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Put Boredom to Bed with Any of These Adult-Friendly Board Games

From simple card games to hardcore strategy games, there's something here for all ages and every number of players.


We are very much living in a digital age. If you need proof of that, just consider how many things you own that come with a companion app — hell, even alarm clocks come with Bluetooth connectivity. If you've been feeling a little overloaded by all the screens, you might want to find an analog, old-school escape here and there. And there are plenty to be had in the realm of entertainment.

Yes, in this case, we're talking about board games. Around since long before video games were a thing, board games are having a little bit of a renaissance right now (thanks, in part, to the ongoing pandemic). While there are more options around than ever before, there are also some major stand-outs more worth your hard-earned dollars than their siblings. But rather than suffering through pages and pages of search results, we've pared down a list of some of the best you can buy right now to help get through the winter doldrums. From strategic solo outings to intimate family fun times to booze-fueled party experiences, these are the best board games for adults.

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Best Board Game For Adults
Next Move
Now 20% off

Masterfully combining approachability, depth and beauty, Azul bucks the trend of cheesy, cheeky, childish graphics in board games and creates something that's as equally engaging as it is visually alluring. The goal of this game is to craft the most beautiful mosaics using your tiles by claiming spaces (which are worth points). And while there's certainly a cutthroat element here — you can foil your opponents' plans (and vice versa) by blocking progress — the result is always unique.

No. of Players: 2-4

Game Length: 30-45 minutes

Recommended Age: 8+

Best Two-Player Board Game
Space Cowboys

If you've ever wanted to get a look at the ins and outs of a competitive free market, but economics textbooks are a bit too dry, we'd like to introduce you to Jaipur. This clever game puts you in the shoes of a trader trying to win the favor of the maharaja and pits you against a single opponent. It's fun, easy to learn, and has a ton of replay value. Just remember: this game is two-player-only, meaning you can't play with more or fewer people.

No. of Players: 2

Game Length: ~30 minutes

Recommended Age: 10+

Best Party Board Game
The Blockbuster Game
Spin Master Toys & Games

Take equal parts nostalgia, charades and entertainment and you'll start to get an idea of what The Blockbuster Game is all about. Obviously, heavily inspired by the '90s video rental store of the same name, this team-based game calls on players to act out, quote and describe over 200 different films, and there are even head-to-head movie genre challenges. That also means this game is approachable, easy to learn and can be played for as long or little as you so desire.

No. of Players: 4-12

Game Length: 10+ minutes

Recommended Age: 12+

Best Classic Board Game
Monopoly: Shinola Detroit Edition

Monopoly is usually amongst the first things that come to mind when thinking of board games. This version is played the same as the classics, but boasts a much more upscale presentation and construction and even has spaces inspired by Shinola's hometown of Detroit, Michigan. If you want a classic board game, but you don't like the hokey cheesiness they often offer, this is a super-solid alternative, so long as you can reasonably afford it.

No. of Players: 2-8

Game Length: 20-180 minutes

Recommended Age: 8+

Best Educational Board Game
Stonemaier Games
Now 22% off

Believe it or not, birds are real. And if you've ever wanted to learn more about them and their sub-species, Wingspan will certainly speak to you. This turn-based strategy game puts you in the shoes of an enthusiastic birder attempting to lure these flying creatures to your aviary. Along with being a fun strategy game, it's also quite educational and will teach you real facts about real birds, lending even more value to it.

No. of Players: 1-5

Game Length: 40-70 minutes

Recommended Age: 14+

Best Family Board Game
King of Tokyo
Now 20% off

Who doesn't love a good kaiju fight? If that sounds like a phrase you may have uttered, this game is for you. It puts you in the shoes (or, perhaps more accurately, paws and/or claws) of giant monsters vying for dominance in Japan's biggest, most vibrant city. Especially if you enjoy Godzilla, King Kong and their contemporaries, this is a must-play game you (and your family) will return to again and again.

No. of Players: 2-6

Game Length: ~30 minutes

Recommended Age: 8+

Best Solo Board Game
Spirit Island
Greater Than Games
Now 22% off

Yes, even if you're flying solo, you can still play this game. In fact, you might prefer it that way, though it can work cooperatively with up to four players. The concept here is that you are an island spirit (like a god of nature) and you're using all your powers and abilities to stop the damage to your island caused by colonial invaders. Along with offering an engaging strategy playstyle, this game also comes with a baked-in message about both ecological and social issues, which gives it some added depth and value.

No. of Players: 1-4

Game Length: 90-120 minutes

Recommended Age: 14+

Best Strategy Board Game
Catan Studio
Now 13% off

Formerly known as Settlers of Catan, this board game has sold over 100 million copies — making it amongst the most popular in the modern age. And while it's approachable enough to be called family-friendly, it also has a tremendous amount of depth, making it beloved amongst casual gamers and hardcore strategists alike. It's even been used in academic and corporate settings as a means of team-building. If you only get one game on this list, it may very well end up being this one.

No. of Players: 3-4

Game Length: ~60 minutes

Recommended Age: 10+

Best Co-op Board Game
Pandemic Legacy
Z-Man Games
Now 10% off

No, this isn't a cheeky, in-poor-taste joke about the state of the world. Rather, Pandemic, in some form or another, has been one of the best board games around since it was first released in 2008. And while the strategy angle will certainly speak to some (the whole goal of the game is to mitigate a global viral disaster), the big highlight of this one is that it offers cooperative play — not simply competitive. It will take a bit longer than some of the other party-friendly games on this list, but it's no less an engaging and enjoyable experience.

No. of Players: 2-4

Game Length: 60+ minutes

Recommended Age: 13+

Best Adults-Only Game
Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity LLC.

Based on sheer popularity and approachability alone, Cards Against Humanity deserves a spot on this list. It has an extremely easy learning curve (it's pretty much just competitive mad-libs), can be played with as few as three people or as many as a dozen (so long as you have the cards) and can take as long or as short as you so desire. There is just one catch: this game is definitely not for the faint of heart or easily offended, nor is it kid-friendly.

No. of Players: 3+

Game Length: 10+ minutes

Recommended Age: 18+

These Are Some of the Best Outdoor Games
SolStockGetty Images

Once the weather starts to warm up, get your croquet sweaters out and your bocce toss dialed — it's lawn game season.


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