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Nothing brings families together like a good board game. They can provide hours of entertainment, laughter, and friendly competition. For anyone looking for a way to spend quality time with their loved ones, our top recommendation is Sushi Go Party. It’s fast-paced, simple to learn, and fun for all ages!

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Whether you’re a fan of classic family board games or looking for something new and exciting to try together, this list of top 10 board games is sure to have something for everyone. Want to know how we curated our list? Read our selection process here.

1. Best Overall: Sushi Go Party!

Available on
  • Player count: 2-8 players
  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Ages: 8+

The deluxe card drafting game Sushi Go Party! tops our list of family board games for its fast-paced play and unique mechanics. Now accommodating up to eight players, Sushi Go Party is perfect for larger families or hosting a game night!

Why we love it

Our favorite thing about this game is its elegant balance of luck and strategy. While luck plays a part in the game, skillful players still have plenty of room to outwit their opponents. This is because each player can see the cards their opponents have collected, giving them a chance to make informed decisions.

There is excellent accessibility here, as the rules are easy to learn and understand. Even younger players can join in on the fun and get real satisfaction when playing. The attractive artwork also adds to the appeal of this great game!

In addition, this game has endless replayability, more customization options, and various cards and difficulty levels. With so many possibilities, this board game will keep everyone entertained for hours!

Our only gripe is that the quality of the cards is not as good as the original and they’re quite flimsy and easily bent. We suggest investing in some durable card sleeves to protect them. Otherwise, Sushi Go Party is an all-around great game that we highly recommend for families looking for a modern classic board game to bring everyone together!

How to play

Players aim to rack up the most points possible by collecting sets of sushi cards and bonus point cards throughout three rounds. At the start of each round, players select which cards they want to use from a menu deck that contains all of the original game’s sushi cards and combinations, plus some new ones.

After selecting a menu deck, each player receives cards from that deck. During their turn, every player selects one card from their hand to place face down and passes the rest of the cards to the player on their left. Once everyone has chosen a card, all players reveal their selections simultaneously.

The goal is to have the most points at the end of three rounds. Players do this by collecting sets of sushi cards and bonus point cards. At the end of each round, players add up their scores and compare them to other players. The player with the most points after all three rounds wins!

2. Best for Kids: Ticket to Ride

Available on
  • Player count: 2-5 players
  • Duration: 30 to 60 minutes
  • Ages: 8+

A cross-country train adventure awaits in Ticket to Ride, a fun and exciting board game that’s great for kids of all ages. In this game, players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout the US. The longer the routes, the more points you earn!

Why we love it

What makes Ticket to Ride unique is its simple yet strategic ruleset. The game is fast-paced and has a perfect amount of strategy, making it ideal for introducing young players to modern board gaming.

Furthermore, Ticket to Ride has an educational component. The game helps kids learn geography as they explore the map of the US and plan their routes. The game also helps reinforce a variety of skills, such as counting and problem-solving.

The game is highly replayable because you can play it aggressively or friendly, depending on your group, so no two games are the same. With its beautifully designed board and cards, Ticket to Ride is the perfect family game for any night of the week!

The only thing we didn’t like was that the cards in the original base game are tiny. But, this can also be seen as an advantage to younger players, who may find regular-sized cards challenging to hold and manipulate. Overall, Ticket to Ride is an excellent game for any family looking for an exciting and educational board game experience.

How to play

To set up the game, place the map in the middle of the table. Every player receives a colored marker token corresponding to 45 colored trains. To begin, everyone places their marker at the start of the scoring track on the edge of the board.

There are 110 train cards in the game, made up of 12 of each type of train car and 14 locomotive cards. Shuffle the cards and deal four to each player, and put the remaining cards face down at the side of the board.

Then, turn over the top five cards and lay them next to the deck so everyone can see them. There are also 30 destination Cards in the game. Shuffle these and deal three to each player without letting anyone else know where you’re headed!

The player with the most experience in travel begins the game, and play continues clockwise around the board. During your turn, you complete one of the following actions:

1. Draw Train Cards: Draw two cards from the top of the deck or from the five face-up cards on the table. If you take a card from the face-up selection, immediately replace it with a card from the deck. You may draw another card from the updated face-up selection or directly from the top of the deck.

You may only take one locomotive card from the face-up cards. If you’re lucky enough to draw a locomotive from the deck, you can still take a second card! The rule only applies to face-up cards. However, if there are three locomotive cards in the five face-up cards, you must discard them and turn over a new set of five fresh cards.

2. Claim a Route: To claim a route on the board, you play a set of train cards matching the desired route’s color and length. You then place your colored trains on the route and move your marker along the scoring track.

To claim a route, you must play the same number of train cards that correspond with the points value of the route. The grey routes on board can be claimed using any color train card as long as you’ve played the right amount, regardless of color match. For example, a two-point grey route can be claimed by playing any two cards, no matter what color.

3. Draw Destination Cards: You can draw more destination cards if you wish. To do so, take the top three from the deck and keep at least one. Any discarded cards will be placed at the bottom of the deck again. Remember, make sure to make your route to avoid losing points as indicated on the card.

Ending the game: The game ends when one player has two or fewer trains left in their supply. Players then total the points from their destination cards and routes they’ve completed. The player with the highest score wins!

3. Best Competitive: Catan

Available on
  • Player count: 3-4 players
  • Duration: 60 minutes average playing time
  • Ages: 10+

Ever wanted to build your civilization? Catan is the perfect game for that! This cult-favorite board game pits players against each other in a race to gather resources, build settlements and roads, and trade with one another.

Why we love it

The best part about Catan is its unique and creative gameplay. The game is easy to learn, but it’s a challenge to master. The beautiful board and engaging theme make it a perfect board game for all family members, regardless of age or experience.

This game offers great educational value because it teaches about the importance and consequences of access to resources, so young players can learn while they play. There’s also plenty of room for decision-making and tactical thinking, so it’s a great game to sharpen your strategic skills.

In addition, Catan has excellent replay value because of its variable setup and plenty of expansions. Players can play it casually or strategically, making each game different and exciting.

However, this game can be overwhelming to learn, and its chance factor can make it feel a bit frustrating. But don’t let this deter you – if your family’s into strategy games and immersive, Catan is worth the effort!

How to play

Players in Catan aim to be the first to reach ten victory points by building settlements, cities, roads, and collecting development cards. Each turn, you roll the dice to determine what resources are produced by the land around your settlements. Then, you use those resources to build roads, settlements, and cities on the board.

Setting up: To set up the board for a game of Catan, first place the 19 terrain hexes and water hexes in a hexagonal grid on the game board. Put the number of tokens on the terrain hexes according to the number on the hex. Then, place the robber on the desert hex.

Shuffle the development cards and place them face down on the designated space on the game board. Each player starts the game with two settlements and two roads.

To begin, choose a color and grab five settlements, four cities, and 15 roads from the pile. Place the two roads and two settlements at different intersections of the board. Keep your other pieces beside you for later use.

Playing the game: The oldest player goes first, and players take turns in a clockwise direction. During your turn, roll the two dice to know which resources you receive for your pieces.

Then, you can trade with other players to gain other types of resources. After that, you can use your resources to build roads, settlements, and cities. These require specific resources, and you’ll need to pay the cost of each piece.

If you roll a 7, no one gets resources, and all players with more than seven must discard half of their cards. You can play development cards to gain an advantage over other players. That card, however, shouldn’t have been bought during your turn.

Development cards give you special abilities. For example, playing a knight card will let you move the robber, which can steal resources from other players.

Ending the game: The game continues until one player has reached ten points and is declared the winner! If you reach ten points when it’s another player’s turn, the game continues until someone reaches ten points on their turn.

4. Most Unique: Wingspan

Available on
  • Player count: 1-5 players
  • Duration: 40 to 70 minutes
  • Ages: 14+

If you’ve ever wanted to take on the role of a bird enthusiast, then Wingspan is the game for you! This engrossing game pits you against your loved ones in a competition to build the best wildlife reserve and attract birds of different species.

Why we love it

There’s something about Wingspan’s unique and captivating theme that we love. The game’s premise is simple, but there are so many strategies and tactics to learn. The beautiful artwork and high-quality components add a special touch you won’t find in any other game.

This game offers a great level of easy gameplay without sacrificing depth, making it an excellent choice for adults and children alike. It’s light on direct competition, meaning you’ll enjoy the experience regardless of whether you win or lose.

In addition, unlike many engine-building games, Wingspan makes keeping track of all the activations and cards that fire off when specific actions happen easy and intuitive. This makes it quick to set up and play, so you can get your bird-watching session started in no time!

A significant drawback is that the instructions in the rulebook are hard to follow, but don’t worry; we’ll explain everything below. Regardless, Wingspan is still a great game to bring out when looking for something unique and fun!

How to play

Wingspan is a fairly straightforward game to pick up. Start by giving each player a mat, eight action cubes of one color, two random bonus cards, five random bird cards, and five food tokens.

You play the game in four rounds, and each player takes eight actions in the first round, seven in the second, six in the third, and five in the last. You can play a bird card, gain food, lay eggs, or draw cards on your turn.

1. Playing a bird: You can play any bird from your hand, but doing so will require you to pay egg and food costs and consider its habitat. The bird goes on the leftmost open space in the appropriate habitat.

You have an option of activating the “when played” power of the bird. Other powers (in brown and pink font) are not used when the bird is played.

2. Gaining food: When you pick up food, you place an action cube of your color in the space of its corresponding food type (insect, grain, or fruit). You then draw a food token per die roll and place it in your supply.

You may activate any brown powers on your forest birds during this time, from right to left. All powers are optional.

3. Laying eggs: Eggs are crucial to obtaining new bird cards. To lay eggs, you pay the cost of the egg (in food) to place that egg on a bird card in your forest.

From right to left, you may activate any brown powers on your birds. Again, all powers are optional.

4. Drawing bird cards: You should always have three face-up cards at the top of the bird tray. If you want to draw a card, place an action cube in the drawn card slot on the mat, then optionally play any brown powers of wetland birds.

When you’re finished with all actions, you pass the turn and repeat the cycle until all players take their last action. Once that is done, each player adds up their final score. The player with the highest score wins!

5. Best Immersive: Photosynthesis

Available on
  • Player count: 2-4 players
  • Duration: 30 to 60 minutes
  • Ages: 8+

Photosynthesis is the perfect game for nature lovers looking for an immersive experience. It’s an engine-building game where you take control of trees and grow them in the simulated environment of a park, making it one of the most interactive and visually appealing games on the list.

Why we love it

The thing we enjoy most about Photosynthesis is how gorgeous and surprisingly lighthearted it is. It’s simple to learn and easy to play, and the artwork makes it a great conversation piece. The thematic choice of having cardboard trees absorb sunlight and the core mechanics of adding new trees to your growing forest is a thing of beauty.

This game has a good amount of strategy to keep each game interesting and replayable. You’ll need to plan out your moves carefully, as the game is all about timing – trees need enough sunlight to grow and produce seeds. It’s a great game for the whole family to enjoy together!

Photosynthesis is a great game for younger players because of its sturdy components and engaging gameplay. Sticking to the game’s theme, the components are made of recyclable materials that are designed to be used for multiple games. And there’s not a lot of plastic to worry about – all the trees can be placed in the box and stored away without taking up too much space!

The most significant downside to this game is its longer setup time so those who are short on time may want to look elsewhere. But if your family has a few hours to spare, Photosynthesis is a fantastic board game choice to enjoy some quality family time.

How to play

In Photosynthesis, all players receive a player board, trees, and seeds. The goal of the game is to grow your forest by collecting the most number of seeds and plants and score points. On each round, two phases occur: the photosynthesis phase and the life cycle phase.

During the photosynthesis phase, players collect light points for each tree that is not in the shadow of another tree. During the life cycle phase, players can use their light points to perform various actions like buying new trees, growing their trees to adult status, and planting seeds.

The game ends when the sun has completed three revolutions around the park, which is 18 rounds. The player with the most points at the end of the game is declared the winner!

6. Best Adventure: What Next?

Available on
  • Player count: 1-4 players
  • Duration: 30 to 60 minutes
  • Ages: 10+

A fun and exciting adventure game with many exciting surprises, What Next? is an ideal game for families looking to add a bit of spice to their game night. With various mini-games, puzzles, and challenges, this board game is a sure hit for all ages!

Why we love it

The beauty of What Next? is that it’s a hybrid of several different game genres. It’s a mix of choose-your-own-adventure, RPG, and dexterity. It allows players to choose various paths and conquer challenges, making each game a unique experience.

What Next? offers a lot of cooperative play because you need to work together and use your skills to complete tasks. Everybody can be active in the game and have a say in deciding which adventure to take.

Its only drawback? While this game advertises it can be played solo, we disagree and think it is more dynamic and fun when played with a group. Overall, What Next? is an exciting adventure game that keeps the whole family on their toes!

How to play

The basic goal of What Next? is to work together to complete mini challenges determining how the story unfolds. At the beginning of each game, the first player begins by taking Card 0 and reading the narrative aloud to the rest of the players.

There are Location Cards, Event Cards, and Item Cards. You keep the decks face-down to prevent spoilers, with a ‘book-end’ card on top of each deck. The action begins with the numbered Location Card. Each card has two options at the end.

You choose which route to go as a group or let the player whose turn it makes the last call. Beside each choice is a number and an icon: A GPS pin or an exclamation mark. The pin corresponds to a location on the map, and the exclamation mark means you need the event card that matches that number.

If you choose a path that leads to an Event Card, the player must mini-game their way through it. To do this, flip to the right-numbered event card and read it aloud. The challenge will be different each time, so pay close attention! It could involve an item search, shape build, puck push, or something entirely new.

7. Best Mystery: Betrayal at House on the Hill

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

Love a good mystery? Betrayal at House on the Hill is a suspenseful game that’ll have you hooked! This thrilling board game for families combines strategy, traitor-style gameplay, and horror elements. Players explore a haunted mansion filled with secrets as they try to survive the night.

Why we love it

What makes this game stand out is how fun and engaging it can be. It has all the elements of a fun horror game, but it’s not too scary for kids. The spooky artwork sets the scene and adds to the fear you feel as you explore the haunted mansion.

There is immense replayability here, as two games are never the same. As players explore, they can discover new strategies and tricks that will help them survive the night. To top it all off, there is a traitor in each game and a haunt that is triggered depending on your location, adding a bit of unpredictability that’ll keep you on your toes.

This game is also perfect for RPG fans because the storytelling and process can be extremely rewarding. Combining your favorite tabletop RPG elements like character-building, storytelling, and exploration with a board game makes for an engaging experience that’s sure to please.

The only issue we have with Betrayal at House on the Hill is that the haunt rules sometimes need to be clarified. This can be confusing, but all in all, we still recommend this game for its thrilling horror-themed adventure and replayability.

How to play

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

Set the Traitors Tome and Survival Secrets cards aside for later use. Shuffle and stack all other cards in their specific piles (Omen, Item, and Event). Find and place the three starting tiles.

This game is split into two halves: exploration and haunt. Players explore the house together, collecting items that will strengthen their characters while they search for omens that will trigger the haunt. When a Haunt begins, one player is revealed to be the traitor, and they must battle the other players.

The game ends when either group (traitor or explorer) completes their goals for the haunt. Depending on what is stated under “You Win When . . .” during the Haunt, one side or the other will be victorious!

8. Best Interactive: Throw Throw Burrito

Available on
  • Player count: 2-6 players
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Ages: 7+

Look no further than Throw Throw Burrito for a super interactive game. This exciting card game combines dodgeball with collectible cards! Your family will have a blast dashing around the house as they dodge and throw plush burritos at each other.

Why we love it

This game is as goofy and fun as it sounds, and you can get the whole family involved. This action-packed card game with a super silly theme offers just enough structure that young players can let loose but still understand some basic game rules. And the burrito plushies make it a great tactile experience for everybody!

The game is super simple and fast, so it’s easy to learn, and you can get right into playing. There is an excellent level of player interaction, too, as you’ll be dashing around the house to dodge burritos — it’s sure to bring out lots of laughter.

Our only complaint about Throw Throw Burrito is that it’s not ideal to be played indoors or anywhere with fragile items. So make sure you have enough space to move around and dodge the burritos! That being said, this game is perfect for the backyard or beach when you want to get everybody moving and having fun.

How to play

Playing Throw Throw Burrito is simple. Your goal is to win two rounds by earning the most points. To do so, pass cards around the table and collect 3-of-a-kind sets as fast as possible.

There are special sets that trigger a “burrito war,” where the first player who gets hit with a burrito loses points. To begin, shuffle the deck of cards and deal out approximately 15 cards face down to each player.

This game has no turns, and everybody plays at the same time. Players draw and discard cards every round as they try to find sets of three-of-a-kind. Once a player finds one, they get one point and place the set in front of them.

If you get a set of three Burrito Cards (Brawl, War, or Duel), it’s worth two points and starts a battle. All players then grab a burrito and start throwing them at each other. The first player to get hit loses the battle. If you catch a burrito, the player who threw it loses.

The game ends after two rounds, and the player who successfully gets the Fear Me badge twice wins!

9. Best Creative: Articulate

Available on
  • Player count: 4-20 players or more (teams allowed)
  • Duration: 60 minutes average playing time
  • Ages: 12+

With this party-style word game, you and your family can get creative and show off your knowledge! As a fast-paced version of charades, Articulate asks players to describe words and phrases without directly saying them.

Why we love it

We love how challenging and creative Articulate is. It’s an excellent game for learning and practicing English because it forces players to think outside the box when describing a word or phrase. It’s perfect for building vocabulary and developing skills in public speaking, too.

There is an exceptional level of tension-building as the timer counts down and players scramble to explain their words before time runs out. The stress makes it even more fun!

The simple rules and easy-to-learn make it an excellent game for all ages. Kids will love the silly challenge of explaining words without saying them, and adults can get creative with their descriptions.

However, this game comes with a flimsy set of cards which is a letdown. We recommend buying card protectors or laminated cards to ensure the game lasts longer. But overall, Articulate is a perfect game if you want to get everybody’s creative juices flowing.

How to play

Setting up and playing Articulate is quite simple. First, divide the players into two teams and select the first player from each team to be the describer. Every player gets a chance to be the describer for each team.

Play begins with the describer from each team picking a card, turning it over, and reading out the word or phrase. The describer tries to explain as many words as possible as the timer counts down without using any forbidden words listed at the bottom of each card.

The other players must guess what is being said to earn points for their team. The describer can continue to explain until the timer runs out or all the words have been guessed correctly. After that, tally the points and move your playing piece depending on the number of points earned.

The game ends when a team reaches or passes the finish line. To win, a describer from that team must describe a controlled entry, and the team must correctly guess it. If they don’t, they should wait until their next turn to try again.

10. Best Strategy: Santorini

Available on
  • Player count: 2-4 players
  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Ages: 8+

Challenge the gods with Santorini, an abstract strategy game with a unique twist. Play as one of the Greek gods who must build their way to conquering the island of Santorini!

Why we love it

What we love the most is how accessible and easy to understand the rules of this game are. Even kids can pick it up quickly thanks to its intuitive design, and adults will love how engaging and strategic it is. The setup is relatively simple, and the fast-paced gameplay makes it a perfect game for all ages.

While it’s easy to pick up, you can find an extraordinary level of strategic planning and creativity in Santorini. It’s one board game that is easy to learn but difficult to master. You need to be constantly planning and trying to outwit your opponent, and that’s what makes it such an enjoyable game.

Another great thing about Santorini is that it’s highly replayable. Because it can be played on three levels, you’ll always enjoy playing it. The building blocks are also so tactile and satisfying to move around.

The most significant drawback is that the game can be a bit frustrating if you’re not into strategy-based games. But if you’re looking for an engaging, strategic board game for the whole family, Santorini is a great choice!

How to play

Santorini is primarily a two-player game, but the game also tweaks the rules slightly to allow for three or four players. To start, a player places two workers on any unoccupied space on the board. Shuffle the god and goddess cards and deal one to each player.

During your turn, select one of your workers to shift into an adjacent location (including diagonal), followed by building a single-story tower beside the worker’s new position (diagonally is also included). When you move, you can move one of your workers up to one level higher or lower than the space they are currently on.

You must move to a vacant spot free of other workers or blue domes and can’t remain in the same space. You can use God Powers to give your workers special abilities, such as building a dome at any level or moving any number of times and levels.

The game ends when a player moves one of their works to the top of the third story, and they immediately win the game! You should always perform a move and then build on your turn. If you are unable to, you lose.

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 a family 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.

FAQ about Family Board Games

One of the most popular board games for families is the classic Sushi Go Party! It’s a fast-paced card game requiring players to collect the best sushi dishes.

Everyone is dealt a hand of cards in each round and must pass them around the table. You need to make wise decisions while drafting your sushi dishes to win the most points. It’s a great game to play with the whole family, as everyone can enjoy it regardless of age.

2. What board games can you play with your family?

You can play plenty of fun and exciting board games with the family. From classics like Ticket to Ride to more modern titles like Catan and Throw Throw Burrito, there’s something for everyone.

Other popular family board games include Wingspan, Photosynthesis, and Santorini. These games offer different levels of complexity, so you can find something to suit all ages and interests.

3. What is the best game to play as a family?

The best game to play as a family is Photosynthesis. This abstract strategy game challenges players to take control of a forest and create the most vibrant tree population.

By planting and growing trees, players need to strategically position their pieces to capture the best spots on the board. It’s an excellent game for families that encourages thoughtful gameplay and creative problem-solving skills.

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