The 10 Best Board Games For Families

There’s a rich history behind board games that stretches back thousands of years. For so long, our species has been obsessed with creating and playing them, and as different cultures and civilizations interacted, board games proliferated around the world. It’s one of the coolest ways we communicate and understand each other despite our differences.

Board games are perfect in so many situations where you need entertainment. They bring people together around structured fun and competition and are great for knocking out boredom, breaking the ice with new friends, and getting your family to engage in the same activity.

We’re in a golden era of board game versatility. While you may have played the classics, you’d be surprised how many board game options you can choose from today. There are portable options that don’t cost much and can provide hours of fun for you, and especially for kids.

They’re a great way to get kids (and adults) off of their screens and using their brains in creative ways. On our list, we’ve picked a versatile crop of board games. There’s something for everyone.

We ranked these games on their cost, the number of Amazon reviews and the average review score, and the age range the games cover. We’ve also gone over what reviewers said in our pros and cons for each item. Each ranking category is evaluated out of a possible 300.

Let’s check out the games that made the list!

1) Melissa & Doug Suspend Family Game

This game prizes hand-eye coordination, balance, and construction. It features a wooden base, four frame rods, a colored die, a wooden connector, and 24 game rods. 1-4 players can play it, and it’s suggested for 8-year-olds and up.

This game helps kids learn to build sustainable structures. Melissa & Doug’s games have been praised by The New York Times, NBC, ABC News, and Vox. Build up wired stands until it collapses! Endless fun.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Out of 3,645 customer reviews, 82% of reviewers gave this 5 stars.
  • Owners praised how fun it is for the entire family.
  • Reviewers recommended buying two sets.
  • This game was repeatedly praised for bringing people together.
  • Users said there wasn’t much chance of injuring yourself with the wires.
  • Users commented that kids of different ages loved this game.
  • Reviewers said this game was very mobile.
  • Owners said it was artsy fun.
  • Customers praised the customer service for this item.

Cons

  • One positive review said the version for 6-year-olds is slightly better.
  • One owner said this game was fun for only a few plays.
  • An owner said this game was usually won by whoever places the first wire.
  • One owner said it was not great, but good.

Score

Price: (2nd) 294/300
Review Score: (5th) 4.6/5 285/300
Age Range: 8+ (6th) 282/300
Overall Score: 289.5/300

2) Blokus Game

Blokus is a race game where players compete to fill a board with their different colored pieces. 2-4 people can play it. It’s recommended for ages 5 and up. It teaches kids strategy and spatial awareness.

Pieces must touch at least one piece of the same color. Players race to cut off and confine opponent pieces. When the board is filled whoever has the least squares of their color left wins.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Out of 1,257 ratings, 81% of reviewers gave this game 5 stars.
  • Reviewers repeatedly praised how much fun this game is.
  • Owners said this was great for the entire family.
  • Users said they were thrilled by their kids wanting to play this with others, and by themselves.
  • Owners said this game was fun for kids in the 11-13 range as well as young kids.
  • Users said this was fun for adults.
  • Owners were happy with what the game taught their kids.

Cons

  • Reviewers said not to be fooled by promises of a “deluxe” size.
  • Reviewers said to buy the cheapest version of this game.
  • One owner said tiles slide to much, making the game hard for little kids to play.
  • Owners said they preferred the classic version of Blokus.
  • Some owners felt they were misled by the version of the game sold on Amazon, and suggested people purchase it in person.

Score

Price: (6th) 282/300
Review Score: (5th) 4.6/5 285/300
Age Range: 5+ (1st) 297/300
Overall Score: 288.75/300

3) Ker Plunk

Ker Plunk is an an old school game that’s been proven timeless by excited young players. It’s for children 5 and up. The game revolves around removing straws that hold marbles suspended in a tube. When the sticks are removed, the marbles can fall. You want as few marbles to fall as possible.

The player with the fewest marbles at the end of the game wins. Two to four players can play at once. If you remember Ker Plunk, this is a great way to share your memories with kids.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Out of 795 ratings, 59% of reviewers gave Ker Plunk 5 stars.
  • Owners were excited to share a game from their childhood with kids.
  • Users said the game was fun for kids.
  • Reviewers were happy to reminisce and play this game themselves.
  • Multiple reviewers praised this product as very engaging.

Cons

  • One reviewer was upset with the quality of the game.
  • Some owners said the materials were cheap in this game.
  • Some users were upset with the differences between the modern version and the classic.
  • One reviewer was upset that the marbles were plastic instead of glass.
  • Reviewers repeatedly complained about the materials and the sturdiness of this product.

Score

Price: (2nd) 294/300
Review Score: (5th) 4.0/5 285/300
Age Range: 5+ (1st) 297/300
Overall Score: 286.5/300

4) Not Parent Approved: A Card Game for Kids, Families and Mischief Makers

This game is great for tweens, teens, and even adults. 4-10 players can participate, and it’s intended for users 8 and older. There are separately sold expansion packs if you come to love it.

This game is inspired by Cards Against Humanity, except it’s not too dirty. It’s a great way to get kids to read and read aloud. The game is extremely portable, and aims to make you laugh!

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Out of 919 customer ratings 79% gave this game 5 stars.
  • One reviewer noted how funny the cards were.
  • A user said it was easy to eliminate cards that were inappropriate, and they found the cards funny.
  • One reviewer said this is a great game to play with interesting people.
  • A user said this was a great way to bring families together.
  • One owner said this was a great game for sleepovers.

Cons

  • One reviewer said there were some cards that would be inappropriate for tweens.
  • Another reviewer said this game was more for kids 15+ than young kids.
  • There were some sexual references in this game.
  • One user said some cards might provoke nightmares.
  • One owner called this game “trite and boring.”
  • Multiple users complained this game was boring.

Score

Price: (5th) 285/300
Review Score: 10th 4.6/5 270/300
Age Range: 8+ (6th) 282/300
Overall Score: 285/300

5) Catan: Junior

This game takes the classic civilization game Settlers of Catan and makes it fun for kids. The whole family can enjoy this game together, and it has a lot of replay value. Players five and up can play, and two to four players can play at once.

Players use resources to build ships, hideouts, and more. They avoid ghosts, parrots, and fight to control seven pirate hideouts to win. The game involves luck and strategy and is an adaptation of a game beloved by all ages.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Out of 547 customer ratings, 85% gave this game 5 stars.
  • One owner said this was great for getting your kids into Catan.
  • Another owner said this was great for a nearly 5-year-old.
  • A customer said this was their 6-year-old’s favorite game.
  • Users said the pirate theme was great for kids.
  • Customers said this was a great way to get kids into the adult Catan.
  • A user said this is a great way to get kids away from video games.

Cons

  • One user complained about the quality of the cardboard in this game.
  • One user said their box came empty.
  • A reviewer recommended buying the adult version.
  • One owner called it boring.
  • A user said their set came defective.
  • One customer said it might be too simple to have much replay value.

Score

Price: (8th) 276/300
Review Score: (2nd) 4.8/5 294/300
Age Range: 6+ (3rd) 291/300
Overall Score: 285/300

6) Ticket to Ride – First Journey

This game invites two to four players to take a ride across America via train, and learn basic geography. Players will race to complete their journey first, and the game can be completed in 30 minutes or less.

Ticket to Ride is based on the classic board game but intended for players six and up. Players attempt to collect train cards and build routes on a map by connecting cities they have obtained tickets to ride between. Whoever completes six tickets wins.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Out of 129 customer ratings, this game got 5 stars from 85% of raters.
  • Reviewers said it was fun for the entire family.
  • Owners said it was a great way to introduce young kids to the series.
  • One user said their 8-year-old was able to play competently immediately, beating their parents and having a great time doing it.
  • A customer said their 6-year-old couldn’t play the adult version of the game, but enjoyed this one.
  • Users said its 20-30 minute game play was perfect for young kids.

Cons

  • One reviewer said it was hard to play because the board got crowded and users couldn’t build a route across the country.
  • A user said they were unhappy Washington, D.C. was labeled Washington.
  • One reviewer said they found the directions a little confusing.
  • A user said their box arrived in bad shape when it was delivered.
  • One customer said this product took a long time to come to their house and was missing pieces when it arrived.

Score

Price: (9th) 273/300
Review Score: (2nd) 4.8/5 294/300
Age Range: 6+ (3rd) 291/300
Overall Score: 283.5/300

7) Winning Moves Games No Stress Chess

This game is built to teach people how to play chess. It comes with cards that tell players where to move. Players take turns picking cards and then doing what they’re instructed to.

No Stress Chess takes you from not knowing anything about chess to being able to play it without instruction. The chess pieces are plastic, and the set comes with 56 action cards and a two-sided chess board. When players progress past the first side of the board, they flip it over to play standard chess.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Out of 1,354 customer ratings, 86% of raters gave this set 5 stars.
  • Users said it was an effective introduction to the rules of chess.
  • Customers said it helped children understand basic chess strategy.
  • Reviewers said this game got 5-7-year-olds into chess.
  • Users said this game helped kids who wanted to play chess but were too young to fully understand it into the game.
  • Users said it was very fun.
  • It was positively compared to other board games.
  • Reviewers said this game could handicap advanced players and level the playing field with inexperienced ones.

Cons

  • One reviewer said their kids (6-10) would rather play regular chess.
  • Some users had problems with the gameplay with the card suggestions.
  • A reviewer said kids who are into chess would rather play it than the No Stress version.
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  • Some users were unhappy with the quality control on the sets they received.
  • Some reviewers said their sets were missing pieces.

Score

Price: (4th) 288/300
Review Score: (4th) 4.7/5 288/300
Age Range: 7+ (5th) 285/300
Overall Score: 282.75/300

8) Spontuneous – The Song Game

This game is easy to play and great for all ages 8 and up. A player picks a “trigger word.” Other players have 15 seconds to sing at least five words of a song with that word in the lyrics. Whoever sings out the words first then rolls dice and moves their piece across the board based on their roll.

Players can also land on spots that have cards that have challenges. If you stump the other players, they can challenge you, and you need to have a song that includes your trigger word. The game takes about 30 minutes to play.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Out of 1,824 customer ratings, this game received 5 stars 77% of the time.
  • Users said it was surprisingly fun.
  • Reviewers were thrilled with the variety of people who enjoyed playing.
  • People said they laughed throughout playing.
  • The game was called “brilliant.”
  • People said the game was great for those who like to sing and even those who don’t.
  • Customers said this game brought their families together.
  • Users said the game was intuitive and easy to play.

Cons

  • One reviewer said not everyone liked this game.
  • A user said this game was more challenging than they expected.
  • One customer didn’t see why you should buy the game when you could play the meat of it without purchasing anything.
  • Another user said it wasn’t worth the price.
  • Some users said it wasn’t that much fun.
  • One reviewer said they wished the game came with suggested trigger words.

Score

Price: (7th) 279/300
Review Score: (8th) 4.5/5 276/300
Age Range: 8+ (6th) 282/300
Overall Score: 282.75/300

9) Apples to Apples Party Box

Apples to Apples is a great game of comparison, cleverness, and helps kids understand allusive thinking. Players choose from their cards to best match description cards. A rotating member of the players chooses which of the comparisons best matches drawn description cards.

This set comes with 504 cards. It’s simple to play, and comes in frustration-free packaging. Apples to Apples is widely beloved, award-winning, and makes learning fun for youngsters.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Out of 577 customer ratings, this game got 5 stars 77% of the time.
  • Users said it was perfect for everyone.
  • One user said it was family friendly but allowed for dark humor.
  • A reviewer called it enjoyable and quirky.
  • People who enjoyed other Apples to Apples, you’ll likely enjoy this set.
  • Users said this was like playing Cards Against Humanity except kids can enjoy it too.
  • A reviewer said 3-9 people could have fun playing this game.

Cons

  • One reviewer said this game had too much adult material for an 11-year-old granddaughter.
  • Another reviewer said there was some NSFW material and maybe customers should consider getting the junior version.
  • One reviewer found this product was not as described due to having only 500 cards and a thin box.
  • Another reviewer said the box they received was different than the picture of it.
  • A user wanted more description cards.
  • A reviewer found this was inappropriate for fifth graders.
  • Several users wished this was more like a previous version of the game that they had plated.

Score

Price: (1st) 297/300
Review Score: (8th) 4.5/5 276/300
Age Range: 12+ (9th) 273/300
Overall Score: 282/300

10) Cranium 3 in 1

Cranium is a great, versatile game that kids love. It involves sketching, acting, humming, sculpting, and solving puzzles. Players compete to complete the board first by winning challenges.

The board on this edition can be modified to dictate how long the game will last, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour. It’s recommended for players 16+, although younger kids can enjoy aspects of the game, especially playing with the putty.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Of 51 customer ratings, Cranium received 5 stars 91% of the time.
  • Reviewers repeatedly said their families loved this game.
  • Users said it was great for the holidays.
  • Owners said the game led to hilarious conversations and situations.
  • Customers said it was great for the family, and for drinking and hanging out with adults.
  • Users said this game keeps the brain active.

Cons

  • There were no critical reviews for this game.
  • It did rank last on our age and price metrics.

Score

Price: (10th) 270/300
Review Score: (1st) 4.9/5 297/300
Age Range: 16+ (10th) 273/300
Overall Score: 277.5/300

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