NOTHING unites friends and family members like an afternoon, evening or weekend spent playing board games.
Of course, the best board games arent just about whiling away a few hours. They have everyone feeling engaged, invested and get those competitive juices flowing long after the game has ended, in some cases.These board games are great fun for families
As we refocus our social lives towards more home entertainment, board games are top of our minds for fun for all ages.
With most of them under £25, they provide hours of fun that generation after generation can enjoy and are a healthy antidote for those worried about too much screen time.
While some board games are pure luck, others involve creativity, logic and the ability to think fast in a crisis.
Some board games test your ability to build and your dexterity while others require you to be a team player.
Whether youve got a quick 10 minutes before putting the kids to bed or want to have a game-heavy weekend, these are the games for all ages, levels and interests.
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We tested: Confident?
- Confident Board Game, £19.99 from Amazon buy here
Confidence? arrives with a very zeitgeist-y USP its the first carbon neutral board game available on Amazon.
Of course, thats a noble reason to choose a board game and it immediately had us interested.
However, the natural worry is that the makers may have thought more about offsetting carbon emissions than perfecting the game itself.
Needless to say, these worries dissipated within a few minutes of playing. Confidence? succeeds for the same reason as every well-loved board game: a strong concept.
The questions that players are asked to answer are intentionally abjectly difficult: How many kilograms of cheese does a Dane eat in a year? How long does it take to soft-boil an Ostrich Egg? How much older is the average bride now compared to 50 years ago?
Players then have to write a range they think the correct answer falls into; the more absurd the question, the bigger difference youll find in ranges.
Older players will love that some questions will exploit the lack of younger players historical pop culture knowledge. For example, I couldnt get close to the price of petrol in the early nineties or the year colour TV first debuted, and my little sister didnt know when the Spice Girls broke up.
Meanwhile, my dad said that I had to mention here that he didnt like that all measurements are done in metric, rather than boomer-friendly imperial.
Ill definitely be pulling this game out more often over the Christmas period which will be easier thanks to its compact size and judging by the amount my family enjoyed playing it, Im sure plenty of others will, too.
Best dice game: Perudo in a TinPerudo is a game of luck and bluffs
- Perudo in a Tin Game, £18.80at Amazon buy here
A great family game for kids from the age of 7, Perudo is also an ice-breaker for friends and works well on the go (the kit comes with a handy bag to keep all the bits and pieces in).
Its suitable for small or larger groups, as players estimate how many of each number dice there are the winner is the player with dice under their cup at the end of the game.
Quick to learn and play, its based on the Peruvian game Liars Dice so for once, your childs compulsive need to deceit you will make you proud.
Best guessing game: Hasbro Gaming Guess Who?This game is perfect for siblings to play together
- Hasbro Gaming Guess Who?, £16.99 at Smyths buy here
Guess Who? is a fun game that kids can start playing from a young age, since theres no reading, writing or counting involved (it says 6+ on the box, but kids aged 3 and 4 love it too).
Its also handy when you want to minimise mess the game involves two tabletop boards and slot-in character cards, rather than a board, dice, etc.
Weve also noticed this is a brilliant game when you need to keep the kids occupied siblings will actually play it together, without needing supervision or parental help. Which means you will be able to manage that work call if you need to
Best word game: Scrabble Original Board Game
- Scrabble Original Board Game, £16 at Argos buy here
Scrabble is a much-loved classic that continues to delight younger and older generations.
For both kids and adults, its a great way to learn a few new words and to improve vocabulary.
Of course, as any Scrabble champ will tell you, its all about the strategy too its never the wordsmith who ends up with the triple word bonus points, but the savvy player who knows what letters to put where. And how to score points with three-letter words no one else has heard of
Best mystery board game: Cluedo Classic Board GameCluedo is a fun game, whether you have only two players or six
- Cluedo Classic Board Game, £15 at Argos buy here
This thrilling mystery game is enough to entice children in the house away from the television.
Those who havent played in several years will notice that a new character, Dr Orchid, has replaced Mrs White but the weapons, mansion and motives remain the same. Its always Colonel Mustard, in the library, with the candlestick, right?
Best fantasy board game: Pegasus Spiele TalismanHave a Warhammer fan in your life? Theyll love Talisman
- Pegasus Spiele Talisman, £53.63 at Amazon buy here
This immersive fantasy game is one for an afternoon dedicated to play think of it as an easier to get into Warhammer that the kids will want to get involved in.
You battle fantastical creatures, both good and evil, using strength and craft to reach the Crown of Command.
Easy to learn, since goal is to keep going one direction (to the inner region). As simple as that. Events happen along the way and you do as the card/board tells you. So very little learning is required, quite easy to pick up, writes a reviewer.
Best classic board game: Hasbro Gaming MonopolyEmbrace classic board games like Monopoly which never fail to disappoint
- Hasbro Gaming Monopoly, £13.60 at Argos buy here
Theres nothing more satisfying then buying up properties, trading for your monopoly and becoming a hotel magnate all in a matter of hours.
This game of wheeling and dealing is just as fun for kids as for adults and never fails to delight, no matter your age.
Best quick board game: Hasbro Monopoly SpeedMonopoly Speed promises a game in under 10 minutes
- Hasbro Monopoly Speed, £23 at Hamleys buy here
For the essence of Monopoly in quick-time, Monopoly Speed has all of the Monopoly virtues you enjoy and ditches the one you dont its time-consuming nature.
Instead players all roll and buy simultaneously in the buying phase, which is followed by the trading phase, where you can swap money and properties.
Dont miss our full Monopoly Speed review here.
Best board game with a tech update: Mattel Pictionary AirPictionary gets a tech-savvy update in this fun game where you draw in the air
- MattelPictionary Air, £19.99 at Very buy here
While board games are sometimes the perfect excuse to get some non-screen time in with the whole family, we cant deny that tech innovations have taken some of our favourite games to the next level.
Take Pictionary Air: the new update of everyones favourite drawing game works with an app you draw in the air, and your illustrations appear on your TV or smart device screen.
Its fun with flatmates or family, and reviewers say it gets tons of laughs from the kids.
Best table sports game: KLASK Half Table Football, Half Air Hockey GameThis sporty Scandinavian game is a favourite with a bevy of five-star reviews
- KLASK Half Table Football, Half Air Hockey Game, £37 at House of Fraser buy here
Somewhere between table football and air hockey youll find Klask, an award-winning game that wins points for its beautiful design and quality as well as how fun it is to play.
The magnetic game is a favourite with kids, adults, couples, friends reviewers describe is as great, simple and addictive and really satisfying. Set up best of 3, 5 and 10 games turnaround is quick.
Its the perfect antidote for those missing out on getting their athletic fix on TV or in person.
Best building game: Hasbro Gaming JengaThis block-stacking game is perfect when you need a break for some family play
Jenga ticks every box for families: its easy to play, fun for lots of players or just a couple and suitable for kids of all ages.
Plus, a game can be set up and completed in under 10 minutes.
Bonus points that in a sea of plastic, classic Jenga is made of wood.
Best pocket money game: Mikado GamePick up sticks works indoors or out, on the go or at the table
- Philos 3111 Mikado Game, £3.95 at Amazon buy here
Pick up sticks are a timeless form of entertainment and theyre great for improving dexterity in children too. The game is super simple but incredibly fun (and a little competitive sometimes) the first player to get to 200 points wins.
This lovely wooden version is value for money and includes a handy wooden box for storage.
Best escape room game: Goliath Games Escape Room GamePerfect for getting your escape room fix
- Goliath Games Escape Room Game, £30 at Argos buy here
A must for fans of the escape room experience, this game includes three different escape room puzzles with a timer to add to the suspense and pressure.
Fans describe it as good fun and challenging and say that it gets the mind working.
Best strategy game: Days of Wonder Ticket To Ride Europe GameTicket to Ride Europe takes you on a journey to several countries without leaving the sofa
One of the top-ranked board games, Ticket To Ride Europe is a popular strategy game that takes players back in time to turn of the century Europe.
Players travel to as many cities as they can on an exciting cultural expedition across Europe, building trains and rail lines without getting up from the sofa.
Best board game for know-it-alls: University Games Smart Ass GameThis is the perfect game for a family thats desperate to get the first word in
An ideal quick and fun game for the competitive family, Smart Ass is all about guessing the correct answer with as few clues as possible and shouting out loud is encouraged.
The general consensus? Its a great game for the whole family and it gets everyone laughing.
Best board game to test your general knowledge: Hasbro Trivial PursuitTrivial Pursuit is brilliant fun and always reminds us how much we should know and dont
- Hasbro Gaming Trivial Pursuit, £20 at Argos buy here
This trivia game never fails to delight and has over 2,400 questions across six categories, from Geography to Art & Literature.
Its as much fun to play yourself as it is to watch your family members squirm when they get asked a question in one of their least-favourite categories.
Best card game: Exploding KittensThis quirky card game has been compared to a fast-paced Russian Roulette with cats
- Exploding Kittens Game, £18 at Argos buy here
This fun card game became famous as the most-funded game in the history of Kickstarter, and the creators describe it in three words: kittens, enchiladas, explosions.
Fans say its hours and hours of fun for adults and older kids.
Its also a good choice for those looking for a strategy-based board game.
Best descriptive board game: Articulate!Articulate is perfect for the whole family and gets you to think outside of the box with descriptions
- Drumond Park Articulate, £16.99 at Amazon buy here
A really great game for friends and families to enjoy, Articulate is about beating the clock and guessing as many card entries as you can in half a minute.
Its especially fun if you and your teammate have a few inside jokes youll get an advantage over the other players.
Best board game for artistic types: Hasbro Gaming CraniumCranium is great for any amateur artists, who can sculpt and act their way through the game
- Hasbro Gaming Cranium, £22.69 at Amazon buy here
This game involves a combination of sketching, scultping, acting, humming, word play and more for results that are impressive or just plain comedy.
Best board game for teens: What Do You Meme?One for fans of Cards Against Humanity but with pictures
- What Do You Meme?, £27.99 at Amazon buy here
If youre despairing about ever getting your teen off TikTok, this solution may be to bring them memes IRL.
This game a must for fans of Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples is easy to pick up. Players compete with one another to create the funniest memes.
Theres also a mature card pack for when youre playing with adults only.
Best board game for teamwork: Z-Man Games PandemicPandemic urges all-player cooperation to win the game
- Pandemic, £39.99 at John Lewis buy here
This game differs from all the rest as it unites every player you all work together to beat the board, so it encourages cooperative play.
This thematic game is suitable for kids 8 and older, as players band together to find cures for four diseases spreading globally.
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