Bring the Family Together This Summer With These Classic Board Games

best board games
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More now we can see our friends again, (albeit at a distance) why not plan a board game night? What a better way to connect and relax than sitting on opposite sides of a table (or six feet apart) and challenge each other to a challenging game or a funny hand of Cards Against Humanity or a relic from childhood to kick up the nostalgia?

Growing up, you likely spent many hours playing board games. Monopoly, the Game of Life and Scrabble lined your basement or bedroom shelves, waiting for a cold winter evening when the cartoons were boring or the local football team wasn’t playing. Whether with your family or your friends, these games provided entertainment and education. 

As the years passed, board games fell by the wayside. It’s true that in the early 2000s, board games lost popularity. But, thanks to the invention of board game cafes and the introduction of modern board games, these beloved games have come roaring back into our lives and for good reason. 

Board games provide adults a number of benefits, including time away from our screens, a challenge for our brains and a way to make new friends. In addition, for families, board games are a great way to boost together time and provide building blocks for your child’s vocabulary and math skills. All in all, these board games are an ideal addition to any household.

  

1. Sequence 

BEST OVERALL

Sequence is one of the most popular games on Amazon, so it’s likely that you’ve heard of it prior to this article. The complicated-looking board may have put you off trying it until now, however, the game is actually quite simple. It’s a cross between tic-tac-toe and cards. The point of the game is to draw cards and match them to markers on the board while trying to get five in a row. This is a great board game for ages seven and above, and can even be used as a STEM learning tool.

best board games sequence Image courtesy of Amazon

  

2. Sorry!

BEST VALUE

Reignite family time with the childhood classic Sorry!. Get all three of your color pawns from start to home and bump your opponents’ pawns en route. In this updated version, some of the rules have changed, allowing a younger generation to fall in love with the game. In addition, Hasbro has also included interactive digital content for a fully immersive gaming experience.

best board games sorry! Image courtesy of Amazon

  

3. Hasbro Clue Game

BEST MYSTERY

Like Monopoly, Risk and Scrabble, this Hasbro Clue Game is highly thought of by many board game fans. The game of Clue creates a new mystery for you to solve during every game. In addition, this is one game that has become part of modern culture, inspiring nicknames and phrases. If you don’t have Clue already, you really need to add this one to your game cabinet.

best board games clue Image courtesy of Amazon

  

4. Battleship With Planes Strategy Board Game

BEST NEW TAKE ON A CLASSIC

Battleship is one of the most popular two-person board games around. It’s a game of strategy, which involves finding your opponent’s ships through process of elimination. This updated version includes both boats and ships for twice the fun. During adult parties, you can also turn Battleship into a drinking game. Every time your opponent “hits” one of your boats or aircraft, you have to take a drink.

best board games battleship Image courtesy of Amazon

  

5. Scrabble

BEST FOR 2 PLAYERS

If you love Words with Friends, you absolutely need to invest in a Scrabble board. This classic board game can open your eyes to new word possibilities. It’s also ideal for families ages eight and up as it can teach new vocabulary and reading skills in a fun way. This set includes four tile racks, 100 wooden letter tiles, one game board, a drawstring letter bag and a game guide.

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6. Codenames

BEST WORD GAME

One of the best newer games on the block is the multi-award-winning Codenames. In this word game, two teams race to reveal the identities of 25 secret agents. One teammate knows the agents only by their code names. The other person on the team has to get the first player to guess the agents’ identities using one-word clues. This is a fun, themed game that can provide hours of entertainment.

best board games codenames Image courtesy of Amazon

  

7. Monopoly Classic

BEST CLASSIC

Love it or hate it, Monopoly is a game that should be found in every household. The game that takes forever allows you to “buy, sell, dream and scheme your way to riches.” Although this is technically the classic version of the game, it does include the new line up of tokens. The rubber ducky, a tyrannosaurus rex and a penguin join the family. Of course, if classic Monopoly isn’t for you, you could always buy Avengers Monopoly, the Star Wars Monopoly or even Metallica Monopoly.

best board games monopoly Image courtesy of Amazon

  

8. Hasbro Risk Game

BEST STRATEGY GAME

Risk is probably one of those board games that your parents always had around but you never wanted to play with. That’s because the outside of this game hasn’t been updated in decades. However, that doesn’t mean the game is boring. After all, the board game Risk is still being produced after years and years on the market. The aim of the game is to conquer your opponent’s territory with your army. Take over the world, and you win.

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9. The Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis

BEST FOR MILLENNIALS

The Game of Life entertained them for ages as children, now Millennials can enjoy an updated version made with special twists and turns just for them. In the Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis, you win the game when you pay off all your crippling debt. You will probably need to work two jobs, rent an over-priced house and stay with a partner you don’t love, but, hey, that’s life in the 21st century. This is an amazing party game and will produce tons of laughs with every go around.

best board games life crisis Image courtesy of Amazon

  

10. Game Development Group Wit’s End Board Game

BEST BRAIN WORKOUT

Take trivia to a whole new level with the Wit’s End Board Game. Instead of a simple question and answer scenario, the cards pose brain teasers and riddles to really get you thinking. There’s a range of diverse categories to work through, including ODD-1-OUT where your job is to pick the wrong answer from the four available on the card. Other options include TEASERS, which means you have to solve mind riddles, and SEQUENCE, which requires you to figure out what comes next.

best board games wit's end Image courtesy of Amazon

  

11. Trivial Pursuit Master Edition

BEST FOR TRIVIA FANS

If you love nothing more than heading out to the bar every week for trivia night or watching endless hours of game shows, you need to buy Trivial Pursuit. This is the ultimate trivia game. You won’t know all the answers, so it’s great for learning new trivia. But, it’s also great for showing off all the little facts you do know. We should also note that instead of relying on a hand-me-down version of Trivial Pursuit, it’s worth investing in a new game so that it includes all the up-to-date trivia questions.

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12. Disney Villainous Strategy Board Game

BEST FOR DISNEY FANS

Who says Disney princes and princesses get to have all the fun? This Ravensburger Disney Villainous Strategy Board Game features all your favorite villains from all the most popular Disney films, including the Queen of Hearts, Jafar, Prince John and more. The aim of the game is to play out each villain’s devious plans before your fellow competitors reach their goals.

best board games disney villainous Image courtesy of Amazon

  

13. Azul Board Game Board Games

BEST PATTERN BUILDING GAME

Plan B Games Azul Board Game calls for you to pit your mosaic building skills against your fellow competitors as you race to finish decorating the king’s royal palace. Each game takes around 40 minutes to complete and involves collecting tiles, creating patterns and placing them on the board to score points, depending on the complexity and style of the pattern. The game comes with high-quality components and can be played by two to four artisans who are over the age of eight.

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14. Pandemic

BEST TEAMWORK GAME

Instead of a game in which you are trying to beat the other players, Pandemic is a game of teamwork in which you work with the other players to beat the game and save the world. In Pandemic, each character is a member of an elite disease control team trying to keep four deadly diseases at bay. Together, you must move around the world and play to your characters strengths in order to cure the diseases. This thought-evoking game flips the competition of normal board games on its head and provides endless evenings of entertainment.

best board games pandemic Image courtesy of Amazon

  

15. Catan

BEST FOR 3-4 PLAYERS

Catan has recently been named the “Game of the Century.” If you haven’t tried it already, you should. In the game, players act as adventurous settlers taming the Isle of Catan. Through rolls of the dice, trades and cards, you work to develop the land and gain resources, but you’ll need to watch out for monopolies, robbers or other players blocking your roads. Thanks to the ability to change the board, the game is different virtually every time you play.

best board games catan Image courtesy of Amazon

  

16. Blue Orange Games Photosynthesis Board Game

MOST EDUCATIONAL

Brush up on your second grade knowledge with this green strategy board game all about cultivating seeds. Two to four players over the age of eight can compete against each other to see who can grow their seeds and create newer, younger trees in the fastest manner. Choosing the right land, sun exposure and rainfall are all important steps in your journey to reshape the ever-changing forest.

best board games photosynthesis Image courtesy of Amazon

  

17. Days of Wonder Ticket to Ride

BEST REVIEWED

With over 3,500 five-star reviews, there can be little doubt that people enjoy playing Day of Wonder Ticket to Ride. This cross-country train adventure game is for two to five players and takes around 60 minutes to complete. The fast pace of play ensures everyone remains awake and involved as you work to connect some of the iconic cities from across North America. You’ll earn additional points for connecting two far away cities as you construct new train routes to travel on.

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18. Secret Hitler

BEST FOR COLLEGE KIDS

Funded by a recent Kickstarter, Secret Hitler is like a cross between a board game and a murder mystery. At the beginning of the game, players are secretly assigned to either the fascist group or the liberal group. One player becomes Hitler. Through a series of government-like decisions, players must decide who is who and kill the “Secret Hitler” before it’s too late. Older children and college kids can glean an important understanding of politics from this particular board game.

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19. Mastermind

MOST NOSTALGIC 

Remember this game? A fast and simple strategy game with over 2,000 possible game combinations, the players must crack the codes from each other while the moving pieces create strategy. It’s a fun, nostalgic thrill from the past or a great teaching tool to have lying around — a STEM recommended learning device. Either way, its multi-generational use will bring some fun to the summer.

Mastermind game Courtesy of Amazon

  

20. Catan Family Edition 

BEST FOR EVERYONE

It’s another day being at home with everyone so why not break out an old classic and teach your friends and family how to play again? The Catan Family Edition has a six-piece reversible board for more replay options. As you enjoy even more ways to play this old favorite, hopefully your worries will vanish for the rest of the night.

Catan Family Edition Courtesy of Amazon

  

21. Monopoly National Parks Edition

FOR OUTDOOR LOVERS

There’s nothing quite like the National Parks edition of the classic game Monopoly. It is a beautiful board with vibrant colors and unique pieces. The best part of collecting the different national parks is learning about the ones you never knew of! So this game does double duty — it’s fun to play with people of all ages and it’ll leave you with a summer travel plan like no other.

Monopoly National Parks Courtesy of Amazon

  

22. Gloomhaven

BEST FOR HORROR FANS

In this ever-shifting world, the game almost never ends — and that’s the point. Best played over several sessions, Gloomhaven is a scenario-based game where players must make decisions that will alter the course of play. Who has the most skill in every scenario and who will survive in the ghostly edge of the world?

Gloomhaven Courtesy of Amazon

  

23. Captain Sonar

BEST FOR BATTLESHIP FANS

This game is similar to Battleship but with teams playing in real-time for submarines warfare. Each player has their role on their team, be it captain charting the course or engineer working to make the submarine run. Players can also use the radio to find the other team’s location and prepare for battle. Best for two to eight players, this game will be sure to find hours of fun for everyone.

Solar Captain Courtesy of Walmart

  

24. Scattergories 

BEST FOR WORDSMITHS

This traditional party game is still unbeatable when it comes to fun. Coming up with answers to the category on the card may sound easy, but the trick is to match the first letter with the letter rolled on the die! To win, the team must have the best word not used by the other teams.

Scattergories Courtesy of Amazon

  

25. Betrayal at House on the Hill

BEST FOR HAUNTING 

If you want to leave the game feeling scared to be alone, this might be the right midnight game for you — “Take a deep breath before you enter. It might be your last.” Betrayal at House on the Hill is a chilling game of strategy and horror. A character-driven game, you will find something new in every room that you must overcome or it will overcome you. A game of skill, this haunted house will leave you feeling breathless.

Betrayalat house on the hill Courtesy of Amazon

  

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