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Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun! Board games are the perfect way to kick back, relax and spend time with family, friends, or colleagues. Our top recommendation for anyone looking to spice up game night is One Night Ultimate Werewolf. It’s an easy-to-learn, fast-paced game that will keep everyone on the edge of their seats.

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Because age should never be a barrier to having fun, here are our picks for the top ten board games for adults. Whether you’re looking for something strategic or want an excuse to get together with friends, there’s sure to be something on this list that will keep the conversation – and laughter – flowing. Want to know how we curated our list? Read our selection process here.

1. Best Overall: One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Available on
  • Player count: 3-10 players
  • Duration: 10 minutes
  • Ages: 8+

This social deduction game tops our list for its fast-paced and intense strategy. One Night Ultimate Werewolf has all the thrill of a long game of Werewolf but in just one night — and with just as much fun and drama!

Why we love it

There’s just something about the fast-paced nature of this game that we can’t get enough of. It’s straightforward enough that even the most novice players can join in the fun, but it also has a depth of strategy to keep experienced gamers coming back for more. This makes it a perfect game if you’re playing with a diverse group, as everyone can enjoy it at their level!

One Night Ultimate Werewolf has endless replay value thanks to the ever-changing roles and flexible time limit allowed by its app. We love that every game will always be different because your role varies. And chaos always ensues when you don’t know who your real allies are and have to figure it out on the fly!

If there’s one complaint we have about One Night Ultimate Werewolf, it’s that the cards’ edges lift easily after a few plays. And anything that makes cards identifiable can be a huge problem for games like this. Because of this, we recommend using card sleeves to keep them in tip-top shape.

Overall, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a great way to inject excitement into a game night with friends. It’s a great game to play when you’re looking for something more intense than a standard board game, and it can be played quickly - what’s not to love?

How to play

Setting up One Night Ultimate Werewolf is easy and takes just a few minutes. First, shuffle the card roles, which should be three more cards than the total number of players. Each player gets one card, and the remaining cards are placed face-down in the center of the table.

Pick a player who will play the announcer or download the app to help you out. The announcer will ask everybody to look at their roles and close their eyes. The night begins, and the announcer will ask some characters to open their eyes to perform special actions.

Once the night is over, players open their eyes and use logical deductions to figure out who the group’s werewolves are. At the end of the discussion, each player should cast a vote on who they think the werewolves are.

Whoever gets the most votes is considered out of the game and reveals their card. For the village team to win, all werewolves must die, or there must be no werewolves in the game. Conversely, if at least one person is confirmed as a werewolf and they aren’t killed off during the game, then it’s a victory for the werewolf squad!

2. Best Cooperative: Pandemic

Available on
  • Player count: 2-4 players
  • Duration: 45 minutes average playing time
  • Ages: 8+

Saving the world is no small task, but with the right team, you can do anything. And Pandemic lets you and your friends put that to the test! Are you up for the challenge?

Why we love it

What makes Pandemic so special is how everyone needs to be proactive to win. It encourages teamwork and strategy, as you and your friends must work together to find the cure for four diseases that threaten humanity. This game gives everyone a chance to shine as they each contribute to the team in different ways using their unique skills and abilities.

This game has a high level of replayability because of its character variety and randomized board and game scenarios. It’s also excellent at building tension and excitement, making it a great way to bring everyone together for a thrilling night of gaming.

However, we do have to note that Pandemic can be overwhelming for new players. So it’s best to play with a group that already has some gaming experience or someone who can explain the rules and objectives in detail.

Nevertheless, Pandemic is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a cooperative game that’s equally challenging and fun. You and your friends will have a great time as you work together to save the world!

How to play

As you work together in the Pandemic, your goal is to find cures for four rapidly-spreading viruses before it’s too late. Deal each player one role card face up and a reference card they can use as a quick guide. Shuffle the role cards thoroughly beforehand so that everyone receives a random role.

Setting up: Place the board within reach of all players and group the six research stations and four colored disease cubes in a neat bundle nearby. Then, place an additional station right within Atlanta’s city limits.

After dividing the role cards and pawns by color, position each set of corresponding colored pawns on the game board in Atlanta. Gather the Infection cards and place them, with their infected side face-down, on their respective spots on the game board.

Flip over two of these cards so all players can see them; then add three cubes matching each color shown for those cities onto both card areas. Then, flip two more cards and place two cubes on the cities shown. Finally, turn over two more cards and find one cube for each of these cities.

During the game: It’s time to start playing! On your turn, you can move around the world to collect cards, discard a card to go to any city unconnected to your current city, share knowledge with other players through exchanging cards, or treat diseases.

After completing these four actions, draw two cards from the player deck and add them to your hand. Subsequently, pull a card from the infection deck and place cubes on three cities based on what is shown in that particular card.

Ending the game: Your team wins when you gather five City cards of the same color and discard them, ending all four illnesses. On the other hand, you lose the game if there are no remaining disease cubes to place on the board, eight Outbreaks have occurred, or there are no cards left in the player deck to draw from.

3. Best Immersive: Gloomhaven

Available on
  • Player count: 1-4 players
  • Duration: 60 to 120 minutes
  • Ages: 14+

A dungeon-crawling, story-driven adventure game, Gloomhaven is a great way to enjoy a truly immersive gaming experience with your friends. This game offers an expansive world filled with characters, monsters, and different scenarios to explore.

Why we love it

The best part about Gloomhaven is its massive RPG-style campaign. Each character has a unique set of conditions or wishes that, when met, will retire them and allow the players to unlock a new class with a new character. This means the game constantly evolves, allowing you to experience something different each time you play.

This game is a great way to practice planning and teamwork, as players must carefully decide which actions to progress further. Because it’s a non-linear campaign — what you do in this game affects the outcome of each round — organization, cooperation, and communication are key elements to success.

We also just love that this game removes the frustration that comes with luck-based games. Instead, you’ll be relying on a well-balanced mix of card abilities, dice rolling, and strategic planning. That means you don’t have to lose when you’re having a bad luck day!

The only downside to Gloomhaven is that it can take a lot of time to set up and play, so be sure to clear your schedule before you start. But we guarantee that this game is worth it for all the fun you’ll have as you explore its richly-detailed world.

How to play

Gloomhaven is a campaign game, so players first choose a character class they’d like to play as throughout a round or a scenario. Each class has its own set of special abilities and stats that you can use in battle, so choose wisely! Then, open the miniature boxes and get that character’s corresponding mat, a deck of level 1 ability cards, and five character tokens.

Setting up: After you’ve gathered your character’s pieces, select a scenario and read through its introduction as a group. Know your character’s back story and goals by reading their character sheet, and ask the other players to do the same.

Once everyone is familiar with the scenario and their characters, deal each player two random personal quest cards and choose one to keep, returning the other to the personal quest deck. Choose an adventure that matches the character you created. Your personal quest does not have to remain a secret, but it can be if you want.

Next, give each player a 20-card Attack Modifier Deck with crossed swords on the back. These cards are color-coded according to the number in the lower left corner, ranging from 1 to 4. In total, there are six “+0”, “5,” +1" and five “-1” cards along with one card for each of these values: “+2”, “-2”, “2x” and “Null”.

Provide each player with a blue wooden Experience Tracker to document their current experience on the right side of their character mat, beginning at 0. You’re now ready to play your first round!

Playing a scenario: Your first round will vary depending on the scenario you’ve chosen, but each player will generally take turns to explore and battle. From clearing a dungeon of enemies to merely surviving or escaping for your life, you can expect various missions that will ask your party to use every resource at your disposal. On some occasions, you may even be asked to collect specific items.

You and your friends select a set of ability cards from your respective hands to create the ideal combination suitable for the challenge ahead. Some of these cards may involve close-range melee combat, while others could be ranged attacks or even allow players to collect gold coins!

As you progress through the game, your character will level up, giving you access to more ability cards that can provide you with some powerful buffs and condition effects to beat your enemies. Depending on your class, you’ll also get more cards that refine your character’s skills.

Completing a round: If your team accomplishes the mission, you will be rewarded with many rewards such as new items, gold coins, achievements, and, most importantly - access to further scenarios for you to embark on. It’s only then that your exciting journey can continue!

If you don’t meet the mission objectives, or if all members of your team become too tired to continue, then you’ll have failed and must start over.

4. Best Strategy: Root

Available on
  • Player count: 2-4 players
  • Duration: 90 to 120 minutes
  • Ages: 10+

Ever imagined building a faction with its own people, rules, and abilities? The asymmetric game Root allows you to do just that! From woodland animals to displaced wanderers, lead your faction through a war-torn world filled with intrigue and danger in this fascinating world-building game.

Why we love it

Our favorite part about Root is that it encourages players to think outside the box. With the wide range of strategies you can employ to win, this game is excellent for sharpening your problem-solving skills without worrying about getting stuck in a particular situation.

This game has high replay value because you can customize your experience and spend hours finding a style of play that suits you. The fantastic artwork and design of the game also make it a pleasure to look at and play.

The most significant drawback to Root is that it has a steep learning curve that may be daunting to some players. But with enough patience and dedication, you can quickly master the game’s mechanics. Overall, the sheer amount of content and unique gameplay make Root a must-have game for any lover of strategy!

How to play

In Root, your objective is to gain control of the forest by building your faction and strengthening its influence. First, each player chooses their faction and receives the corresponding faction board and pieces. Each player should set their score markers at zero and then deal three cards to each.

The game proceeds in three phases, and each player completes each step before the next player begins. The Birdsong, Daytime, and Evening phases continue until a player reaches 30 victory points.

During your turn: You and another faction battle can if you’re in the same clearing. Both of you roll a die for this confrontation: and the person with the higher roll inflicts hits on their enemy while the other player takes damage equal to the lower result (but not exceeding the warrior’s count).

To move pieces along the paths between clearings, be in charge of either your current clearing or the one you are moving to. When determining who is in charge of each clearing, the person or group who has collected the most soldiers and structures reigns supreme.

During a confrontation with another faction, both players roll a die. The person with the higher roll inflicts hits on their enemy, while the other player takes damage equal to the lower result (but not exceeding the warrior count).

Ending the game: Each faction will have a unique win condition to get 30 victory points, and the first player to reach this goal wins. Alternatively, you can also win by completing an objective of a Dominance card. These four Dominance cards - once drawn - completely override your faction’s objectives and become the only way to win the game.

5. Best Icebreaker: Blockbuster

Available on
  • Player count: 4-10 players
  • Duration: 30 to 60 minutes
  • Ages: 12+

To all film buffs out there, Blockbuster is the ultimate board game for you! A fun and light-hearted game, Blockbuster is designed to get people in a room talking and socializing in no time.

Why we love it

We love Blockbuster because of how straightforward it is to play and set up. And no - you don’t need to have watched every movie in the world to play. This game is about getting creative with descriptions and guessing the correct movie title. It’s a great way to get players talking, laughing, and bonding!

There’s also something about this game’s ability to build tension that we can’t resist. When that buzzer starts going off, and you’re frantically trying to guess the right movie, your knowledge starts flooding out. It’s a great way to get your heart racing in the best way possible!

The only thing we didn’t like about Blockbuster was that it can be repetitive. After playing for a few rounds, you may hear the same descriptions over and over again. Even so, Blockbuster is still a great way to get the party started.

How to play

Blockbuster is easy to learn and play. Divide the players into two equal teams and select a player in each team to go first. These two stand between a buzzer and a card drawn with a random category. And the competition is on! The first player who shouts their response hits the buzzer to kick off a fifteen-second timer.

The other player has to give a movie title before the timer runs out. This goes back and forth until someone can’t think of any movie titles for the particular category. The winner of this round draws six Movie Cards from the deck and selects three for themselves in secrecy.

The remaining cards are then gifted to the other player, who keeps them hidden from their group. Then, the two players decide which Movie Cards to place on the three categories on the game board. These are: One Word Only, Quote It, and Act It Out.

Then, the game begins! Each team will have 30 seconds to guess the six Movie Cards on the game board. They can steal the opposing team’s cards to get more points if they finish before the timer runs out. The first team who gets all eight-colored genre cards wins the game!

6. Best Two-Player: Jaipur

Available on
  • Player count: 2 players
  • Duration: 30 minutes average playing time
  • Ages: 10+

The world of trading and commerce awaits you with Jaipur! This two-player strategy game has players competing to become the most successful trader in the Indian city of Jaipur.

Why we love it

The thing we appreciate most about Jaipur is its accessibility. The game is easy to learn, with straightforward rules that can be picked up quickly. And since it’s only a game for two players, you don’t need to worry about gathering a large group of people.

Another great thing about Jaipur is that it’s fast-paced and engaging. Even though an average game will only last for half an hour, it’s still packed with exciting decisions and calculations. You’ll never have a dull moment when playing Jaipur!

We also love how this game relies on a well-balanced combination of luck and strategy. Your decisions can often make or break your success in the game, but guessing and waiting for your opponent’s moves can also tip the scales in your favor.

However, we think that Jaipur isn’t the best game for people who are more experienced with board games. Since this game is on the simpler side, it might not be as challenging for hardcore players. Nevertheless, Jaipur is still an enjoyable game perfect for a casual evening with friends!

How to play

Setting up the game is straightforward. Organize the goods tokens by type, with the highest value at the top and lowest at the bottom for all to see, then shuffle and stack each of the three piles of bonus tokens. This will ensure that players can quickly identify which token has what value during your game.

Next, place the camel token and three seals of excellence next to the bonus tile stacks. Deal out three face-up camel cards between players before shuffling all remaining cards into the remaining deck.

Finally, flip two cards from the deck and place them face-up next to the three Camels to serve as the market. Players must discard any Camels from their hands and deposit them in a stack beside themselves. This pile constitutes the player’s herd. You are now ready to start playing!

On your turn: During your turn, you must take one of the two possible actions: take cards or sell them. If you choose to take cards, you can take the goods you want from the market and exchange them for camels in your hand.

If you choose to sell cards, you can discard the goods from your hand and receive tokens based on the value of the goods you sold. The higher the value, the more tokens you will receive! Remember that each player is restricted to selling a minimum of two rubies, gold or silver at a time.

A round ends when three good token stacks are depleted, or if the draw pile is empty during the process of filling up the market.

Scoring: When the round end, the person with the most camels in their herd earns a camel token worth five rupees. Players tally up all of their tokens and whoever has amassed more money takes home a Seal of Excellence!

Whoever wins three rounds first will be declared triumphant and will be the new ruler of Jaipur!

7. Best Competitive: Terraforming Mars

Available on
  • Player count: 1-5 players
  • Duration: 120 minutes
  • Ages: 12+

If you’ve ever thought about what it would be like to turn a barren wasteland into an inhabitable planet, Terraforming Mars is the game for you! This popular board game pits you against your friends in an exciting race to terraform the Red Planet.

Why we love it

The beauty of Terraforming Mars lies in its complex yet intuitive game mechanics. There are many strategies for success, and each game can be vastly different depending on the combinations of cards you draw. This keeps the game fresh and exciting even after multiple playthroughs!

An excellent level of immersive detail is included in the game and its components, making playing Terraforming Mars a truly unique and engaging experience. Just the idea of terraforming a barren planet is enough to draw in any board game enthusiast!

Terraforming Mars also has endless replayability thanks to its wide range of strategies and customizations. With over 200 cards in the game, your playthroughs will never feel repetitive or boring!

Our only gripe about this game is that its playing time can be quite long, so set aside a few hours for it. But if you’re looking for an intense and highly competitive game night with friends, it’s hard to go wrong with Terraforming Mars!

How to play

To play Terraforming Mars, each player must select a corporation and start by placing an initial city tile on the board. Players then take turns drawing projects from a project deck, paying resources to complete them, and using those projects to terraform the planet.

Players can build cities on the board, collect resources from other players and the board, and use those resources to purchase more cards and increase their capabilities in taking more powerful actions. Each round is divided into three phases: Research, Action, and Production.

During these phases, players can play from their hands to complete projects, expand their resources, convert heat to raise the temperatures, and many more! The game ends when the three goals are achieved:

  • When the oxygen level reaches 14%.
  • When the temperature hits +8 degrees Celcius.
  • When nine oceans have been created.

The player with the most Victory Points by terraforming the planet is declared the winner!

8. Best Creative: Scrawl

Available on
  • Player count: 4-8 players
  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Ages: 17+

Unleash your filthy-minded creativity with Scrawl, the hilarious drawing game that will have you in stitches! A party game is all about drawing, guessing, and toilet humor; this game will surely be a hit with the adults in your group.

Why we love it

**The unique thing about Scrawl is that it has a simple and rather laidback gameplay.**This makes it an excellent game for those who are not into heavy board gaming. It doesn’t require any advanced knowledge of art or drawing, either — use your imagination and get creative!

Scrawl is also incredibly replayable, with the card prompts being simple and silly enough that you won’t get tired of them after multiple playthroughs. There’s plenty of room for creativity here, and no two games will be the same.

What’s more, this game also has an interesting twist: a voting system allowing players to vote for their favorite drawings. And we think it’s hilarious to see how people interpret the same card prompt differently and have their own opinions on which one was best!

Overall, Scrawl is an excellent game for adults to let go of their inhibitions and have fun! Just make sure to get ready for some good-natured ribbing and plenty of laughter!

How to play

Playing Scrawl is simple — all you need to do is draw! The game starts by dealing each player a clipboard and a pen, then randomly drawing a card from the deck. This card will contain a prompt that all players must draw on their clipboard.

Then, decide which color on the card should be the main focus of your drawing, then start scribbling away! Once everyone is done with their drawings, they pass their clipboards to the next person, and each player takes a turn to guess what the drawing they just received is about.

All players will then write a description of the drawing on a blank Scrawl card and pass the clipboards again to the next person. The following person will then have to draw what they think the description is about. This continues until all players have gone through a full round and returned to their original drawing!

In the end, each player will vote for their favorite drawing. The game ends when a player receives two more points than the number of players in the game. That player is declared the winner!

9. Best Mystery: Betrayal at House on the Hill

Available on
  • Player count: 3-6 players
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Ages: 12+

For fans of anything horror-related, Betrayal at House on the Hill is a board game that will keep you on your toes! A haunted house game that takes place in an ever-changing mansion, Betrayal at House on the Hill promises plenty of suspense and surprises!

Why we love it

There’s just something about the classic horror theme of this game that makes it so great. It’s an excellent way to enjoy a unique dice system and some classic horror elements without actually having to watch or read a scary movie/story. And there’s no better way to get your friends together for a night of thrilling adventure!

What sets this game apart is the great replayability it offers. With so many different scenarios and thematic gameplay, you’ll never have the same experience twice! The sturdy and well-made game pieces also make this a great game to play repeatedly.

The only downside to this game is its high learning curve because the rules for a haunt may not always be clear, so we recommend playing with someone who’s already familiar with the game rules. But once you get a few games, we’re sure that Betrayal at House on the Hill will become your go-to adult horror game!

How to play

To start playing Betrayal at House on the Hill, pick a character card and attach plastic clips to indicate values for the character attributes. When venturing into the house, all characters should have a collection of four character attributes: Might, Speed, Knowledge, and Sanity.

Choosing a character card and selecting a side, players start the game by attaching plastic clips to indicate values for their attributes. All players take a miniature figure representing their character to explore the house, starting in the Entrance Hall.

As you explore the Entrance Hall, miniature figures embody all these traits as they accompany you on your journey through this world! Set aside the Traitors Tome and Survival Secrets cards for later use. Then, shuffle and organize all other cards into appropriate piles (Omen, Item, Event). Finally, flip three starting tiles to begin your journey!

This game is divided into two parts: exploration and haunt. Players join forces as they wander through the house, gathering items that will strengthen their characters while keeping an eye out for omens that may trigger a haunt. When it starts, one player turns traitor and must compete against the other players in a showdown of wit!

The game is finished when either the traitor team or explorer team fulfills their assigned mission of the haunt. Whichever side accomplishes what is stated in “You Win When . .” wins!

10. Best Interactive: Spirit Island

Available on
  • Player count: 1-4 players
  • Duration: 90 to 120 minutes
  • Ages: 14+

Fight off invading colonists and protect the natural world with the final game on our list – Spirit Island! You and your friends take control of powerful spirits with unique abilities as you attempt to protect your island home from the ravages of colonizers.

Why we love it

What we love most about Spirit Island is its cooperative gameplay. You either win or lose together, so working together is key! This makes it a great game to practice communication and cooperation skills with friends or family.

There is also an immense level of thematic consistency in this game. Not only is the art style in this game one of a kind, but the spirits are also represented beautifully. Even with the minutest details like component quality, no expense has been spared in creating an outstanding player experience.

Spirit Island is also highly replayable because various difficulty levels and solo play options are available. So you’re guaranteed that all games will be different!

However, Spirit Island can overwhelm new players due to its complexity, and even the simplest set-up can take some time. Still, if you’re up for the challenge, we think Spirit Island is well worth the effort for a great adult board game that your friends and family can enjoy together!

How to play

In your first game of Spirit Island, avoid using any Blight cards, Scenarios, and Adversaries, as these may complicate the game. You can add them as you become more familiar with the rules of play.

Start by choosing a spirit for each player. On the setup side of every spirit panel, you will find an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses to help determine which spirit is best suited for your strategy. The background behind each particular spirit is also displayed on this side, so you won’t miss out on any key information.

Crafting a successful strategy with spirits largely depends on the spirit’s complexity. Low complexity spirits are best recommended for beginner players, as they require less effort to strategize.

After each player has chosen their spirit, it’s time to gather all tokens of one color and the starter cards that match the corresponding spirit. Then, players should switch the spirit board to its game side and position an influence token in each area of the two trackers.

Playing the game: As you play this game, players are given the chance to snatch tokens away from other trackers for an increased reward. This can offer a better yield of energy per turn or enable them to use more cards within their hand.

Spirit Island is a turn-based game in which each turn consists of 5 distinct phases. Before starting the first round, invaders will take the first turn; after that, each player will take their turn clockwise.

When your moment to shine comes, give it all you’ve got! You should progress through the Spirit Phase, Fast Power (Cards and Innate), Invader Phase, Slow Power (Cards and Innate), and Time Passes.

Don’t want to use the Power card you just drew? That’s okay: simply bypass its effects entirely. Note that, even if it was a Power card initially, you won’t get your energy back but still gain access to any elements given by the card.

Ending the game: If you successfully meet the requirements for the current Terror Level, your team wins instantly. Do this by using Fear Cards to increase your game’s Terror Levels and drive off the Invaders faster.

However, you can lose the game if any spirit in your team has no presence left on the island, and if you need to draw an Invader Card but that deck is empty.

How we picked and tested

PsyCat Games is built by people who know how to have fun! We’ve been researching parties and games since 2018 and have published 400+ articles on our website. That’s why we’re confident that we know what we’re talking about!

We want you to have the best time possible and not waste your money on a subpar product. That’s why we spend over three months testing over 30 games with groups of kids, teens, and adults. We’ve ranked the games by the fun factor, player experience, and replayability!

Our ranking is subjective, but we’ve tried our best to be as impartial as possible. However, if you stumble upon an adult board game that you think deserves a spot on our list, please reach out to us! We would love to hear from you.

PsyCat Games is supported by readers clicking on our affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we might earn a commission if you buy something through our links.

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