There are so many board games out there that it can be hard to know which ones are the best. For example, Monopoly is no longer the most interesting option.
It has popular games from a wide range of price points, genres, and skill levels, so if you’re looking for something for a party or your next game night with friends, you should be able to find a suggestion that works for you.
Curious about why we think these are the best board games out there?
We only recommend entries that we’ve used a lot and really like, so you won’t find anything here that we wouldn’t buy ourselves.
So, Lets Start with the best board games of all time.
15. Betrayal at House on the Hill
Betrayal at House on the Hill is like a party game based on a Scooby-Doo show written by H.P. Lovecraft. Each player is given a character with different qualities, such as reason, knowledge, strength, and speed.
As the characters explore a scary house, they find items and experience weird, creepy things, like running into spiders and playing games with a creepy kid whose toys get violent.
Betrayal at House on the Hill doesn’t have a lot of strategy, but it has a lot of fun, so players can act silly.
This game has a lot of repeat value because it can end in more than 100 different ways that all remind you of your favorite horror or sci-fi movies or TV shows. At first, we suggested the second edition of the game, but now there is a third version.
This new version makes some changes to how the game works and adds 50 new scenarios. Even though the second edition is still a great game, we think most new players should get the most recent version.
In the first part, players work together to place room tiles to build and explore a haunted mansion. Players can get an event, an item, or an omen card in the rooms.
The players read the cards out loud, using funny voices as if they were telling a ghost story around a campfire with a flashlight in front of their faces.
Depending on their traits, players may have to face a dice-rolling task when using event cards. Players can also find things around the house that will help them later, but finding omen cards could start the second part of the game.
In the second part, which is called “Haunt,” one player betrays the group and is given one of more than 50 different scenarios. The traitor fights the other people left in the game in an intense final battle until one side wins.
14. Disney Villainous
Villainous is the only game that fits its name better than any other. It likes to let you be as mean as possible, and if you want a happy finish for your character, you’re encouraged to mess up a foe’s plans. You can see that this isn’t just a way to make money off of kids; it’s cruel, clever, and wonderfully evil.
To be exact, that beautiful artwork hides a lot of depth. It’s surprisingly deep because each character has their own goal and way to play. (As our review says, “there’s so much to get your teeth into.”) Here, too, you get recognized for real skill.
Winning isn’t just a matter of luck, and you’ll need to be able to adapt to different bad guys. Even more so when you add in Disney Villainous additions.
These add-ons make you try out new methods, and if you think you’ve mastered the game, they’re a good way to keep it interesting.
We think that the complexity of the game makes it better when played head-to-head. Even though it’s fun to fight with a lot of other people, lowering the number of people makes things less crazy and gives you more time to plan. It’s the best choice if you want a fun board game for two people.
In Pandemic, the odds are against you from the start, but that’s what makes it so fun. This huge co-op game is always exciting, and it never feels hopeless.
Even though you have to cure a bunch of super-diseases, you’ll be fine if you can communicate well and think on your feet.
Want board games that are fun to play with other people?
This is the best thing that could happen.
Pandemic is still one of the best board games in general because it has a mix of risk and return. In fact, the focus on working as a team makes it much more fun than you might think.
Is it better in the short term to keep disease numbers low so they don’t spread from city to city, or should you play the long game and put all your money into finding cures?
There is no right answer, and our group has rarely been so involved at the table. As we said in our full review, making decisions under such pressure “shows off everything tabletop gaming is capable of.”
Yes, the book’s main idea is more relevant now. But there’s something satisfying about putting an end to an outbreak… even if it’s just in this world of coins and cards on the table.
Jaipur should be in everyone’s collection because it is different, easy to read, and very interesting. In fact, we’d say it’s one of the best card games ever made.
We first heard about it years ago from a barista at a board game shop. Since then, we’ve been telling everyone who will listen about it.
Your goal is to be the best businessperson in all of India so that the maharaja will call you to his court. You play as one of two traders in the city of Jaipur. But how you do that is up to you, and you have a lot of room to try different things.
Is it better to quickly buy and sell cheap things?
Or should you buy expensive things to make more money? There is no one “right” way to do things, and this makes the game stand out.
It also gives both players a fun game of tug-of-war. As more goods are sold, their value goes down, so if you don’t cash in your cards quickly, your opponent could beat you to the punch.
This tricky balancing act will make you want to play “just one more time” over and over again.
On the Hasbro website, it says that Monopoly is the most popular family game in the world.
Even though the original Monopoly game is still popular, there are now so many different versions that it’s hard to keep track of them all.
There are versions based on Star Wars, Empire, Disney princesses, and even Minions. There are electronic and portable forms, as well as apps for all kinds of devices.
10. Guess Who ?
This two-player game started over 40 years ago, it has now been updated with character art that fits the 21st century: The original version had only five female characters (out of 24) and no non-white characters at all.
This version has 11 female characters and 14 characters of color.
Kids love flipping the characters and asking inventive questions to try to guess each other’s mystery character. It’s a classic for a reason.
9. Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion
Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion should be on your mind if you like fantasy and can’t get enough of looking at old maps while dreaming of adventures.
This dungeon-crawling epic takes all of that into account with branching plots that are more common in the best tabletop RPGs. It also has a setting that is similar to The Witcher, so it checks all the right boxes.
More importantly, it gives you more power by using “Legacy” features, which are things that stay the same from one game to the next, like how your character grows.
Depending on what you do, you’ll unlock new tasks and characters. Be careful, though, because what you do can and will have effects on the game.
Combat is based on skill, and there are no coins to be seen, so you feel like you have a say in the game. But it’s easier to understand than in the original (which was much more expensive).
Jaws of the Lion is the first game in the series, so it’s a great place to start if you want to play other games in the series or just want to try out one of the best RPG board games.
8. Cosmic Encounter
Cosmic Encounter came out for the first time in 1977. Since then, it has been reprinted many times, but all of the versions are great. Few old board games have held up as well as this one has over the years.
Each player controls an alien race, and the goal is to set up colonies on worlds that other players already own.
hey can do this by force (playing a higher number of cards from their hand) or by talking, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
First of all, each “encounter” gives players the chance to make agreements that can help them win.
Also, each species has a unique ability that breaks the rules in a unique way. Some examples are winning by losing or switching the numbers on attack cards so that 17 becomes 71.
Since the base set comes with 51 aliens, there’s usually always something new to see.
Cosmic Encounter creaks under the weight of extra packs, just like many of the best board games. There are more than six add-ons you can use to change things up, so you’ll have plenty to do here.
Root is a great example of how first impressions can be wrong. Even though the graphics are nice, this is about as hard as strategy games get.
Even though the story takes place in a peaceful forest, not everything is fine down there. The animals who live there want to beat each other up, so you’ll have to come up with plans that will put your side on top.
Like in the Redwall books, each person is in charge of a tribe of animal-like people who have to fight for their place in the clearings of the forest.
The base game gives you control of four groups: the “Marquise de Cat,” who must put down rebellions to keep their power, feudal birds who operate through espionage, an uprising of “peasant” animals (mice and hedgehogs) called the Woodland Alliance, and a sneaky racoon who goes on adventures.
Each one has a different way to play, and even though it’s a lot to take in, it makes you think outside the box and come up with crazy plans.
Just know that you will have to learn something. Even though our review called it “the most accessible complex wargame,” Root is still a difficult beast that requires some work to get the most out of.
Still, that work is worth it. If you stick with it, you’ll find one of the best strategy board games. It’s a great example of what this sport can do.
6. Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is one of the most laid-back games on this list. Because of this, it’s a great choice if you want to play a board game with your family that won’t turn into a civil war. It’s great for people of all ages because it’s thoughtful and calm.
So, the railroad theme might not blow your mind. But there’s a thread of strategy running through everything here that keeps it all together.
This makes it great for families without losing any tactical depth. Even if you’ve only played Scrabble, that makes Ticket to Ride one of the best board games.
It’s not too hard to win either. Unlike so many of the other things on this list, there is less of a focus on screwing each other over.
Even though it’s annoying when a competitor takes the path you were going to take, there’s usually a way to save all that time and work.
So, this is a choice we’re happy to use on game night when things can get hot. As our review says, it’s “the perfect choice for both new and experienced tabletop gamers.”
5. Sushi Go!
This funny game is great if you want to do something quick and fun. Its secret sauce is that it moves quickly and has simple rules. To be more exact, you can learn it and do it in less than 15 minutes.
That means you won’t mind playing round after round, which is great for kids’ board games, especially since Sushi Go is so fun to play.
Every time you pick it up, it’s also different. It’s a lot like Exploding Kittens in that each player takes one card and passes the rest to the next person.
However, in this game, you have to build a set of dishes that win points. Some are worth more than others, and some require you to get a big set of them to get a big payout.
This means that even younger players can try out different tactics. Don’t think that these strategies are weak because of this, though. Smart people can harm their opponents by, for example, taking the cards that someone else needs.
Sushi Go is a fast-paced game that won’t get old for a long time. It’s easy to listen to and has enough charm to win you over right away.
Also, since it doesn’t have a board, it’s a great choice for gamers who are always on the go.
Rummikub (which is pronounced “rummy-cube”) is one of the most fun board games for families. The players take turns putting down numbered tiles in lines and groups of the same number.
Jokers make the game more interesting, and the winner is the first person to use all of their tiles.
The rules are easy enough for kids to understand, but the game is still fun enough for adults. If Rummikub isn’t already in your game box, you should add it.
Scrabble has been one of the most popular standard board games for word lovers and people who like to figure things out for a long time.
From 1984 to 1990, there was a game show on TV that was based on Scrabble.
Even though the classic board hasn’t changed much over the years, Merriam-Webster’s Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, which has over 100,000 useful Scrabble words, is now in its sixth version and includes new words like bitcoin, emoji, and facepalm.
Sorry! has had pretty much the same look and rules for a long time. But in 2013, some of the rules were changed and others were improved.
Players used to start with four pawns, but now they only get three. And Fire and Ice, two new cards, were added.
There are special versions of this family board game with SpongeBob SquarePants and Disney baddies.
Hit that well-known Pop-o-Matic and watch the dice roll. Since it first came out in the 1960s, the classic game Trouble has stayed pretty much the same.
However, there have been special versions with Trolls, Star Wars, and Olaf from Frozen. With a smaller, easier-to-carry form, you can take Trouble with you wherever you go.