Whether you're planning a game night with neighbors, throwing a party with coworkers, or passing the time with your kids, the best family board games for 2020 keep things fun, interesting, and PG-rated (especially when you're stuck inside). But unless you've played a game first-hand somewhere else, how do you actually know it's a worthy investment for your home? Yeah, you could read the reviews to figure out which board games to buy — but if you're looking for family-appropriate options, popularity isn't necessarily the most important factor.
First, consider the ages of the people who will be playing the game. All of these picks are perfect for a family game night (which includes both children and seniors), but they may not be as well-suited for extremely young kids. For some games, small pieces could present a choking hazard, while other games are just a bit too advanced for small children or preteens. If a board game seems like it has a lot of elements or game pieces, be sure to check the recommended ages before you make a purchase.
Next, consider the number of players you expect. Some games on this list can keep two kids busy for a few hours, while others can accommodate up to 10 players or more. The size of your family or social group will definitely influence the type of games you should buy, so be sure to get a general headcount before you start shopping.
Once you've narrowed down your options based on these factors, it's time to take a look at the reviews. After all, if anyone's a trustworthy source on this matter, it's those who have played the game first-hand and enjoyed it enough to sing its praises.
So if you've worn out those classic board games to the point that the cards are falling apart and your kids have memorized the gameplay, it might be time for an upgrade. These 13 board games are fresh, well-reviewed, and designed for a wide range of age groups.
1. A Quick Two-Person Game Of Strategy And Balance
A game of strategy and balance, Tipsy has players tip the board one by one in an attempt to get their colored pucks out of one of the four exits. It's a two-player game, but since rounds are quick (up to 15 minutes each), all of your family members can take turns. According to reviewers, it's extremely fun and simple to learn — but it's still a challenge: "Just when you think you’re almost done, your puck lands pattern side up and back to the board it goes."
Tipsy, $30, Target
2. Like A Combination Of Go Fish, Bingo, And Connect Four
Sequence sits somewhere between Go Fish, Bingo, and Connect Four, though it's easy enough for kids over seven and stimulating enough for adults of any age. In short, each person or team plays a card that matches a square on the board — to win, you have to connect a sequence, which consists of five connected markers in a row. Two to 12 people can play at once and each round takes 30 minutes or less. This game has a 4.8-star rating, and buyers say they can "spend hours" playing with friends and family.
JAX Sequence, $15, Target
3. This Cult-Favorite Best-Seller On Amazon
This game has over 7,000 reviews and a near-perfect rating on Amazon. Codenames is a cult-favorite board game in which two teams race to contact all of their secret agents first. The catch? Only one person on each team knows the agents' identities, and these Spymasters can only communicate in one-word clues. If anyone accidentally picks the assassin instead, the game's over. Codenames is recommended for up to eight players and is suitable for ages 14 and up.
Codenames, $15, Amazon
4. Some Villainous Fun For The Disney Fan
Got a Disney fan in your family? Villainous won the 2019 Toy of the Year Award and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies since. Play as one of six iconic Disney villains as you defeat heroes and command your evil army. If you can achieve your particular villain's objective before anyone else, you win. For once, you want to be the bad guy — and the reviews say it's a great game for both adults and kids who don't mind a challenge.
Disney's Villainous, $35, Target
5. A Classic Board Game That Buyers Can't Stop Playing
It's nearly impossible to rank any category of board games without including this classic: Settlers of Catan. It's a strategy game for ages 10 and up in which players collect resources, build roads, and expand their settlements into other territories. "Such a fun game. My family has played it every day since Christmas," one reviewer wrote. "My [8-year-old] has even gotten the hang of it and loves to play."
Settlers of Catan, $45, Target
6. This Addicting Matching Game For Up To 10 Players
A solid game that sells out constantly, Inspiration Play's Double Ditto is an easy-to-learn (yet addictive) game that encourages you to think like your friends and family members. One person reads out a prompt such as "dangerous jobs." Each player then writes two answers, but you only earn points when you match one or both answers to another player. While common answers are the objective, reviewers say it's the ridiculous ones that "keep everyone laughing" — and since you can accommodate up to 10 people, the more, the merrier.
Inspiration Play Double Ditto, $25, Amazon
7. The Best Trivia Game For Anyone
While most trivia games are marketed towards people who know obscure facts, this trivia game is meant for everyone else. This game, ... I Should Have Known That, asks questions about common everyday things like Twitter, celebrities, and basic vocabulary. It's made for anyone over 14 years old, and you can play it with small and large groups alike.
...I Should Have Known That! Trivia Game, $17, Amazon
8. This Kid-Safe And Hilariously Bizarre Take On Russian Roulette
This is technically a card game, but it's gotten way too much recognition to ignore — especially since it was the most successful game of all time on Kickstarter. Illustrated by the creator of The Oatmeal, Exploding Kittens is a bizarre, hilarious take on Russian Roulette; players do everything they can to avoid the Exploding Kitten card, including diffusing it with catnip sandwiches, skipping their turn by crab-walking, or seeing the future by rubbing the belly of a Pig-A-Corn. (This is the base game, but you can build on it with tons of expansion packs.) No wonder it has over 24,000 reviews.
Exploding Kittens, $20, Amazon
9. A Fast-Faced Spelling Game That's Much Easier Than Scrabble
For some, Bananagrams is a nostalgic game, but in our opinion, not enough people have played this fun, fast-paced, board-free take on Scrabble. Two or more players race to create their individual word grids. If you can use every single letter tile you get (without using proper nouns or misspelled words), you win. When it comes to educational fun that adults still enjoy, buyers say Bananagrams is one of the best.
Bananagrams, $15, Target
10. This Creepy Board Game For Fans Of Horror
Spooky, engaging, and "so much fun," Betrayal At House On The Hill is a must for anyone who loves horror. Due to the scary themes, it's not the best choice for young children, but reviewers say it was a "huge hit" with teenagers and young adults in their households. Up to six players navigate around the house tile by tile, trying to survive in one of the 50 terrifying scenarios. Betrayal At House On The Hill has earned several awards and even won the title of Origins Gamers' Choice.
Betrayal At House On The Hill, $30, Amazon
11. A Combination Of Telephone And Pictionary
Combine Telephone and Pictionary and you get Telestrations, which (according to reviewers) will have you "laughing until you can't breath and your stomach hurts." Each player starts with a word or a phrase that they have to sketch on the first page of their booklet. When everyone's done, all the players pass their booklets to the next person who uses the drawing to guess what the word was. It goes back and forth like this until it reaches the original person — and then everyone gets to see how wrong everyone was. This game is well-suited for groups ranging from four to six people.
Telestrations, $19, Target
12. What Do You Meme? For The Whole Family
The original What Do You Meme? took the internet by storm, but it's definitely NSFW (meaning it's not appropriate for kids, either). Luckily, the company took a hint and made a version specifically for your family. Gameplay is the same: Each person plays the card they think best explains the meme in the middle, and the judge picks their favorite — but the pictures and phrases are PG-rated. If your family spends a lot of time on the internet, they'll love this one.
What Do You Meme? Family Edition, $20, Amazon
13. These Virtual Board Games You Can All Play Together
If you have kids who refuse to give up technology in lieu of a physical board game, use technology to your advantage. Jackbox facilitates a fun night of family bonding and no one even has to put down their phone. This video game app gives you access to five original digital games (Guesspionage, Tee K.O., Trivia Murder Party, Quiplash 2, and Fakin' It!) that you can all play together. Project the game on the television and players can interact using their own devices — it works with phones, tablets, computers, and even streaming sticks.
Jackbox Party Pack 3, $25, Amazon
We hope you found the best board games for your family! So you know, Lonny may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.