Gather the family around the coffee table, clear away the newspapers and glossy mags and grab a flat, inadequate cushion to sit on – it’s time to play a board game.
The humble board game is not only one of the most honest forms of family entertainment, but one of the most fun and most rewarding. Yes, sure you get to spend time creating memories with your nearest and dearest, but more importantly, you get to claim triumph over them in a very socially acceptable way.
For the win to be extra sweet, you'll need to get the best game possible – but you don’t have to roll the dice on this one, because we’ve gathered together the best family-appropriate board games that money can buy. There’s something on this list for everyone.
What's the best family board game?
1. The Chameleon
One player is "The Chameleon", and their single aim is to blend in with the crowd using quick-witted cunning. Everyone else has to try and work out who it is – a simple premise that's great fun and surprisingly challenging. Players: 3-8Ages: 14+
2. Monopoly Classic
Causing family rifts since 1935, Monopoly is one of the nation's most loved board games. It requires tactical planning and a cool mind. This edition includes some updated player pieces in addition to the traditional top hat and racing car, such as a t-rex, penguin, and rubber duck. Players: 2-6Ages: 8+
3. UNO Extreme
UNO is a classic – this Extreme version has an extra level of difficulty thanks to the introduction of a random card shooter. Pressing a button has never been so nerve-racking! If the pressure is too much for you to handle, there's always the original version. Players: 2-10Ages: 7+
4. Trivial Pursuit
Does Dad really have a good memory for facts? Does Grandma read as much as she says she does? Has watching TV all of your life really been a waste of time? Find out now with the ultimate family quizzing game. Test your general knowledge to the max as you work your way around the board. The great thing about Trivial Pursuit is the expansions, with sets like James Bond 007, Dinosaurs and World Football Stars testing specific areas of knowledge. Players: 2-6Ages: 16+
5. Obama Llama 2
If you're looking for a lively and daft game, this is the one. Obama Llama 2 has the players shouting bizarre rhymes in no time – really easy to pick up, hard to put down. With over 540 cards, this game also offers fantastic replay value. No two games will be the same!Players: 4-20Ages: 14+
6. Shot in the Dark - The Ultimate Unorthodox Quiz Game
It's time to engage in some guesstimation and speculation! Shot in the Dark is an unorthodox quiz that has you engage your critical mind in an attempt to answer tough questions, such as "How many standard sized (2.5 litre) tins of white paint does it take to paint the exterior of the White House?" or "How many litres of Vodka does the average Russian person drink each year?". Players: 2+Ages: 12+
This fast-talking team game is a lively one, and it'll test your vocabulary, communication and general knowledge as you race against the timer to describe actions, people and places. This tense game also allows teams to push their rivals back on the board, just to get them worked up and add to the sense of competition. Players: 4-20+Ages: 12+
8. Cluedo: The Classic Mystery Game
The ultimate whodunit. Cluedo is the game that'll put your investigative mind to the test as you question, deduce and rationalise your way towards an accusation. Players: 2-6Ages: 8+
9. The LOGO Board Game
You see them all the time, you probably even use their products – but do you really know your brands? This will test everyone's memory and have them shouting "that was on the tip of my tongue!" all through the game. Players: 2-6Ages: 12+
Grab the dictionary, it's time to test your wits and give your vocabulary a workout, all while battling against your nearest and dearest for the highest score in this classic board game. If this game doesn't prove that spelling can be exciting, nothing will! Players: 2-4Ages: 8+
A true original if ever there was one. Test your steady hand and sharp eyesight as you pull various bits and bobs from the body of the ever-so-sickly Cavity Sam! Players: 1+Ages: 4+
12. The Game of Life
Embark on your game of life and see what fun, action and adventures awaits. What milestones will you encounter? Start a family, focus on your career or take the risky path and lose it all in this high-stake game. You can even adopt a pet! Players: 2-4Ages: 8+
13. Marvel Battleworld: Mystery of the Thanostones
Funko has teamed up with Marvel to create Marvel Battleworld: Mystery of the Thanostones, an all-new tabletop gaming system. The gameplay is varied, combining figurines, Hero Cards, Game Cards, and dice rolls during play, and original Marvel-backed shorts on YouTube, Disney+ and Marvel HQ bring the game's world - and Thanos' evil plan - to life. For Funko collectors, Marvel fans, and tabletop gamers, this set is as exciting as it is original. Players: 1-4Ages: 6+
14. Sequence, Fun Family Strategy Game
This simple yet addictive game is a cross between Connect Five and playing cards. Either make it a two-player game or team up and make it a six-player contest. Sequence is played with playing cards, poker chips, and a game board. Each team must play cards to connect a row of five on the board in order to win. Players: 2-12Ages: 7+
15. Hasbro Jenga Classic
Jenga is a game that requires no introduction. Build a tower and see if you can pull the blocks without toppling the tower. Feeling like a challenge - try out giant Jenga to heighten the pressure. Players: 1+Ages: 6+
16. Monopoly Deal Card Game
If you love Monopoly but don't enjoy how long it takes, check out Monopoly Deal. Dare we say it, but we think this is even better than the original. This card game doesn't require a board or counters, perfect for holidays and on the go.Players: 2-5Ages: 8+
17. Blokus Game
This game is similar to Tetris, but you play against other people here. This family-friendly game requires strategy as you try to block other contestants while getting rid of your various shaped pieces. Players: 2-4Ages: 7+
This word association game will have you hooked. Players divide into two teams of similar size and skill. You need at least four players in two groups of two for a standard game, but more players can team up. Players: 2-8Ages: 10+
19. Cluedo the Classic Mystery Board Game
This murder mystery board game is a family favourite. Eliminate the suspects and discover whodunit, with what and where. Players: 2-6Ages: 8+
20. Escape Home
While it's not technically a board game, if you fancy something different, Escape Home could be the thing to really jazz up your family festivities. Created by Happy Kits, France's leading escape room game at home, Escape Home is an escape room you can experience in your own home, and can be even be personalised to suit your family.Players: 2-8
About our picks
No one will be surprised to find some very recognisable names in this list, such as the never-failing classics like Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit, or the child-friendly games like Operation and Uno. But to mix things up, we’ve also included a selection of new fantastic and innovative board games such as Codenames or Sequence, which will have players rhyming, yelling, and racing to victory.
Looking for more of a challenge?
If you’re on the lookout for something a little more challenging, we’ve also collected together the best tactical, strategic, and cooperative board games, including the likes of Risk, Pandemic, and Catan.
What to read next:
William Lobley is a Content Writer and reviewer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in gaming, technology, and the outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online.
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