people's choice

The Best Family Board Games on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

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Here at the Strategist, 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 (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written about the most-wanted toys, the best holiday party games, and the best board games for kids of every age, we’ve gone deep here on the best board games for families that you can find on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

Best family board games for all ages

Spot It!

“We play this together with three generations of family and everyone has a blast. The standard game is very fun but there’s even more fun to be had with all the different variations described in the included instruction booklet. In fact, the younger members of the family even come up with their own fun versions of the game, which they’re just thrilled and proud about. The games are quick — anywhere from two to five minutes depending on the variation you’re playing — but the cries of ‘Again! Again!’ will keep you playing for hours.”

Melissa & Doug Suspend Family Game (31 pcs)

“We have four kids ranging from age 3 to 10, and we are always searching for games that the whole family can play and enjoy. Games made just for young kids are not fun for adults, but this is a game that people of any age can play. You can make it as complicated and difficult as you want to, or you can play it safe, and keep it simple and balanced. Suspend is a simple game to learn with very few rules and yet it is fun for everyone. Even the grandparents enjoyed playing this game and learning new tricks about balancing and strategy.”

Best family board games for toddlers

Hi Ho! Cherry-O

“We’ve been looking for cooperative games for our 3-year-old, so we ordered this. She loves this game! It combines counting and turn-taking, which she is now doing really well with. The directions are easy to follow. When we have guests over, she even teaches people how to play the game.”

Wonder Forge Richard Scarry’s Busytown, Eye Found It

“This game is a real winner with my 3- and 5-year-old boys. Whenever we have family game nights, this is the game they pull out. The rules are simple, the board is colorful, the games are relatively short, and parents won’t be bored playing along. I like the ‘Where’s Waldo’ aspect of this game, as it’s good vision practice for young kids. It’s even a good game to practice memory because you sometimes need to remember things you searched for in previous games.”

Best family board games for 5-year-olds and up

Ravensburger Bugs in the Kitchen

“At first, this seemed like just an entertaining, silly children’s game. I quickly realized, though, that there is a lot of educational value to it. A win-win! My grandchildren, ages 4 and 11, and my 6-year-old niece were very excited to play, especially once they saw that bug scampering around the game board! It only took moments for everyone to get caught up in the excitement, cheering, laughing, and strategizing. It takes a fair amount of strategy, a lot of focus, and a little luck to catch that annoying cockroach. Everyone, children and adults, loved the fast-paced playing once we understood how to manipulate the utensils to guide the bug.”

Peaceable Kingdom Feed the Woozle

“We had no idea what to expect, but this game gets kids off their tushies! Comes with a big spoon, silly snacks for the Woozle, yummy cards, a large die numbered 1–3, a spinner, and a freestanding cardboard cutout of the Woozle himself (with a large open mouth, of course). There are three different ways to play the game, based on the ages of the players. Everyone gets a turn and each move requires some kind of actual movement (walking, wiggling, spinning, jumping, etc.). The best part of this game is that everyone plays together, and not against each other.”

Best family board games for tweens

Sequence Game

“We purchased this game a couple of years ago and liked it so much we bought it for my sister and her family. It can be played and enjoyed by everyone ages 6 and up. The younger ones might not quite get some of the more strategic elements, but they can certainly join in and have a good time. Even when you’re just learning to play, it only takes a few minutes to get going. And the nice thing is that you can play for as little or as long as you want. Each game is usually fairly quick, often in the 5–20-minute range, but you can play as many rounds as you like. So you can either fill a quick 15 minutes with this, or kill an entire afternoon! Overall, a great buy and recommended for anyone who likes to play games.”

Ticket to Ride

“I purchased this game for my 11-year-old son for Christmas … We have played this game every single day since Christmas and continue to enjoy it. I was a bit uncertain when we were reading the instructions for the first time, and it took us just a bit to figure out just how to play. Once we got it figured out, we have enjoyed it greatly. Initially, my son wasn’t sure that it was going to be any fun, but now my techno-wizard, video-game-playing preteen son asks to play it every day! It’s nice that it can be a ‘nice, family-fun game’ (everyone just working on completing their own lines) or you can play it a bit more ‘cutthroat’ by trying to block other players from completing their lines. This was a great purchase for us.”

Best cooperative board games for families

Castle Panic

“I bought this based on other reviews as an alternative to the board games that were creating chaos when played as a family due to the poor gamesmanship of my children. Opened it on Christmas day and within 30 minutes we were immersed in a positive, collaborative game that my kids could not get enough of. It quickly became the only game they wanted to play, with my 6-year-old son making strategic suggestions for other players and my 9-year-old trying to figure out which powerful cards were still left in the card deck. I was delighted that instead of bickering and getting upset, my kids were actively and enthusiastically working together on problem-solving to defeat the monsters.”

Pandemic Board Game

“We bought this as a family game. We had never played a cooperative game before. In fact, our family is very competitive, and we love games, but we just could not imagine a game where the players were cooperating with one another. We all win, or we all lose — what!?! It made no sense and definitely didn’t sound very fun. We were wrong! Pandemic is a very fun game, and it is very competitive, but the competition is in trying to beat the game together. The first time we played it (on the easiest setting), we thought we were doing well, and the game was too easy, but then the cards ran out, and we lost! That was all we needed to get our competitive juices flowing and wanting to play again and again! We weren’t going to let some game beat us! There is only one way for the players to win, but three different ways for the game to win … We now regularly play it with five players (using two cards like with a four-player game). The game doesn’t seem harder or easier with the fifth player. Our success rate is about the same if we play with four players. We found out that we also love cooperative games! Pandemic is a great game: cooperative, competitive, and tense.”

Best family board game for horror-movie aficionados

Betrayal at House on the Hill

“My family loves this game. The haunted house is built differently each game and there are many different stories that could apply, which gives great replay value. I found that the traitor role is balanced with the heroes. Excellent mix of fun gameplay and horror theme. We add spooky music and dim the lights to really set the mood. Excellent game.”

Best family board game for science-fiction fans

Terraforming Mars Board Game

“I can’t begin to say enough good things about this game. It’s in my top three right now. I play it with my wife and our 11 and 12-year-olds. It takes about two hours to play and they are two hours very well spent. You play as a corporation that has been contracted to change the red planet into a green one, using the resources of the planet and the space around you to create cities, flora, fauna, and oceans. The goal is to turn Mars into a habitable planet over multiple human generations. The game starts small and builds to a massive ending.”

Best board games for families who like to sing

Spontuneous - The Song Game

“My family and I played this on Easter. Once the rules are explained, the game is very fun! We’re very competitive, so it was funny having everyone singing songs all at once. This isn’t the kind of game I’d recommend playing if kids are sleeping in the other room; it got a bit loud. We played the game with eight people, and when it was done (about 30 minutes), we wanted to play again. Well worth the money.”

Best alternate-history family board game

Scythe Board Game

“Amazing game. My family has been playing “The Settlers of Catan” several times a week for years, but I think we have found a new favorite. There are several randomizing factors that make it a different game every time you play it. We’ve only had it for a week and we’ve played it at about six times already. There is a slight learning curve because there are just so many different aspects to it, but those aspects are what make this game so interesting.”

Best Disney family board games

World of Disney Eye Found It Board Game

“My family and I love this game. For those of you with kiddos who just want to win or hate losing, this game is a great choice. You play together with one goal: get your whole group to the castle before midnight. I was expecting that this hidden-object game would lose its fun once everything was found, but there is so much detail on the beautiful game board and the search cards create endless possibilities for things to find. I don’t see this game getting old for our family anytime soon.”

Pictopia-Family Trivia Game: Disney Edition

“I am a Disney FANATIC, and this game is SUPER fun! It has great questions for people of all levels of play: Even my 3-year-old enjoyed playing this as ‘teams’ on family game night. The cards have fun, bright pictures; the game pieces are fun colors and shaped like Mickey’s head. The gameplay takes about 30 minutes to play when you have two people, and about 45 minutes when you have four people. The rules are easy to understand and out-of-the-box; the game is ready to play in about ten minutes. Overall, this is a great family game or fun for anyone who loves Disney trivia.”

Best family board game with drawing

Googly Eyes Game

“My children, ages 7 and 10, received this game as a gift. I played the game after school with my son, daughter, and a couple of their friends who are 8 years old. Everyone had a great time trying to draw and guess the pictures wearing the googly-eyes glasses. One of the boys who played with us doesn’t even like board games. He is always glued to his tablet. He was quickly intrigued and probably laughed the hardest. I liked that the game was fast-paced and engaging. None of the children were the least bit upset if they did not guess the picture correctly because they were too busy laughing. There are two spaces on the board where you have the ability to draw without the glasses. Surprisingly, the kids were actually disappointed to land on those spaces. They love the silly glasses!”

Best word board games for families

Codenames

“My family was skeptical about this game when I first showed it to them but they quickly changed their minds. Soon they were recruiting other players themselves! It’s very fun. Even the little ones can play and I believe they learn some good thinking skills from it. And with all the options, I can’t imagine you’d ever play the same game twice.”

Scattergories Game

“We played this game two ways. We had 22 people at our house, all families. We asked each kid (the youngest kiddo was 3 and the oldest was 7) to pair up with an adult they aren’t related to. This pairing became a team. Then, we moved forward with play! It was a blast to see the kids come up with their own ideas, with a bit of help from the grown-ups. When the kids’ game was over, the adults played their own. We played nine rounds and had a great time. So much fun that we decided to make this a monthly gathering where we rotate houses and get together. My son said, ‘Mom, I love that game! Can we do it again?’ Thanks for the fun memories created!”

Best board game for large families

Telestrations — the Telephone Game Sketched Out!

Telestrations is so much fun — the bigger the group, the better. This game works best when you have eight, or close to eight, players, just because of how the rotation is set up. The game consists of eight dry-erase drawing tablets and markers, and a set of double-sided playing cards. Each player chooses a card so that they know what word or phrase they are starting with. You draw the item, then pass your tablet to the next person. They guess what you drew, then pass it on. They draw the guess, then pass it on. And so forth until it gets back to you, and you can see how far from your original word that the guesses traveled. This isn’t set up as a competition game, but rather a cooperative game. So there isn’t a winner, but it is an absolute blast to play. We played with ages ranging from 8 years old to 72, and everyone loved it. It’s a nice break from fierce competition on game night, and a fun way to spend time with family.”

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The Best Family Board Games, According to Amazon Reviewers