24 Popular Board Games For Adults and Teens (2021)

Board games are back! They have become surprisingly trendy with our screen-obsessed teens and young adults and they make a great Christmas or birthday gift. Playing board games is a perfect bonding activity and will provide your teen with a reprieve from their schoolwork and from a computer screen.

Game playing will also exercise their brains and teach them to compete and collaborate but, most of all, playing games is just plain old fun. We gathered the best board games because family game night is a great activity to span all age groups, including younger children, with any number of players.

Here are the popular board games for adults and teens.

Grown and Flown is a reader-supported site and we receive compensation from purchases made through these links.

20 of the most fun and popular board games

1. Cards Against Humanity

(Card Game, 3 to 20+ Players)

Cards Against Humanity is so much fun if there are adult children in the house. The game’s designers describe it as, “party game for horrible people” and it consists of 500 cards with fill-in-the-blanks that are matched with a second smaller stack of cards.

The content is provocative but as 90% of the tens of thousands of Amazon reviews on this popular game are 5 stars, so there are a lot of people who are enjoying what has now become a modern classic. The best-selling game was such great fun that there are now expansion packs which are a great addition for people who have played through the base game too many times.

Cards against humanity

2. Exploding Kittens

(Card Game 2-5 Players)

We have to hand it to the makers of this wildly-popular game, “Exploding Kittens” wins for best name on the list. This is a simple one to learn and play, with silly fun baked into each card. To quote CNN, “It’s like UNO, except there are goats, magical enchiladas, and a kitten that can kill you.”

Exploding kittens

3. The Settlers of Catan

(Board Game 3-4 Players)

Another classic, this wildly popular game is a classic civilization-building game and will be a hit with everyone. One Amazon review referred to it as “The ‘Candy Land’ of Strategy Games” and those over 10 can join in the fun.

Played on a distinctive hexagonal game board, Catan combines the element of chance with skill and strategy. Using the expansion packs the game can accommodate larger groups of 5 or 6 players. If you find that the youngest players in your house need help to play, there is now a children’s edition.

Catan

4. Dominion

(Board Game 2-4 Players)

Dominion is a deck-building game with the feel of the collectible Magic: The Gathering cards. It has a not overly-complicated set of rules for 4 players and will be a hit with people who like Catan. Played with multiple decks of cards, using different cards each time the game, is great value and can be played over and over. For those who love these kinds of games, there are many extra packs available.

Dominion

5. Codenames

(Card Game for 2 to 8+ Players)

The premise of Codenames is “Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their codenames. The teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first.” It is one of the new board games with a simple rule book and can be played by 2 players or with an opposing team.

One Amazon reviewer said, “Codenames really is genius in its simplicity. It’s a fantastic game to play with a group because it can be taught in under 5 minutes.” Codenames comes in a Disney edition for young children ages 8+. This is perfect for your next game night.

Codenames

6. Sequence

(Board and Card Game 2-12 Players)

Sometimes you need to have a game that allows the youngest members of the family to play with the older ones, too. Sequence involves playing game pieces on a board in a way that corresponds with the cards you hold. The first person to get a 5 card sequence wins.

sequence

7. Ticket To Ride

(Board Game 2-5 Players)

Create your own train network to connect two cities across the United States. Players compete to connect cities before their opponents. It is a good old-fashioned board game with cards, markers, a map, and even trains. Aim to build the longest continuous route, earn bonus points or Destination Tickets by connecting two distant cities.

Ticket to ride

8. Farkle

(Dice Game 2 or More Players)

Rolling the dice to see how lucky you are is the point of Farkle, a fun and easy game that works for any number of players, ages 8 and up.

Farkle

9. Avalon

(Board Game 5-10 Players)

This is a social deduction game where players are split into good and evil without the good “Loyal Servants of Arthur” knowing who is on their team. For those who loved Werewolf or Mafia growing up, this “hidden identity” game will feel familiar with different teams playing different roles. It’s a game with great social interactions for 5-10 players and is more fun and interesting with 5+ members.

Avalon

10. Qwirkle

(Tile Game 2-4 Players)

This is a game with 108 wooden blocks that have six different shapes and come in six different colors. It’s a tabletop game that is played on any flat surface as the game consists only of the game pieces, not a board. It is one of the best games for a wide age range as it is fun for kids as young as 6.

Qwirkle

11. Teslestrations 

(Game with cards and drawing pad / 4-8 players)

Remember the childhood games of Telephone where everyone stood in a circle and whispered something to the next person, who whispered it to the next, and then when the final person revealed what they had heard it bore no resemblance to the first?

As hard as you laughed like a kid playing this classic game is how hard you will laugh with this family board game. Instead of whispering to each person, this is the same simple concept and each team of players is given a dry erase marker and a small flip pad of places to draw or sometimes write what they thought they read and pass it on to another player for the next turn. The round ends when everyone reveals what they thought they saw in each other’s drawing.

This is the perfect game for people of all ages and has great replay value as it never plays the same. It is fun to pair up in teams for large groups. If you cannot draw at all, the game will only be funnier, we promise.

telestrations

12. What Do You Meme?

(Card Game / 4 or more players)

This adult board game is not intended for young players. For those who love a good meme, this is a chance to try your hand and sense of humor to create the funniest memes. With 435 photo and caption cards, players combine them into the funniest memes they can devise.

After each round, the winner is decided by a rotating judge. The game is so popular that there are already 8 add-on packs for those who cannot get enough meme-making!

what do you meme

13. Left Center Right

(Dice Game for 3+ Players)

Players take turns with dice rolls to see where to pass their chips and the person with the most chips at the end of the game wins. Well-priced, LCR comes in a blue tin and is a good game to go into a college care package or include as a stocking stuffer.

Left Center Right

14. Dutch Blitz 

(Card Game 5-8 Players with both sets of cards)

The object of this fast game is to try to be the first player to get rid of a stack of 10 cards. The friendly competition makes this fast-paced game a fun game to play with any group.

Dutch Blitz

15. Half Truth

(Board Game / 2-6 Players)

This trivia game is meant to appeal to fans of Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit, and no wonder since one of the creators is Ken Jennings, the Jeopardy legend known for his 74-game winning streak. Comes with 500 trivia cards on a range of subjects.

half truth

16. Exchange

(Board Game / 3-6 Players)

For those who LOVE the stock market and the world of high finance, this is for you. Meant for players 12 or older, this is a bit like Monopoly meets The Wolf of Wall Street.

Exchange

17. The Alpha

(Board Game / 3-6 Players)

The artwork in this beautiful new game is unique and you will quickly become motivated to lead your wolf pack around the forest to find food. When you encounter rival packs, you must determine to share food or fight. After five rounds for each player, the game ends, and the winner is the one with the most food.

the Alpha

Escape Room Games

Escape rooms are all the rage these days. So, we asked around, and here are the two most suggested in board game format:

18. Escape Room The Game

escape the room

19. EXIT: The Game (this is a three-pack but they can also be purchased individually).

exit game

20. Unsolved Case Files (If you prefer to do an escape room online)

Unsolved case files

New Games for 2021

21. Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

People are raving about this game; it’s a competitive and fun party game to play with friends. The kids will love it.

taco cat goat cheese pizza

22. Relative Insanity 

This is a party game that creates wacky situations that families and friends will love. One player reads a setup card, like ‘While walking past my sister’s bedroom, I heard her say…’ and then other players choose a punch line card to fill in the blank, hoping the reader will pick theirs as the best.

Relative Insanity game

23. Anomia: Party Edition

It’s simple to play: Players flip cards until the symbols on two players’ cards match. Matching players race to give an example of the category on their opponent’s card. Face-paced and super fun.

Anomia game

24. Original Wizard Card Game

(2-6 players)

This is a card game that people are raving about. In Wizard, players try to win the exact number of tricks they bid.

Wizard

More Game Ideas:

Family Game Night 2021: The Ultimate List of Games

If you're looking for some fun college games that your student will love to play on campus with friends, these 14 super fun board games make perfect gift ideas for your college kid and are surprisingly popular with college students. #college #collegelife #boardgames #giftideas #collegegiftideas #games #college

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

Read more posts by Grown and Flown

Don't miss out!
Want more like this? Get updates straight to your inbox.