Right there is the best time to try new board games because there are literally hundreds of titles in this category. The tradition of playing Monopoly or Hasbro products runs in American families for a few decades. However, not all modern board sets are good for family nights. Some of them are too complicated while the others are too explicit.
Things to consider when buying a board game:
- Age of players;
- The interest of all participants;
- Longevity of gaming sessions;
If the family includes a child it’s significant to consider his or her age so a kid could love the title played by parents and relatives. If a kid is too little and can’t even read, there are not many table games a parent can choose.
Board sets will do better for school-age children who already can read and know the math basics. Teenagers will surely hop the board train along with parents if the chosen title is funny and popular. Memory or party games with funny (but not obscene) jokes with 1- or 2-hour sessions can turn to be the greatest pick for families with older kids or teens.
Surely, it’s also important to think of the players’ interest when picking a board activity. Some family members are good in math, while others like to guess or draw in the process. Most family tabletop products have different activities where everyone can choose a part he likes the most. However, many simple products focus only on one specific kind of entertainment or activity.
Also, it wouldn’t go amiss to consider the time spent on one gaming session. Some sessions can last for hours. However, frequently the players have to spend no more than 30 minutes per 1 match or session.
Other tips for buying the best board game for a family game night are limited to individual preferences and budget. The following review offers 10 absolute hits in the category of board leisure activities for all ages.
10. Spontuneous The Song — the best board game for memory training!
The best thing is that participants of the mocking singing contest must name or hum the famous songs with certain words in them. People have to act quickly in calling the song titles when drawing a certain card with a word in it. The task is to call the song with the drawn word as soon as possible. This is a simple memory exercise that can be turned into classic charades or adult drinking match (but it will be bad for trivia).
|Great for kids from 8 years old;||2 people may find playing this set a bit boring, so the more, the merrier;|
|Do not require any special skills, just good memory, and love for music;||No instructions;|
|Can turn into versatile activities for children, teens, and adults;||The quite limited number of words on cards, though it’s always possible to add personal trigging words on blank cards that are also included to the set;|
|Can be used in music classes or during amateur song contests/challenges with educational or entertaining purposes;||Some users claim they didn’t have any word cards in their Spontaneous set;|
This interactive/memory blockbuster is widely popular in schools and talent groups all over the world. Also, this may be a smart pick for parties.
9. One Night Ultimate Werewolf — one of the greatest board family games for Halloween!
Halloween table sets are extremely popular but not all of them are great for school-aged kids.
The gaming experience resembles the famous Mafia but with a twist — after a certain night phase all players have to guess in 5 minutes who is a Werewolf. What makes it special is a ridiculous price — only $12 — and a free iOS/Android app for making the gameplay more interactive and addictive.
|Good for playing with kids (older than 8 years) who are into horror flicks;||Experienced players may find it too simple;|
|Interactive and teen-aimed because of a free app included;||The app lags sometimes;|
|Motivates for playing over and over again, with different roles;||Very short sessions;|
|Awesome design for all 16 playable cards;||No fun for a group over 5 people;|
|Cards are made of thick cardboard and not easy to rip apart;||There are many fake copies with cheap cards, so buy from trustworthy suppliers;|
|Pretty good instructions;||–|
|There are many extensions that can be bought separately (like new cards);||–|
The perfect 5- or 10-minute party activity is by no means boring or stupid.
8. Codenames — the best competitive blockbuster under $15!
The teammates of each spymaster know the identities of all 25 agents only by their codenames. The set includes over 60 visually stunning cards for playing and 200 cards with codenames, a stand for all cards and a timer.
Using the clues and a timer rivaling team must identify and contact all the agents of their team faster than the other team. This is an unusual, entertaining, social title with the competitive gaming experience.
|Helps to develop the deduction skills;||Not very interesting by the concept — basically, it is an improved version of a basic word activity;|
|A competitive and challenging experience;||Sometimes players need time to figure out the clues so prepare to wait as long as it takes;|
|Very good price;||Not for experienced fans of board sets;|
|Simple for kids over 8 years;||–|
|Beautifully designed double-sided cards;||–|
Codenames is a great leisure activity for families with children and teenagers. It’s not suitable for adult parties.
7. Sorry! by Hasbro — the greatest Hasbro board game under $10!
Contestants must beat down the pawns of other participants. There are special boosting tokens for giving certain special abilities. The main trick is to pose on the Slide spot for bumping as many pawns as possible. This board will do just fine for kids over 6 years old. The set includes a gaming board, 12 pawns and 44 cards along with detailed instructions.
|Incredibly low price;||It has a pretty big box, but not a travel size (though there is a compact version);|
|Detailed instructions;||Not very good quality — all pawns are made of plastic;|
|A simple competitive gaming experience that is suitable for little kids;||Have 3 pawns per color instead of 4 pawns for a single participant, like it was in a classic version;|
Sorry! can be recommended to everyone who likes a light-going entertaining activity.
6. Catan — the most re-playable board title for a family night!
It’s an economic strategy where every step has to be thought out. Participants must pick up the trades and regions for building a rich settlement. The main point is to build more settlements and cities than competitors do. Catan resembles Monopoly but with the more advanced experience & unusual lore.
|A great educational strategy for older kids (over 10 years);||Won’t be suitable for young kids since the rules are a bit tricky;|
|Resembles Monopoly but with a twist;||Some boxes have missing pieces;|
|Requires tactics;||Many illegal copies;|
|Includes a colorful rulebook;||–|
|Very popular title with more than 6 editions;||–|
|Extensions for a playset for 5-6 players are available;||–|
Catan is one of the best family-aimed titles and a great pick for first-timers.
5. Jenga Giant Family Hardwood Stacking Game — the greatest selection for an outdoor playtime!
A fun and challenging title that is capable of entertaining anyone.
|The great price deal for a giant Jenga if to compare with other products in this niche — under $100;||Uneven blocks and sometimes do not fit in the right way;|
|Top-notch quality — authentic hardwood blocks;||A huge box, though wooden pieces could fit a smaller package;|
|Despite the size and 10-pound weight, the storage box is quite portable;||–|
|Good for camping trips;||–|
|Can be adapted for adult parties — like a bridal or baby shower;||–|
This is an oversized version of classic Jenga safe for kids over 6 ages old.
4. Sequence by Jax — the best title for developing STEM skills!
Expect the exciting experience of strategy and intelligence. The rules are quite simple — contestants draw cards and place chips on the board. The sequence happens when the gamer has 5 chips in one row. The Sequence is one of the best titles for young and adult brainiacs!
|A wise choice for the whole family — it’s simple enough for children and can be funny for grown-ups;||Poor quality of cards;|
|Available in a jumbo-sized version;||Sometimes not enough chips in a box;|
|A very detailed folding gaming board;||–|
|Durable chips and 2 decks of playable cards;||–|
|Really small packaging box;||–|
|Instructions in Spanish and English;||–|
|Will do for the individual and team matches;||–|
Build the sequence and do not let other gamers become the champs. The Sequence may help to develop strategic thinking and become the best addition to any family night.
3. Hasbro Connect 4 — the disc-dropping activity for family and friends!
For the price less than $20 the Connect 3 Classic Grid title offers addictive gameplay that is simple, fast and entertaining for many hours.
|Connect is recommended to kids with ADHD, autism and other learning disabilities;||Only a thin cardboard box for keeping the piece intact;|
|Very bright colors that kids love;||Very short sessions;|
|Original set has 3 extra discs if some are missed during the process;||The grid can be easily broken;|
|Good for very little kids (aged over 3 years);||–|
One of the most popular Hasbro’s classic board titles used for school activities and family nights!
2. Hasbro Monopoly Classic — the absolute bestseller in among the best family table games!
Contestants need to build commercial constructions, then sells them and achieve the American dream of becoming a rich capitalist.
For many years Monopoly remains the most recognized and awardable title in the genre of economic strategies for the participants of all ages.
|Engrossing property-dealing gameplay that never gets old;||Some pieces are made of cheap plastic materials;|
|Good for all family members, including little children (over 6 years old);||The improper printing of the gaming board;|
|The absolute hit;||Missing parts in some sets;|
|High-end quality of tokens and figures;||–|
|English and Spanish rulebook;||–|
The ultimate classics for family nights, it’s hard to find a more interesting economic strategy than Monopoly!
1. Jenga Classic by Hasbro — the most budget-friendly board product for families!
The timeless Jenga is the greatest pick among family board games because everyone will laugh when playing it.
|Very affordable;||The average quality of a storage box;|
|A classic version of the popular American board title from the 1980s;||The pieces in this edition are less squared up;|
|Durable blocks;||A too soft stacking sleeve made of cardboard;|
|Simple rules — even little children (over 5 years old) will find it easy to understand;||–|
|Suitable for playing alone or with family/friends;||–|
Classic hardwood Jenga delivers an incomparable gaming experience and gravity-defying fun being one of the best family board games for all ages. Even if a person has never played this title, Jenga does its magic and make everyone play it for hours.
Frequently asked questions
1. Why you should play board games with your family?
There are at least 2 reasons why to get along with a family over a gaming board. First of all, it’s funny and many titles will make anyone laugh for many hours. Another reason is to communicate and get to know the closest people in a chilling and relaxed manner, with a bit of competitiveness. Board products is a great excuse to pick up the thread of acquaintance with somebody.
2. What is a family game night?
It’s an all-American tradition to have at least one night free from TV and Internet to play the game in a close circle of family and friends. Such tradition is usually called a family game night.
3. How to get on a family game night?
To prevent the quarrels among family members during a gaming night, it’s better to read all rules of the chosen game before starting the first session. All participants, even little kids, must understand how and what to do. Also, it’s unnecessary to percept a family game too seriously. The most important mission is to have fun.
Tips on selecting board games for playing with family and friends
- The majority of modern tabletop titles is good for the participants over 12 years old. Make sure to pick the activity for all family members;
- Check the unbiased reviews of new products before buying;
- Visit the nearest café where they arrange family nights with different board titles — this is a good opportunity to test any gaming product in action without buying it;
- Beware counterfeits;
- Get the best price deal because most board games are commonly offered at discounts;
Picking up a board gaming title for family night is not complicated. Check the review’s recommendations on new titles or stick to classic activities like Monopoly or Jenga. The main rule is having fun in the process!