25 of the top rated games for families, friends, adults, and kids involving strategy, cooperation, social deduction, and great conversations.
Winter is our favorite time to pull out the board games for a family game night. There’s nothing better than snuggled around the table by a crackling fire while you plot revenge on each other and fight to the death over Monopoly. Ahhh sweet, sweet rivalry.
Really though, games make some of the best Christmas gifts because it does promote togetherness and potential for so many fond memories.
Here are 25 favorite games with unique concepts and rave reviews.
Favorite Games Gift Guide
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Games Gift Ideas
1. Blank Slate (Age 8+)
Hands down our family’s FAVORITE when we have a large group! We’ve gotten everyone we know hooked on it. If you ever need an ice breaker to warm up a crowd, this will do it every time.
2. Punderdome (Adult)
If puns and “dad jokes” are your love language, this one’s for you. But it will require some brain power.
3. Box One (Age 14+)
If you love escape rooms, behold I give you the best escape room you could ever play right at home.
4. Suspend (Age 8+)
So fun similar to Jenga that really tests your dexterity and balancing skills. Very kid friendly from elementary age and up.
5. Awkward Family Photos (Age 13+)
You know this one will be a hoot just by looking at the box. Prepare to die laughing and have spontaneous flashbacks of all of your own awkward photo moments. (Can we not talk about our hairstyle choices from a few decades ago? ‘K thanks.)
6. Poetry for Neanderthals (Age 7+)
You just might pee your pants from laughter… or your loin cloth… whatever it is neanderthals wear.
7. AZUL (Age 8+)
If you’re into strategy play, this will be an instant favorite. The master chocolatier version is a fun twist too.
8. Villainous (Age 10+)
Even though it looks like it’s for kids, this one is definitely geared toward the teen/adult crowd. In this game, you take on the role of a Disney villain with a devious plot to carry out, triumphing over other villains, to achieve power over everyone. It’s evil (in the best adversary kind of way) and awesome.
9. Do You Really Know Your Family? (Age 8+)
There will be lots of giggles, lessons learned, and memories made with your family that you will never forget.
10. Plunder (Age 10+)
In this game, you are a pirate captain waging war against other captains to nab all of the gold. Quite a bit of strategy is involved. If you enjoy Ticket to Ride like our family does, this one will be a blast.
11. Groundhog Day (Age 10+)
“Rise ‘n shine, campers! And don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s coooooold out there today.” Will Billy Murray randomly show up to play this game with you? Well, he has been known to do that kind of thing soooo… anything’s possible.
12. Vintage Board Games (Age 8+)
Yes, they’re pretty. And yes, that’s the biggest reason why I want them.
13. The Chameleon (Age 14+)
So hilarious and unique! In this game, one person is The Chameleon and has to avoid getting caught. Everyone knows a secret word except for The Chameleon. Other players must single out the guilty one by social deduction before they escape.
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14. The Hygge Game (Age 14+)
This game makes an excellent host gift (or just to have at your own house) for conversation starters around the dinner table or any other social gathering. It uses questions that really make you think and helps you get to know others as well as yourself.
15. PAN AM (Age 6+)
Very similar to Ticket to Ride but with an airplane twist. The retro illustrations are beautiful harkening back to Pan Am’s glamour days of the 1950s-60s. (Ever seen Catch Me If You Can?)
16. ESPN Trivia Night (Age 14+)
A great gift for any sports fan in your family! Especially the ones who really want to test their knowledge.
17. Wingspan (Age 14+)
Even if you’re not a nature-loving birdwatcher, this game will make you excited to be one. So beautiful. So unique. A little bit complicated but worth it. And a great one for game players who love strategy.
18. Game of Phones (Age 13+)
A wonderful game to give a teenager as a gift! Have your phone charger handy because you’re going to need it after the digital workout.
19. Herd Mentality (Age 10+)
The objective of this game is to think like your other players. Similar to Blank Slate, it’s a great one for a crowd that needs an ice breaker. A definitely winner to play with family that’s very easy to play.
20. Things Schitt’s Creek Game (Age 14+)
If you’re a fan of the show, just fold in the cheese and play this. Character impressions optional but recommended.
21. DropMix Music Gaming System (Ages 16+)
Fair warning: This game is pricier than the others. Made by the creators of Rock Band and Dance Central, it’s like a party in a box that requires you to make unexpected song mixes with different music tracks at a fast pace.
22. Bluey Shadowlands Board Game (Age 3+)
Are your kids obsessed with Bluey like ours are? Okay, honestly, Robert and I are kind of obsessed too. The writers just GET it. So this game will be an immediate winner with any fans of the cartoon show.
23. The Great British Baking Show Game (Age 10+)
A must have if you love The Great British Baking Show on Netflix! (We’re kind of obsessed over here.) Like the show, this one is mellow, down-to-earth, and sweet as can be.
24. MasterChef Family Cooking Game (Age 7+)
This game is awesome for teaching kids cooking skills and encouraging new foods! Turn breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack time into a fun challenge.
25. Hues and Cues (Age 8+)
A quick but insightful game teaching bits of color theory