The 14 Best Board Games for Adults (2021)

best adult board games

Are you looking for a new board game? Maybe during a quiet Sunday afternoon, a rainy summer vacation, or a fun game night with friends? It’s best to have something entertaining in your arsenal, and what could be more fun than board games for adults that you can play with other people?

What follows below is a list of the top 10+ board games suitable for adults. It was compiled using a mixture of the opinions of board gamers and my own expertise over many years–ditching old-fashioned crosswords, charades, and jenga in favor of adult board games that are fun, popular, and modern.

  1. The Settlers of Catan
  2. Ticket to Ride
  3. Pandemic
  4. Cluedo
  5. Guess Who?
  6. Cards Against Humanity
  7. Scrabble
  8. Bananagrams
  9. Chess
  10. Trivial Pursuit
  11. Pictionary
  12. Risk
  13. UNO
  14. Monopoly

14. The Settlers of Catan

Catan, previously known as The Settlers of Catan, is a multiplayer board game designed by Klaus Teuber. The Settlers of the Stone Age’, is a best-selling board game that has been translated into 30+ languages and sold in excess of 22 million copies.

Players win at The Settlers of Catalan by accruing the greatest number of points. Players earn points through the acquisition of resources; each game uses six types of resources (brick, lumber, wool, grain, ore and gold), based on dice rolls or cards that allow players to collect sets.

Although it is an incredibly popular best-selling board game for adults, many gamers claim that The Settles of Catan is best enjoyed with the expansion pack.

Play Catan Without Expansion The best selling board game for adults may not necessarily appeal to everyone’s taste due to its heavy reliance on luck. If you enjoy playing best-selling board games The Settlers of Catan may be best played with the expansion packs, but people who prefer more complex adult fun will enjoy the board game–hence why it’s amongst one of the most popular board games for adults.

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13. Ticket to Ride

Although not as popular as Catan, Ticket to Ride is another best-selling board game. Developed and design by Alan R. Moon, Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure where players collect cards of various types of train cars that enable them to claim railway routes. Players gain points by connecting cities and fulfilling Destination Tickets – secret objectives that require players to build the longest continuous route possible. This best-selling board game is available in 43 languages and has been called ‘the best of its type’.

Ticket to Ride is best for 2-5 players aged 8 and up with a play time of 30 minutes.

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12. Pandemic

The Pandemic board game is best for 2-4 adult players with a play time of 45 minutes. Pandemic is a cooperative game where each player aims to stop the outbreak of four diseases with special roles in their own team by research, controlling disease outbreaks, treating infected individuals, and finding cures.

Players win in Pandemic when they cure three diseases or when time runs out and humanity is not wiped out. However, it’s trickier than it sounds. The game board is a map of the world, and on their turn, each player must choose to move from one city to another, treat infected populaces with medicine, swap cards in order to create a cure for a certain disease or give themselves a research bonus.

Pandemic requires players to keep their eyes on the board at all times with hidden information; it’s best for adults who enjoy that kind of gameplay.

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11. Cluedo

In Clue, also called Cluedo in various international editions, players aim to solve a murder mystery by finding out who did it. Best for adult players, Cluedo takes some concentration as players must figure out the murder weapon, location and room. Players face off against one another in order to deduce the best suspect, room and murder weapon.

The rules of Cluedo are a bit complicated, but players must remember that they need to pay attention to both their opponents and the board. It requires teamwork and, best for adult players, thinking outside the box.

It’s best for adults who have a good memory, as well as those who enjoy deduction games. Cluedo is a role-playing game that best fits players who like to take on a certain role, which can add another dimension of fun.

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10. Guess Who?

Guess Who? is a great board game for adults that tests the memory of its players while providing plenty of laughs and entertainment. The best part about Guess Who? is that it’s a two player game best played with partners or spouses. It will take you back to your childhood days of playing the game, but with a bit of flare.

Guess Who? is best played by those who like to take on new challenges and puzzles. It best fits players aged 10 years old and above. To win at Guess Who?, one must best their opponent by asking questions regarding the person they are trying to guess.

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9. Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity is a game best for older players, as some of the cards feature topics like ‘poop’ and ‘sex with lizards’. It is best if played by a group of friends comfortable with each other.

The game consists of black topic cards and white answer cards. Each player grabs ten white cards and one black card. The goal is to fill in the blank with the best answer from the white cards.

The best thing about Cards Against Humanity is that it’s a turn-based game, so players needn’t be too worried if they aren’t quick thinkers. It makes for an interesting way to figure out how well you know your friends and family members.

One thing to be wary of? Cards Against Humanity can get uncomfortable–quickly. Some of the cards are quite family-unfriendly.

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8. Scrabble


Scrabble is a great strategy board game for adult couples or small groups. Now, it’s best to play without four players, but two or three is the perfect amount of people to build off one another and get a good game going.

Scrabble can be competitive at times, so your best strategy is to not take each other’s words personally and just go with the best choice for the letters on the table. It can be best to think of words that might fit inside your letter slot, even if they don’t make sense. Players can get word clues from a Scrabble app on their phone.

Scrabble is best if played at home, with a nice glass of wine and some snacks to munch on while playing. So long as you have a table top, you can start playing Scrabble.

Scrabble winners are best described as smart–not overly competitive. Basically, if you are best at Scrabble, then you probably are pretty intelligent too.

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7. Bananagrams

Bananagrams is the best multi-player board game because it’s quick to learn and easy to play with almost any number of people. Unlike Scrabble, Bananagrams is a board game best for almost any age group.

It’s best to choose letters in different colors so it is easy to keep track of which player has each letter in their rack. For best results, separate the tiles into categories before you play. This best helps you when you are trying to spell because if you don’t plan ahead then it might be difficult to make a word.

When the game ends, you will be surprised at how quick it goes by. People who play Bananagrams best enjoy it when they can’t predict what’s going to happen or see what their opponents are doing. You best not take this game too seriously because that is not the intent of the game.

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6. Chess

It’s no secret that chess is considered one of the best board games for adults, but it can also be best to play with friends and loved ones! Granted, it may not be the most exciting party game, but chess is mostly a mental game. It would be best to make sure everyone knows the rules well enough before you try to play a best friend or family member, as they may lose interest quickly otherwise.

Players win at chess by removing their opponents best pieces from the board, and there best are 6 different kinds of best pieces that vary in value.

Don’t worry: we’re not talking about competitive chess. You can turn the board game into a fun party activity. The best part about chess is that it’s best what you make of it, so if you’re a beginner, don’t be afraid to start out as a beginner and eventually work your way up!

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5. Trivial Pursuit

One of the best-selling classic board games of all time, Trivial Pursuit is the best of both worlds for trivia lovers.

There best are 6 different editions to choose from, each with different categories that range in difficulty level. Players win at Trivial Pursuit by piecing together questions to answers and getting to the end of the board fastest.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the best trivia master out there or if you’ve never had any interest in trivia games before; Trivial Pursuit is great for all levels. However, it’s best for adult players. Minors, children, and teenagers might not have the knowledge required to win at the board game.

The bottom line? If you’re a quiz master, Trivial Pursuit is a fun way to show off your skills. On the other hand, if you’re bad at trivia or just not that into it, Trivial Pursuit might be good for making new friends!

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4. Pictionary

This best board game for adults is fun for groups who want to play together but may not be the best option for anyone with less than perfect drawing skills. This game works well because it’s very interactive and includes different levels.

You need more than one player to play Pictionary, so this best board game for adults is best played with a group of friends or family members. The winner is decided based on how well the best board game for adults player can draw what is being described.

This board game is best played with larger groups of at least 5 adults. If you have a big group, teams may be best so you don’t have as much unfair competition as with individuals. All players should be at around the same skill level to make Pictionary a fair game.

Pictionary is our number one best adult board game because of its simple rules and imaginative gameplay. Best it can’t be played alone, Pictionary best lends itself to game nights.

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3. Risk

This best board game for adults requires some strategy, but it’s best played with at least three people. If you’re on the more competitive side, Risk may be right for you.

Risk is a cooperative board game best played with 3 or more people. Players are best working together to win the game, besting out their opponents for world domination. Nations are represented by cards, which best players choose from when playing the game.

Intelligence points are best toward moving around the world board shortened to best continents. We’ve ranked Intelligence as the best adult board game because it’s fun and makes you think.

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2. UNO


Looking for a light-hearted playing card game? If so, best you check out UNO. This board game is best played with four players and best for those who want a back-and-forth card playing game. UNO’s best features best cards like skip, reverse, and best drawing, make for a board game that’s easy to pick up.

To win at UNO, players need to best play the best cards, like wild and best draws. The winner is the player who manages to get rid of their cards first. However, things get interesting when taking into account that if a player can’t play their best cards, they must draw from the pile–thus making the game longer.

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1. Monopoly

The best board games list wouldn’t be complete without Monopoly. It is one of the best board games for adults because it can be played without worrying about violence or killing anyone off.

Monopoly is a classic family board game that was first published by Charles Darrow in 1935. It has players traveling around the board, buying properties to create monopolies, build houses and hotels, collect taxes from their opponents, and ultimately bankrupt them with high rents. While the best-selling board game doesn’t have any educational value and is criticized for pushing capitalism, it’s a family-friendly game that allows for a wide variety of players to try their best at winning.

In addition to Monopoly, Hasbro has released 80 spinoff versions of the original best-selling board game. These include Monopoly Jr for younger players and a traveling version that makes it easy to take this best-selling board game on the road.

To play Monopoly, players have to buy different kinds of properties, from Old Kent Road and Marlborough Street to Park Place and Boardwalk.

Monopoly isn’t solely a best-selling board game in the United States: it’s also popular around the world in countries like Germany and Russia. However, there are some notable differences between how this best-selling game differs from country to country. The best-selling board game Germany, for example, is best known as Das Verruckte Labyrinth (The Mad Maze), and focuses more on strategy than chance.

Monopoly is best for adults who want to play games at home with the family, but without all of the arguing and chaos that typically goes along with younger children playing.

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What’s your favorite adult board game?

As you can see, there are tons of board games you can play with your adult friends. Whether you want to play at home, or bring the best board games for adults outside, board games like Chess, Cluedo, and Trivial Pursuit are bound to bring entertainment.