What does the life of a 30 year old look like? There are parties, friend gatherings, and proper evenings with family members – aside from working and paying bills, of course. And if you have children, a lot of parenting is involved. But what do these situations have in common? They are all ideal for a board game!
Whether you’re enjoying a night out, a family dinner, or a day with your kids, a fun game can transform your evening completely. Social contact won’t seem so scary anymore, and you’ll have lots of time to bond with your friends, colleagues, parents, or children.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 15 most popular board games for adults. Check out and see what you should have for your next party!
What is The Best Board Games for Adults in 2020?
simple rules & easy to follow
unlimited entertainment potential
you can play it one-on-one
even better for a crowded group
up to 12 players
perfect for college
equipped with everything you need
Cards Against Humanity — the Best Board Game for Adults
- Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people.
- This is the main game. Buy this first.
- Contains 500 white cards and 100 black cards for maximum replayability.
- Includes a booklet of sensible game rules and preposterous alternate rules.
- America’s #1 gerbil coffin.
Our first pick is the most famous party game — Cards Against Humanity. It’s just like licorice: you either adore it or despise it; if you’ve played it before, you know what we mean!
The creators of this game say: it’s made for horrible people. Indeed, once someone suggests having it at your party, political correctness will come to a halt. Prepare for jokes to cross the line!
Nevertheless, Cards Against Humanity isn’t only about dark humor. It engages players to discuss burning questions of social issues and intolerance. During the battle of wits, you will learn a lot about your peers. A great time is guaranteed as long as your company isn’t faint-hearted! After all, there’s a reason why this is the best board game for adults.
The original deck edition is very user-friendly. It has 600 playable cards, so there’s no need to purchase additional cards to get the full experience. But, if you are a big fan of Cards Against Humanity or looking forward to complementing your board game there are a lot of other options.
- absolutely hilarious
- simple rules & easy to follow
- unlimited entertainment potential
- you can play it one-on-one
- even better for a crowded group
- party favorite
- really explicit, but some would say it’s the greatest enjoyment!
Ticket To Ride: Most Popular Family Board Game
- A fast-paced, award-winning board game
- Connect iconic North American cities and build your train routes to earn points
- Players must compete to grab the best train cards and routes before their opponents
- Ticket cards challenge you to plan ahead and connect two faraway cities for additional points
- 2 to 5 players, 60 minutes, 8+
As adults, we are not only looking for edgy board games to spend an evening with friends, but for family-friendly options as well. That’s why there’s such a great contrast between Cards Against Humanity and Ticket to Ride. Now we can have fun with our kids without getting bored!
This award-winning game has brought thousands of families together. It is very simple, understandable, and quick enough to keep your children focused. Your task is to connect cities on the map with colorful train cars. They represent the routes being built during the game. The more routes you build, the better your score will be. Also, the player with the longest road earns bonus points!
There’s no doubt that you’ll love Ticket to Ride. You might even take it out to impress game night partners. Though not as provoking and controversial as our 1st choice, it’s an enjoyable family pastime.
- 2-6 players, family-friendly
- easy to play
- compatible with Alexa & playable with AI
- colorful design to amuse your kids
- geography lesson in a playful format
- choking hazard
- not as interesting for a game night
Telestrations: After Dark — Make Them Guess Your Drawings!
- Everything’s better after dark! Our favorite party game is all grown up.
- Adult-only miscommunication at its best: draw what you see then guess what You saw for hilarious, weird, irresponsible and just plain wrong outcomes!
- Includes: over 1200 words (100 cards), 8 erasable Color coiled sketch books, 8 dry erase markers, 8 clean up cloths, 8 after dark & trade; drink coasters, and the rules
- Ages 17+ | 4-8 players | 15 min play time
- Standalone Telestrations game for adults
Another well-known board game for your buddies to come and play is Telestrations. Now it comes in an NSFW edition called After Dark. Your task is to draw the item you get onto a card and make your peers guess it. It goes beyond saying that sometimes things get very naughty!
The game comes with a set of sketchbooks, markers, etc. — they are all erasable. Sketchbooks can be re-used multiple times, so Telestrations is a long-term investment for your leisure. Still, if you play it too much you’ll start to get bored. That’s why many people ask if there are any expansion decks with new items. Unfortunately, there are none!
All in all, it’s a nice board game to play, especially if you’re not that skilled at drawing. But if it doesn’t work out, see if an original 6+ edition works better with your type of fun!
- all the materials are erasable
- up to 8 players
- there’s a Spanish edition
- very fun to play
- no expansion packs
- dry erase markers don’t last very long
Azul — Aesthetic, Entertainment and Fast Rounds
- High quality components and fun, accessible gameplay
- Fun tile drafting and tile placement mechanics
- For 2 4 artisans, age 8 and up
- Game plays in 30 40 minutes
Rules of our next board game Azul are very simple: for the role of artisans, players decorate the walls of the royal palace while competing for points. You are supposed to put colorful tiles on the board without losing your scores. Receive extra points for combining the same tiles or particular patterns on the board!
The design of Azul, created by Michael Kiesling, represents the beautiful Moorish mosaics. It’s a beautiful game that is both pleasing to your eyes and exciting to play. You’ll enjoy a great family pastime while keeping you and your kids involved. However, if your game night includes alcoholic beverages and practical jokes, Azul might only fit as a starter.
- beautiful Moorish aesthetics
- designed by an award-winning author
- family-friendly & quick set-up
- the best game of 2018
- choking hazard
- only 2-4 players
- a bit boring for a party
Codenames: Deep Undercover — Spying Is for Everybody
- Manufacturer’s Suggested Age: 18 Years and Up
- Playing Time: 30 Minutes or Less
- Number of Players: 2 or More Players
Let’s see how much joy the Codenames board game will bring to your party! You’ll pick up the rules quickly: spymasters from each team provide various hints which lead you to the codenames of fellow agents. You guess the names of your colleagues while trying to avoid the names of opponents. And, of course, no one wants to get in contact with the assassin!
This adult edition Codenames: Deep Undercover is based on the original board game and includes explicit codenames, such as “orgy”, “condom”, etc. That’s why you are not supposed to share this deck with your kids! On the other hand, you are welcomed to use an original version for a family evening or to extend the possibilities of your playtime.
- tests your creativity and imagination
- extendable with cards from the original Codenames
- each round is unique and irreplicable
- not playable with only 2 players
- not family-friendly
DRINK-A-PALOOZA: Drinking Game for Your Party
- THE ULTIMATE PARTY BOARD GAME! The only game to combine all the “old-school” & “new-school” game night games into one! If you like PONG, KINGS CUP, FLIP CUP, QUARTERS and all the BEST ADULT GAMES; then you will love the DRINK-A-PALOOZA board game. DrinkaPalooza is known by college students as…
- GET THE PARTY STARTED with DRINK-A-PALOOZA! No ping-pong table required! It can be played in anyone’s kitchen and is equipped with all your partying needs. This adult game come with ping-pong balls, deck of playing cards, dice, six game pieces and mini bottles that are collected to win the game!…
- 2 TO 12 PLAYERS make drink-a-palooza the best party games for two players and/or couples. Team-up in teams of two for the ultimate game play. Game night just got 1000x tastier! This board game for adults keeps everyone entertained and is a hit and couldn’t make for a better evening…
- DRINK-A-PALOOZA is a great gift for men and women that makes game nights for couples into one amazing party night! Re-live your college days! No bachelor or bachelorette is complete without DRINK-A-PALOOZA! It’s a combo of your favorite adult games and card games.
- DRINK-A-PALOOZA can be played with any type of drink such as soda, water, juice and IS NOT INTENDED for alcohol. It’s the BEST BOARD GAME GIFT and the hottest game on the market. It will make your party or game night a hit!!! No other game has all the party…
This board game Drink-a-palooza is a great party starter, especially for a group of adults who enjoy a beverage or two. When going through the field, you take different challenges resembling all the best party games. This includes Pong, Quarter, Kings Cup, and many more! Throughout the game, players collect mini-bottles. Who ever collects the most bottles wins!
Even though we are reviewing the best adult board games, it’s still important that such games can be used for family dinners as well. Sometimes we want to play with our kids, moms, dads, and grandparents! It’s a great way of bonding and having fun. A good scenario is when a board game is reusable; meaning that it fits a killer party just as much as your family gathering. Nevertheless, Drink-a-palooza is just not the case.
- up to 12 players
- perfect for college
- equipped with everything you need
- water-resistant board
- choking hazard
- not family-friendly
- requires drinking — not suitable for sober company
Scattergories: Adult Edition for Fast-Thinkers
- Fast-thinking categories game
- Be different to win points
- More than 3,500 category combinations
- Play up to 6 players or teams
- Includes 6 folders, answer pad, 20-sided die, 48 category cards, timer, and instructions
Scattergories is also a nice board game to bring to the table! It’s recommended for ages 12 and up. It tests your vocabulary and develops quick thinking skills. Playing will not only be exciting for adults but useful for children as well!
First, you roll the dice which has 20 sides corresponding to letters of the English alphabet. For example, if you’ve received the letter “E”, you will need to write all the answers beginning with “E” onto a category sheet. Which ways of greeting begin with “E”? Are there any names of villains starting with this letter? Quick, write it down: you only have 3 minutes! But be careful: you need to come up with something unique, or else you won’t receive any points.
However, it’s not recommended to buy Scattergories from Amazon: this edition is said to be cheaper than others. The category fonts are too small to read and there are only 8 sheets instead of 12.
- up to 6 players, but good for 2!
- great for kids; helps with learning new words
- the best board game for young adults
- choking hazard
- quite funny, but not a blast
- cheap version
Exploding Kittens — Not as Gory as You Think!
- Exploding kittens is the perfect card game for adults, teens and kids who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.
- More than 9 million copies sold, breaking records in kids games, adult games and everything in-between.
- A highly strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian roulette. Basically, if you draw an exploding kitten, you lose and you are full of loser sad-sauce. If you don’t explode, you win! Congratulations, you are full of greatness!
- This “game of the year” award winner is the perfect holiday gift If you’re looking for board games for adults but want to be able to play fun games with your kids as well.
- “It’s like UNO, except there are goats, magical enchiladas and kittens that can kill you.” -CNN
- This gift favorite takes 5 minutes to learn, 15 minutes to play, is for 2-5 players (ages 7+) and includes 56 cards, Box and instructions.
Who doesn’t like kittens, right? Well, unless they are deadly! The Exploding Kittens LCC creation was pronounced the best family board game for adults and kids. It started as a fresh startup idea on Kickstarter, and now the company has sold almost 10,000,000 copies!
You can pick up the rules within 5 minutes. Players draw cards from the deck. Then, whoever receives an exploding kitten card dies and leaves the game immediately. Alternatively, they can cancel the explosion with defused cards and continue the round. But, simple rules don’t necessarily mean it’s an easy game! The longer you play, the higher the chance you’ll explode, so be prepared.
You can play Exploding Kittens with children, family, or at a noisy party. Your strategy can be very friendly or absolutely cruel; so, think accordingly and enjoy!
- fit for 2 players
- ages 7 and up
- rules are easy to learn
- fast-changing rounds
- the best new board game for adults
- 2-5 players only
- gets repetitive with time
- low production quality
Chess Armory: 15″ Wooden Set for Classy Gamers
- LARGE – 15″ x 15″ folding chess board for easy game play
- QUALITY – Wooden chess set with inlaid walnut
- STORAGE – Felted interior with straps for storing pieces
- SIZE – 3″ King Piece
- STAUNTON – Hand crafted staunton style chess pieces
If you are looking for a classic board game experience, you might like Chess Armory. This is a folding wooden set with storage space inside of it. Small straps hold your chess pieces in one place. You are welcome to choose between the 15″ and 17″ boards.
There are a few reviews saying that the chessboard is extremely poor quality. Some users received it unfinished; others had large chunks of the edges chipped off. Apart from that, Chess Armory might not be the best chessboard game for adults, but most buyers are content with 5-star reviews taking up nearly 77% of reviews.
- eco-friendly materials
- good for kids
- classic family entertainment
- boring for a party
- made in China
- the board doesn’t sit flat
OUR MOMENTS: Couples — Ask Your Special One!
- 💗 QUALITY TIME – for you and your partner – Enjoy date night in a completely new way. This toy for couples is a sure fire way to get the sparks flying between you two! It will get you out of your comfort zone and remind you why you are…
- 💗 COUPLES WHO MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER, STAY TOGETHER – It’s important that your relationship is both mental and physical and one definitely leads to the other. Nothing could be sexier than showing your partner you care and you can do that just by asking a question and listening…
- 💗 LEARN ABOUT EACH OTHER – Whether it’s a first date or you’ve been together for years. Interact with your partner and get closer than ever. Games add joy to life and relieve stress and we could all do with some of that.
- 💗 FOCUS ON EACH OTHER – Sharing laughter and fun can foster empathy, compassion, trust, and intimacy with others. Put aside the day-to-day thoughts and worries and focus only on the game and your partner. Not all the cards are related to romantic topics and this is certainly a game…
- 💗 QUALITY BECAUSE YOU’LL WANT TO KEEP USING THEM – 100 question cards printed on 300gsm card stock which come shrink wrapped in a custom tuck box. This game makes a great gift whether it’s for you and your partner or for friends. BUY IT NOW! There is no risk.…
Our Moments board game has such simple rules- you can master them in minutes. Just draw a card, read it aloud, and your partner will answer the question! You’ll get to know more about your special one and discuss lots of different topics. According to reviews, some couples say it helped them to get to know each other even better. Few said that it even saved their relationship!
Still, we can see why this game isn’t our #1 pick: you won’t be able to reuse the questions after you have answered all of them. Unless, of course, there’s a new partner. Alternatively, just offer your group of friends a couple of rounds as a warm-up!
Is Our Moments the best 2-person board game for adults? We don’t know for sure, but you and your special one might appreciate it.
- intriguing, enjoyable questions
- lots of expansion decks
- great convo starter: take it to your 1st date!
- only 100 cards, so questions get repetitive
- sometimes questions overlap, they ask the same things
- not really interesting for a couple that’s been together for a long time
Mattel: Apples to Apples — Create Silly Combinations
- This infamous wild card and party game provides instant fun for 4 to 10 players; Packaging may vary
- It’s As Easy As Comparing Apples To Apples, Just Open The Box, Deal The Cards And You’re Ready To Play
- Select The Card From Your Hand That You Think Is Best Described By A Card Played By The Judge
- Each Round Is Filled With Surprising And Outrageous Comparisons From A Wide Range Of People, Places, Things And Events
- The Party Box comes complete with 504 green and red cards; the green cards have 2 clues per card, the red cards have 1 clue per card
In Apples to Apples, the rules are so simple that you’ll master them within minutes.
Each player receives a certain amount of red cards from the judge. Red cards contain nouns: for example, people, objects, or places. Then, the judge draws a green card from the deck and reads what’s on it. Green cards have adjectives. Then, each player chooses a red card from their stack and describes the adjective in some way, and the judge chooses which answer is the funniest.
This is a great pastime for a family evening with your kids or grandparents. Just let your imagination run wild and create the craziest combinations! By the way, there’s an adult version as well. Check it out if you want to add some devilry to your game night.
- participants: up to 10 players
- quick set-up
- family edition
- choking hazard
- not suitable for groups of 2
- the deck is rather small
Mad Gab: What Does the Board Game Say?
- It’s not what you SAY, it’s what you HEAR! In Mad Gab, teams work to decipher groups of unrelated words into real phrases before time runs out. Teams have two minutes to sound out three puzzles. The faster you guess, the more you score.
- Repetition is key. Try this: DEW WINO HUE. Repeat the words a few times aloud, and you’re sure to guess that you are actually saying, “Do I know you?”
- Play is sure to spur laughter as friends speak the strange language, and then say the answer without even knowing it!
- For 2 or more players. Ages 10 and older.
- Includes 200 cards, 800 mad gab puzzles, 1 card ripper, 1 card box, 1 timer, 1 score pad, and 1 rules sheet.
Another easy-to-follow game, Mad Gab consists of cards with unrelated words written on the front. Read them aloud and guess what they sound like! Your partner sees the deciphered words on the back of the card and helps you find the right answer by giving you small hints and clues. The faster you guess your 3 cards, the more points you’ll score.
Mad Gab might not be the best board game for kids and adults, especially when compared to Azul or Ticket To Ride, but it’s a lot of fun! You’ll love it as an evening starter — warm your friends up before playing something hardcore! Or, run a couple of rounds with your kid to practice their pronunciation.
Sure, these phrases are jawbreakers. But, after Mad Gab you won’t need speech therapists for your children!
- fine for 2 people, even better with teams
- simple rules
- cards you’ve played are not replayable as you already know what to expect
The Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis — Self-Deprecating Humor!
- This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, and may arrive in a generic box
Our next board game, a distant relative of Cards Against Humanity in terms of approach, The Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis imitates the life of 20-30 year olds. You begin with crippling debt that you need to pay off. You have rent and you always get into awkward situations that leave you ashamed and speechless!
This board game imitates existential crises with a bit of self-mockery to help you laugh it off. It’s a fun way to entertain your group of friends and trigger discussions with burning questions which are common amongst each of you.
On the other hand, your kids won’t really understand it. Fortunately, the issues mentioned in the Quarter Life Crisis aren’t relatable with youngsters. Also, if you invite your mom and dad to play with you they’ll probably get extremely worried of your well-being!
- a hilarious take on ongoing millennial challenges
- not that hard to follow
- not child-friendly
- isn’t suitable for a family evening
- only up to 4 players
Mattel: Pictionary Air — Draw & See It on your Screen!
- This -only version includes a Navy pen with 30% of the clue cards being unique to this version
- Get up and get moving with Pictionary Air, a hilarious twist on the classic drawing game.
- Download the free Pictionary Air app, point the in-app camera at the illustrator and they’ll appear, along with their sketch, on the screen of your smart device.
- Take turns drawing clues in the air while your teammates guess the images that appear on the screen. The team with the most points wins.
- The easy-to-use app lets you record your performance and play it back for more laughs in between rounds, or save and share it with your friends.
- Adjust the round timer and number of rounds to give beginners or younger kids more time to draw. Selfie Mode allows you to draw without any time limits or rounds.
- For even bigger laughs, cast gameplay onto your TV using Apple TV, Chromecast or compatible streaming device at home. Compatible streaming device required. Check the Pictionary Air support page for device compatibility. You may also use adaptors (not included) to connect your phone/table directly to your TV via HDMI.
- Pictionary Air is perfect for any party or game night with 8 year olds and up. Includes Pictionary Air pen, 112 double-sided clue cards and card box.
This board game contains over a hundred clue cards and a drawing stick. With an electronic pen, your paintings will come alive! In front of the phone camera, draw an item listed on your card. Then, you will see your digital creation in the free Pictionary Air app. You can interact with your drawings, take photos, and enjoy! But be prepared: drawing on air isn’t simple. There might be times when your friends or children won’t guess the item at all!
Some user reviews reported that in rooms with lots of lights, “ghost drawings” appear: the signal isn’t transmitted to the app. Instead, it is recorded by the camera. If there are additional lights in the room, the app recognizes them as lines you’ve drawn with a stick. Also, casting the Pictionary Air app on TV screens sometimes gets problematic. All in all, the game seems half-baked.
Although this game doesn’t seem to fit loud parties, your family evening will definitely be a blast!
- free app for game
- innovative approach
- compatible with TV screens, tablets, & phones
- great for family & kids
- at least 1 phone with the app needed
- broadcasting might be an issue
- the app performs poorly in well-lit rooms
- no landscape mode in the app
- also, it doesn’t keep up with fast motion and crashes a lot
- Features adult-related content
- Say a forbidden word on the card and you’ll get the buzzer
- Race against the timer
Our last pick is Midnight Taboo — a well-known game which has created an adult edition. Here you are supposed to describe the word on your card, but you should avoid using banned ones. The banned words (taboos) are most relevant to the word you’ve received!
Although this board game is marketed as NSFW, people say that there’s nothing adult about it, really. We wouldn’t suggest you play it at home with your kids. However, it would be wrong to say that Midnight Taboo could add some heat to your party. So, be sure to use it as a starter before moving to something more eccentric!
- a jolly experience
- game night favorite
- 2 alkaline batteries required (not included)
- not suitable for 2 or 3 players
- not an adult edition at all, although labeled as such
Board Game FAQ’s
What is the most popular board game for adults?
Cards Against Humanity is the most-purchased board game for adults on Amazon. It has almost 50,000 reviews.
What do you suggest as the best pick for a family evening or game night?
We recommend you purchase Ticket To Ride or Azul for a family evening. They are safe for kids and don’t contain explicit content. For a game night with friends, especially if you are going to have alcohol, bring a set of Cards Against Humanity or Telestrations.
Are Cards Against Humanity child-friendly?
No, they are not. Don’t buy it for children under the age of 17. Also, we don’t advise you to play this game with your parents or grandparents unless they have a dark sense of humor.
What is the best game to play for 2 players? And, in a group of 10?
Drink-a-palooza is the best drinking board game for adults in large groups. It is going to be crowded, noisy and exciting! For a couple or a calm evening, we recommend you get Exploding Kittens or Azul.
What’s the best strategy board game for adults?
Apart from the classy chessboard, Exploding Kittens and Azul will make you brood over your next move.
How We Tested
To check if these games are truly as good as the reviews say, we’ve created a group of test volunteers. Their tactics were as follows:
- One of us was unbearably drunk during a long party night.
- Another stayed at home with his wife and kids, then he invited grandparents to come over and play.
- The last survivor tried all the games with her husband one-on-one.
During the night out test, our volunteer observed which games caught the attention of his friends. Scattergories and Apples to Apples were declared too boring for a tipsy audience. Pictionary Air seemed hard to figure out. The tongue-twisting Mad Gab was called “childish”, but with more alcohol, the interest of the party gradually returned.
As for our family volunteer, games that were brushed off during the 1st test received positive feedback. Children liked them, too. Unfortunately, the all-night favorites made old folks’ faces turn red. So Cards Against Humanity, Telestrations: After Dark, and Codenames: Deep Undercover did not relive their mad success. Drink-a-palooza was called inappropriate as well.
The game Our Moments did not shine during both tests, but it showed its potential during our 3rd test. Our married couple praised the game and said they were discussing the questions for hours. Playing Codenames: Deep Undercover, Apples to Apples, Midnight Taboo, and Drink-a-palooza were impossible.
|Positive feedback||Negative feedback||Indifferent|
|Party test||Cards Against Humanity|
Ticket to Ride Telestrations: After Dark
Codenames: Deep Undercover
Quarter Life Crisis
Apples to Apples
|Family test||Ticket to Ride|
Apples to Apples
|Cards Against Humanity|
Telestrations: After Dark
Codenames: Deep Undercover
|Our Moments Quarter Life Crisis Scattergories|
|Couple test||Ticket to Ride|
Cards Against Humanity
Telestrations: After Dark Quarter Life Crisis
Codenames: Deep Undercover
Apples to Apples
It was a challenge to choose the best board game. For groups of adults that were so diverse and who spend their free time in different ways, reaching a consensus was almost impossible. However, if we were to pick board games that did well during each test, they would have been Ticket To Ride, Azul, and Exploding Kittens.
This was our list of the greatest board games for adults in 2020. Remember, it’s important to know the vibe of your gathering. Is it a peaceful family evening with your granny? Is it a bachelor or bachelorette party? Will kids participate and, if so, how old are they? Depending on the answers, you’ll be able to find entertainment that will make everybody happy.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article! By the way, what are YOUR favorite board games?