Years ago, just the idea of having regular family board game nights would have elicited overly dramatic sighs of despair from even the hardiest of family members. While games like Monopoly and Clue have their place, most of us can’t stand to play them every week for decades. Thankfully, modern board games are full of variety that makes playing them feel fresh each time you sit down. My family tries to play every Friday night, and with kids aged 5 to, er, 43, we need a lot of games to keep things entertaining.
What’s the best family board game?
When you want to involve the most family members of different ages, a game like King of Tokyo is the best place to start. It feels like a simple game for kids ages 8 and up, and it is, but it also has plenty of layers to make it a fun game for adults to be a part of. King of Tokyo has a lot of expansions as well, making it replayable, even if you play it every week.
What makes the best family board game?
The perfect family game needs to be:
- Accessible to a large age group
- Appealing to people with a wide range of interests
- Quick to set up
- Potentially easy to drop midway through
If you have younger kids or older adults intent on never learning new tricks, finding that balance of complexity for the invested and simplicity for the rest can seem impossible.
No single game does all of that, but these are the best games to accomplish each of those. I’ve played every one of these games, and I’ve played most of them dozens of times. After years of informal research playing board games, here are the best family games you can pick up right now.
Read more: Best Strategy Board Games
Best family board games
How we test family board games
As you can imagine board game testing is a grueling and often stressful experience. I’m kidding; testing board games is awesome. It is, however, subjective in a lot of ways. I tend to look at certain criteria as to what makes a board game “good, however.”
- Is the board and piece quality good?
- Are the instructions clear?
- How long does it take different age groups to learn?
- How long does the game take to play?
- How fun is it? (This is incredibly important)
- Can you replay it and it still feel fresh?
Because board gaming is a team sport, my family’s opinions are used to help me average out testing. While I may like a 5-hour-long game with 1,000 pieces, my 17-year-old son may not feel the same. Getting a good spread of opinions helps me find the best overall games in each category.