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Published Jun. 3, 2021

Pandemic-induced or not, quality time is essential for a family of any age and of any number. But with so many hours spent in front of our screens in this day and age, it becomes harder and harder to take advantage of that quality family time. It’s important to be mindful of this and make sure to set some time aside when everyone can focus on what’s most important: sharing memorable moments with loved ones. What better way to bring your crew together than with some healthy competition in the form of fun family games? Hint: there isn’t a better way. Whether you prefer working together in a cooperative board game, or like taking the crown in a winner-takes-all game, the best family board games have something to offer for everyone.  

What’s so great about board games these days?

For a while it seemed as if people had forgotten about the joy that a board game can bring. Nowadays, you won’t just find board games at a toy store; in fact, it’s common to find board game-themed cafes and bars! Suffice it to say, there are lots of cool games to play that kids and adults can enjoy together. 

In an age where it’s so common to have family members retreat to their own corner of the house and do their own thing on their own screen, it’s very important to remember to bring everyone back together now and again. The best family board games can do just that!

Sure, there are plenty of classics: a session of Settlers of Catan or a Monopoly game that lasts for hours, a Pandemic board game that hits just a little too close to home these days, a Jenga game that gets way too competitive way too quickly—even backyard games like cornhole if the weather is nice outside. But there are also plenty of new fun family games and family card games that will get you excited to play together: Ticket to Ride, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, and Codenames, just to name a few! Check out some new games below. They just might be a perfect fit for your next family game night! 

How to make sure a game is suitable for your family’s maturity and age level

When choosing family board games these days, you want to make sure it’s appropriate for your particular family. With so many fun family games to choose from, you don’t accidentally want to start the night off with something too simple for your college-aged kids, or too raunchy for those youngsters! 

Always be sure to check the recommended age range on the box set, especially when you are perusing the *adult* versions! Check out the below recommendations on the best family board games for those with young children, adolescents, and more mature family members.

Best board game for families with young children: Ravensburger Pusheen Purrfect Pick 

Cute and Wholesome

Based on the adorable Pusheen character, this board game is a quick play (at about 30 minutes) in which players can bake, lounge, and snack with Pusheen and her friends!
Ravensburger

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Pusheen fans will go crazy with this adorable two-sided board game: choose to play at the park, and then flip the board over to play at Pusheen’s house for the next game! 2 to 5 players will start out by laying the “Essential” cards over the board, and then work to collect ten stars by moving the cute Pusheen figure around the board and doing other tasks as instructed by the “Action” cards. With just the right amount of strategy and plenty of sweet pictures, this board game will be a win-win for families with younger children. 

Best board game to play with adolescents: Ravensburger Disney Villainous 

For Disney Lovers

If you’re a Disney fanatic, you won’t want to miss the Disney Villainous: Despicable Plots strategy board game which features both villains and heroes from your favorite classic Disney movies.
Ravensburger

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In this family game, you’ll get game sculpture pieces, villain realms, illustrated cards, reference guides, villain guides, and more to set you up for a highly strategic game night. There’s even a Youtube tutorial with tips and tricks to master the game! Be sure to check out another Disney Villainous board game in the line, and mix and match characters for an even more complex competition. 

Best board game for families with grown children: Exploding Kittens 

Quirky and Hilarious

This award-winning card game will have you cracking up all night – get ready for all of the kittens, lasers, and explosions you could ask for!
Exploding Kittens

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You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to learn this one. A very simple game in nature, the Exploding Kittens card game is basically a ridiculous, modern version of Russian roulette—if you draw a card with an exploding kitten, and you lose. That said, there’s just enough strategy (and luck) involved to foster some healthy competition, and the cartoons will ensure the family shares enough laughs to play deep into the night. Plus, this fun family game also offers various expansion kits to make sure you won’t ever tire of the exploding kittens.

Careful! Make sure to choose a family game that won’t leave anyone out

How frustrating is it when you finally gather round all of the familial troops for game night, only to realize that the game is designed for more people than you have available? Or you realize when the extended family is in town that you have forgotten to buy the expansion pack that makes it inclusive for an extra 3 players?

Not to fear, as we’ve done the work for you to make sure you find the best family board games that are most appropriate for a certain number of players. Check out the picks below!

Best family game for 2 to 4 players: Pandemic 

Save the World

This family board game couldn’t be more timely as players cooperate to fight off a nasty pandemic hitting the globe by treating infections and preventing breakouts by gathering resources for the cure.
Z-Man Games

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Imagine that you and your family are all unique, highly skilled experts on fighting disease. Now you have to work together, taking advantage of your personalized skills, to save humanity from 4 diseases that are currently threatening the world. The exciting, strategic, and at times nerve-wracking Pandemic board game takes about 45 minutes to play, can be played with 2 to 4 players, and is best for those aged 8 and up.  

Best family game for 3 to 6 players: Betrayal at House on the Hill 

For Horror Movie Lovers

Build your own house of horrors in Betrayal at House on the Hill…and then try to get out alive.
Avalon Hill

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This family board game is ideal for those who are itching for a good scare. Designed for 3 to 6 players (and with expansion pack options), Betrayal at the House on the Hill features character cards, plastic figurines, special tokens, and 50 different scary scenarios and dangerous rooms that will leave you…terrified. This game has won various awards and will surely have you and your family returning to the unique haunted mansion time and again.

Best family game for 6+ players: Codenames 

Social Word Game

Great for playing in teams, this spy thriller will have two spymasters head-to-head competing to make contact with their agents, sparking lively conversations regardless of who’s winning or losing. Czech Games

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Reminiscent of the classic “Guess Who?”, this more mature card game is best for those aged 14 and up. Codenames will have you questioning the true identities of your siblings, friends, and parents, and will surely lead to some mysterious revelations. Inclusive of 16 agent cards, 1 double agent card, 1 assassin card, and 400 codenames, this fun card game is great to play at the dinner table—no mess involved! 

Looking for a board game that won’t cost an arm and a leg?

Depending on the type of family board game you are looking for, how many expansion packs you may want to buy, and its current popularity level, board game prices can start adding up. However, there are still many that you can find in the 10 to 15 dollar range. 

Check out this classic game that will be a hit for all ages and all numbers of players, coming in at just under 10 dollars. 

Best budget family board game: UNO Family Card Game 

A Refurbished Classic

Not only will you learn a new Spanish vocabulary word (hint: it’s “uno”), the whole family will be on the tip of their seats trying to be the first one to get rid of all of their cards!
Mattel Games

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This classic card game has regained popularity in the past few months for good reason. Game-changing cards like Reverse, Draw Two, Draw Four, and Wild Card, will have your confidence heightened (or the opposite) in just a moment’s notice. This version of the classic game comes in a sustainable tin can that’s great for both travel and storage. 

FAQs

Q: What are some fun family games?

The most fun family games are the ones that bring out some healthy competition and result in fond memories with you and your loved ones. That said, the most fun family games will differ for each family: do you prefer scary games or strategy games? Sophisticated games or cute character-based games? The list above hopefully will answer this question by providing games that cover the gamut of these topics. 

Q: What is the best family game for 2021?

While the answer to this question may be subjective, one of the most popular family games for 2021 is Codenames. 

Q: What are the top 5 board games of all time? 

The top 5 board games of all time are also quite subjective but tend to feature the classics we all know and (probably) love. These include Chess, Monopoly, Scrabble, Battleship, and Clue. 

The best family board games bring us together

The past year or so has been tough for many. But one major positive that has come out of these unique times is the increased quality time that has resulted in more bonding and interaction among many family members. To capitalize on this, or to ensure that the family will want to keep coming back for more in the years to come, why not invest in the best family board games and start some new game night traditions? 

Family board games are a perfect way to create authentic connections and genuine laughs while focusing on one play at a time. Forget the TV, lose the iPad, and sit down with your loved ones to take on one of the best family board games like the ones mentioned above.

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