September 18, 2019

15 Best Party Board Games to Play with Your Friends

Forget Monopoly or Scrabble; if you’re looking for the best party board games, then you need to delve into the world of fantasy, horror, and monster building. Tabletop games are more popular than ever before and for a good reason. They’re a brilliant way to bring engaging stories to life, team up with your friends to stop evil forces or collaborate to stab each other in the back. There are a lot of options out there, and I’ve narrowed it down to top 15 best party board games for adults.

This list includes a range of genres, game formats, and difficulty levels so that there is something for every group. Each board game features our personal rating and all the information you need to choose some fun group board games for your next party!

The 15 Best Party Board Games in 2019

Our Top 3 Choices

Get It Best For Full Review

Munchkin
Check Price Nerdy board game players Read Our Review

Bears vs. Babies
Check Price Random, wacky fun Read Our Review

Fluxx
Check Price Players of all ages Read Our Review

1. Munchkin

Gametime60-120 minutes
Difficulty3/10
Players3-6
Ages10+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsMultiple - we recommend Munchkin The Good The Bad The Munchkin, Star Munchkin, and Munchkin Princesses
Our rating10/10

Summary & Gameplay

Munchkin is the number one nerdy party game and probably one of the best party board games of all time, for a good reason. It was my introduction to the world of board games and remains, to this day, one of my favorites. It ticks all the boxes: easy to learn, fun, and quick.

In Munchkin, you are an adventurer in a party exploring a dungeon. You kick down doors, kill monsters, and go looking for treasure – and stab a few friends in the back while you’re at it ;).

Munchkin is all about winning by getting to level 10 and stopping everyone else from doing that too. You can swap cards with others, or add cards to battles to buff monsters or players in exchange for a share of the treasure.

There are also multiple expansions (see above for some of our favorites), which are all compatible with one another. This can lead to some pretty bonkers creations. Mutant mixed-race cowboy ninja, anyone? The fun is endless.

What’s to like

  • Easy to learn and play, which makes it one of the best party board games.
  • Fast gameplay and turn around.
  • Multiple expansions that are compatible with one another.
  • Limitless fun for everyone.

What’s not to like

  • Backstabbing can lead to drama and tantrums.
  • It’s not a character or story-driven game.

2. Bears vs. Babies

Gametime20 minutes
Difficulty4/10
Players2-5
Ages10+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsBears Vs. Babies: NSFW Expansion Pack
Our rating10/10

Summary & Gameplay

From the creators of Exploding Kittens comes another one of their fun party board games: Bears vs. Babies. This strangely named game is as peculiar as it sounds and promises to bring as many laughs as its predecessors.

The aim of the game is to build the biggest, bestest monster and eat the most babies. As you’d expect from this company, your creations are going to be nothing short of absolutely bonkers. There’s an adult-only expansion pack as well, to make it even more fun for parties.

What’s to like

  • It’s completely random, wacky fun.
  • A silly game that doesn’t take anything seriously.
  • Monster building; who doesn’t love that?!

What’s not to like

  • Once you’ve seen all the cards a few times, it can get boring.
  • Twisted humor isn’t for everyone.

3. Fluxx

Gametime5-30 minutes
Difficulty1/10
Players2-5
Ages8+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsMultiple - we recommend Zombie Fluxx, Cthulhu Fluxx, Pirate Fluxx, Batman Fluxx
Our rating8/10

Summary & Gameplay

Fluxx is a wonderfully simple game that can be played by all ages. A turn has two moves: draw a new card from the deck and play a card from your hand. Every Fluxx card has individual rules, many of which are quite funny and wacky. It might ask you to sing a song or read the card out in a silly voice.

Multiple expansions have thematic rules, so for example, while playing Zombie Fluxx, you might be asked to groan like a Zombie. They’re good group board games for mixing and matching with your party due to so many available expansions.

What’s to like

  • It’s a fun, fast-paced, silly game that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
  • The multiple expansions include geeky and pop culture options such as Batman, Firefly, and Doctor Who!
  • It’s a great party game that has a minimal learning curve and playtime. Thus, it’s ideal for those moments when you don’t have time for a longer game.

What’s not to like

  • For people with anxiety, some of the sillier actions might be a cause for concern (that’s personal experience talking here). At the end of the day, Fluxx is all about having fun, so be in the moment with your friends 🙂

4. Betrayal at House on the Hill

Gametime60 minutes
Difficulty6/10
Players3-6
Ages12+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsBetrayal at House on The Hill: Widow's Walk, Betrayal at Baldur's Gate Board Game, Betrayal Legacy
Our rating8/10

Summary & Gameplay

A haunted house on a hill; what could possibly go wrong? 😉 Players explore the house room by room by selecting room tiles at random. In each room, players will find something, or something might find them.

At an arbitrary point during the game, one of the players will trigger the ‘haunt,’ an event that dramatically changes the game, turning it from a game of exploration into one of survival. There are multiple haunt scenarios, and for each one, a player becomes a traitor who works alongside the monsters to hunt down their fellow players, the heroes.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is one of the most popular party board games available due to its fantastic replayability. The ‘haunt’ phase can be triggered at any point during the game, usually, right at the moment you least expect/want it to happen, which is always exciting.

One moment you could be working alongside a fellow hero in a room only for them to become the traitor! It’s a game where you never know what could happen next.

What’s to like

  • The multiple room tiles and haunt scenarios mean that no game is ever the same.
  • So many possibilities provide plenty of replayability.
  • The two phases make things interesting and give you the best of both worlds in one game.

What’s not to like

  • Game time can vary dramatically due to multiple possibilities.
  • It’s a little cheesy at times.
  • Playing the traitor can be a bit confusing for first-time players.

5. Last Night on Earth

Summary & Gameplay

Last Night on Earth is a fun horror game where players face off against a horde of zombies. Some players play the heroes, and some play the zombies. How many of each is dependant on the number of players (we recommend five so that you get a good balance of heroes and zombies).

The heroes make their way through the house, trying to survive and searching for weapons to defeat the zombies along the way. The zombies work together to kill the heroes, trapping them in rooms and overwhelming them. A modular game board and different game scenarios mean that each game is unique, and stop it from becoming cliche.

There are zombie and horror movie references thrown in throughout the game, which emulate the B-Horror movie vibe. Play the included CD soundtrack, and you’ve got the perfect game for a Halloween party! Last Night on Earth is a firm favorite for our group, and it’s easily one of the best party board games.

What’s to like

  • It’s a fun, fast-paced game that is surprisingly funny for a game about brain-eating zombies.
  • A good game for collaboration as there’s no back-stabbing element; either the heroes win, or the zombies win. There’s no I in Team.
  • Great replayability.

What’s not to like

  • As a player vs. player game, it can get competitive, especially if the zombie player/s are more strategically experienced than the heroes.
  • Requires some strategic experience.

6. Discworld The Witches Board Game

Gametime45-90 minutes
Difficulty6/10
Players1-4
Ages13+
Extra requirementsConfusing rules may require additional reading on the internet for clarification.
ExpansionsNo, although it is one of several games set in the Discworld universe.
Our rating7/10

Summary & Gameplay

Set in the world of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, The Witches board game is set in the magical world of Lancer. Players act the part of trainee witches, and fans will recognize the characters of Tiffany Aching and Petulia Gristle.

Life isn’t easy for a young witch, and as they try to tackle magical problems, they find the issues keep getting bigger and bigger. Famous characters from the Discworld novels are on hand to help players as things spiral out of control.

The game has three modes: solo, competitive, and cooperative, which along with Discworld’s wonderful comical nature, make it one of the best fun party board games.

What’s to like

  • A fantastic journey into the Discworld universe for fans and an introduction to those new to Terry Pratchett’s work.
  • Casual and light-hearted game, but still challenging.
  • Beautiful artwork.

What’s not to like

  • The rules and instructions are not as clear as they could be.

7. Eldritch Horror

Gametime120-240 minutes
Difficulty8/10
Players1-8
Ages14+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsThe Mountains of Madness, Masks of Nyarlathotep, The Dreamlands, Under the Pyramids, Signs of Carcosa, Forsaken Lore, Strange Remnants, Cities in Ruin
Our rating7/10

Summary & Gameplay

Inspired by the best-selling game Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror is a newer game which is easier to get a hold of, and has multiple expansions. Players take on the role of unlikely heroes in a battle against dark Lovecraftian forces as the Ancient Ones try to rise again.

They’ll travel to other worlds, fight monsters, and unravel mysteries as they try to find a unique way to stop the Ancient One they’re facing. The game has four Ancient Ones, twelve investigators, and hundreds of encounters, which gives it incredibly high replayability as no encounter is ever the same.

With up to eight players, multiple expansions, and the ability to travel to other worlds, this game is high on our list of board games for large groups.

What’s to like

  • Unlike most board games, you travel to other worlds rather than being stuck in one place.
  • With hundreds of possible encounters, there’s a slim chance of having the same game twice.
  • Fits well into the Lovecraftian mythos, but is also a great introduction for newcomers.

What’s not to like

  • There are a lot of rules, which means it has a steep learning curve.
  • It’s a complicated game, and the more players, the longer the game.
  • There’s a lot of cards involved, so have a lot of table space ready.

8. Mysterium

Gametime45 minutes
Difficulty6/10
Players2-7
Ages10+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsHidden Signs, Secrets & Lies
Our rating7/10

Summary & Gameplay

Mysterium is a game similar to Dixit but with more structure and a storyline. It’s the 1920s and Mr. MacDowell, a gifted astrologist, has just moved into Warwick Manor. Sensing a supernatural presence, he calls a seance to determine what horrible crime took place there. A ghost tries to speak to the mediums, sending them visions to help them piece together the mystery.

One player plays the ghost, and the others play the mediums. The ghost cannot speak out loud and can only communicate with images. Thus, the ghost player must use illustrated cards to tell the mediums who committed the crime, where it happened, and what weapon was used. It is the mediums’ task to analyze these visual clues to identify the culprit.

The gorgeous artwork, coupled with the historical setting and storytelling is sure to appeal to many. Mysterium is among the best party board games that offer a unique experience and stands apart from the usual strategy and survival games.

What’s to like

  • A fun illustrated game which challenges players to pool their talents and work as a team.
  • Beautiful artwork.
  • Fantastic theme-based story set at the height of seances in the 1920s.

What’s not to like

  • With limited cards, it is only a matter of time before replayability runs out.
  • The game relies on interpretations, which aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and could lead to some passionate debates.
  • It takes a while just to set up the game.

9. Bloodborne

Gametime30-45 minutes
Difficulty5/10
Players3-5
Ages14+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsThe Hunter's Nightmare, Game Night Kit
Our rating7/10

Summary & Gameplay

Based in the world of the video game Bloodborne, the board game takes players on a journey through the Chalice Dungeon, where they work together to collect Yharnam’s blood. Players work their way through the dungeon, fighting monsters as they make their way towards the final boss.

Although players require blood from these monsters, their real opponents are actually their fellow hunters. The game is not won by beating the final boss; it’s won by whoever has the most trophies at the end. The game is, therefore, all about trying to outscore one another along the way. Players must work together to complete the dungeon, while also trying to undermine each other with the final goal of ‘winning’ the game in mind.

With friendly fire enabled, the potential for plotting becomes even bloodier and adds a dynamic to Bloodborne that isn’t seen in other games. Depending on the players, gameplay could be ruthless or a thrilling tactical game where your choices might turn on you at any moment.

Watching someone’s luck backfiring on them when they’ve tried to take you out is just one of the things that make this game one of the best party board games.

What’s to like

  • Lots of potential for plotting against each other, including “accidental” friendly fire incidents.
  • Simple gameplay that is easy to learn.
  • High replayability with lots happening.

What’s not to like

  • It can be quite complicated, especially when keeping track of everyone’s cards.
  • Bosses and monsters can be challenging, which is time-consuming.
  • It is limited to 5 players.

10. Elder Sign

Gametime60-120 minutes
Difficulty9/10
Players1-8
Ages13+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsUnseen Forces, The Gates of Arkham, Omens of the Deep, Omens of the Pharaoh, Omens of Ice
Our rating7/10

Summary & Gameplay

Set in the Cthulhu mythos, Elder Sign lets players step into the role of occult investigators who are fighting to stop the return of a race of monsters known as the Ancient Ones. Players must find the Elder Signs, eldritch symbols that can lock away the Ancient Ones.

By obtaining them and stopping the Ancient Ones, they can win the game. Along the way, they will explore the museum, fighting to stay sane and healthy as they battle the minions of the Ancient Ones.

Elder Sign is a fantastic addition to the Lovecraftian mythos, and both fans and non-fans will be drawn into the mysteries as they hunt down the Elder Signs. The excellent storytelling mixed with some clever gameplay mechanics put this on our list of best party board games.

What’s to like

  • Exciting and clever dice mechanics makes the sanity and health fight realistic.
  • Lets players become an active part of the Lovecraftian mythos.
  • Intricate mysteries with intrigue at every turn.

What’s not to like

  • High difficulty rating due to a lot of rules.
  • The dark theme might not be for everyone.

11. A Touch of Evil

Gametime60-120+ minutes
Difficulty7/10
Players2-8
Ages12+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsFour free villains, Hero Pack One, Something Wicked Expansion
Our rating6/10

Summary & Gameplay

It’s the 19th Century, and gruesome murders are happening daily in the village of Shadowbrook. Your party came together to fight that evil, some passing through and some hunting for glory. The heroes race to save the town from falling into Darkness.

As players make their way through the game, investigating mysteries and fighting minions, there is an ongoing countdown to darkness. When the counter reaches zero, Darkness will win and claim the town.

The game can be played in two styles: competitive, where the aim is to be the first to defeat the Darkness, or co-operative, where the players fight the Darkness together.

What’s to like

  • Interesting characters and mysteries to unfold; perfect for anyone who is a fan of Victorian mysteries!
  • One of the best party board games as it’s suitable for up to 8 players.

What’s not to like

  • There are a lot of cards and tokens to keep track of, which causes the game area to get cluttered, especially with eight players.
  • As an intricate game, it has a slightly steep learning curve.
  • Not a fast-paced game.

12. T.I.M.E Stories

Summary & Gameplay

Fast forward to the future, and we’ve conquered time travel. Players are temporal agents belonging to the T.I.M.E Agency, an organization that exists to protect humanity from faults and paradoxes in time that threaten the fabric of the universe.

For a limited time, agents can travel into a different time or reality and inhabit the bodies of other beings (‘receptacles’). During that time, the players have to do everything they can to complete their mission. If they fail to do so before the time is up, they are sucked back into the future and must restart the mission.

It’s a game of trial and error that requires teamwork and strategy to uncover what is needed to fulfill the mission. Players take on the personas of their receptacles while on a mission. That means there is an element of roleplay to the game too. T.I.M.E Stories is undoubtedly one of those cool party board games that everyone will be talking about afterward!

What’s to like

  • All of time and history is available through the expansions.
  • An interesting and intriguing way to visit different realities and times through the eyes of the people who live there.
  • The game can easily be played in sessions, with the game box including an insert for preserving your place in the game until your next meeting.

What’s not to like

  • There is no replayability for each scenario; once you’ve played it through once, you know the answer. There are multiple expansions though, so you can add new content.
  • It might get repetitive and boring for people who are not prepared to replay scenarios over and over until they reach the objective.

13. Citadels

Gametime30-60 minutes
Difficulty6/10
Players2-7
Ages10+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsNo
Our rating6/10

Summary & Gameplay

Citadels is all about acquiring gold, building structures, and stopping your opponents from doing the same. Each round, players have the option to use characters to build structures or sabotage the other players. For example, they may use an assassin to remove a character for a turn or a thief to steal their opponent’s gold and prevent them from being able to build.

The game ends when a player erects their eighth building, and the points are tallied. Points are scored for buildings depending on their color, with a bonus given for having structures of all five colors.

What’s to like

  • Quick to learn.
  • Lots of content in a small box, which makes it easy to pack for conventions.
  • An excellent entry-level game for beginners.

What’s not to like

  • Lacks depth and can get boring quickly.
  • May cause some drama as the aim of the game is literally to sabotage your opponents.

14. Disney Villainous

Gametime50 minutes
Difficulty6/10
Players2-6
Ages10+
Extra requirementsAdditional research for Villain strategies.
ExpansionsWicked to the Core Expansion
Our rating6/10

Summary & Gameplay

Have you ever wanted to play the role of the dark queen? Then Disney’s Villainous is perfect for you! Players can choose from six Disney villains: Ursula, Maleficent, Captain Cook, Jafar, Prince John, and the Queen of Hearts.

Their objective is to fulfill their evil scheme and to thwart their opponents by using the Fate Deck. For instance, for Jafar, the scheme is to steal the magic lamp. The Fate Deck is linked to the protagonist of their Disney film and features corresponding characters. Ursula’s player will find themselves dealing with characters from The Little Mermaid.

Villainous is among the best group board games for a player group with mixed ages and interests, as almost everyone has seen at least one Disney movie. For hardcore gamers, there’s a great strategy that they can delve into, and for beginners, there’s lots of Disney magic to fall in love with.

What’s to like

  • A great theme that appeals to people of different ages and backgrounds.
  • Immersive storytelling that brings the Villains’ stories to life.
  • Game mechanics uniquely bring your favorite Disney characters into the game.
  • The game includes individual Villain guides to help you complete your scheme.

What’s not to like

  • There are a ton of strategies for each Villain, which adds to the difficulty of the game.
  • The replayability may be limited depending on how interesting you find the game.

15. Dixit

Gametime30 minutes
Difficulty5/10
Players3-6
Ages8+
Extra requirementsNone
ExpansionsQuest Expansion, Daydreams Expansion, Odyssey Expansion, Memories Expansion
Our rating6/10

Summary & Gameplay

Dixit is a game of imagination and creativity and will appeal more to artists and creatives rather than those who prefer strategy-based games.

One player takes on the role of storyteller and selects a card showing an artistic image. The storyteller must describe the image on the card to the other players. The other players must then choose an image from the cards in their own hands to match the image the storyteller described. Players gain points by guessing correctly, and the storyteller earns points by baffling their opponents, causing them to guess incorrectly.

Good party board games are fun and challenging, sometimes in ways we don’t even realize, and that is where Dixit comes in. It’s a different change of pace compared to the rest of the games in this best party board games list, but that’s a good thing, as parties cater for a mix of people. Games like this one are great to have in your collection for people who aren’t quite up for a strategy game.

What’s to like

  • A fun game that isn’t just for artistic types.
  • Fun for all ages.
  • It’s challenging in ways that you don’t expect, and everyone’s unique view brings something new to the game.

What’s not to like

  • It’s hard to give a difficulty rating to Dixit because it depends on the player’s aptitude for art. People with an art background will find the game more accessible than those with a more analytical mind.
  • As the artwork is based on Surrealism, they are open to interpretation, which means the meanings aren’t always distinct or may be confusing.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading our best party board games guide, and we hope you’ve gotten a few new games to pick up for your next party! At a party, it can be challenging to judge what game suits which person, especially if they’ve never played board games before.

We recommend having a variety of games available, including some easy and silly ones like Fluxx and Munchkin, so that you can ease them into the world of board games. Once they’ve gotten a taste for it, they’ll want more!

Do you have a favorite board game that you love to play at parties? Let us know in the comments! Also, most of these games have been out for several years now. That makes me wonder: what do you consider to be the best new party board games this year?

Heather Trend

Contributor

As a child of the 80s and 90s, my journey into geekdom was fuelled by warrior princesses, NeverEnding Stories, magical creatures, sword fights, and people going off on adventures. Nothing much has changed really!

I’ve always been drawn to stories, and my two great loves are Star Wars and World of Warcraft. I fall in love with fandoms easily, devouring everything I can get my hands on including games, spin-offs, and extra material. As a huge animal lover, I’m constantly asking my fiance if I can adopt every cute fantasy creature I come across. Although we already have two cats, Milo and George, I would quite happily have many more – even a zoo if I was allowed!

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