A bunch of Calico components and board game, one of the best family board games of all time.
Image: Flatout Games
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No matter what time of the year it is, you may find yourself at home and ask the proverbial question: what are the best family board games you could play right know? Whether you want to feud with your family members, have a great time together in a cooperative experience, or put your thinking hats on and outsmart your sibling or parent, we will offer you a board game fit for the purpose.

Today, we will not just bring you not 5, not 10, but 20 of the best family board games you can play right now. These games are easy to learn, quick to teach, and immensely fun to play, which is precisely what you want during board game night with the family.

Top 20 Family Board Games

  1. Magic Maze
  2. Micro Macro Crime City
  3. Kingdomino
  4. Takenoko
  5. Port Royal
  6. Machi Koro
  7. Stuffed Fables
  8. Photosynthesis
  9. Bunny Kingdom
  10. Calico
  11. Wingspan
  12. Potion Explosion
  13. King of Tokyo
  14. Castle Panic
  15. Dobble
  16. Ticket to Ride
  17. Awkward Guests
  18. Azul
  19. Cascadia
  20. Sushi Go

1. Magic Maze

Magic Maze's board game box.
Image: Sit Down!

Players: 1-8  | Play Time: 15 | Age: 8+

Not in a chatty move? How about frantically waving your hands around and coming up with unique non-verbal cues for your family members to follow? Magic Maze is the right family board game for you, and admittedly one of the best titles to try. In Magic Maze, you and your family will plot how to remove a magical item from a shopping mall without getting caught by the guards.

You will need to walk around the place and push various objects to make sure that you can remove the item and then escape the premises undetected. This, though, will require a fair degree of cooperation. The snag is that you cannot talk to anyone, and have to come up with some meta language in an attempt to communicate your plans to your family. Oh, and there is a sand timer that will time you.

This is one of the best family board games to try and it will be plenty of fun. Magic Maze was designed by Kasper Lapp and it’s a distinguished game and receiver of the 2017 Spiel des Jahres Recommended award. This is German for “this game is a total delight.”

Buy Magic Maze on Amazon US

2. MicroMacro: Crime City

Micro Macro Crime City's map and board game components.
Image: Edition Spielwiese

Players: 1-4 | Play Time: 15-45 Min | Age: 12+

The game is on, as the fictional and often-televised character of Sherlock Homes would say. Micro Macro Crime City is a another cooperative detective board game in which you will set out to discover crime across a poster-sized map of a city. There are all sorts of villainies that you and your family will set out to crack.

The crimes are all connected, helping you get close to the truth with each resolved mystery. Crime City is one of the best family games for all ages, as even youngsters may be able to help you spot a few clues along the way. The game is played in real-time, too, with everyone poring over the map to find the necessary evidence, and discover a culprit.

With 100 individual cases to crack, and counting, there is plenty of variety, replayability, and game hours that you and your family can log. Fancy a great family game night? This is it, with some of the cases proving real head wreckers!

Buy Micro Macro Crime City on Amazon US.

3. Kingdomino

Kingdomino's game components and boards.
Image: Blue Orange

Players: 2-4 | Play Time: 15-25 Min | Age: 8+

If you are interested in family feud board games, what better way to settle your scores other than building an entire kingdom and making sure that it’s better than the rest of the family’s? Kingdomino is definitely the game for you in this case. In this tabletop experience you will each try to create a prosperous realm and score more points than anyone else on the table.

Players will draft various tiles representing lands such as fields, lakes, and forests, and add them to their kingdom, while also trying to form specific patterns and resolve crown symbols in the end of the game to score the best results.

The game has a unique strategic element where you have to balance between adding the most valuable tiles to your kingdom, but also keep an eye on the end results as they may be defined by other conditions. Kingdomino is an interesting, somewhat peaceful game of to-and-fro between you and the rest of the gamily, and one of the best family board games that will bring you all together!

Buy Kingdomino on Amazon US.

4. Takenoko

Takenoko's game components and game.
Image: Bombyx, Matagot

Players: 2-4 | Play Time: 45 Min | Age: 8+

Pandas! Who doesn’t love them? It’s probably one of the few bears that won’t try to eat you – unless you were bamboo. Takenoko is a whimsical game designed by Antoine Bauza and first published in 2011, and guess what? It’s still one of the best family board games to give a crack.

The plot is simple. You will be taking turns to perform various actions in a bamboo garden where a panda roams. The garden would need irrigation, tending, and the plantation of succulent types of bamboo to keep the dozy inhabitant happy.

Players will take turns and roll a die to determine what action they can perform next, while trying to complete objectives and gain more victory points. It’s a beautiful three-dimensional game with great game components that really stand out on the table.

There is a soft competition in the game, which is more thematic than it’s cut-throat, and while you can manipulate certain aspects of the gameplay to win, Takeno is played in a relax and pleasant atmosphere that will fun, laidback, and precisely what family game night should be about.

Buy Takenoko on Amazon US.

5. Port Royal

Port Royal game box.
Image: Pegasus Spiele

Players: 2-5 | Play Time: 20-50 Min| Age: 8+

Ahoy, sailors! It’s the 16th century Caribbean, an archipelago of islands bountiful with opportunity – and a few risks. Designed by Alexander Pfister and published by Pegasus Spiele, Port Royal focuses on a fast-paced gameplay combined with push-your-luck mechanics.

Players will take the roles of merchants who will trade goods, hire new crew members, and manage resources to acquire cards – which represent more opportunities to score victory points. The game will see you draw from the deck in pursuit of better options. Draw too many and you may come to regret it if you end up with two cards that are the same.  Hence the luck element in Port Royal.

Of course, the added element of risk and excitement is always welcomed around the family table, and this is what makes Port Royal one of the best board games for family fun. But there is not just a luck element to the game – you will make actionable decisions about how to use your cards to get maximum results.

The game comes to an end when any one player has accumulated 12 victory points – that or if the draw deck is reset and run out three times. If your family loves the added combination and deeper gameplay, admittedly blended with a fair degree of luck, this may be the right game for you.

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6. Machi Koro

Machi Koro game components and box.
Image: Grounding

Players: 2-4 | Play Time: 30 Min| Age: 10+

Behold, the fictional town of Machi Koro, where entrepreneurial developers and business owners will try to earn the most money and build three landmark buildings so that they can emerge victorious. Machi Koro is a dice and luck driven game, although some mathematical probability does help you focus on slightly better odds.

In the game, you start with several buildings which may be triggered on your own or other players’ turns. Some buildings will “steal” money from others for services rendered on certain rolls of the dice, while others will grant players more money to buy even more businesses with.

As a family board game, Machi Koro gets the theme right, offering a suspenseful and dynamic gameplay that will reward players. Although a few upset rolls may happen, this is all part of Machi Koro’s atmosphere which seldom favors one party more so than others. Buying buildings that sort of work well together, though does help offset some of the randomness or at least helps you score in meaningful and satisfying ways!

This is one of the most accessible board games for family you will find anywhere, and as such it offers plenty enjoyment in a casual yet rewarding way.

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7. Stuffed Fables

Stuffed Fables board games and components.
Image: Plaid Hat Games

Players: 2-4| Play Time: 60-90 Min| Age: 7+

Stuffed Fables is one of the best games for family to play together on game night. Designed by Jerry Hawthorne and published by Plaid Hat Games, Stuffed Fables tells the story of stuffed animals who come to life to save their owner. The game’s design is innovative and refreshing, using a unique storybook mechanic where the characters move through an actual book.

Each page of the book will set the board for the actions to follow, present you with new challenges but also furthering the narrative that helps with the beautiful and original world-building experience. Plus, you get to develop your characters as the storyline progresses.

Characters, that is the stuffed animals, will receive fresh abilities and equipment they can then leverage to help their owner and take on even more powerful opponents as they advance the story. This is a charming and engaging game that you will want to play in several sittings. As such, Stuffed Fables is a fit for families who love board games that they come back to in order to win.

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8. Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis' board game components.
Image: Blue Orange

Players: 2-4  | Play Time: 30-60 Min| Age: 10+

One of the best board games for family we have on this list is Photosynthesis. It’s a fun, educational, and somewhat competitive tabletop experience for the entire family. In the game, you will try to make sure your trees get enough sunlight to grow tall enough to access the sunlight and not be overshadowed by competing vegetation.

During a round of Photosynthesis, players will plant seeds, collect sunlight points, spend sunlight points to purchase upgrades, or grow trees. Just like an ecosystem, the game’s gameplay will expect from you to balance between these actions so that you keep a firm foot in the game.

Don’t let that scare you do, because Photosynthesis is indeed a game fit for family game night. Although there is a strategic depth to the decisions, they are usually very easy to make. You will trade your sunlight points in to secure new updates and try to squeeze out even more better edge. There is not much your family can do to stop you, too!

Photosynthesis is a fast-paced game that will take mostly 30 minutes to complete and plays in three rounds. It’s a great bit of fun to add to your family tabletop and a way to spend some quality time together.

Buy Photosynthesis on Amazon US

9. Bunny Kingdom

Bunny Kingdom's board game, board, and components.
Image: IELLO

Players: 2-4 | Play Time: 40-60 | Age: 12+

Bunny Kingdom is a great game to bring to family game night. Designed by Richard Garfield, the man behind Magic: The Gathering, Bunny Kingdom will focus on rabbit lords who strive to develop their kingdom and amass wealth, victory points, and control vast arrays of land. Each of the rabbit lords will try to secure the most worthwhile pieces of land.

Players will have to balance between what types of buildings they want to build, their available resources, and the bunnies they can use to establish control over more territory. To get the best results, you would need to continuously optimize your score while advancing work on the board and establishing new cities.

The theme is lighthearted and approachable, which makes this a great board game for family gatherings or evenings but make no mistake. Bunny Kingdom can be as cut-throat as board games get.

Then again, it plays in just 40-60 minutes and is packed of action. Even newer games will find Bunny Kingdom to be great fun as the game allows them to learn about important board game mechanics such as area of control and resource management quickly and adequately.

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10. Calico

Calico game boards and components.
Image: Flatout Games

Players: 1-4 | Play Time: 30-45 Min| Age: 10+

Calico is one of the most thematic family board games on the list. In the game of Calico, 2-4 players will draw tiles from a bag and try to build a pattern on their own board, which is a quilt you are trying to saw together to get a bunch of sleepy cats to snooze on top.

You do this by accomplish a color or shape-coded patterns as you try to score even more victory points. Players will keep drawing tiles until they have all filled their quilts with the best possible patterns and colors they could have mustered together.

The pattern-building mechanic is at the heart of Calico, and it will strike home with gamers of all backgrounds. Calico is easy to teach and easy to play, and it comes with a beautiful overall design.

Buy Calico on Amazon US.

11. Wingspan

Wingspan game mat and components.
Image: Stonemaier Games

Players: 1-5 | Play Time: 40-70 Min | Age: 10+

Wingspan is without a doubt one of the best family board games on this list. The game is designed by Elizabeth Hargrave, who is an actual scientist, and published by Stonemaier Games, a studio with a long and reputable record in producing high-quality games. The design pivots around bird enthusiasts who are trying to attract and breed birds to realize the best wildlife sanctuary.

Not only does this game make for a great family game night, it’s also very educational and – if you want it to be – competitive. Strategy is a big part of Wingspan as the game’s educational aspect is exceeded by its actual gameplay depth. In the base game alone, you will find 170 beautifully illustrated bird cards, each with its own point values.

Players will have to choose their actions carefully to ensure that they amass the most resource and have enough to feed the birds that give them the highest point value, and overall create the most impressive collection of birds.

Of course, Wingspan need not play too competitively. You and your family members may instead choose to play a more relaxed game where you try to collect the prettiest collection of birds, too!  All in all, Wingspan is truly one of the best board games for family to play together!

Buy Wingspan on Amazon US.

12. Potion Explosion

Potion Explosion's game components and board game box.
Image: Horrible Guild

Players: 2-4 | Play Time: 30-45 Min | Age: 8+

You better dust off the ol’ alchemy grimoires because you will be concocting all sorts of oddly-looking, color-fuming brews in Potion Explosion, one of the best family board games we have ever had the good fortune to test. The title will have you play as one of the students at a wizarding school where you will take potion classes and hope to make it through the end of the semester with all your digits attached.

The game focuses on a main board that has tons of marbles of various colors and tokens. Players will draft marbles from this main board of opportunity to mix the most potent potion that will score them the most points.

Of course, players will have to strategize about what ingredients they want to secure, as other players will too be on the lookout to either deny you the possibility of cooking a potion yourself or beat you to the precious mats first! This makes Potion Explosion a particularly fun game of cat-and-mouse in which you will try to become the most powerful potion master. The game features an engaging theme, fast and dynamic gameplay, and is a guaranteed fun for the entire family!

Buy Potion Explosion on Amazon US.

13. King of Tokyo

King of Tokyo's board game, components, monsters, cubes, and mat.
Image: IELLO

Players: 2-6  | Play Time: 30 Min | Age: 8+

For the nonce, Godzilla is not the biggest game in town. King of Tokyo is a game of monstrous fun and one that will easily rank towards the top of your personal list of best board games for family to try. In the game, each of the players will assume the role of a monster which is wreaking havoc in Tokyo, destroying buildings, and most of all – attacking other monsters as each player tries to assert their dominance.

Holding downtown Tokyo will give you the most points, but it will also make you a target for the rest of the monsters in play. Each turn, players will roll dice to determine what actions they can do – whether they will restore some health points, attack the monster in the center of the city, or buy an upgrade, that’s entirely down to you.

All in all, the monsters just want to win the game. This happens when you get 20 points. Holding the center may seem like a smart strategy at first but remember – every other monster in town is trying to pry you out of there.

With 2-6 players in play, you can imagine how competitive this can become! King of Tokyo won the 2012 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game award and has been an indelible part of the tabletop experience for many years now.

Buy King of Tokyo on Amazon US

14. Castle Panic

Castle Panic board game and components.
Image: Fireside Games

Players: 1-6 | Play Time: 60 Min| Age: 10+

If you don’t mind working with the family, then you are in luck – Castle Panic is just the right game for you. In this cooperative experience, you will do your best to bandy together with your family and prevent the onslaught of monsters from penetrating the thinning walls! The game is played in a circular board which stands for the castle’s walls.

There are all sorts of monsters with their unique abilities represented by various cards. Players will use their tokens to position themselves on the walls and towers to give themselves a boost and ward off the incoming hordes. Players will take turns drawing from the monstrous deck and placing the cards of the attackers around the castle.

You and your family will then try to stop the monsters from reaching the inner circle at all costs possible. This makes for one of the best family board games as it stands out by virtue of its very simple and straightforward rules, generous player count, and fresh theme and dynamic.

Buy Castle Panic on Amazon US.

15. Dobble

Dobble's board game components.
Image: Spot It!

Players: 2-8 | Play Time: 15 Min | Age: 7+

Dobble is the type of family game that is designed to be quick to teach, fun to play, and as straightforward as board games can get. The main goal of the game is to match two symbols between two cards. This sounds simple enough. The rub is as the game plays with 2-8 players, you will always be competing against other family members to find the matching symbols first. The first player to call the matching symbols correctly will get the card in each round, until there are no more cards left – there are some 55 circular cards in the base game.

All in all, Dobble makes for a very fast and rewarding game that will have you think quick and shout even quicker. There is no way to memorize the cards either, as the pace of play is often only mere seconds per round, giving the game immense replayability and fantastic overall value. If the traditional Dobble is not something you would normally enjoy, we recommend checking out some of the themed games as well, which come with Mandalorian, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and all sorts of other popular themes!

Buy Dobble on Amazon US.

16. Ticket to Ride

The Ticket to Ride game, board and components.
Get the best railway roads but don’t be too greedy!

Players: 2-5 | Play Time: 30-60 Min | Age: 8+

Ticket to Ride is one of the most successful board games of all times. Unsurprisingly, it’s also one of the best family board games to try. In the game, you will try to build a railroad network by using various cards that allow you to move in a specific direction. The game itself is based on North America, but there are versions about Europe, Asia, and individual city all around the globe.

Players will collect and play train cards to build the longest and most worthwhile railroad, trying to connect individual cities and be rewarded with points when they do. To get your points you need to fulfill the destinations that you set out to do, so make sure to pace yourself and don’t overreach. Players who are new to the experience will definitely be tempted to build longer railroads but be reminded that your family members may deny you the opportunity.

There is a lot to this game. If you don’t like to play free-for-all, the game will also allow you to play teams, for even more fun as you go. The core gameplay of Ticket to Ride is really smooth and this is a chess-like euro board game that will simply get you hooked to the world of tabletop fun that you can share with the family.  Not only is Ticket to Ride one of the best board games for family – it’s a great opportunity to play teams and settle scores in a good-spirited and sportsmanship environment.

Buy Ticket to Ride on Amazon US.

17. Awkward Guests

Awkward Guests' game components and board.
Image: Megacorpin Games

Players: 1-8 | Play Time: 45-75 | Age: 12+

The party was a blast – right until someone discovered the dead body in the living room – or was it the living room? In any eventuality, the dead have a way of dampening the spirits, and in Awkward Guests, there is no time to waste in frivolities. Rather, 1-8 players will step in the role of guests of a party and try to figure out the death of poor Mr. Walton.

There will be motives and opportunities for the majority of the guests to have ended Mr. Walton’s life, but there may be only one murderer – and their accomplices. In the game, you will exchange cards between each other, with each card bringing some new clue to advance your own case and deduce the identity of the real culprit.

Awkward Guests requires on deduction paired with clear communication from the players and the game makes for one of the best family board games experiences you can think of. Another great quality of the game is how competitive it can become.

You may be pointing accusing finger at someone in the room – not to suggest that their the murder as this is not really the goal of the game, but rather to blame them for sabotaging you by not trading cards for you and stalling your investigation. The game is a lot of fun and it can be mighty amusing for players looking to enjoy themselves during family game night.

Buy Awkward Guests on Amazon US.

18. Azul

The box art for Azul.
Decorate the most beautiful palace wall using craftsmanship and gorgeous tiles.

Players: 2-4 | Play Time: 30-45 | Age: 8+

Let’s take a step back and slow down from the murder mysteries for a moment. This is where Azul comes in to offer you a nice mix of strategy, competition, and a relaxed atmosphere. This tile-laying board game by Plan B Games makes for the perfect family game night experience as you get to create and complete beautiful mosaics and score points.

The objective is to create a pattern using the tiles that are available to you and try to do better than the rest of the family. At the end of each round, you will score points depending on how advanced your own pattern is and show the lot how good you are at drafting he best tiles and making them work best when in your hands.

Azul makes for one of the best board games for family there are, owing to how simple it is to teach and pick by players. Even some of your youngsters may join and play in a meaningful and impactful way, which makes game night with the family all the more special!

Buy Azul on Amazon US.

19. Cascadia

The cover art for the Cascadia board game.
All sorts of animals flock to the wood and it’s your task to create the most harmonious ecosytem.

Players: 2-4 | Play Time: 30-45 | Age: 8+

The Pacific Northwest of the United States is a region thriving with vegetation and animal life. In Cascadia, you will be in charge of building the most accomplished habitat where wild species can thrive. Creating diverse and thriving ecosystem is definitely no easy undertaking especially when your family members trying to outscore you.

The point of the game is to not lean too heavily on one species, though, as you need to create an interconnected habitat that attracts various critters and wildlife. The more animals you attract, the more points you will score, giving you a strong incentive to try and balance each element of your habitat down to the last time.

The simplicity of the tile-laying mechanic makes the game very approachable, but Cascadia definitely has a strategic depth to it which will pit your family against each other. There is also an expansion for the game coming, with Cascadia: Landmarks adding a fifth player expansion and a special new mechanic for even more point scoring!  

Buy Cascadia on Amazon US.

20. Sushi Go

Sushi Go! board game box, cover and components.
A competitive sushi experience where the best combo sets win.

Players: 2-5 | Play Time: 15 | Age: 8+

Sushi Go is one of the best board games for family. It’s compact, it’s fast-paced and it is very accessible and approachable. You can have even your eight-year-olds play with you and it will be guaranteed fun. In the game, players will set out to collect different types of sushi and scoring points based on the combos they score.

There are different type of extra treats to savor as well, including nigiri, maki rolls, and sashimi. Players must choose carefully and make sure that they pick the most worthwhile rolls and pieces that will allow them to advance.

Even though it’s a great family board game, Sushi Go has strategic depth to it that can quickly get quite competitive. Players will play cards to score points and secure juicy pieces of sushi, but also try to guess what sushi their opponents is going after. The gameplay is easy to teach and the entire game is fun. If you do love sushi do, Sushi Go will make you crave the delicacy.

Buy Sushi Go on Amazon US

Stoyan Todorov

Stoyan entered the hobby over seven years ago and his collection has been growing at a pace his spouse has described as “concerning.” Willing to push the boundaries of the connubial bliss to its extremes, Stoyan is here to bring you the latest updates and developments from the world of board games.

Stoyan entered the hobby over seven years ago and his collection has been growing at a pace his spouse has described as “concerning.” Willing to push the boundaries of the connubial bliss to its extremes, Stoyan is here to bring you the latest updates and developments from the world of board games.