is a refreshing one to try out.
If Pictionary is too tame, try Scrawl — an adult drawing game that also incorporates elements of Telephone. Unlike Pictionary, Scrawl requires a collaborative drawing effort from all participants. Each player takes a guess at what the picture is, then draws their own version of the picture. When the round finishes, players vote for their favorite scrawl.
This game doesn't exactly reward bad drawers, but it's much more fun if players aren't Monets. The more difficult the picture is to guess, the funnier the results will be.
3 Trivial Pursuit: Master Edition
For more serious board gamers, the Master Edition of Trivial Pursuit is a great one to try. The twist is that this edition includes picture cards, multiple-choice cards, and odd-one-out cards, as well as the standard trivia questions. Like every edition of Trivial Pursuit, players need strong general knowledge to get ahead.
This game is aimed at players age 16 and up, and most of the questions are in line with this — so it's best suited for adults and older teenagers.
2 The Confessions Game
Half fun, half deeply serious, The Confessions Game is designed to help players open up about different experiences they've faced in their lives. Describing itself as "a simple game of cards and dice which opens up daring conversations," this game can be played between lifelong friends, new partners, or even alone, for some introspective navel-gazing.
The game has no particular aim other than to help players divulge more about themselves to others in the interest of opening up an emotional debate. As a result, it's not exactly a party game, but it's fascinating to play with trusted friends and family.
Balderdash is the perfect board game for adults. Players will need a vivid imagination and a great poker face — but Balderdash rewards obscure general knowledge, too. Participants have to accurately describe the definition of the word given on the card — or, if they don't know it, make up something believable.
Players win points for knowing the right definition, guessing it correctly, and writing a definition that's convincing to other people. As a result, this game is pretty generous with the points, making it a cutthroat contest right to the end.