17 Best Board Games for Adults 2019
Here at the Secret Guides, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written about lots of board games before — including the best two-player board games, the best board games for the holidays, and the best family board games — here, we’ve rounded up the best adult board games, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Days of Wonder Ticket to Ride
Over 2,500 five-star reviewers call this board game “fun,” with one noting, “The rules are a little complex but make it a very fun game to play. It really grows on you. Once you figure out some of the strategies, it becomes more fun.” Another assures this game will be fun for the whole family, noting, “If you like to spend time with your family, you’ve got to buy this. Many hours of fun. If you don’t really like your family, then don’t buy it. I’m not really sure what you should do if you don’t like your family. Maybe try a trial separation? Maybe take a trip by yourself? I wish you luck. All I can say is this is a fun game.” But lots of reviewers say this game is great to play with a group of adults. “Once we learned how to play, we were able to quickly and simply explain the rules to our 9-year-old daughter in minutes. We originally bought the game for her,” one customer writes, but admits, “But to be honest, my husband and I have enjoyed playing it so much that I think we’ve played it four times as much as she has.” And as this reviewer concludes, “Overall this a really fun game that can be enjoyed with just about any group. It is strategic enough to hold your interest while simple enough to teach in five minutes.”
This game is out of stock until December 22, but can ship in time for Christmas Eve if you order with two-day Amazon Prime shipping.
Hasbro Clue Game
“This is a classic game that everyone should have in their closet,” says one reviewer. Another calls this “a great family game,” admitting that while they “never played this as a kid,” it’s still enjoyable to play as an adult, calling it, “fun for adults. Nice way to spend time together.” One reviewer who did play as a kid says, “This game takes me back to my youth. I’m so glad I get to share it with my daughter. It is an awesome family game and we really love it.” A few reviewers familiar with the classic felt thrown off by the new character who’d been added to this version of the game, saying it ruined the integrity of the game, but most didn’t mind, like one who writes, “As long as we still have Colonel Mustard and Miss Scarlett, I’m happy.”
This game is currently out of stock, and will be available on December 23.
And now for some micro-picks for every type of adult board game you might be looking for.
Telestrations After Dark
“When Pictionary meets Telephone in a dark alley,” says one reviewer of this adult drawing board game that nearly 100 five-star reviewers call “hilarious.” Another calls it “by far one of the greatest adult games ever,” explaining, “We always end up in tears after playing this game. And the fact that the pads are dry erase means we never have to worry about buying replacements. It’s got a lot of profanity but that’s what makes it fun.” Another reviewer, who is already a “huge fan of the original Telestrations board game,” thinks this is a fun addition to game night: “When we have game night we would also play games like Cards Against Humanity. Unfortunately, that game can get kind of stale and we were looking for something fresh to play. Thus comes Telestrations After Dark. The best part is watching people try to figure out what is drawn or how on earth to draw the item.” Many more also compare this to the popular card game Cards Against Humanity, like one who even says it might be better, since, “This game made me laugh even harder than Cards Against Humanity ever has.” As this reviewer concludes, “This game is hilarious. A great party game with your favorite adult beverage, even comes with coasters for said beverage. Warning: you’ll be drawing a lot of D’s.”
DRINK-A-PALOOZA Board Game: Fun Drinking Games for Adults & Game Night Party Games
People love this game because it’s got the best of all the drinking games on one board. “It combines beer pong, quarters, cards, and many other adult drinking games into one single one,” says one reviewer, adding, “This is the best idea ever because it breaks up the monotony of playing a repetitive game of just one.” Another agrees, noting that “all the old party games just feel a little overplayed,” but this game mixes it up. They explain, “It makes all those games fun again by combining them all into a single game. My friends and I love this board game.” Many warn that you do get very drunk after playing, like one who says, “This game will get you drunk so fast you won’t even realize it, but that’s part of the fun in my opinion.” Another even admits “I ended up Dirty Dancing lifting a friend that’s how drunk we all got and how much fun we had,” but as he sums it up, “If you’re looking for a great laugh, buy this game.”
Wit’s End Board Game
Many five-star reviewers appreciate that while this game is fun, it provides challenging questions for the more cerebral types. “Wow! This is a great game,” exclaims one content player. “Finally, while the kids are off playing Pictionary, us adults have something fun that will show off what we know.” They also note that you should “steer clear of this game if you enjoy watching Ricky Lake, Oprah, soap operas, Temptation Island, Average Joe, or Joe Millionaire. There aren’t many questions about these shows and watching them sucks the smarts right outta ya.” One describes this game as “kind of like Trivial Pursuit, but there are different types of questions, which use different types of knowledge/intelligence to figure out. It’s not just about knowing facts (though that’s the biggest part of it).” Many more reviewers admit that while they love board games, trivia games often get boring, but this one was enjoyable. As this reviewer puts it, “I love board games, but I often find the trivia-style board games to be lacking in difficulty. They usually fall short. I bought this game for my parents so that they would have another game to choose from other than Pictionary, during family gatherings. It made for an interesting evening and I would recommend this product for people who like to be challenged while playing board games.”
Adult Loaded Questions
“This game was supposed to kick off a variety board game night, but we ended up only playing this for hours,” admits one content reviewer. Another calls it “definitely one of the most enjoyable board games ever,” explaining, “I have not played any version but this, but the crazy, kooky answers our friends came up with had me rolling.” Many even think this is better than Cards Against Humanity, like one who says, “We are all in agreement that this game was much more fun due to the fact you give your own answers. I don’t think I have ever laughed as hard as I did while playing this game.” And as this reviewer concludes, “This version kicks it up a notch with questions that are straight-up adult in nature (like ‘What could you do to ruin a sexual moment?’) and others that could be adult depending on how you interpret them (such as ‘What is one lesson you had to learn the hard way?’). Don’t buy this for anyone who is a prude or a stick in the mud, because it’ll be boring.”
Plan B Games Azul Board Game Board Games
“Great for a small group, short strategy game. It plays quickly and is fast moving for the most part,” says one reviewer. Dozens more call this a quick game to play, including one who notes, “It is an engaging game that lasts a short time and the visual design is beautiful. It has become one of our family favorites, great for those cold winter evenings around the fireplace.” Another thinks that at first he didn’t love it, “But after a few rounds, it becomes very addictive,” adding, “Now we play game after game. The only drawback is 4 max players. Still, the games are fairly quick, so you can rotate or even play as teams if you have a larger family.” And as this reviewer concludes, “My family plays a lot of board games. This hits the table more than any game I have owned.”
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Many reviewers prefer this quick game when playing with large groups as opposed to Azul, which only allows four people. “This is an excellent, quick, rapid fire party game. We have this along with a couple of expansions. Our group usually fluctuates between 5 and 9 people. Almost all of them enjoy whipping out One Night every now and then,” writes one reviewer. Another who “plays almost weekly” thinks “If you like social deduction games, you have to have this game. The game also plays really quick, so if you don’t like your character, you get to be someone else a few minutes later.” Many appreciate that it’s easy to understand so younger kids can play, like one who adds, “Oh my goodness, this is an awesome game. We play with my husband and I, and three kids, ages 12, 10, and 7. So many good laughs! It’s very easy to learn. We did not realize some of our children could lie as well as they do. Although we knew this before, it has been confirmed to us that our 7-year-old will either grow up to be a very successful CEO, or run a very successful gang. She is very convincing and influential.”
This game is currently out of stock, and will be available on December 21; if you order that day using two-day Amazon Prime shipping, it will arrive in time for Christmas.
Z-Man Games Pandemic
Reviewers like that this Secret Guides-approved game takes a lot of teamwork in order to win. “A complex, well-thought-out, challenging, cooperative game. If you like strategy and teamwork, there’s no reason to pass this one up,” notes one customer. Many mention that it’s tough to win, like one player who describes it as a “fun game. Very easy to learn. However, winning? Yeah that’s another story. It takes a lot of teamwork and a lot of thinking ahead to win at the easiest level. It is a lot of fun with great strategy involved.” But another reviewer thinks that that’s actually a positive, noting, “This is one of those games that is tough to win, but tends to make people want to play ‘just one more time, I know we’ll get it this time.’ It’s that enjoyable.” Another reviewer writes, “My wife and I have gradually gotten more into board games, because we’re old and lame and that’s okay. She’s a bit competitive, however, so even playing a game like Settlers can put me on the edge of the seat a little bit if I’m winning. We’ve won our only two games on the hardest difficulty, but it felt suspenseful and like we could have lost, so I think it’ll still be fun to play.”
Mayfair Games Patchwork
Those looking for a board game for two raved about this quilting-inspired board game. “This charming game is addictive, but since it only requires two players, chances are you can find (or make) a fellow addict easily enough,” writes one shopper. “If you were good at Tetris on the gameboy you’ll rock this game, too … maybe. The goal isn’t just making the pieces fit, after all. A surprising amount of strategy is needed to win this game. So much fun.” Other shoppers praised the strategical aspects of Patchwork, as well. One writes, “The surprise is the depth of strategy. You’ll happily play this for years and still find room for improvement. Highly recommended.” Another says, “This was the very first strategy board game I ever played, and it’s no wonder I’ve been hooked on games ever since because this one is flawless. It is easy to learn, the rules are written simply.”
Mattel Games Blokus Duo Two Player Strategy Game
Another two-player favorite among Amazon reviewers is Blokus Duo. “This game is addicting,” writes one. “It is easy to learn. Quick to play if you don’t have a lot of time or you keep playing for hours. You can play it over and over and challenge yourself to do better and have different outcomes.” And if you’re a Tetris addict, this might be the board game for you. “Love this game,” writes one shopper. “I would recommend it to anyone who loves the strategy of Tetris with a twist that makes for a fun competitive game. Great date night game for couples.” And the price was a draw: “This is a fine game for two people to play at home or on the go, and it’s sold for a fair price to boot,” says one reviewer. “The strategy rewards critical thinking and experienced players, but it’s very approachable for first time players or novices.”
Z-Man Games Carcassonne Board Game
Shoppers looking for a board game involving tile-lying gave this one some high praise. “Fantastic tile-laying game for two to four players,” says one. “Puzzle-lovers will enjoy the visual aspect of the game, which entails creating the medieval French city of Carcassone using fields, roads, abbeys, water features (rivers and lakes), and fortified cities.” Another writes, “My wife and I bought this game months ago and it is 100% our most played game. It is the perfect balance of casual yet competitive… The tiles are very satisfying to play and it is a pleasure to watch the board come together.” One reviewer was such a fan that they made their own version out of paint and bathroom tiles “when I was a broke college student who couldn’t afford a $20 board game,” they write. “Since then, I have been afraid to ‘loan’ my handmade game to my own mother for fear she would steal it.”
Wizards of the Coast Betrayal At House On The Hill
Fans of horror raved about this spooky board game. “This game really captures the B-movie horror/thriller/sci-fi vibe amazingly well,” says one reviewer. “I love thematic games that immerse you in the game and allow you to create your own stories, and this one definitely gives you those tools.” Another shopper says, “If you like horror movies or general spooky stuff, this is definitely the game to get. It’s essentially a cheesy horror movie, in that it starts the same every time: A bunch of people exploring where they shouldn’t go and then the twist happens.” Several shoppers also noted that the game reminded them of other role-playing games. “A bit like a mix of Settlers of Catan and Dungeons & Dragons, with the thematic feel of horror movies from the 1940s through ‘80s (usually cheesy, but can sneakily get under your skin),” says one. Another writes, “I like to think of it as a simpler form of Dungeons & Dragons where the campaign always involves a haunted house. I would give this game six stars if I could, and I would suggest it to anyone who loves strategy board games.”
Chess Armory 15″ Wooden Chess Set with Felted Game Board Interior for Storage
People liked that this is a high-quality and portable chess board. One customer got this for her boyfriend’s birthday, writing, “Of all the presents he opened, this was by far his favorite. He loves chess, and needed a nice, portable set that he can take to play with friends, either on the roof, or at the local watering hole. He was thrilled with the smooth, wooden board, and loved that the pieces are securely stored inside.” Another reviewer says this chessboard “is put together very nicely,” and explains, “The pieces are organized nicely inside the board when it is folded for transport or storage. The felt on the bottom of the pieces is a nice touch. I am happy to have such a nice board that I can take anywhere.” Many were also impressed by its high level of quality, like one who says, “I purchased this set to teach my children how to play chess. I thought the price was right so it couldn’t be that bad, right? Let’s just say I was amazed at the detail and quality from such an inexpensive set.”
Etna Board Game Set
Shoppers looking for a space-saving, all-in-one board-game set loved this one, which includes checkers, chess, backgammon, mancala, even playing cards and Go Fish. “This wooden holder contains fifteen great games,” says one reviewer. “Everything you need in one wooden play set. I’m super excited to play this again and again.” Lots of shoppers commented on how compact the set is, despite holding so many games. “I can’t believe that there are so many different game options in this one box set,” writes one. “It’s a great size and not too bulky and has perfect storage for all the pieces and boards that you need.” Another says, “It is not bulky, and will sit nicely on a bookcase or pack for the beach. This set includes something for everyone.”
Hasbro Risk Game
While many reviewers think that this game is fun, they warn that it takes a long time to play. “Fantastic game. Played with my husband, a 9- and 11-year old. We all enjoyed. Took a long time to finish the game, like, over the span of a week, but still fun.” Another bought this for her father, admitting that she “may regret it because he will want to start wars all the time. And this is not a ‘short’ game. But he loves it.” One more reviewer just appreciates that her whole family can enjoy this game, noting, “Family game night hit. This was a great edition of Risk with several different ways to play all in one. My kids with a wide range in age all had a wonderful time sitting down to play. We have family game night once a week and Risk is definitely getting added to our rotation.”
Spontuneous – The Song Game
“Do you hum in the shower? Do you think you know the lyrics to all songs and sing them privately in the car? This is your game,” assures one reviewer. Another calls this game “hilarious,” explaining, “We never laughed so loud and argued so much about who started singing first. We also argued about whether it was a song or not. Of course it was friendly arguing. One of just a very few games were you could involve young children, adults, and grandparents and all have a good time.” A third reviewer agrees, noting “this game was a riot” because everyone can play and have fun: “Half of us are not anywhere near decent singers, my dad actually can’t hold a tune to save his life, however, he belted out songs like no one’s business. It was hilarious and we are looking forward to playing it again.”