Looking for a fun game to that keeps people coming back for more? Something easy for children, yet challenging for adults?
Then look no further than this carefully curated list of the 10 most addictive and highly rated board games – both recent and classic. Several games in this list are tabletop award winners.
#1: Jax Sequence – Original Sequence Game
The Original Jax Sequence game is an exciting game with cards and chips, where each player must score the required number of five-card sequences before anyone else. It requires and will develop strategic thinking, and can be played by 2-12 players from 7 years of age. Jax Sequence is loved for being a fun game, easy to learn and great for both kids and adults.
#2: Mindware Qwirkle
In Qwirkle, tactical strategy is combined with family fun. In the game, there is a huge amount of choices to place tiles in different possible color combinations. It’s an addictive game, because it both teaches and challenges, yet the rules are basic and simple. Buyers report that this is one of the greatest tabletop games around.
#3: Azul Board Game
In a session of the Azul Board Game, you pick up tiles and place them to score points on a board. It can be played by 2 or 4, and is loved by many families for being easy to learn, but still requiring thinking ahead. A session takes around 30 minutes. Azul will keep your brain sharp, and you’ll keep coming back for more. It won a “game of the year” honor in 2018.
#4: Pandemic Board Game
The Pandemic board game is for ages 13 and up and is basically a cooperative game between players to find a cure for a pandemic disease threatening human kind. Player reviews tell that the game has highly addictive gameplay and will keep you on the edge of your seat, even so exciting that you will forget about your kids for a while. Users also like the unique team dynamic of the game, and the overall theme of saving the world. It’s a highly loved board game by many tabletop players.
#5: Ticket To Ride
A popular game with lots of fun is the Ticket To Ride game – a 2-5 player board games with a lot of replay value. A typical game session takes 30-60 minutes where users move colored train cars in routes across the boards and draw cards for events. Users really love this game for friendliness towards new players (it’s not overly complex) and the great replay-ability – the traits of a great and addictive game.
#6: Shut The Box
In the mood for a fun yet addictive dice game? Consider this edition of 4-player Shut The Box, which was originally a game played by fishermen off of Normandy. This 10-digit version will bring more combinations into play than the typical 9 number version. Users love Shut The Box for being very family friendly, fun and easy to learn. 4 sets of dice are included.
#7: Catan – Trade, Build, Settle
The Catan board game is focused on trade, build and settle. It is based more on tactics and witful playing and less on luck, such as Monopoly. It has great replay value and recently won the Game of the Century award. You can buy the base game and a set of expansions for the game. Users report that this game is highly addictive, and very satisfying to win! Make sure to buy the original game from Catan Studios and not the cheaper knock-offs. It works for 3-4 players and takes about 60-90 minutes to play.
In Splendor, players are merchants competing to buy gem mines, shops and more – to win by points. It is highly addictive and has great replay value – families report that this is in typical rotation, and that it quickly shoots to the top among favorites. The recommended age is 10 and up.
Classic does not mean boring. Battleship is popular for a reason. In the game, 2 players must sink the opponent’s ships for the win, and you keep coming back to win. Kids of all ages can play this classic game of naval combat. Fire away!
#10: Exploding Kittens Card Game
As our last entry, consider something different: The Exploding Kittens game is one of the most original and funny party games out there. It’s for people who are into explosions and kittens and laser beams and sometimes goats. In this 2-5 player family-friendly game, some cards will diffuse, some will explode – hard to explain, the rules are quite extensive, but once you get going, the game is absolutely hilarious.
What to look for in great party games or board games
Replay-ability: By reading reviews you learn a lot about whether a game is fun to play over and over. This makes a game much more worthwhile than soon feeling like “I tried this already”.
Adult Content: Check reviews to learn if and what type of adult content is in the game. Some of the popular party games are not suited for children because of language and explicit content. Other games are family friendly, and can even be played with kids alone.
Sensitive or not? Some games require you to not be sensitive to swearing or explicit content, even as an adult. Some games are made to offend!
Board or conversation? Some games are mainly board games focused on moving objects on a specific boards. Other games are more conversation based and gives you a job to do from a card you draw.
Rules and complexity: Some games have overly complex rules, others are quite simple to understand. Make sure you pick a kind of game that all participants will enjoy.
Quality: The quality of cards and pieces matter – it just makes you more prone to play again and makes you take the game more seriously. Check user reviews, they will reveal poor build quality.
Play time: Consider the time it takes to play one round. It should fit your evening or party schedule. Some games takes for ages and are quite immersive, others are done in 5 or 10 minutes.
Winning and losing: What happens when you win or lose? It’s the most important experience in the game.